Good Friday Thoughts- 2018

*WE*
all have sinned and fallen short
*NEEDED*
are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, naked
***HIM***
SO LOVED the world that He GAVE His one and only Son
“Our hands are covered blood red”  -Michael Been, The Call

Patience? Whut??!

Yeah, a wise individual or two has informed me that if you pray for patience…

-you’ll invariably find yourself stuck in traffic, get all the way to the car park and realize you left your keys in your other jacket and end up in the grocery store line behind 6 people (shortest line available) where the 3rd person ahead of you didn’t realize their credit card had maxed out or the machine isn’t printing out receipts so the entire que is jammed until solutions are worked out.20180328_140407

Two points: The same stuff happens to total non-believers and they didn’t pray about spiritual growth, haven’t studied Galatians chapter 5 which lists patience as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Secondly, the practical way we become more patient is via experiences just like the above, and often involving those we love most.

Anxiety, fear of what others will think/say when you arrive late for whatever sort of meeting or event, anger because you deserve better, shame because your family and/or friends and/or co-workers deserve better from you, on it goes.

Patience with yourself? That’s one of my issues. I can pretty well give grace, forgive, blow off most anything re. others but I can drive myself crazy with frustration in terms of how looooonnnnnggggg it can take me to learn something new, what seems like an eternity to finish this or that project and so on. I want close to immediate results, closure and “Let’s get on to the next thing”. There are too many reasons for this to detail but anything from procrastination, moods, the sheer amount of effort/work/time to “get it done right” and fretting over whether I can finish what I start all pop up in my life from time to time.

Did I mention “time”??

Ever notice there are relationships you are willing to re-visit, to again focus on, to truly invest in while there are also people you’re just not willing to give the same attention and passion to -and therefore you get rather impatient with these “other” folks?

Uhuh. Yep.

Still- what God the Holy Spirit is clearly working to grow (mature) in Christ followers is among other things, PATIENCE.

Trust me, I’m on the same train… and most of ’em ain’t runnin’ on Swiss time.

I think this is yet another actual reason we don’t love those who don’t think, act or vote like us -we have less and less patience to engage with “those people”.

I am eternally glad our God doesn’t treat us like that.

“And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved.” 2 Peter 3.15

Meanwhile is it the fruit of His love or patience for us to consider asking God to “rain down fire on them” because of… errr…

Hmmm. Do we know what Spirit we’re of??

Something to consider I think.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Why I Don’t Often “Share” or “Like” or Join Online Groups

When one is seen as connected with a large number of people a rather steady barrage of “Please Like” X, Y or Z comes into one’s FaceBook, Twitter and email inbox. After tossing all the obvious spam, there are even very close friends who will ask for me to pass on info. about a wide range of services, websites/FaceBook or other sites, shows and you-name-it stuff for wider distribution to those linked with me and my sites.

There is no way people don’t get their feelings hurt when they figure out I have not shared something they wanted me to share.

Sometimes it’s evangelistic in nature, or somebody wrote a book, created a record or someone’s child is deathly ill and in need of prayer. All sorts of people I truly love and respect as well as complete strangers add me to lists, or personal message me asking for me to re-send and alert those in my social media landscape.

Now none of this is a surprise to me, it makes perfect sense -and I honestly never get bugged -when they send such to me personally– as long as they don’t get their feelings hurt if and when I don’t reply to them directly and/or if they never see their request fulfilled via my websites.

There are countless reasons I don’t publicize stuff just as there are countless reasons others don’t see fit to publicize my stuff or things from other people I think worthy of such. Then again, I rarely ask others to let the whole world know -and unless FaceBook or another site does such automatically and I am not aware of it… well that didn’t come from me personally asking for it.

I’ve a lifetime of travels, acquaintances and close and closer friends all over the world many of whom contact me regularly. Cool!

After decades of recorded music, live shows, seminars, press interviews and massive amounts of blogging, tweets and FaceBook posts on a wide range of subjects you can imagine how intense it would be to respond to everyone…

I’ve lived most of my years in a large intentional community where the cool and amazing services on one hand and often downright desperate needs on the other are prayed over, worked on and responded to daily -and yet… and still… we can only do so much.

I don’t want my posts online to simply be a never-ending stream of advertisements and YOU REALLY MUST SEE AND RESPOND TO THIS to the extent ethics and issues I care deeply about take a back seat. I also think it good, even important to share plain old fun, creative and indeed “I’m just a guy, human, flawed, and here’s a slice of life, a bit of an experience, something you might relate to” and not always overtly mega-spiritual nor BUY INTO THIS posts.

When someone adds me to a group I didn’t ask to be added to I nearly always eventually leave it. There comes a point I have to steward my time, energy and even someone’s perception that I must REALLY DIG stuff I just don’t. The sheer volume of people contacting me for stuff is pretty deep, so please understand -or try to, what I’m saying here… I have a lot of energy but it’s not unlimited.

Did I mention my incredible wife, kids, grandkids and close community friends are my priorities? They are. Quiet time, hobby stuff… my own sense of serenity and care, all this figures into to what I respond to or pass along via my sites and social media interaction.

Even those I love and believe I need to support and share with the greater world only get a tweet or publicity when and as I have a sense I must do so. You’d be surprised at how much truly AMAZING stuff I don’t share because my life is more than an advert -and so is yours.

I apologize if this all sounds like whining, the fact is I simply want people to be aware so decided to put this info. into a blog post.

So that’s the deal -and as always 🙂 thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

 

GK’s Cigarbox Guitar BASICs

20180321_164121I’ve been asked to do something like this for quite a while. And when I say “basic” that’s what it is- I didn’t fix mistakes, just did a quick overview filmed by my friend Jon Trott and posted it tonight in YouTube. The entire clip runs 7 minutes 17 seconds.

I actually did it to give a super-fast rundown of what Leif’s guitar (winner of our Cornerstone Community Outreach shelter auction guitar I built) looked and sounded like, gave a super quick explanation of details, playing, where it’s tuned and such so he’d have something to start with when it arrives in Finland. I then thought awww, why not just put it online for those who might be interested?

My bud Shane Speal ( http://www.shanespeal.com -king of the cigarbox guitar and founder of http://www.cigarboxnation.com ) and others have put TONS of vid clips that go waaaaayyyyy more into detail, tuning, playing tips and beyond up in YouTube and at cigarboxnation if you are really serious about learning, playing, building and such. I check the cb nation site about 3 times daily.

20180321_164143Note- In my clip here I forgot to mention what I often use (old credit cards, gas cards and such) as picks. Easy to make 4 to 6 squares and simply scissors slight round corners on all four sides of each “pick” and there you have it!

I use all sorts of types of “slides” but emphasize my go-to copper plumber’s T here.

Ok, it’s at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6IeehLHTfA&feature=youtu.be

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

CCO Auctioned Git to Finland!

So here is a quick pic of the 3 string cigarbox guitar I built (took me long enough…!) -finishing as Wendi has healed up from knee replacement surgery and I’ve had time to finally get the final touches on it.

It’s going to the nation the U.N. recently listed as presently “the happiest country in the world”. I do like Finland a great deal, toured there several times over the years.

This was built far beyond my usual builds, auctioned off to the highest bidder with all proceeds going to our Cornerstone Community Outreach shelter here in Chicago.

http://www.ccolife.org

So she’s a 3 string slide guitar with an onboard pickup, and tuned to an open E (E, B, E). Sounds cool acoustically or plugged in. I am including some things not in the picture, but here you also see the 2-way (play upright or in your lap) copper slide which is a plumber’s T connector. I use one of these a lot when playing cigarbox guitars. Near it, you see one of my old credit-card “picks” 🙂 I slice them babies up and use them myself.

Dear Suomi… thank you for loving the U.S. in this way. Interesting that money is coming from you to help people in the U.S. who are homeless. Love and Thanks Leif!

 

Wendi, Glenn and Show Update

As of March 13, 2018 🙂

**HEALTH**

My sweet wife is doing soooo much better after her knee replacement… but of course moments of intense pain, especially at night. We thank you SO much for prayers. She’s such a champ and so committed to her rehab exercises… very blessed!

I put on 15 lbs. or so this winter (what… sympathy weight for my Wendi…??;) and so as she begins rehab work at our local center I’ll join her doing exercise myself. Good for the old guy!

**SHOWS**

APRIL

GK and others-International Falls, MN
FRI-SAT April 13, 14 2018
Glenn w. a bit of music, cigarbox guitar workshop -and slingshot making/shooting contests
More info. tba as details are finalized
http://www.ifallsoutdoorexpo.org/home.html

GK, Rex Carroll- Beloit, WI
SAT April 21 @ 7pm
Josiah’s Place/O. Cup Show -44th Anniversary Celebration
My friend and amazing guitar-slinger Rex joins me on stage 🙂
I’m bringing cigarbox gits, electric git, harmonica and etc.
Now how loud can just 2 guys get, really?? 🙂
http://overflowingcup.org/new-calendar.php

MAY

GK Solo Blues- Maple Grove, MN (Twin Cities Metro Area)
SAT May 5 @ 6pm
Ribfest: Blues, BBQ and cool people!
6900 West Fish Lake Road
Maple Grove, MN 55311
763.494.0444 (more details soon!)

There are several other GK appearances in May (Channahon, Manteno and Aurora, Illinois) -but we’ll post those w. details as we get closer.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

A Fresh Blog: On Worship

I just created a very simple, new blog site. The blog is all about worship, worship leading and worship team info..

If interested, have a look at my first post which is a compilation booklet of sorts, of my thoughts and teaching on the subject/s. If more interested, download and share w. other individuals, your worship team or pastors.

http://www.glennkaiseronworship.wordpress.com

With love, and as always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

“THE” Will of God, Calling??!

For most of my life the number one question asked of me is “How can I be reasonably sure of God’s will being accomplished in my life?”

Further- and for me this is actually more the guts of the issue- how can I reasonably assume I’m living out HIS calling, serving as He created me to serve?

So a friend wrote me in Facebook yesterday- “would like to hear your thoughts as to what you feel makes the difference between fulfilling our specific purpose and successfully completing something of our own choosing. I feel if you are in a relationship with the Holy Spirit and in the Word and in prayer, that our choices are God honoring and within His will. Curious as to your thoughts. Thanks!”

He was responding to a link I sent up in my Twitter and Facebook feed today which was:

“Of ALL the O.Chambers I ever read (plenty!) this is word-for-word my personal life-changing fave. In surrender to Him and His confirmed call my soul has found love, purpose and meaning” And which I followed up with: “I must be about my FATHER’S business.” -Which of course is quoting Jesus Himself. The Chambers link:

Is He Really My Lord?

HUGE subject but I’m going to really hack it in brief in this post -which means you dear reader, will have to further seek out via prayer, study of The Bible, commentaries, people you trust in leadership and so forth whether I’m on target or not.

Again, this is not a Bible study -if you’re serious, you’ll do that work as I have and do daily.

My perspective thus far is that God is, that He is perfect, that His plans for us were made prior to our being born. The number of our days are known to Him, His plans WILL ultimately be accomplished but we do indeed make choices along our path in this life.

Some of those choices were predestined, but I am personally convinced (please don’t load my inbox, I’ve been through these studies re. Calvin vs. Arminius royally!) that He has given us the ability and capacity to make wrong, indeed selfish, even sinful, damaging decisions. Therefore- as Paul comments about gold, silver, precious stones vs . wood, hay and stubble, our choices, our willingness and yes, genuine on-going desire to seek, discover and live out His will and our calling/s, ministries of service during out life on this planet is massively important.

Note, I am not here discussing salvation, absolutely not salvation by our intellect nor “worth” nor works. Rather, I am talking about path-choosing after one has repented, believed and seeks His will and specific sense of call.

His overall will is clear in scripture and even common sense: He is, He loves us, He defines sin (not us) and what a truly God-and-people-loving life is. He commands all people everywhere to repent, believe and to follow Him in personal, growing, intimate relationship with His Son, the Lord (and only possible Savior) Jesus Christ Who died on the cross for us and is risen from the grave. Jesus HIMSELF, Jesus ALONE is our salvation, redemption, justification, righteousness, heaven-Bringer. Ain’t no other according to both Jesus and His disciples.

Ok- so beyond His will that we be saved (delivered, belonging to and following Him in daily relationship of love, faith, trust, obedience)… what about what some call God’s perfect vs. permissive will?

I don’t believe God has anything but a perfect will for each human born on this earth. I also don’t think what some call His permissive will is anything less nor other than grace.

That is, when we miss it, blow it, make a wrong decision, bad turn, make God a clay ashtray (and He don’t smoke…) then what?

Simple reality is the Bible, Jesus in the Gospels and with further detail the letters of Paul and a bit from Peter all give ample clarity on the Person and work of God the Holy Spirit in and through the people of God, that is, the Church, the followers of Jesus.

God’s desire and will is not only that we believe and are saved, but that The Spirit fill us, work HIS nature IN us… and that He truly does give each one of us spiritual gifts by and through which we serve Him and others.

Those gifts are listed in pretty clear form by Paul and Peter.

“Natural” talents, learned skills or abilities come into play but ought not be confused with spiritual gifts.

Our spiritual gifts inform us of His call. Read that again please. It’s so foundational I’m amazed more people don’t teach this using that very phrase.

Our call is literally a call -which does not originate with us but from God.

We discover His will in general as well as His specific calling and gifting/s as individuals as we pray, study scripture, discuss all these things with mature, godly believers who know Father, Son, Spirit, know His Word and know us over time. The people of God we serve under/alongside of/ with along with listening to the Lord in prayer, study of His Word all help confirm our gifting/s and therefore calling.

Note- a need does not constitute a call. You can’t go anywhere among any people and not find actual need!

None of us has ALL the spiritual gifts, nor even all possible natural, human talents and abilities.

Please believe your gifts and calling are NOT a matter of hierarchy, position, who gets “the general’s stripes” and who gets the “private” rank! God creates us as HE wills and uses us, calls us, gifts us and over time (most important of all) grows, forms, reveals His Own nature (Galatians chapter 5) in the fruit of the Holy Spirit in each one who follows Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

The problem with all of this is of course, we aren’t always focused on Him, others, His will, our calling and simple day-to-day (and often what feels like mundane, no-big-deal work) service. Lack of character is a greater issue than wondering what we ought to do next!

You may indeed be incredibly gifted by the Spirit as well as humanly talented -and be a full-on jerk and louse of a person regarding your character. This alone should clue us as to why sin happens amongst professing Christians. God help us seek Him, walk in faith with Him, serve Him and others via HIS provision of gifts, His grace re. our human skills and most of all by growing in godly character that reflects the love and grace of Jesus!

Hopefully this can help at least give you an idea of what I believe and where as well as why I serve as I do -this has been my own experience in a lifetime of seeing God’s gracious hand in my own life as well as countless others.

Ask, seek, knock, by faith hear and obey His call. Nothing else makes any sense to me.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Whatcha Got?

Some may think I’m playing up to my Kiwi friends, but trust me when I say it goes far deeper than that. New Zealanders among other things, happen to be known as resourceful people, living near “the ends of the earth”, sometimes living in areas where one must come up with solutions on one’s own to fix or make this or that item. It’s one reason I love ’em. Certainly the same can be said about many people groups, indigenous people of NZ, Australia, Africa, the Amazon in South America, Alaska and so on.

It is often true of poor folks and rural folks who live in out-of-the-way places whether in the U.S. or otherwise.

Personal as well as shared sufficiency as an ethic and way of life is something I admire particularly in those cultures where learning and teaching others to use what is simply available to meet a need -or to make art of some sort, is celebrated. Of course there are those in most cultures that consider such a cool, even rather normal thing.

Folk art has always interested me.

I love the old Firefox books, Mother Earth News, various outdoor mags and online forums that share do-it-yourself project ideas. Online sites such as https://makezine.com/  and http://www.instructables.com/ get me thinking, learning and doing fresh, creative stuff.

Mind you, you do often “get what you pay for” but payment may be in mental effort, hands-on sweat, trial-and-error, but in the end (not always of course) you may well enjoy life more than simply feeling sorry for yourself and not arriving at otherwise viable solutions to needs and/or wants.

I’m not convinced of nor am a I a fan of survivalist conspiracy theories in the least, but I’ve read and re-read outdoor/backwoods survival books, mags and the like for years because the “how-to” with less info. is often quite remarkable.

The ball-and-chain of “more is never enough” can still drag at your feet unless you learn contentment isn’t merely nor only in being self-sufficient. When balanced with loving relationships in community and feeding rather than fearing imagination and overly concerned with others perhaps judging you for doing things differently you may just find a sense of grace and fulfillment that is obviously elusive for many.

A huge caveat is that Jesus indeed said “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses.” so material things are not going to meet a spiritual need -nor are they meant to.

You can neither create nor actually experience spiritual relationships with “stuff”.

If you alone are merely imagining a spiritual experience you are not having one.

That takes a relationship with God and people. I think it’s important I make that clear.

At the same time, there are many avenues to creating music on a self-made instrument, a serviceable if not “Gap like” piece of clothing, a pillow for your head or even a knife to whittle wood with.

There is a certain joy and sense of accomplishment that doesn’t come from either big box or online shopping.

Lastly, please don’t expect self-fulfillment via creating things on the fly to fill those deepest longings of the heart.

Thank God in Jesus Christ that happens in relationship.

Meanwhile, a little d.i.y. can be helpful and even therapeutic 🙂

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Simplicity or Multitasking

20141023_100727Ok, there are MANY “I” statements in this blog not for the sake of my own self-therapy nor glorification but in the hope some of you might relate and personally benefit by what I’ll say here!

You may or may not be like me in this area- but as a noob in the faith of Jesus Christ I came across the verse “Let your moderation be known to all people” and would laugh about my lack thereof.

I mean, Americans the world over (like it or not) are known as generous, outspoken and often caring people… but not even close to moderate.

My own propensity is extremism and if you actually read my lyrics, writing, read or listen to interviews over the many years of my life you’ll likely see some emerging of at least a bit of moderation in how I assess people, events and issues. Proverbs 11.1 rings in my ears frequently.

A.W. Tozer who I quote and find myself more in agreement with than not, encouraged “Cultivate simplicity”.

I read an artist’s blog post today with in my view, an important summary statement:

“The more a person limits himself, the more resourceful he becomes.” –Søren Kierkegaard

Many of you know I love simple 1 or 3 string cigarbox (or Altoid tin, etc.!) slide guitars. You may know Glenn Kaiser Band is a 3 piece blues/rock trio.

Most of my life I’ve enjoyed 3 piece (or less) bands, in electronica or other music modes even simple lap-top sets or 2 or 3 piece groups because it’s easier for me to comprehend and relate to fewer things going on at once.

You may also know my wife and I share one room, I have a small office space and live a very basic, rather financially spartan life -on purpose-. I continually shift my focus from listening to the whole over-all song, then each individual part and performance. So I shift my focus but find it far better to do so when I’m alone or with headphones. I really want to UNDERSTAND what I’m hearing. For me, reading to comprehend calls for the same tactic, the overview as well as the details, shifting back and forth but not in the exact same moment -if that makes sense to you?

I happen to love being in the woods with next to nothing and try really hard to only pack what I’ll actually NEED and USE whether touring overseas or on a trip into the forest. I find the focus of both thought and action of slowing down when exploring really helps me not get lost…

A few moments ago I read a few reports that seem to prove the futility and even problems for people’s physical brains as well as communications and social skills due to habits of multitasking.

I admit I’m old school (heh… modern version oldskool) and find great comfort in the peace I get from starting and finishing a task by doing so without interruptions. And loving my wife, family, friends and others of course include a lot of -other- matters that call me away from any task I might be working on in the moment.

The fact is that peace, pleasure and quality work is done (like driving… without texting!!!) with focus, one thing at a time.

The longer I live the more I’m convinced we were not created to multitask nor at least regularly add more complexity to our already overly taxed brains and emotions.

I’m also convinced that excellence in songwriting involves the art of quality ARRANGING, and just as we may not intellectually (or perhaps not being a songwriter, arranger, producer or music studio person) think about it, I’m convinced simplicity and organization rather than clutter facilitates peace. Think Danish design. Now -some- artistic and other statements CALL for clutter and mayhem to make a point! I get that and work with such a concept but only when I think it appropriate.

Funny… in re-doing my office/workshop space I began to consider purchasing a little 4 track recorder for super quick and simple demo’ing songs as I write -and have now decided I have an old laptop and already have the software (Linux, open source) to do it well enough.

Oh yeah… I was writing a blog about… what was it now??!

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn