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

Feast of Trumpets, a song



Feast of Trumpets (a musical experiment)

[listen]

The Gift, a poem

Some gifts we must receive
Before they can be given us;
     passionate kisses
     and warm embraces
     number high among these.

Others seem to sort of
steal in the giving:
     a long afternoon with nothing
     important to do
     but rest or read
     is such a gift
     as this.

And the gentle but determined
prying loose of fingers, stiff
with too long clutching,
and too hard,
things unneeded and
long since unwanted, leaving nothing
but a promise in their place:
of empty hands healed
and still and blessed and graced--

this gift is a bit of each.

Corpus Christi Carol, a song



Corpus Christi Carol

text based on a 16th Century English hymn;
original setting


[listen]

Lullay, lullay, lullay, lullay
Falcon has born my mate away

He bore her up, he bore her down
He bore her to an orchard brown

And in that orchard there was a hall
It was hanged with purple and pall

And in that hall was laid a bed
That was hanged with gold so red

And on that bed there lieth a knight
His wounds a-bleeding day and night

And by that bed there kneeleth a maid
And she weepeth night and day

And by that maid there rests a stone
Corpus Christi written thereon


Jacob after Peniel, a poem

Did anyone ever tell you
your limp was beautiful
or that it's going to be?

Other men stride into
rooms with all the raw
confidence and numb vigour of
bulls in China shops
(breaking more than
dinnerware with their
untried horns).

But those tender, stumbling
tentative steps of yours--
on healing legs and broken heart--
they tell a story
more beautiful than words:
of wrestling with the un-nameable
One,
clinging in darkness desperate
till he touched you-- blessed
you on the hip--
and you walked away
transparent,
shining in the final knowledge
of who you are.

Did anyone ever tell you
the ungainly gait he
left you with
was beautiful?

They will.

I Have Inscribed You (Isaiah 49:16)




I Have Inscribed You

I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands
I have etched you here on my side
And I wrote your name with the nails of the cross
On my hands and feet that they might never be lost
In the stripes of my back
With my arms stretched wide
I inscribed you, I inscribed you
I inscribed you on the palms of my hands

Look on the hands you have pierced
Fall at the feet whose heel you bruised
Touch the flesh that you tore in your sin and pride
See the blood that poured from his riven side
I was broken for you, it was poured out for you
It was offered to make all things new

I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands
I have etched you here on my side
And I wrote your name with the nails of the cross
On my hands and feet that they might never be lost
In the stripes of my back
With my arms stretched wide
I inscribed you, I inscribed you
I inscribed you on the palms of my hands

Wish You were Here, a song

Wish You were Here




Wish you were here, it's been such a long time
Since you were here, I almost forgot
To leave the light on

I'm running out of wick
And the night is coming on
Nails bitten to the quick
I wish you were here

Wish I was there, it's been such a long time
Since I was there, I almost forgot
To find my way home

I'm running out of wick
And the night is coming on
Nails bitten to the quick
I wish you were here

Readings, 2013

Normally this time of year, I take some time to compile a top ten list of books read in the previous year.  This is partly for the sake of my own reflection, and partly for the sake of recommending good reads to others.  As per my usual practice, then, I'm reviewing my reading list from 2013.  Given the hectic pace of my year in 2013, it should maybe not come as a surprise to me, but it turns out I only read ten books in total this year, making a top ten list a slightly contrived exercise (like the time Glove and Boots did a top-ten list of their favorite single-digit numbers).  I feel only partly justified by the fact that two of these ten books were Jesus and the Victory of God, and The Resurrection of the Son of God, parts 2 and 3 in N. T. Wright's massive series on Christian Origins and the Question of God (They're sort of the Lord of the Rings for Bible Nerds: together they amount to approximately 1300 pages of reading).  Be that as it may, I'm not going to post a top-ten list per se, but for interest's sake, I will list the ten books I managed to digest this year.  Here they are in no particular order:

1.  The Shallows:  What the Internet is doing to our Brains,  Nicholas Carr.

2.  Mentoring Leaders, Carson Pue

3.  Dead Petals:  An Apocalypse,  Eric Ortlund

4.  Idylls of the King,  Alfred Lord Tennyson

5.  Alone Together:  Why We Expect more from Technology and Less from Each Other, Sherry Turkle

6.  Jesus and the Victory of God,  N. T. Wright

7.  The Resurrection of the Son of God, N. T. Wright

8.  Connecting Christ:  How to Discuss Jesus in a World of Diverse Paths, Paul Metzger

9.  With Wit and Wonder:  The Preacher's Use of Humour and Imagination,  Blayne Banting

10.  Lifted by Angels:  The Presence and Power of our Heavenly Guides,  Joel J. Miller