What’s Up With GK?

Uhhh… well:

Personal study, family, shows, recording, book writing and a little guitar-building.

Last night another amazing time at Cook Co. Jail.

Today added bass and ersatz drums (cardboard) in finishing up a new track.

Studying a number of 12 Step Recovery materials, some very helpful stuff out there.

In my jail and prison visits, etc. I meet so many like myself in recovery who need and can benefit from linking up with solid people who’ve been on a healthy path -both in terms of spirituality as well as practical linking with others who get the struggle and have found grace and healing.

Also planning a few Christmas presents (making stuff) and trying to keep up with interviews, email and all the social media.

Other than that, not much goin’ on around here… HA!

I’ve a load of fresh blogs written, a few more edits and I’ll pop ’em up here.

Oh- and just made this fresh two-fer slide guitar/s-in-a-box. Well, two boxes glued and screwed together to be specific.

-with big thanks to my friend Patrick in Arizona who gifted me with a box of boxes in the mail!

Played both along with other gits up in Rockford the other night. I’m kicking around either staining or painting it.

It’s very light but sounds (acoustically) really good- both necks, and also has a cut-down Danelectro Honeytone Amp in it or can be fed into a p.a. via a direct box or into one of my larger amps. The 3 stringer sports a funky older and cool sounding pickup given to me by a kind bro in Minnesota. And there’s a Radio Shack doorbell piezo packing taped to the 1 stringer (diddley bow) and on that one I used 9 gauge wire rather than a guitar string.

You can see 3 of the slides I’ve enjoyed using sitting inside the lid along w. the 2nd set from the other night. Played in your lap or on a keyboard stand -fun!

Cold weather has moved in around Chicago but I’m thankful for the seasons so am enjoying some autumn tea here and there.

As always, thanks for stopping by 🙂 -Glenn

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Disrespected: The Art of Insult

Today I want to discuss “trumping” someone, that thrill of joy you get when you “put someone in their place”, that great sense of accomplishment when you feel happy about winning against “a loser”.

So how does it feel when someone does it to you or someone you love or simply care about?

First off I’d say we’ve pretty much all done this to others, and had it done to us.

Next I’d like to point out Jesus never did it as such. He won every argument but I find it a total stretch of scripture to judge either his words as a full-on putdown “GOTCHA SUCKA”-“CHECKMATE” and little sense that even the tone of His disagreements ever held such toward His enemies.

How about your words and mine?

This morning something leaped out of God’s Word as never before. And it’s found in a number of places but I admit I never saw it prior and especially didn’t think it would come from the Book of James which in general isn’t known for it’s sense of massive grace! My caps added for emphasis.

James 1.6

KJV: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

NASB: But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and WITHOUT REPROACH, and it will be given to him.

NET: who gives to all generously and WITHOUT REPRIMAND

NRSV: who gives to all generously and UNGRUDINGLY

AMP: who gives to everyone generously and WITHOUT REBUKE OR BLAME

Philips: And if, in the process, any of you does not know how to meet any particular problem he has only to ask God—who gives generously to all men WITHOUT MAKING THEM FEEL FOOLISH OR GUILTY

The key word in biblical Greek means: oneidízō (from a primitive root meaning “to upbraid, revile, like in showing one’s teeth,” K. Wuest) – properly, to disgrace (insult), reproach; mock (curse); insult, cast blame (create shame) – viewing someone (something) as culpably guilty and therefore deserving punishment. This can be based on fact (Mt 11:20), or incorrect assumptions (Mt 5:11).

I can hear some saying “SEE… if you read that Matthew 11 verse Jesus Himself (who IS God in the flesh quite unlike you and me) proclaims guilt. Yep. Got that. And of course your judgments and mine are always perfect. Maybe it’s time to do another word study in scripture… how about “malice”?

Do you really think God ENJOYS, gets PLEASURE from trashing people? The Book even says He “takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked”.

I can already hear some reading this saying “Hey man, exegesis!! The context is trials, asking God for WISDOM [which of course you and I ALWAYS have when someone asks… or doesn’t ask but we’re going to ‘BLESS ’em’ with our annointed brilliance… in their face!]. And you’d be a bit correct but of course I’m talking about attitude toward the person you want to prevail against in a word-and-concept match.

You may indeed say “And furthermore Glenny, they ain’t ASKING for WISDOM… they just want to run their mouth with stupid, washed-out lies and anti-God talk!” Again, you could be correct- especially about that first part -they might not be asking for wisdom at all. Are you? DO you ever? Are you even open to the possibility that in various moments of your life you yourself are the “brick for brains” kid, or perhaps the full-of-yourself jerk who may even claim to be a Christian but acts like the backside of a donkey in a WWWF cage match… and yet call it loving your [stupid loudmouth IDIOT] neighbor …”as yourself”?

You just lost. Before God Almighty you just flat-out proved HIM right. So how is it He continually comes to the one who asks for wisdom without any of that garbage attitude towards them?

The thing James hits on often in his short letter to Christ-followers is HUMILITY. If you’re asking for wisdom you’re already coming with at least a measure of humility or you wouldn’t ask in the first place!

If you think you already KNOW and want to put someone else down, you’re not about loving or instructing them, you may be all about belittling them, domineering OVER them and winning an argument.

But wait- there’s ANOTHER hole in my thinking ‘eh? “See, that FLAKE didn’t come to me for wisdom at all! They’re the mega-proud one, it’s THEM without humility!”

Your turn:

PLEASE EXPLAIN HOW FULLY INSULTING SOMEONE IS ALL ABOUT LOVING THEM WITH GOD’S LOVE?!

The command of God is to treat people like He does.

1 Peter 3.9 -not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

If you live by the sword, you shall die by the sword -Jesus

IF you care more about winning an argument than you care about the person you’re talking with, you’ve already lost in terms of loving your neighbor as Jesus COMMANDS us to!

Trust me, like Peter (wow… did he of all people write what I just quoted here?!!) I can and have been the rash fighter most of my life. It’s in my nature -old nature that is. I have often had to repent for saying and of course, more often thinking “Lord knows I could BURY you for your ignorant words and attitudes!” when reading, listening or engaging with people who I am convinced are just WRONG WRONG WRONG “and somebody should put them in their place!”

Bubba and Sista, your “place” and MY “place” but for the mercy and grace of God is hell and nowhere else. Never forget that. Read up on how many times Jesus in the four Gospels talked about eternity somewhere other than where He and His people will be.

So I ask you what I believe God the Holy Spirit is asking me- and He does so often: what’s your true heart attitude toward “those” people? God’s agape love or condemnation?

Is life about stacking up false wins with insults or are we choosing wisely… to walk in and demonstrate love… even towards our enemies as our Lord and Savior literally commanded us?

Anybody besides me praying for the spiritual gift of “mercy”?

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Called: Not By Nor For Yourself

What many folks who follow me (via blog, Twitter, Facebook, be it REZ Band, GKB, myself solo, worship leader, whatever) are likely unaware of are the details, the guts from which I came to do what I do. In a -very- short piece, I’ll write that here.

First, it was from a deep conviction of call. In no way am I trying to “spiritualize” “coincidences” or for that matter, talk either myself nor anyone else into believing me re. my own sense of calling. Why not? Because before all else God showed up in my life and piled the signs so high all I could do was follow/obey -or rebel. No other options, and in truth there never are. “A mission from God” indeed. If it were not that sense of call I honestly would have traveled if not an easier, certainly a different road.

I fully fought against Him and His call on my life right to the last moment. That’s a story I’ll tell another time, perhaps in an e-book or something, but not now.

Today I simply want to say I did not call myself.

Many who profess to follow Jesus Christ are glad they trust His Word, cross and empty tomb for their own salvation -and that’s that. What I mean is, that’s THAT.

For me it was only the beginning of a lifetime I could never have imagined, both the flippin’ thrill and pain, both!

“My sins are forgiven, I can now do whatever I choose and God will be ok with it. It will naturally be His plan expressed in my choices.” Uhhhh… really?

I fully disagree with such a shallow assessment of what it means to ACTIVELY love God and neighbor.

A surface skim of The Bible and a gathering (once a week or less) with a group of people who will rarely if ever challenge your depth of scriptural discipleship may affirm that position but Jesus’ Own words in the four gospels do not.

Personal growth, age, knowledge, wisdom, struggles, calamities, the temptations and sins of one’s own life and of the wider human community are part of what, it seems, OUGHT to lead us to Him and can lead us to be Christ-and-others centered. Indeed, SEEKING HIM, HIS WILL, HIS THOUGHTS, HIS DESIRES are elements of loving Him and our neighbor. The rest is details and best we can, should we not follow Him regarding those details?

When did self-denial, personal cross-bearing and following Jesus become unlimited cake and frosting? “He gives us all things to enjoy” in truth… but “not all things edify”. Can we not… or shall we not be bluntly honest with ourselves that we are by nature rebels who are called to repent of personal kingdom-building schemes on a rather regular basis?

Why are “all people everywhere” -commanded (!) to repent, believe the good news and follow Jesus in relationship of faithful, loving obedience? How is it we get to write our own script and decide “God is happy when I am… nothing left to consider”?

There is not another single lasting relationship you live such an attitude out in. Not. One.

Yet you decide “God is fine with me doing whatever I feel like” and “whatever” is part of His calling on my life?!

Most reading this HAVE terminated relationships where another has not lived according to what you consider good, kind, agreeable parameters. I am not saying God is so quick as we are to blow one another off and cut the cord. He is incredibly patient, kind and not close to as mean as we humans are to one another though some love to debate that.

I am simply saying either God defines the boundaries and borders or we do, and when we do at best we’re quite like a flashlight with the batteries gone nearly dead.

A CALL does not come from within any more than a lightbulb has the ability to give light with no power source.

A genuine calling from God comes from God Himself and gives one enough confirmation that we finally obey Him and serve Him and others in love. We quit being the center of our universe. Not only does “the light come on”, the light is shared with others. The light STAYS ON because God Himself and all He wills and works through us has an element of eternity instead of merely the temporal.

I love the term “Christ-follower” because it denotes if/when taken seriously, love in action. We do life with Him, His Word and consequently, moved by His will even when our own will would take us away and elsewhere.

Perhaps these are things to consider as the seasons change, darkness increases along with the temptation to grow cold as the weather.

May the Risen Jesus light your fire and mine- brightly! Let us walk together with Him and HIs people as we serve via our individual callings!

As always, thanks for stopping by 🙂 -Glenn

GK Nov-Dec Shows, Speaking

What a year this has been! So good. Lotta miles!! But so much grace and so many kind friends old and new coming out to shows, etc.. So here’s what’s up in my November and December tour schedule. Hope to see some of you at one of these -except at the jail of course.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

***NOVEMBER***

SUN. NOV. 5 Stillman Valley, IL GK message and worship 10:15am

http://www.valleycov.org/

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MON. NOV. 13 Cook. Co. Jail Chicago

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SAT. NOV. 25 Champaign, IL area GK Christmas Set (w. Wendi)

Also Sam Arias

6:30-9pm 1798 County Road 700 N, Sidney, IL 61877-9728

https://www.facebook.com/events/248185842375304/

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MON. NOV. 27 Cook Co. Jail Chicago

***DECEMBER***

SAT. DEC. 2 Frankfort, IL GK Christmas Set @7pm

Also Aracely (and possibly w. Wendi and a family member or two:)

Watershed Cafe and Books

7837 W. Lincoln Highway

Frankfort, IL 60423

815.464.5230

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SAT. DEC. 9 Berwyn, IL GK Christmas Set

Time TBA

7009 Ogden Ave., Berwyn, IL 60402

https://thenitelight.org

708.788.7009

 

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MON. DEC. 11 Cook Co. Jail Chicago

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Tentative: SUN. DEC. 17 10:30am GK helps lead worship @ Wilson Abbey Chicago

https://www.facebook.com/wilsonabbeychicago

 

 

GK- What’s Your Take on “Church”?

First, the true church is the entire family of God. It’s NOT ONLY or JUST this or that specific local or even international stream of believer’s gatherings you like.

Those who truly follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in daily relationship of faith, love and obedience are indeed the church -including those who have died and are in the literal presence of the Lord.

You may not like ’em, strongly disaree with ’em, even in God’s Own view you may be more solid in theology and doctrine than they… but you don’t get to exclude them from the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Second, the church on earth is a mess. Always. Everywhere. Or it’s not an honest, for-real gathering of followers of Jesus Christ.

If it’s always neat, clean, well-behaved and “in order” (see Paul in 1 Corinthians 14.40) I’d say God is too smart (perfectly all-knowing actually) to allow really hurting peeps among you because you’d only mess ’em up worse with rules and regs, judgments according to personal opinion and likely a culture of “surface behavior” where one can easily play a “religious card” of pretense.

In other words, that sort of situation is a social club and nothing more. Jesus is among “those who NEED a physician”, “those who are sick” not those who exercise just enough control to -seem- like they’re sinless.

Again, those who follow Jesus Christ in faith and loving obedience in accord with His Word (The Bible) constitute “church” which is an assembly, a gathering of called-out ones who seek and walk with Him in daily fellowship.

A building with a cross on top, rental of a school, meeting in a coffeeshop, pub, parking lot or somebody’s living room? Frankly, I don’t care. None of those are scriptural absolutes regarding what constitutes a biblical church.

How about regularly meeting together?

Of course!

Just like you and I meeting together with Father, Son and Spirit on a daily basis- you’d think hanging out with fellow believers as much as possible would be your desire as well as a directive from the Lord. Check out all the “one-another’s” written in context to believers throughout the Bible. If love and caring for one another were present in your life, wouldn’t you choose to link up a lot just as you would over other shared interests with people of like mind?

Ok, so you got my foundational stuff. What about form, format, how to DO and BE church”?

First, you gather -but for more than mere fellowship/friendship though that’s at core. As I just said above, sons and daughters of God via faith in Jesus are family. All families have different issues, sin indeed surfaces, they argue, they have ebb-and-flow in relationships, agree, disagree, sometimes part ways. Still with me so far?

So… what if you have a larger, say “extended family” where beyond blood ties, the same parents (Parent , that being God when you are spiritually born, born from above, born-again as Jesus said…) then what?

I’d say you hang out, eat together. You talk, pray, mow the lawn, work on each other’s cars, play in-house and outdoor games together, connect on social media, marry, bury, you do life together. You indeed worship individually but also together in a group because that’s what a close, intimate family in Christ does.

You have independent and gathered devotions, prayer, Bible study, share the Good News of Jesus verbally with one another and guests, friends, people “outside” the immediate and even beyond the extended family. You engage in the mission/s Jesus Himself calls us to. You verbally share the Gospel, share why you believe in the Risen Savior, you help make disciples, serve God and human beings (including enemies so much as they allow) in His love and as witness to His active life within and among you.

When you’re deeply in love with Someone it’s pretty automatic- you’ll share it with family and friends.

Oh yeah: Jesus said “You are my friends if you do what I command you” (see John chapter 15, etc. for details)! So individually and gathered together you naturally care most about pleasing the One you each love most. You naturally help one another do all this.

“But what about the FORM Glenn?”

Ahhh… what about it?

Does form ever fully equal substance? Ever?

Does the New Testament, Jesus in the four Gospels, Luke in Acts, Paul or Peter or James or others ever lay out a template of an absolute form of local assembly? Yep, I know the very verses in the minds of most readers as I ask this but I’m convinced the answer is NO. Attitudes, general behaviors, even permissions… but commands as to STRICT FORM of local church? Closest I can see it is from Acts where Luke tells us they “met daily in the temple and from house to house”. Therefore both/and, not either/or “or else”!

I have a number of traditional church friends as well as house church friends. At times extremists on both ends of the spectrum use intensely negative language about forms unlike the one they favor. So easy to refer to a preference as a scriptural absolute…

My favorite methodology of a gathered group of Christ followers -or your preferences in that regard- are not THE will of God for all believers in every place on the planet. Period.

But how easy to find methodologies we see as THE BEST and paint/judge/blast/trash other believers who are every bit as much part of the eternal family of God as we are!

This sort of immaturity and ranting is one of the very reasons some continue along in judgment to the extent of condemning all who might see things differently.

Oh well, “nothing new under the sun”.

The longer I live and the more I search the scriptures the less I am convinced those texts that indeed give instruction on how we are to conduct ourselves when we gather (sorry- this is a blog not a Bible study with proof-texts) the less I trust in the immaturity and lack of love, patience, grace and compassion of my brothers and sisters who are so quick to judge others as “lesser than” themselves in how they “do” church gatherings.

Believe me, I’ve done it in the past. I’ve found: “good” and began calling everyone out who needed to “wake up” to this or that PREFERENCE of mine/ours as though it were a “command of God”. My tradition vs. yours. New vs. old. Old vs. new. Believer versus believer!

There is much careful, exegetical (honest, thorough Bible interpretation) methodology left undone and when we are not willing to “hear what the Spirit says unto the churchES” we often park on an attitude of “WE GOT IT… THE REST OF YOU NEED TO GET IT LIKE -WE- DO”!

Such immature mistakes if not outright harsh, blanket judgments are made again and again in church history, one group against another.

Such is not the way of agape love.

I am NOT saying “anything goes”, nor that there is not a time, place and issue to discuss biblical doctrine and agree or agree to disagree. What I AM calling for is that we all work to grow in the fruit of the Spirit- and ourselves learn a deeper humility. May we take greater care before nursing grudges, talk faith one moment and demand full control because someone might hurt us again. As if WE’VE never been wrong or hurt another?! “MY way or the highway”? The sick truth is plenty who take such a stance judge others of acting precisely like that!!

Really? You’re fully wise and without sin in each and every judgment and relationship ‘eh?! Please. Self-deception is first a matter of -self-.

Methinks bridges are not walls. Sometimes we’re walling ourselves off from godly, mature brothers and sisters who “also have the Spirit of God” to quote Paul.

Something to consider here perhaps?

As always, thanks for stopping by:) -Glenn

Outdoors, Gigs, Outdoors

Lots of pics from places these ol’ eyes have seen recently…

Lake Beauty in Minnesota!

Bikers and Friends Gathering in Channahon, Illinois 🙂

20171014_13352820171014_13353720171014_13362320171014_15340720171014_171407

and yesterday morning at 3 diff properties in Monee, IL including Monee Reservoir and Raccoon Hollow Woods right next to the Reservoir.

Autumn is so sweet, so glad to enjoy it with my Wendi and friends at LBBC in MN -w. Blood Brothers in Channahon including blues and bbq and w. my longtime friend and bro Bob for a half-day in Monee!

As always, thanks for stopping by:) -Glenn