Hearing, Speaking

When I was in my teens cb (citizen’s band) radio was all the rage IF you could afford one. My best buddy lived about 10 or 12 blocks away and had one and I decided I had to have something to communicate with him between our homes so eventually got a medium-range (in both power and price) walkie-talkie that seemed to work for that and a bit more.

Being the youngest of 3 kids w. two fairly older siblings I was often not listened to. Such is often life in the world.

Between my paper route earnings and a small allowance I saved up and bought -one- with a cool brown leather cover, a Midland model somewhat like:

“60’s Walkie-Talkies”

I was already a shortwave radio geek at the time having 2 and sometimes 3 of the old and typically huge console radios in my little room adjacent to the attic. I’d crawl out the window up onto our roof and install, then try to better a wire and/or actual radio antenna high above the chimney as I could get it to increase reception. I attached the same to the antenna on my walkie-talkie and spent many hours listening to and sometimes conversing with people.

I didn’t have the power most of those I heard did so at times could only hear and not be heard when I tried to chat.

My best friend and I were as you might expect, regularly successful at it being in closer proximity.

By now many of my readers are guessing about the analogy I’m creating.

The internet, emails and especially social media including a wide range of websites, podcasts with or without video, YouTube and the like give one with computer and web access instant communication, a sort of world-wide and instantaneous bullhorn/radio/tv/cable/satellite broadcasting station to a large portion of the planet.

None of those tools are in themselves evil or a blessing and uplifting as such. Having power of any sort is much the same.

Back in the day I heard crazies and sane peeps rattling on about all sorts of stuff. This was instructional.

I’ve mentioned before here in my blog about a guy two blocks down from us who had an illegal power amplifier connected to his cb which brought the FCC to his house -easy to find as his audio transmission signal splashed into people’s tv sets all around the neighborhood! Me? Nah, little puppy of a rig that often only allowed me to listen.

Connect this to how you may feel about your life, communications or lack of it with others and also know everyone has a “code of conduct” but it may not be the same as yours!

The actual laws and rules of cb radio were mostly broken in those days and the truth is enforcement as well as people’s general attitudes about the cb radio band much decided what happened when people hit the talk button and were “on the air”.

Unless we are willing to deal with these things and adjust to reality we may well be cementing ourselves right out of conversations we, they, both of us could actually benefit from.

When I read articles online (tons, daily) I regularly read pro and con and more balanced responses in the comments sections. The effort, time, patience and grace it takes to do so has been such a blessing in my own life! Thinking you know what people think and why isn’t always so.

We must make greater effort to listen.

Just as long as the earth has been populated there have been agreements and disagreements between people – and between people and God.

Unless we are willing to learn how to give and take -and often mostly give-, communication and community are pretty well impossible. Please read that again…

God help us grow!

As always, thanks for stopping by 🙂 -Glenn


Autumn Gold

I suppose I am now in the autumn of my life. I don’t have any sense of actual impending departure but of course all of that is in God’s hands and His own best timing which I am content with regardless.

Today was a wonderful day with Wendi. We have opportunity to just be together when on the road and in a two and a half day break we’re sharing one of those times now.

Driving up from Chicago across northern Illinois in the peak of Fall colors is as it is in many places this time of year- magical!

The golds, yellows, reds and mix of green is spectacular and honestly, the weather couldn’t have been better. Cotton-like clouds in a blue, sunny sky, leaves basking in sunlight, breath of wind moving, the fairy-like fluttering down on roads, fields and our car, sometimes these bits of airborne beauty wafting in our open windows as we drove was a real treat.

In that I love rain a walk in the woods with appropriate clothing follows tomorrow!

Peace with God and one another in a war-torn, deeply polarized world and sometimes churches -can be so wearing. Tonight I think of the homeless in Chicago and other cities all over the world where some folks have far more money than they need and the poor simply drudge and apply creativity just to survive.

All the same, these breaks of beauty and peace, of togetherness with my dear wife are such a tonic to us both. I appreciate the ebb and flow, that life in this fallen world is not only tough undercurrent, riptide and misery but sometimes indeed sweetness and nature’s gold.

By the end of our drive, bits of exploring and settling in our guest room my eyes nearly hurt from the powerful, drastic glory of the trees and sky.

So tonight I give deep Thanks with my love and best friend to our first Love and Best Friend.

Eternity is a gift to those with eternal friendship with God. Even in this sinful, sick world the Creator paints His message in the turning colors of leaves, forest and field, then comes winter with the reality of resurrection: Spring will come in it’s time.

May God give you and I the ability to see and hear the grace He gives in each season.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

“Our truth”

You know, “My truth”, “Your truth”. But then there is what I’d say is “God’s Truth”- and though it is the very Person of Jesus Christ (John 14.6) THE Way, Truth, Life who reportedly said “No one comes to the Father but by Me” there is God’s truth.

Point taken that nobody has ALL the truth about God, others or even ourselves. We each have some measure of what is truly true, and those we consider our nemesis or basic enemies have “their truth” too. Got that. The same is true re. exegesis of The Bible. In the human ability to -know- there is certainly no perfect certainty -that in part is what faith and hope answer.

So what about faith and hope with regard to what we believe to be true?

To my professing Christian brothers and sisters I ask: have you ever done a deep study of the term “truth” in the four Gospels alone? I mean really looked at what Jesus Himself referred to beyond Himself being walking/talking/living TRUTH in that He used the term quite often to refer to other matters?

Yep. HIS Truth.

I mean even “Verily, verily…” (if you didn’t get it the first time perhaps the second) in that what followed/follows is God’s TRUTH and… it’s not only in reference to the Person (Jesus) doing the talking.

His emphasis using that term twice each time He began to speak in those particular moments is worth facing up to.

Truly, truly I say to you…”

Further, when Jesus tells people the devil is “the father of lies” and has no truth in him, when Paul writes “let God be true and every person a liar”… and there are so many scriptures that speak to the issue in both Testaments, I find it a bit shallow to merely point to Jesus alone as the Truth (and He indeed IS!) as if there is nothing more to consider in scripture when even that foundational issue to our faith in Him comes from the very same scriptural source.

Some think “the Jesus story is simply one of thousands of myths we may or may not relate to… it’s not true but merely a set of stories to convey truths.” I neither believe that nor embrace the “logic” of such a position having for most of my life experienced (and am now experiencing) the risen Jesus Christ.

Frankly, the “Good News” ceases to be such if we water down “the word of truth”. Just one of many, many sections of scripture I’ve been pondering re. truth moves me not only to Himself and HIS words of Good News but beyond to everything else he allegedly stated about truth when He Himself used the term.

John 18.37 Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”

It is not only belonging to the truth by listening to His voice, it is loving the truth, speaking the truth in love, living out, walking in and obeying the truth -all according to God’s Word in the scriptures.

Of course we each have the option of asking what Pilate asked, then washing our hands on the issue as he did.

“Watering it down” comes to mind.

Things to consider in our journey perhaps?

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

People = Garbage?!

Let’s be real, some people’s actual experience be it in family, neighborhood, school, even church is that they were treated like rubbish, trash, “the scum of the earth” to the extent they began to believe in their own sense of worthlessness. Perhaps some reading this know what I’m saying here.

I admit that I’ve had a few treat me like that in my lifetime but nothing close to what some have gone through.

All (I mean ALL) of us have insecurities and fears, are trying to sense who is friend, perhaps a foe, who is our advocate or enemy. It may be just under the surface of your mind or at times blatant, but there it is.

Serving as a volunteer chaplain in jail and prisons, reading minority people’s histories and befriending people who are often considered “losers” or “scary-looking” (ha… sometimes me or my friends) has taught me a fair bit about such matters.

Jesus says “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6.37) and Paul reminds us quoting “For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (10.13)

Jesus did not suffer and die on the cross for valueless people.

How we treat people too often reflects OUR judgment -not God’s.

God have mercy through we who say we follow Jesus Christ!!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Urban Goodie!

I fully admit I love computers, tablets, phones, backlit and 24 hour reading with or without a web connection. So there’s that. The simplicity of researching information, cross-checking it and of course saving, passing on to others for their perusal, it’s all excellent in my view.

I also think there are those who cannot wait to say something horrible about all large (sometimes even not-so-big) urban areas. Not surprising we all have our opinions and various reasons or unreasoning abilities to judge rural, town or city life as per our own likes and dislikes. Nothing new.

Then again there are those like my sweet wife and plenty of others who either regularly use tech AND (or only…) love books. Hard copy (paperback or hard cover) books are of course not backlit -but there is that tactile experience and love for the cozying up with a book, a cup, comfy clothes and perhaps a blanket, maybe even a fireplace -and enjoying a good read!

One of the sweetest things for Chicago and plenty of other places is this:

I use them constantly for actual books, both stuff for older readers and our grandkids. Some installations of these have 2 little kiosks, one for adults and the other for children. Free. Sharing. COOOOOOOOL and a Blessing!

I’ve spent countless hours in libraries over the years and on occasion still do. But this brilliant idea is just sweet. We take books we’re done with to help stock/re-stock and when we find ones we like, bring ’em home.

Just wanted to share… yep… share… -Glenn

To Really KNOW Someone?

Choice. Personal wishes. Cultural and familial, etc., traditions. And doing X, Y and/or Z “your way”? Sure. Of course. True for every one of us.

So if and when you think you really KNOW someone consider this:

Can you literally read their thoughts? Are you with them 24/7 in each room of the house and when they go out the door, outside, say, solo into the woods? Of course not.

So those who do or do not attend a local fellowship of professing Christ-followers… same deal, no?

Do “they” really know you and how deeply? Do you really know them and to what depth or extent?

See, regardless of all the things we say, even do -there are levels of knowledge about each of us only God Himself has. Such is not only true of us but others. In the practical there is at least one caveat. The issue is the degree to which we confide in at least one other person on earth, and/or maybe a small group, recovery meeting, etc.. Voluntarily.

These are elements of fellowship (biblical Greek “koinonia”) that are often overlooked, not discussed though we make judgments about one another with whatever limited (often severely so!) knowledge of others and also whether positive or negative without anything close to full knowledge of who a person habitually (or in some cases occasionally) truly is. Do we know as God knows what they really think and do and why? There are plenty of obvious gaps in our judgment due to what I mention here.

It is for these reasons I think three things:

The church without such voluntarily accountable relationships is continually in deep need. This is one of the reasons I’m fairly sure the church on earth will always be in such need. The issue is whether you and I are willing to actually do anything about it in our own life.

The cost to us in our “private” lives is often as tragic as it is often if not for the most part, avoidable.

The cost of not risking local, close personal accountability to a greater extent than most people including professing followers of Jesus often means our lives are likewise in continual need for not taking the risks involved. Such a state affects gatherings of people as it surely does individuals.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

How It Seems God Works in Me

So what I mostly post in one of my social media accounts are pics of flowers, other nature and sometimes a wide range of quotes on many subjects, sometimes bits of scripture. On occasion I simply post one word. These are meaningful to me and hopefully encouraging to others. Simple, very, very brief and perhaps a couple times per week or less is when I tend to post.

Realizing only too well that we can talk ourselves into a false spirituality regarding coincidences, yet I have learned throughout 50-plus years of walking with Jesus in faith He often “stacks the deck” within a couple days time, sometimes within hours.

Considering mere happenstance, coincidence and the like -when the multiples in short order load up from several angles I recall Jesus’ words “My sheep hear my voice…” and there is some blooming often taking place. Sheep and plants… mixed metaphor, no?! HA. Yep.

I recently posted this:

Had I not just “accidentally” read the 3rd devotional accenting this, also doing a deep study on “truth” in God’s Word (offline mind you), read an article that spoke directly to it and saw the link between both humility and truth, then attended a meeting where both “just so happened” to be addressed… well you begin to see a pattern, ‘eh?

So I got a red-light camera ticket here in Chicago when making a turn, also made two different key mistakes doing two unrelated maintenance things, posted a friend’s excellent meme without vetting the actual author who did not turn out to be the one quoted and several other unintentional gaffes.

All of the above within two days.

Now some folks overlook their own mistakes. I typically cannot, be it DNA from my parents, sometimes obsessive sin nature, whatever. I truly don’t walk around continually depressed or self-condemned. Nobody “breathes down my neck” and rarely am I called out, not even those I’m accountable to do so without grace and compassion for the most part.

Yet I personally think these sort of events are –some– of how God speaks to me regarding humility and truth, the mix of both, underscores and helps me grow in empathy for others as I make plenty of mistakes and often get things wrong!

One of the true pleasures of blues music which I mostly write and perform is that spontaneous lyrics and playing are a common, acceptable part of the idiom. Good thing as I often space out -or- simply want to try something vocally or on the given instrument right on the spot when I’m “feeling it”.

Anyhow, you may be quite different or think me crazy (both may be fully true!) but God so often “steps out of the shadows” in my life just this way. I can do nothing (of real value) without Him and His Word threads both truth and humility throughout it’s pages. If you look for these in The Bible you’ll find them everywhere.

What you often do not find is that humans, though having capacity for both, seek after them and especially as a package deal. Frankly, I don’t think one rightly separates them.

It is obvious I don’t always get everything “right” and of course I’m in good company world-wide, heh! Truth and humility are always more important than “right”. I indeed believe Jesus died in part, that our wrongs may be forgiven.

Also, we often learn dependence on Him via our own failings.

Lastly, in my personal view and experience, the Author (and Finisher) of both is none other than God for regardless of your faith or none, He continues to convince me “ALL truth is God’s truth.”

Hopefully someone reading this can relate 🙂

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Wisdom From an Elder

I was perhaps 16 when I first heard of, listened to and appreciated Buffy Sainte-Marie. At some point along my hippie path listening to wide-ranging music styles (though playing and focusing mostly on blues, r&b, soul and rock) her folk and activism blend, stage presence and First Nations/Native American sensibilities and convictions took a real part of my attention. It still does.

White folks have long been ignorant of actual Indigenous history. We need to learn and recognize verified truths of the horrors regarding the Doctrine of Discovery and racism for what they were and today still are.

Some who read me may recognize I often use old technology and low-bandwidth approaches to news. I routinely check CBC (Canada) out and here is the lite version (no pics, but you can click to see the full site and article as well as adjoining ones, audio and video) of an interesting interview. My one caveat is I’m not on the same page re. all parts of her complex spirituality (you’d have to research deeper re. her views on spiritual matters), but this woman’s heart and life are in my view worth noting and living out -especially if you care about the lion’s share of issues she has raised and continues to throughout her long career.

Article Link: https://www.cbc.ca/lite/story/1.6601286

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Autumn 2022

Here comes another Autumn! Oh how I love the cool nip in the air, colors of the leaves, even the rains and bits of windy nights!

I realize this is also a time of year that in Canada and the U.S. Thanksgiving eventually comes around -and that it’s a time when loved ones gone well up memories that are not always easy to navigate in the here-and-now.

As I fully expect eternal life with a great many friends and family before the throne of God, for me it’s less of a sad time as the seasons change and morph one into the next. I consider that is what has been right through the ages on earth and one day all will be so Very Well that no more tears, pain, loss or regrets will be part of our lives -in Christ and with one another.

There will be no more separation from the Beloved or the loved by Him.

From time to time I consider the names of various churches in the U.K. and sometimes U.S. and elsewhere such as “All Saints”. Yes. All saints will be together forever. Grace. God’s deep, continuing, can’t earn it, amazing GRACE? YES. Unending.

So I praise God even in uncertain changes over and within the regular, reoccuring changes of the seasons. ALL seasons but that of eternity with Jesus will fade, pass, end, one flowing into the next. That is, until such time as He rolls the world up like a scroll and we are with Him and His forever.

May your Autumn be blessed with the assurance of His presence!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn