Mississippi Gabe Carter

Recently met this blues-monsterbro, mentioned that via my site:

Gabe on the left, my bro Jeff Stone on the right.

They played same stage as I at the Chicago Cigarbox Guitar Festival. You can search my site here and find my post w. more pics about that cool night!

So on this cold January in Chicago vortex day I went on a deep search and found this. Betonia, MS Blues chops galore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_X3v5-9TTk&list=PL9aP2bOgQ-XPO5O9_J4EQwbTl7Yxa-I8h&index=6

And This 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_GCnsSyHLI&index=30&list=PL9aP2bOgQ-XPO5O9_J4EQwbTl7Yxa-I8h

And then: https://www.isrbx.com/3136608877-mississippi-gabe-carter-live-from-rosemont-2015.html

Yep. Uhuh.

Warm up y’all, and as always thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Prayer Focus

Here’s a little thing that may be helpful to folks who accent repenting for sin over or against loving their neighbor or acting out of “love is patient, love is kind” as apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13.4

I admit I don’t do this 100 percent perfectly but I have long made it a practice to ask the Lord to bless and show the same mercy I want for myself, my family and my closest friends -to those I disagree with or who may count me as some sort of idiot if not enemy. Why?

Believe me when a thread running through my life and a great many of my messages and lyrics has been hopefully in love, to stir people toward repenting, which means turning around, going TOWARDS Jesus and faith, experiencing HIS forgiveness and applying the Word of God in their relationships and choices. Whether they even like much less love me while on this planet isn’t the issue at all. Their relationship to God (or lack of one) is ULTIMATE and will be in the day of judgment. To be sure, I won’t be on God’s throne and am as much in need of His mercy in that day as everyone else!!

But while on this earth my heart-attitude toward those I find I’m somehow in opposition with, THAT is a matter I cannot allow to simply ignore. At very least and in any case first, comes prayer about whatever the issue/s may be, and my gut attitude toward the person/s.

Whether I know them well, not all that well, simply via social media or in a one-and-gone meeting is not what’s important. Prayer for them and MY heart towards them IS.

So there you go. One part of my fairly regular prayer life.

See, repentance begins with ME, not “the other guy”.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

The Bridge Chicago!

Lotta talk about walls these days. You might already know I do a lot of chaplain’s work in Cook Co. Jail and prisons. I have several amazing friends nearby who serve those I often refer to as “the least of the least of these” Jesus talked about in Matthew 25: prisoners.

Have you ever felt truly UNwelcomed?

Director Glen Fitzjerrell, Jed Brewer and their incredible wives and co-workers and a long list of volunteers serve a lot of incarcerated, at-risk, gang people and formerly locked-behind walls folks.

A couple of years ago Jed (brilliant songwriter/worship leader and then some) put together a project asking if I’d sing and play on it. I was so UP to sing one of his songs which I’ll feature here. They conceived that particular benefit recording project just to help finances at our Cornerstone Community Outreach here in Chicago.

20190127_193729

I came in last night from yet another gathering with them and decided I must help people be more aware of Mission U.S.A./The Bridge for the deep, important work they do. Note: they serve with genuine love and respect for people many in society and even the church are enraged at, afraid of or simply don’t want to risk caring for.

This song was perhaps the first I heard of Jed’s at a Bridge meeting years ago- also covered by me on the “Homes For Heroes” project (which he named due to the many veterans our Cornerstone Community Outreach shelter serves).

SO HERE I AM by Jed Brewer

If You were looking for accomplishment
Then You know I wouldn’t stand a chance
But You said You wanted failures
So here I am

If You were looking for intelligence
Then You know I wouldn’t stand a chance
But You said You wanted fools
So here I am

[Chorus x2]
Thank You God
For love I don’t deserve
Thank You God
For love I did not earn

If You were looking for good citizens
Then You know I wouldn’t stand a chance
But You said You wanted prisoners
So here I am

If You were looking for faithful men
Then You know I wouldn’t stand a chance
But You said You wanted doubters
So here I am

Chorus

If You were looking for righteous men
Then You know I wouldn’t stand a chance
But You said You wanted sinners
So here I am

If You were looking for worthy men
Then You know I wouldn’t stand a chance
But You said You wanted me
So here I am

Neither Glen, Jed or the rest of the staff want the personal kudos. It would take me quite some time to share all The Bridge does but I took a few pics (a bit dark, sorry) and please read on.

I encourage people who care about these issues to really dig into their website- there is SO MUCH GOOD happening via Mission U.S.A. and The Bridge…  check out Contact Info., Current Ministries, Media and note their training offerings at their link below.

NOBODY asked me to publicize any of this. I do it because I could not be more impressed and hope-filled knowing their team and fruitful work as I do.

I missed the top of one of these slides but you might find this of interest too:

http://thebridgeloud.podbean.com/ They are increasing (see bottom left pic above) radio outreach as well…

The deep needs of people and ramifications of doing little to nothing is FAR too prevalent in our society and sadly, often even the church. M-USA/The Bridge are an amazing example of what they’re doing (for 15 years now!) and what CAN be done by more of us.

The last pic includes Jed and the last verse of a fresh song he shared with us last night. It’s a true snapshot of the core heart and mission depth of these sweet friends.

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http://missionusa.com/

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Yours Truly, -Glenn Kaiser

HOMELESS Freeze- Mt. 25

It’s cold in Chicago but about to drop FAR below zero fahrenheit. Grateful as I just saw a pic of yet another Cornerstone Community Outreach resident moving out and into his new apartment! Thinking about the many poor folks, mentally ill, veterans and such out in the streets. I’ve a number of prison dates on my calendar now, more coming.

Who do you consider “the least of these”? What are you actively doing to reflect God’s love toward them?

Here is a massively important text from Matthew 25 simplified by yours truly. Now THIS is scrawl-scratch on my part! I created these 3 a year or more ago and decided Jesus’ words might become visual- this is what came to me. Perhaps a bit more clarity for some who just don’t seem to get the realities He focuses on?

mt.25simplified_1  mt.25simplified_2  mt.25simplified_3

These aren’t nearly close to a major worry if one has plenty of loot. They are more an issue for middle or lower-class citizens. They are sometimes a literal matter of life and death for the very poor, marginalized, mentally ill, widows and orphans “in their affliction” as the scripture puts it.

That last insert above refers to the quality of legal representation anyone reading this would want for themselves or their loved ones -and finally, “safe, HUMANE jail or prison facilities, etc.” just in case my original note (to myself as I was about to speak to a group) isn’t clear enough to read.

Things to consider perhaps??!

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Cultural Idolatry

This is directed to all and the Church in the world but specifically re. Americans who profess to love Jesus and others.

Before I mention more, a little update- I’ve been invited to participate in online radio, that I might offer a music and/music chat/talk show now and then or even weekly. At present I don’t believe that’s what I must do (family, 2 records and 2 books, jail and prison visits and other show/services on my schedule!) but there may be a day I say “Yes, let’s go for it” and if so, I’ll let you know.

There are of course many ways one can do online “broadcasting”, live, vid-casts, audio (podcasts) and the like. Again, at the moment I don’t think that’s a priority for me- but here is a podcast I believe important enough to publicize. I rarely have used podcasts as a communication avenue, but here is one. It runs appx. 13 1/2 minutes.

The specific podcast is titled “Culture or Christ” but it often truly does boil down to cultural idolatry if we are willing to face that reality.

http://gkaiser.podbean.com/

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

 

Bridges-Walls-Activism

On my 66th “trip around the sun”, also Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday- the following looms large in my mind.

For years and long before any talk of a border wall I added the following two phrases to my personal email signature:

-Build bridges not walls

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

It was right at 50 years ago I became quite active in what the social justice issues of the day were. Sadly and without surprise many of the same continue to deserve comment and -action- now.

If you look at my lyrics from Resurrection (REZ) Band, Glenn Kaiser Band or my solo projects you really should begin to notice how often from the very earliest recordings, that justice issues were core.

Sometimes folks seem shocked at what I post in social media or in various lyrics or hearing me speak as though I have somehow “become radicalized” or have “drunk the koolaide” of this or that group. That would be a mistake, because simply reading a wide range of American and world history from somewhere around my 12th birthday I recognized the horrors of inhumane treatment of people (especially minorities), colonization and despotic leaders, leaders of ALL sorts who were laced with character issues to the extent power, control, winning and -their own- prosperity and position were of utmost importance to them.

As an independent voter most of my lifetime, as one who reads a wide range of theology as well as news from ten and more sources daily, and as a serious and needy, imperfect follower of Jesus Christ I am well aware there are times to speak and times to be silent.

Mistakes (I/we have made and will make ’em) or not, in agreement or not, all of us walk in “the light” we have. One of the deep truths of Dr. King’s quote here is of course, the option is to remain in darkness. Darkness is not simply “what THOSE people believe”. It is, foundationally (as is the meaning of “prejudice”) ignorance.

Education that comes from reading the major positions as well as other views on any topic or issue, and for me, prayer, a constant threading of views through my best understanding of the nature of God, the character, teachings, commandments and indeed, love, grace and compassion of Jesus is what motivates me to act -and sometimes remain silent or act in many non-public yet fruitful ways.

What I cannot be is a person of integrity who sits and watches the parade- and I mean on either side of specific issues that I have found in my lifetime are continual, major and often fully denied issues.

A core of those- far more than many wish to admit, is racism. Sexism and ageism are right up on my agenda as well. Treatment of “the other”, folks not like you, or me, not like “us” in whatever group “us” is for you or I, this is a massive and real issue.

Incarceration, in fact the U.S. justice system in it’s deep and systemic flaws, issues that directly affect widows, orphans, the poor and minorities -these I will never stop focusing on.

Treatment of people of color and in particular, by professing Christians is a matter I’ll never stop addressing.

The Good News of Jesus in our application of it ceases to be truly good if we are not first concerned with loving those we proclaim it to.

It’s one thing for unbelievers to purposefully ignore or deny Jesus and His truth, demons are involved (and they are) but it’s another when immature, control-freak believers jockey for “checkmate” in arguing, support political policies that effectively leave minorities in the dust while defending and reinforcing classic white anglo-saxon protestant control  whether directly or via government.

Straight-up, there is in my view ZERO JUSTIFICATION for the way most American governments as well as most white settlers dealt with Native Americans right through our history. Years of injustice leading to poverty and exclusion reap in others what our ancestors have sown and what we now support when injustice is the result of policies. There is ZERO JUSTIFICATION for our long history of same regarding African peoples and other people of color.

If my position disturbs you, or if you cease to respect or be a fan of Glenn Kaiser, Glenn wishes you grace and growth in Christ, because agreement or disagreement with me does not -bluntly put, matter all that much to me.

I’m blessed with a great many friends and of course, also those who consider me their enemy. It seems there are a lot of fans as well as those who never heard of or upon  listening/reading/meeting me could care less or are repulsed. No surprise to me at all!

A military phrase is “As you were.”

Truly, thankfully, Jesus has never left me that option!

My love for Him and passion for my nation and world goes far beyond many WASP norms, so two concluding points:

I do enjoy mentioning that a dear Catholic priest friend is one major reason I follow Jesus from the first of my walk with the Lord until today… and, the first word in protestant is protest. Actual reform starts with me, with you, with US.

I seek to both live as well as speak the truth in love, best as I understand it- even as I protest. This means discomfort for some and comfort to others.

So be it.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

SPEND SPEND SPEND

The following are the exact notes of a message I shared at a kind local church last year. As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

SPEND SPEND SPEND glenn kaiser

2 Cor. 12.15 I will gladly spend and be spent for you, for your souls -Paul the apostle

Concern for the Corinthian Church

11 I have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing. 12 The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works. 13 For in what were you less favored than the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong!

14 Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16 But granting that I myself did not burden you, I was crafty, you say, and got the better of you by deceit. 17 Did I take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you? 18 I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not act in the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps?

19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved. 20 For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 21 I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.

WHO? apostle Paul is writing
TO WHOM? the followers of Jesus in Corinth…
ABOUT WHAT IN THIS TEXT? attitudes, sharing financially, Christian maturity, side-notes on false judgment, accusations and Paul’s personal pain as a leader feeling the pain of the mess in a large group of otherwise very blessed people!

Economics, business paradigm: “return on investment”

We often think “sow – reap” period. Only I’d say often a comma or even a few dots are worth considering. Why? Consider with me please-

Jesus “Give and it shall be given unto you, pressed down, shaken together and running over men shall pour it back into your lap” (KJV)

Prosperity gospel? I don’t think so!!

Jehovah Jireh- my Provider

Jesus- your heavenly Father knows your needs before you ask Him, Mt. 6.33 seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you” -your needs, food, clothing, housing, etc..

Scripture teaches He gives so we must give, He gives so we can share with others in need, what have we got that God has not provided us? Paul even writes at the opening of this letter that they experienced extreme pains and miseries to the point they were going to be killed by them- and that it happened so in the future they could then help OTHERS make it through the same sort of persecutions and remain loving, faithful witnesses and servants of Jesus Christ! It ain’t about us!!

Ok, so I’m haunted by Matt. 25- food, water, clothing, shelter, then the last 2 things Jesus lists when separating His sheep from the goats: I was sick and you cared for me, in prison and you came to me. Hmmm? Where is this old born-again, Spirit-filled Chicago hippie going with all this?

Love. Serve. Give. GRACE means they didn’t EARN it. If you only love, serve, give of your time, effort, care, material and/or financial investment in people YOU THINK WORTHY… don’t talk about grace because you have taken the so-called “wise, righteous” position -at BEST… as “stewardship”. Perhaps you are thinking you’ve arrived at biblical, holy “stewardship”?

God’s idea of stewardship- even in the Old Testament where we often may think the LAW and judgment of God can seem a tad mean, maybe even harsh, tough… we find cities of Refuge, Years of Jubilee where the nation is COMMANDED BY GOD HIMSELF to give, share, release, be gracious (the poor did not EARN nor MERIT)… with safety in cities, food, and needs for life provided for the poor, for widows and orphans. A mark of Christ’s true sheep, His disciples, His followers is not “praying God will rain down fire” on His enemies but rather grace, mercy and giving, sharing- extending God’s love to enemies as well as the widows, orphans and so on.

See- our human sense is “give ’em what they deserve”. Never forget you and I only deserve hell, separation from God. If we as Christ-followers will not repent of small, fearful, angry, -contrary to the Good News of Jesus- attitudes and actions the “judgment that begins in the house of God” must surely come to weed out the Pharisees among us.

The “least of these” and our treatment of them is our treatment of Jesus.

So Paul is literally spending himself, his time, money, effort, loving concern for the welfare of the souls of one of the most blessed AND… AND… messed-up, immature, selfish and sinful churches… that of Corinth. And they are judging Paul because of their own small hearts and unwillingness to share. His very attitude, sharing, giving, loving nature no doubt causes them personal discomfort and conviction. Therefore if taken far enough, the man through whom most of the New Testament is written by God the Holy Spirit may be considered their enemy! Wow!! Think of it!

“I do not want yours… but YOU”. “I will gladly SPEND and BE SPENT” for you, for your sakes, for your souls!

Church, we can and do scream and howl about our own fears, outrage, politics and the nation is going to hell in a handbasket. When will we- in the practical- love our neighbor as ourselves? When and how shall we proceed in the light of Paul’s incredible heart and giving? Overcome evil with good? Love our enemies (a COMMAND of Jesus)? May you and I learn, truly grow- in the mature spiritual, wise and gracious life that says in both words and kind action toward others: “though poor yet making many rich”.

Jesus didn’t have a home, never owned but one outfit and sandals. He poured out His life, His very blood, He took upon Himself the form of a servant, a bond-slave willingly that we might be saved, inherit eternal life by faith in Him. Paul got it. Do we? May God the Holy Spirit speak to each of you as well as me, in how we must respond to the needs of those around us- with grace, not merely in terms of what they “deserve”! Thank you for listening!