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

Ba'al No Longer, a devotional thought

There's this haunting line in Hosea 2:6 that richly rewards deep meditation and honest reflection.  The Lord's talking about how he intends to restore and renew Israel to relationship with himself, and he says, "In that day, you will call me 'my husband' and you will no longer call me 'my master.'"  I call it haunting, in particular, because the Hebrew word for "master" that's used there is "ba'al," which simply means "lord," or "master," but has gone down in infamy because it's also the name for "Ba'al," the pagan deity who has competed for the hearts of YHWH's people, since the somewhere around the Book of Judges onward.  It gets even more haunting when you notice that the very the next verse uses the word "ba'al" to refer specifically to that foreign god: "I will remove the names of the Ba'als from your lips and their names will no longer be invoked."  

Here's what I think it all means: there is a way of relating to God that is, for lack of a better phrase, "ba'alistic": seeing him as a distant, detached, impersonal "Force to be Reckoned with," who has to be cajoled and manipulated and bargained with if you want to get anything out of him, but who, if he is suitably cajoled and manipulated and bargained with, is beholden to "pony up" and give you what you're asking for.  If and when we relate to God like this--like a sycophantic slave to an imperious Master--we are calling him, in effect, "our Ba'al."  And as far as Hosea is concerned, this is not at all how God is, or how he wants to relate to us, and to come to him as though he were just another "Ba'al," is the most heartbreaking kind of idolatry.  

It's heartbreaking, especially, because relationship he wants with us is one where he loves us and cares for us and communes with us, in the way a spouse loves and cares for and communes with his beloved.  But this kind of relationship just can't thrive if we have a "ba'alistic" view of God, anymore than a marriage can thrive if one partner is always trying to appease the other, or manipulate them into giving them what they want.  

It's important to note that it was Israel herself--the People of God--who had this distorted picture of their relationship with him; they were the ones calling him "ba'ali."  Could it be that it's actually those who have been doing life together with the God longest who are at greatest risk of slipping into this kind of "ba'alism"?  I'm not sure, but at the very least Hosea 2:6 challenges me to take careful stock of my own relationship with God: in the way I relate to him, do I call him "ba'ali" (my master), out of duty and drudgery?  Or do I call him "Ishi" (my betrothed) in delighted abandon? Because it's the later that God desires for us, and its in the later that we really find him.

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