GK Book- ReReleased

“The Responsibility of The Christian Musician” (in electronic form only) re-issue with new added study guide is now online. Free to read, free to cut-and-paste copy, and feel free to share. Much Love, -Glenn Kaiser, Oct. 2020

https://theresponsibilityofthechristianmusician.wordpress.com/

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As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Unsatisfied?

From the top of this post I want to say how important, even essential it is to keep one’s relationship to God and loved ones -the- priority. “Out of the heart flow the issues of life” and “Where your treasure is there your heart will be also” are continual truths God’s Word establishes.

Having said this we are not living on this planet to exclusively tend to our own individual survival. A “child of God”, “king and priest” (which includes all Christ-followers, female and male), those to whom the Holy Spirit imparts His spiritual gifts (again, all believers) are called to live out loving concern for others -beyond ourselves.

The balance of healthy self-care and mission priorities that God Himself calls us each to in view of those gifts the Word details are all part of the answer as to how we must live, the decisions we make, the path we should best walk prior to literally seeing His face.

I have long believed and by God’s grace experienced His provision to serve. Our failures as servants are part of our journey -each of us grow as we go. Note, “go”. Redemption is not only God’s grace given us, it is foundational and intentional for us to recognize it is part of His call to encourage, help others be reconciled to God. Sent by Him to mirror reconcilliation, His redemption in our own lives is a given if one studies Jesus’ teachings and example.

I am convinced many professing Christians are unsatisfied with their lives for a long list of varying reasons, but one that often is “stuffed down in the couch cushions” is either ignorance or unwillingness to serve others in simple but needed ways.

There are countless online resources, books and seminars that help people discover and understand spiritual gifts, stories shared by believers how the Lord called them and clarified their specific areas of service, but in the end we either act on His voice or we do not.

To know who we are, who God made us, the work He has called and gifted us to do brings the most amazing sense of purpose. I know why I’m on this planet- of course it’s to love more and more like my Lord and Savior but the confirmed details and at least some measure of fruitfulness benefit others and make it deeply satisfying to me!

Certainly “how to be reasonably sure” we are actually living into and living out His will is also easily studied. It’s the appropriation, the doing, the small and sometimes un-nerving, frustrating work of applying ourselves to “by love serve one another” where some of our personal crosses surface.

Giving up isn’t syonymous with giving in to God. Looking for personal fulfillment isn’t the same are surrendering to the Lord and by the power of the Holy Spirit (rather than living out of your own failing strength) is the only way to walk straight, keep your hand on the plow of His choosing rather than adding ever more wood, hay and stubble to your life and that of the local fellowship of believers of which you are part.

Care for the body isn’t merely for you of course, and you don’t have to have a pastoral or teaching or other such gift to demonstrate kindness and care for others!

I have met so many folks who seem to spend more time looking in the mirror than out the window in concern for others. These tend to be the most sad, unsatisfied people among those professing faith in Jesus. Faith, hope and love are for sharing, not merely for our self.

May God enlarge our hearts to reach out with kindness and compassion in serving others, not merely focusing on self.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

we KNOW?

I’ve stated this before, but I’ve lost count of the times someone would critique the music style and approach to ministry myself and friends in Resurrection (REZ) Band did for many years by simply saying “God disagrees with you, He doesn’t like that music!”- and my reply would often begin with “How much time have you spent with the 480 verses (40 New Testament, the rest OT) of scripture that speak -in context- to music and it’s use? Let’s begin with discussing those.” Nearly one-hundred percent of the time they would stand and silently stare at me in response.

My aim was not to merely upstage, checkmate or win an argument. The issue was one of illiteracy, ignorance, prejudice and more often than not a key ingredient of personal preference. None of those are good soil for “thus says the Lord”, not ever.

This is no leftist high-horse, elitist education statement, it is akin to “Study to show yourself approved a workman unto God rightly dividing the word of truth”. “If anyone thinks they know they do not yet know as they ought to know.” Of course these and other like verses speak about God, His Word the Bible, but the principle is far more broad than that. Ignorance may be bliss but it remains ignorance whether spiritual or otherwise.

A good friend recently wrote what in my view is not only an accurate but an historically verifiable, qualified post about the current state of literacy in our land including that of the church.

I’ll link it at the end of this writ but wish to say I let him know I fully agreed with his comments.

The depth of sheer lack of study, the shallow “click and toss out memes/websites” to “settle” arguments over spiritual, political and cultural differences, in essence “to win” does not an intelligent person make. Neither does it make you or I right, correct, sound, truly educated simply because we know how to use an internet search engine.

I believe one can rightly argue that character is more essential than knowledge but I will also add lack of character with a core of insecurity, fear and willful ignorance perhaps mixed with a little or a lot of anger is no recipe for learning nor true spiritual or intellectual growth!

Years of hard and more thorough broad study joined with experience (putting theories to the test) seem in steep decline.

We’ve work to do- in both deeper literacy and orthopraxy.

Please do a slow read through Duane W.H. Arnold’s post: https://phoenixpreacher.com/38487-2/

God help us!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Follow? Leaders?

Jesus said it. Apostle Paul said it with the caveat “…as I follow Christ.” All of us follow leaders even when we think, believe and say we don’t.

Nobody can “follow the path” without a path being there. So we -made- each and every path we walk on?

Are there false leaders, lousy and rotten leaders? Abusive leaders? Of course. We see it in The Bible as well as “secular” human history again and again. What is Israel and Judah’s Old Testament record of good kings? Sense alone brings us to the reality God sent all the prophets (those HE truly sent in any case!) to teach the people of God to return to Him.

Therefore “No leaders and no teaching for me! The only way to be safe is to wrap my own arms around myself and close my mind to the risk of hurt and pain.”?

This is the path too many take and it’s not only without logic, it can eventually bring us to self-worship and actively create a sense of the individual as God who is self-sufficient without Him or others -heaping to ourselves only those who tell us what we want to hear (which means they are as the Word says, “teachers”). In essence we convince ourselves we are the only entity we can really trust. This is faith in ourselves full stop -and it creates a tragic mess in many a sad, tragic life.

You wouldn’t be reading this if nobody taught you to read or at least put you in a place with books you had to discover.

Are you reading this? You are being taught. You can disagree with some, a large percentage or all of it, but you are still being taught by someone. You’ve never read a book, a blog, a Facebook post or watched a movie without someone other than yourself passing on information, ideas and concepts for your consideration. They are by default influencers and teachers and you are being led or not led by them. Your faith and belief -even unbelief -is a matter of learning, acceptance or rejection of lessons taught. Fact.

Neither we nor our teachers create from nothing in the sense God did and does… we you learn via other things, other people, from God Himself, but we are not the original originator -therefore we follow/ed someone and/or something which is how all and any of us learn.

If this is true in all of life, why is it some say there is no such thing as a leader or leadership in groups -including assemblies of Christians? Why would the Holy Spirit’s biblical gifts given to and for people’s spiritual growth include teaching if there were no teachers? Paul asks “Do ALL…) and lists spiritual gifts, and no, not all are teachers or leaders in terms of God’s spiritual gifting, and yet in the large and real world of which I speak what I’ve said so far seems rather obvious.

Hard reality is that we’ve all been ripped off, hurt, some deeply -via leaders, teachers who themselves were “blind guides” to borrow a phrase from Jesus. And we ourselves -each one of us- as well as anyone we follow can of course become such. I’d say the negatives of ignorance, arrogance, a lack of humility and true iron-sharpening, unsettling community and the positives of willingness to study, to learn and grow in broad community are all core to discovering, actual learning and following as Jesus taught, even commanded His disciples.

Character and attitude, behavior of those who teach and lead is MAJORLY CORE, absolutely so!

Yet those positive growth elements I’ve just listed are also foundational and often left wanting regarding followers of Jesus. They are part of making careful choices as to which humans we follow, emulate and trust in. “…as I follow Christ” is a massively important clause!

Sometimes we choose our leaders based on personal comfort, a sense of safety and to escape the turbulence of change. Sometimes we think, talk and actually believe we’re our own source and we have been influenced by nobody but God the Holy Spirit (“You have no need of man to teach you”- though John was teaching even as he wrote… so consider sound interpretation before you teach on this verse!).

God indeed teaches and speaks through writings, sermons, articles and ideas we’ve gotten via OTHER PEOPLE so we cannot simply claim “God told me” as that’s not the whole truth though it may well be part of it.

“Professing themselves to be wise they became fools” applies in a broad context to the things I’ve said thus far.

I can point to Jesus, to The Bible and to a long list of personal friends, pastors, authors, speakers, screen writers (via film) and on and on from whom I have been taught, learned, began to grasp truth and likewise error.

The same is true of you dear reader -take care to embrace the responsibility of it:

“Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” -Luke 8.18

“He went on to say, “Pay attention to what you hear. With the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and even more will be added to you. For whoever has will be given more. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” -Mark 4.24, 25

Rather intense and conditional statements made by Jesus, no?

Our loving Father knows our needs before we ask Him. Humility is core to following, indeed, essential, for only then do we realize we can only follow behind someone who has learned a bit more than you and I and therefore leads.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

October Rain

Oct. Leaf

As a guitarist I do love sustain… like many I’ve used various effects boxes and chosen guitars and amps to hold notes out longer. Eternity’s pretty long the last I considered it!! 🙂 More on that in a moment here.

One of my longtime fave lyrics/songs, U2’s OCTOBER:

October
And the trees are stripped bare
From all they wear
What do I care?
October
And kingdoms rise
And kingdoms fall
But you go on
And on
And on…

Put on the rain jacket and spent a short time in the ever-changing garden yesterday morning. Loving the rain, even the increasing bit of cold, more of it coming so will come the layers as I seek out some hours outdoors this autumn.

Oct. Rain

As I took pics around the side yard garden I noticed the many birds zipping in and out to feed. “Consider the sparrows…”

There is plenty of food, water and shelter here and they will work at doing what they must to find nurture as all living in this world do.

You too. You too. See what I did there 🙂 ?

Matthew 7.7-11 is as true now as when Jesus first said it.

And I am also reminded- “Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul.” -Ps. 54.4

Seasons change. Some songs last. SomeOne never changes and sustains like no other can. Beautiful.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Micah Nails It

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? NAS

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? ESV

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you Except to be just, and to love [and to diligently practice] kindness (compassion), And to walk humbly with your God [setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness]? AMP

No, the LORD has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God. GNB

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what GOD is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously— take God seriously. MSG

Micah 6.8 is the plumbline… and it costs more to sidestep than to apply it.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

The Sweet Spot/s

Recognizing, being thankful for a place, no, not “knowing your place” but rather the “happy place” or placeS of comfort is the point of this short post.

All of us likely have one or more of these.

For many years in several U.S. states I had places (and still do) that brought me the deepest sense of peace, grace and blessing. In hunting or fishing trips I’d make my way to them due to reasons deeper than bringing something home for the table which I normally did and do.

A bit of blue sky, the sun at just the right angle lighting up autumn leaves, the small inlets or streams surrounded by gorgeously-clothed trees, the quiet but for animals or very rarely the occasional jet overhead and perhaps ebbing, flowing wind… yes indeed!

Now you can laugh or relate, but I’ve had the exact same sense seated in a number of places closer to home -an office chair/desk/computer, the lighting and atmosphere of the spot, perhaps a candle or incense lit, and yep, even a computer operating system I really like cooking along… I know, some of you don’t relate to the vibe, but hey 🙂

For me just add coffee or tea, iced in summer, hot in winter (mostly).

As I write I’m remembering a trip to a 1,900 acre Illinois property where I spent many days and hours tramping up hills and ridges, down into valleys, all along creek beds and spending prayer, stalking but also silent, near-motionless time seated while intensely observing God’s creation in the wonder and gratefulness for it all.

One day doing so I purposely sat on top of a hill alongside the woods until dark as the first snow flurries began to fly. It was quite cold but I didn’t want to move, just warmed by the Spirit and enjoying the show in that time and place, white flakes pipping my cheek.

Today I had that same sense of presence and peace while sitting at my desk. What can I say but “What have you been given that is not a gift?” and certainly easy to think that way when “the peace that is beyond understanding” happens inside?

I’ve experienced what I’m talking about alone on a train trip in Scotland, a walk in Wales, with my wife in Ireland, a forest in Germany, with her and solo all over the U.S. and Iceland, on and on in various places at various times.

I wish for you to recognize the graces of God, the places He meets you in and the peace that comes as you do!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Virtual Show, New Song

BIG Thanks to Grrr Records staff and all who viewed my Virtual Show last night (or later depending on when you are reading this)! You can replay and/or share it via the Grrr Records.Com site, Grrr’s YouTube or Facebook sites as well.

In Covid time I think about the emotional and other tolls so many are suffering. I also believe it essential we mask up, keep six feet apart and wash our hands consistently. Distance is a real pain but there are worse pains that have included virtual funeral/memorial services for more than 200,000 people, their families and friends here in the U.S. alone.

In light of all this, last night I popped a new song into the show, just a sung/blues-harp blowin’ number. If you watched or do, here are those lyrics.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

DYIN’ FOR A HAIRCUT -glenn kaiser

If you’re dyin’ for haircut – it might be time to change your style (2x)
Hair today gone tomorrow – ain’t no sense to live on guile

If distance drives you crazy – go ahead and get up close (2x)
Write a note to friends and family – at least it weren’t no overdose

If freedom for yourself – means you don’t get it as you like (2x)
A true miracle happened to ya – more and more you’re just like Christ

Vote -yes vote for mercy – ain’t no Savior in D.C. (2x)
None of us is saviors neither – we all need justice jus’ ta breathe

Here’s a link to the tune – Starts at 20.14 in YouTube

Deep Peace

If you’ve read my blog posts you’ll be aware I’ve long studied as well as been encouraged by Celtic Christian spirituality.

On occasion I use an evening Complines prayer from that heritage, and I’ve long loved several prayers including this rather famous and meaningful one a good friend so kindly gifted me with. Just to the left of my office desk, it’s a reminder and a famous blessing worth sharing -and praying.

I sometimes change it to “Lord, (or Father or Son or Spirit of God) Thank You for the deep peace of Your running waves to me…” and so on.

In pandemic and political upheaval time (among others), I thought it might be of help to share it with you.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Peace – A Celtic Prayer