Category Archives: Jazz

“Joy Inside My Tears” at Calvin College’s Chapel

Paul Ryan periodically asks me to speak/sing at Calvin’s chapel. On January 14, 2019 my theme was “Joy Inside My Tears,” in which I explored the paradoxes of the Christian’s emotional life in scripture and song. Just in case you … Continue reading

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Very Happy Birthday to You

At some point, I may become known as “the guy who writes birthday odes in which death is a dominant theme.” So be it. The sooner you grapple with your mortality, the sooner you can get out there and truly … Continue reading

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Philippians 4:7 May the Peace of God

As I was working on Psalm 4, one of the commentaries I read mentioned the connection between Psalm 4’s deep peace amid distress and Philippians 4:7 “May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds … Continue reading

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My One and Only Valentine

What would Valentine’s Day be without songs of loneliness, delusion, and self-love? Won’t you be my Valentine? I’m so lonely all the time. You’re not perfect, but neither am I. Won’t you be my Valentine? You’re a man, but I … Continue reading

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Another Foothold

I recently posted a quick demo of a new tune I wrote for Debra Rienstra’s sweet setting of Psalm 25. Yesterday we introduced the song to the congregation. It went swimmingly, in part due to the leadership of the Rienstra … Continue reading

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Foothold (Psalm 25)

10 years ago, my friend Debra Rienstra wrote a hymn text based on Psalm 25, called “Foothold.” Not only that, she won the Fuller Seminary School of Psychology Fortieth Anniversary hymn competition with it. As I began to work on an … Continue reading

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Come, Join in Cana’s Feast

A few months ago I wrote a tune for a text by Herman Stuempfle. Strangely, when I went searching for a text to accompany this week’s sermon on the Wedding in Cana, I was led again to Stuempfle. Even stranger? … Continue reading

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The 50 Year Shuffle

These two fine folks just celebrated their 50th birthday. Oh, to look so good at such an advanced age! This bubbly little jazz tune actually started its life as “The Heineken Maneuver,” after a joke that emerged at a jazz cafe the … Continue reading

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Blue Step (with guest soloist Stephen Brown)

Your browser does not support the audio element. Stephen Brown and I have been collaborating for decades, so I was really pleased that he added a sax solo to my recent song, “Blue Step.” Now that we’ve got the DropBox … Continue reading

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I just got my hollow body Ibanez (hence, “Nessy”) set up with new flat wound strings. I began to play and the guitar suggested jazz. I complied. MP3, PDF

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