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

random reads

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

Screwtape Proposes a Toast, C. S. Lewis

Palm Sunday and History

Yesterday was Palm Sunday at the FreeWay, which, outside of "the big two" (Christmas and Easter) is probably my favorite liturgical celebration.  I've blogged before about the significant but often over-looked connections between Christmas and the Triumphal Entry, and how each of the Evangelists handle Jesus' monumental victory parade into Jerusalem slightly differently, drawing out different spiritual, theological and political threads of the story.  I've preached three of the four accounts now-- John, Matthew, and Luke-- and what strikes me is how different and yet identical the view from the Mount of Olives was for each of them.

What I'm thinking about the morning-after Palm Sunday today, however, is how vital this prophetically-loaded donkey ride into Jerusalem is for historically embedding both Jesus of Nazareth and, more significantly, God's act of salvation in and through him.  What I mean is this:  Christmas, and the Incarnation that Christmas celebrates, could have happened anywhere and anytime.  Not really, of course:  Paul says it was at just the right time Jesus came, and Gabriel told Mary that she had found unique favor among God, but even without its specific historical provenance in 1st Century Bethlehem, we could still draw from the Incarnation the theological import that we usually want to draw from it: that the Creator came to his Creation to save it by being born in flesh-and-blood and through the flesh-and-blood of a virgin. 

So too, with Easter-- again, not really: there is a historical necessity to all these events, the where, the when, the who-- but then again an a-historical story about the Creator who loved his Creation so much he willingly died for it to heal and save and forgive it would still make sense to us whether it happened in 1st Century Jerusalem or not.  (And, as a test of this, notice how often our discussions of Easter and Christmas are distinctly a-historical (sometimes almost gnostically so).)

But with the Triumphal Entry it's different.  Who cares that Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, really, unless the political and spiritual and historical tensions of this time and place and allowed to shine like a spotlight on his mounted figure winding its way down the Mount of Olives?  At least: we have difficulty feeling the theological significance of this story as a story let alone as a saving act of God, until we discover the profound anti-Rome, anti-Herod, anti-Sadducean sentiment in the City, Jesus' allusion to the previous "triumphal entry" by Maccabeus in 164 BC, the historical iimportance of the Temple that Jesus purges, the ache for Shalom that echoes in the Prophetic Tradition of the Hebrew People, and the tragic fulfillment of Jesus'  own prophetic actions when Titus Vespasian demolished Jerusalem some 40 years later, in 70 AD. 

And whatever else it means, the Triumphal Entry reminds us that God's saving acts are deeply embedded in history:  Jesus' donkey is bearing him, not only into Jerusalem, but into the annals of God's salvation-history, and there he reminds us that our God is a God of history, and that an a-historical Gospel is no Gospel at all.

For the record, here's my sermon from Sunday:

Luke 19:28-44 
"A Prophet, the City, its King and his Donkey"