Last (I think, heh!) October Tour Update!

SATURDAY OCTOBER 14 GK electric Blues jam with friends, bit of cigarbox git blues too

Rain or Shine:

ChannahonShowFlyer


SUNDAY OCTOBER 15 GK leads worship, brings message Sun. 10:45a.m.

231 W Avenue & Route 55  Shelby, IN 46377 https://www.facebook.com/shelbyindianalighthousechurch

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SATURDAY OCTOBER 21 GK Solo @ Shelby, IN 6p.m.
231 W Avenue & Route 55
Shelby, IN 46377   219.552.0400

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MONDAY OCTOBER 23 -GK @ Cook Co. Jail Chicago

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SATURDAY OCTOBER 28 GK Solo @ Rockford, IL 7pm

Saturday Night Concert Series

FTTW Church 2115 S. Alpine Rd. Rockford, IL

815.519.1581

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MONDAY OCTOBER 30 -GK @ Cook Co. Jail Chicago

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Guns, Safety, Reality

This will not be an easy read for you no matter your position on the issues.

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I shoot, hunt AND favor gun control. Love or hate me from either side of the fence and unless you aren’t willing to think -or are prone to depression and anxiety -read on.

I am fully disgusted with maiming, killing, murder (and there is indeed a sound argument that killing is not murder, but that’s another matter). I do not believe even fully outlawing all firearms  will thoroughly protect people from doing others harm. A very wealthy white guy in Nevada just did and having money and a few contacts (unless living in a police state… which even then doesn’t prove a fail-safe) will get you anything you want including weapons of all sorts, explosive device material and etc..

For what my own views are or are not worth in the mind of the reader, this comes after years of consideration. It comes from my personal use of a LOT of weapons (more detail on my own experience will show up in a future post on the armed forces) for shooting and hunting. Certainly the issues of Las Vegas murders, various terrorist attacks and issues re. police and individual as well as crowd actions have motivated me to write.

I’m not personally convinced either side’s interpretation of the 2nd ammendment to the U.S. Constitution says what either hard-core side thinks it means.

Again, I have more to say re. LEOs (law enforcement officers) and military issues but for now, this.

I do believe there are solutions and even up-sides to the issues, but first one must take honest stock of what IS, not what we wish were not or what is simply -not- possible.

The “Pandora’s Box” has been opened for at least a few thousand years. As country folks say, “The horse has already left the barn”. Try Cain vs. Abel. And it just keeps on going.

In the United States -including every rural spot, small town, urban city and any other space YOU WILL NEVER EVER NEVER do away with every firearm, possibility of making some sort of explosive device or other weapon because human beings can be, can become and often are:

***ANGRY and/or AFRAID and/or MENTALLY CHALLENGED and/or FULL OF ALCOHOL and/or DRUGGED and/or DESPERATE and/or CRIMINAL in their minds, hearts, actions and either physically or with some sort of weapon/s going to “act out”.

Laws can and do help (and you can love or hate me but I’m FOR what I would think sane, balanced, reasoned gun control though I shoot and hunt and have for most of my life.

There will be, if due to nothing but what I’ve just listed above ***, individuals and at times a small or larger group of people doing horrible, tragic and disgusting things with weaponry. Accidents will happen at times, but indeed injuries, deaths will take place and innocent people have been and shall be murdered as a result regardless of the type of person shooting, wielding a knife or something else, or setting off explosives. This happens and shall regardless of their political position, religion, nationality, race or ethnicity. Always has been, always will be. This is a broken, sinful, imperfect world full of broken, sinful, imperfect and indeed *** people.

What happened in Las Vegas and the details of such a sick person and act was -I think it’s worth noting, a single person pulling several triggers in a sardine-like concert gathering of people. Do we not immediately realize NOBODY IN POLITICAL POWER can “fix” such a scenario so it never happens again?

How full of “koolaide” are we that we think ANY police force, swat team or military force can fully protect any people group from such ever happening in the future? There are just too many ways to create explosives, to procure (legally or illegally) weapons and/or explosive devices if one has intent to do great harm to a packed crowd of people.

I am NOT saying there are not legal, sane, workable ways of TRYING to prevent such from happening! I am saying I’m not personally convinced anybody can fully eradicate the possibilities of either an individual or group doing great and horrid damage if they are so inclined.

Do we think for a moment that our own security departments (name any or all of them) are God, have perfect and truly thorough intelligence by which militia groups left, right, Islamic or quasi-Christian or You-Name-‘Em just cannot pull something like a Las Vegas attack off? Can you imagine what several quiet, careful crazies might have “accomplished” [SICK, SICK, FILTHY, DEMONIC] if there had been MORE than just one in that hotel? Are we so stupid as to not know truly crazy enemies of our citizenry and even some Joe Blow across town and a buddy or two haven’t paid attention to this?

A police state is no democracy. Only a fascist wants such, and only if said fascist is in control. I’ll say it again: NO GOVERNMENT of ANY POLITICAL POSITION but outright Nazi-or-Soviet-like subjugation of everyone and all a nation’s citizens can prevent such mayhem and death. Even then history tells us there were and always are “patriots” and/or “partisans” or “traitors” depending on your views… who can and will find ways to bring terror to this or that individual, family or gathered group. Consider the assassination plots on Hitler (there were several) when the SS and Gestapo was ruling with an iron hand and plenty of willing informers. Lesser known are terrorist attacks within the former Soviet Union during NKVD and later KGB, etc., police state control with a massive number of “malcontents” slaving away in Siberia.

Be very careful before you jump to quick conclusions that by a vote or even three of them in several elections, that changing, repealing or somehow fixing one or more laws regarding firearms or chemicals re. explosives are somehow going to fix human nature.

Solutions? Prayer. Protests. Voting. Conversation with grace and serious attempts at LISTENING AND UNDERSTANDING best as you can the other person’s opposing viewpoint. Like it or not we’re all in this together. These days few seem to think patience and continuing the conversation with civility is worth much! That is one of the core problems and we’re all guilty.

In my view there is an ultimate solution that is only as certain as I am, and it comes from personal experience -though such experience is shared by plenty of others:

I fear God far more than any person or group of them. My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ calls me to love my neighbor REGARDLESS… to love him/her “as myself”. He calls me to “respect ALL people” in His Word. My faith in and daily relationship with Him has changed my heart, my mind, my outlook on people, my nation, the world and indeed brings me to forgive people because without that I’m headed for separation from Him, separation from sanity and prone to simplistic, knee-jerk emotions, so-called “solutions” and the *** stuff I’ve listed above begins shooting holes through my relationship with both Him and others.

My faith and respect for God and others fully affects what I do AND DO NOT DO with dangerous weapons.

Even if a majority of people thought and lived as I do these horrible acts will not simply go away never to return. We have to live in the real world while doing all we can to live and treat others with more grace, compassion and actually be willing to compromise -yes… COMPROMISE. We can be sure of this- a certain individual in Las Vegas wasn’t interested in any of these. He had the money and enough of an i.q. to get what he wanted and do what he did.

As many in social media have rightly said, “Thoughts and prayers” are NOT enough!

Jesus commands us to “love one another”, “forgive one another”, “serve one another”. The Risen Christ extends mercy and grace to sinners like you, me and all of us. My aim with most weapons is fairly accurate when I focus and actually DO my part. The apostle Paul wrote “Make love your aim”. That’s what costs us the most. That’s what’s most missing in our world.

God help us because without Him, we are truly lost.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Resting Space.

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Last night after flying home from tour and dinner with Wendi, checking in with family, friends and such, I took a few moments alone.

Our side yard garden is a continual gift. It isn’t the woods where I love to be but a one-minute walk out our door and we have flowers, plants, lots of birds, a couple small trees and even with various street noise it’s rather quiet. Most of the year it’s truly beautiful, often quite lush.

We give our older folks preference there but plenty of younger peeps also hang out with coffee or tea, chat, sharing worship, small groups might eat a meal together. A portable  wood-burning fireplace gets used out there after dark sometimes.

Last night this little oasis right in the middle of a large, sometimes desperate, violent city offered me a peaceful spot to be.

There, with a large iced coffee (been a tad too hot here lately) in a cooling-off evening with a slight breeze from Lake Michigan I was able to chill.

I had a great chat with one of our leadership team and just rested awhile.

I highly recommend any sort of safe place you can either create or find to spend even 15-30 minutes every now and then. We all need times of peace, reflection, prayer, shared friendship and yes, silent and alone moments.

It’s simple -but so nourishing to make good use of what you may already have nearby or might possibly imagine and create: a space for a few minutes of downtime. I believe this is something spiritually, emotionally and even physically healthy people do not regularly neglect.

Something to consider?

As always, thanks for stopping by!  -Glenn

Next Up for GK Touring

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/

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SATURDAY OCTOBER 7 GK @ Chillicothe, IL:

http://www.smallworldconnect.org

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More coming in October…

As always, thanks for stopping by 🙂 -Glenn

 

 

 

 

Perfectionism, Order, Safety?

20150521_115914Not. In. This. World.

And if/when we push ourselves to the extreme view we must NOT be considered less than perfect, that our life/family/home/car/artistic offerings are less than perfect, orderly, approachable by those with the highest standards, we then may feel we’ve achieved a good measure of safety. But it ain’t so.

No matter how gifted, skilled, no matter how hard we work at it perfection is a losing game. Do your best? Yes! But that’s not what I’m talking about here.

Acceptance from others? It comes and goes.

No matter what you think, and absolutely what you say or do, somebody isn’t going to like it. It may be a good number of people will reject and even diss it outright.

Then you might decide like many, to pull your head in some sort of shell much like a turtle hides out of self-defense. Safety at all costs!

Only create, imagine, stretch out, “color outside the lines” (and there are ALWAYS lines whether we place them or others do) and the sense of “order” feels amiss.

Of course there are those times we think we are percieving rejection when we really aren’t inside another’s mind in the first place.

For all their faults (as if all parents don’t have them?!) my Mom and Dad never once squashed my musical creative side. They didn’t jump up and down and tell me how “gifted” I was, and I don’t ever remember them saying they were proud of me, not as a kid or adult. Yet- they allowed me to practice, crank music loudly, buzz out with friends and form, rehearse and play in bands right through my youth. They never DIScouraged me in my creativity. I am so grateful for that!

God gives everyone gifts. We may choose to let them lie dormant, we may think we’re worthless or fully brilliant and in arrogance judge all others as “lessers” because of our own pride/insecurity syndrome. In any case, growing in one’s gifts and using them for others benefit (no matter how one might do so) STILL leaves one open for disappointment.

It is a rare moment indeed when everyone in an art gallery truly loves every offering of this or that artist! The same goes for public speaking, blog or book writing, recording records or live music shows, music styles, dance or tiny house design. YOU NAME IT and you still have to learn to navigate feelings of other’s apparent and sometimes blunt dislike, maybe even disgust at what you brought to life’s potluck.

I don’t expect everybody to dig blues music which is the main style I’m offering. Every person I interact with does not agree with my take on political issues nor the cures for what most of us might agree are problems in our cities or rural areas. Not everyone can tolerate and fewer really LOVE ghost peppers which are some of the hottest peppers on the planet -and I DIG ’em!

It’s a foolish and useless view to decide all peeps have to somehow kiss up to your idea of what “good” much less “Great!” is -in art or life. Plenty people fall into such thought loops and set themselves up for despair, hiding or worse, in bitterness and rage they start shooting.

Nobody gets blessed when you judge the heck out of them -and often this can surfact out of your own sense of rejection and how you’re not dealing with it internally in a healthy way.

As a follower of Jesus I pray about my offerings often. I mean A LOT. I’ve learned to “cast my bread on the waters” and “stick my neck on the block” knowing there will always be someone ready to spit it out… or jerk that cord!

But life in Christ means living and giving, sharing what you have.

I won’t gloss over the need to find at least a few people who resonate with what you offer, but to beat yourself up seeking audience approval will choke the life OUT of you.

Are you looking to serve …or for your own fan club?

Faith, hope and love are always a risk. I’m certain from scripture: God’s Own view, is that loving people is worth the risk of those very people rejecting your offering and even rejecting you in the process.

If it’s about -you- feeling accomplished, I’d say don’t waste your energy. Perfection won’t happen but for brief encounters regardless how gifted or “in the zone” you may get!

If it’s about loving others and being moved, the muse begins to well up and you begin to sense “this might be a blessing to someone in need” I think then it’s time to create.

Any suffering that may come from such work is part of loving others via serving with our offerings, artistic or not. I’ll say it again: others are worth the effort and even the pain.

Things to consider perhaps?

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Recovery? Yes.

So over the past couple decades there have been studies and pundits doing their best to discredit any sort of 12 Step Recovery program and therefore positive results in the lives of those who’ve subscribed to the steps, material, attend meetings, link with sponsors and do the work.

The reality is that a couple of Christians who had personal experience with alcohol and addiction recognized something many apparently do not: healing is not one-dimensional.

This is not merely a “false gospel” or “social gospel”, watered-down, liberal spirituality. It can and at times may well BE that for some, even many in such programs. And then there’s Celebrate Recovery which is about as solidly Christ (absolutely the only Higher Power is CR’s belief) and Bible focused as you can get.

I could not be more aware/believe in and daily experience a reap-sow, personal responsibility concept of living than I already am. And even -I- understand grace which is at core “NOT getting what you deserve” which sadly is lost on many professing Christians. Mercy doesn’t mean accepting everything this or that philosophy or group-think believes, I get that too! And yet… and yet…

You are reading the words of a recovering “sinner” (according to Jesus and His Words), a recovering drug, booze, sex and at core self addict. I have attended, led and been personally helped over the years from various 12 Step groups and meetings. As they say, your mileage may vary, but of course the same is said about following Jesus, about attending this or that local or denominational or house church by plenty of people who can say “I was there and it/they didn’t help me. I felt WORSE. It didn’t work!!”

So… what??!

There are so very many reasons people “experience” marriage and in the end divorce and therefore consider marriage “not for them”, even “useless” and in fact something that brings more outright pain and grief than joy. Come on, look at the divorce rate! So marriage in and of itself is a failure and worthless, even a deception right??!

Thousands of people invest in musical gear, say a guitar… they practice… and their fingers hurt. They don’t seem to “be a natural”, don’t “get it”, and other legitimate concerns take their mind and energies away from committing, learning, actually growing as a guitarist, discovering where the notes are, various chord shapes and so forth. The instrument sits in the closet and neither they nor others benefit from what could have been.

I tire of cheap shots (and I don’t mean toward me personally!) taken by haters, self-righteous and often arrogant and/or flat-out ignorant people who  -in their own life- never had to face demonic, overwhelming desires for X, Y or Z and lost the battle/s. If you don’t NEED help in an area of life, you rarely seek it out. Plenty seek and find. Jesus said something about that. He indeed meant seek HIM… not a program as such. Got that. I follow Him. Daily. Moment-by-moment. Listen to Him, His Word, thank Him, interact with Him. I want to. I’m convinced He wants me to. I am deeply thankful for His grace in any spiritual progress I have and do experience!

AND… I have long worked The Steps, get a devo in my inbox, as well as pray, read the Bible and study daily, confess and am accountable for sin.

I’ve often said I’ve a “master’s” in addiction and I can tell you that all the nay-sayers and words of pundits weren’t around when I was desperate for help. They (you, if the shoe fits) were NOT present in my life and had no power to help deliver me from the incredible hell-on-earth that destructive habits such as mine were chaining me to.

I found help in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I also have found practical help in working The 12 Steps… for close to three decades.

Recovery is a reality. It’s indeed a journey and not each and every moment a destination. A core part and point of focus is humility. That’s something I continue to work on myself. I encourage openness and learning to all reading these words, as without them you may simply end up like this guy:

“A poor yet wise lad is better than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive instruction.” Ecclesiasties 4.13

Pray, get saved, read your Bible, show up Sunday is massive -but not the end of my nor plenty of others story. Some of us need more practical input and at times we did not find it among this or that group of folks. I’m living proof “it works when you work it, one day at a time”.

Don’t be so quick to trash talk following Jesus OR recovery work. You may be shocked when the day comes you’ll wish you hadn’t blown off either.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn