Resting Space.

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Last night after flying home from tour and dinner with Wendi, checking in with family, friends and such, I took a few moments alone.

Our side yard garden is a continual gift. It isn’t the woods where I love to be but a one-minute walk out our door and we have flowers, plants, lots of birds, a couple small trees and even with various street noise it’s rather quiet. Most of the year it’s truly beautiful, often quite lush.

We give our older folks preference there but plenty of younger peeps also hang out with coffee or tea, chat, sharing worship, small groups might eat a meal together. A portable  wood-burning fireplace gets used out there after dark sometimes.

Last night this little oasis right in the middle of a large, sometimes desperate, violent city offered me a peaceful spot to be.

There, with a large iced coffee (been a tad too hot here lately) in a cooling-off evening with a slight breeze from Lake Michigan I was able to chill.

I had a great chat with one of our leadership team and just rested awhile.

I highly recommend any sort of safe place you can either create or find to spend even 15-30 minutes every now and then. We all need times of peace, reflection, prayer, shared friendship and yes, silent and alone moments.

It’s simple -but so nourishing to make good use of what you may already have nearby or might possibly imagine and create: a space for a few minutes of downtime. I believe this is something spiritually, emotionally and even physically healthy people do not regularly neglect.

Something to consider?

As always, thanks for stopping by!  -Glenn

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Next Up for GK Touring

FRIDAY – SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 29 – OCTOBER 1 -GK Teaching, Music @ North Stonington, CT
Camp Wightman
207 Coal Pit Hill Rd, North Stonington, Connecticut 06351
At the FBC Meridan. CT -Retreat-
September 29 – October 1
-Sep 29 at 7 PM to Oct 1 at 3 PM EDT-
203.237.5529
http://meridenfbc.org/

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SATURDAY OCTOBER 7 GK @ Chillicothe, IL:

http://www.smallworldconnect.org

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More coming in October…

As always, thanks for stopping by 🙂 -Glenn

 

 

 

 

Perfectionism, Order, Safety?

20150521_115914Not. In. This. World.

And if/when we push ourselves to the extreme view we must NOT be considered less than perfect, that our life/family/home/car/artistic offerings are less than perfect, orderly, approachable by those with the highest standards, we then may feel we’ve achieved a good measure of safety. But it ain’t so.

No matter how gifted, skilled, no matter how hard we work at it perfection is a losing game. Do your best? Yes! But that’s not what I’m talking about here.

Acceptance from others? It comes and goes.

No matter what you think, and absolutely what you say or do, somebody isn’t going to like it. It may be a good number of people will reject and even diss it outright.

Then you might decide like many, to pull your head in some sort of shell much like a turtle hides out of self-defense. Safety at all costs!

Only create, imagine, stretch out, “color outside the lines” (and there are ALWAYS lines whether we place them or others do) and the sense of “order” feels amiss.

Of course there are those times we think we are percieving rejection when we really aren’t inside another’s mind in the first place.

For all their faults (as if all parents don’t have them?!) my Mom and Dad never once squashed my musical creative side. They didn’t jump up and down and tell me how “gifted” I was, and I don’t ever remember them saying they were proud of me, not as a kid or adult. Yet- they allowed me to practice, crank music loudly, buzz out with friends and form, rehearse and play in bands right through my youth. They never DIScouraged me in my creativity. I am so grateful for that!

God gives everyone gifts. We may choose to let them lie dormant, we may think we’re worthless or fully brilliant and in arrogance judge all others as “lessers” because of our own pride/insecurity syndrome. In any case, growing in one’s gifts and using them for others benefit (no matter how one might do so) STILL leaves one open for disappointment.

It is a rare moment indeed when everyone in an art gallery truly loves every offering of this or that artist! The same goes for public speaking, blog or book writing, recording records or live music shows, music styles, dance or tiny house design. YOU NAME IT and you still have to learn to navigate feelings of other’s apparent and sometimes blunt dislike, maybe even disgust at what you brought to life’s potluck.

I don’t expect everybody to dig blues music which is the main style I’m offering. Every person I interact with does not agree with my take on political issues nor the cures for what most of us might agree are problems in our cities or rural areas. Not everyone can tolerate and fewer really LOVE ghost peppers which are some of the hottest peppers on the planet -and I DIG ’em!

It’s a foolish and useless view to decide all peeps have to somehow kiss up to your idea of what “good” much less “Great!” is -in art or life. Plenty people fall into such thought loops and set themselves up for despair, hiding or worse, in bitterness and rage they start shooting.

Nobody gets blessed when you judge the heck out of them -and often this can surfact out of your own sense of rejection and how you’re not dealing with it internally in a healthy way.

As a follower of Jesus I pray about my offerings often. I mean A LOT. I’ve learned to “cast my bread on the waters” and “stick my neck on the block” knowing there will always be someone ready to spit it out… or jerk that cord!

But life in Christ means living and giving, sharing what you have.

I won’t gloss over the need to find at least a few people who resonate with what you offer, but to beat yourself up seeking audience approval will choke the life OUT of you.

Are you looking to serve …or for your own fan club?

Faith, hope and love are always a risk. I’m certain from scripture: God’s Own view, is that loving people is worth the risk of those very people rejecting your offering and even rejecting you in the process.

If it’s about -you- feeling accomplished, I’d say don’t waste your energy. Perfection won’t happen but for brief encounters regardless how gifted or “in the zone” you may get!

If it’s about loving others and being moved, the muse begins to well up and you begin to sense “this might be a blessing to someone in need” I think then it’s time to create.

Any suffering that may come from such work is part of loving others via serving with our offerings, artistic or not. I’ll say it again: others are worth the effort and even the pain.

Things to consider perhaps?

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Recovery? Yes.

So over the past couple decades there have been studies and pundits doing their best to discredit any sort of 12 Step Recovery program and therefore positive results in the lives of those who’ve subscribed to the steps, material, attend meetings, link with sponsors and do the work.

The reality is that a couple of Christians who had personal experience with alcohol and addiction recognized something many apparently do not: healing is not one-dimensional.

This is not merely a “false gospel” or “social gospel”, watered-down, liberal spirituality. It can and at times may well BE that for some, even many in such programs. And then there’s Celebrate Recovery which is about as solidly Christ (absolutely the only Higher Power is CR’s belief) and Bible focused as you can get.

I could not be more aware/believe in and daily experience a reap-sow, personal responsibility concept of living than I already am. And even -I- understand grace which is at core “NOT getting what you deserve” which sadly is lost on many professing Christians. Mercy doesn’t mean accepting everything this or that philosophy or group-think believes, I get that too! And yet… and yet…

You are reading the words of a recovering “sinner” (according to Jesus and His Words), a recovering drug, booze, sex and at core self addict. I have attended, led and been personally helped over the years from various 12 Step groups and meetings. As they say, your mileage may vary, but of course the same is said about following Jesus, about attending this or that local or denominational or house church by plenty of people who can say “I was there and it/they didn’t help me. I felt WORSE. It didn’t work!!”

So… what??!

There are so very many reasons people “experience” marriage and in the end divorce and therefore consider marriage “not for them”, even “useless” and in fact something that brings more outright pain and grief than joy. Come on, look at the divorce rate! So marriage in and of itself is a failure and worthless, even a deception right??!

Thousands of people invest in musical gear, say a guitar… they practice… and their fingers hurt. They don’t seem to “be a natural”, don’t “get it”, and other legitimate concerns take their mind and energies away from committing, learning, actually growing as a guitarist, discovering where the notes are, various chord shapes and so forth. The instrument sits in the closet and neither they nor others benefit from what could have been.

I tire of cheap shots (and I don’t mean toward me personally!) taken by haters, self-righteous and often arrogant and/or flat-out ignorant people who  -in their own life- never had to face demonic, overwhelming desires for X, Y or Z and lost the battle/s. If you don’t NEED help in an area of life, you rarely seek it out. Plenty seek and find. Jesus said something about that. He indeed meant seek HIM… not a program as such. Got that. I follow Him. Daily. Moment-by-moment. Listen to Him, His Word, thank Him, interact with Him. I want to. I’m convinced He wants me to. I am deeply thankful for His grace in any spiritual progress I have and do experience!

AND… I have long worked The Steps, get a devo in my inbox, as well as pray, read the Bible and study daily, confess and am accountable for sin.

I’ve often said I’ve a “master’s” in addiction and I can tell you that all the nay-sayers and words of pundits weren’t around when I was desperate for help. They (you, if the shoe fits) were NOT present in my life and had no power to help deliver me from the incredible hell-on-earth that destructive habits such as mine were chaining me to.

I found help in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I also have found practical help in working The 12 Steps… for close to three decades.

Recovery is a reality. It’s indeed a journey and not each and every moment a destination. A core part and point of focus is humility. That’s something I continue to work on myself. I encourage openness and learning to all reading these words, as without them you may simply end up like this guy:

“A poor yet wise lad is better than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive instruction.” Ecclesiasties 4.13

Pray, get saved, read your Bible, show up Sunday is massive -but not the end of my nor plenty of others story. Some of us need more practical input and at times we did not find it among this or that group of folks. I’m living proof “it works when you work it, one day at a time”.

Don’t be so quick to trash talk following Jesus OR recovery work. You may be shocked when the day comes you’ll wish you hadn’t blown off either.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Ebook Work

Yep. A weekend off, various family interaction and indeed just trying to move down the road w. something I think may be of help and maybe even of interest to people.

Reading several ebooks as well as several amazing posts today from good friends who have many great things to say that need repeating ’round cyberspace and beyond. I’ll help promote here and there as I think good and right… and when the timing seems good. I try hard to not simply do the “sell X, Y and/or Z” stuff and appreciate that few people ask me as I’m sure some get their feelings hurt or just wonder why it is I don’t hype this or that project.

I really dislike the “infomercial” approach whether in blogs or other social media so only promote from time to time when I really think it important.

There is indeed so much pulp, so many voices shouting because… we can! Yep, the Web is the mega-Pandoras Box. ANYBODY can push “fake” ANYTHING at ANYTIME, troll away if they have a simple web connection, even from a local library or friend’s laptop or phone.

So I get the fact truth or nonsense can get tossed out, re-hashed, forwarded on and devoured in a heartbeat these days. It’s excellent or horrific depending on content and motive. “Every careless word” and in context “judgment” comes to mind (Jesus in New Testament Gospels).

My personal writing at this point is an overview of my early years with focus on a bit more than 3 months of my life. If I never wrote another thing I think this to be worth sharing so… we’ll see and please don’t ask, when it’s ready I’ll be sure to let the world know 🙂

Got our laundry done yesterday, perhaps will do my office cleaning tomorrow, enjoying a rocking version of Puppy Linux at my writing space today though this pic is in the same place with antiX Linux yesterday on the same lappy.20170913_103353 Also waiting for AUTUMN which I so love… not complaining about the 85f weather in Chicago today but I sure do love cooler weather with gold, yellow and red leaves!

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Native Americans, Racism Notes

Some may not know that for years I have shot and hunted with various weapons including bows and arrows. In studying the sport/hobby right into earliest construction of archery tackle, shooting skills/variations and history I came to know about Ishi.

As I’ve mentioned from time to time, reading “Black Like Me” in my early high school years only confirmed what I had already learned about the often (yes, not always) horrible treatment of whites against people with skin of a darker hue, issues of racism, slavery and exploitation. The same goes for treatment of Japanese Americans (and re. Italian Americans) during World War II.

As a primary school kid I read history and gaped at art depicting Spanish and Portuguese as well as other white European treatment of indigenous people in what is now the southwestern U.S., Mexico, central and South America including Brazil (See “The Mission” movie for further consideration).

And so to Ishi: a Native American man and his family and tribal story- I read both books on his life which you can find at the link below… and wanted to jump on a table and scream at the injustice and misery that came his way.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=ishi+last+of+his+tribe

This is in part why I wrote songs such as “Afrikaans”, “Zuid Afrikaan” and “I See Red” (which I referenced in my last blog post yesterday).

I am on record stating racism is in my own thinking just about equal to rape. How our minds, emotions, demand for control and lack of compassion for someone unlike us (“the other”) plays out is something I’ve thought about my entire life.

While there are people who will gladly cast judgment on myself and others when convenient (as per their personal causes and desire for control, recognition or mere rancor sans actual fact) there is zero excuse for silence in the current local, national and world situation ESPECIALLY AMONG CHRISTIANS who talk about God’s love but harbor fear, rage, bitterness and self-righteousness in their minds, hearts and via social media, etc..

FOR THE RECORD: what I think and state now I’ve been thinking, saying and singing for most of my lifetime. Recent events, so-called “fake news” or any other deflection is “shooting blanks”. If you feel so compelled to unload in my direction, have at it. I am unlikely to engage in petty debates. My position on these matters which I say again, was formed in my youth can be seen in a lifetime of my lyrics, blog posts and public as well as private conversations.

I will only add that justice isn’t getting what you want. My own best, foundational understanding of the term comes from this:

He has told you,O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? -Micah 6.8

God says it. He tells humankind, all of us. “Good” is not arbitrary, it’s how HE defines it. “LORD” denotes ruler, king, the One Who “calls the shots”, all others servants to Him and others. “Require” has zero to do with options, it is in fact, a command. To “do” justice means active service (as in serving) others. To “love kindness”… wow… is that what we hear in social media and etc., these days??! God shows His very heart in those two words. God help you and I demonstrate this very compassion toward others!!! And… “and?”… I sincerely doubt either justice or showing love and mercy toward others (especially when we operate out of rage, fear and false judgment) can happen unless we walk in humility. Note- walking (not mere mental nodding to God, but a WALK, in actual daily relationship with Him) walking “humbly WITH” God.

A personal relationship to Jesus brings us to these things. We will not (historically have not and shall not on this earth) fully agree with one another on all points re. relationships, race, gender and etc., but God help us take loving our neighbor seriously and may we grow in living it out.

The options? A misery none of us will find nor make peace with.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn