Channahon Bike Blessing

And a blessing it was, a lot of sweet people, bikes, great food and da blues on what was the best year for weather yet. Wendi was able to come along and that’s always sweet!!


Here are a few pics, and again Kudos to the kind and rockin’ players who joined me for the set, Big Thanks to Pastor Joe, Ronda and crew for the invite and work to make it all happen. And CONGRATS to the winner of the Motorcycle raffle -NICE!


On to another bike rally near Lancaster, PA next Sunday, jammin’ with friends! See the June Appearances post on my site for details.

Oh- and my fave T shirt on the day 🙂 MyFaveShirtOfTheDay

As always, thanks for stopping by, -Glenn



FLOW? Unexpected Changes!

Now right from the top I can say the Spirit was with me today in that so many things happened in the course of “a normal day” that I claim zero credit for keeping calm. My Christian friends would say “Well He’s ALWAYS with you of course!” and that’s true but I’m talking about helping me (The Helper as Jesus refers to Him) in the most immediate, direct way in terms of attitude.

Further, what follows are an artist’s (or agent’s) booking commonalities as well as family and basic stuff that is truly (and rather Mickey Mouse) “first-world” change-ups, not life-threatening, survival, minority landslide and two-thirds world experiences.

In an upcoming month four concerts/appearances were on the calendar fairly solid. Three of them needed to make changes to re-schedule but within the same month due to both their and my commitments, so no cancellations, just re-doing the dates. As I was already working on other concert-associated matters online another change came up, and then I received a phone call re. yet another!

All this happened within about a twenty-minute span between my doing our laundry which was a tad backed-up, then finding out our building’s alley was being torn apart for re-surfacing the roadway which affects several things including my wife’s breathing and sleep, and then another change having to do with at first, my not having to take her to her physical therapy session but then being her only way to and from that -and lastly a meeting with a couple leaders canceling due to one of them having vehicle issues.

NONE of this was expected, most of it all happened within an hour’s time and the truth is I was a little amazed I didn’t freak out.

Poor Wendi said “Well maybe I just miss the pool rehab this week” and I was able to say “Don’t worry, I think we can work it out -shall I fold and put the dried laundry away when we get home, and hang the no-dries up before we leave? Can that work?” She said “Sure!” and now I sit typing as she’s doing her pool work.

Flow. Yes, it’s a word some of us are more comfortable with than others, or at least sometimes. It’s also a word some truly hate because in life we don’t always get things to go (or finish them, get stuff done) exactly as we wish.

But it’s these changes, the right-now-boom stuff that often seems to weird me out and if I’m not careful, affect my mood and therefore my attitude and therefore interaction with others. Impatience, lack of flexibility is of course a common thing among humans, but this is where one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit -patience- as well as creative thinking -meaning finding a work-around, taking a breath, a prayer and at times outside-the-box thoughts, considering the other person’s angle on an issue or solution and finally, THIS AIN’T LIFE AND DEATH SO CALM DOWN DUDE/DUDETTE!- can all help one’s perspective when the unforseen changes hit and of course, hit they will!

One of the many beautiful things about an actual faith relationship with Jesus and His Word is that HE never changes.

All the rest of life -well I think you know that’s not how it goes.

Something to help encourage you on the journey I hope -because we all experience this stuff.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

New Simple Diddley Bow (1 Stringer)


Yup, just hadda. Amazing how cool cardboard can sound w. a little neck, a slide and a chopped-up credit card pic 🙂

Oh, and this one made for playing slide only, with a bass string.

The cool bit on that is though it’s so very short and small, dinky box too, still it has depth of tone. Right now I’m liking it with one of my 3 way copper plumber fittings for a slide.


Tip-to-tip length: 19 1/5 inches

Box: 6 3/4 in. x 6 3/4 in. x 2 in. thick

Scale: Bridge to upper (not actually a nut per say) screw string guide 17 1/4 inches

“A” bass string tuned to Db (D flat) -I am liking this!

It’ll easily pack into a little bag for travel. Maybe I’ll add a pickup… hmmmm… got several to choose from around the shop.


Very light but enough weight it can sit to be played in my lap or upright as per typcial guitar playing yet no string/strap needed. Fun!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

The “Christian” BRANDING Scandal

I’ve already blogged on the immaturity and at times foolishness of folks preferences shared as though they were with certainty THE plan of God for all people everywhere.

Here I want to say that as Bible-based as you’d like to think you are, or as led of the Spirit as you are convinced you are… you’re often wrong, laden with mistakes, out of balance at the very least. Me too.

Honeymoons end. All of them. Now IF you are in some place of serious power, leadership, even control over the feel, the form, the atmosphere of a Christian gathering be it Sunday or whenever, you may well not want to read this or even consider it.

When you tout YOUR BRAND of CHRISTIANITY as though it was the only authentic, genuine, valid and life-giving form of The. Church. you have likely become -besides enthusiastic and blessed- a judge of the rest of the believers on earth as “lessers than” if not “in error”. Your own sense of value, protection, personal likes and preferences are simply not found as a template in the New Testament. One size DON’T FIT ALL y’all! What of it?!

We pimp our brand and brand others who don’t do it like us.

Well I like really deep-flavored vanilla ice cream, even coffee ice cream… and rich, deep, caramel and/or butterscotch topping. You may prefer something else. There are folks who could care less about vanilla and even hate caramel.

Ice cream is ice cream though it may not be your chosen flavor.

How some talk about how they “do” church, outreach and service as Christians at times becomes far less of a witness for Jesus Christ and His kingdom than it does their favored brand. Status and classism anyone??! “Christian class and caste system” ‘eh??! Not humble, not mature, not encouraging to other Christ followers and in the end, a self-righteous and carnal judgment on the rest of your family in Christ who “just don’t get it!”.

There is nothing wrong with being immensely thankful, sharing the graces God brings among the people of God you gather with! There is something truly wrong with sounding like an advert and cheerleader for you-and-yours continually and especially when bringing negative verbal salvos at “those other guys” who neither see things nor do it like you do.

History brings us continually to the lessons of the aged clinging to the old ways of music, preaching, evangelism and you-name-it in their comfort zone, and at times railing against the young and new forms of doing these. History also teaches us that the new and exciting, the mountain-top experiences of fresh goings-on among groups of Christians eventually fade. They often get fully supplanted by the next generations’ fresh ideas. Around and around this goes and has since the earliest days of the Church.

Consider the number of persecutions brought BY CHRISTIAN AGAINST CHRISTIAN on this very thin and in my view, quite lesser-important matter vs. actually loving one another, serving one another, forgiving one another, in honor preferring one another.

Straining at gnats and swallowing camels comes to mind.

I’m not saying we must cozy up with icons and ancient liturgies if we find no personal intimacy with God in those ways… .nor am I saying everyone must for example, embrace deep blues music or ecstatic dance or dub bass at 150 decibels as part of most every local church service. I’m simply saying at times our sense of right and wrong, our sense of spiritual discernment and judgment of one another is petty, childish and at times so far away from the clear, core commands of Jesus that our brand and not our Lord and Savior gets the big nod or the worst condemnation.

That, my friends, is simply another way of demonstrating idolatry.

Form does not equal substance. What floats your spiritual boat may drill a hole in mine -or vice versa.

Let’s take care to keep focus on the One Who alone is God, the God of infinite variety, style and color, indeed the God of churches you and I sometimes wonder about!

The wonder is how incredibly patient and gracious He is to you and me -as He also is to those we want to diss because “they don’t do it like us”.

Mercy triumphs over judgment.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn


I was just now sitting in one of my happy places- sun shining, soft cool wind blowing, temperature just right, Spring flowers in bloom all around me with trees budding directly over my head. Oh- and a large iced coffee. The small cup of hot java came a bit later.

Moments of rest and reflection are a tonic to me.

But as the title says, I’m a person of four worlds. I originally thought to title it “Two Worlds” but as you’ll see, for me it’s really double that.

I was born in a town of 10,000, then our family moved in and around smaller towns, also several rural places in Dodge County Wisconsin and then finally to in a working class suburb of Milwaukee. After I graduated high school I lived in Milwaukee’s inner city, then to Florida (Jacksonville for a month or so, Gainesville several months more) and finally here in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood where we’ve lived ever since.

All this came back to me as I sat sipping my cold drink in the chair you see in the pic, while perhaps 4 feet away and unbeknownst to him, a dude stood just over the brick wall that boarders two sides of our garden, cursing, every so often rattling off unintelligible complaints. He may suffer mental illness, addiction, homelessness, may be a gang member who is high or even in a one-sided conversation with a real or imagined friend or enemy, or even God. I couldn’t make much out to say one way or the other. I’m not “judge of all the earth”, but what I did think about in that moment was this:

We need places of refuge, peace and quiet, but we also need to wake up. We need noise and discomfort in order to get beyond our walls whether we or someone else has built one. We NEED times of solitude, prayer, reflection, and we need times and a person/people/God to complain to and all of us need all of these or the weight of living in a fallen world can be crushing and nearly unbearable.

My jaunts into the woods are always a tonic because the critters, trees and brush, the hills and hollows don’t care what you look like, how you dress ,what your position/station in life is or is not, how much money you make or whether you need to brush your teeth. You can relax because the woods and waters aren’t going to judge your performance or whether or not you’re “cool enough”. Nice. Peaceful.

On the other hand I can’t imagine (yes I can actually) living away from most people off in a secluded area where I am essentially focused on my own little kingdom where in practical reality most everything revolves around me and my wishes or whims of the moment. The “interruptions” of people “just over the wall” are often exactly what I need to turn my mind, heart and focus on others and their needs -and this my friends, is something too many of us like to have control of. We love the escape hatch of self and personal pursuits.

As much as I relate to rural life, hunting, fishing, gardening and a quiet lifestyle I find God often stirs me via the noise of broken people as well as moves me to MAKE NOISE hopefully in such a way via music, writing or chatting, that others might get beyond their own walls -including the one’s we/I may build.

So I am a person of two worlds in terms of a rural, quiet, peaceful and personal-thoughts mindset but also one who lives in a large and often shouting Big City with a great many demands, hurts, sirens and noise that keeps me moving in directions I am convinced God has called me to move in -mostly TOWARD rather than AWAY from people in need.

Yet as I think, pray, write lyrics, blog and write other social media posts, listen to/focus on as well as speak with individuals and entire groups I find myself in two more minds -those being a saved, born-again, Spirit-filled Christ-follower AS WELL AS varied views of a pre-believer.

I listen, read a ton, ask questions and try to not only hear but understand the words and body language of people around me best as I can. That means thinking outside of a purely regenerate, sanctified, Christian world-view and framework. I well remember my pre-Chistian days and nights. Making it a point to get with individuals and sometimes large numbers of out-right antagonistic unbelievers is also a tonic for me because it forces me to consider other points of view, to ask questions, to try to understand the reasoning and often the sense of confusion, pain and loss that is common among both professing Christian as well as those who do not walk with Jesus in saving faith.

For me it’s four worlds: urban, rural, believing, not-yet.

In a word, “balance”. We need broad experience and a mature view from both sides of the walls, whether self-built or not.

We need ears to hear.

Perhaps some of this may resonate with you?

Living cloistered behind a wall will never allow for us to become salt and light in this often very dark world.

Jesus Himself regularly went off and away from the crowds to rest, pray and humanly speaking, refuel -though He was “filled with the Spirit beyond measure”. He often brought His disciples with Him in this, but sometimes went to meet with the Father alone. Yet He daily interacted with the broken- friends and enemies alike. He did not hide Himself away in his earthly Dad’s carpenter shop, for His work was ultimately –us-.

Things to consider along the path!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn


a) In Him also we have received an inheritance [a destiny—we were claimed by God as His own], having been predestined (chosen, appointed beforehand)

b) …according to the purpose of Him who works everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His will” Eph. 1.11a,b -AMP

“My children are not my children because of what they do for me.” -Carol Hubing

She brought a solid Word to Uptown Church this past Sunday. And she is SO correct! Each of my children were adopted or born out of my love, my choice and my commitment to them.

Our performance for God does not equal daughter/sonship. Our works of service to and for Him are a maturing response to His love NOT A MATTER OF EARNING IT.

There are at least three reasons we have serious difficulty trusting in God’s sovereignty in our life:

Sin -what God in His Word the Bible defines as sin

Unbelief -sometimes due to Him apparently allowing pain and tragedy in our lives perhaps answering our deepest prayer-desires with “No”

Because WE are not sovereign and though we may pretend and wish to be we are clearly, historically not

“Inheritance” on the basis of family rather than earning is God’s prerogative -in a word, grace. Using yet another, relationship, His choice, and our choice to trust and follow Him regardless of feelings, personal crosses, the mistakes and even painful abuse we suffer in or outside of the church, at work, etc..

Faith itself is a gift from Him! Acted upon, it is the reasonable response for “those with ears, let them hear” and follow the Good Shepherd as sheep Whom He purchased with His Own blood.

The issues of life do not simply vanish like smoke in the wind, The struggles of what the early Lutheran’s said (“Faith is a perturbing thing”) are real. So is the Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Believe or disbelieve, God is and has a plan for you (and me). That we don’t always get it or get it as we’d like, in that we have the capacity to reject and run from it, yet He indeed does have The.Best.Plan.

I have found over most of my lifetime (I did not always follow Jesus… that’s an understatement!!) He is FAITHFUL to me. He doesn’t love you any less than He loves me!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Fresh Woods, Fresh CANJO

I’ve always thought taking a spiritual “time out” is more of an advance than a “retreat” but the latter is what they call ’em. I get the link to that term, it’s just that in taking the time, we change gears, not put it in “park”. It’s not so much a stop as a slow-down.

No matter, Wendi went north for a retreat with a group she is receiving good input from and in that my tour schedule is so full, I just couldn’t do the many-months commitment. But it’s a rich time for her and she shares the teaching with me- very good indeed!

I went south, about an hour from Chicago to the woods and a nearby reservoir. The pics give you an idea of what I saw and then did- be sure to click on them to enlarge.

Well, I didn’t take any of the campfire or my seating arrangement but anyhow… 🙂

I had a tin can in my camp kit, brought along a guitar string and mostly used found-object stuff to create another little 1 string slide guitar otherwise known as a diddley bow. OK- update… working off my last brain cell… technically one built with a can is a canjo or canjoe. We usually call all other such little one stringers (using another sort of box or such as a resonator) a diddley bow. Sounds pretty good too.

There is something about a bright sunny day, a slightly cool wind, campfire smoke and a quiet place to walk, explore, think, pray and just slow down. Life is often fast paced and we all need such breaks. I find most weekends I’m on tour somewhere so mid-week or on this rare Friday off, I try to schedule these short trips.

Peaceful nature and time out is a gift.


And of course- the sunset.

I encourage you to make time for such breaks- they are restorative!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

GK JUNE Tour Schedule

From CigarBox Skinny Guitars

I usually post appearances about a month prior and have my May tour post up here already… so figured as summer often changes folk’s plans perhaps I should also pub June shows now. A few more details on these will be added when details are set. Several of these dates include other great musicians-friends of mine with jamming part of the gig! Hope to see some of you on the road:)

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn






FRI JUNE 7, 7PM GK w. Rex Carroll and Eddie Day @ Akron Bible Church
783 Brown Street Akron, OH 44311

Many of these dates with my friend and guitar slinger Rex Carroll (another non-prison date and details may be announced soon!). Eddie Day another amazingly gifted guitarist/singer and longtime friend will appear at Akron BC and the jams shall commence! For more info.: Chaplain John McClure (Cleveland area) 440.342.0448



A dear pastor friend and his daughter have asked me to play at her wedding! So… as I am an Ev. Covenant pastor/musician, there will be other services/concert opportunities I’ll be involved with while in KC:

FRI JUNE 21 – KEARNEY, MO – GK Solo in Concert @ Community Covenant Church -exact set time tba! CCC is located at the intersection of 19th St. and 33 HWY; 1820 S. Jefferson St., Kearney, MO 64060

SUN JUNE 23 – KANSAS CITY, MO – GK Solo @ Freedom Covenant Church 9am and 11am (two places, phone for details plz) -Freedom Covenant meets every Sunday at HopeFaith Ministries
705 Virginia Avenue, KC, MO
From their website -GK says I LOVE THIS:
“Our church consists of about 50% homeless population, 30% from the inner-city, and 20% from the suburbs of Kansas City.”

There -may- be another KC area appearance added Sun. night -if so we will post it when confirmed.


I may add one or two other Cook County Jail gigs (but you don’t want to be there…) July appearance dates will be posted in about a week -and as always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

God The “Fun Cop”?

I have always loved the artist’s work depicting Jesus with a smile, laughing, obviously joyous while on earth. I’ve also realized the seriousness of interacting with The One Who alone has every right to be called Master, Lord as well as Savior and Best Friend.

He Who IS and best DEMONSTRATED Love is not simply our buddy, a “Whatever!” sort of person we can blow off when we think Him unworthy of our illustrious, amazing self.

Yet He is actually mentioned in The Bible as the happiest person ever. More on that in a moment.

The last half of Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer is well known. Here’s the second half less quoted:

“Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.”

Lots to ponder and much I could discuss but to shorten and focus this post please note:

“So that I may be reasonably happy in this life”

Which means exactly what? What did he or should we consider to be reasonably happy in the here and now?

See, as many have wisely said, either rejecting any faith that God exists, that He is a good and trustworthy God Who has walked the earth as “a man of sorrows, well acquainted with grief” who fully understands (far beyond us) the pain, horrors and miseries on this planet, we so often judge Him as vindictive, harsh, if not the celestial bully “who ought to come down and make things right, fix things as WE want them to be”, all this is not uncommon judgement towards God. Many do think of Him as the supreme “fun cop”. And we get ticked that we don’t get to command Him cuz it’s the other way around. Further, He either set things up as the often terrible, tragic mess they are or at least allowed/allows them to be such. So…

Why would anyone want to trust much less follow Him?

Nobody else qualifies whether in our minds, emotions and stresses, obvious injustices visited upon us in this life, nobody else qualifies as GOD, not anywhere close to Him, that’s one reason.

Who have you known for a lifetime who is flawless, perfect, truly loves you and yet calls you out on your own nonsense on any regular basis? Brutal honesty is that we often consider the consistently loyal (and non-challenging) “wing-man/woman” our Best friend/s because in large part they don’t tell us much of what we don’t want to hear. That’s not the sort of God Who IS Love and Who demonstrates love and Who calls us to love Him as well as our neighbor as our self. Note, “as yourself”, so self-love is part of His core command. Now how does that work out in our everyday, some of which can be truly awful?

Honeymoons are regularly AMAZING and SWEET! And they end. That’s true of any place you live, work, serve, any job, church, social club, fill-in-the-blanks and the honeymoon will end. Then what?

Nobody is fully protected from every/all sorts of temptation, harm, even natural disasters. Some people on some occasions have clearly been delivered from the worst (we often use the term “miracle’ for that) but study the martyrs and you’ll see that God apparently allowed “fun” to take a hike in the most profound sense. No denying this will change historical, biblical facts.

Hebrews chapter eleven lists a number of faithful believers who suffered some of the worst torture and ultimate murder. Was God at fault, deficient, mean because sinful, selfish, demonized people who carried out such atrocities did so, were allowed such power? He is sovereign but human free will is as apparent as can be. Deny that if you wish but either the theological logic is shot full of holes, your perspective on God includes a judgment that He is the ultimate dualist -condemning sin as well as sinners who had nothing to do with their sinfulness.

These are the deep matters of life. So when the honeymoon is over, the fun ceases, now what? Old age, illness, accidents, devastating acts of nature happen -where is God?

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” “In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” “Because I live you shall live also.”

The fact is that we love our own lives more than Him. We wish to write our own script and suffering isn’t part of the story. We may indeed create fiction but it’s the story we like best.

Fun isn’t always within our ability to grasp nor keep, at least not every moment or immediately when we want it. That’s a fact.

Until and unless we learn to give thanks to Him for all the truly good things, the beneficial stuff, the provision, the daily “we don’t really pay attention to” blessings, we are in the practical, not seeking nor honoring Him but rather little false deities sitting on paper-thin thrones that are sure to disintegrate at some point during our life time on earth.

“For God has given us all things richly to enjoy”. Sound like He’s a “fun cop” in that?

“In Him we live, and move and have our being”. In my experience of faith, that is a fact whether we give Him glory, seek His face, through our trust on Him or simply “curse God and die” when the spigot on the joy-rides seems quite shut.

That Niebuhr line about “pie in the sky” coming “in the next” life may be tossed by some of my readers as a useless cop out. Understood. I have another response: might the truth be that we are the “God cops”? What about that cop-out? And our qualifications for the position are…??! “If God exists He’ll do things my way!” eats us alive. Believe me, I’ve been there.


The longer I live the more I give thanks, praise and worship by my thoughts, words, actions and in relationships. When the sun shines and the rain falls I give thanks because I am convinced the One Who holds the world in His hands is faithful and true… and the reality is that nobody on earth is as faithful and true as Jesus.

Oh the fun comes and it comes in many ways at both expected and unexpected moments! I give Him thanks for a LOT of fun in my own life! The pain, rain, stain of a broken, fallen, often estranged-from-Him world is not always fun. The finest honeymoons give way to the everyday work, the commonplace, even at times very difficult and yep, boring (I cannot much relate to that but I get that others do) life we experience in this world.

He is above it all and beyond it all but has absolutely lived it with us in the Son of God.

His Spirit is my daily Source. Fun? Yes! Non-stop or “fun on demand”? Nah. I know that’s a fiction and the Lord and His Word is Truth. I live in relationship to Him and others by that Truth. The rest will all pass as it should.

I know The Designer’s design beats mine every time- fun or not.

Take slow thought on every point raised in that quote from the Serenity Prayer above and you’ll face the “why” of fun being transient but God, His will, peace and real serenity attainable even in this broken and often tragic world.

Things to consider along the journey!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn who ain’t nearly as stoic as some might think:)

Joliet TC Report

Wow. Another WOW day for me.

I woke up checking an email from a bro in the UK. Part of his story is doing time in prison, both for what he’d done and one time for what he had not, and was eventually released. While there he realized that being a reflection of His Savior was important.

Ok, I’m a musician- and you may realize musicians don’t really become lucid until about 8pm or so and after a long life of being one, that pretty well describes me.

So it was early up, bring breakfast to my sleeping wife who also had a phys. rehab appointment this morning, and then load the gear and out I went into a light rain and a little over an hour commute.

I never thought the day would come when walking into most any facility with brick, officers in uniform, high fences, razor wire and big locks on huge, heavy doors would feel so welcoming to me but I noticed feeling that way sometime last year in one of my prison tours. I’ll likely feel it again top of next week during another evening visit to Cook County Jail, Chicago. Yesterday I renewed my annual CCJ ID so am good for another year on that as well.

Today, the kind Chief Chaplain for the facility Fr Louie met me with a smile and hug, the gatehouse officers were polite and professional and all systems were “Go” for the set.

The Lord mercifully stopped the rain just as I arrived and the short walk to the gym was (unlike last year in a pouring rain) puddle-free.

It seemed I could do no wrong during the set and was graced with nearly two hours to bring music, segments of my life story and hopefully for the men, both challenge and encouragement to grow regardless of circumstances. In a word, HOPE. If I could change anyone could and can!

At the end of our time together I asked if I would be allowed to greet the men, was approved and each one were super encouraging to me.

Then, one bro. named Bill, smiling, handed me something he’d created during my set. Wow.

Art is a great therapy and I meet a lot of talented artists behind bars, but something unexpected and personal like this in a moment like today was soooo cool. And he even gave me a bit of hair on top 🙂

My plan is to visit several of the Illinois Dept. of Corrections facilities (including JTC) quarterly.

Such a good day!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn