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

Soaring with the Eagles/Running with the Bulls

There's an old Christian tradition that connects the Four Gospels of the New Testament to the four "living creatures" that John of Patmos saw in the Throne Room of Heaven (Revelation 4:7). If you remember, a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle all cried praise to the Lord, in a vision that seems to draw pretty heavily on Ezekiel's earlier glimpse of the four heavenly creatures surrounding the chariot of Yahweh, each with the face of a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle.


The symbolic connections here, I suppose, would have been irresistible to the imagination of an early Christian: four cherubim with four faces draw God's chariot in Ezekiel's vision of heaven; later four creatures cry an incessant trisagion around the throne of God in Revelation; and then four canonical Gospels proclaim the Good News about God's love for his creation as expressed in Jesus Christ-- and so there's this old Christian tradition that associates the Gospels with the four "living creatures" of Revelation 4:7. Matthew is the Man, Mark the Lion, Luke the ox, and John the eagle.

And I mention it here because I've noticed that, while the Gospel of John has always been my favorite gospel to read (and I would have rated Luke third or fourth), practically speaking I've preached far more Lukan texts this past year than Johannine (2 to 1); in fact I'd go so far as to say that Luke is my favorite gospel to preach while I often find preaching John a challenge. I humbly confess this here, hoping that all this talk about having a "favorite gospel", or ranking the Word of God like some short list for the Booker Prize doesn't come off as a total act of hubris on my part: it seems I'd read John before Luke, but I'd preach Luke before John.

I'm not sure why this is, exactly, except that Luke seems pretty determined to give us just what he promised Theophilus at the outset: a "carefully investigated" and "orderly account" of the Good News (see Luke 1:1-4). So he's always leaving helpful signposts to his "point" in any given passage, dropping key words and other semantic cues like bread-crumbs to help the preacher on his way. John, by contrast, lays out these convoluted labyrinths of words-- about a word, for instance, that was in the beginning, and was with God, and was God, and was with God in the beginning, and was the source of a life that was a light that shone in an uncomprehending darkness and came in grace-filled flesh with the truth to his own who did not receive him... I mean, these are exhilarating to wander, but hard to know when you've reached the end. As N. T. Wright once put it, John just leads us to the top of the mountain and then says: look, on a clear day you can see forever.

Or, as ancient Christian tradition once put it, Luke's the ox; John's the eagle. And I find it's true: preaching John is kinda like trying to point out an eagle circling way off in the blue while we all squint into the sun together ("No over there... no just to the left there... look... see that cloud shaped like an angel?... well that black speck just to the right of it...); whereas with Luke, I'm learning, it's kinda like running with the bulls: just keep every one's feet moving together because he's coming through, and after he passes we'll all feel the thrill having brushed just a bit too close for comfort with very stuff of life.

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