Baptizer of Fire - 2003
Notes on the Album
Baptizer of Fire I usually date this album to "2003" but the album came together over several years as a concept album which would include only scripture songs from the Gospels.  By 2003 I thought the album was finished, but it was not until 2007 that the last song (John 8) was completed.  In the meantime I had begun work on two more albums, Like a Hammer and The Vision of Isaiah.

Some of the Songs on this album were originally conceived as part of other albums.  John 10 and John 17 Were originally recorded for In the Day of the East Wind, but as that project stalled and the Apocalypse Demo came together I found myself drawn to compose songs from the gospels.

Matthew 23 was the first new song I wrote after the Apocalypse Demo and when The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) followed I began thinking of the next album in terms of  being made up of gospel material only.

Composing "The Sermon on the Mount," was a very rewarding experience in several ways.  I felt very honored to be allowed to do this work and "The Sermon on the Mount" was also the first song where I developed and utilized more advanced finger picking skills.  I had used some easy finger picking techniques earlier, but it was really very elementary; I never really expanded on that aspect of my playing.   I wanted the sermon to be a compelling song, and I wanted the techniques I employed to be challenging and interesting.

"The Sermon on the Mount" is what really drove my desire to play live.  I had never thought much about live playing, only recording.  But the Sermon seemed to want to be played live.  I got an opportunity to play the Sermon for a suburban church which had contacted me and was trying to invigorate its diminishing membership with some live music from "local" artists (I lived 100 miles away).  I came to their elders' meeting, and after sitting through over an hour of their coma inducing money and mortar elders' meeting, I was introduced to the elders by the minister of music and led to the sanctuary to play.  I think the pastor walked out within 2 minutes, and the minister of music stopped me during chapter 7.  I felt insulted but I felt they had not insulted me so much as God's word.  Looking back, I think they were looking for entertainment, and my music is not meant to be entertaining.  My music often causes discomfort, that is intentional but generally considered undesirable by church officials.

When I finished John 15 I thought the album was basically finished.  I was still looking for live opportunities and found some at a local charismatic church which accepted a wider range of feeling than the "coma" preferred by more stagnant traditional churches.  John 15 was the first song I successfully played for an audience at Polo Open Bible Church here in Northwest Illinois, and that recording is the one you can still download from

I have only played for a few churches, but many times at those few.  I have somewhat resigned myself that I will not do much live performing because I do not posses the promotional skills necessary to create my own opportunities.  I invariably play when I am invited to play. And that is not very often.

After John 15 came John 14, and in between I was writing songs that would become Like a Hammer. John 14 and 15 were written during the period just before I received the Holy Spirit.  Afterward came the final songs John 16 and then John 8 which is one of my all-time favorites.

I do not have any plans for writing further songs to add to this album, but it has long been my desire to do quality recordings of these songs. 

When I get around to recording this album, one of the things I do intend to add is a new recording of Mark 13.  Mark 13 is one of my oldest and personal favorite songs. When I practice, I always open with Mark 13.  When I listen to the 1998 version I can't help but want to do that one over.  I sing it differently now, better, I think, and I would like to add that song to a final version of Baptizer of Fire

Baptizer of Fire - Chords and Lyrics
Matthew 5
Matthew 6
Matthew 7
Matthew 23
John  8
John 10
John 14
John 15
John 16
John 17

Oracles of God - Baptizer of Fire - Concept Art