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

Did you hear the one about Lucky Eutychus?

Inasmuch as we're between sermon series at the FreeWay just now, I thought it would be the perfect Sunday to preach a text from my running list of most-obscure-Bible-passages-I've-always-wanted-to-preach-for-the-sheer-zaniness-of-the-text.  It was between the resuscitation of Eutychus (Acts 20:7-12) and the strange case of the Gethsemane streaker (Mark 14:51-52). Eutychus won out in the end, but what to do with Mark 14:51-52 is still simmering on the back burner.

Here's the sermon (with apologies in advance for the sound quality; our audio levels on the recording equipment were a bit off... I wasn't really bellowing the whole way through).

Acts 20:7-12  The Fortunate Fall


Monday Morning Media Round-up

Happy Monday, everybody. In the intrepid spirit of terra incognita I've been exploring some new media these days, and finding no shortage of gems. Like a cyber-Marco-Polo, I offer below some of the very best of my travels for your discriminating consideration:

From the Airwaves:

Seeds, Hey Rosetta!

I heard a track from Hey Rosetta!'s new album on CBC Radio Q, and 15 seconds in I was mesmerized. The whole album has lived up to the promise of that first 15 seconds. While I've wanted to compare it at times to Mumford & Sons, Radiohead, and Arcade Fire, there's something going on here that defies comparison. Every song is an organic, constantly evolving mini-world that becomes something new every 30 seconds. The songwriting reminds me of that line from Heraclitus: "You can't step into the same river twice." Neither can you step into the same Hey Rosetta! song twice, it seems. Oh yeah: and the production is near-flawless.

Unconvinced? Check out one of my favorite tracks from the ablum and tell me I'm wrong:



From the Blogosphere:

Experimental Theology

I stumbled across this blog on the blog roll over at this side of sunday. Richard Beck is a theologian/experimental psychologist at Abeline Christian University, and his work at Experimental Theology combines these two disciplines in fascinating and enlightening ways. I only wish I had the time to explore all the topics tagged in the sidebar (among which are series with tantalizing titles like "Alone, Suburban and Sorted," "The Theology of Humour," "The Theology of Ugly," and "Game Theory and the Kingdom of God").

Strech your mind and heart and check this blog out; and for a starter that's as light as it is heavy, I'd suggest you begin with his playful and masterful analysis of the theology of Calvin and Hobbes.

From the Tube:

The Century of the Self (part 1)

This four-part BBC documentary by award winning film-maker Adam Curtis traces the fascinating and often chilling story of Freud's influence on the shape of American culture. My friend Jon Coutts had posted a link to another Adam Curtis doc. called All Watched over by Machines of Loving Grace and after watching it I was hungry for more. A few Wikipedia searches and youtube clicks later, I was watching this one. I'm only 1/2 through it, but already my mind is surging. Give it a watch.

A Sermon for Pentecost Sunday

Acts 2:42-47.  The Church that Plays together...



Commencement

Matthew 28:16-20.  Commencement


37 Good Things

Last week was my 37th birthday.  This time last year I composed a list of "36 reasons I'm glad to be alive" and I thought a similar post for the big 3-7 might be apropos.  Reminders of reasons to love life, after all, might be first on the list.

1.  Sunshine in June
2.  The smell of a Russian Olive tree off in the distance
3.  Camping
4.  Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway
5.  People watching at the Y
6.  U2's Achtung Baby
7.  Q on CBC Radio 1
8.  Dead Poets Society
9.  Officiating at Weddings
10.  That dusty old book-page smell that hangs about
        your face when you're reading an old book
11.  Settlers of Catan
12. Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 "Emperor"
13.  Playing djembe on the worship team
14.  Building "Thomas the Train" tracks with a child
15.  Reading out loud to each other as a family
16.  Memories of backpacking through Europe
17.  Maps
18.  Cumin
19. Watching my son become a man
20.  Canola fields and blue sky
21.  Cool, humid mornings that promise to become
        a scorcher of day
22.  C. S. Lewis books 
23.  Playing Lost Heir with mom and dad
24.  Stumbling across a forgotten piece of one's own juvenilia.
25.  Family movie nights
26.  Rainy afternoons
27.  Walks in the forest park around the corner from our house
28.  Teaching
29.  Eating with chopsticks
30.  The Breastplate of St. Patrick (the prayer and the Irish hymn)
31.  Strong coffeee
32.  Watching home videos on New Years Eve
33.  Dancing with my kids
34.  Fresh garden potatoes with dill
35.  Stationary
36.  Words whose form and meaning are as close
         together as possible-- like sesquipadalian and tintinnabular
37.  Moments of inspiration