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

The Namer, a devotional thought

One of the things that's always intrigued me about Jesus is the habit he seems to have had of naming people. Take Mark 3:16-17, for example. It says that after he chose the 12, he gave Simon the name "Peter" (Peter is Greek for "the Rock") and he gave James and John the name "The Sons of Thunder."

I've always sort of read this in a sombre way, that Jesus is putting his finger on something truer-than-true about these men. There's probably something to that, but it occurs to me, also, that giving nicknames is actually a profoundly playful thing to do. In the Robin Hood legend, one of the running gags is how Robin Hood renames all the outlaws who join him (Little John, for instance, was John Little before he met Robin). Or remember how Mike Myers kept adding "-meister" and other such playful suffixes to peoples names in Wayne's World? We just watched Big Hero 6, and in that movie, it's Fred, the not-a-care-in-the-world-party-guy who "gives everyone their nicknames." Oh yeah, and in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, it's Michelangelo (the party dude) who assumes the responsibility of giving all the bad-guys their super-villain handles.

To be clear: No, Jesus is not like Mike Myers or Michelangelo or Robin Hood; except, perhaps, in this: when his followers come to him they find themselves creatively, even playfully, renamed.

In my mind's eye I could almost see the twinkle in the eye as Jesus looks at Peter and says, "from now on we'll call you The Rock." And I can only speculate what earned James and John the handle "Sons of Thunder!" (but it's pretty rewarding speculation). Two intermingled thoughts emerge from this imaginative musing: 1) in coming to Jesus something deep and true and essential about who we really are gets drawn out of us, and this is reflected in the renaming of people we see him doing in the Gospels; but 2) there is something profoundly good-natured and joyful and even playful in the way Jesus goes about drawing this out of us.

May we all discover both these things: the Holy playfulness of Christ and in that play, our truest selves.

0 comments: