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For Short Days & Bookish Nights
Again, I must ask too much of you, Harry.
Look, it’s wonderful, a little freaky, and about time. I woke up almost three years ago with the idea for a book, and it will be in the world in a month. But that first morning, I laid rows of index cards on the floor and began to write thoughts on structure and content. It changed.
It was going to be something about the wonder and complexities and weirdness of revivals — including the comedown after the rush — a la the Great Awakening, and Hebrides Revival. This is not that book. Maybe it will exist someday, although Orphaned Believers does talk about the Toronto Blessing and holy laughter in a chapter with my favorite title: GOLD TEETH.
But the 80s and 90s brought their own kind of wonder, complexities, and weirdness for a lot of us growing up in the Church, and that is what this first book explores. A little bit coming-of-age, a little bit nostalgic, I wrote the kind of book I wanted to read: a journalistic take on how American evangelicalism has found itself in the fine mess it is in, with a My So-Called Life meets Christian music fest vibe for good measure.
Now that she’s almost here, this first book baby, I’d like to ask for your help. As I write this, my mind snaps to that line in Harry Potter when Dumbledore says, “Again, I must ask too much of you, Harry.” Here are two ways you can participate in bringing Orphaned Believers into the world:
First, check out my pre-order gift for all … crafters, punks, literary-minded folks, voters … a set of buttons to bring life to your tote or jean jacket. All details for ordering a free pair are here. We’re down to under 200 buttons, I’m pumped to report that they’re going fast — and I’d love to send you a pair and handwritten thank you note.
Second, join the Orphaned Believers Reading Circle. If you’re like me, long January nights are my preferred time to hunker down, preferably under several blankets, and read.
I’d like to create a small number of folks (there’s a great group already forming!) to read Orphaned Believers together before it releases to build community and talk about issues that are impacting the Church and culture right now.
Details on how to participate are here. One fun perk is that you'll receive a paperback copy of the book from Baker by Jan 9, weeks before it's out in the wide world. Sign-ups are open through this Friday, Dec 23.
If you’re bookish…mildly introverted…and/or a kid from one to 92, I hope you’ll join us. All are welcome.
OK friends, that’s what I’ve got. Thanks for your kindness and generosity in preordering this book and supporting my work and the work of many writers who brought wonderful books into the world this year.
Wishing you a really wonderful holiday season and, like I’d tell my teachers in grade school, I’ll see you next year. It never gets old.