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

random reads

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

Screwtape Proposes a Toast, C. S. Lewis

Prayer for the Offering (4)

These posts of liturgical "prayers for the offering" receive more traffic-- both in online hits and in off-line comments from other pastors-- than I would have ever expected. I never would have expected, either, that I'd find it so challenging and inspiring to write them, when once a week every week I'm forced again to think through the theological significance of those little chips of metal and slips of paper (and blips of light on the bank machine screen) that carry so much power in this world.


For the record here are a few more offeratory prayers we've done at the FreeWay:

Perfectly-Wise God,

We remember how the Book you inspired tells us so bluntly:

“Keep yourselves free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God himself has said ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”

You asked us there, God, to long for your faithful presence in our lives more than any material thing this world has to offer. And you asked us to let your faithful presence in our lives teach us to be content with the stuff we already have.

God, that goes so against the grain of this world we live in, where “discontent” seems to be the only measure of things and “more” the only thing worth desiring.

So we invite your Spirit to set us free from the love of money today, and ask you to give us deep contentedness. Make us fully satisfied in the promise of your unfailing love.

Cut against the grain in us we pray, so that we might give this offering today out of that contentedness; the peace of Christ which passes all understanding.

It’s in his name and for his sake we pray. Amen.


***


God, We think about the all-wise Law that you gave your ancient people long ago.

You told us: When we’re harvesting the land and we’ve missed some of the grain in the field, just leave it there. That way the homeless, the orphan and the widow will have something to gather too...

And when we’re picking the fruit off our trees or grapes off our vine, don’t go over the branches a second time. That way there’ll be something there for the homeless, the orphan, and the widow.

And God, in that all-wise Law, you taught your people to remember: The outcast. The powerless. The downtrodden. And to remember that we were once where they are now. Or we might have been. Or we might one day be.

And you reminded us that wringing every last drop out of life—just for ourselves—squeezing every last bit out of the land—just for ourselves—grabbing and hoarding and consuming– just for ourselves. That’s just not your way.

So God, as we make this offering of money today—in this world where so few of us actually gather grain or grapes anymore—God, can you make this offering of money today a reminder of those very same things?

And then, God, can you give us the wisdom we’ll need to use this money in your mission in the world: to include the outcast, to lift up the powerless, to defend the downtrodden. And to show the world that wringing out every last drop for ourselves alone... that not the way of Jesus.

It’s in his name, and for Your glory we pray. Amen.

***


God, In this act of offering today, can you show us where our hearts are at?

Because we remember how your Son Jesus told his followers: don’t store up treasure on earth, where things rot and fail and get stolen. Instead, he said, instead store up treasure in Heaven—imperishable, unfailing, unsteal-able treasure in Heaven— “Because where your treasure is, that’s where your heart will be, too.”

That’s what he said.

So God, can you show us where our hearts are, today, by showing us what our treasure really is? Let this moment here be about more than just putting some money in the plate as it passes by; let it be about discovering where our treasure really is—what we really trust in, and what we really hope for.

And God, if we’ve stored up earthly treasure, as a substitute for heavenly treasure, O God, as hard as it might be to see, can you show us that, too? Because we want hearts fixed on heavenly treasure today: the imperishable hope, the unfailing faithfulness, the unsteal-able love that you’ve offered us in Jesus Christ. It’s in his name, and for Your glory we pray, Amen.


***


God: you taught us that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

So we pray now that you would increase our blessings: give us many opportunities to give, deepen the wisdom we show as we give, and multiply the joy we discover when we give.

Teach us to distinguish between uses of money that enrich life, and uses of money that actually kill the life in us. And save us from making these gifts today a substitute fo the gift of ourselves. Instead, may they be outward signs of our inward commitment: an act of total self giving, for Jesus' sake, in whose name we pray, Amen.*

*based loosely on a prayer found in W. B. J. Martin. Acts of Worship. Nashville: Abingdon, 1960. p. 186.

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