New Year Same as Always?

Thinking about another “new year”.

All humans are made up of past, present and indeed, future. Some live in the past -whether horrid/tragic or “the good old days” of what was simple, fun and when maybe one had more of some measure of control. Perhaps they recall joyous and sometimes miraculous things the Lord did in their life.

This can be honest and authentic or a grovelling thread of misery one wallows in.

It can be escapist due to present struggles and real or imagined hardship/s.

It can be seeking to live on spiritual “mountaintop experiences”.

It may be an excellent reminder of God’s provision and grace. Back to that in a moment…

Some live in the present -perhaps dealing with all I’ve listed just here above.

Some make plans for a future they’ll never experience because they won’t be around, perhaps not even in the presence of God and His people. Sometimes over-focus on one’s future can also be a desire to forget and escape past sin, fear of not being forgiven, or excuse to neglect personal responsibilities in the present.

Some may seek balance between all three elements of thought- memory, current events and future expectations all with wise caution. Seems to me that’s the best path for a New Year and indeed a life of sanity and perspective worth attaining and maintaining.

Why? And more important, how?!

“For I the LORD do not change…” -Malachi 3.6a

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” -James 1.17

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” -Hebrews 13.8

Paul accents “faith, hope and love” and my God (Father, Son, Spirit) reminds and helps me through the transitions of life. It isn’t all pleasant- personal crosses, sin, (mine and others) having to deal with messed-up people on earth, illness, natural disasters and disappointments are all part of our journey.

But we don’t have to go it alone!! I walk with God moment-by-moment and this is Who and Why and the How I believe faith, hope and love come from: we can experience Him and them and make it through regardless. It’s finally about WHO we “do life” WITH.

Consider that this most important of all relationships is eternal. In Jesus we experience Eternal. Life.

So here’s to the new year with a Lord and King Who loves us like nobody else has or can. Relationship YES!

Past, present and future are His and I am His in the process.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Lil’ BOXing Day Diddley Bow

Been wanting to try this for some years now… and my middle name is Harold 🙂

All found object stuff but for the git string. Tuned to an E.

She’s 23 1/2 inches tip-to-tip. Scale is 19 3/8 inches “bridge” to “nut” and as you can see there’s really neither cuz it’s’ all about two L brackets, string tied off up top and around the wingnut at bottom. I would’ve used a mini turnbuckle for tuning but had none around so found the combo you see at the bottom to do the work of a tuner -which as it’s set up here, amazingly simple and works great!

Tone is cool and even a bit more volume than I expected.

Also had and chopped to shorten white-headed nails, pounded ’em in for position markers. A little “off” but that goes along with me and most of my quick builds. Haaaaaarrrrrryyyyyyy’s!

For that close, clean (cheap) shave… and who knows what may come of this re. songwriting?

Reminds me of a friend’s cigarbox git history and build book “One Man’s Trash”, another friend’s “Making Poor Man’s Guitars” and yet another friend’s “Obsessed With Cigar Box Guitars” -all on Amazon and no, I get no credit nor loot, just all great fun and instructional as well as historical gems from friends of mine.

So ya never know what you can make from stuff just sitting around someplace. MUSIC! Yep.

Wishing you a Happy New Year, and as always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Christmas 2019!

I must first mention that for several of my good friends this is a time of mourning and sadness at the loss or soon-to-be loss of loved ones. For some it is either the first Christmas or some years have passed as the memories flood in of holiday joy with one or more loved ones now gone -at least until joining together again in worship before the throne of God.

Then I want to say something that struck me in writing what became this year’s free Christmas download tune from GrrrRecords.Com. The title is Nine-Six -re. Isaiah 9.6 which inspired the following chorus lyric:

“Peace!
Come on peace!
We need peace!
In the love of the Lion and the Lamb”

As John the Baptist was baptizing people in the Jordan River he saw and then pointed to Jesus and said “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” -John 1.29

Scripture tells us in both spiritual and practical terms “the life is in the blood”. God commanded sacrifice of a perfect, spotless lamb for the sins (missing the mark, wrongdoing, injustices) of His people Israel. Jesus- the promised Messiah -is that Lamb of God.

It’s easy to think of the Babe in the manger as a lamb. But He is that and more.

But that’s not all He is nor the only sense of Spirit in which He comes (“Advent” means “coming”). He is both Lion and Lamb. We may wish He were one or the other but He is both.

Revelations 5.5 and elsewhere Jesus is referred to as the Lion of Judah. [You might consider Isa. 11.10, Rom. 15.12 and much more in both Testaments that speak to elements of this]

Consider that Jesus asked his disciples: “Who do you say I am?”

God asked Adam after his disobedience, “Where are you?”

The Person of Jesus Christ is the eternally living fulcrum upon which, Whom, all will give account.  Who He IS in my life and yours is the crucial issue after we consider the Babe in the manger at Christmastime.

He is both Lion and Lamb.

He is my Lord and Savior. May you trust Him above yourself and all others now and forever!

Regardless of anything else you’d care to mention, Christmas and eternity must and in the end shall find it’s deepest focus on the Creator and His Son, the Lion and Lamb: Christ Jesus.

As always, thanks for stopping by- and 🙂 I sincerely wish you a Blessed, even eternal Christmas! -Glenn

A Few Mins. = CANJO :)

The puck stops here! Well, the neck came from a broken, tossed hockey stick. Basic tin can, eyebolt for tuner, acoustic E (wound) guitar string, no bridge needed and the “nut” is a screw-in little eye to also guide the string to the “tuner”.

Look close and you’ll see the neck was a fail , would’ve been a 3 stringer, sat in stack for years and today I re-found that little can and thought “Yup, let’s!”

ChristmasJunkerCanjo001

She’s 18 1/4 inches tip-to-tip, scale from bottom of can to “nut” is 14 5/8 inches and at the moment tuned to a C. Seems to like it. A bit tinny sounding (no joke, most of ’em are!!) but I like it.

CANJO BLUES  -glenn kaiser

Got a, tin can an’ a hockey stick
A guitar string an’ a eye-bolt too
Made a pick from a credit card
Glass slide from a hot salt tube

Ain’t what you got, it’s what you do
Somedays I play the canjo blues

Go on laugh but the poor ain’t gone
Close your eyes an’ jus’ move along
But the point is simple -ain’t got to be rude
Creator love gonna see ’em through

Ain’t what you got, it’s what you do
Somedays I play the canjo blues

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

ChristmasJunkerCanjo002

 

Gift-Giving 101

And no, this is not a pitch to go buy my merch!! If you’re like me and most folks, certainly in the Western world, you’re doing some scampering about trying to decide, then make, find or purchase gifts for loved ones as Christmas approaches.

Some hate it, some love it, some are sort of indifferent but the reality of it all is that we do best when we mimic those wise dudes who showed up to marvel at and worship Jesus.

The absoluely most incredible Gift given us is Jesus Himself. Redemption (been thinking a lot about that term again) and eternal LIFE just cannot be topped and these came and come via the resurrected Jesus Christ.

I recently did a set of tunes at a holiday show where I included In The Bleak Midwinter. That dear English poem was put to music years ago and a lot of peeps have recorded and played it in concert since. After pointing directly to the Best Gift EVER, the consideration of what can be given in return by the poor person is pondered.

“O, what can I give him, Poor, as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man, I would do my part,
What I can I give Him- I will give my heart.”

Many years ago on a dark country road I was alone but for the Lord. I had once again given myself to addictions but in that unexpected moment had a deep sense of His presence. Long story short I began naming off every sin I could think of and asked forgiveness. After that long list it seemed there was still something else He wanted. I asked Him what it could be as I was literally crying and repenting of every last messed-up issue. In my mind, clear as could be He said “You. Glenn, I want YOU. All of you!”

What is true for everyone and anyone? “Whosoever will, let them come!” Relationship to Him is the core gift He gives us -God the Son- our connection to our heavenly Father and filling with God the Holy Spirit! Our response to Him is the best gift we can give to Him in return.

I wish you His peace this Christmas and beyond!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

“I’m Sorry, I Can’t :(“

Full confession- for many of us and in particular if a lot of folks know you these can be really- TRULY difficult words to say.

Three quick stories from today in a moment here…

Wendi often tells me I care too deeply about what people may think of me, and she may be correct (usually is) but my main concern in my own thoughts is that I want to be the best reflection of my Savior as possible. In part that’s why it’s hard for me to either not answer (social media) or tell folks “No” to a request. Sometimes it’s the sheer amount of requests. But I’m NOT saying I don’t want to hear and consider folk’s requests!!

The sheer amount of people who are in need, sometimes just want, who ask for this or that (and I don’t want them to stop as such!) can be overwhelming.

I admit to being in the middle of several hard-to-do-correctly projects for others, but of course at some point they will be finished and those pressures will be gone. This of course happens repeatedly in life to all of us and that really is reality.

So one of several peeps sent an incredibly long bit of writ and asked a number of questions that to be fully answered would take more like a book to do. I did my best to keep it short but thought it best to read and answer all best as I could.

Another asked (rightly and with excellent purpose) for help raising money for a mutual friend -which I hope to do in the new year. To do that justice will take a great deal of thought, planning and care, likely involving one or more people and that’s where things get thick re. their schedules, families, etc., etc.. But I’m going to try, and maybe just do a sort of on-the-cheap “dog-leg” version of how that project might be done, a sort of plan B if necessary although they are certainly worth plan A to me!

Between my own sense of priorities, family, local fellowship, jail and prison work/music sets, all the recording/touring and writing stuff and then just day-to-day household, driving/shopping and etc., duties, and of course growing older -I get a bit tired at times and so have learned to take 15 to 30 minute breaks.

Every now and then I head to the woods, the slow-down and quiet of nature and turning off the mobile phone in my pocket for a half-day or more really helps me air out my head.

And this “lotta folks know ya” re. a life full of recordings, interviews, social media and of course touring means lots of folks in real need contact me for various input, help and/or that I might connect them to folks or organizations that might meet the need. I’m BLESSED to be able to do so, but of course some emails get overlooked, either a family or close friend or church person or event pops up and suddenly a fair sized chunk of the day and my schedule is re-arranged.

Today while driving Wendi to several stores (routine shopping) a poor and not-dressed-for-the-weather bro came up asking for change. We gave him all we had which wasn’t much, told him about our shelter 2 blocks away where he could get kindness, a full, hot meal, coffee and warm place to be.

This isn’t unusual in any larger city in the U.S. and we often give food, money and directions to people, So many are homeless, often veterans, mentally challenged and such so there’s no way we’re just going to ignore them.

As we got to the car I was kicking around an idea for a possible lyric but… ummm… well, “Snot-faced Angel” -only God knows who some of these folks are and how difficult it is for them in this cold and often self-centered world. There’s a new world coming and I surely hope to see them there, help them GET there. But first- here and now!!!

My deepest desire is “YES!” but alas, sometimes I just cannot do it all and that’s difficult to live with. This is where I must do my best to surrender to the Lord Himself, entrust Him with my time, give the best I can in the moment or time frame and leave the rest with Him.

Such a needy world, so many voices calling for love which indeed equals time and service. I will continue to give until I’m home with the Lord.

Meanwhile though I wish it were not so, there are days I must say “No… I’m sorry, I can’t” to some -mostly because I’m saying “Yes” to many others.

I’m certain plenty of you reading this experience much of the same.

Well, it’s one day at a time.

2 Corinthians 9.6-11 speaks to all this as well. Grateful to have so I can give!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Last Diddley Bow Pre-Christmas!

Somebody STOP ME!! Ha, no worries, I have far too much to do before the big day and right through the holidays, but all of these boxes been sitting here in my office and today I had 30 mins. to spare so this is what came of it.

She’s a take-down diddley bow, perfect for backpacking, travel of any sort and so forth. No pickup but I’m working on a new (to me) suction cup pickup that will pop on and off this or any git I’d choose to use. That’s another thing, maybe after the first of the year I’ll play with that idea.

Inspiration rolls like this, sometimes I don’t build anything for a couple or more months and it’s the same with songwriting, always has been. Then, booooom. So anyway, all and I mean all of this was found in a trash can but the string and box and they were both given me some time ago by friends.

It’s playable totally dis-attached from the body but when played like that this one really loves a (found object) piece of pvc conduit -or- an empty ghost-pepper infused sea salt tube (glass) for a slide. It’s rare when these aren’t sounding right to me with metal but this one simply favors those two materials for slidin’ w/o the box. Fully attached she likes any slide and is amazingly LOUD with great natural tone

Specs: Neck ONLY- 18 1/4 inches long, 1 5/8 inches wide including eye-bolt tuner she’s 2 inches deep, scale bridge [post really] to nut is 15 1/2 inches.

Neck Only
Body Attached

WITH the solid wooden Regius box attached via bolt/wingnut (takes about a minute) she’s 22 1/2 inches total length, 7 1/2 wide and 2 1/4 thick.

Not at all heavy and she sports a light but wound acoustic G (I think) and is tuned to a G.

Very full sound for the size. Easy to take down for truly portable travel!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn