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

That Hideous Strength, C. S. Lewis

Till We Have Faces, C. S. Lewis

random reads

Ah, Youth

A couple of months ago I borrowed Wal-Town from our public library. It's a National Film Board documentary about six activists from Montreal who embark on a cross-Canada campaign against that Walmart box-store juggernaut that you may have seen parked on the edge of a home-town near you.


This ten minute trailer pretty much sums up the whole movie.




Now, I wasn't ready to sign up for the cause by the end of the film, but I thought it raised some important issues about Walmart's response to organized labour, and about the impact of the box-store phenomenon on the common-weal of society. I've shared some tentative thoughts elsewhere about ways our Faith might inform where and why and how we shop for stuff. Wal-town seems to be asking some similar kinds of questions about whether or not the "bottom line" should be our only bottom line when it comes to making decisions about where we spend our money.

But these weren't the issues in particular that stuck with me.

What stuck with me is the poignant and compelling portrait of youth the film evokes. Here are six college-aged young people honestly trying to make a difference: taking on a larger-than-life multi-national corporation with nothing but a sling of optimism and five smooth pamphlets, because they can imagine a world where things are different.

And there's something beautiful there. And there's something beautiful in lines like: "I don't know how to react when people refuse to take information." ""We're gonna stay unless the police ask us to leave..and..uh..thank you." [Customer returning pamphlet to activist]: "You can hand this crap to someone else." [Activist]: "Okay."

I was part of a Youth Parliament when I was in university, where we got together and passed resolutions on issues like fair labour, free education, child exploitation-- where we tried to speak into existence the world we could imagine where things are different. This film helped me see that youthful, world-changing imagination as something beautiful.

It reminded me of the imaginative vision and determination that a real cause can ignite in youth.

And it reminded me of something I heard Tony Campolo say about the church. He was talking about how this generation of youth, more than perhaps any in recent memory, are hungry for a cause... longing for something they can commit to, that will put all their creativity and energy and optimism to the ultimate test. Then he said: if the church looses this generation, it won't be because they made Christianity too hard. It will be because they made it too easy.

As I mulled over the closing credits of Wal-town (six activists, 36 towns, 1 corporation), I started to think he might be right.

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