Goings On :)

As usual, lots!

And tonight I’m at Cook Co. Jail bringing some music.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn


Wind, Moisture, Wet

Many of you realize the horrors of weather and I’m not wishing to allude or offer allegory that the Spirit of God is at core a destroyer -but at times He either orchestrates or allows (being God the Spirit -of God the Son- of God the Father) things to go on in this earth that are intense and which do move humans in our limited knowledge, super limited wisdom and truly limited understanding Him and His ways, to judge -Him- by what He does or allows.

I believe that to be as wrong as it is ignorant of Who He truly is.

Fact is, the One Whom Jesus called “Spirit of Truth”, “Comforter”, “Advocate” and Who brings “all My [Jesus’] Words to your to rememberance” doesn’t sleep. He doesn’t bail, move from the earth, quit, He never ends because He is eternally part of Father/Son/Spirit, the Lord God Almighty.

No slumbering nor sleeping, not now, not ever, the ever-present Spirit moves as per the biblical Greek “wind” and/or “breath” of God He is.

Many of my readers will be aware of crazy February, 2023 weather across large swaths of the U.S. including massive historic snow and rain storms with high winds all across California, not only mountains but even in low-lying areas usually untouched by things like snow.

A friend of mine lives high up and measured 18 inches of snow only half-way through the first round of storms with another to come two days later.

Some peaks in Cali. received over five FEET of snow with more to come.

Does stuff like this happen in such places all the time? Nope. Yet the weather happens always whether we pay attention and notice -or not.

Though I have long believed in climate change, however you think about that doesn’t stop the actual reality of such storms, power-outages and how people both poor, un-housed as well as some of the wealthy are hit and hit rather largely by such events.

Much like the professional weather folk, sometimes we or the experts can fairly well predict or conversely get quite surprised by events.

It’s much the same with our sense of God the Holy Spirit.

There are genuine prophets and prophetic predictions just as there have always been false or merely mistaken people prophesying, no? You and I have alike “missed” and “misinterpreted” things including what we would say are authentic and/or not authentic signs. Let’s humbly admit this. Yes.

But He lives, moves, is always correct, perfect, unfailing!! HE NEVER SLEEPS. He’s never -not- alive, awake, fully knowing about the intimate thoughts, feelings, genuine needs, wants and essentiality of God’s grace and touch in anybody’s life. Read that again please.

You and I may not always be mindful, aware, focused or recognizing this truth, but like the weather as long as the present earth survives and in His case beyond that -He moves and is present whether we sense Him or not… whether we listen, hear, love and obey Him or decline to.

As a modern worship song rightly states- He never stops, He never stops working.

I am DEEPLY thankful for the Holy Spirit and His moving in my life and throughout the lives of others on planet earth!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Humans- Nobody Else?

In his amazing, sound book on Christian community German pastor and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote:

“Because Christian community is founded solely on Jesus Christ, it is a spiritual and not a psychic reality. In this it differs from all other communities.” He goes on to unpack all this in the very first chapter of the book “Life Together”.

The longer I live the more I find myself thanking God in prayer. He has been all He says He IS throughout His Word to me. My personal experience with Him has not only given my life purpose but has sustained me in the many trials and troubles along the path.

Further, I like most all of us have found people who have been gracious, wise and faithful toward myself and my family but NO ONE to the extent and depth He has been and is!

Why not?

Because as He says in plenty of Bible verses and in my own experience, there simply is NOBODY ELSE LIKE HIM. No one.

The idea that I’ve merely imagined His Being and nearness to me, the concept of wished-for mythology of nothing but human construction just doesn’t hold up in my own lifetime of experience.

Psalm 119.151 “Yet you are near, O Lord, and all your commandments are true.”

Again and again I’ve recognized answers to prayer and indeed, even in what seems apparently His silence or even “No, not best for you” situations.

I believe I understand and have long considered and re-considered the disagreements, what is posited as an unscientific and foolish denial of reality based on non-spiritual, rejected “nonsense” of things metaphysical. Such is truly not beyond my ability to grasp -but neither is my daily on-going RELATIONSHIP with my Lord and risen Savior Jesus Christ.

Regardless of the long history and piled-up flaws, hypocrisy and even at times brutality brought into the world by professing Christians and churches I cannot deny my own daily interactions with the One and I am convinced, true God and the truth/s He not only IS but has spoken via His Word (The Bible). At this point I’ve EXPERIENCED Him and them for many decades.

Alas, there are those who will never grasp that the One Who reaches for us, seeks us, knocks on our door is Spirit and not fully comprehended by human wisdom, logic or completely “natural” means. If “supernatural” is beyond us (in one sense it is and in another is not…) we are living in a beyond of our own creation rather than within relationship with Him.

The “Prince of peace” alone brings one the “peace that surpasses understanding.”

Paul in Philippians 4.5b-7 “The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Set the Table!

So followers of Jesus sometimes hear messages on -or read Jesus’ own words about the “abundant life” He promises to those who belong to Him. I believe Him and believe I’ve experienced that abundance most of my lifetime. But sometimes what may escape us is the following.

It’s not only given us out of His love, affection and needs-meeting that He fills us but that we may have in order to share with others.

The concept is simple and yet profound, often profoundly out-of-mind for many claiming to love God and neighbor on the basis of whether we think they’ve earned it. As if ANY of us have simply earned the grace and provision from God due to our own merit experience abundance?! Like, He OWES it to us? I. Don’t. Think. So.

Here’s the principle:

Luke 6.38 “give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap, for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” -Jesus

But from where and WHOM did we get what we have to give? We are not our own Source.

Then Paul’s comments:

2 Corinthians 9.8 “And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.”

Note “share“. The concept is that we not hoard His provision but have it in part to share, to spread around, to give to those in need.

In 2 Corinthians 9.10 Paul states “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.”

MINE is not automatically sinful… but it at times is the enemy of OURS and surely so of THEIRS in the sense of sharing with others what God has given us -not for our glory but out of love and honoring God and helping to meet other’s needs.

Together with the Lord, let us set the table and may it be a large one. There are so many people in need of encouragement, blessing, provision that God wants to bring them through… ahem… you and me dear reader.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Don’t Share the Vision?

As in other’s don’t share yours -or you don’t share their vision?

Whether vision for the church, a band, sports team or workplace, an artist’s colony or interior design of your home or outdoor landscaping -there are a wide range of such shared and not-shared visions aren’t there?

Does that mean we throw away relationships with people? I don’t think it automatically does or always must.

Paul and Barnabas had a severe argument and falling out over whether to take John Mark on a missionary trip. We have indication that Paul linked with John Mark later but it is not clear regarding his relationship to Barnabas. I’ve studied that text in the Book of Acts plenty but regardless of our view of the events Paul went to one geographical locale and Barnabas to a different place.

We all have to admit change in one (or one’s family) geography due to job, health or other factors, graduating or leaving a school, university or tech training space, there are all sorts of reasons -and not all wrong or regarding attitudes or areas of disagreement- WHY we sometimes disconnect from someone we may have once been a lot closer with. Sometimes it may boil down to fluctuating ideas that relate to changes in their or our own sense of “best” path.

This particular blog post came from thoughts I had after speaking about the best and worst parts of serving as a pastor with another brother in Christ. Both of us no longer fully fill such a role and yet live out our varied vision in many ways. Both of us seek to do the gracious will our our heavenly Father best as we hear and understand it.

As we chatted we both agreed what we hated and hate about pastoral work: “Church politics” -as in the fights, fussing and jockeying for position and getting one’s way re. an issue.

I repeated my old mantra, that of the 3 major forms of church government and any hybrids thereof we still have to deal with politics –how to decide, who gets to, how are things actually implemented and followed-through with if at all, what must stay the same and what must change? ALL of these figure in decisions whether in this, that or the other group of people including any form of local assembly. Even in full-on consensus it’s not unusual for one or more folks involved to not share total agreement with the way forward.

When vision is mostly shared in agreement it can happen. When not, nothing much but perhaps greater distance and indeed discord often happen -sometimes eventuating beyond dust-ups to a split-up. In marriages and all other human links these issues are involved regardless.

“Vision” as a spiritual focus is often defined along the lines of a Word from God, prophetic utterance regarding a future matter or calling on one’s life. “This is what we (or I) believe we are (or I am) to do!” sort of thing. Mission statements often include or are accompanied by vision statements. The concept involves core calling, intentions for the future, the path to take, area of work and service. The term “dream” is often used in this sense, the dream you have which includes a sense of guidance or calling on your life at least for a season.

Depending on individual/shared conviction of spiritual gift/s and callings we may or may not share the same vision.

In my view, this is common stuff, part of life in the wide world regardless of interaction with others.

What I find helpful is interacting both with those who share my view and sense of direction as well as with those who do not.

The “iron-sharpening” (from the Book of Proverbs) does bring friction, sparks, heat at times but such helps us much like fire cooking away impurities in the shaping of metal in the sense of a blacksmith.

Oh how painful it can all be, but when clouds clear, the light shines, even beams in a direction and confirmations appear, walking in love, faith and obedience to the Lord’s calling and in sync with our spiritual gifting can and does bring an inner peace even when it seems few share the vision you believe God has given.

Can we -myself, any of us- get it wrong? Of course. STILL: praise God, if doing our homework based on an open heart, mind, prayerfully listening and studying (the Word of God, history, seeking and including wise and balanced mentors offering input) that inner peace even in the storms of the varied relationships is an amazing gift when vision is the issue.

It does come from the heart and then feet saying “I am Your servant Lord. Tell me what You wish for me to do!” In time, in His ways, He will speak, clarify, confirm. Sometimes you’ll have been walking out the vision He gave and won’t recognize you had until later -but trusting Him in loving obedience best as we understand His call is the path.

It isn’t OUR kingdom but the Kingdom of God we are to be about, therefore it isn’t “our” vision but HIS we seek to sense and fulfill.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Communicating Truth, Fear, Obedience, Love?

Having a convo w. a sincere friend who wonders about what Jesus and scripture teaches us about love and the connection between true love for God and others as God Himself defines it in His Word regarding things like sin and obedience. A good and worthwhile concern -and discussion.

Then a deep article by a lady raised in church, deconstructing and who lived in fear of hell, murderers and pain her entire life finally diagnosed and treated w. meds., bi-polar and facing mystery and “won’t ever fully get answers in this life” stuff while still attending church, etc..

BOTH worth pondering.

Taking care with our prayers, thoughts and speaking, writing or preaching to others who live, work and play among us in that their inner pain and indeed need -salvation, healthy spiritual formation/discipleship, medication, sound counsel as opposed to quick-fix demand to conform to our idea of holiness. Yup.

“Preach the Word…” “Teaching them to observe/do all I have commanded… other powerful and sometimes very troubling (or “Of COURSE! Lay it ON ’em!”) stuff in both Testaments such as what I read last night:

Paul’s letter to Titus, chapter 1: “10. For there are many rebellious people, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11. who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of dishonest gain. 12. One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13. This testimony is true. For this reason reprimand them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, 14. not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. 15. To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.”

Whoah. No wonder many avoid Paul’s writing in the N.T.. And yet some glom on to such texts because an entire people-group seems castigated, prejudiced against by a church leader instructing another church leader about that people. “Rebuke them sharply” is the language Paul uses. Then consider the context. He’s talking about self-centered false teachers who “upset whole families” due to their wrong motives. MOTIVE is MASSIVELY important to God and most people. Our failure to always be certain as to another’s motives is also an issue. None of us literally always judges with right judgment. So the humility factor for all on all sides.

Paul might also be judged anti-semitic here except he himself was Jewish and followed the Jewish Messiah. His issue is also clearly myths vs. truth.

Then comes verse 16 which is one of if not THE key issue I have dealt with my entire life as a minister from people who think anyone claiming to be a Christian is regularly an ignorant, harsh and to-be-avoided hypocrite. We talk love and some deliver a message of spiteful sounding rhetoric while often claiming a white Jesus, our white God-authored destiny and of course race doesn’t exist but if it does racism doesn’t…

But as I say above, cherry-picking “rebuke them sharply” (KJV) and blasting the sins of the damned with our “gospel gun” somehow righteously accomplishes “the will of God” in each and every situation, with most everyone all the time? That’s not the context in which Paul writes here.

By the way- you may have come to the Lord in faith by fearing hell, but (“perfect” Gk. “mature, complete”) “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” -1 John 4.18

Fear may bring you to Jesus but it will never bring you to nor sustain you in a love-relationship of maturing discipleship with Him and His people. Please read that again.

Dear reader, if you cannot or choose not to consider such realities in the churches, missions, your workplace and neighborhood, if you continually run from such discussions, not weighing your (my!) own motives and facing the often severe ignorance of what is going on in other people’s lives, how and why they take the views they do about supposed Christian people, organizations and such, well that’s why I write posts like this.

Make no mistake, I’m speaking to myself in all this, to the politically left and right, to spiritual liberals and conservatives, to non-church and church-going professing followers of Jesus.

Jesus absolutely said “If you love Me you will obey my commandments” and meant every word. He also boiled the details down to loving God and our neighbor, yes, enemy, and I posit THIS is what the many details of Scripture are all about.

An un-earned love, forgiveness and kindness with our well-being in His mind and intent with our obedience a fruit, a result, indeed love expressed afterward and in light of His unmerited grace.

Paul also wrote “For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” -Gal. 5.14

The reality is none of us does this flawlessly in each moment. Yet thinking, praying, listening and actually considering our delivery rather than traditional form/s and even personal practices of speaking the truth must be done “in love”. Personal motive-check needed more than the gas gauge of our vehicle…

How well do WE respond to body-slamming language and matching tone of voice? How easily and quickly are WE ready to walk alongside someone speaking down to us in attack-mode? How defensive are WE when being called out in a small group or social media by someone whose argument and seeming attitude is one of conquest, control and demand? Persuasion is not to be confused with manipulation either! Which do we want… which do -we- offer others?

We rarely truly know the hurt and deep torpedoing affect in people’s lives.

This is where what I’d call “drive-by” evangelism in our day is rarely the best course of delivering THE Good News -and it IS GOOD… the BEST. Does it sound like it coming from you or me?

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

The Gift of Hypercritique

Any serious Bible student knows hyper-criticism isn’t a gift of the Holy Spirit.

Oh, discernment is. Wisdom from God and His Word are excellent gifts, and they usually come from long, deep study, foolish stumbles, conjecture, personal opinions God Himself doesn’t always share with you or I… and as humility grows inside us we begin to quiet down a bit.

“When I was a child I thought like a child” says Paul… and of course there are those dripping, negative and self-righteous curmudgeons in the churches (and outside ’em) who cannot offer much encouragement from the firuit of the Spirit and increasing character of God in the fabric of their lives.

How would I know about any of this?!


I had been a lawless, addicted jerk, came to saving faith in Jesus, began studying The Bible daily and attending 3 very different sorts of church fellowships regularly. I went from mostly zero to (in my own mind) hero as for the first time in my life I had a book of words that so amazingly and accurately described me, you, everyone in and outside Christian faith.

The temptation -not every moment mind you… was to “set people right” for those first several years. Often with more heat than light, less heart attitude of humility or with kindness than with blowtorch delivery.

Now some reading this know at times I have and on occasion still do rather stark in-your-face communicating, but the longer I live the less I’m convinced that’s a suitable approach to speaking the truth in love (as Paul wrote). On occasion it may be appropriate, but not as a default, go-to demonstration of God’s love!

If as a believer you get super-excited about John the Baptist “blast-’em” calling out people or are prone to regularly love Jesus’ extremely rare “turning the tables over in the temple” while carrying a sort of “whip” he made I suggest you understand what I mean.

That sort of one-size-fits-all-all-the-time delivery may be more a matter of your own immaturity and what Tozer called “religious irritation” than the Holy Spirit leading you to “unload” on people.

When does human wrath bring forth the righteousness of God? Believe me, I know the scriptures regarding the angry prophets and have been such on occasion. But by default? I’d say that’s often old nature, not the new. Speaking. The. Truth. In. Love. Paul talks about the power God gave him to build them up, not to tear them down.

From all I see in Jesus and the wider whole of God’s Word such pedal to the floor heated delivery too often comes from a place other than the Spirit of God. It’s also rarely received as such. So just what are we doing- being in sync with building HIS kingdom or merely venting our own disgust in the echo chambers of other hyper-critics like we ourselves are?

Something to consider as we interact with others perhaps?

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Sincerely… What?

Most people both consciously and subconsciously want to know how sincere people are. Most. Most of the time. Not always.

Sometimes people want what they want, whatever that may be in the moment or the long term.

Thinking of politics and a wide range of things there are those issues that loom large enough in the “want department” that some may not give 2 cents of care about a pol’s sincerity, the only issue (or two or there of ’em) is that the one they vote for wins and “the h. with how ‘for real’ they are as long as they deliver”.

I mean, the dude at the auto shop may be a train-wreck in their morals and fake smile and “we SOOOOO care for you” but in the end you want your car fixed properly at a fair price, soon, and move down the road. Their personal sincerity or lack of it isn’t front-and-center in your sense of need. You just don’t want them to rip you off. So there’s that.

My opinion is that some of the worst dictators and other despots in the long history of the human race were sincere -and sincerely –wrong-.

Full confession: I drive myself crazy if/when in my own judgment I’m falling into any sort of an “act”. I’ve long held a deep disgust at posing, pretending and “playing to the stands” -but like pretty well anyone reading this, I’ve surely done it at times.

No mystery to anyone who knows me and plenty who don’t, I’ve been sincere and still wrong on any number of issues in my lifetime.

I suspect that’s a super-large club, no?

So today I’m just thinking about this issue of the extreme importance of truth/sincerity as well as the needed humility and grace *I* need to offer to my fellow humans… sincere, correct or flat-wrong… or even at times not straight-up with the “facts” or perhaps not honest within themselves about themselves.

We are all a continuing work in progress.

As a follower of Jesus I trust and also cling to this often:

“I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” -Paul, Philippians 1.6 The day Paul is talking about may not be today… but that day will come.


“Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” -1 John 3.18

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Love in our Heart? Ummm…

“God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” -Romans 5.5

For a load of other English translations: https://biblehub.com/romans/5-5.htm

To see the Greek via an interlinear with translation: https://biblehub.com/interlinear/romans/5-5.htm

From time to time I consider the reality and in my view, sad plight of those who discard, disagree or otherwise refuse faith in the Lord (Father, Son, Spirit) by claiming spirituality, metaphysics are simply non-existent. That is, they carry on with zero concept that God exists and if not from raw data cannot be proved, that it’s a wash to believe any of it.

Few will say so, some will give reason (literally “reason”, pure logic) as to a major “why” of blowing off anything in the realm of spiritual faith and of course this particular matter boils down to THEIR sense of reason and logic. When one is one’s own true god there is no room for another.

No wonder Paul gets tossed as he states and in part quotes from scripture “let God be found true, though every man [person] be found a liar, as it is written, “THAT THOU MIGHTEST BE JUSTIFIED IN THY WORDS, AND MIGHTEST PREVAIL WHEN THOU ART JUDGED.” -Romans 3.4

Note the caps that (NASB) denote a quote from the Old Testament.

The point is that people lie to themselves, to others and to God. Seeking to do away with a God Who judges in utter perfect judgment to Whom all of us will give account, I cannot but follow the logic of many wanting to do away with Him deeming their/our own “superior” judgment.

I know too much about myself, human nature, local, national and world history to believe in human judgment as perfect regarding humanity’s incredible record of flaws and indeed inhumane brutality.

Ok, so something that may be judged as flighty and useless as God’s love poured into our hearts (“What, that muscle pumping blood in my body??!”) by the… the… Holy SPIRIT -when one has decided the evidence in their own life and that of many others including professing Christians they’ve known well and the obvious horrors often perpetrated (note that word) BY people claiming to follow Jesus? Well, why would I believe in spiritual anything?

Only I would not be alive today but for His intervention, His love poured out into my heart/life from the very night He began to reveal Himself to me on many- MANY levels far beyond my ability to imagine and simply make it all up. My addictions were my multiple gods then, answering only to their King and Ruler: me.

I suggest human deity is the ultimate make-believe, the king of all myths, the thing many hold as ultimate truth and reality and I further believe this is core to escaping the dread of a perfect Judge with Whom all of us will ultimately face as per many, many scriptures throughout the Bible.

So of course various forms of textual criticism came into play (“Has GOD SAID” noted early in Genesis, no?) and certainly not all such critique is wrong, bad or mere folly. Sure. I’m ok with some of it. Some.

Yet like those among we followers of Jesus who hold as absolute truth our own personal convictions/doctrines/preferences in interpreting the Book and transmit such to others, does not the very same come from atheists and agnostics regularly? “THIS is where I stand and you aren’t going to move me.” So we have the “evangelists” of unbelief and their disciples just as we have false prophets among the Jews of the First Testament and professing Christians of the New… and throughout history it goes.

“Nothing new under the sun” comes to mind.

What OF this “love shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Ghost”?

It is a truth, an ongoing experience, a “not every moment feeling or deep persuasion” yet over fifty years of interaction with Him something I cannot deny in my life! It is that sense of intimacy with someOne OTHER than myself, Whom I cannot see but yes, sense, feel, recognize the fingerprints of, am fully convinced for a long list of reasons but in particular, by faith.

What atheist or agnostic is not dealing with, interacting in faith regarding what they believe and if convinced of, do not seek to live out in their life?

It doesn’t take a genius to recognize faith in one’s self is not faith in God.

There are several types of love- but the love of God poured out in our hearts by the Spirit which is given us is not something less, but something more and in the end the real love I sought and found in the most unexpected ways from my first moment of believing in Jesus and believing it was the risen Christ speaking to my innermost self- to this very moment of writing over 50 years since. It was a shock that I then believed. It has been my daily experience to interact with Him every day since.

When a living, live interaction with The Other happens over a lifetime it’s rather illogical, unintelligent and downright foolish to construct a reality that. isn’t. real.

The reality of God has plenty of hallmarks. So does the love of God. I will conclude by saying it seems to me THE way we each may experience THAT love, HIS LOVE… is by His Spirit. His love is beyond human love. In fact there is a truth that it is beyond our ability to comprehend in our own finite mind.

Spirit-to-spirit, God’s genuine love for you, me, us? Yes. It’s beyond mere human love and is transmitted differently as well.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn