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

That Hideous Strength, C. S. Lewis

Till We Have Faces, C. S. Lewis

random reads

How One Man Changed the World

One of the courses I took when I was in Seminary was called "Outreach Ministries of a Vital Church." It was primarily about how to engage our contemporary, post-Christendom culture with the message of Jesus. For our final project, we were supposed to develop an introduction to Christianity that presented the faith in ways that avoided the typical "Christian-ese cliches" and "theo-jargon" that often just comes across as so much opaque God-speak for someone with little-to-no Christian background. At the time, I think, I kind of missed the point, and for all my efforts to avoid it, the material I put together turned out to be denser with Christian jargon than I even knew.

That was a number of years ago now, and at the time it was an entirely academic exercise, but since becoming a pastor I've revisited this question: how do we share the message of Jesus with a culture that didn't grow up on Sunday School flannel-graphs, but instead on the one-dimensional caricatures of Evangelicalism that modern media hawks at us? As a second kick at that ponderous cat, I recently put together a seven-week introduction to the Christian Faith called "How One Man Changed the World." Throughout, I tried to present the story of Jesus in ways that avoided opaque Christian-ese.

Last night I finished teaching this course a second time; response has been positive. Some have asked if I could make this material available, and I thought the easiest way would be to post it here. You can click on the picture to the right to download it. I welcome feedback: it could still stand some jargon-trimming, probably, but I think I came closer to answering the question this time.


Jon Coutts said...

Dale I just browsed through this and it is awesome. Will you be my pastor?