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

Prayer for the (Advent) Offering

Over the Advent season I've found the offertory prayer more difficult to write than usual. This is partly because the consumeristic spirit of Christmas these days leaves me hesitant to associate Jesus with the gift-getting impulse of our annual, year-end Saturnalia. Full confession: there's a growing part of me that deeply struggles when I hear things like "Jesus is the Greatest Gift of All" at Christmastime, because it leaves me wondering if we aren't really saying, or at least leaving non-Christians with the impression that we're saying: "Not only does Jesus endorse the hedonistic, consumeristic, materialistic frenzy of December, he is, in fact, nothing more (or less) than its ultimate climax."


As I continue to wrestle with this, I thought I'd post a few of the gift-giving prayers we've prayed at the Freeway.


Father in Heaven,

As we pause in the middle of this busy time of year, it seems almost silly for us to say: Jesus is the Reason for the Season. The one who came to give us divine simplicity, pure generosity and holy rest; is he the reason for all of this hectic buying and getting and rushing around?

But God, he is the reason for what we do in this place this morning, because he is your gift of life and love and hope to us. And his presence has always inspired joyful gift-giving in the hearts of his followers.

So when three learned star-gazers followed the omens at his birth and found him lying in the lap of his virgin mother, they gave gold and frankincense and myrrh in humble awe.

And later when he came to eat in the house of a humiliatingly-short tax-collector who’d climbed a tree to get a glimpse of him, that tax-collector gave half of all he owned to the poor for pure joy.

And later still, when he sat in the house of his friends the week before he would be executed, a woman named Mary gave a pint of pure perfume, poured a year’s wages-worth over his feet and wiped it with her hair in deep gratitude.

God, can you inspire that kind of gift-giving in us again?

And as we worship him through our gifts and offerings today, we invite you to teach us once more the divine simplicity, and pure generosity, and holy rest that is your gift to us in Christ Jesus.

Amen.


***

God, as we give our tithes and offerings today,
We want to do it with the all trust and simplicity of a child.

After all, your Son Jesus told us
that we would enter the Kingdom of Heaven
only if we could receive it with the humility of a child.

And so on this second Sunday of Advent, we remember that
Old children’s carol, and make it our humble prayer today:

What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.
If I were a wise man, I would do my part.
Yet what I can, I give him, give him my heart.

Amen.

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