another update letter... I cannot tell if I am getting closer or farther away sometimes...
But first the update:
Here is what I asked for prayer a month ago about:
(1) wisdom to know how to manage my cash to stretch it as far as possible;
What happened: All non-essential cash spending has been curtailed. My
mom paid for the last printing run of $3.4k. My church paid me a $1,000
honorarium for teaching. However, my debt payment amounts increased since
I have been financing this business largely on credit cards. I currently
have cash/credit resources for the rest of June.
(2) wisdom and obedient sensitivity to know when/if God might want me to adopt alternate plans;
I had to send out feelers for interim consulting work this past Wednesday.
Due to the publication schedule of the magazine (see 3 below) and lack
of advertising means, I do not anticipate meaningful sales numbers until
late September (I could be pleasantly surprised, of course). This puts
me without visible means of support for the next three months. This data
only surfaced this past week. In the previous week, I created another tape
product (intended for the sales channel) and sent it to a large sales training
company for review.
(3) an early--and positive(!)--magazine review ;
Good news and bad news here. Good news: The print version of the review
will appear in the August 1 edition, a whole month earlier than originally
thought. This version is very positive (and the magazine has asked me to
write a monthly column on the subject matter!). Bad news: They cannot put
an earlier version (or web link) on-line, due to policy about linking to
info-for-pay sites (like my training tapes). The net effect is that this
publicity will not generate any sales until August 1, which doesn't turn
into cash flow until the third week of September.
(4) 'quietness and confidence' to ward off the coming battles with doubt that I anticipate might arise soon(!); and
The info this week knocked me off my feet, and I went into "walking
dead man" mode for a day or so...My family are staying with me this week,
in town for my youngest son's high school graduation. It has been a challenge
to stay engaged with them, when I have been hurting so badly inside from
the discouragement and shock. Discouragement, despair, and hopelessness
are no strangers to me, to be sure, but fortunately each episode gets 'easier'
I have noticed over the past couple of years. He gets me through these,
somehow, both externally and internally, and I have been in worse situations
(but was not wise enough to know how desperate the situations were back
then!). I spent some extra time in the Word today (in the Message, Psalms
24-31), and especially liked the last verse of 31: "Be brave. Be strong.
Don't give up. Expect God to get here soon.". It has strengthened me
and held my heart firm. My girlfriend is surprised at my calmness over
the past few months, and I always am concerned that I am living in denial
(but this is probably due to my temptation to self-depreciation, of course),
but I honestly attribute this supernatural peace to the prayers of so many
of you. Many a discouraging day has been brightened by some random email
about 'praying for me' or about 'hoping my venture succeeds so I can work
on Tank more'...I have been able to start seeking work without bitterness
or doubting the overall direction of this dream.
(5) some interim sales to take some pressure off the decision process timeline, and off me as a father in providing for my kids.
I only sold one unit, and it was to a friend of mine from my Sunday
School class. As indicated above, the decision process timeline accelerated,
and I am facing considerable pressures to find income sources quickly.
If this is done easily, then I may be able to give this a chance to work
before giving up (inscrutably) and seeking out a full-time executive job.
So, the challenges are very, very real to me, but certainly expected...
I certainly appreciate all of your prayers, and entreat to you continue
(1) I need clarity on what short-term actions to take to address/solve the short-term problem (e.g., seeking a loan, how to generate short-term consulting);
(2) I will need resolve and strength to stay the course for WHATEVER becomes clear IS the course. (And, if the course is not what I had hoped for, I will need strength to fight the 'hope deferred' sickness which would ensue.);
(3) I need honesty to see what the longer-term scenario might look like, to the extent it is available for 'seeing' yet;
(4) I need the ability to get some Tank work done, even under these circumstances. [Even doing short-term consulting will not fill up all the hours of the week, so there might be time available to try to make progress on some of the more important articles I am working on. This is very difficult to do, under situations of extreme stress, so I would ask for special focus, resolve, and clarity of heart to make these context switches without getting sick all the time.]
(5) That He would be honored in my eyes, in the eyes of my children, and in the eyes of all those who see this, through these events and through how this works out.
Thank you for your prayers, interest, support, encouragement, and walking with me...
Sorry so brief, but I have to get back to my family who is visiting now,
I will try to update again in a couple of weeks,