Out of Gas

Go until you can't go anymore

There is a scene in the movie Patton that haunts me. It shows an overcast morning with small fires burning in and around American tanks. Bodies lay sprawled on the ground and slumped on gun turrets. Patton surveys the scene. His offensive has come to a screeching halt as the Third Army literally runs out of fuel near the Moselle River, just outside of Metz, France. In the dark, out of gas, his men fought to the death.

I’m sure Moses felt that way as he stood with his back to the Nile. Before him lay the Egyptian army. Behind water. All around, men, women, and children looked to him for a way out of the mess. I feel that way, today. Egypt is gone. We can’t go back to the way things were. What worked for LPC over these past seven years … doesn’t.

For the past several months I have noticed a steady decline in Amazon’s Kindle ebook sales. Kindle ebook sales are the majority of our fiction royalties and half our income. Kindle ebooks are easily consumable items. Instant buys you can read immediately. On the Kindle forums, other authors have noticed a similar dip in Kindle sales and royalties. Maybe it’s a function of ebooks. There are rumors that consumers are developing screen-fatigue. Of course if all books decline in sales we should still hold our market share in the sales ranking and categories, but that seems to slipping, too.

I ask that you plead with our Lord and Leader to:

  • Redeem our lost sales
  • Renew our hope
  • Restablish our position in the marketplace
  • Revive our spirit of courage
  • Restore my vision

The last time something like this happened was two years ago. I asked for prayers and guidance. We recovered and went on to have the best two years of the company. I pray that will happen again, but if not I need to know how to lead as we advance into this new normal.


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5 thoughts on “Out of Gas

  1. I am praying the Holy Spirit will infuse you with hope and a fresh vision. Lean back in His arms and allow Him to take LPC where He wants it to go. I know a lot of prayers are going up.

  2. You are the God of the impossible. You bring beauty from ashes and turn dry bones into mighty armies. You have been so faithful to LPC, its authors, and its faithful leader. You promise to never leave us or forsake us, and we know you are a promise-keeping God. Thank you for every book you’ve brought to LPC, every author, and every reader.

    Lord, we believe you have bright days ahead for this company. New authors, new books, and new readers. You promise that if we lack wisdom, we can ask you, and you’ll give it to us liberally without finding fault. Please fill Eddie with your wisdom. Give him supernatural insight into the markets and the trends. If he’s missing something, help him see it. If there are new approaches he should try, give him confidence and courage. If there’s anything that is hindering Eddie, its authors, or LPC, bring it to our awareness. Father, if there is any sin we need to confess, help us see and surrender it. If Satan or his forces are standing in the way of our forward progress, bind him in Jesus’ name.

    I pray, almighty God, the prayer of Daniel 9:18 – we come to you not because of righteous things we have done, but because of your great mercy. And the prayer of Hezekiah – we don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

    May your hand of favor rest firmly upon Eddie, LPC, its authors, and its books. Use us to shine the light of your truth into an increasingly dark world.

    And Father, I’m sure Eddie feels a great burden of responsibility as he leads this company. Help him remember that he is only a steward, and you are the owner. Bless him as he faithfully serves you. Give him energy, strength, hope, and confidence. Renew his vision and fill him with joy. Draw him to sit at your feet every day, seek your wisdom, and step out in faith and trust. Help him be still and know you are God.

    In the strong name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

  3. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

    Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. (2 Chronicles 20:15b)

    Guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luke 1:79b)

    No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:62)

    Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

  4. Lord, you are bigger than this. We pray for sales, but we don’t pray for them only so that we authors, editors, and publishers make money, but also so that the books you have lead us to write get into the hands of those who need the messages they contain. God in heaven, open doors that only you can open. Give us hope and courage to work hard. But help us trust the results to you. Lord, be with Eddie as he leads LPC. Give him wisdom and success in what he puts his hands to. More than anything, Lord, encourage his spirit and remind him you are with him even through the dry seasons. Amen.

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