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

Little Country Church, a song

Almost 20 years ago now, my wife Dani and I woke up one Sunday morning in January, looked at each other and said, "Maybe we should try going to church today..."  It was the last day of Christmas holidays, and the next day I would be going back to my job as an English teacher at the local High School; I had been drifting, spiritually, for a lot of years, and feeling especially overwhelmed by work.  We were expecting our first child, and, like Dani put it, "When this little life starts asking serious questions, we need to have good answers."  

Anyways, it was maybe a convalescence of a lot factors, not to mention the mysterious and inexorable Hand of Providence, leading us, unawares, by our young and uncertain hands, but for whatever the reason, we felt that morning that church just might make the difference we needed in our lives. Twenty years and counting, later, I can honestly say it did, it has; not just the church, of course, but the God we met there.  It was a little country church in a small town in north-eastern Alberta called "Two Hills Fellowship Chapel" (the two hills in questions was the name of the town) and even today when I hear the expression "salt of the earth," my mind goes inevitably to the folks we met there, who loved us and introduced us to Jesus and discipled us in his Ways.  

This is a song I wrote the summer we moved away from Two Hills, back in 2004, when we finally answered God's call on our lives to go into full time ministry.  The country and western style is a bit of a stylistic departure for me, but I felt it was apropos to the subject matter.  I'm sharing it today as the fifth song on my most recent recording project, "accidentals," but also, and more importantly, as a big, thankful shout-out to all the brothers and sisters in Christ at Two Hills Fellowship Chapel.  God used you all powerfully in my life and I am deeply grateful.





There’s a little church in a little town in a place where two hills meet
And though it’s been a while now, it’s in my memory
The wall were framed for fellowship, they rest upon the rock
The foundation of salvation found in God’s Holy Book
And every Sunday morning rings the bell they raised by hand
From the steeply built with care and love as a beacon in the land

I thank God for that little church, where the preacher preached the word
Where the people worked hand in hand , serving their Lord
Where the Old Time Religion still set the captives free
If it wasn’t for that little church, God knows where I’d be

And the preacher in that little church is resolved to know one thing
That’s Jesus Christ the crucified and resurrected King
And he studies to present himself, approved and unashamed
A workman with the word of truth, proclaiming Jesus’ name
For every Sunday morning when that Holy Book is read
Broken hearts were bound up and hungry hearts were fed

I thank God for that little church, where the preacher preached the word
Where the people worked hand in hand , serving their Lord
Where the Old Time Religion still set the captives free
If it wasn’t for that little church, God knows where I’d be

On a snowy day in January, I first walked through those doors
Not knowing one day I’d walk out, changed forever more
For the living stones that built that church were the world’s salt and light
And they showed me how to find my place in the body of Christ
For every Sunday morning my heart softened bit by bit
Until the living water came and saturated it

I thank God for that little church, where the preacher preached the word
Where the people worked hand in hand , serving their Lord
Where the Old Time Religion still set the captives free
If it wasn’t for that little church, God knows where I’d be

And like a lighthouse on a rock, it glimmers in the night
While the tide of darkness rises with the waning light
And like a haven for the broken, wearied from the fight
Where spirits trade their weakness for the power of Jesus’ might

I thank God for that little church, where the preacher preached the word
Where the people worked hand in hand , serving their Lord
Where the Old Time Religion still set the captives free
If it wasn’t for that little church, God knows where I’d be

0 comments: