Bread, Coffee, Chocolate, Beer, and… Jesus?

It’s official. I have signed a publishing contract with Zondervan to write a new book! This project has been kicking around for nearly three years. While it has been beyond frustrating to have it take so long, the current shape the story is taking obviously needed to cook for awhile.

I hear you asking, “What’s the book about?” I’ve seen patterns and shadows in my own spiritual journey that at one time I would have probably assumed were completely disconnected.

-          I love music that is smaller than it probably *should* be

-          I roast my own coffee at home

-          I am deeply committed to a small group of friends that gather together to study, pray, celebrate, and live

-          I take some things a little too seriously and am completely irreverent about others

-          I brew my own beer and it is some of the best beer I have ever tasted

-          Seriously, the beer is really good

-          I seem to find myself engaged in spiritual discussions with complete strangers on a regular basis

-          After a particularly rough childhood I engaged in a pursuit of God that has been both diligent and ignorant

-          I prefer a good house concert to an arena any day of the week

-          When I was kid chocolate was all about Jesus

Over the last several years I have noticed a few themes coming through conversations and stories; mine and others’. It seems to me that we have hit Warp Speed on the Industrialism / Globalism scale. It also seems to me that over the last 150 years or so the Church has taken on the values of the Industrial Revolution far more than she has shaped those values. The result? In many ways it feels our contemporary church has more in common with WalMart, Wall Street or the local MegaPlex Theater than it has with the type of transformative, engaged, community that met in people’s homes in the first days of this new Way.

Meanwhile I, and many of my friends, seem to be rebelling in small, but meaningful ways. We’re trying to find substantive ways to slow the tide of industrialism in our hearts and minds and to recapture the earthy, soulful, communal nature of life. We’re thinking more locally than ever. We’re seeking out small-batch, hand-crafted, artisanal things instead of mass-produced, cheap, disposable things. We’re thinking more, and differently, about the food we eat and how it affects us and our “neighbor” – whomever she may be. If Industrialism and technology birthed a set of consumer values that have done their best to shape our hearts; things like “The Customer is Always Right” and “Might Makes Right” or even “If It Works It’s Good,” we’re seeing a set of alternative values emerge – or re-emerge as the case may be. Yeah – this book will be about bread, coffee, chocolate and beer, as well as film, photography and music… all things that are often much better when they are done in a small, hands-on kind of way.

And yeah, I think millions of people who are checking out of “Church” are doing so for the same reasons they are checking out of Wal-Mart. I’ve been exploring these questions in my own life, and I’ve been discussing them with artisans, curators and makers around the world. This book will attempt to explore these ideas, to capture these conversations, and to connect them all to points on a map of my own personal journey through what has been a weird and wonderful life.

I’m excited to get started. My goal is to have a completed manuscript by early 2014 with a release in either late 2014 or early 2015. I am hoping to coalesce a community of supporters, friends, fellow travelers and advocates through this blog. If you have not yet subscribed please do. Members of this group will get sneak peeks at the text, will see reports from me throughout the creation of the book and will have access to special advance offers and other goodies that will be announced here first. Please sign up, and please spread the word.

There will be much more to come… thanks for your support and I covet your prayers as I undertake this process.

Peace,
JJTworkspace1

One Comment

  1. tthompsob6
    Sep 18, 2013 @ 15:06:50

    Hurray, this book is finally forward to fruition! I look forward to reading it and promoting it to others.

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