I thought this so gets at the guts of many arguments in social media and beyond that posting key bits of a Facebook convo w. a friend of mine this morning would be good. Here it is:

“Honz- And there’s Acts 2. The root of all this I’m seeing is we don’t want to be told to share. But we need to be told if we can’t realize this ourselves. The truly sad thing about all this is the fight the Christians are putting up against it. And yeah I get it we don’t want to be controlled. But if we ain’t coming up with the idea of sharing because God lives in us. It’s our fault and embarrassing it’s coming from those who don’t read the “instructions”.

GK- In a word- yes. Nailed it.

Honz- Deeper than that. Their sins don’t make mine feel better which finds me in the same boat which deepens the love of His grace and makes it all the more expensive which is the victory. But I don’t want it just for myself. There’s no other goal in all of theology to me than this.

GK- Understood. All the commands of God are based in and out of His love for people incl. “the least of these” (Mt. 25) and as commands, they are not options. Commands of God are ALL “tell me what to do’s”. We are all rebels and rebellion against God is still akin to witchcraft. Hmmm… I better write a blog… God help us, forgive us, daily Grace or sin, that’s what we choose.

Honz- The hook line and sinker for me is God’s definition of love through his grace. So when I talk to my friends about what I believe. I wouldn’t want them to have any other appeal. Grace is a really tough pill to swallow because you can’t just want it for yourself. If you’re getting it or asking for it. Ya better be willing to give it.”

GK- As true as true can be.”

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Ash Wednesday Service Prayer

So good, had to share! From tonight’s JPUSA Ev. Covenant service here in Chicago.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

All those days you felt like dust, like dirt,
as if all you had to do was turn your face toward the wind and
be scattered to the four corners or
swept away by the smallest breath as insubstantial–
did you not know what the Holy One can do with dust?
This is the day we freely say we are scorched.
This is the hour we are marked by what has made it through the burning.
This is the moment we ask for the blessing that lives
within the ancient ashes that makes its home inside the soil of this sacred earth.
So let us be marked not for sorrow.
And let us be marked not for shame.
Let us be marked not for false humility or for thinking we are less than we are.
but for claiming what God can do within the dust, within the dirt,
within the stuff of which the world is made and
the stars that blaze in our bones and the galaxies
that spiral inside the smudge we bear. -Jan Richardson

Surprising Moral Fails

I believe it was in the preface of Screwtape Letters C.S. Lewis’s Latin dictum response to those who praised his obviously acute sense of sinful human nature leapt out at me long ago. In simple English, what he was saying was the reason he had a grasp of it was due to his own self-knowledge, his own capacity for wrongdoing, for what The Bible calls “sin”.

In the past two weeks I’ve heard yet again of two larger-than-life Christian leaders who horribly violated trust, in both cases their immoral choices deeply affecting a massive amount of people.

In this same time period an email came in from a person who had come to faith in the Jesus Movement days years ago (in another country), was won to Jesus by someone in a wonderful ministry… and within a couple years that ministry was gone. The person writing themselves fell away from the Lord, only coming back to Jesus years later. The individual who had so rightly influenced them to saving faith had themselves fallen away. The person writing me basically asked if “the good old days” would ever return.

When I read from both Testaments I see only glimpses of truly good old (and amazingly good-to-come in eternity, thankfully!) days.

I’m now thinking of a guy who trashed his own life, marriage and family due to a horrible experience with a lord-it-over pastor, an abusive man who eventually destroyed that church -it is no longer there. The point is not that the pastor was righteous, in the end neither was one of his right-hand-men as he eventually chose some of the same track as the pastor he would not forgive had. Sin is what they both had in common.

With zero embellishment or exaggeration I could tell dozens of true stories of my own sins and those of Christians, leaders and non-“leaders” alike in every sort of fellowship, traditional or very modern or contemporary church and ministry, on and on and on.

I’ve often said that one thing all humans have in common is sin- only the specifics and ramifications may differ.

In terms of leaders, to whom much is given much shall be required -rightly so-. Some sin wreaks greater havoc and effects a greater number of people -all whom are “the apple of God’s eye.”

After best practices are discussed, agreed upon and established day in and day out by individuals, groups and etc., we still hear of accusations, true, partly true or false, but horrid and plenty true moral fails then are also discussed trying to make sense out of why and how things went so far off any rails of decency, mutual respect and outside of reverence for God.

The Bible itself is loaded with stories (whether allegorical, Jesus’s parables or historical commentary) of leaders and non-leaders sin, breaking of covenants, of trust and of anything close to a Christian standard of morality.

Within this reality right through history comes a simple but profound truth: in marriage, family, name-the-group, workplace or social connections whether or not someone claims to follow and apply the teachings of biblical morality -we sin. All of us.

The differences are often less or at least less horrifically damaging to others, but in the end any sort of counseling practice or human gathering (Christian or otherwise) to help others also includes and in fact draws broken, hurting and also sinful (like those providing the services) people. There is just no end or full-on fix for this though there are best practices and healthy boundaries.

As for myself and my views- one thing about moral fails is that I’m just never surprised- because I know my own propensity to seek MY way, MY desire/s fulfillment and am only as honest, truly in the practical accountable as I CHOOSE to be with others. I am only a self-centered choice away from any sin and so is everyone reading this.

Having said all this, the two decisions I believe all face as we live life -and now I mean re. those seeking to know, love, follow and apply Jesus’ teachings in all relationships and behavior are:

Will we seek God and trust the compass of He Himself as LIVING and PRESENT GOD in our life regardless of what He obviously allows re. sinful actions of others… or conversely will we live in such fear, and/or anger that we essentially shut people out (leaders or not), ourselves going beyond healthy boundaries, refusing to trust anyone -because how can we?

To clarify- how can I trust God when He allows horrific things to happen even among His people?!” –on the one hand- along with “How can I trust people regardless of how kind and real they seem because this may be an evil Jack the Ripper, an angel of light in disguise?!”.

Certainly after some bit of time a believer comes to wonder if they can either believe God AND/OR that their fellow humans are worthy of any real trust.

My deepest punchline to all this? It starts with me.

It begins with you dear reader. If you do not learn to genuinely trust in and surrender to God even though horrible things did, are or may happen in your life, and add to that if you rather full-on will not trust in other humans due to the possibility their sin may bring hurt and misery to you and those you love… I suggest that a foundational issue in this is you have not yet faced your own ability and propensity to sin.

I’m not blaming either you nor myself for other’s sinful choices, but until and unless you learn your sins nailed Jesus to the cross as much as theirs did, the turmoil itself will be (and yes, I believe in a devil and demons as did Jesus) nothing but a despairing pain in your life. Why?

Faith is both a gift of God and a fruit of the Holy Spirit. While we need to pay attention to danger and potentially dangerous people it seems clear from a full read of Scripture that constant doubting the Lord as well as judging/misjudging people around us is something other than faith, hope and love.

I’m not at all meaning individuals are not (nor will not be before God’s throne) accountable for their sins. Quite the opposite. What I am saying is the more your faith in God, His Word and taking careful, thoughtful risks in following Jesus are jettisoned the more you are living for yourself rather than for the Lord and others. Satan, demons and plenty of people on this planet would love to see you take such a path.

This is the very sort of thing that takes people fully out of Christian service, away from any local church or ministry, establishes ever more fear, anger and self-righteousness a hyper-critical posture and in the end, may -at times- be as if not even more destructive than the specific sin that prompted such a breach in spiritual faithfulness in the first place.

“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.” -James 1.13,14

There is little mystery involved folks. The particular “lust” may and does differ, but sexual, financial, to be “king/queen of the hill” among one’s peers (control-freak power trips), a hard and then harsh doctrinal/non-loving/non-Christlike attitude towards others, on it goes. We’re all guilty. There IS no other Savior but Jesus.

Meanwhile, we must and shall grieve over sin in and outside our Christian fellowships as right through history we repeatedly see moral failure of all sorts. It seems to me ALL sin is moral failure. That we will not admit and confess each of our own sins and deal with them appropriately (I mean in the broad sense of Scriptural directives on faith, repentance, accountability/confession and where needed restitution and when possible reconciliation), this is the core and sadly, deepest foundation in such fails.

God offers us daily grace! God help us choose Him, His Word, His ways and will above our own. When we do not there is still mercy IF we will take His Word and commands seriously and apply them. Beyond this, I find little more than despair and chains regardless of who you are.

As for just a few of the Scriptures that speak to this- some are extremely uplifting and others deeply sobering. So be it, God is God and the sooner we take our relationship to Him and others more seriously than our personal fulfillment, the better!

Matthew 18.7,15-35
1 John 1.5-2.6
Lamentations 3.21-26
Revelations 20.12
Galatians 6.7
Hebrews 4.13
2 Peter 3.18

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

20 Feb. 2020 Update

First, soooo glad to finally finish up a cold and coughing that went on for a bit over 2 weeks! Whew. Allelulia!

Many dates on the calendar as as always, we will post details and all a month or two ahead of time here, at GrrrRecords.Com/Shows as well as via my Facebook and Twitter accounts.

My new record (protest album, Americana/bluesy/rocky) is in process but not sure about when final work and mixing will bring us to release due to a studio space change needed. Just unsure on release schedule but we will post everywhere when ready.

Several fresh cigarbox guitar building ideas nearly to the table, and you’ll likely see me doing a couple electric uke blues tunes per show in this year along with normal guitar, cbg’s and harmonica work as usual.

Curious if any of you would care to see me do a Facebook Live solo show? Something I’ve thought about doing for some time now…

Super excited about a lot of jail and prison sets being booked, a number of opportunities waiting on me re. various calendar and other concerns, so it’s sweet to have the opps before us.

Had a great tour of headquarters/brick and mortar store w. friends at Sweetwater (Sweetwater.Com) yesterday, all sorts of elements that connect to what myself and many co-workers and friends do in music, ministry, business and w. core concerns for relationships and community linking friendships and services. Amazing campus and gear but their philanthropic focus is very, very cool! The founder/owner and staff were to a person, super gracious and transparent re. their culture and business approach. An inspiring day!

Chatting w. a friend who asked me about telling the extended story of how Rez (Resurrection) Band was formed. I told him it wouldn’t take a book but maybe a booklet. Maybe it’s time to write all that up, who knows? Deeply spiritual on one end and quite practical on the other really. We’ll see.

Well Wendi is making breakfast for supper (low-carb yahoo-ness!) so I better help get things set up.

Looking to be quite a rocking year and excited about all God is doing 🙂

As always, thanks for stopping by, -Glenn

$ + Power Wins!

This is the way the world has long done dirty, and on the most rare of occasions, perhaps some practical good.

Christ honoring? Not in any universe. So here it is:

Control outcomes by wielding money and political power (which are rather hand-in-hand) against your opponent/s for the “win”.

In banana republics or larger (say, Russia) you can also quickly understand oligarchs and often the military are part of der leader’s arsenal. Fire people who don’t kiss up to you and your position on any matter of interest.

But in general, use the stick far more than the carrot to bowl over enemies to you and your position. The hammer is loot, political cronies who know full well you can dump them or fully pardon them at your pleasure… so how do we even begin to refer to such conduct as “democratic”, “constitutional” or anything but a dictatorship propped up by… money, political clout (it’s your job on the line Congressional bubba. Tow the line “or else”) and do we actually believe such is a Christ-like model of how to treat people with whom we disagree?

In places where the military willingly do the bidding of such people in power we have quite the muck soup, hmmmm?

Just cut the deal with a hammer in hand and watch power triumph over love in the real world.

No. “Overcome evil with good.”

Threats, force via money, political power, firing and the demand for loyalty above honesty and a 360 rule of law are somehow good for society? Koolaide by the gallon, that.

Things to consider for the journey.

As always, thanks for stopping by, -Glenn

MAR., APRIL 2020 GK Appearances

And a note on upcoming GK Solo tour: England…

So the calendar is moving along. Today I’ll just give an overview of appearances, but as usual, I mostly publish details a month or two in advance re. bookings for myself solo, sometimes w. Wendi and sometimes GKB shows.

Note also, I won’t always list every jail or prison set as the truth is there are many -and you really don’t want to be there.

Making progress on the next record, slowly also on the book. More info. on these when available.

MARCH 2020
SUN 8th Great Lakes Naval Training Center, IL
SAT 14th private house show
FRI 20th Nitelight Arts Center Berwyn, IL w. Todd Anthony Joos and The Revelators
SAT 21st Josiah’s Place Beloit, WI w. Todd Anthony Joos and The Revelators
TUE 31st Joliet (IL) Treatment Center (prison) w. Todd Anthony Joos and The Revelators

APRIL 2020
SAT 4th Lincoln (IL) Correctional Center w. Todd Anthony Joos and The Revelators
TEN. Weekend of the 18th Detroit, MI area

A heads-up if you’re in the UK- I’ll be doing a *solo* blues/plus tour with stops in Northampton, Coventry and Stoke on FRI, SAT, SUN June 5, 6 and 7.

Pic by Tony Taylor, Ascendent Instruments, Potomac, IL (named this one “Midnight”) !

Again, I’ll post all details on all these shows soon.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Today’s Thanks

-it’s personal-

“Thank You for a warm, quiet office, Linux Peppermint operating system. For a cough that at least isn’t non-stop. A good brunch w. my lovely wife and family. Laundry today though a day late. That I can see, hear, walk, am not in constant pain. For these record and book projects, websites and so very many kind friends. Thank You for grace with trolls and for the ability to not respond in kind. For spiritual gifts and fruit. For dear friends with accountability involved. Thank You for hot showers, the gift of sleep. Thank you for the gift of being awake. For the deliverance from paranoia, basic fear, the Spirit of power, love and self control. For dreams fulfilled beyond my imagination. For grace to flow, change, adapt, love regardless of agreement. Most of all for YOU Father, Son, Spirit! I have no doubt You are the source of all good and certainly all good in my life.”

To those listening in, as always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn