Friday, December 29, 2006

"Everything Is All Right"

I spoke with my mother yesterday at our Christmas gathering, and our conversation drifted to Dad, and how he would have enjoyed the evening. She told me an interesting thing about the day dad died in the accident in 2002. She had been driving home from town, and felt a sudden exhiliration, and a sense that things were really good now, and that everything would be all right. When she arrived at home ten minutes later, she found dad under the Bobcat, having died a few minutes before.

She did not remember that feeling until she heard my sister-in-law Cathie's story about the morning my brother Grant died of cancer. Cathie had been out in the yard doing some work when she also felt a great sense of exhiliration, that Grant was going to be OK, that he was going to be healed, that everything was going to be all right. Grant was in a room on the sunny side of the house, and had asked that morning if someone could move the ladder that was blocking the window so that he could see the trees outside. Now, Grant had not been able to see across the room without his glasses for as long as I knew him, but he seemed to have his sight that day, and Cathie felt really comforted. When she went back into the house she found that he had died a short while before, and she connected it to the time she felt the uplifting moment.

This set Mom to thinking, and she remembered something very similar.

The sense that "everything is all right" is certainly true in both cases; both Dad and Grant were irrevocably healed at that moment.

Is this a common thing?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Fast, but not fast enough

We measured the heights of the children on the wall today. Timbrel has been the reigning champion of tall for, well, forever. Zion has been catching her rapidly this year, and is now less than a half inch behind... Not fast enough to keep from being passed by a younger sibling, however. Judah is in the midst of rocketing upward, and he should end Timbrel's long reign by Christmas this year. Merry Christmas, Judah!

Zion is the first in our house to be passed by a younger sibling. Our stair-steps are breaking up...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Cool Van

I drive a Ford E350 XL Super duty van, when everyone comes along. It currently has a glacier on top, courtesy of the last months snowstorms. The ice is probably 4 or 5 inches thick up on top where I can't reach it.

It was -30 this morning, and I had not started it for a couple days, so it complained a little but then it revved right up.

I love my van.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Bible Who-Am-I #4

I am a man who was stepped on, and stepped on, and stepped on, until I went to hell. Who am I?

courtesy of Judah Soles

Bible Associations #1

Where in the Bible is resurrection associated with vomit?

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Tonight we are having a group of flightless, omniverous bipeds for supper... It should be delightful.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

At the table, but not in the door

I think it is safe to say that most of the churches in our area make no connection whatsoever between baptism and the Lord's Supper. It also seems to be believed that neither baptism or the Lord's Supper actually accomplish anything.

I grew up in the Evangelical Free church, and I was a participant at the Lord's table for several years before I was baptised. I don't think I was harmed by this in any way, but it does now seem strange to me that we did things this way.

"As many of you as have been baptised into Christ have put on Christ." Baptism is "putting on Christ". This is entry language. Baptism is the door into Christ and all His benefits. And one of His benefits is surely that He feeds us at His table.

If we look at the way it was in the old covenant, it seems to me that participation at the Passover (for instance) was not allowed for those who were uncircumcised. You had to have God's mark of ownership on you before you could partake. There are connections made in the new covenant between baptism and circumcision, in that they are both entry rituals into God's church.

If baptism is an entry ritual into the church,which it seems to be, then how does one get to the table before they get in the door?

The only way I can think of to make this work is to make baptism mean nothing, or to make it mean some response to God on MY part rather than His work on my behalf, neither of which I am willing to do. I think that evangelicals should be baptising their children much younger than they do, and then allowing them to the Lord's table.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Dark stuff and children's music

I have found that there are some folks, particularly of the evangelical sort, who register their objections to my music on these grounds; that children should not be confronted with evil and darkness until they are old enough to understand it. They themselves are quite content to go where the Bible Story Book leads them, through sanitized versions of anything dark in the Bible, and altogether leaving out a whole bunch of stories which seem to be deemed unredeemable. How do you tell a kid about the story of Ehud and the fat Eglon without getting into potty language? How do you tell about Jael and Sisera without bringing up a whole strain of subjects that I'd rather not have to talk to my kid about just now, thanks!

It is a good thing to protect your children from evil influences, it is a bad thing if any part of the Bible is included in ones understanding of "evil influences".

I was reflecting on this reluctance of ours awhile back when I thought of the story of Samuel as a boy. You remember it...

"Samuel! Samuel!"

Samuel runs to Eli, "Here I am, for you called me!"

"I didn't call you, go back to bed".

...and so forth, until Eli realizes that God is talking to Samuel, and instructs him how to respond the next time the Lord should call. Samuel does so, and the Lord speaks to Samuel. Do you recall what God told him?

I'm going to bring disaster on Eli; his sons will die before he does, none of his descendants will live to be an old man, they will be cut off from the priesthood, they will be sickly, etc.

Now, we can only guess at how old Samuel was at this point, but he was certainly a pre-teen, and God did not think it out of place to fill this boy's ears with a message that would make the ears of everyone who heard it to tingle. It wasn't uplifting; in fact, it made Samuel quite afraid to tell what he had been told.

I think that we need a whole army of songwriters for kids who would take this piece of knowledge to heart. There are a thousand Bible stories, and a multitude of ways to approach each one, and they are full of murder and lust and fear and threat and conquest and lies, all of which need to be set forth faithfully, with appropriate music, so that kids will grow up hearing the Bible's actual story. They need to be taught the whole counsel of God, not the Reader's Digest version.

It seems to me that it is almost always the case that if you miss the dark parts in your telling of the Story, you miss the point of the Story. Veggie Tales may be entertaining, but if you are expecting them to give your kids an understanding of God's Story you expect in vain.

So, some of my songs are dark... but I have a good model to follow. Thank you Lord, for what You told Samuel!

The way home...

was not for the faint of heart.

We left Seattle at 1:42 PM Friday, with the intention of driving straight through to Grande Prairie, expecting to arrive at about 5 AM Saturday. All went swimmingly until we turned onto highway 40 just outside of Hinton at just before 1 AM. The snow began to fall, growing heavier with every mile. We were soon reduced to moving at about 50 KMH max. The road disappeared entirely under a white blanket, broken only by the tracks of trucks that had preceded us by a few minutes. We eventually caught up to most of these, even at our slow pace, since they were in the ditches on either side of the highway. The snow was very wet, heavy, and slippery; and Tim's car had left whatever tread used to be on the tires on roads far and wide. Thus we began to notice our difficulty climbing hills, which proved too great to overcome a while later.

Just after 3 AM, in snow about a foot deep, we arrived at the bottom of the hill below the town of Grand Cache, Alberta. We made four attempts at trying to climb that hill, getting as good a run at it as we could under those circumstances, but each time we stopped before we reached halfway. Every time we stopped, we got stuck. The car just couldn't get a grip, and neither could we when we got out to push. We turned the car around by pushing it, and eventually found our way to a stop on a roadside at the bottom of the hill. About 20 minutes passed when a 4 wheel drive truck arrived, some sort of guardian angel for lost and stuck sheep. He hooked a tow rope onto us and pulled us up the hill into Grand Cache, where we noted the barricade in the other lane saying "Road Closed"... It was 5:30 AM.

We were set free by the truck at the top of the hill, but not by the streets. Every time we stopped we got stuck. Get out and push, hop into the slowly moving car, drive to the next stop sign, get out and push, jump in the car... We went looking for a place to park, since we heard that the road from Grand Cache to Grande Prairie was closed as well, but it is hard to find a place anywhere off the beaten path when there is more than a foot of wet snow on the ground. We eventually found a place on a roadside behind a big truck. Tim and I got out and went to find some breakfast at an open restaraunt at about 7AM, while Leo stayed in the car to catch a few zzz's.

When we came out the car had moved deeper into the snowbank. Leo told us that he had been awakened by the car lurching, and had discovered that the big truck behind which we had parked was backing up and he didn't see us... Amazingly, no damage was done to the car. I guess the ground was so slippery that it moved quite easily...

We then pushed our way out of this ditch with the help of several other folk who saw our predicament, and drove up to the gas station to fill up. We pushed the car away from there and pulled up in the deep snow in a parking place in front of the gas station. The snow was still falling heavily. We turned the radio on to listen for road reports and hunkered down to get a bit of uncomfortable sleep. It was probably about 9:30AM.

We had been told that they were not expecting to open the road to Grande Prairie until about 6 that evening, so we were suprised when Leo got off his phone and said that the RCMP were declaring that the road was open just after noon. So we hit the road again, about 110 miles south of Grande Prairie. I phoned Val as we left Grand Cache and told her that we were coming and asked her to pray for our safety.

The road was clean enough to go 60KMH for about 6 or 7 miles, then it began to get narrower and narrower. Our path was fairly clear and getting clearer as we drove; we soon found ourselves behind the snowplow. This slowed progress, but we were happy to be making progress. We followed him for several miles, until he turned aside into a roadside turnout. When we went around him we were at the top of a long gentle hill, so we manged to make some headway for awhile, but when the road began to climb we slowed to a stop in a hurry. We were high-centered on the ridge of snow between our wheels.

With some more help from other motorists we got turned around and went back to find our snowplow... We got in behind him and stayed there for about an hour, until he had reached the end of his loop. The road, at that point, had been plowed probably a couple of hours before, and was passable, but with a few inches on top. We were able to travel at a reasonable speed, or so it seemed to us, until we started slipping from side to side, doing a complete 180, and slamming into a snowbank while going down one hill. We backed up traffic in both directions for awhile, until somebody with a tow rope and a hook came along to fish us out of the toolies...

We met another plow truck coming in our direction from the other way, and we managed to travel in his tracks for the remainder of the way, though not without a few near stops on some of the hills. Twice, Tim and I jumped out of the car when it was down to walking speed in order to push it up the hill, and the combined pushing help and absence of our weight in the car was sufficient for the car to make the top of the hill.

We arrived at home in Grande Prairie at about 5PM, only half a day late, exhausted, but home. Thank the Lord for our fine driver Leo, and our safe arrival!

CREC here we come!

Tim, Leo, and I got back Saturday from our meeting with the Anselm Presbytery of the Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches. We were seated there as a candidate church, with the possibility of becoming full voting members next year. We had an excellent time visiting and getting to know these brethren with whom we have so much in common. The service on Thursday night hosted by Eastside Evangelical Fellowship was a delight... It is a glorious thing to have a congregation dominated by mens voices singing like they mean it.

Quite an international flavour there, as well. There were two Russian churches and two Polish churches welcomed into membership, and one from Japan was welcomed last year. We will be a second church from Canada, Lord willing. There was also a delegation from Tasmania there, scoping it all out.

Altogether very worthwhile.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Marching has been nominated by the Canadian Gospel Music Association as a finalist for Kids Song of the Year. Here are the lyrics.


They are marching, marching, marching round the city
They are silent, silent, they do not make a sound
Only trumpets, trumpets, trumpets sound continually
And pounding, pounding feet upon the ground
They are marching, marching, marching round the city
They are silent, silent, they do not make a sound
Only trumpets, trumpets, trumpets sound continually
And pounding, pounding feet upon the ground

Hear the knocking, knocking, knocking of our knees together
Shaking, shaking, shaking like a leaf
For this marching, pounding doom is drawing near us
And we fear He’s bringing Jericho to grief

For this God has parted the waters of the sea
And He has brought His people through
No fording Jordan, there He did the same
And now they’ve all come into view…

They are marching, marching, marching round the city
They are silent, silent, they do not make a sound
Only trumpets, trumpets, trumpets sound continually
And pounding, pounding feet upon the ground

Hear the knocking, knocking, knocking of our knees together
Shaking, shaking, shaking like a leaf
For this marching, pounding doom is drawing near us
And we fear He’s bringing Jericho to grief

For this God has parted the waters of the sea
And He has brought His people through
No fording Jordan, there He did the same
And now they’ve all come into view…
But I heard He promised, you would be saved!
Rahab, is it true? I’m glad I’m with you.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

St Annes Pub

Hi, folks!

I would like to draw your attention to the latest issue from New St. Annes Pub, on fatherhood. There is much good stuff in here, along with an interview of yours truly. I think it is well worth your time.


Jamie Soles

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Songs for Fun and Prophet

Here are the lyrics to a song I have been building for a new kids album.

Micaiah (1Kgs.22)

All the words of the prophets here are favourable to the King;
Let yours be the same, Micaiah.
They pronounce his victory, in triumph now they sing
Let yours do the same, Micaiah.
King Ahab doesn’t like you much
I wonder why he calls you…
Only speak the truth untouched by any evil thoughts, Micaiah

There they are before the gates, the prophets prophesying
See the horns Zedekiah made of iron; are they lying?
Here the prophets of the land all stand in one accord
Victory to Israel’s king is given by the Lord, Micaiah

And now if you should say
The king will go away, not returning
Say the king should die;
Say the prophets lie, never learning
You will be in trouble…deep

If you have a hankering to live on bread and water
Till the king comes home again in safety from the slaughter
Speak the word he does not like;
Tell him he will fail;
Should the prophets all be wrong
You’ll still be in my jail, Micaiah.

All the words of the prophets here are favourable to the King;
Let yours be the same, Micaiah.

@Sept.29/2006 Jamie Soles

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Bible Who-Am-I #3

We are two scoundrels, who spent the last night of our lives running across the plain, carrying our death warrant with us. Who are we?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Bible Who-am-I #2

I once laid seige on a city all by myself. Who am I ?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bible Who-am-I #1

A great deal of trouble I left behind me. Help waited just beyond the mountains, help that would surely have been given to me, had I wanted it. But I had my own ideas. A great deal of trouble came with me. I pursued my own ends, and a great deal of trouble came after me, which troubled Israel for hundreds of years. Who am I?

First hint: I was not alone in this. One of my siblings conspired with me.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Take a breath...

My construction endeavors have come to a close for the summer, my guitar teaching starts up in another week. Time to take my Val away for awhile, maybe we can recharge...

Monday, July 31, 2006


It is nearing 10PM, and the evening sun is shining directly down my driveway, too low for my visor to be able to block it. It should set about 20 minutes from now.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

So let's talk about the weather...

Last Saturday Grande Prairie recorded it's all-time record high temperature of 35.6 Celsius (96.08 F.). Friday and Sunday also broke their records for those respective days. Hot days for pouring concrete...

I suppose that most places in the world would regard this "high" as absurdly low... But it is pretty high for us. The lowest temperature I ever remember experiencing in Grande Prairie was -56 C (-68.80 F). That is a differential of 91.6 degrees Celsius (164.88 F), which is pretty substantial.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Is there controversy in your church? In your federation or denomination? Do the arguments sound something like this;

"The Bible says right here that...." "But the confession says...the confessions don't allow..."

...Keep your eyes on the guys with their Bibles open. The church has a future, and the light that will be necessary to guide her steps will be found in the Scriptures.

There was a time in Israel's history when God had sent a plague on Israel for her rebellion. God told Moses to build a bronze snake and set it on a pole, so that anyone who looked on it would live. That thing, that image, was commanded by God for a purpose at a certain point in Israel's history. But the time came when it's usefulness had been outlived, and it became a snare to the people of God. "Nehushtan", they named it, and they treated it as an idol, until it finally had to be taken down and destroyed.

The Lord desires His people to make confessions, to set forth what the Scriptures teach about this and about that. These are good things. But good things can be perverted, and confessions are no exception. I have seen a great many evidences, in my observations of current controversies, that this is exactly what has been happening with the 3FU and the Westminster standards.

When the Scriptures cannot be heard over the shouts of "Great is Westminster of the Puritans!", or "Great is the 3FU!" or "Great is the Church Order!", we have left the realm of faithful obedience and have entered the arena of idolatry. When a good-and-necessary-consequence argument from Scripture is greeted with "Let's consider this and how it relates to us.", there is hope. When it is greeted with "We don't do things that way here" or with some kind of confessions-at-all-costs answers, there is none.

Open your Bibles, people. There is still a great deal of bread in there that you have not yet eaten.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Canada's Birthday

Happy Birthday, Canada! I wonder how many more you will have...

Friday, June 30, 2006

New Website!

Do please go to my new website and check it out! It is much more accessible than before. Many thanks to Tim Gallant at Pactum Web Services. He does good work!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Memorials has arrived, for those of you not aware, or who have not yet procured yourself a copy. It is my fourth kids album, and is full of Bible story songs drawn from those passages which refer to memorials.

I was interested to discover, as I was writing these songs, that almost every time something is mentioned as a memorial, whether the rainbow, or the offering portions, or Passover, or the jealousy test from Num. 5, the memorial was primarily God-ward. "I will see My bow, and I will remember my covenant..." "Burn this as its memorial portion on the altar, a pleasing aroma to the Lord." "It is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering of remembrance, bringing iniquity to remembrance."

It is not so that I will remember, but that God will see me make the offering, and will remember me for good. God is the rememberer.

"Do this in remembrance of Me." I was always taught that this meant that I had to think about, to recall, the things that Christ had suffered on my behalf. But as I consider the concept of remembrance in the Scriptures, I am led to believe that this is missing the point. If Paul and Jesus are employing the idea of remembrance in the same way that Scripture almost uniformly does, and there is no reason to assume that they aren't, then they are treating the Lord's Supper as a memorial (as indeed, it can be translated as *Do this unto My memorial*).

When we participate in the Supper; when we eat the bread and drink the cup together in Church by faith, the Lord looks on us and remembers us for our good. And it is the *doing*, not the remembering on my part, which forms the obedience and the faith that God desires.

There is the occasional story in Scripture which doesn't use "remembrance" in this way. When stones, or piles of stones, were set up for later generations to inquire about, they usually are for men to see and recall past events. But not even all of these function in this way. Consider the pile of stones that Israel set up in the middle of the Jordan river. Who but God and the fish were ever going to see that?

Hopefully these songs will help to shed some light on these things, which every kid and former kid needs to think about.

Write me at for your copy.

Friday, June 02, 2006

"It was easier back then..."

So I am standing in the lineup at Costco today when an old couple (60ish) I used to know pull in behind me. I start a conversation to renew aquaintance, and of course they ask me about my family.

"I have only eight kids." I say.

"Only eight?!? (chuckle, chuckle). I grew up in a family of eight." says he. "And there were nine in my family!" says she. It was easier back then to raise a big family than it is these days, they agreed.

I'm sure this has been said to me in conversation many times before, but today I stopped and thought about it. Was it really easier back then? I remember growing up in a family of eleven, though there were never more than nine kids home at once. I remember that my dad worked as a logger and that he worked hard. We never went hungry, but the food was pretty plain, and most of it home grown. When I consider how much Dad made as a logger, I am sure that I make a far better living than he did.
We lived way out in the sticks; I now live in town about 5 minutes away from every convenience. He was surrounded by mud; I am surrounded by pavement.

So as far as money and it's accessories go, it is MUCH easier now to raise a large family. One thing I do have to face that dad did not is a culture which loves things more than kids. But it doesn't seem to be too stressful... We faced this anti-child mentality around us up until the 6th one, at which point we became an object of fascination to our neighbors and family. We were at once pitied and looked up to, sometimes by the same people...

Now, when people find out that I have eight kids, I am greeted with open-mouthed astonishment, followed by the exclamation "I don't know how you stand it! I have TWO kids, and they are driving me insane!" I have heard this so many times that I have become convinced that having two children is the hardest job in the world. But I also hear many comments along these lines; "I wish we had more...", and "Good for you!", and especially "My husband doesn't want any more kids..."

So I guess I failed to agree with the old couple. I wondered why they would say such a thing... maybe it is just a politeness to commiserate with your conversation partner about something, to let them know that you feel their pain. But, hey, I love having eight kids, and have no desire whatsoever to return any of them to the manufacturer.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Taxman

I was late to see the taxman, through nobody's fault but my own. I was given the news that I too must become a tax collector, because if I don't, the number crunchers will one day find me and take a WHOLE BUNCH of money from me at once.
What becomes of a country that makes all it's citizens into tax collectors? I know that in Bible times such men were hated, and I suppose it is still true. Feed the nations coffers by making it's citizenry hate one another... this doesn't sound to me like a recipe for peace and prosperity.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Jewel Wins! (Or loses...)

On Sunday eve, Jewel, my 9 year old daughter, managed to crack/break both the bones in her left forearm. In all our 65 years worth of children in our house, she is the first to break any bones.

Val took her to emergency at the hospital at 5:30 PM, where they waited. And waited. Emergency was full of emergencies. So full, in fact, that when our second emergency of the night (Joseph got a deep cut in his eyebrow at about 7 PM) came into emergency, Val and Jewel and Zion were still waiting. She had been taken for xrays and her injuries were determined, now she was waiting for them to be dealt with. So we checked in 2 year old Joseph. About 9:30 Val came home with Joseph (Zion stayed with Jewel), who had three stitches in his eyebrow, and told me they were still waiting... At 12:40 AM, I got tired of waiting at home, so I went down to emergency and found that Jewel had just been casted at about midnight, and was waiting for it to dry enough that she could come home. I took Zion home at about 1:20 AM, and Val got home with Jewel at 1:40 AM.

It is a good thing that emergency is only 4 minutes from my house...

Had I been thinking at the start of this process, I could have had Val take Jewel to Beaverlodge, 30 minutes to the west of G.P.. It is a longer drive, but almost invariably a shorter wait time. Oh well...

Friday, May 12, 2006

Homeschool Conventions

I attended the OCHEC (Ontario Christian Home Educators Conference) conference in Hamilton when I was there last week, and it seemed to be well received. I played songs and chatted with passers-by, and sold a pile of CDs.

The response to this suggested to me that I should be doing more of it. So; tell me about the homeschool conferences, and particularly Christian ones, that happen in your state of province. Do lots of folks come out to them? When do they happen? I may try doing "the circuit" next year, if there is one...

If any of you have some good ideas on how to get my music out there, let me know. I know that I have gifts in the making of music; I do not have them in the administration of this enterprise.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Ontario reprise

It was a delight to sing in Ontario again. What a hoot, to sing loud with a whole crowd of kids.

"Ascending" seemed to be the preferred album, I sold everything that I took along of that CD.

I thank God for people with administrative gifts. What an enormous blessing they are for wingnut artists like me!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Concerts in Ontario

I am packing up to get on a plane to Hamilton on the 27th. On the 28th and 29th I will be sitting at a booth at the OCHEC (Ontario Christian Home Educators Convention), playing my guitar and chatting with people. It's good work, if you can get it... :-)

On May 1 I have a school assembly to take part in, then a concert in Jordan Station in the eve. On May 3rd, there will be a concert in Burlington at the Canadian Reformed Church. I love doing concerts, especially when I can have a whole wack of kids involved as backup singers. It is a hoot!

Then home again on May 4, back to the best backup singers in the world.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Christ Covenant Church Grande Prairie

Our first service was Easter Sunday, and it was a delightful service. All of our council was involved in some way. The liturgical responses were done with vigour and enthusiasm, the songs were appropriate, the sermon was very good, the Supper was served. And what a delight for the half of our congregation who have never before been invited to the Lord's table! May all their days be filled with the assurance that Christ's sacrifice was for them, too. Thanks be to God!


What an odd bunch I live with! My wife is odd, almost all my children are odd... The only ones in my house who are not odd are me and Joseph, although in another year Joseph and I will be odd too. Perhaps the others will have ceased being odd by then...

Not only that, but my kids are old, too. They are older than me, and they are older than Val, but they are not older than both of us.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Psalm puzzles

I aspire to writing good songs for all the psalms. In order to succeed, I am going to need to become a better musician than I am, on several levels.
1) I have generally been able to write word-for-word songs on the shorter psalms, and some of them are actually singable by a congregation, But what do I do with the longer ones? How do you write a song from a long psalm which a: avoids missing parts of the psalm, b: avoids twisting the psalm to fit one's rhyme scheme, c: avoids being tedious. I have been singing from metrical psalm books for some years now (The Psalter Hymnal, the Book Of Praise, the Book Of Psalms For Singing), and all of them fail on all three accounts listed above, more often than not.

2) I have a word-for-word (ESV) song written on the first 17 verses of Psalm 69, which seems to me to capture the sense and feel of the psalm. One day I hope to record it.

But it raises a question in my mind about the singing of psalms. Even though I feel I have musically captured the psalm fairly well, there is no congregation on earth that could sing it. How do you do angst and despair in congregational song without either obliterating the text on the one hand, or failing to match music to the words on the other? And how do you sing the whole psalm without it becoming tedious?

I believe the psalms need to be sung, with feeling, by the church. But I need to do a better job of figuring out how. I am not convinced that chanting is the final answer, though it may be part of it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Looking Forward

Last night I and the other consistory members at Covenant Reformed Church handed in our resignations and our requests for release. These were accepted, and we were released with God's blessings spoken, to go and begin a new work in Grande Prairie. We will be called Christ Covenant Church, and we are organizing under the auspices of Christ Covenant Church in Langley, B.C. . The CREC has been our long-expected home, federationally speaking, and now here we are, on the doorstep. Praise God!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Calling concert organizers...

If there are any of my readers who are gifted at administration and organizing things, and who are also sold on my music, and who think it worthy of sharing with a larger audience, could you please contact me? I'm interested in doing more concerts, if the Lord should open the doors.


It's raining outside! It's only April 2!

I live too far north...

Here is a haiku a north dweller may be able to appreciate.

Rain is falling, falling
The frigid town glistens

Thursday, March 30, 2006


We have been listening thru the songs for the next kids album, and it is a common consensus... Memorials will be the best one yet. I hope it won't be the best one ever, since I would like to do more. I just got a look at the album cover, and I quite like it, too.
I am hoping to have it in my possession by late April, but my hopes have been dashed many times in my life...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

And now, for the fifth time...

I am reading through the Lord Of The Rings trilogy with my kids. The littler ones haven't heard them yet, since it has been about 4 years since the last pass through, but now some of them are grown up enough to sit for long periods at a time. The older ones are all making comparisons/contrasts to the LOTR movies, and having a great time. In fact, one of them is pestering me to read just now...


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Good lyrics

Frightened by a world which they will never understand
The masses ride their passions with the throttle in their hands

Mark Heard - "I'm Crying Again"

He really knew how to settle a score
Mercy knocks on the devil's door
When I pray for peace and revel in war
I always wanted a shirt like Mark wore...

The Choir - "The Rifleman"

Monday, March 27, 2006


I have been working on some more Bible story songs. Someone suggested to me the story of Elisha and the two bears. Now, this is surely going to be better than Goldilocks and the three bears...

Here it is;

I hate to be the bearer of bad news
To bear the news that bad news comes in twos
Two bad news bears are giving you the blues
The boys were out engaging in their play
Now forty-two of them have gone away
Your sons are dead, your calf is here to stay
The mocking of a godly man is learned
Your golden idol wins, but you get burned
Consider this the wages you have earned
If boys are being boys it's so extreme
If not, then give a thought what this could mean
When idols paint the color of their dreams
Then boys will be boys will be boys will be...

mike check

Testing, testing, is this thing on?