Learning to Swim

I recently read an article about how to stay optimistic in troubling times.

As a young kid in rural Wisconsin farm country during the late 50’s and early 60’s I remember so many hard working farmers and small town people just trying to make it through day after day.

These were pre-pandemic, pre-Internet and long before the most bitter rancor of politicians, countless make-a-buck news services spread as much sludge, horror stories (though often true enough) and algorithms with mountains of click-bait were the daily common fodder.

And yet people got ill and couldn’t afford health insurance, lost their jobs, alcoholism wasn’t at all unusual and on occasion, suicides. Adultery and divorce weren’t unheard of but were less prevalent -or not the norm in those times.

According to the Book of Genesis troubling times began in a garden. Then came a flood -and an ark. Don’t forget… an ark.

One comment from a respondent in the article I read talked about working for a non-profit that teaches gardening to families which provides both food and flowers.

I suggest we all need food and at least some sort of “flowers” including the real ones to “make it through” a lifetime and world that often includes betrayal, bombs, indifference and hard, tragic weather.

I’ve always loved the Great Lakes (huge freshwater inland seas in the north of the U.S.) and recently returned from a trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula which I’ve spent quite a bit of time in over the years including music tours and mission.

Wendi and I stayed at a hotel on the Lake Michigan waterfront. I decided to once again study the U.P.’s history and of course immigration, mining and maritime service included pains, accidents, shipwrecks, stories of rescue and death -it’s all part of life.

When I reflect on the shipwrecks I’ve personally experienced in loss of family, friends, seeing the struggle for survival, addiction issues and various lives full of depression, doubt, lack of the Savior and a sort of tail-chasing to find or create meaning and purpose for life I also remember that we were created for God and others, not merely ourselves.

“In the world you shall have tribulation” said Jesus. “But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” is how He ended that discourse.

When my Dad had a series of operations, our family lived for the most part in a subsistence way hunting, fishing and so forth. I look back at hard but incredibly important lessons, and also recognize the grace of God even during those lean times.

Something that comes to mind is that while in the water over my head I learned to hold my breath, and then surface. I learned early on how to swim.

There isn’t a person on earth who doesn’t “get over their heads in the water” sometimes!

The beauty and wonder is that with Jesus, no matter the depth, we never swim alone.

The One Who formed both us, the deep and shallow waters is THE Expert not only in survival but teaching us to flourish.

May God give you the grace to recognize, believe and walk in relationship with Him.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn


What’s on Your Feet?

If you know me well you already know I favor Crocs or some sort of knock-off like ’em because they’re just so very comfortable on my flat feet. As I rarely have to dress up -and am a musician who gets to be a bit unorthodox, well there you go :)!

I’ve often considered this verse and have now spent a fair bit of time studying it and years practicing. Coming from Paul in context of spiritual warfare and “the whole armor of God” he lists several things, many of them somewhat clearly as defensive and/or offensive armor/weapons regarding our very real spiritual battles and foe. And then there’s:

“…and having strapped on your feet the preparation of the gospel of peace” -Eph. 6.15

You can do a deeper dive with many English translations as well as a breakdown of the Greek words here: https://biblehub.com/ephesians/6-15.htm

What has always interested me is the focus on the Good News (of Jesus) and the word “peace”.

As you dig deeper you’ll find the person of faith engaging in spiritual (and NOT human) warfare is to be established in the peace that can only come from Jesus Christ. Secondly -that is THE peace which the Gospel brings to us.

Further, they are prepared by wearing shoes- and as you’ll find in study, it was common for soldiers to have spikes much like cleats (think of sports teams) which caused them to stand firmly, planted in the ground they were on. In a word, stability -which comes in large part from the peace of Christ in their heart.

Faith in Him is what causes us to stand in spiritual battles -and to continue standing regardless of what the enemy comes at us with.

Lastly, the idea of feet in shoes is that they eventually move. Sharing, proclaiming, living out the Good News of Jesus is core to the life of a serious follower of His.

In light of all this we recognize those who are prepared by knowing, believing and living out as well as proclaiming the Good News are engaged in a battle yet not without armor, not unprepared for the fight.

Let’s face it, there are moments and perhaps days and more where such warfare takes place in the life of the genuine follower of the Lord Jesus.

I often quote Fenelon who wrote “Peace is the will of God for you in every situation”. Paul also said “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.” -Col. 3.15

To stand solidly as well as to move forward when the time is right comes to those committed to “the Gospel of Peace”.

Lastly, there are those who believe fighting “flesh and blood” is the way of Christ and as such often ignore the spiritual battle that Paul, Jesus and others warn about throughout God’s Word.

He calls us to peace and to be peacemakers.

Things to consider for the professing disciple of Jesus!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn


Sometimes it takes years to learn an important lesson.

I’ve always been about action. Study and homework to be sure, but ultimately movement.

On very rare occasions it seems God speak a word to me important to apply and a couple weeks ago that word was simply “Slow down”. No, I wasn’t breaking speed limits while driving at the time, but it seemed such a clear word to me and I do believe He spoke it.

My life has mostly involved traveling, moment, zipping here and there in town, country, overseas, doing concerts, interviews, recording, social media to the hilt and just busy as could be with family, mission and work.

Add bits of rest here and there, short breaks for hobbies and such has never diluted a wide variety of both creative projects, invitations to do all sorts of things in all sorts of places in the wide world and… well you get it.

A line in Recovery is “Our lives had become unmanageable”.

I’d realized months ago that Facebook (3 different pages plus a zillion friends- most whom I don’t know) added to the unmanageability of my time and life, so after the ease of closing my Twitter account decided to do the same with my personal Facebook page. Wow. talk about cutting down on the traffic!!

I also realized I just had to turn down more offers for live shows due to family needs and other callings and responsibilities. I truly hate to say “No, I’m sorry but I can’t” yet have learned the importance and need of doing so.

Only one of me and I can’t be in two places at once 🙂

Continuing to pray a great deal about all decisions and use of time I realized I just couldn’t keep building cigarbox guitars specifically for others as I drive myself crazy trying to obsessively make them near-perfect. I build sometimes and often give them away, but then I don’t have to be obsessive about every aspect of their look, etc..

What all this also opened up for me is better and more sane, selective work in all the social media I do use daily, getting various forms of projects finished and more basic teaching work via which I see a great deal of fruit from.

I suppose some of this comes with age, but the other point is that some folks seem nearly slaves to excitement… “gotta have NEW and BUSY and often BIG AND BIGGER NUMBERS” in what they do -I just don’t care. I’ve just never cared about how many people read, listened to, watched or cared about my work in terms of numbers. Same goes for people showing up at shows where I play.

It’s really about time management which of course also provides a very real relief from stress which we all must learn to negotiate.

Somebody out there a lot younger than I as well as my peers probably needs to think about how they can best apply these things to their own lives.

My sense of hearing and walking with Jesus, doing things He seems to be directing me to really do and the great fruitfulness and peace of such relationship/s and service has been such a blessing to me! I wish you the same!!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Insomnia Sent Packing

A little bit of prose for the sleepless 🙂 As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

ISP -glenn kaiser

domination by dominant thoughts
oppressiveness in obsessions
deliberate deliverance dealings
close-knit true confessions
and came the one Absolver
spikes spoke terror deep
the “it is finished” closure
because all we like sheep
wrapped snug secure in safety
the blessed

Serving Others Realities

Anyone in any field of serving others, offering help to people in need will learn this: we cannot “fix” anyone or every and any issue they face. Further, the individual must themselves be willing to do the often hard work taking the long walk of choices that will establish, then maintain, then progress regarding meeting whatever the need/needs may be. If for whatever reason, a person “doesn’t want to be made well” (a phrase Jesus asked an ill person, “Do you want to be made well?”) there is zero fail-safe, foolproof way of our helping them.

This is equally true about you and I dear reader. If (that’s a super important, MAJOR little word…) we are ready there is hope. If we aren’t- no positive change is ever likely to happen in our life. Fact is, negative, deeper messes happen right at this juncture.

When young and fresh we really do think we’re “bullet-proof”, that “you can do anything you desire to do if you’re willing to do the work” and so forth. In our fallen world, with self-seeking, often stubborn and destructive attitudes, our lack of faith and help and seeking those from and in a relationship to God- what is, is and is unlikely to change if we don’t.

My sense of despair in my early years of addiction and phony “I’m God, we’re ALL God!” schooled me in the horrible art of misery. I blamed so many people but it became very obvious I was making all the key choices. Round and round I went from bad to much, much worse!

There IS hope. I have never found it anywhere other than my Lord Jesus, His Word, among His people flawed as they/we all are, and in recovery work including service to others. “It works when you work it” isn’t merely an empty slogan. Tell you what else: it cannot work if you won’t.

Grace in my relationship to the Lord and others has made healing and change, positive change possible in my life. I’ve lived long enough to learn I’m not my own Source!!!

Things to consider along the path? I think so 🙂

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Morning Thoughts

Just a little “journal” type post today.

Two things came to mind for me this a.m..

Chicago weather has been amazingly excellent, several Spring days in a row with no rain, only a few clouds, bright sun and cool breezes in warm weather!

This morning I arose early to give thanks to God. It was and is a loooonnnnnggggg list 🙂

Getting healed from a hanging-on type of cold with a cough. For Jesus and my dear wife Wendi, the best Gifts anyone could have. For my family, friends, gifts and callings with fruitful service to do.

The flipside to all this is I meet and bring music and messages to incarcerated people all the time, many of whom made -one- bad mistake. Some were in the wrong place at the wrong time, perhaps hanging with the wrong people. Spur of the moment judgment was made and now they sit behind bars, some for many years, others for their lifetime.

I’m convinced the Lord loves each one of them as much as He loves me.

God’s Word clearly says we’ve all sinned and fallen short but there are those locked up who should have never been sent to a jail or prison cell in the first place. On it goes.

I just prayed for a follower of Jesus who along with his wife and family lost a loved one to cancer. Their sadness, sense of loss, admitted and right grieving is a reality and may never go away until they’re reunited in the literal kingdom of heaven but the fact is they are also praising God for the life he had, even during and with cancer and the devastating toll it took on his body.

So there is the praise, thanks and worship to and for the God Who is WITH us but also the reality that (as Jesus told us plainly) “in the world you shall have tribulation.”

I am also totally grateful for deliverance from the many and constant addictions of my past, that “clean and sober” isn’t just an empty or benign phrase but something I experience due to God’s grace in my life!!

So that’s how my day began today.

May God give you and me -eyes to see!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Anchors and Fruit

Mixed metaphors, no?

Anchors keep a ship stable and afloat in storms, offer the needed safety and security.

Fruit is produced via good soil with the right amount of sun, rain and trimming/weeding, grows.

For many decades Jesus’ comments in John 15 and Paul’s in Galatians chapter 5 mentioning fruit have served me well as a grounding, anchoring focus, target, life-calling regardless of the area of service or best attitude involved.

Abiding in HIM regardless of the weather is the anchor too many seem to live without.

Storms come and go but they -do- come into everyone’s life.

I am reminded of God, His truth, his unchanging grace in Christ given to all who follow Jesus in faith by the writer of Hebrews (see chapter 6) in 6.19:

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil…”

The holy of holies was an enclosed space, a place apart, completely shielded from the outside world, totally dark with only one exception: the very light of the Presence of God inside the veil. Jesus Himself opened the way into God’s very presence for all who would believe and follow Him.

The world itself is often horribly dark, incredibly laced with sin, with many sad and frightening fluxuations due to the Fall with plenty of ungodly pursuits by ungodly people seeking personal gain. God is utterly holy, pure, sinless, mistake-free, unchanging and constant -and constantly seeking out those who would draw near to Him.

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” -John 8.12

Where we walk has much to do with -who- we walk with! Moving into the veil with Jesus is the anchor, bears lasting fruit, is the relationship that carries us through whatever the world may bring. He is HOPE for the hopeless.

“Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world”. -John 16.33

May you choose, find, experience Him and the stability and fruit-bearing He alone produces in His Own!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Impossible and Possible

If theologically speaking, according to The Bible it is impossible to –earn– forgiveness and eternal life, if grace is a gift offered in and by love from the One who IS Love, if it’s impossible to deserve such mercy… is it therefore possible we can be conduits of mercy toward others who no more “deserve” or have “earned” our compassion and kindness anymore than we have earned God’s toward ourselves?

I think both are true.

What is impossible for us is made possible due to God’s intervention and our willingness to change from the heart, inside to the outside, facing our own debts and therefore forgiving our debtors.

This, to me, is one of those life-long fulcrums of truth that so many must face but often run from. We’re so certain of our value and worth and another person or groups lack of such -until the Spirit shows up and reminds us “all have fallen short” includes -us-, not only “them”.

A recovery devotional I read daily brought this to light once again recently, the fact that God showed up when we were so enslaved by our addiction, so lost in the fog that only His light mysteriously and miraculously shone through and thus began our journey to healing, wholeness, sobriety.

Grace. In a word, grace. His act of mercy, the sinless One dying for sinners brought sanity, meaning and purpose to millions of lives throughout history.

With all the sins, mistakes, ignorant and sometimes brutal deeds of professing followers of His, I still find no fault in Him. In Him I find the Source, meaning, reason and example of and for a compassion I could never have toward myself much less offer others.

One day at a time. And then eternity with Him and His.

Grace in the Risen Savior Jesus Christ!

I’ll close this with a little piece of prose.

You For me?! -glenn kaiser

the Perfect for the imperfect
the Flawless for the flawed
the Sinless for the sinful
the Innocent for the guilty

surrendering for the rebels
to heal the infected
rejected for the accepted
death for the resurrected

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn