The Crossing, GK Sets FRI DEC 2 in Chicago

So our Celtic friends The Crossingthecrossingpic are doing an unplugged set including holiday music, I will follow them with classic Christmas songs and a few surprises on Cigarbox and other guitars, etc., adding a bit of soul/blues to the evening.gkcigarboxfbpic

It’s all part of Uptown’s annual holiday Winter Walk featuring 10 businesses all along Wilson Avenue. The Crossing and myself bring the music at 935 W. Wilson 5-7pm on Friday πŸ™‚

Hope to see some of you at EC!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn




Preparation, a focusing of your mind and heart on the Christ Child Who came… and will come again:

Sunday November 27
HOPE -1Peter 1:3-5

Sunday December 4
PEACE -1Pet. 3:10-12

Sunday December 11
JOY -1Pet. 1:6-9

Sunday December 18
LOVE -1Pet. 1:22-23

Blessed Christmas to you!

As always, thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚ -Glenn

Low-End Guitar

LowEndDiddleyBowThere are some (imho) very cool guitars over at and I often get a cool laugh considering some of the “low” or “lo-fi” and such names of biz monikers some of the builders have taken to.

But I suspect the Dumpster Divers Union group at cbn would like this git I am in the process of building between my dish-washing, house-chores and Christmas decorating today.

I have two to build for friends but they will take time to get right. This puppy takes about an hour of goof time and and another 20 mins. for the piezo pickup and 1/4 inch input to be soldered and added.

If you build or care about cigarbox gits, basses and such, maybe you have even checked into guitar history online as I have. What often amazes me is how poor people the world over come up with ingenious ways to make music out of trash.

For example, I have often found in my studies that all over Africa people not only use gas or oil cans, turtle shells or the old burnt-out/hollowed wood (think round or rounded rectangular wooden bowl shapes) for a guitar body and discarded broom or mop handles for the neck, but also junked brake wires for strings.

Of course for nylon strings (or if no discarded brake wire is available) monofilament fishing line works great as well.

But as the guys are re-doing our main dining room I noticed some very new tossed-out multi-strand wire sitting in a garbage can last night.

Yes indeed, if one is only going to use a slide of some sort, wound wire cut to length using an eyebolt tuner can work quite well. And will NEVER break due to the strength -especially the 7 stranded multi-wire (7 feet long no less!) that I found 6 of.

So of course I had to make a diddley bow (1 stringer) with a pretty box I had lying around.

This wire is quite impressive in that it is tightly wrapped and twisted, 7 individual lengths each containing 7 appx. .010 wires then all twisted together.49WrapsSteelWire If you are a guitarist or bass player, think the completed size of a “D” bass string with a total of 49 very small steel wires all wrapped within.

I used an old neck I had drilled to make a 2 stringer… so now I have an extra hole for the cord “strap”, heh!headstock

Now to put a pickup on this little monster!


As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

My Weekend Just Passed

MemEntranceMy Father-in-law’s memorial service, Kenosha Public Museum Cigarbox Guitar WorkshopKenoshaMuseumPic, Wilson Abbey Sun. Service and Heartfelt Crafts with a Conscience gig. In other words, I “was just sittin’ around eatin’ bon-bons” (not!) as our friend Peggy Howard would say!

Whew. But all good.

Curt is home with his beloved Dawn- and they are worshiping the Risen Jesus as I type. It was a very special memorial service with a full house of family, friends and amazing stories, music and many pics celebrating a dear, dear man.CurtMemCurtMem2CurtMem3CurtMem4

I then got up early, packed the car and up to Wisconsin. What a fun and cool group of peeps. They seemed to track with me on the lecture portion and then we got to work building 1, 2 and 3 string slide gits. It was just a blast. Afterward I took a quick look at this amazing museum and in particular what my part of the main exhibit was part of: KposterGKkcbgKGitDisplayLesPaulLogGitCollectForVetsAtMuseumThatDayOnTheWayFinishedUp

Then I was asked to lead worship at Wilson Abbey, Ed and Roy as usual, made it a treat. Great word from Andrea on the day too!

Then Sun. afternoon the W.A. auditorium hosted some crafty folks offering all sorts of cool stuff. Wendi brought her handknits, I brought some cigarbox guitars, built a couple and brought a set of blues on a few of them. We had several other artists, sweet music and 15 percent of all sales went to Cornerstone Community Outreach, one of the largest homeless shelters on Chicago’s north side. Very cool indeed.

Last night was blessed to do another Cook County Jail set along with several good friends, one of my cigarbox gits and a harmonica.

For my Lord, amazing wife, family, so many friends, I give thanks! And for a full, productive weekend.

May you and yours experience Thanksgiving (here in the U.S.) as one of peace and with gratitude for every good gift and grace.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

The Divides

In my view, here in the U.S. what I will call “the divides” are laced together by one thread running through the very dna in the American psyche: winning. At core, we MUST win. If you’re on the left I just risked losing you.

Now hold on if your candidate lost… pause, take a breath because I simply don’t agree with about 3-4 major pieces of EITHER political party platform so regardless- I lose.

“But not like others” you might say. I agree. I am a white male in a white male dominant society where in my view, we should have seen Spanish added to the official language list in the States about 10 years ago -but in this I just lost you if you’re on the political right.

So, onto the divides:

White – non-white

Urban – rural

Job security – little or none

Legal jobs – illegal employment

But regardless, WINNING and indeed SURVIVAL is what each and all of us seem to be reaching for -and damning those who are or seem to be roadblocks to them.

Not much to understand about all the above if you think about it a bit.

But wait, there’s more.

Faith vs. fear

Anger vs. anger

Genuine invitations to “the table” vs. “We want nothing to do with you”

So, Americans, patriots, good-hearted citizens of the land of my birth and the land I love, it is at this point I call attention to:

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” -Emma Lazarus


Yes, this is the poem on the Statue of Liberty. Yes, things have indeed changed. Times have changed, economic changes, wars, white dominant culture erosion, rural jobs and towns drying up, the drug trade both legal and illegal kicking into ever-higher profit margins in BOTH tiny rural towns and urban areas, cultural changes happening that displace the majority which knows it is near-certain they (we… me) will soon be the minority and… and… -lose-.

And here I prophesy: there isn’t enough of anything that will stop that from happening folks.

I suppose that’s one of a host of reasons Jesus commanded (not merely invited) us to “love your neighbor as yourself”.

Things to consider as you go about daily life in a nation and world in deep, deep need of more love and grace -win or lose.

Want to reap what you sow? You will. So think long and hard when you judge others in that regard, because THEY might be irresponsible bums and YOU might be anything but living out the love of Christ in your attitude towards your neighbor. Which makes you very much alike and equally in line for God’s judgment.

I think love, grace, bigger ears and a heart that sees humans rather than “us” and “them” is the only practical solution.

But of course I’m a missionary idiot, what do I know? πŸ™‚

As always, thanks for stopping by!


Trite Hope?

Had a recent discussion about seasons, life and death, resurrection (of any of us, and Jesus) and such. And it’s my fave time of year: Autumn!20161112_105836

I love being outdoors and though we’ve had some colder weather in Chicago I try to get into our side yard or at least sit for a few minutes on our second-floor balcony here in inner-city Chicago.

Today as in the past week it was a mix of cold wind but bright sunshine. Had my cup of tea and sat for a bit.

Wendi and I have small plantings of herbs and little tomatoes in a large flowerbox in this spot. For growth, we provided the proper soil, fertilization, watering and weed-pulling. The right mix of sun and shade are there. We try to keep up with ongoing care and hey, we see the results πŸ™‚


The thing is, this little bed has produced a great deal of really good basil and other herbs for the past several years, and also a great harvest -really MANY ongoing harvestS of tomatoes.

I will often eat six or eight at a time and with good low-carb bread and mayo, a very little salt and pepper, love tomato sandwiches that come from about 4 to 6 gradual fruitings from this one vine. Amazing!

Today as I was about to sit down I snapped a few pics.

The beautiful leaves tell us fall has fallen. Winter sleep is coming on. The cold air and wind off of Lake Michigan speaks plainly of this.

Yet there is the bright sun.

And -lo and behold, some 14 fresh little tomatoes in various degrees of ripening still on the vine! On November 12th yet! Hmmm…

The recent death of my friend and father-in-law (see the last couple blog posts), Thanksgiving, the weather, even the vines and leaves offer reminders of change. But about the time I thought this vine was done bearing fruit it delightfully fooled me by what it’s producing.

Trite, I know… but I not only believe in His resurrection, but Curt’s, my wife’s and my own. I believe regardless of doubt and the miseries which visit us in our human existence that after autumn comes winter and then Spring! Seasons. All these are needed for bearing fruit.

Have you ever lost faith that there might be genuine fruitfulness, actual yield in your life?

Have you given up on yourself, your ability to change, to heal, to find peace, meaning in your life? Have you fully given up on a loved one, friend or enemy and in your own heart consigned them to zero chance of change for the better?

You, I and all have taken that road at various times in our lives. Between old age, hopes and dreams smashed, illness, a vast array of injustice, crime, violence and what looks like stupidity in the world and those we care about -and in ourselves… the old Bible story of Job where the line “Curse God and die” comes to mind. Just give up, throw in the towel, admit it: you/they/things CANNOT and WILL -NEVER EVER- change for the positive, for the better.

This fully counters what Jesus Christ both taught and lived. I encourage you to really open your heart to His Own words as recorded in the four Gospels and consider if He or His followers were fully liars or just plain crazy.

Sure, plenty of “Christians” seem and I would say indeed are pretty flipped… and it never surprises me when they consider me nuts as well πŸ™‚ Sincerely, no surprise to me at all.

I look into my own life and see growth that I never expected to see. I’ve recognized it in person after person that I lost faith and hope for. I mean, who wants to get their heart broken again? Who wants to be “a sucker” who takes another fist in the face? Why bother with this empty old promise that there may indeed be fruit coming after “all this time”?

Because the facts are, not always mind you… but often: it does. I’ve experienced it. I’ve seen it plenty.

Pay attention- God isn’t finished until He’s finished. Meanwhile, “faith, hope and love” are the call and the road out of despair. In our loving obedience, we see things we often otherwise miss completely.


One last thing: “β€œI am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (Jesus in John 15.5)

I can hear someone thinking “There it is, that punchline at the end of His supposed statement”. Yep. As we cooperate with Him and in love trust God more than ourselves we see what I saw today and a great deal. If relationally we live apart from Him, like fruit without soil, sun, water and nutrients, we shrivel. We have choice, the garden does not.

20161112_110317Life-giving relationship to God and others is something I consider and benefit from daily. It’s the soil and the nutrition I need to grow.

May you truly enjoy autumn. Even winter! Spring will come.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Veterans Day 2016

I want to say Thank You to all who have served in the U.S. military -and to all in your families who have sacrificed along with you. I deeply appreciate your dedication and service.

For those among you including loved ones- who have suffered due to your service: may God give you grace to experience His love, healing and peace in a troubled and often violent world.


Show Cancellation for GK

PLEASE- it’s such an important benefit and cause that I hope this won’t keep folks from attending and helping meet needs of families in deep need:

SAT NOV 12 Bucyrus Suburban Lanes, 975 Hopley Ave. , Bucyrus, OH 44820
“Support Recovery” is an all-day benefit event featuring several bands, benefit auction, etc.. Exact schedule TBA. For more information, contact or call 772.293.1792

I must attend to my family at this time due to our beloved’s death. You can learn about Curt via my very last blog post:

So- I won’t be playing at Bucyrus, Ohio this coming Saturday… but it seems I am in the area several times per year so hope to see some of you there eventually.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

With Love, -Glenn

Until We Meet Again: Curt

Most know I’m a man of many words.

My dear father-in-law Curt Mortimer -one of my best friends, mentors and examples of kindness was not.

Today He went for a walk and quietly passed on to Jesus, his dear wife Dawn, a son whom he had lost to disease many years ago and to others he loved deeply and well. He left a large family behind who adored and shall ever adore him.curtnovember2016

Curt was an incredibly gifted educator and poet. Being wise, deeply thoughtful, economical, humble, even shy he yet served and was a friend and patient counselor to many people.

Curt loved to laugh, like most folks (me too) from Wisconsin loved cheese and the outdoors and of course the Packers πŸ™‚ Most of all he loved Jesus and people.

He was truly one of the kindest people I have ever known.

Here are two photos I took, one just four days ago at table in our Garden Room at JPUSA in Chicago, the other from one of our frequent trips to the woods, this time near Monee, Illinois only two weeks past.CurtInWoodsNearMonee

He inspired me and continues to… and I could not be more certain we will be together before the Lord in God’s good timing.

For now, goodbye my precious, amazing friend!