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

That Hideous Strength, C. S. Lewis

Till We Have Faces, C. S. Lewis

random reads

The Wisdom of Qohelet (IV)

Working on the book of Ecclesiastes for the last six weeks or so, it's struck me over and over again how poignantly, vividly and compellingly this 3000 year old book speaks to our world: living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword.

Here's the fourth sermon in our series:

Ecclesiastes 3:1-14. The Time(s) of Your Life


Prayer for the Offering (8)

I haven't posted any prayers for the offering for a few months now, but I know that people check in once in a while on these, and find them helpful, so I thought I'd add some to the archive today. Lately at the FreeWay we've been working through the Book of Ecclesiastes, so many of our offeratory prayers have been written in response to the incisive and rather pointed things The Teacher has had to say about money in this very wise book.


God, the ancient Teacher you inspired once
looked at the way things are with people and money,
and he said: “All our toil in life is for the sake of our mouths,
and yet our appetites are never satisfied.”

And we know Lord, that you meant:
If you’re trying to satisfy your longing for life with things like money, stuff, property wealth— you’re sure to come up empty.

God, we want our lives, as your people, to be about so much more than that—
we want our lives to count for you. So can you set us free, today from working just for the sake of our own mouths—our appetites—desires—wants— and set us instead on the path of working for you in the world.

Make us your servants today, Lord, because we know you’re the only task-master worth serving.

And then, God, can you make this offering here
just one small sign of that life-altering work your doing here in our midst. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

***
God, you give us all work to do:

From the jobsite to the household
From the classroom to the boardroom
At the office desk, the computer terminal, the workbench,
the countertop, the restaurant, the home, the shop—
Where ever it was that we earned the money
we’re about to give today,
you were with us there.

Even the Adam in perfect paradise had work to do—
he was made to till the ground and take care of it.
And so we acknowledge, God that you’ve given us all our work
And you give us daily, the heart, strength, skill and wisdom to do it.

Thank you for these gifts to us.

As we rest from work today, may this offering of money
Be our way of admitting that all we have and all we do
Is really a gift from you.

And with this offering, God , please receive our prayer
For the wisdom, grace, mercy and faith
To be instruments of your peace
in whatever job you’ve given us to do.

We’re going to need this if we’re going to be
fully-devoted followers of Jesus in this world,
Because it’s in his name and for his sake we pray,
Amen.

***

Father in heaven,

Thousands of years ago, one of the wise teachers you inspired looked at the global economy—though it wasn’t called that then—but he looked at it and called the whole project “a chasing after the wind.”

He said things like, “whoever loves money never has money enough and whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.” He said things like, “The sleep of a poor labourer is sweet, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep.” He said things like, “I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth is hoarded, to the harm of its owner, or lost through some misfortune.”

“This, too, is vanity.”

God, thousands of years later we still stand under those all-wise words. And if we’ve been losing sleep over our money, or hoarding money to our own harm, or never satisfied with our income, Lord, I invite your gracious, loving Spirit to convict us of that vanity today.

Set us free from chasing after the wind, and set us, instead, to chasing after the Way of Jesus. With all our heart, soul, mind and strength may we live as his servant-followers and sibling-friends.

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

The Wisdom of Qohelet (III)

Contrary to appearances, I have not fallen into a space time vortex, or been abducted by aliens, or called out on assignment with the British Secret Service. My recent slackness in blogging is due to a much more mundane cause: a sinus infection has been having its way with me, leaving me with little energy for the simple pleasures of life, like musing about love, faith, words and spirituality. I intend to be back at my posting post in the coming days, but in the mean time, let me offer here Sunday's sermon, the third installment in my series on the Book of Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 2:17-26: Running in the Rat Race

The Wisdom of Qohelet (II)

Ecclesiastes 2:1-11: The Pursuit of Happiness?

every day (a poem)

and is this my work to love:
that every day I hear the call
to make of the ineffable
the everyday,
and speak the everyday, ineffable,
and every day to fall, and move,
and lift my eyes to the silent blue
above
and get to laugh for trying?