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.

inversions

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.

soundings

soundings
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.

bridges

bridges
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.

echoes

echoes
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.

Accidentals

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

Picturing the Footstool of Christ

A couple of summers ago we visited the Montana State University Museum in Bozeman, Montana. They were hosting a touring exhibit of the treasures of Pharaoh Tutankhamen's tomb, with full-scale reproductions made by Egyptian craftsmen, accurate down to the finest detail.

And here 's where I stopped dead in my tracks: the footstool of King Tut's throne is decorated with stylized illustrations of his defeated enemies. Whenever King Tut sat in state, his court-- and indeed the whole world-- glimpsed this potent reminder that he had literally subdued the enemies of Egypt under his feet.



His sandals add imperialistic insult to political injury: the insoles are decorated with images of Semitic and North African prisoners of war. King Tut couldn't take a step without reminding himself and his empire that Egypt had truly tread down her enemies.

I stood there transfixed for a moment. Ringing in my mind's ear were the words of King David's messianic oracle: "The Lord (Yahweh) says to my Lord (Adonai), sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool."
In the ancient world, it seems, this was more than just a throw-away line of poetic imagery. In the ancient world, apparently, you really did make your enemies your footstool, literally and symbolically.

I wondered about King David, and what they might have drawn on his sandals. Philistine mockers? Assyrian barbarians? Babylonian idolaters? The Lord (Adonai), this oracle says so confidently, will strike through kings and judge the nations. And the Lord himself (Yahweh) will draw the illustrations for the Messiah's footstool.

But then, still transfixed, I wondered about Jesus. What pictures would we see on his sandals? What illustrations adorn the footstool of his throne?

"Death. The fear of death. The Devil," says the author to the Hebrews, the teacher of the early Church whose midrash of this entire Psalm points us inexorably to Jesus. These have always been the enemies of God's people, he says. And this is why Jesus took on flesh and blood in the first place: "so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-- that is, the devil." St. John agrees: we'd see a representation of sin-- the works of the devil. After all, this is why the Son of Man appeared: "to destroy the work of the devil."

St. Paul would agree, too. Only, he'd add, we'd also see a picture of those idolatrous systems of human power that so dehumanize us, making people into things. Because in the cross of his Christ, he says, God disarmed the powers and authorities of this world, leading them captive in his victory parade. With typically Christian irony, Paul might say that on the sandals of God's Christ, we'd actually see a picture of an emperor's sandal all decorated with pictures of the empire's defeated enemies. Imperialistic power itself is one of the enemies of God's Anointed Emperor.

The Devil. Sin. Empire. The fear of Death. Death itself.

With every step of his nail-scarred feet, Jesus reminds us again that he has really tread down these enemies. And he invites us to walk, free and transformed, in the path of those footsteps.