Motives and Success

I discovered something along the journey years ago. It’s that when I wonder what this or that person thinks of something to ask them. And also to not expect them to care or not care what I may think about it.

I don’t mean we shouldn’t care what other’s think, far from it! I’m saying getting other’s attention isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Being approved of by people is often quite different than be approved of by God.

People value you, value your opinion or may think “This’ll be a great argument, sparring match, I can rock this person and/or subject and come out on top. Maybe even gain allies… and a constituency for my writing, music, shows, film, photos, social media, blog sites or business.” This, dear reader, also applies to you and me!!

I also am not saying to never communicate what you think or what you’re doing or believe, rather that sometimes our motives are… shall I say, less than honest about sharing what, when, how and where we share.

I may be the odd person out but after years of recording, interviews, concerts and doing my best to fulfill requests of all sorts from a rather massive range and number of people (it comes with the territory and in my case, years and calling) I laugh (often out loud) at spam-emails and social media sites hyping me “Want to get more gigs? Want to sell more?! Want to expand your audience/clientele/reach? Link with us!”

How much is enough? Just how much is plenty enough and maybe to the extent of overwhelming ourselves?

Here’s a personal example-

I know more about a particular skill than I myself apply in the practical: For a number of reasons I rarely kick a ball these days but could have easily coached soccer (the real football) due to my love of the sport, studies, field experience and game attendance but was always limited in my technical/physical abilities. There were and are other priorities in my life much as I love the game.

More to the point I was never and do not now consider myself a great writer. Sometimes I read earlier and even current stuff I’ve published and cringe as I’m certain a load of truly excellent writers would also cringe having tried to engage with my work. BUT, when years of the same questions came from ever-growing numbers of people about music and music ministry I wrote “The Responsibility of The Christian Musician” which you can find at: Meeting their needs when I was able to (can’t always do this for everyone at all times!!) was the priority.

Someone may have just thought “Hey, he’s doing what he just said he’s not interested in doing!” re. promotion. Not at all. It’s simply the best analogy at hand to express what I’m trying to say… not a genius piece of writing but an attempt to answer a LOT of folk’s questions about my understanding of what’s most important for a follower of Jesus in any sort of music ministry in terms of the core relationships with others, period.

So I didn’t thread that little book with a load of stories which of course I had years of by the time of writing. Everyone knows Jesus used stories and that narratives are the most effective go-to for communicating. I’ve now used a couple in this very post… so of course I get it!!

Note the importance of self-awareness including limited abilities and indeed flaws?

And yet… and still… the “add greater numbers” and “get ever-more attention” and “expand and climb ‘success mountain'” often puts one at odds with God and what I believe to be Bible (His Word, His will) values.

I understand the use of advertisement and online algorithms and do not think them each and all nothing but evil but there is the temptation to do things not because the Lord calls or the Spirit moves us to SERVE others via His fruit and gifts but rather more base and a rather Western capitalistic sense of values begin to churn in our decisions, stewardship of our time and efforts. It is THIS that I often think about when being hounded by adverts and business interests and even those in Christian ministry as per knocking on doors thinking we must do pretty much EVERYTHING we’re being asked to do when nobody but God Himself can, could or should! For that matter, He sometimes says “Wait, not yet” and in other times in effect tells us “No”!

Sometimes I think, even say out loud when I’m alone: “I don’t NEED more gigs, a larger crowd nor bigger barns to store the increase in.” I honestly don’t care and pretty well never have. I would be lying to say I never check online stats and unit sales – mind you, for me that’s about getting a sense of what people seem open to hearing in terms of the CONTENT OF WHAT I AM SAYING not with a view to increasing my “fan base”, numbers of sales or mere ego strokes. I often read through comments to get a sense of who people are, what they think, how they interact with issues to better help me consider what and how to bring content to the table -for their sake-.

God’s incredible grace and calling has provided that my wife and I are comfortable living a simple life with others who share general vision to the extent we don’t require what perhaps the average person in the Western world does in terms of status quo housing, finance and lifestyle props. Regardless, I’m convinced if your focus is Jesus and others (relationship – mission and relationship – mission) numbers can be less the focus.

So there you go, a bit of my internal philosophy -which may sound crazy and is rather alternative, counter-culture to the American Dream.

If people dig my chili, great. If not, also great. I bring to the table what I believe feeds those sheep the Shepherd sends me to. Ok, ok I know sheep don’t feast on chili… but hey… work with me here, ha!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn



John the Baptist had a line I have always related to as it seemed he was losing ground to Jesus on some level of popularity. He simply said “He must increase and I must decrease”. I think it’s deeper than that but in context when asked about the crowds turning more and more to Him over John, that’s my basic takeaway.

It’s always the case of age, mistakes, often illness, individual or group desire that all and each of us who are somehow “known” in where ever our sphere of life, work, talent, gifts, friends and family takes us will at some point on at least some levels, decrease.

I’ve watched, heard and read of so many celebrities who were “in their day” a “big deal” having to face living in the margins. See, this is one of the blessings of living a quiet life, a lifestyle removed from public eye. If you have it don’t feel like you’ve missed anything!!

It’s also the grace of God that when one’s body begins to deteriorate if and as one has genuine loving relationships with others and most of all the Creator we will return to -even our decreasing brings a different sort of increase!

Eternal relationships, eternal life, mercy that triumphs over judgment… Alleluia!!!

John knew who he was. He had his times of doubt yet recognized Jesus as the promised, prophesied Messiah. He stood strong, sickly and sadly became a martyr in his quest to speak truth in love to a fallen Israel and a wicked king -and indeed Jesus increased.

The prophet knew himself to NOT be the King.

Eventually Jesus Himself decreased. Paul writes to the church at Philippi “He emptied Himself” and much more is stated about His sacrifice for us all, that sinful people would come to know the Father in love through Jesus.

Some of my readers are still quite young yet think “I’ve messed up so bad there’s no hope for me” while aged folks sometimes think “Life has passed me by. I had my chance and blew it.” Others figure their proverbial “ship” never came in and look at people around them, perhaps family or friends who seem to have “made it”.

Frankly- so what?! Comparing your self to others is rather useless and often either a matter of trashing self-talk or arrogant judgment you’re of greater value so ought to have the perks and accolades they somehow got. Either way none of us will be measured by others. We will stand before God without such a measurement.

I think the good and practical question is “Lord, what would YOU have me do?” and as it seems He puts whatever service needing doing as well as indicates gifts He gives each of us to serve, steward whatever time and life He gives us in pouring ourselves out. Let GOD HIMSELF take care of the measuring stick, the scales and the sense of value of our obeying Him to the best of our understanding.

It seems to me John’s life was tragically shortened -and the moment he stood before God He gained so much more than he’d lost it didn’t matter but rather all he experienced ultimately served to glorify the Lord and massively bless John for his sacrifice.

Eyes UP and OUT! Let’s move and serve with the time and gifts He gives and recognize losing our life for His sake and the sake of the Good News is precisely what followers, real disciples of Jesus do.

He must increase – I, we… must decrease. His glory is the only glory worth being concerned about.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Share The Road

Do you drive? Do you drive in a city, a large city? Have you had to learn how to do so without driving others on the road crazy -whether or not you’d like to leap out and give them a talking-to sometimes?!

See, driving means sharing the roadway. And being aware of the curb, sidewalks, pedestrians, e-bikes, motorcycles, large trucks, skateboarders, electric scooters and regular bikes too. Sometimes town or city, county or state work crews are out doing their job and you have to really slow down and take care.

In morning and evening people are out walking their dogs.

And on it goes.

There is real danger to yourself and those in your vehicle as well as those around you on streets, highways and back roads.

At night especially during the rut (deer mating season) and in wider bits of time one or more animals may be crossing “out of the blue” right in front of you! Coming back from a Canadian tour one afternoon Wendi and I began to count road-killed animals from Ontario through Michigan and into Illinois. If memory serves there were something like 60 and most looked recent. Night time driving can be an entire matter in itself.

Then there is the weather issue, things like thick fog, heavy rain or snow, ice and black ice on frozen roads, floods, bridges out or deeper-than passable dips on a road now filled with water, intense wind storms and so forth.


Like… “pay attention” to others and what’s going on around you? Yes.


Sometimes yielding is exactly what one must do to keep or make peace or we end up in pieces -or put others in harm’s way.

I’ve had several close calls on the road sometimes due to my own slack attention, sometimes other’s and sometimes both.

Now I ask you to consider this entire piece merely an allegory of life in the wide world and indeed, church world if you’re a professing follower of Jesus.

Then perhaps take time to do a Bible study of the phrase “one another” in the New Testament.

We aren’t on this road all by ourselves you know.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Mexican Snow -prose by gk

I’ve a number of links (right side and down the homepage here) and one will take you to my misc. arts page. Some will also take you to bits of verse/prose I’ve written as well. It’s snowing in Chicago this morning and somehow this piece came to mind, so here it is. I’ll probably add it to the site at some point.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

MEXICAN SNOW -glenn kaiser

Does it ever snow in Mexico?
Twelve states state it does
With climate, beaches, tourist reaches
Few Yankees ever know
On mountain peaks and sometimes cities
Towns and higher fields
Glistening powder lingers
As God’s hand brings the yield

And north of the border
We buy the other kind
While castigating brown-skinned people
Criminals and crime
As if our suited business gangs
Are holier than most
While north, south, east and west
It’s snowing coast to coast

The Hard Listen

If you’re not listening to those with whom you disagree, perhaps maybe even don’t like… you’re not listening.

Consider: every prophet whom God really, truly, actually sent to Israel and Judah brought words the very chosen people of God did not want to hear.

This is not to say every voice and word contains and delivers equal and full truth worthy of application in your or other’s lives, not at all. The issue is listening. It has been rightly said/written plenty that sometimes our “enemies” helped us more than our friends.

See, in getting (Book of Proverbs statements) knowledge, wisdom and understanding, well, these things all take big ears, time, often quite a long time indeed. Hearing, reading, watching, truly listening costs us patience we often don’t wish to apply. We sometimes shy away from study instead running to the “quick fix” as only hanging out with those who agree with us feels more comfortable, comforting.

Now- do I “buy” every rap coming my way? Am I to be in total agreement (sometimes it may seem -any- agreement?) with someone simply because they are created in God’s image and communicate? Of course not!! See, this is partly why I never expect people will always agree with me.

The humility factor looms so very large, the sense of us rather than only me and those I love, the reality nobody on this planet has full and complete understanding about anything as God Himself alone does all figures in to what I’m saying here.

If one’s mental health and well-being is such that breaks from folks and concepts that seem to just torment are needed, I truly get and agree with finding and creating space, distancing ourselves off and on. And yet our tribal and often bunker mentality, living in our emotions and sometimes stubborn-for-the-sake-of-stubborn attitudes torpedo our ability to listen and therefore rightly learn.

Does, did God Himself ever say anything we’d rather not hear?!

By the way, my own conviction of spiritual gifting and calling from Him (evangelist, general missionary service) has shaped my deep commitment to what I’m writing here. How do we love people if only shutting our hearts and ears to them? How do we “make room for one another” even within a local fellowship much less in the wide world unless we are willing to deal with these issues and people -gracefully- though perhaps at times in deep disagreement?

Things to consider along the path of a maturing disciple of Jesus.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn


Wow. Just amazed. God’s grace, provision, revelation of Jesus to me from 18 until today in 2023, His consistent love, decent enough health so far, incredible wife, kids and grandkids, friends, church family local and far beyond… I am truly thankful and amazed.

I honestly never thought I’d be on the planet this long. Addiction and a good many shall I say back in the day less-than-Jesus-honoring friends sharing with them vices that destroy… never ever imagined I’d be writing this all these years later.

He truly restored the years the locust had eaten in my life, grace pressed 100 times more blessings than I have ever earned, deserved or expected would come to me.

I suppose in part due to age and choices like diet, exercise, Bible study daily and a great deal of quiet-time prayer, reading a super-wide range of news, other’s thoughts on broad and multiple subjects, though I still love loud and intense music (and write and play it) the blues -all these play a part for me.

Sometimes complete quiet, stillness sitting with a book, a coffee or tea, outdoors or in, all bring me both continued challenge to grow. Young at heart I think, but hopefully a little wiser. God help me and those I somehow influence!

And PEACE. What a GIFT from the Prince of Peace!!!

Psalm 40.3 He gave me a new song to sing. It is a hymn of praise to our God. Many people will see what he has done and will worship him. They will put their trust in the Lord.

So that’s what I have today 🙂

No matter who you are or what you have done or what has been done to you- I truly wish you the same “peace that passes understanding”- it comes from God in Christ alone!

As always, thanks for stopping by, -Glenn


As a follow-up to what I just posted on “Hippies and Jesus Movement: How?” please consider:

APOLITICAL definition (

  1. : having no interest or involvement in political affairs. also : having an aversion to politics or political affairs. 2. : having no political significance. apolitically.

Though some confuse spirituality with political positions – neither Jesus nor His disciples ever did. Perhaps Simon the Zealot early days… but you get the point.

At the same time who can rightly argue the apostles and many after them were not persecuted and martyred because their faith caused political, social and economic “problems” -or so was thought… for those in political power in their day?

Which old OR New Testament prophet didn’t suffer beginning with John the Baptist -at the hands of those in political power? Did they not prophesy both to individuals and entire nations including Israel and Judah?

Throughout world and sadly, church history leaders in power on many occasions tortured and murdered their spiritual opponents who were often also professing followers of Jesus. Heresy has too often been the dynamite and at least the excuse for such and I cannot sensibly say political power of those “in charge”, leadership people who had/have real authority are not dealing in politics whether or not in the classic sense of voting democracies or simply local church politics.

Do not hear this as a right-wing OR left-wing shout for seizing power as I believe both are too often centered on self, same as within professing Christian circles and churches. I think it also wise and factual to state those without “political position” in or not in any church may as easily be corrupt or corrupted due to the desire for positions which drill holes rather than create sharing, equity, and overall distribution of grace.

Therefore, a total-complete-full separation of political one-up from anything to do with Christians within the churches is in my opinion a side-step from biblical, historical and real-world present day facts.

Do I believe some have used political power as ladders to greater privilege, wealth and control in their little human kingdoms? Inside and outside the churches? Of course! Do I also think pols in democracies work to co-opt Christian churches that their self-serving agendas get accomplished? Yes. Can we serve God and mammon rightly? According to Jesus, flat-out no!

To think we have some sort of spiritual “cloak of invisibility” that does away with politics within or outside the church on earth is in my view at best naive, at worst dishonest but likely often a matter of ignorance and lack of historical study along with the need for common sense. It may sound righteous and spiritual but…

So on to reality here:

We live in a fallen world where political power literally helps and saves human life and equally destroys, kills, murders.

To say we can live an apolitical life is untenable.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2023

This amazing man accomplished much and said so many brilliant things it is difficult for me to choose what to emphasize for those reading. Today as we celebrate him and his love, his fight for racial equality and opportunity I chose this. Paul’s famous phrase “Faith, hope and love” comes to mind…

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I personally believe the God he served was and is the Source of his deepest thoughts regarding both “hope” and the term “infinite”.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Hippies and Jesus Movement: How?

With due respect (and I mean that) to those sacrificing themselves and loved ones regarding the Vietnam War I find rare mention among those who came to saving faith in Jesus in those days mentioning that such was partly how they reached the conclusion to “eat, drink (and drug), be merry (all sex in whatever fashion) for tomorrow we die”.

Part of the sense of hopelessness, despair and spiritual vacuum so many of us felt and truly experienced then was of course fed via broken homes, a broken and largely business-enterprise system running political you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours deals, what Eisenhower called “the military-industrial complex”, plenty of surfaced, blatant racism and certainly sin nature and not only imago dei in us all. And yes, a war many Americans did not believe in nor voted to ensue.

See, when nothing else makes sense and finally life seems meaningless, if anything, searching for love (whatever that really is or means at least to us as individuals) is about all that’s left.

So we hippies headed for spiritual experiences, things like I’ve listed above. The mantra (from Timothy Leary) “Turn on, tune in, drop out” in such scenarios a possible cool freaking option. Only it wasn’t. Nor were eastern and other religious/quasi-religious experiences we flocked to.

If as an old preacher said, “God’s address is at the end of yourself” I reckon those of us who reached it were deeply affected by all this.

Sanitizing the reasons, the forces other than demonic (which I fully believe in by the way) are often not brought to bear in discussions of the mass of hippies, students, street people who came by the thousands to faith in the crucified, risen Jesus Christ and who began to follow Him as their Lord and Savior.

Was all immediately or even later fully “well” with us? Is it now?? Look at your own life, then the churches (and I mean ANY form of supposed Christian gathering) and the other issues I’ve listed above. So similar and perhaps advanced into chains and pains have so many come even today as I write in January, 2023. Consider white suburban housewives and others working legal 9-5 jobs make up a if not the major demographic of opioid-addicted people in the United States.

Following Jesus has always gone beyond headlines, sound-bites, slogans or even church membership. It did in Jesus’ teaching and His example, His daily walk in relation to God the Father and his disciples.

As so many celebrate a sort of 50th anniversary of what I believe the most significant, genuine move of God the Holy Spirit in terms of authentic conversion to Christian faith of the last century, let us not remain ignorant of how it came about.

As I just said, of course God the Spirit moved. We sometimes skip over the practical realities of those days and I think it important to not merely spiritualize what happened.

Individual and corporate sin and injustice are nothing new. They were part of the ferile soil for the Holy Spirit and are so today.

I suggest we at least on occasion take sober inventory of the events that cracked open hard, lost, wandering, wondering hearts in the late sixties and early seventies. As per other times of severe calamities on earth such as war and pandemics, political turmoil and violence, when those things we placed trust in over God Himself are what we think shall save or sustain us fail -and they will… it is the Person of Jesus Christ Himself, resurrected and coming again – Who!

The Living Word Himself IS and has given us true words of life.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn