Yeah – maybe not the kind of news they stop presses for, but this is pretty exciting for me. Here you see a mock-up of what will most likely be the cover of my book! The official title has been changed to: Jesus, Bread, and Chocolate; Crafting a Hand-Made Faith in a Mass Market World, and it is set for release through Harper Collins / Zondervan in either late March or the first week of April 2015. I’ve been working on this book in earnest for well over 2 years, and the concept has been haunting me for much longer than that. I can’t wait – though I’m also a bit nervous – to have people finally READ IT!
The final book ended up being much more personal than I had expected going in. This is due to loving challenges presented to me by the editors and some close friends and confidants. The search I have been on for authenticity – in my relationships, the music that spoke into my heart, the way I lived out my faith, and even my relationship with food and drink, all flow from the same root source. It’s not an easy source to go back to in some ways, but it is thrilling in others. Along the way I interviewed several “experts” as well; a baker, a farmer, a couple of different craft brewers, a chocolate genius, one of the top coffee experts in the world, about the underlying principles of the artisanal way. I even touch on house concerts and the way we experience church. As I see the interest in hand-hewn things continuing to deepen all around me, It has caused me to contemplate the ways the values of the Industrial Revolution have spoken into the identity, purpose, and practices of the modern church in ways that might not be very Christ-like. I see the compromise in myself first and foremost.
Well, that’s the simplest way to describe it for now, anyway. More to come here on the blog, including entire essays that were written for the book and then edited out.
The next few months are critical, though. I don’t have a massive national platform to launch this from. I do, however, have quite a rich and deep network of friends spread around the world. I’m going to need everyone’s help when the time comes. For now, though, my focus is on gathering as many of you together, virtually, so that I can leak you bits of the book and hear ideas from you on how to get the message out there. Please subscribe to the newsletter here on my blog. Once a month you’ll get an email from me that will update you on the latest news, and point out some other things I’ll be writing about online. We can’t trust Facebook to get the word out. Only about 10% of my “friends” there ever see what I post. It’s a part of the process, but not the whole thing. If you’d like to stay in touch please subscribe to the mailing list on the front page of the blog, follow me on Twitter, and “like” my JJT page on Facebook. Between those three things you shouldn’t miss a thing.
Also, if you know of cool blogs out there that seem to be of like mind and purpose, please email me through the contact form and let me know. I’d like to expand this network over the next few months.
And finally, I am brainstorming details for a personal pre-order special that will include exclusive extras. Some of the ideas being kicked around include a limited edition poster, a specially designed coffee mug, some Olive & Sinclair Chocolate, maybe even a small bag of coffee roasted right here at home by yours truly. We are even thinking about writing and recording some new Wayside songs for an EP. I’m curious, though, which kinds of special things like this would YOU be most excited about? Why guess when I can just ask?!
That’s it for now. Thanks for your support and prayers and ideas. Sign up. Spread the word. Send me your ideas. I’m hopeful that this book might have a real impact for some folks, and that’s what it’s all about.