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

Live Until You Die, a song



I asked a wise man for the secret to his laughter
He said nobody gets out of here alive
So keep on breathing and you’ll find the joy you’re after
Spread wings and take your glorious swan dive

I asked that wise man for the meaning of his tears and
He said pleasure is like chasing after wind
One day it’s with you and the next it disappears and
And you don’t know when it’ll come around again ...

So catch a wave and ride it to the shore
There’ll come a day when you can’t catch no more
So until it fades, just don’t ask why
You gotta live, just live until you die

You had me thinking ‘bout that afternoon in Paris
When the world was young we were so naive
And every misadventure was a gift for us to cherish
And each memory was a wonder to receive

And all the ground we’ve covered and the moments so exquisite
Open roads and mountain lakes and city lights
And I don’t know what’s coming but I sure don’t want to miss it
Take my hand and hold me close with all your might (and we’ll)

Catch a wave and ride it to the shore
There’ll come a day when you can’t catch no more
So until it fades, just don’t ask why
You gotta live, just live until you die

Birth and life and laughter, death
And all the spaces in between
Earth and light and water, breath
And all the faces that I’ve seen
Birth and life and laughter, death
still we have this moment now
Earth and light and water, breath
But you can show me how to...

Catch a wave and ride it to the shore
There’ll come a day when you can’t catch no more
So until it fades, just don’t ask why
You gotta live, just live until you die

God told me to tell you ... a devotional thought

There's this fascinating exchange between Paul and his colleagues in Acts 21 that I reflect on every now and then in ministry, especially when I receive a "word from the Lord" delivered to me by a well-meaning brother or sister in Christ.

Now, I am not a cessationist, and I believe that the gifts of the Spirit are for today as much as they were in the Apostolic era, including the gift of prophecy.  Even so, I can't help but notice that in Acts 21, the disciples urge Paul not to go to Jerusalem, out of concern for his safety, and in 21:4 it specifically notes that these disciples were speaking "by the Spirit" in their efforts to dissuade him.

This is especially interesting because earlier, Paul  had said it quite plainly that it was the Holy Spirit who had told him to go to Jerusalem (20:22-23).  The tension increases in verse 21:11, when a prophet named Agabus does this prophetic object lesson, where he takes Paul's belt and binds his own hands and feet with it.  Speaking by the Holy Spirit, he says "this is what will happen to the owner of this belt when he gets to Jerusalem." When the disciples hear this they redouble their efforts to talk Paul out of his travel plans.

So what's going on here? Is the Spirit actually saying opposite things to different people? Are the disciples not hearing the Holy Spirit right on this one, or maybe Paul isn't? Or is the Holy Spirit simply firming up Paul's resolve to go, by telling him not to go through the mouths of other people?

It's hard to say, for sure, but whatever else they do, these verses should give us all serious pause the next time someone tells us, "God told me to tell you this..."  It may be true, but what we're to do with the message is another matter.