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

Purple City, a song




Diana, do you wanna come on out and play?
I’ll show ya a little bit of homemade ecstasy
I know ya, that you’re bored and you got nowhere to be
We’ll go there together

Diana, do you wanna come along for a ride?
I’ll take ya to a place where you’ve never felt more alive
It’ll wake ya to all the emptiness inside
We can chase it forever

Purple City, just keep staring into the lights
Looking for Purple City, trying not to lose your sight
Cause the night is young
And the truth still hasn’t hit me
That we’ll lose it when we find it, Purple City

And Tommy, do you wanna head out for a run
On a highway that takes us past the setting sun?
The lights are sparkling on the horizon
We’ll go there together

And Tommy, I think I’m ready to take the leap
Cause falling is better than dying in your sleep
They’re calling, all the things we know we just can’t keep
We’ll lose them together in …

Purple City, just keep staring into the lights
Looking for Purple City, trying not to lose your sight
Cause the night is young
And the truth still hasn’t hit me
That we’ll lose it when we find it, Purple City

Diana, I guess it’s time we headed home
The sunrise is gonna find us both alone
But your heartbeat is still aching in my bones
I’ll always remember ….

Purple City, just keep staring into the lights
Looking for Purple City, trying not to lose your sight
Cause the night is young
And the truth still hasn’t hit me
That we’ll lose it when we find it, Purple City

This Town, a song

I grew up in the small town of Gibbons, Alberta.  Set on the prairies with a population of 5000 and open farmland in every direction, it was not an especially cosmopolitan community to grow up in. It never felt small to me, though, or especially provincial. 

I had the good fortune to go home a couple of summers ago and spend a full day wandering my hometown, some 35 years after the fact, reminiscing and reuniting and rediscovering how truly remarkable this small town was.  I had no clue, for instance, that the freedom to explore the Sturgeon River valley unsupervised for hours on end was a great gift to a growing child's psyche, or that living a stones-throw from every good friend you had gave you a profound feeling of connectedness and belonging.  Growing up in little old Gibbons, I realized, was a beautiful gift from God. 

A year or so later, I wrote this song as a tribute to the Town of Gibbons, and a word of thanks to God for having given it to me, and me to it.  I hope you enjoy, and I hope it inspires you to reflect on your own childhood, and all the things you never knew at the time were shaping you into the grown-up you've become.



We were chasing dragons
With our homemade wooden swords
There in your river valley
At the edges of our world

We were making legends
Out of never ending days
On your forbidden rooftops
In your back alleys

You don’t always know how who you were
Is who you are today
Or how the man that you’ve become was born
In child’s play (oh)

This town was big enough
For the three of us to run around in
Till we were tall enough to ride
With fireworks on the summer nights
While lightning played across the sky
It wasn’t much but it’ll last me till I die

We were chasing lovers
When all the dragons had been tamed
The mystery discovered
And all the heroes had been named

We were forging friendships
Under never-ending skies
Out on your open highways
Under your watchful eyes

You can never say how wounds
Will grow up into dreams
Or how the ground beneath your feet
Is firmer than it seems (cause)

This town was big enough
For the three of us to run around in
Till we were tall enough to ride
With fireworks on the summer nights
While lightning played across the sky
It wasn’t much but it’ll last me till I die

If nature’s brightest gold is our first green
This town will always hold a special place
In the treasury, of my memory (oh)

This town was big enough
For the three of us to run around in
Till we were tall enough to ride
With fireworks on the summer nights
While lightning played across the sky
It wasn’t much but it’ll last me till I die

Warrior Poet, a song

This song started vaguely as a riff on the idea that being a preacher is sometimes like being a warrior-poet, carrying the paradoxical double duty of both comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. It morphed in the writing (as most songs do), and became a much more general anthem for anyone who has been knocked down and kicked around because they didn't feel they could do what it takes to fit in.  Well: whatever it means to you to stand your ground like a Warrior Poet, may it speak to you today.



Oh, you don’t have to hide your scars
You can wear them like a soldier’s silver star
That he brought home from the war
For an act of uncommon valor
And when it’s all been said and done
When every battle’s lost and won
And when the victory’s begun
They will make you beautiful

Cause just when you thought that you were
Down for the count
You turned your cheek
And raised your glass
With perfect nonchalance (and you)

You stared them down like a warrior poet
If you felt fear, you didn’t show it
Through blood and tears you found
The fight was coursing in your veins and you
You stood your ground like a warrior poet
At a loss for words but you didn’t show it
They knocked you down but you will rise again
You’re a warrior poet

So keep your heart upon your sleeve
Don’t let them steal what you believe
And you’ll bring this world to its knees
If you don’t give up the good fight
And somehow you’ll beat the odds
Breaking through glittering façades
While the host of heaven all applauds
As you take it up, your last stand

You ran the gauntlet when you
Threw the gauntlet down
You toed the line
And raised your voice
And took the fight to them

You stared them down like a warrior poet
If you felt fear, you didn’t show it
Through blood and tears you found
The fight was coursing in your veins
You stood your ground like a warrior poet
At a loss for words but you didn’t show it
They knocked you down but you will rise again
You’re a warrior poet