This week’s author interview is with Tim Shorey. He is the author of Respect the Image: Reflecting Human Worth in How We Listen and Talk, which is releasing February 5th. Read a sample chapter of his book HERE.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a missionary and preacher’s kid who was wondrously rescued from spiritual rebellion in my mid-teen years. I was going in a seriously wrong direction when God got ahold of me and drew me to Christ at age 15. But that isn’t where God’s work in me began. As I rummage around in my memory files, I can go back to age 5, when I already aspired to be three things: I wanted to be a husband, a father, and a pastor. I’m sure that says something about how much I admired my father who was all three in faithfulness till death took him home.
But it turned out to be much more than a son’s admiring desire to be like his dad when he grows up; it was the early hint of a three-fold calling. As a simple matter of fact, I was a husband (to Gayline) at 19, a father at 20, and a pastor at 23. I’m now 61 so you can do the math and see that grace has been pretty amazing to me. It makes me think of words that I’m guessing most have heard somewhere before: “Through many dangers toils and snares, I have already come; ‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”
Along the way the family has grown to six kids and 13 grand-kids—and a world of brothers and sisters in Jesus. Writing has become ministry and hobby to me—even as pastoral life continues. And as for rest and replenishment, food and walks and grand-kids and music and laughter and sushi and a very occasional round of golf are all consistent restoratives and interests of mine—so long as, at least 90% of the time, I get to do them with Gayline.
- When did you first want to write a book?
In my twenties, but family and church didn’t leave enough left-over time to pursue it. So that made all those years of marriage and parenting and pastoring the prep time for writing; which I’m getting to do now. I think that’s called, “having your cake and eating it, too”.
- Have you always enjoyed writing?
Yes I have; all the way back to junior high.
- What inspired you to write this book, about this topic?
I’ve self-published a couple of smaller books that function mostly as testimonials and devotionals—and they were a pure joy to write. Inspired as they were by a spirit of worship and delight in Jesus, they were very personal offerings of praise to my Savior, by which more than a few seem to have been blessed.
But my February 5, 2020-released P&R-published Respect the Image: Reflecting Human Worth in How We Listen and Talk is different. While still an offering of praise, it’s also a result of decades of life, ministry, and study. And it’s born out of a longing ache that families and churches and classes and diverse ethnicities would lay down their weapons of warfare and form a mutually binding pact to take up and apply the Word of God and all it has to say about respect, love, careful listening, and a sanctified tongue.
I put the core of this teaching together over 20 years ago and have taught it in summer Bible camps, marriage retreats, churches; even in public schools. The burden to get it into writing has grown over the years, and has been ignited further by my recent experiences as a pastor of a very multi-cultured church in a polarized world; a context where listening and talking are being tested like never before—much to our delight! In short: people are far too precious to damage or abuse through the wretched communication sins we all too often commit. It is time for change.
- What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Given that this is my first formally published work—and that it’s just being released—means that the critiques are still mostly to come; which produces, I must say, a bit of a vulnerable sensation. I do like to craft words, but have been warned not to do too much of it. Readers will have to decide whether or not it’s overboard in Respect the Image. On the other hand, I think that the best compliment I’ve heard—apart from comments of how the writing has blessed people and is pastorally helpful—is one I’ve received quite often; that my writing is winsome. I like that. I think that people who know me will know that I take life, the gospel, theology, Scriptural authority, and the glory of God very seriously; which is pretty clear in my book (I hope!). But along with that, I seriously hope that I take joy, grace, whimsy, light-hearted fun, and smiles seriously, too. Enough so that people can feel them though the words on the page, as well.
- What is your favorite food?
Meatloaf, mashed potatoes swimming in butter, fresh green peas (swimming in the potatoes’ overflow butter), and a nice sized bowl of vanilla ice cream for dessert.
- The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia?
When I am reading for pleasure alone, The Lord of the Rings, which I happen to be reading for the fourth time right now. LOTRs stirs me to courage, endurance, and friendship; reminding me to seize the time I’m given to do the tasks I’m given. But if I am reading to children, The Chronicles of Narnia. Seeing the faces of kids as they go further up and further in to Narnia’s wonders is a sight to delight!
- If you have a favorite book of the Bible, what is it and why?
I’m not sure about “favorite” but I love the book of Ecclesiastes. It has rescued my soul time and again when the seemingly random and endless sorrows of a broken world have threatened my faith. I thrill over its simple powerful message in the midst of all that is crazy and unexplained; a message simply stated: “Remember God. Do what he says. And enjoy life.” But hey; that may be focus for another book.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
 Worship Worthy: Alliterative Adoration and 30/30 Hindsight: 30 Reflections on a 30-Year Headache