An Open Letter From Your Publisher

An open letter from your publisherI remember your book. I recall when you pitched the idea and how excited you where when you emailed to announce you signed your contract. I often reflect upon the difficulty we had matching the cover and title to your pre-conceived ideas of how the book should look, the struggles with editing, proofing, and those way-to-many corrections.

I remember your book.

Daily.

In the past few months I’ve come to live by the words of Pastor Mark Batterson: “Pray as if your success depends on God and work as if it depends on you.”

Each day I review our marketing and production strategy and look for ways to improve both. Each day I seek God’s blessing for your book.  I will not give up on its success.

Ever.

Some question whether LPC publishes too many books. We know our staff is stretched thin, ill-equipped to handle the workload, and quite frankly, not always as professional as we should be. We do the best we can but that’s no excuse for shoddy work.

And so I pray for your book and ask God to look past my flaws and bless your words.

My ministry partner, Cindy Sproles, and I started Christian Devotions Ministries because we believed certain authors deserve “the chance” to see their words in print. As the book publishing industry continues to consolidate and shrink, we still feel called to advance – called to publish more books, take greater risks, and expand our boundaries with great faith.

Launching your book was an act of faith.

This is why LPC seeks authors who are eager for “a chance” to do all they can to make their book a success.

LPC works hard to give authors as many tools as possible for the promotion of their book. We study market trends, take classes at writers’ conferences, connect with vendors, and recommend what we believe are the best marketing practices within the industry. But at the end of each day I know I haven’t done enough. Did all I could, but it’s never enough.

This is why we depend on you.

We need you to believe in your book as much as we do. We need you to pray for your book’s success the way we do. We need you to promote other LPC authors and their books the way they promote your book.

You have heard me say before that silo-platform-building (me, me, me promotion) is at odds with the message of Christ. Jesus did not say, “Do for yourself, as you wish others would do for you.” He calls us to help our neighbor, serve others, and fan the flame of encouragement in our brothers and sisters. In short, we’re to tweet, post, pin, and write reviews for others with the same enthusiasms we use to promote our own book.

I don’t know why you signed with LPC, I really don’t. I do know you took a leap of faith. And for that I am grateful.

I am now asking you to take another step of faith. I am asking you to believe in your book and believe that God is at work in LPC, spreading His Message through a variety of voices.

If you will do that, reply in the affirmative to this email and I will add you to a new Pay If Forward email list of LPC authors committed to supporting and praying for one another.

Thanks for listening.

And thanks for believing in the work of LPC and CDM.

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(All typos are my own. Feel free to borrow and include in your next book.)

Below are a few of the books we’ve published this summer.

Paul's Letters To The Early Church Living Like Lions perf5.000x8.000.indd Chapel Springs Revival

Daddy, Can You Make Me Pancakes? America's Star-Spangled Story - Celebrating 200 years of the National Anthem Enduring Faith - An 8-Week Devotional Study of the Book of Hebrews Messiah to the Messed Up - Because I'm a mess, you're a mess, and we all need a Messiah

Site Under De(con)struction – He Said

Site Under Construction

Site Under Construction

“The Lord moved the heart of the king to make this proclamation:

The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth (this ministry) and he has appointed me to build a temple (a website) for him at Jerusalem in Judah (virtually). And (His) people are to provide silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem (website for Christian Devotions Ministries.) ” Ezra 1: 1-4

At least that’s how I read this verse. For the past week Christian Devotions Ministries has battled website server issues. I thought when I sold my web company five years ago I was done with web work. But “web” spelled backwards is “bew” which in Yiddish means, “small dog with a deformed something.” Or maybe it means “small god with a reformed theology.” Yiddish is not my first language. Or even a language spoken in my neighborhood.

My point is our ministry’s web site is sick. Sick as in kaput. ( “Kaput,” by the way, is Yiddish for “Chicago Cubs World Series hopes.”) Seven years worth of daily devotions (365 x 7=2555) are gone. Poof! No more. The cause? A deformed database.

Or maybe it’s the Cubs.

Anyhow, this morning during my quiet time God gave me this encouragement from Ezra. “Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord.”

Rebuilt.

On the old foundations.

In fear.

And sacrificed.

Look, I’m not asking for donations for Christian Devotions Ministries. At CDM we don’t pass the plate around and beg for bucks.

But it is a good thing to hear a word of encouragement when your temple lies in ruins.

* * *

(any hipppos associated with this possing are pearly my on and in know refract the quanity fo work assocated with Christian Devolution Minstrees.)

They Gave Their All for a Supply of Shoes

The 26th North Carolina brought 843 men to the field at Gettysburg on July 1. By nightfall 588 men were dead or wounded. The colors fell fourteen times. Only twelve men remained of Company E, all but two wounded. Company F consisted of a single sergeant, Robert Hudspeth.

Shortly after noon Pettigrew's men deployed in line of battle on a ridge 60 yards west McPherson's Woods

Shortly after noon Pettigrew’s men deployed in line of battle on a ridge 60 yards west McPherson’s Woods

Pettigrew’s Brigade moved toward Gettysburg early on the morning of July 1. Shortly after noon Pettigrew’s men deployed in line of battle on a ridge 60 yards west McPherson’s Woods.

The 26th North Carolina stood on the Brigade’s left flank, on the ridge in front, facing the woods and Willoughby Run. In front was the 24th Michigan of Meredith’s Iron Brigade. The order to advance came around 2:30 p.m. As they approached Willoughby Run the 26th received a galling fire from the opposite bank. By Maj. Jones recalled the enemy “pouring volleys into each other at a distance not greater than 20 paces.”

With Colonel Henry King Burgwyn, the 21-year old “boy general,” taking his place at the center of the regiment, and J.B. Mansfield, the regimental color bearer, advanced with the regiment’s square battle flag. Eight other members of the 26th’s color guard joined Mansfield at the front.

Four members of the 26th’s color guard were killed or wounded before they even reached Willoughby Run.  Private John Stamper grabbed the regiment’s colors as they splashed across the stream but fell before reaching the other side.  Private George Washington Kelly gathered the battle flag and charged ahead but was struck by shrapnel in the leg and fell. L.A. Thomas, gathered the flag up and began to move up the hillside.

As they approached Willoughby Run the 26th received a galling fire from the opposite bank. By Maj. Jones recalled the enemy "pouring volleys into each other at a distance not greater than 20 paces."

As they approached Willoughby Run the 26th received a galling fire from the opposite bank. By Maj. Jones recalled the enemy “pouring volleys into each other at a distance not greater than 20 paces.”

Thomas was hit; he passed the flag to John Vinson. Enemy fire dropped Vinson. The flag was passed to John Marley. Within a few steps he too fell wounded.  A tenth, unnamed man, hoisted colors.  In ten minutes the 26th North Carolina had lost ten different color bearers.

The men of the 26th North Carolina rushed up the steep bank, coming on “with rapid strides, yelling like demons.” Waiting in the thick woods were the trained rifles of the 24th Michigan and the Iron Brigade.

Seeing the Hardee hats of the Michigan men, some of Burgwyn’s men exclaimed, “here are those damned black hat fellows again.”   With less than fifty yards separating the two lines, the 24th Michigan unleashed a devastating volley upon the 26th.

Standing toe to toe in the deep woods, the two proud regiments poured deadly fire into each other.  Col. Burgwyn, urging his men forward, took up the 26th’s colors.  As Burgwyn turned to hand the flag to Private Frank Honeycutt the “boy colonel” was struck in the chest by a musket ball.  Burgwyn stumbled forward, dropped to his knees, but managed to keep the colors aloft as he attempted to pass them to Honeycutt. A shot to the head felled Honeycutt.

Lieutenant Colonel J.R. Lane, after checking on the mortally wounded Burgwyn, quickly assumed command of the regiment. “Close your men quickly to the left.,” he ordered. “I am going to give them the bayonet,” As the 26th North Carolina’s men prepared for yet another charge, their flag lay on the ground in front. Lieutenant Blair of the 26th, seeing the flag on the ground announced, “no man can take those colors and live.”  Lane picked up the flag and ordered his men forward.

Lieutenant Colonel J.R. Lane, still carrying the regiment’s flag, continued to urge his men forward. Then he, too was struck down, suffering a terrible bullet wound to the back of the neck.  For the fourteenth and final time on July 1st, the colors of the 26th went down.

The retreating 24th Michigan broke and began to retreat towards the town of Gettysburg.

The retreating 24th Michigan broke and began to retreat towards the town of Gettysburg.

The fight between the 24th Michigan and the 26th North Carolina proved to be the bloodiest regimental engagement of the bloodiest Civil War battle. The 26th North Carolina and 24th Michigan each suffered the greatest number of regimental casualties in their respective armies at Gettysburg. The 26th North Carolina entered the battle with 843 soldiers and suffered 687 casualties, including its colonel and lieutenant colonel.  The 24th Michigan would lose 363 of their 496 soldiers at Gettysburg – a staggering 73% casualty rate.

All for a supply of shoes.

Monument at Gettysburg to the 26th North Carolina

Monument at Gettysburg to the 26th North Carolina

(Much of this information courtesy of: www.civilwar.org/battlefields/gettysburg/gettysburg-2011/the-battle-for-herbst-woods.html)