New Show this Friday, New Guitar Tonight

Two things- about to post details on this Friday’s Chicago Christmas show at Everybody’s Coffee on Wilson Avenue! I’ll post all details tomorrow via all my sites.

And-

I woke up early thinking about finishing The Cheater- so called cuz it’s a six-string guitar built in an old, thick cigarbox. I cannibalized a foot-stomper box Shane Speal gave me years ago… with kudos and apologizes to Shane- I love the tone but just can’t get my feet to go along w. my playing/singing/harp work all at once and so decided to use it by making the many cuts to slip the core part of the body from an ol’ Yamaha Pacifica (also using the solid Y.P. fretted neck) right inside the box. After trial and error decided to keep the original 4 band e.q. w. volume and 9 volt battery powered preamp -and- 3 hot glued piezos adding a different cigarbox for a top.

I also have a nice double-blade Fender-sized Seymour Duncan pickup in it so can actually plug that into an amp with the preamp-ed piezos into a second amp, or just choose which sound I want, change up in a live show, whatever. Fun!

As to the name- if it has more than 3 strings, just to me personally, a six string cigarbox guitar seems a bit of a “cheat” as I’ve played six’ers all my life. But I finally decided to do this re. a Christmas project and a song I just wrote. More in a moment on that.

Did the measuring, made all the wild cuts which took forever, and soon as the glue dries will put ‘er together with the neck in place, string it, tune and set intonation and see what she’ll do via an amp. It’s essentially cobbling together for a fretted six’er and as I say, I’m personally prone to 1 string diddley bows, 3 string sliders and of course on occasion full six string slide gits or typical 6 string electrics and acoustics. But in terms of a trash-looking honker, if this works I’ll be doing a Christmas blues song on it that I wrote a week ago so it’s an honest cigarbox guitar on the recording.

Sticking my neck out on this of course because you never know with my hack work!! But fun and a challenge that is indeed a form of music therapy for me. I liked the feel, sound and solid neck of the original git and the pre-amp in this box rocks so it should work well… we shall surely see. Or hear, that is.

I’ll post a pic or two when finished -and I’m leaving ‘er rough because I like that vibe especially for blues… so “finished” in most of my builds for myself means “right off the wood pile, maybe even dumpster -ha!

Here goes…

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

For All “the Church” is Not…

I’ve so very many friends on both extreme ends of this issue that I thought it time to write something a bit more on the issue/S.

Yep, issueS. The local church, denominational church, fully independent, the you-name-the-link-to-other-fellowships-or-not, and even you fully non-traditional-and-or-hip-gatherings-of-believers-regularly folks.

We all have ’em. Issues, I mean. So do those who never in any sense believed. And every group of them. Some sins are made public, some never are. Some of my/your sins… well that’s another subject because some of you either don’t believe there IS such a thing as sin in the Christian idea, indeed Christ’s obvious concept of it… but some sins (as the scripture states as well) are discovered while we live on this planet and others will be faced later on.

Then again all believe fully in sin because all humans call out other humans on what is right or wrong, just or unjust. Oops! Looks like even people with zero faith in God or Christ believe in a sin ethic ‘eh??!

The concern for a safe place of comfort and zero confrontation is a myth. Man-made myth.

Consider how you and I silently judge people every day. We do it when we watch/read/listen to ANY news source, perhaps aloud with a neighbor in the coffee shop or friend or simply acquaintance somewhere. We do it inside any type of “church” assembly and we do it with best friends and small groups of folks who think like we ourselves do.

But we DO.NOT. wish for others to judge us except only in the most positive, agreeable (to us) way.

So much for clean, pristine church… or any other form of group whether of Christ-focused or other spirituality or zero spiritual faith. Oh, and have you even considered when someone says “Don’t judge!” they are judging others to the extent they figure they ought to make that statement?!

From the Bible account-S Adam and Eve to Cain and Abel, to King Saul, to murderer/adulterer King David, to Judas, all the disciples who ran off at Jesus’ arrest, Ananias and Sapphira, Paul who had persecuted the church by his original name “Saul”, a list of named people in Paul’s letters to entire local churches right up to Peter’s second letter to the church, Jude’s warning of apostasy and laced throughout the Book of Revelation we see sin, lousy judgment, violent and conniving behaviors, warnings about THE JUDGE and judgment to come. We also read about the mercy seat (go study, it’s super important to get that one…). Sounds like the world outside the church to me except for future judgment before God’s throne.

I’m calling out hypocrisy to all of us who judge”the church” by what we ourselves decide is best for -us-. The very same judgment is made by all humans and in the end, if you wish to discard the people who regularly attend (in one form or another) a local fellowship of professing Christians, I’m saying “one more hypocrite is welcome”!

I’ve a lifetime of experience in more than surface communion with a wide, wide (did I say WIDE?) range of local churches. I find the same issues within them as without. People are people, you and I.

Now if we demand they change, the core issues are pretty much always moral, relational, a “preach the truth and PRACTICE IT and then maybe I’ll join you!” Whether or not you’re a follower of Jesus, you already have full share in the human condition which includes failure, baseness, self-interest above all others, and mistrust (often admittedly rational, sensible) of most everyone but yourself. Except you’ve not learned the final lesson of humility: you’re truly often as much a mess in your own life as “those church people are”.

I’ve been accepted, forgiven, cared for, educated, called out to repent and change, taught elements of balance, knowledge and wisdom, been rightly and needfully reminded of things I’d forgotten (or wanted to), encouraged to serve, been served by and truly raised and deeply BLESSED by that gathering of broken, flawed, sinful, hypocritical, messed-up, struggling and gracious people called “the church” for most of my lifetime.

OF COURSE this is my journey and experience and won’t fully, neatly nor completely be shared by my readers! But much of what I’ve said here fits all humans like a glove…

Sometimes we resist out of spite, anger, rage, malice, sometimes hurt, genuine pain experienced, expectations dashed by people we thought would help us, sometimes merely agree with our own judgment of people, events, personal desires we thought SHOULD be fulfilled.

Where ever you go, there you are.

I LOVE the church, all of her, with all her wrinkles, spots and blemishes (quoting scripture here) the Bride of Christ has often been called the adulteress by God Himself throughout the Bible… prophets continually call her out on this. No surprises, because the same goes for those outside.

When some stop walking, throw in the towel, wring their hands and call down curses on the church I remember Jesus’ words about the church. Never forget “church” is assembly of called-out ones, followers of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Such happens in and outside of all sorts of buildings, prisons, forests and wherever believers gather in faith toward Jesus.

https://www.biblehub.com/matthew/16-18.htm

Is repentance moving into genuine reformation regularly needed? YES!!! As it is in you and I dear reader!!!

I -LOVE- the church. Consider the long history of such and you begin to realize nothing can end what God has established in relation to Himself, those for whom Jesus came, was crucified for, raised up for on the third day. Alleluia!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Thanksgiving 2021

Against all odds, even now, yes. Andre nails it. First band I ever saw who rocked gospel, floored me live in Milwaukee in 1971. Did some gigs together, had some good chats w. him, provided sound gear for him back in the day. Amazing. He nails it for me here and I am deeply THANKFUL!!

For all in America, may your Thanksgiving be filled with grace and thankfulness to God for His.

As always, I thank -you- for stopping by 🙂 -Glenn

GK’s Blues Guitar Philosophy

In this post I’m going to share my inner thoughts about how -I personally- approach blues guitar playing.

I frankly consider myself a utility guitarist. The basic scale I work from within what is called a “box” technique means I’m rather limited in my core technical framework as I play chords and especially related to soloing, that is, licks, melody lines, “lead guitar” or fingerstyle and/or slide guitar playing. Why?

My God, my wife and family, local church and larger church in the world and all those I come into contact with… that is… “people” -are far more important to me than my ability to re-arrange sound waves with one or more strings on a guitar.

The time it takes to really practice, dig deep, hone my own technical ability, music theory and such would take me away from other areas of serving people and I first off have a deep sense of calling to serve in a number of non-musical ways, then of course need a bit of rest, relaxation, help do laundry, dishes and NOT live some cartoonish “rock star” or whatever life. That ain’t life to me, never was upon my coming to faith in Jesus and being set free from a few layers of addiction.

So you see practice, rehearsing, even a motive based on impressing people all takes time and I try to measure out my days and nights to keep music and fantasy in it’s place. On that last point, impressing people to me -can- morph into “Glenn’s personal kingdom” which I have a moral issue with, like, I ain’t no king and my own King is Jesus Christ.

The other part of that issue is one can be technically a genius, know all the chord shapes, voicings, where all the notes are yet people won’t relate to their style, a particular musical offering though technically speaking it might be precision at it’s finest.

“What a cook, what a meal… but I HATE that dish!”

Then there’s the the fact I’ve spent my life listening to guitarists for their soul, that sense of depth that at least to me, strikes me as close to singing powerful vocals as it is playing notes.

So that brings me to emotions, being moved by the player not merely impressed by technique. Again, this is just me, it’s how I think, listen and play. I want to be convinced there is more than a sort of “meh… noodling around, not payin’ much attention here” or “isn’t this technically PERFECT?!!” playing. Regardless of style, how many people are in the group or if it’s a solo artist, loud or mellow or wide dynamics in a player and/or song, I want to be convinced of their passion in the moment. I think like this whether it’s blues or any other music form.

I don’t always hit the target myself and I’m well aware of it!! Yet it’s what I strive for.

In my earliest years (12 years old) of guitar playing I listened hard for passion in the playing, then loving soul, r&b and blues as well as playing such styles in bands, then as a solo musician as well as jamming with others. It always touched me to hear a player putting his/her heart into the notes, that feeling and sense of immediate meaning made and makes the experience worthwhile.

Sometimes I hit that space, that stride, and make only a few mistakes along the way :). Sometimes…

Whether acoustic, electric, slide playing, using fingers, pick, this is what I focus on when playing and that especially in guitar solos. IF/when I can replicate a powerful, moving vocalist by “singing” on a guitar I tend to be pleased with my own work.

Again, this is the attempt and not always striking the target!!

Reminds me of a brilliant striker (the key goal-scorer in soccer, the real football) who said “He who never shoots never misses!”

Many of the finest blues players from the early years of blues music in the American Delta and elsewhere absolutely lived out the example that has brought me to this way of thinking. Decades later British blues players established this same link in my own head via my ears.

A reasonable amount of technique is of course needed, and it’s excellent to practice and continue in practice to learn and achieve it, but soon after it must not overtake the heart of playing. That’s my philosophy of guitar performance and certainly so in blues music!

And there you have my own personal approach to playing guitar regardless of music style, electric or acoustic, music gear. Heart and hands, soul and passion.

Blues feels or it isn’t blues.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Social Media Friends?

First off, I’ve long had a wide and I mean wide list of hard left -and- hard right friends. Some of them with regard to my own site/s earned an unfriending/block and it’s essentially because like them, I am not interested in furthering what I believe to be propaganda for positions that I believe go against what Jesus both taught and lived as well as commanded us to live on this earth -especially our attitudes and treatment of those we consider “the least of these”. If that’s an issue and you have me as a friend in Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feel totally free to dump me asap. I’ll respect you for it.

As I don’t go to their pages and pop a long line of statements on their sites trolling a position I finally send them off when they do it on mine. A convo and a respectful one is one thing…

I don’t CARE if people fully agree with me on most anything. I mean sure, I care that it seems some are so cemented into a political or spiritual/quasi-spiritual space mentally and emotionally they just cannot seem to have a respectful disagreement.

Hence, it gives me zero pleasure after years of that w. a longtime friend I blocked him today. It happens and I suspect will happen again.

Reminds me of something I quote from a Facebook post of another: “Nobody was ever successfully argued into the Kingdom of God.” If the issues involved firearms (anyone for the history of The Crusades or Inquisition??), the verifiable history of professing Christians enslaving or shooting down people like dogs who themselves were professing Christians? Plenty of my friends don’t study such nor want to think about it. We should. We ALL should, and across a wide range of source material that will likely change your heart, life and the way you treat people.

I don’t expect to argue someone into relationship with the risen Jesus Christ nor argue someone into my own point of view on about anything. But when I post something on my own site/s I’m just not going to allow it to become a billboard for what I consider nonsense. So an FYI y’all.

Of course some live and some die by their own foolish attitudes and tough-guy treatment of anyone they disagree with. Some folks regularly trash talk others as lazy while they post endless memes to support their own lazy and too often non-educated, non-thinking and worse, NON-Gracious attitudes and chosen lifestyles b/c they feel the deep need to “defend THEMSELVES”. That’s reality in a sin-filled world and often church who are more focused on themselves than their own neighbor (whom they may fear and/or detest) much less “the least of these” Jesus speaks about in Matthew 25. I do think the Book of Amos is as alive and current as it was when he first brought the Word of the Lord to backslidden Israel.

God have mercy.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Power Addict

By God’s grace (and I mean that alone, not by my works!!) I recognized this as one of many addictions I needed (and need) deliverance from along with other more discussed, obvious and self (and others) destroying addictions that ruled me for years.

Of course this can be an issue regardless of race- but is it not true that most of the Western societies are dominated by white peeps? Ya, ya, “Another bleeding heart leftist liberal who drank the koolaide” ‘eh? You don’t face facts you’ll have to face God not me.

Truth be told for many it comes down to an addiction to power, having the final say, the final word, my choice THE choice and to h. with others who don’t see things my way, the only way, THE.RIGHT.WAY.

Jesus said “Heaven and earth shall pass away” and regardless if that happens in our natural lifetime or after, we’re all going to die sometime, some way, and God is fully aware of the condition of our heart, our motives, our attitudes -and so many of us… our demand to either maintain or grasp and hold rather than SHARE genuine boots-on-ground power.

He concluded that statement with “but My words will never pass away”. HIS thoughts, HIS mind, HIS words and being God along with the Father and the Spirit we will face the Ultimate Power when “Every knee shall bow” before Him. That moment is coming.

How can I love my neighbor as myself while already considering myself superior, my own motives always purer, my own judgments on my neighbor equal to His? I cannot.

At core the biblical term “repent” means to re-think. Think and think again in the light of God’s Word which isn’t going to evaporate when all our human writings float off into the mists of forgotten time.

God help us for Jesus preached “Repent and believe the Good News”, not merely “believe”.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Blues, Church Quotes

My passion for blues music began somewhere around 13th year on the planet. Tonight I did yet another of my online excursions into Chicago blues and related elements, and put this compilation of select quotes together.

I am indeed white -but with the major exception of racism and a church-based childhood, I so relate to these three famous bluesmen.

Blues and Church links are patently obvious. Ain’t all pretty, but the blues rings deep with truth.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

“You get a heck of a sound from the church. Can’t you hear it in my voice?” -Muddy Waters

“I got up one Christmas morning and we didn’t have nothing to eat. We didn’t have an apple, we didn’t have an orange, we didn’t have a cake, we didn’t have nothing.” -Muddy Waters

“That’s my religion – the blues is my religion.” -Muddy Waters

“The whole of life itself expresses the blues. That’s why I always say the blues are the true facts of life expressed in words and song, inspiration, feeling and understanding. The blues can be about anything pertaining to the facts of life. The blues call on God as much as a spiritual song do.” -Willie Dixon

“The world has made everything else and still it can’t make peace. And the reason it can’t make peace is because of the evil, ignorance and stupidity. I have songs that explain these facts. And that’s the blues.” -Willie Dixon

“According to Biblical history and all of the history of the world, the blues was built in man from the beginning. The first thing that came out of man is the blues because, according to the Scriptures, when God made man, man was lonesome and blue.” -Willie Dixon

“I hadn’t been exposed to music except in church. They used to have me singing a solo when I was five years old.” -Willie Dixon

“As a little kid, blues meant hope, excitement, pure emotion. Blues were about feelings. They seem to bring out the feelings of the artist and they brought out my feelings as a kid. They made me wanna move, or sing, or pick up Reverend’s guitar and figure out how to make those wonderful sounds.” -B.B. King

“I’m trying to get people to see that we are our brother’s keeper. Red, white, black, brown or yellow, rich or poor, we all have the blues.” -B.B. King

“I would sit on the street corners in my hometown of Indianola, Mississippi, and I would play. And, generally, I would start playing gospel songs.” B.B. King

“In our local Baptist church, I sang in the choir and formed a gospel quartet. When our minister caught me messing with his guitar, he taught me three positions – one, four and five. After that, I taught myself to play.” -B.B. King

Anger, Judgement.

There are two extremes regarding anger, or wrath -that I take issue with.


On one end of the spectrum is “Be angry but sin not” and Jesus turning over the tables of merchandising temple people and therefore people thinking they’re good to go with venting their rancour generally speaking.

Except scripture also tells us the wrath of humans is not somehow synonymous with the righteousness of God.

The other extreme view ignores God’s Own anger or even teaches in such way in essence speculating God Himself isn’t really all that upset about much of anything and Judgement Day with associated concepts is all rather a matter of myths and flawed human interpretation.

Some of us in our natural personality seem to gravitate to scriptures such as “Rebuke them sharply” while conversely, others to verses calling us to correct people in in a posture of gentleness and awareness of our own temptation, stumbling and capacity for sin.

On one hand we each and all demand the right to what we consider good and appropriate “righteous anger” but would deny God the same. Ridiculous much?!!

Unlike Him Who is sinless and perfect in His judgement we seem to wallow in a nonexistent righteousness of self before the only One Who truly IS righteous in Himself!

Our natural personality surely affects even our interpretation of scripture, our default chosen texts, even our treatment of others day by day. Wisdom, humility and integrity would seem to admit this.

To think our judgement pristine and is routinely in accord with God’s on either end of the spectrum of anger and judgement is in my view not only ignorant but arrogant.

“God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Oh my!!

May we learn to fear, truly respect God, bestowing His grace on others recognizing our own need of it.

For ultimately there is only One [Perfect] Lawgiver and Judge…”

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

NEW Shows, Posts, Updates

SHOWS- So this past Fri and Sat I brought an in-house men’s retreat, then on SAT night did an open-to-the-public concert at Battle Creek Friend’s Church in B.C. Michigan. Sweet friends, great reception/s and just enjoyed our time together there! Also- this was originally posted in two of my Facebook sites and my Twitter site as well. So sorry the full post wasn’t here at gkaiser.wordpress.com, my mistake!

THU NOV. 18th I’m in Chillicothe, Illinois at the CrossWord Cafe 20th Anniversary event. They do amazing work in the Chilli and Peoria communities which I am proud to support. http://crosswordcafe.net/ working in tandem with http://www.smallworldconnect.org/

The festivities at the Cafe begin at 5:30pm, I close w. an hour music set, 9pm finish on the night.

POSTS- You can see what I’m up to in posting both here at glennkaiser.com but also all my Blog sites as well as via Facebook and Twitter. As I mentioned a week ago, I’m so far behind in publishing stuff I decided to put 2 or more posts up per day and I plan to continue into this next week as well. If you get overwhelmed no worries, come back later, have a quick read down on the right of this site and you’ll get an idea re. what I’m saying where and when with links. You can always simply pop a word or two in the Search spot top right here and find several articles that relate. YEARS of blogging means a -lot- of posts on a wide, wide range of issues and interests I believe worth delving into.

PERSONAL- So Wendi has had a bit of asthma as well as arthritis issues surfacing off and on, mostly is doing very well, but we’d appreciate prayer for her in these. I’m doing well and by God’s grace have been so blessed with her, family and a lot of work to do re. music and lyric writing, some recording, a ton of blog posts as I’ve said, a ton of correspondence via emails and social media, occasional cigarbox/found object guitar building, a few shows and sadly as the weather is moving into “toooo coooold to sit out front on the street” with my guitar, harmonica and chattin’ w. peeps I’ll likely try to do more online video clips and podcasts. I’ll publicize stuff as it’s ready and posted.

The big prayer request for us: we’d appreciate is for my son-in-law Tim who is dealing with brain cancer. He has seemed to respond well to radiation and chemo but of course it’s a long road for Tim, my daughter and their kids, our family. Many Thanks!

And if you’ve read this far, as always, thanks for stopping by 🙂 -Glenn

What a Load of Misfits!

WHAT A LOAD OF MISFITS!

As I was preparing to speak at a weekend-long men’s retreat I recalled Jesus’ words to one of the Bible’s “mis-fits”, ol’ Pete himself. One of the more astonishing statements Jesus ever made when you think about it:

“And I also say to you that you are (Greek- Petros, a stone) Peter, and upon this (Greek- petra, massive rock formation; bedrock) rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” -Matthew 16.18

Countless sermons have been preached, Bible studies given, volumes written and scholars the world over on Peter, his life, his letters to the church in the New Testament and of course deep discourses on Jesus’ interactions with him and regarding the larger passage from which the above quote is taken.

Perhaps some of us relate to Peter because of his somewhat apparent blunders, over-speak while others focus on his faith, ultimate submission to Jesus and his boldness upon being filled with the Holy Spirit, his preaching and brilliance in writing as time went on.

Many have noted the episode of being publicly called out by apostle Paul (who of course did NOT walk with Jesus in the flesh and who came to saving faith later so as Peter had a certain “seniority”) on Pete’s two-faced issue re. Jews and Gentiles. Many have also recognized his apparent humility and unity with Paul later as he writes encouraging his readers to respect Paul and take his words to heart as he himself clearly has.

However you do or do not relate to the guy, back to Jesus’ statement directly to and about Peter.

Most realize “church” is an assembly of “called-out ones”, essentially followers of Jesus, not any particular building, stream of churches or other organized -OR- disorganized gathering of professing Christians. People fight and fuss continually as to -who- and -what- “The REAL church!!” is and is not, but I think that is often more an indication of preference, unforgiveness, ignorance and/or arrogance than the mind of Christ.

Aside from all that- IF you yourself were gathering, starting a local fellowship of believers and choosing a particular leader, based upon all you can learn of Peter prior to Jesus’ statement about him would you have selected HIM for the gig?!

I cannot imagine given all the other things we can read about each of the other of Jesus’ followers in the four Gospel narratives that I would have chosen Peter for the job.

Now I do expect blowback (most of the time, ha!) about all this but let’s face facts, either Jesus said all this or He did not.

No matter WHAT you think Jesus meant by it or the implications to our time and issues, in my own view Peter was like most of us whether we wish to accept the “misfit” tag or not. He made obvious and sometimes massive mistakes, seems one of the most impetuous foot-in-mouths of all the disciples, acts without much thought in a number of key moments during Jesus’ ministry on earth pre-crucifixion, and in general just is not whom I would have chosen.

What does Jesus know that you and I don’t? HA… wow… like- EVERYTHING including the value, potential and reasoning behind God’s Own selection of people to serve via this or that spiritual gift and calling INCLUDING leadership of any sort. That’s what.

I would have likely chosen John, perhaps Matthew, just fyi. And I’d have chosen wrongly.

See, our judgment of what God is up to and who ought to be where doing what is often so very thin, laced with our own preferences and prejudices we’d send (and have and do… God help us!) people packing or simply discard them as useless to lead anybody.

While some continue to argue all and any Christ-follower can be or even is a leader (I strongly disagree directly considering biblical contexts that mention the spiritual gift of leadership via God the Holy Spirit) though certainly all of us in the practical can and do lead by default of influence.

What was Jesus thinking in light of all the blunders not only He but all the other disciples and other close followers of His saw and knew of Peter’s slack, foolishness, obvious stuff they knew about him?

After the Lord’s resurrection Peter again seems to blow it by flipping back into a fishing gig (and took most of the disciples along with him) -upon realizing Jesus was standing on that shore who was the first to leap out of the boat and get to Him on the beach that day?

Over and over God’s Word tells us He “chooses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise” and that HIS “foolishness is wiser than human wisdom”. Yes indeed. How humbling to we know-it-all’s, ‘eh??

We don’t know what was in Pete’s mind as he heard the Lord say this, nor what the others were thinking. It’s only a guess on all this when in short order Jesus looks at Peter rebuking him with “Get behind me Satan”. Welcome to the church my friends. Whatever it is, it ain’t dull ‘eh?

So water it all down if/as you wish, but Jesus is handing keys and a statement to someone He’s as much prophesying over who will be a future martyr and celebrated leader of the church, churches, the very Christian faith. So much for mere human “wisdom” and our flawed judgments.

Let us take ever more care on whom we judge “worthy” in the kingdom of God. None of us are the King.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn