Don’t Label Me??

For a fair number of years I’ve heard and read negative comments about labeling. You know, labeling people, groups, whatever.

It’s likely a very rare and unusual person indeed who has never fallen into this mistake and obvious blunder.

This morning at breakfast with a friend, the question was asked about another friend of his who linked up with a recovery group but seemingly had experienced pain and discomfort in some form via a church (or two). He told my friend he wasn’t interested in linking up with any church.

By now most people understand “church” by biblical definition means an assembly, a regular gathering together of Christ-followers -not a particular group, denomination, certainly not merely a building or a social club.

Ever been to a multi-band festival? Did you think every single band was amazing, killer, the best? You MAY have had such an experience but if you keep going to multi-performance shows you’ll have another one and you’d have to say “No, band *X* or *Y* or *Z* stunk! I don’t care if I EVER see them again!!”

If you met individuals from this or that band do you think it’d be unusual to find some of them are just arrogant jerks, self-important people who seem quite in need of attitude adjustments?

Ever had a lousy experience, maybe even two such experiences with a specific model of car? “They’re ALL like that… total garbage, junk, a waste of money and time!” Yep.

Ever know a family where some of them are sweet, kind and truly cool to be around while some of that very same family are just a pain, misery and trial to be near for even five minutes?

Interesting how we label individuals, groups of them, entire tribes, nations, you-name-it with the same (frankly) IGNORANT, JUDGMENTAL paint job and then take offense when we, our family, our favorite bands and even ourselves get smeared by others!

Yep, justice is hard to come by because it means thinking deeper and being brutally honest about our own sins.

Sometimes we like sin A but really hate sin B, no? Hmmm.

One of the most conditional things Jesus ever said- and one I rarely hear quoted from the Gospels directly refers to others hurting us and our response to the wrong/s done: “Forgive and you shall be forgiven. If you do not forgive others their sins neither shall your heavenly Father forgive you your sins.” (Matt. 6.14, 15) “IF” is a key word in Jesus’ comments to us.

Unforgiveness is the super glue that keeps you stuck to yourself and your misery, the broken lynch pin that wrecks your relationship to God in Jesus Christ.

But that breach -can- be repaired. That’s good news!

We can forgive others with His help, we -can- repent and trust His forgiveness -or continue separating ourselves from Him and His people for the slightest -and often self-centered, ungodly reasons.

I told my friend to be very careful to show respect and honor his friend’s commitment to the 12 step fellowship and work… his sobriety and very life may well depend upon it. Meanwhile, without knowing all the details I am certain his need to be with authentic Christ-followers hasn’t changed -nor in any case, are they anymore sinless (in the practical) than he is.

Baby/bathwater anyone?

Something to think about perhaps?

As always, thanks for stopping by!
-Glenn

Dreams and Navigation

I recently read an article on dreams which mentioned Joseph and the fact God indeed gave him dreams and the ability to interpret them. It was a sound and good piece of writing.

Yet the issue that is often not covered in such musing is the fact that not all dreams come from God.

The old debate between His “perfect” and”permissive” will, or even the two great theologies which at times are in tension with one another, issues regarding human free will over and against God’s sovereign will comes to mind.

Whatever one believes on these issues, all of us have dreams at times. That is, we may have a “vision”, an idea of what we believe God is actually calling us to do. OR and I do mean in a separate sense, we have our own personal desires/will/dream/s of doing this or that, accomplishing whatever it is we want to do.

I am convinced these are not always mutually exclusive -nor are they always mutual! I’m not God and I certainly don’t always hear His voice even when I think I do. Humility? Honesty? Care for Him and His desires being fulfilled via me? Or not?

The Bible is not silent on His call nor on our ability to make choices, sometimes in- sometimes out of- sync with His desires. Not all our desires are automatically in line with His plans.

This is apparent by even a casual skimming of the New Testament letters of Paul and others who often bring correction to God’s  Own people. The Old Testament is fully loaded with such admonishment.

But hey, who needs correction or instructions if one is already perfect? Hello?

Don’t miss that if one is not intent on seeking Him and His plans, one can easily fall into creating a scenario where one’s own personal desires take the place of God’s plans for us.

The results are (to quote Paul’s N.T. words) “wood, hay and stubble”.

My own view is that I’ve surely produced such in my own years of living, no matter how much I read His Word, pray, seek godly and wise counsel from brothers and sisters I trust, and really try to pay close attention to the Holy Spirit whispering or at times, shouting in my ears.

So the issue again and again is that I am reminded of the need for humility and brutal honesty with myself in my own judgments with regard to my dreams, my choices, my steps even in mission and ministry.

Sometimes we fail and made a mistake, a wrong turn, or we desired something so much, so deeply, we just were not open to hearing a different view. Sometimes that “view” was  God telling us “Nada, Nicht, Not Yet” or even “No”. “I have better plans.”

Is it just what I read and hear or is such input rare amongst Christ-followers, speakers and writers in our time? I’m not talking about legalistic joy-killers nor false “lord it over the sheep” “prophets”, I mean do you hear this sort of wisdom as common in Christian circles today?

I suspect we are in a season of such concern for quantity of followers in many local churches and ministries that we are more focused on encouraging people to Go For IT!! Regardless of what “it” might mean.

Of course- nothing new that too many times leaders and others amongst us put heavy burdens and clamp down on people who are creative, imaginative and have real and actual heart and calling from the Lord to stretch out and do something outside the norm. I get that. Hey, I AM that and have been most of my years, but in my case leadership has encouraged me and nurtured me to fly rather than park -all the while encouraging me to really seek, surrender to and follow my Lord Jesus rather than what Bonhoeffer called “wish dreams”.

I -continually- pray He “close doors no man can open and open doors no man can close” (see Book of Revelation) in line with His plans for me and those I affect and influence.

Without such heart I am convinced a great deal more of my life and time is essentially wasted.

MY kingdom is a waste of time.

HIS kingdom and my cooperation with Jesus is about HIS kingdom, HIS calling, will, desires, plans.

I believe it benefits each of us and all those we may influence to seek such an approach in living out our decisions.

Perhaps these things are worth considering as we dream and journey through this world?

As always, thanks for stopping by!~ -Glenn

GK Tour Schedule AUG-SEP-OCT 2017

Pic by Tony Taylor, Ascendent Instruments, Potomac, IL (I named this little cigarbox guitar “Midnight”) !

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MONDAY AUGUST 7 -GK @ Cook Co. Jail Chicago

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SATURDAY AUGUST 12

GK w. friends: electric blues in Medina, Ohio

12:30 PM – on…

Blues & Rock Fest

with:Frank Boyd Jr. Band, Reverend Blues & The Good News Review, Eddie Day, God’s Dirt

Buckeye Christian Assembly

3159 Columbia Rd

Medina, OH

Glenn Kaiser will perform at this one-day Blues & Rock festival. $5 Doors open at 12:30pm. All ages. Bring lawn chair or blanket. Food available for purchase. Indoor location available in the event of rain. Call for exact performance times. Venue FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/buckeyechristianassembly Phone: 440.342.0448

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SUNDAY – TUESDAY AUGUST 13 – 15 -GK @ several Ohio Prisons

 


FRIDAY AUGUST 25 -GK SOLO Blues -Rockford, IL

Benefit for WINTER REVIVAL/WARMING CENTER 6:00 pm

3015 S, 4th St. Rockford Illinois $6 at door

Silent Auction/sellables free dinner included w/ ticket

All procedes to fund our Winter Revival/Warming Center

More info.: 779.423.2736

https://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/APOSTOLICPENTECOSTALSOFROCKFORD


 

MONDAY AUGUST 28 -GK @ Cook Co. Jail Chicago

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SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 2 -GK Solo Blues -and 7 Other Artists, Hillsboro, MO

Jefferson County Fairgrounds
Hwy 21
Hillsboro, MO  63050
 SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 2nd 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM 
Contact us at 636-543-1311 & 636-543-0893

Admission is FOOD! Canned food for the needy will be given to Hillsboro Food Pantry and other local pantries!

http://8bands1day.weebly.com/


SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 3 -GK brings a Message @ Hillsboro, MO

COC- Hillsboro, MO
9:45 a.m. Sunday
4430 Outreach Drive
http://christianoutreachchurch.org/info/locate/
636.789.3901


SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 9 -Glenn Kaiser BAND Blues/Rock Davenport, IA
QCPC 6:30pm (passin’ the hat, no cover charge)
At NorthPark Mall, 320 W Kimberly Rd #510
Davenport, Iowa, IA 52806
563.323.3090  info@qcprayercenter.org
https://www.facebook.com/QCPC1

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SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 10 GK @ Moline, IL
Elim Ev. Covenant 10:30am
GK brings message, GK BAND leads worship
5201 18th Avenue
309.764.6920  elimqc.org


MONDAY SEPTEMBER 11 GK @ Cook Co. Jail Chicago


THURSDAY, FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 14 – 15 -GK Solo Blues in ONTARIO
The Hub, Chatham-Kent, Ontario Canada
-details To Be Announced!

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SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 16 -GK Solo Blues in ONTARIO
2 events in Belleville, Ontario Canada
-details To Be Announced!


SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 23 -GK Solo Blues @ Bangor, Maine
744 Hogan Rd
The Steadfast Church
207.631.1258
https://www.facebook.com/thesteadfastchurch


FRIDAY – SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 29 – OCTOBER 1 -GK Teaching, Music @ North Stonington, CT
Camp Wightman
207 Coal Pit Hill Rd, North Stonington, Connecticut 06351
At the FBC Meridan. CT -Retreat-
September 29 – October 1
-Sep 29 at 7 PM to Oct 1 at 3 PM EDT-
203.237.5529
http://meridenfbc.org/


MONDAY – WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 9 -11 GK @ Long Prairie, MN
-GK, music, worship, cigarbox guitar building workshop
ECC NWC Retreat, Lake Beauty Bible Camp
25766 Hummingbird Trail, Long Prairie MN 56347
320.732.3218
http://www.lbbc.com/registerlog-in.html


SATURDAY OCTOBER 21 GK Solo @ Shelby, IN

(and possibley Sunday… all details TBA)

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MONDAY OCTOBER 23 -GK @ Cook Co. Jail Chicago

 

GK, Many More Near Cleveland, OH!

I admit I’m missing so many dear blues-playin’ friends at the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally this week… BUT will sho’ ’nuff be playin’ electric git, cigarbox git and even a lil’ bass w. my friends including Mr. Eddie Day next weekend. Here’s a taste from the Music For the Soul Stage (Sturgis) when we were there. Eddie and Scotty COOKin’…

Ok, clip #2 is gives you a bit of a sound check from last summer w. Rev. Blues on harp -who w. band will also be jammin’ at this Saturday fest 🙂

Hope to see you in Ohio- scoll down for details, click to trash yer speakers 🙂 As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Sat, Aug 12 @ 12:30 PM — 8:30 PM

Buckeye Christian Assembly, 3159 Columbia Rd. , Medina, OH 44256

One-day Blues & Rock festival. $5 Doors open at 12:30pm. All ages. Bring lawn chair or blanket. Food available for purchase. Indoor location available in the event of rain. Call for exact performance times. Venue FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/buckeyechristianassembly Phone: 440.342.0448

Need Help? My Thoughts

I can do a seminar on guitar tuning and tuners, the thingees that help you get those strings sounding good with one another -but if you don’t apply the info. I can do nothing for you in the area of harmony with a stringed guitar. Do you WANT help? It all starts there.

“His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.”

“Intense love does not measure, it just gives.” -Mother Teresa

This post comes as the result of several recent close encounters with very broken, hurting people. They are friends, sometimes acquaintances whom I either know well or who’ve written me or come up to chat at shows -and who all hurt greatly.

Some have lost a spouse to illness or accident. Some lost one or more children. Divorce, family fights, church splits, job loss, on it goes. They ask me for advice, practical and spiritual help.

Here is yet another overview of my thoughts on these matters.

I’m certainly no professional, but I am continuously contacted by people who via my lyrics, writing or performance ask questions that deal with their personal struggles.

I indeed profess… Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, make no mistake about that. And yet… I am not “paid for my expertise in the medical field” and do not claim such wisdom.

In terms of practical and spiritual advice, I can offer the following in fairly short form:

Living with yourself (sans other people) for many, is a worse trial than living with others regardless of the pain factors in human relationships. Of course, your mileage may vary…

Suicide is the farthest-out and most tragic of all responses to the pains of living in this world, alone or with others. I do not think it solves anything in that I am convinced as The Bible clearly states “It is appointed to humans to die once and then the judgment”. As C. S. Lewis and others have said, we all live for eternity. With whom and where is the issue. There are suicide hotlines, USE them Please!!!

Clarifying- mental illness EXISTS and spiritual answers to bodily functions (including brain/chemical issues) are not 100 percent The Answer for all in every single case. I truly believe in and have seen miracles (and I am one on several levels) yet and stiIl… I won’t qualify my position but to say there is plenty of factual, historical and common-sense evidence that Dr. Luke accompanied Paul for good reason.

Focus -which for many is a super-major task… on the Person of God (Father, Son, Spirit as revealed in The Bible) via prayer, study of His Word, relationship with solid (imperfect…) people who also love and follow Jesus in faith -in Voluntary Accountable Relationships- by gathering together, in both individual and shared prayer, socializing, worship and outreach -all these are HUGE, HUGE, MASSIVE in matters of healing, health, spiritual and indeed emotional and physical growth and maturity.

All this of course depends greatly on your (and my) willingness to show up, to commit and act regardless of our feelings or personal desires in the moment, day or even year.

This does not mean lock-step, toss away your mind, do whatever someone (including me) may tell you. Yet- without solid, growing-in-depth relationships with God and His people REGULARLY, you will find yourself often in a struggle that could have been avoided entirely if not at least graciously resolved. Alone, you often sink. Water-walking means faith and relationship in Him and indeed, those “other messed-up, imperfect people”.

I’m not going to load this post up with scriptures because if you are serious you won’t be lazy, you’ll find them via online Bible study helps, etc., or in your phone app. I have no less than six English versions of The Bible and a Strong’s Hebrew-Greek version in my Android phone… all free. No computer? Libraries offer internet access, and of course there are bibles with what’s called a “concordance” where you can find the verses that plainly state most all of what I’m saying here.

DO YOU WANT HELP?

Jesus Himself asked this question in the Gospels. If you do not, you’re sunk regardless of the issue. Can you believe there IS help? Will you risk faith? “God has given everyone the measure of faith”, Hmmm.

Finally, the two-sided (at least!) reality that I think often gets overlooked re. these considerations:

Either your health or that of a spouse, child or close loved-one or friend can decline to the extent they no longer can hold a job, or due to other legal issues, get medical help, cannot get out to join with other believers in a local church, etc., etc., and their health problems worsen or other issues pile high.

If you are in such a state I fully empathize and do not condemn you- though of course in a loving world, others would offer you practical help, neighbors, friends, church folk, local/federal government, and etc.. Or not.

If that last paragraph gets up someone’s nose on the political divide, deal with it. You can play political shell games until your neighbor drops, I cannot.

Now, this does not mean all of us are responsible to carry -every- burden of all our sick, or self-destructive neighbors -but “love your neighbor as yourself” seems rather clear, no??!

Meanwhile, in my above scenario, a person (happens all the time) writes, phones, talks directly to me as I travel, etc., and they ask for my input. What you’re reading is what I have said and tried to truly live out locally for years.

If I or we (the JPUSA Chicago fellowship I am part of) cannot directly help- and often we do and can, but if not- we network with a load of people and organizations who do and perhaps can. To simply say “Sorry, you’re on your own” doesn’t cut it. It does not answer the real need- spiritually OR practically.

Now if someone is not willing or interested in following through, what can you or I or any group do? Pray. Encourage. Keep walking in love toward them best as you know how!

Being “alongside” someone costs. It often costs a lot, can cost your very life. There ARE times to break ties, to separate, to leave or send someone packing, there really are.

It is very difficult to live in a broken, fallen, imperfect world. It’s hard enough living within myself with my own hurts, needs, desires and pains, and when joined with others closely it can be super difficult. Believe me when I say “Been there, done that”!

At the same time I find The Comforter (God the Holy Spirit) daily. He shows up in a LOT of ways. I have chosen to find (God brought, I searched, two sides of the thing) loving, godly and no-nonsense Christ-followers who I have built and maintained life-long relationships with, starting with my wife and pastors and closest friends.

I would not be alive much less standing and doing what I do in serving people without them along with our flawed but regular application of all I have written in this post!

I do not (at this stage) suffer with great life-altering illness nor am I desperate for clean water, food, clothing, housing as so many on this planet are. I have been mega-blessed and I know it and thank GOD for His grace in my life in all these things!

At the same time, I meet soooo many people who do not experience the same immediate graces I do.

In jails, prisons, concerts, indeed local fellowships world-wide I meet people who suffer and cannot seem to find their way in “the woods”. For them I do what I can, so please consider the points I’ve raised in this blog.

Lastly- like a looped song I repeat yet again: eyes UP and OUT, rather than self-focused is still the very best therapy I have personally found to help me live in daily service and sanity. When I overly focus on the mirror I can get depressed too!!

I’ve mentioned before there is indeed a chemical, medical “clinical depression” that prayer alone will not always “fix”. Seek experienced, professional help and not self-medication -if there is regular, “I cannot cope with this!” going on in your life, please!

“I have finally found the way to live, like I never knew before… In the presence of the Lord”. Indeed, daily, right here on earth.

Bottom line is that without Him I’d be toast.

God give you grace to walk one day at a time.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Finishing Up GKB EuropaTour 2017

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As usual, Carsten and family and each promoter along the journey have been fully amazing! Weather, accommodation and audiences all superb. The band has had a great time and to all who came out in Italy, Germany, The Netherlands and Switzerland THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH!

Roy and I head back to Chicago after tonight’s show in Karlsruhe, what a gift to see our families soon 🙂 Ed and Hilde travel to Denmark and then Norway to visit family and take a well-deserved holiday.

I will remind those visiting my blog re. upcoming shows in a few days: next up electric blues jam w. friends as well as prison sets all in Ohio and after that following a week-long family vacation, a solo set in Rockford, IL and lots more which we’ll post as we get nearer to those dates.

A number of you during this tour asked about my cigarbox guitar music and gits, several sad I didn’t pull one out for sets- GKB is a different gig so… maybe another time. Most of my solo sets are loaded up with blues of that sort and if you stay tuned, you’ll catch me live or recording (working on another this fall/winter as I can make time for such) with cbg’s. I’ve a lot more solo blues shows booked now right into autumn. As you can see, a Swiss friend brought one (his first- cool!) to show me, so great to meet him and see it!

I’ve several posts re. spiritual growth and help re. addiction nearly ready so will begin adding them soon.

Ok, here are some pics from our last GKB tour stops in Switzerland, and at the end coming through France on the way back to the last German show. And there are some AMAZING pics and a 360 from our set at Imfluss Festival on (actually -in-) the Rhine River in Basel, Switzerland we’d love you to see. Scroll down at the GKB Facebook site for all that: https://www.facebook.com/glennkaiserband

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We thank our Lord Jesus for His continuing grace and so many of you for your kind hearts, good after-show chats and connecting. Hope your summer is a good one!

As always, thanks for stopping by 🙂 -Glenn