“The world will never starve for want of wonders, but only for want of wonder.”
— G.K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles ”
I can’t believe I finished!
Two months ago I submitted the manuscript for my next book. Then I received edits back from the great editors at Zondervan (which is part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing).
The edits I received inspired me to rethink one key chunk of my book. And, you’re not going to believe this, I cut the entire chunk—almost 35,000 words! It felt good. It felt scary.
But then the freedom hit me like a freight train. I re-imagined what this book was for, and who it was for. I got goosebumps thinking about how this tiny book could change someone’s life.
I looked over many of the past posts here on Substack, and my stoke grew.
You guys told me in emails and comments what resonated with you, how you were feeling in this crazy COVID world, this suffering from a lack of beauty world, this need to breathe again world.
I reconfigured the book to reflect all your feedback. And what I got is a book written for you. That was my goal all along.
It’s easy for writers to get caught up trying to make their book be something more than what it needs to be. And even though I’ve lived in the publishing world for a decade and a half, I still fell into that trap.
But you guys saved me! And I’m so grateful.
I have one more round of edits to go, but this round is much simpler and exciting. The content gets a shoe-shine by a copy editor. As the shoe gets shined, the cover takes shape. And I think you guys are going to be stoked. I can hardly contain myself.
The release date for the book is now April of 2022. And my national road-trip book tour begins the month before that!
So you see, even though I’ve been quiet here on this newsletter, I’ve been hard at work creating something I think you will want to read and even pass along to friends and family. Best of all, I think it’s a book that will inspire you. And who doesn’t need some inspiration in this cutthroat world?
Speaking of inspiration, I’ve created something else that many of you have asked about: a chance to interact via a Zoom workshop.
So, I give you: THE BEAUTY CHASERS COMMUNITY.
The Beauty Chasers Community
Today I’m launching a brand new community called The Beauty Chasers.
“Eh, but Tim,” you say, “I’m already a part of this community. What makes The Beauty Chasers any different.”
“Ah yes,” I reply. “An excellent question, my friend. You see, in this community, you receive weekly writings from me. In The Beauty Chasers Community, the focus is online workshops.”
Here’s the nutshell version of what it is …
The Beauty Chasers is an online community dedicated to the pursuit of the beautiful in education, faith, the environment, the church, the state, and the arts.
What does a Beauty Chaser do?
Beauty Chasers pursue a lifestyle that goes against the cultural grain of busyness, loudness, and naked ambition—the kind of ambition we’re told to nurture to find success in this cutthroat world. Beauty Chasers walk the path less traveled, an adventure into Divine glory.
How will The Beauty Chasers Community help you?
The Beauty Chasers Community will help you:
Form a life-giving cadence in your life.
Live like beauty matters.
Rebel against the noise, chaos, and distraction bombarding us daily.
Bring sanity back to your life.
Cultivate wonder and enchantment in your faith walk.
Find inspiration in “the edges” of life.
Show you how to incorporate beauty and wonder into the spiritual formation of you and your children.
Provide engaging content for your homeschool or co-op students around the topic of beauty and imagination.
What do you get by becoming a member of this community?
You’ll get two live sessions with me each month. In these Zoom workshops and Q/A’s, we’ll explore core topics related to faith, culture, beauty & imagination, and much more. The sessions are based on my forthcoming book with Zondervan.
You’ll gain instant access to all the live session recordings, as well as member-only journal articles that give focused application hacks for living life on purpose, fighting distraction, and living inspired.
You’ll receive insider discounts on The Beauty Chasers print quarterly, bonus live sessions, and more. Plus, discounts on a signed copy of my new book, due out April 2022. (Wait, Tim, you’re producing a print journal, like, you mean, a magazine? Sorta, yes. It will be a print on demand journal for those interested, and I’ll also have a digital version available.)
Registration is open today but closes October 19th, just before our first Zoom session.
October’s Zoom sessions will focus on “Beauty and Culture.” I’d be so honored if you joined us!
On Living Through a Season of Being Quiet
This year has tried our spirits in deep ways. During the summer months, when I was mired in edits, and feeling discouraged and alone, feeling like my work was pointless, I took a step back.
I stopped doing things.
I worked on my patio, which has turned into a 15-month project—talk about discouraging.
I stopped doing my podcast. I took a break from this platform.
I spent time with friends who breathed life into me, while I offered encouragement to them.
The season of quiet revived me, refocused my creative efforts, and gave me space to dream again.
I started using Instagram like a micro-blog—a quiet place to post true thoughts; succinct, direct, and full of passion. And here’s what I learned.
Everyone is hurting.
Everyone is looking for a friend to share in their quiet pain, in their loneliness, in their despair.
Everyone wants to live stoked and aspire to something greater than themselves.
Everyone wants permission to be quiet, if just for a few weeks, and let the noise and chaos of the world pass right over them.
Everyone longs for intimacy with God in some fashion.
It’s okay to be quiet, y’all. It’s okay to take some time off. I’m sure, after being gone from this newsletter for this long some will dump it. And that’s okay.
This newsletter doesn’t exist to simply be another form of consumable media. It aspires to something greater, and I’m not ashamed to admit that. I’m what G.K. Chesterton calls an eternal optimist or a “cosmic patriot.” I want to wake up each day, after spending a night looking at the stars, and whisper on the wind, “What are we going to create today, God?”
And that creation doesn’t need to be a piece of art or music. It can be a new relationship, a deepening of a relationship, a new commitment to be a better father and husband, friend, and brother.
I take God’s promise, that each day his mercies are new, as the ultimate inspiration to get up, leave the failings in the past, and start up the mountain again.
So, my question to you is this: do you want to start up the mountain with me?
We all need to breathe. It’s okay to be quiet for a while. Give yourself permission to retreat if that’s what you feel you need. That’s what I did this summer as I was finishing my book. And seeds were sown in the quiet. I wait for Him to water them, and bring forth good fruit.
Over the next several days and weeks, I’ll explain in greater detail what I’ve learned about my life and my vocation and my art and how my new epiphanies will trickle down into this newsletter. I hope you’ll come along.
There are thousands of free subscribers to this newsletter. But really only about 2,000 open the letter. If you are one of the 2,000, consider how you might contribute to helping me create and sustain projects like The Beauty Chasers and this newsletter.
Can you imagine the impact 2,000 people could have if they invested time and resources into spreading the Gospel through inspiring words and workshops that focused on the beauty of God?
In the spring I’m going to head out with my family on a national road-trip tour. I’ll share more of this in a few days, but this is just another example of how committed I am to spread the message of this new book. You see, it all works together: the book, the Beauty Chasers Community, this newsletter, the tour.
It’s got the rumblings of a new kind of ministry that focuses on discipleship through writing, teaching, and the arts. I’m excited about this new pathway opening up. But I need you in order to achieve it.
A couple of years ago, one reader emailed and said, “Tim, I appreciate your heart and your writing, but I just can’t see why I should support it financially.” Those words never left me. Maybe you’re in that boat. And you know what, that’s okay. You don’t have to become a paid subscriber. Most of this newsletter is free.
I’m not here to try and convince you that you need to contribute. But I will share my own conviction on this topic.
I support a couple of writer’s newsletters. And when I have friends who publish books and send me a free one, I always buy at least one for myself or for a friend. Why do I do this?
Because I believe the world needs writers, thinkers, entrepreneurs, and artists. A writer, for example, is nothing without an audience. And when I buy their books and pay for their newsletters, it helps their ministry, it promotes their message, and it inspires them because they know someone is behind them.
Just something to consider as you decide if you want to head up the mountain with me. Paid or free, we’re in it together. So let’s spread the message and the love, whaddya say?
Feel free to share your answers in the comments below. I’ll be checking in and interacting with you.
How do you incorporate seasons of quiet into your life? Is it a media or social media sabbatical? Is it not going out as much? Is it getting into nature?
What does the kind and frequency of media we consume say about our inner lives? For example, if we find ourselves bingeing on programming, is this telling us something of our souls? Or, have we become too accustomed to so much free content that we no longer value thoughtful nuanced articles/posts?
What are you hoping to renew in this harvest time of the year? It’s a new season for the trees and sky, what new season will it be for you?
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