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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 Thursday Review: David and Little John and the Language of Love

First posted October 11, 2012

A while ago a friend sent me a link to this article at Touchstone Magazine about the language of love and the death of male friendship in our culture.  I find some of the rhetoric a bit unpalatable, especially towards the end, but the overall thrust of his argument scored a touche for me:  our radically sexualized culture has undermined healthy, authentic, and necessary expressions of affection between men, and this has distorted the male experience of friendship.
You can give it a read if you like.  For my part, it reminded me of the final chapter of Howard Pyle's Robin Hood.  If you've never read it, the aged Robin Hood falls ill and visits his cousin, the Prioress of Kirklees, to undergo a blood letting.  Fearing the king's reprisal for having helped an outlaw, she opens an artery deep in Robin Hood's arm, and locks him in an upper room to bleed to death.  When Robin realizes death is upon him, he sounds his bugle horn to summon Little John.  The scene is moving as Little John bursts into the room and, seeing the pallor of death in Robin's face, cradles him tenderly in his arms as he slips away. 

You can give that a read, too, if you like (click here).  I remember weeping real tears over this scene as a boy-- it was the first book I'd ever cried over-- and re-reading it and re-reading it and crying every time.  There was just something so moving in Little John's artless expression of love for his friend on his deathbed.  I didn't know the words pathos or catharsis then, but I'd use them now.

But the point of the Touchstone article, and I think it's a valid one, is that expressions of love like this are old, natural and (above all) platonic; and one of the unfortunate consequences of the modern sexual revolution is that we are losing (or have lost) the non-sexual categories we once had for experiencing and describing them.  If he lived in our world, where love is assumed to include a sexual dimension unless the term is otherwise clarified, Little John would be hard pressed to cradle his dying friend in his loving arms, without raising some questioning eyebrows (or knowing smiles) about his sexual identity.  And a ten-year-old boy would likewise be hard-pressed to shed real tears over the scene.

In case it seems like I'm just blowing smoke here, let me let me point the discussion in a direction where I think there's more at stake than just a good cry over a childhood classic.  In 2 Samuel 1:26, David is mourning the death of his friend Jonathan, and he says "Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women." 

Some interpreters read this line as evidence that the friendship it so poignantly describes was sexual in nature, and that there were homoerotic undertones in Jonathan's covenant with David back in 1 Samuel 20.

Admittedly, this passage raises far more issues than we have space to wrestle with here, but let me at least suggest this: we may lose more than just some old-fashioned sexual mores, if a  biblical man can't tell another man he loves him without brigning his sexual identity into question.  A biblical imagination when it comes to the language of love--and with it the potential for men to express affection and closeness in ways that are affirming of gender and distinctly nonsexual--may actually be on the line here, if David and Jonathan's embrace must be sexual, simply because it was an embrace.