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

Holiness Then and Now, a devotional thought

You can't study Jesus's life and ministry for long without noticing how often he confronts the prevailing notions of "holiness" in his day, which seemed to focus especially on ritual cleanliness and cultural purity. In 1st Century Judaism, that is to say, the "holy" were, in particular, the "clean" and the "separate," and whatever else Jesus was about, he seemed intent on pulling the rug out from underneath this superficial understanding of what made God's people holy.

We see a prime example of this in Mark Chapter 5, where Jesus performs three powerful healing miracles back to back. First, he exorcises a legion of demons from a man living out in the Gerasene cemetery; then (unbeknownst to him) he heals a woman who has been suffering 12 years from constant hemorrhaging; and finally, he resuscitates a dead girl, the daughter of a local synagogue leader. The thematic thread that ties all of these stories together is the compelling glimpse we get of Jesus, standing without apology or squeamishness, among the "unclean."

Think about it: the Gerasene demoniac is a) a non-Jew, living b) in the cemetery, and c) among the swine-herds, all of which would have made him repulsively "unclean" according to the Jewish customs of the time. Likewise, the bleeding woman have been considered ritually unclean by any 1 Century Jew who knew the Book of Leviticus well. So too the dead girlfor a Jew, contact with a dead body also led to ritual uncleanness.  In one short chapter we come across pigs and pagans, disease and demons, blood and bodies. It's hard to imagine a less-clean travel itinerary, and yet Jesusthe holy, pure, Son of Godmoves calmly, assuredly and altogether unperturbedly amid it all.

Again, what strikes me here is the way Jesus's Kingdom of God ministry so directly challenged the notions of holiness and unholiness, cleanness and uncleanness, purity and impurity that were woven deep down into the religious fabric of his world. And it leaves me wondering: what deep-seeded notions of "cleanness" and "uncleanness" are at work in my own heart, determining who I have contact with and who I don't, who I will embrace and who I won't?

When I start to ask those questions, I feel a nagging suspicion that his Kingdom challenge is as much for me now as it was for "them" back then.

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