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

random reads

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

Screwtape Proposes a Toast, C. S. Lewis

The Girl-Queen, the Captive-Conqueror: A Devotional Commentary on the Book of Esther (2:1-10)

The Sunday School readings of the Book of Esther that I grew up with tend to sanitize Esther's story, talking about the search for Queen Vashti's replacement in terms of a "beauty contest" (so, for instance, in the Veggie Tales telling of this story, all Esther has to do is to compete in a talent show). But when you read it in short, 10-verse chunks like this, the very dark, very traumatic thing that's really happening here has time to hit you in the gut. "Let the king appoint commissioners to bring all the young virgins from every province of his realm into the harem in Susa" suggest his advisers, "And let the girl who 'pleases' the king best become the next queen."

 You don't have to read between the lines too much to get what's really going on here, and it ain't no fairy tale.

For just a second, I tried to imagine some ruthless government "commissioner" coming to my door, and hauling off a daughter of mine like so much property, to see if she might 'please' the king. It was too disturbing an image to handle for more than just a second, especially because, when you do dwell on it for just that second, you realize that there are places in the world-- in our own neighbourhoods, even-- where this kind of sexual exploitation is not just a vague story from the distant past, but an all-too-present reality.

This doesn't make for a nice, neat Sunday School flannel graph, of course, but that, I think, is part of the problem. There's a tendency in Christian circles to treat the whole issue of sexual exploitation the same way we tend to treat the sexual exploitation going on in the story of Esther: to sanitize it, or moralize about it, or just pretend it isn't there. In a previous post, I suggested that Esther is a type of the Messiah, a fore-shadow of the coming Christ; today God was saying to me: "If that's true, then in Christ, I stand with the sexually exploited, the powerless, and the abused. I take the plight of all the Esthers of this world very seriously, and in Christ I call my people to do the same.”

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