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

Pangs of Northerness @ 25¢ a Stab?

Just in case my last post didn't fully validate my parking ticket for the nerd-ville parkade, I thought I'd add this list. All that talk about fantasy adventure role playing games got me reminiscing more generally about the video games I played as a kid, games where I felt most sharply the pangs of sehnsucht that I was talking about before.

So: here are the top five fantasy role playing games from my childhood. Anyone remember any of these gems from the 80s?

5. The Treasure of Tarmin, (ca. 1983, Colecovision)

Pretty simple: wander the maze, collect weapons, spells and armor; battle magical creatures and what not as you work your way deeper into the dungeon, looking for the Minotaur and the treasure he guards.

4. Dungeons of Daggorath, (ca. 1982, Tandy)

This was one of the original 1st person 3-D maze exploration games, and still, to my memory, one of the best. The game had three simple features that, for an 11 year-old, intensified the gaming experience to pulse-racing: a beating heart that acted as a health meter (the faster it beat the closer you were to demise); the use of eerie sound effects that warned you about approaching monsters (the louder they were, the closer they were); and torches that gradually dimmed, making it harder and harder to see into the gloom. Not to boast, but after about two years of playing I did defeat the Wizard (and have been sworn to secrecy as to the final incantation that wins the game....)

Gauntlet, (ca. 1985, Atari)

This was by far the best game at our small town arcade, and the mob of kids crowding around just to watch the fortunate four who got there first after school was always so thick that you were lucky just to see, let alone to ever play. WhenI try, I can still hear the unmistakable voice of the Gauntlet narrator: "Elf needs food, badly!"

2. The Legend of Zelda (ca. 1986, Nintendo)
The original Zelda game. Apparently Zelda's a multi-million dollar video game saga these days, but there was something about the Northernness of the original that still has a vivid place in my imagination; and to this day I still remember how to defeat Ganon (lets just say you need a silver arrow).

 1. Dragon's Lair, ca. 1983

Designed by former animators from Disney, this Mother of all Fantasy Arcade Games used groundbreaking laser disc technology to create graphics the likes of which had never before been seen in a video game. The truth is, I never worked up the courage to actually play this game in the arcade, but I would watch, absolutely mesmerized, while others tried vainly to reach the Dragon's Lair. Sometimes you'd hear rumors floating around that someone knew someone who was watching when some guy actually finished the game and saved Princess Daphne. But I never saw the final scenes of the game myself.. They lived only as lost archetypes in the haze of my imagination.

Well, thanks for joining me on this little stroll down amnesia lane. We now return to terra incognita's regular scheduled programming.


Jon Coutts said...

Gauntlet! I'd forgotten about that game.