Anyone FOR Division?

I’ve riffed on this before but thought it worthwhile to re-emphasize:)

Today as I passed through our lobby at JPUSA I saw a sweet visiting married couple- husband at one of the dining room tables, wife near the front desk both working on their mobile phones.

As I walked up to her, the husband looked up and they made eye contact and I joked “You could both talk rather than text of course!” smiling. They both laughed and she told me a story where a text exchange had happened though two people were unknowingly, seated just a few feet from one another!

How easily we mess up or miss-use or propagandize via texts, voice-mails and of course social media. How quickly WE kick-start division because (how profound! I jest…) WE DISAGREE AND WANT THE OTHER “IDIOT” TO AGREE WITH US.

I mean really, one of the obvious things in Bible study and discussion is how we flawed humans come up with absolute truths and begin to get quite nasty toward our fellow believers due to our “enlightened brilliance”.

I do not have solid data confirming this but if as one writer recently stated, there are some 40,000 different Christian denominations or church “associations” (even if there were only 400 or just 40) and they do not all agree on everything, don’t you think that’s why there are so many of ’em? If they agreed on every faith and practical issue there wouldn’t be more than one large group.

Ok, so I hear folks thinking “Hey Glenno, the Word says there IS one church, one Lord and Savior and PLENTY of verses that speak against causing division and discord!” And I fully agree with you, you’re correct! So… are there any Christ followers YOU disagree with, even to the point of not choosing to fellowship with them? Do you ever speak against their beliefs or positions on issues? If you do you have sown division in terms of simple logical reality, no?

Yes, all with saving faith in Jesus are spiritually one but do not in this world agree and in fact are in various ways, in that sense, divided.

Establishing that, I think it’s a cheap and easy shot to claim “division, discord, God HATES it” whenever another individual or group disagrees with you or me.

Do other spiritual and/or religious people ever divide over faith, practice, political policies? Only Christians?! A prime example are the number of violent attacks and even actual wars in the world of various Islamic factions, one against the other.

Have you ever known atheists or agnostics to disagree with one another or is it only people of some sort of spiritual faith that cloister into cliques, “us vs. them” and refuse to link? Ain’t no group that doesn’t face and often, produce factions.

For me, the surprise is that otherwise educated, thinking people are surprised by division.

Indeed, Paul writes the gathering of Christians in Ephesus chapter four- “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”

In that chapter we also read “25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 26 be angryand yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.”

So we each have the responsibility and RIGHT to “let ’em have it”, right?

There are of course no chapter breaks in his original letter, but how interesting that this chapter ends with:

29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

It seems clear he is writing to Christians in relationship to other Christians. Hmmm?!

It’s the ATTITUDE and delivery that often transmit when we don’t see one another face-to-face and how often I have blown it royally -even when in direct conversation.

Truth- even if we are correct in our judgment and interpretation… takes a back seat to firepower, flame-wars. Might that add to division?

This is why words have power and why we will according to Jesus, give account for every careless word in the judgment.

But of course the only true judgment is mine… no… yours… no… there IS no judgment…

One day we shall all know as we are known. Today?

God help us learn to love and not simply smack one another by smacking keys and hitting “send”!

Perhaps this is part of how to actually HAVE and even GIVE a Happy New Year?

God help us!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

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Peace, Love and Understanding?

The Prince of Peace reportedly talked a lot about peace and that He was/is/shall be The Way from Whom it came and comes. But He also said (I heard some of you thinking over your Bible knowledge just then:)) “The Son of man did not come to bring peace but a sword”. Yet, He said both. He is both.

There is a time for force- but love that is unchosen, non-voluntary, forced -is fake love. It’s not love at all. Please stay with me a bit as I unpack in this post.

We can go over a mountain of reasons why we don’t relate to nor want to “Go Tell It on The Mountain” because it messes with our personal view of life, our ability to play god ourselves. I am talking about self-identifying Christians and indeed, pre-believers/unbelievers in this…

Peace, love and understanding just left town if you really believe all centers around you and your own sense of security -full stop.

In that mindset you’ve taken a self-destructive role yourself. You then join in with those things that trash the world because your view of the world confirms your own judgment toward those you dislike. When you play god, “judge of all the earth” and not peacemaker exactly what are you sowing?

Sow peace, reap it. Sow other than peace, reap that. Further, you can’t sow peace if you don’t have it. Jesus said “Blessed are the peace makers”. Is He talking about you or me? Are you known for your peace or for your “sword”? Patient, kind, gracious or impatient, harsh, earn-it-or-get-off-my-lawn sort of person?

I don’t usually quote Elvis Costello (nor Nick Lowe who wrote this) but when I do:

As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity
I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

And each time I feel like this inside,
There’s one thing I wanna know:
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding? Ohhhh
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding?

And as I walked on
Through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes
So where are the strong
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony?

‘Cause each time I feel it slippin’ away, just makes me wanna cry.
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding? Ohhhh
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding?

2017 may have been great or horrific depending upon how your life and the lives of those you love are going spiritually, emotionally, physically and/or mentally not to mention finances, politics, and social media. I get that.

How to proceed?

Well the historical St. Nick reportedly brought gifts to the poor, accenting children -and the Good News of Jesus Christ… but some or all of this might be fake news right?

What you want from me and what I want from you may vary. We all know it’s much deeper than what is or ain’t under the tree.

We may be so divided we don’t want to even be around one another. And yet… yet… what might be best for my heart attitude -and yours… especially towards those we oppose, disagree with, maybe even feel like we’re “righteously”… uhhh… is “hating” too strong a word?

Ok, here’s another analogy and example. I love New England. Some folks hate it. I love NE for a lot of reasons though I’m a born-and-bred Midwesterner (dearly love the Midwest) and at times fully disagree with some of it’s people on some issues.

Wendi and I have traveled through that part of the U.S. many times and especially around Christmas it’s truly a magical place with hillsides full of snow-laden trees, every little village and house lit, electric candles in each small window. Holiday trimmings, cozy fireplaces in plenty of homes- Beautiful!

Are there things about New Englanders I don’t always like? Sure, same as Midwesterners… and people and customs and beliefs everywhere on earth.

Ok, let’s bring it home… what about family issues? Peace, love and understanding or “let’s get this over with so we can get home”? Grace, mercy, forgiveness? What about “Love is patient, love is kind” which seems to encourage peace, no? WHO gives me such ability? Not me in myself I can assure ya!

What’s so funny about peace love and understanding? Not a thing. Because the opposites of these are the world you and I help create if we don’t live in these, if they don’t walk in the door with us. In those moments they’re not part of our own internal, intentional approach we are not “instruments of Thy peace”.

Know what? God Seriously loves us ALL… and at the same time Seriously disagrees with us ALL re. our sin (what HE defines as sin, not what this or that group of people decide it is and not even if you and I decide there ain’t such a thang).

Ok, so if you aren’t a Christ-follower: dump the “Christmas myth”, right?

Got any myths of your own? All the keys to wisdom and knowledge on your key ring?

This “Babe in the manger stuff” may not be your cup of tea, but I can tell you after most of my lifetime of travel, study, discussions with a mega-wide swath of great and messed-up peeps throughout the world -and both world and church history, ain’t no lasting peace without Him.

May you seek and find the Babe Who came and remains unchangingly God in the flesh, born and crucified in our sick world, raised up from the grave and living in my life and the lives of millions. I fully admit and seek forgiveness for any of us who carry His name could be and at times are, jerks, wimps, ignorant and sometimes harsh, self-righteous and judgmental. Some. Sometimes.

About Jesus Himself?

He is exactly Who He claims to be and I have accumulated a lifetime of personal, profound proofs that He neither lies nor pretends.

May you risk genuine trust, faith in the Person and grace of the Savior Who is both Lord and Christ!

From my first Christmas walking with Him, shocking as it was in an amazingly good way- to this one my wish is that more people will make peace with God. That you dear reader will experience Him and with Him, a truly Merry Christmas.

As always, thanks for stopping by 🙂 -Glenn

“Another Tree” Primal Christmas Blues Uke

I just finished some year end shows with sweet friends! So this song was inspired by two of them- Janet and Frank Cairo who do a zillion cool things via Nitelight Arts Center in Berwyn, Illinois where I just did a Christmas show.

I’ve known them for years and played there plenty. The tune is being played on a uke from their music shop, one of but many good things they do for the Berwyn/Greater Chicago community 🙂

I’ve long wanted to do a blues uke tune, here’s one!

20171213_120632

And oh, this was simply recorded live on my mobile phone so quite primal, glitches and pops, etc.- but dedicated to Frank and Janet with love. Merry Christmas all!

ANOTHER TREE glenn kaiser

Mary had a baby
I think you know the rest
Some just wanna curse it all
Some feel very blessed
Ornaments and lights
Gifts under tree
But oh, how He loves us
Gave for you an’ me

Yes I truly understand
Some folks disagree
This world’s in need of love
From another tree

Yes I love the Savior
Love the human race
Love the fact that Jesus came
With a baby face
Mary’s little Lamb
Grew and gave it all
Sure the church is often wrong
Sinners rise and fall

But I still love Christmas
Learnin’ to love my enemies
All because of what He did- on that other tree

So to see/hear this one just go back to the main page here at glennkaiser.com and scroll down to my Facebook post links bottom right.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

First Snow and 2nd Sunday in Advent ’17

Joy -and sadness. yesterday for me was full indeed.

Another amazing night with friends and new faces at my last Christmas show of the year in Berwyn, IL. SUCH good folks at Nitelight Arts Center! Old friends, new friends, PUSH worship band cooked. Thank you all!

But I am also reminded of friends and loved ones battling cancer, others in hospital with other diseases, etc., yet also brilliant art by another friend -who recently fell and hurt himself.

A birthday of one of my best friends -who is now in heaven with the Lord.

First real snowfall in Chicago -beautiful, birds flocking up more and 26 degrees with a Northwest wind at 10mph. FirstSnow2ndAdent2017

The beauty of our house decorated, Christmas cookie-making by a sweet baby-sitter and her little friend.  ChristmasCookies

Homeless people who are facing their first (or perhaps 20th) holiday in confusion, sometimes addiction, businessmen who could care less as long as their personal wealth can accumulate.

The joy of remembering a little Child born poor who stayed poor and was executed over power, hate and position.

A time of hope and joy as well as stark truth at Cook County Jail this Monday evening when I bring another music set and share amongst staff and incarcerated people, some quite guilty, some innocent, all locked away except in heart.

All this brings to mind:

“Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appeared and the soul felt it’s worth

The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees…”

That’s a hard place to be but exactly where we must all go inbetween the joys and pleasures we do enjoy.

I will begin the Monday set with a 1 string “diddley bow” slide guitar I recently built. The first song prior to the Christmas tunes including some I wrote, will be an old African-American spiritual. I so love my friend One String Willie’s (see You Tube

 

or his website for more) “Soon I Will Be Done With the Troubles of The World” I decided to open the set with it- even in the midst of a lot of encouraging Christmas songs.

The reality of sadness, people lying in hospitals, shelters, the horrible California fires, political upheaval and service personnel off in harm’s way in the world, far from loved ones or themselves living in the streets all conspire to the extent I cannot merely rejoice in every moment.

Yes, Paul writes “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice” but the Book also reminds us to “Remember those in prison as though you were there with them”, to “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.”

Those who simply want to forget cannot love as God calls us to love. He not only never forgot His promises but entered in to the suffering of those who could not “fix” themselves nor their loved ones.

Another amazing black gospel song goes “He came down… DOWN… to take away the sins of the world!”

Our house is beautiful and the reminders of His first Advent are everywhere. Noel! New birth, new life offered to us!  ChristmasATJPUSA2017

 

I am, we are SO very thankful to Jesus for His coming 🙂 But for now, we watch and wait.

God give us grace to “see what HE sees”!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

 

GK Music Plus Before Christmas

KaizCBGpicOk… I -may- find time to record a diddley-bow (primitive 1 string slide guitar) version of Go Tell It On the Mountain as a Grrr freebie release… if so we’ll publicize the download link. If not, please know we tried to get it done 🙂

MAYbe even more bluesy cigar box guitar type music w. new songs before Christmas… but not sure of that just yet. Busy time around here!

So the Christmas shows have been truly sweet, and here’s the rest of the year’s outings as planned. Yesterday I had a great shopping expedition with Wendi, and little by little getting guitars built to be shipped too. Essentially just layin’ around… not!! :)! Blessings of Advent to all- and as always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

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SATURDAY DECEMBER 9:

GK Christmas Show -With Special Guests PUSH Worship Band opening

The Nite Light Cafe and Arts Center
7009 Ogden – Berwyn, IL

with 2 options:
Dinner buffet & show @ 6pm – $25 per person
Show only – Doors open at 7pm – $10 per person
Limited seating – reservations required ASAP

708.788.7009

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MONDAY DECEMBER 11 -GK @ Cook Co. Jail Chicago

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SUNDAY DECEMBER 17- 3rd Sunday in Advent

Worship at Wilson Abbey 10:30 a.m. (they asked me  to join the team… and bring an electric guitar and amp…:)! 935 W. Wilson Ave. Chicago, IL 60640      773.273.6865

https://www.facebook.com/wilsonabbeychicago

Tasks and Agitation

My personal preference and I suppose dna is FINISH what I start… before picking up a new task.

Thankfully, over time I have learned to cut others a great deal more slack when it seems to me (who of course always judges righteously… not!) they are not doing so.

Easy to judge others for what you are messing up with, no?

But that is rarely my problem. I beat myself up or simply get into frustration mode when “interrupted” and have to quit working on X due to Y being the more immediate and often truly more important need. I get more ticked at me than others in this because I just really want to get the first thing finished before another thing has to be attended to.

Arrrgggghhh

The truth is I often find the journey, the creative stuff, the endorphin rush to my brain. The feel-good is in the doing rather than the finishing. But this being so, why fuss with myself over having to create space for another or more immediately important task?

Self raises it’s head (as in selfish, “Not NOW!”) and this is the truth of it.

Love is not about accomplishments being worked through and finished. I mean, I KNOW this intellectually as true.

Well for those out there who can relate- NONE of us will be “the finished product” while on this earth, not if we are super-spiritual, mega-moral, deeply giving and sweet as cream, not if we lived past one-hundred years!

Therefore not only will we have to have patience with ourselves and others, but there will be things left undone.

Now, facing this means there will be plenty of time, at least minutes if not hours, days, weeks, months and years to actually love those around you or those contacting you for help. You know- “those [arrrrggggghhhhh!] Interrupters” whom you share space, share the planet with.

People before tasks.

My natural bent is about starting a project and getting through it, completing it and then going on to another. The problem (and it seems most men and some women fall into this as well) is that if we are not careful and open to change and unexpected voices calling for our patience, time and effort, it will be “another” task of our own design rather than perhaps another person whom God Himself may well be calling us to care for at that moment.

But perhaps I am the only one who struggles with such things. 🙂

Part of the practical is DO what you CAN in the brief time you have for the project and get back to it when you are rightly able to do so. One foot in front of the other… and others before self.

Wow, that was just sooo easy to just sit here and type 🙂 🙂 🙂 And now I just hit “post”!

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn