There's a Trick of the Light I'm Learning to Do

This is a collection of songs I wrote and recorded in January - March, 2020 while on sabbatical from ministry. They each deal with a different aspect or expression of the Gospel. Click on the image above to listen.

Three Hands Clapping

This is my latest recording project (released May 27, 2019). It is a double album of 22 songs, which very roughly track the story of my life... a sort of musical autobiography, so to speak. Click the album image to listen.

Ghost Notes

Ghost Notes
A collections of original songs I wrote in 2015, and recorded with the FreeWay Musical Collective. Click the album image to listen.


Recorded in 2014, these songs are sort of a chronicle of my journey through a pastoral burn-out last winter. They deal with themes of mental-health, spiritual burn-out and depression, but also with the inexorable presence of God in the midst of darkness. Click the album art to download.


click image to download
"soundings" is a collection of songs I recorded in September/October of 2013. Dealing with themes of hope, ache, trust and spiritual loss, the songs on this album express various facets of my journey with God.


Click to download.
"Bridges" is a collection of original songs I wrote in the summer of 2011, during a soul-searching trip I took out to Alberta; a sort of long twilight in the dark night of the soul. I share it here in hopes these musical reflections on my own spiritual journey might be an encouragement to others: the sun does rise, blood-red but beautiful.


Prayers, poems and songs (2005-2009). Click to download
"echoes" is a collection of songs I wrote during my time studying at Briercrest Seminary (2004-2009). It's called "echoes" partly because these songs are "echoes" of times spent with God from my songwriting past, but also because there are musical "echoes" of hymns, songs or poems sprinkled throughout the album. Listen closely and you'll hear them.


This collection of mostly blues/rock/folk inspired songs was recorded in the spring and summer of 2015. I call it "accidentals" because all of the songs on this project were tunes I have had kicking around in my notebooks for many years but had never found a "home" for on previous albums. You can click the image to download the whole album.

blogs I follow

Readings, 2020

Readings, 2020
Paradise Lost, John Milton

Adorning the Dark, Andrew Peterson

The Soul of Shame, Curt Thompson

Cure for the Common Life, Max Lucado

Halos and Avatars, Craig Detweiller, ed.

Fool's Talk, Os Guinness

Brendan, Frederick Buechner

The Screwtape Letters

Surprised by Joy, C. S. Lewis

The Pilgrim's Regress, C. S. Lewis

Becoming Whole, Brian Finkert and Kelly Kapic

Real Sex, Lauren Winner

Out of the Silent Planet, C. S. Lewis

Voyage to Venus, C. S. Lewis

random reads

In the Logic of the Heart

In math, a surd is an irrational number (the root of an integer), or an unresolved mathematical expression. In linguistics a surd is a voiceless consonant. I like this word, "surd"; it has a ring to it that's almost as obscure as the numerical and phonetic concepts it signifies. I didn't come across it first in a math or linguistics textbook, however, but a theological one. Theologian Donald Bloesch uses it when he describes the impulse in a certain kind of rationalistic theology that tries to overcome all ambiguities in our experience and knowledge of God, because we just can't tolerate a "surd in human existence."

Something like that.

And something about how the biblical theologian needs to learn to accept unresolvable paradox.

I wrote a song called "Surd" a couple of years ago when I was struggling with a lot of irrational, unresolvable and inexpressible questions of my own about God and faith and ministry. At the time it was a really important heart cry for me; helped me figure out what it meant to accept unresolvable paradox in my life with God. Thought I'd share it here. Speaking of paradox: the guitar part was inspired loosely by The Clash's "London Calling," so you can think of it as a bit of Donald Bloesch meets The Clash.

Surd, in the logic of my heart,
No rhyme or reason help me please I don't know where to start
It's absurd that I don't know who I am
I fear to face the mirror see the child in the man

And I would give you my everything,
if I knew what my everything was
I'm sitting here with my dreams on a string
My heart was not for sale but it got rented for a while
And now I have to use my smile to hide my broken wings

Surd, in the silence of the night
I'm lying in the darkness and I'm trying to get it right
It's that word that you whisper in my ear
I miss it when I listen could you teach me how to hear

And I would give you my everything,
if I knew what my everything was
I'm sitting here with my dreams on a string
My heart was not for sale but it got rented for a while
And now I have to use my smile to hide my broken wings


Jon Coutts said...

i hadn't sat down to decipher the words before. Its surdtastic!