It Pleased The Father

“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell.” (Colossians 1:19)

Notice that the fullness is in Jesus Christ. Not in a church; not in a priesthood; not in a building; not in a sacrament; not in the saints; not in a method or a program, but in Jesus Christ Himself. All who want more of God and all that He is can find it in Jesus Christ.

So long ago, all of that slept in a humble manger on that Bethlehem night.”

-All the above by David Guzik from “Two Mighty Words” https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/colossians-1/ (used by David’s kind permission)

Merry Christmas and here comes the new year. I plan to be back online January 4, 2022 and I have lots of posts ready to go 🙂

As always, thanks for stopping by and: I wish you Jesus this Christmas and always! -Glenn

Almost Christmas 2021 – One More Tune

Most of my wrapping is done, got 2 wood projects to finish, then I’m a Wendi-helper. I’m taking December 24th until January 4th away from all social media just fyi. Family and rest time. I’ve plenty to post in the New Year.

Hope your holidays are close to the Lord, family and in His peace regardless!!

I sent a quick and -very- lo-fi tune to the annual CigarboxNation.Com 2021 Christmas Mp3 project- it’s a totally free download, lots of builders, players, all cigarbox and home-made music: https://www.cigarboxnation.com/

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

New Christmas Blues Tune

This song pretty much wrote itself -in my life.

Played it on my only full six string cigarbox git, I also played bass, sang, and Ed Bialach (GKB drummer and Grrr Records director, Tone Zone Studio B engineer and co-producer of my work) recorded the tune, nailed the drum track, fixed it and mixed it up nice!

Juan Carlos, another Grrr Records genius in his several, varied art modes filmed and produced the video, had a crazy fun idea and you see it immediately 🙂

Merry Christmas 2021. As always, we’ll leave the light on for ya* – and thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

*and don’t y’all hide yours under no bushel, ‘eh?

And Wonders of His Love

Most of my readers will know the Christmas song Joy to The World.

At the end of the last century it was the most published Christmas carol in North America. Not bad for a lyric written in 1719 though the tune we attribute to it was written by Lowell Mason in 1848.

Much could be said about this marvelous song but here I wish to highlight the triple repeated lines which the hymn composer Isaac Watts chose to accent at the conclusion of each of it’s four verses.

“And heaven and nature sing”

“Repeat the sounding joy”

“Far as the curse is found”

“And wonders of His love”

I suggest just one thing per phrase that those called by Jesus’ Name need to consider as we sing this song:

SING includes the expression of the entire universe honoring God and the birth of the Christ Child, the GodMan born into our world. The Bible story proclaims a host in the heavens glorifying His birth heard and seen by lowly, poor shepherds in the fields who immediately went to see Him.

REPEAT means to keep singing, to tell, to sound out our joy, love and alliance to Jesus above all others and above all else. NOBODY and NOTHING is more worthy of being known! What we have in the mercies of the Father is JOY for Jesus coming not only into the world but to each one of us who believe!

CURSE meaning that sin, it’s penalties and God’s displeasure are indeed in our day-to-day world here on terra firma. The accent here is on God’s LOVE and GRACE for all and wherever the curse of the devil, sin and death are found. WOW.

WONDERS indeed! Some wonder if God exists, but those of us who walk with Him daily in faith are struck by the wonder of His love, compassion, grace, mercies and forgiveness of our sins. Yes… it’s a wonder because all of these are so foreign to so many of us so much of the time.

JOY TO THE WORLD! John 3.16, 17 🙂 !!!

Merry Christmas to you dear reader.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Alone, Faith

Oh the things I had not known for so long!

“In Him we live and move and exist.” “Behold I am with you, even to the end of the age.” “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” “And they shall name Him Immanuel which translated means ‘God with us’.”

Christmas and the holidays had come and gone that year. Most of the decorations were put away.

January in Milwaukee was as cold as it had ever been and myself as empty as I had always been.

Several summers prior I’d spent severing myself from the human race as much as possible, disgusted at girlfriends, bands I’d been in, pretty much everything including the ever-present wreckage of a society where it seemed the only element that matched it’s apathy was it’s pervasive self-destruction.

The personal assumption of my own deity coupled with fear and rage at being lied to and manipulated by others had caused my ongoing condition -with no end in sight.

That entire summer I only left the closed-curtain darkness of our house to deliver morning edition papers on my route in predawn darkness.

These were the most depressed, reclusive days of my life.

Fast forward to the gift that came my way just slightly more than a week past Christmas -and that deep loneliness, lostness and uselessness was removed from my life in a tide of faith I had done absolutely nothing to receive.

To be sure, in the five decades since I’ve experienced various times of suffering, on occasion depression, anxieties and all the stuff every human on planet earth also does regardless of faith -but never alone or apart from my Savior Jesus Christ.

Some believe (that is, have faith, are convinced -don’t miss that fact!) such faith is a myth, wishful thinking, self-delusion, mental/emotional propaganda that one manufactures to cope with the uncertainties of our human existence.

Some who believe at core deny any sense of choice in the matter.

I disagree with both.

John 8.31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly My disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. -NAS

The gift of faith given me and my ongoing choices directly connected to these words and my daily relationship with the risen Jesus put an end to that miserable aloneness.

I am forever grateful! May it be so for you!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Dec. 2021 Pre-Christmas Update

Well, a bit more today and I think we’re done decorating. A grandchild’s birthday party, street vigil and kitchen help duty this weekend as well as virtual church gathering, a busy time -which sure ain’t uncommon for me lol.

Next week I hope to get all my holiday gift shopping/getting stuff to also make something done in one day. Yep. We’ll see 🙂

Finished tracking a new Christmas blues (yes!) song today. We’ll do the video next week and release it as a freebie, will announce when it’s all ready. Been posting a ton (still quite a backlog) of articles here and some in my other WordPress sites… and from time to time posting links to my writing via my Facebook and Twitter sites.

My fresh book of prose is to be posted this next week as a freebie online read or cut-and-paste download for anyone interested. I’ll publicize when ready.

Building a little cigarbox guitar, canjoe or some such off and on in a few spare moments.

Then there are the normal family errands, laundry and dishwashing, toilet scrubbing of course… and that’s the news from Chicago.

Been having various interaction w. folks requesting shows and such- the key issues are going to be Covid protocols and scheduling on both ends. I’m doing so much online I’m frankly happy with it until the virus settles down and is more mitigated so there’s that. Wendi and I and family are well and vaxxed. Also our son-in-law Tim with whom we see daily is fighting w. brain cancer, doing chemo for the next several months and we’re not interested in somehow passing Covid on to him so thanks for prayers for Tim and family (4 kids)!

Enjoying this amazing season with great grace and the gift of peace from Jesus! I wish you the same!!

As always, thanks for stopping by, -Glenn

Acts and Words

We all know the power of words. Jesus’ words but also others including yours and mine. Words build up, put down, bless, energize, terrorize. All true, no?

Many if not most of us crave peace. Has it occurred to you as it has to me (GK blah blah blah guy) that we have been drowning in word tsunamis for at least a decade?

Jesus -told- us what He -did- and -does-. “Blessed are the peaceMAKERS”.

Is that what we who claim to follow Him are doing?

Between the internet, social media sites, emails, phone texts , news sources, podcasts, vlogs, the long and sky-high piling up of verbiage is at times overwhelming.

Acts of true kindness, love, sacrifice and these done not for one’s own sense of well-being but a motive of sharing grace with others makes ALL the difference.

So much easier to say, type, etc., than actually DO.

After all the theories are exhausted we must face the often costly and difficult work of reflecting Jesus Who said a great deal- and lived it out.

Early church? Book of ACTS.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Authority of Jesus

“4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant” -Phil. 2.4-7a

Volumes written by biblical scholars dive the depths of His authority as we well should consider it! “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.” -Mt. 28.18

What leaps out of Paul’s comments in his letter to me re. the church at Philippi is that Jesus “did not consider equality with God something to be grasped”.

It seems to me that with so much else that can be said about His authority that it can also be stated the depth of His actual power is based in:

His love

His forgiveness

His UN-grasping

Jesus’ own upside-down (as versus the way of people in this world) UN-grasping, the voluntary laying aside of His own authority is remarkable, incredible when you realize WHO HE IS and that He Himself knew Who He Was/Is while walking the earth in human form.

How counter-culture is that?!! Quite.

He knew precisely Who He was and is, why He had come into the world and what the will of God the Father planned for our redemption. Out of love for us He embraced all the extreme suffering for us.

He Who deserved EVERYTHING gave Himself completely for we who in the technical sense -aside from God’s love, forgiveness and grace- deserve NOTHING.

His authority is in His love and forgiveness, not only in His deity.

By His humility, the voluntary laying down of His life for us that we might receive God’s love and forgiveness, redemption is ours, to all who believe.

We grasp. He Who flawlessly without sin or malice, with no trace of pretentiousness, God-in-the-flesh Himself chose the lower seat, sacrifices, ignorant and brutal treatment of petty. unrighteous religious and political demigods -out of love and forgiveness for us all.

THIS is what we must mentally, spiritually grasp as we seek to follow His example, learn and grow in an authentically Christ-like attitude.

God help us, this is so against the natural currents of human nature and that of this world!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

How to BE WITH the Lord?

As a Christ-follower what brings us before Him, spiritually in the here-and-now?

A famous book about Brother Lawrence is entitled “The Practice of the Presence of God”. Certainly according to a lot of scripture, God is everywhere at once all the time- omnipresence. And “in Him we live and move and and exist.” Acts 17.28

The reality is “we have the mind of Christ”, “the kingdom of God is -within-” us Jesus said. But worship of God, intimacy of our relationship with Him is incredibly and TRULY multi-faceted.
This includes but is not limited to any or only one of:

Thought, prayer, study of God’s Word, singing to Him alone or with others gathered, meeting together for all these as well as messages we hear or prepare to share ourselves and even in terms of (ready for this??) serving others in the most simple or deeply sacrificial ways- mission. There is more but in my view these are all involved at the very core of one’s relational life with God. The Spirit of God is ACTIVE in my life as I engage with Him in all these and more. Such is not liberal theology, leftist nor elitist in the least -it is reality.

Jesus of course always calls us to love God with ALL our heart, mind, soul and might. All of the things I’ve mentioned so far are part of this -and don’t miss the other part of His “greatest two commandments” that being “you SHALL love your neighbor as yourself”.

How often we divorce at least two things out of our love relationship to Him from living into and out of these?

First, we deny STUDY -including every way one can do this and increase our learning, not only knowledge but wisdom and then form practical boots-on-ground concepts which we then ACT upon in loving both our God and our neighbor. Some poo-poo, deny Jesus’ call regarding our “mind”.

This in part, is loving God with all our mind. The outpouring then must continue from the start of heart/soul/strength into service, mission, the very MISSION Christ calls each of us to related to our own spiritual gifts and callings. From that learning relationship we then love our neighbors better, more, as opposed to either grieving or quenching the Spirit. Some deny Jesus’ call regarding our “heart, soul, strength (or “might”, passion).

But many Christians disconnect intimacy of worship of the Lord from serving others – and seem to focus on personal worship experience aside, apart from, and even compartmentalize study as something other than love-relationship with Him. I think that a real mistake and even a tragedy.

If there is little or no love-motivated relationship which spiritually moves us to serve our neighbor, no real sense of one’s missional calling, we tend to think we are experiencing intimacy with God (we may well be… but only in part) while ignoring Jesus’ second and fully linked command to love our neighbor.

One more thing about “study”: I’m talking about studying the nature of God (Father/Son/Spirit) in His Word the Bible, but also human history (church, world, regional, local). And yes, current events from a wide range of verifiable news sources. On these matters many of my fellow professing believers are in short, thin and unwise living, therefore supply.

I’m not talking about everyone agreeing with me nor my take on issues, don’t hear that because that’s not the point! Is it yours?

ALL of this has to do with giving worship and genuine attention to God and yes, our neighbor whether or not we like ’em or would rather they live somewhere else.

The common mistake is to either focus so much on mission and working FOR God we miss living out His will for us -intimacy with Him… or on the other hand we figure because we’re already saved/born-again/living a life of faith in and with Jesus that prayer, song and a daily devotional is worship and equals depth of relationship with God, full stop.

That “full” or nearly full “stop” reveals a spiritual immaturity and even stunting of our growth, at times a stagnation in our life that does not equal being WITH the Lord except in a rather small portion of our life.

Do you recall what Jesus told His disciples about Him being WITH them… even to the end of the age? Consider the context of His statement! He told them to verbally share His Good News.

I believe these things important, even essential to consider for those who claim to be disciples of Jesus Christ.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

4 Can Canjoe/Diddley Guitar

Can’t help myself… or on the other hand, this is for me, part of my music therapy 🙂 !

I’d made a much larger slide guitar like this with regular-sized green bean cans, also a 1 stringer “diddley bow” but in that my wife and I love to use chipotle peppers and the sauce for our chipotle mayo blend (on everything but ice cream or cake…) I end up with these little cans on occasion. Hmmmm?

Considering the most simple construction possible and taking great care not to cut fingers when assembling meant pre-drilling 2 holes in each can side-by-side at the point they’d be wired together.

I used 55 lb. test stiff wire, a needle-nose pliers to lace the wire through and then twisted it tight inside once back into the first can. The cans of course became the resonator/s.

Pre-drilling in the middle of the 2 cans the neck would go into I then also slightly drilled into the neck and carefully screwed it down tightly.

Sanded the stick where the hand and especially palm slides up and down, 1 plain (unwound) “B” .016 guitar string, s bit more “starter” drilled holes for an eye-screw for bridge anchor and simple larger, strong cup holder screw and there we go, no true “nut” or “bridge” as on regular guitars needed!

It’s played with some sort of slide -oh, and in the vid clip I said “brass” but it’s actually copper.

I often try out several sorts of slides or slide material to hear what I think sounds best on the particular guitar, and this one liked copper.

So here’s a quick vid clip as we approach Christmas 2021 🙂

If interested, have a look and hear.

And as always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn