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

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

Saturday Morning Sermons (I)

Through the summer our church worked its way through some of the missionary stories in the Book of Acts.  I've been finding this book more and more compelling every time I come to it, and truth be told, it's taken me into some real terra incognita in my own preaching ministry this summer. 

Recordings of all our sermons are posted on our website, so rather than simply reduplicating the effort, I thought I'd post some short excerpts from individual sermons over the next few Saturdays-- a little spiritual food for thought to start your weekend off (and if it's only whetted your appetite, a link to the entire sermon is included below).

For starters, here's a snippet from a sermon on Acts 7:54-8:3, the Martyrdom of Stephen (July 29, 2012):
When you read closely, you’ll notice that the author has recorded Stephen's story very carefully, to show that his life is following the pattern of Christ’s life—I mean: Stephen’s story is shaped to look like Jesus’s story; and almost every detail here has been carefully worded so that it sounds hauntingly like the life and death of Jesus.

Let me explain.

I already pointed out how verse 55 says that Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit and saw heaven standing open, right? Well: over in Luke 3:21-22, it says that when Jesus was baptized at the start of his ministry, as he was coming up out of the water he saw heaven standing open and the Spirit of God coming down on him in the form of a dove.

Coincidence? Maybe, but then, in verse 58, it says that they dragged Stephen out of the city to kill him. So: in Luke 4, after Jesus’ first ever sermon, it says that the people were so furious that the dragged him out of the city to kill him (they didn’t kill him that day, of course, but both Acts 7:58 and Luke 4 use the exact same phrase to describe the scene).

And that, too, might be a coincidence, but then in verse 59, just before he dies, Stephen looks into heaven and says, “Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit.” Anyone remember what Jesus’ final word from the cross was? Wasn’t it: “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit.” (?)

And if you’re still not convinced, look at Stephen’s last words in verse 60. “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”

Sound familiar? I think it’s supposed to. In Luke 23:34, while they’re nailing Jesus to the cross, he prays this prayer: “Forgive them Father, for they do not know what they are doing.”

So: can you add one and one together with me: Jesus was the Father’s Spirit-filled servant who committed his life, body and soul to God, and prayed for the forgiveness of his murderers right to the cross... and Stephen, his faithful martyr, has followed that pattern to the letter.

The fancy-schmancy word for this is cruciform—which just means living a life that’s conformed to the pattern of the cross. And if Stephen’s story has anything to say about being a Christian martyr, it’s that Christ’s witnesses must live lives that look like his: they must be Spirit-filled servants who trust themselves body and soul to the will of God, and commit themselves, life and death, to the ministry of reconciliation. Like Jesus.

That’s the kind of life this story is calling us to pursue—a life conformed to the pattern of the cross— the cruciform life—a martyr’s life.
You can hear the whole sermon here:  Acts 7:54-8:3  "Witness:  Exhibit A"

0 comments: