How old were you when you made your first choice? I certainly have no recollection of that event in my life. I’m sure that it was very early in my childhood. Maybe it was a choice about what I was willing to eat. Maybe it was a choice on whether I would obey my parents and go to bed when I was told. Whatever that first choice was, I don’t believe it has affected me adversely. But as we age and mature, we constantly must make choices on issues of increasing importance, and the ripple effect of those choices will directly affect the trajectory of our life.
I’m sure if you interviewed anyone that is currently incarcerated, they could tell you about a small choice that they made that directly led to them being imprisoned. For example, many people who have been convicted for embezzlement didn’t start their life of crime by embezzling large sums of money. Many times, they had personal financial problems, and took their organization’s funds with every intention of repaying. But that first choice was only a gateway, and they found themselves dipping into the organization’s funds with greater regularity and ever-increasing amounts until the time when their crime was exposed. Most of those people regret that first wrong choice, and had they known where it would take them, they probably would have made a different choice.
Choices are always that way. The choices I made yesterday impact my decisions today, and today’s decisions will directly impact the decisions I will have to make tomorrow. There is no such thing as an insignificant choice when it comes to following Jesus and living with integrity. I need to be willing to analyze the choices that I am making, and if they are leading me away from Jesus and his way of life, I must make a conscious decision to change my choices. Just like Joshua said to the children of Israel, I must “choose today whom I will serve.” It is my choice, no one else’s.
This is our mission at Lighthouse Publishing. We supply free discipleship tools to those that are in prison, helping them to continue to choose to live the way that Jesus taught. Many of them have very few people in their lives who can help to mentor them in making proper choices. We strive to give our incarcerated readers a valuable resource that can help them make right choices regarding their walk with Jesus and how that walk should impact their everyday lives.
We can’t do this ourselves. Each one of you that makes the choice to join us, whether by choosing to give funds, time, prayer support, or distribution of the magazine, is an integral part of us fulfilling our mission. We are grateful for the choice you made, and we are blessed to have you with us!
—Wendell Martin, Board Chairman
Issue 49 Shipped
By the time you receive this newsletter, Loaves & Fishes issue 49 will have shipped to our readers. We ran about a month behind schedule with this issue, the second one of this year, but very generous recent donations have allowed us to get this issue out with a surplus amount of funds to put toward our next issue. We sincerely appreciate our donors. Part of the purpose of this newsletter is to share with you how much your gifts mean to our readers and distributors.
Our current circulation is around 75,000 copies, with about 2,300 of these being single copy subscriptions and the rest going to bulk distributors. Our cost to print issue 49 was $23,821.31, and we project postage costs to be around $9,000. Including the cost of additional copies ordered for inventory, our total cost to print and ship this issue is around $32,800. The average cost of each printed and mailed magazine is 41¢. This is up from 24¢ just three years ago, which reflects how inflation has impacted our costs.
With our current publishing schedule of three issues per year, the time between published issues may sometimes extend as long as 4-6 months. If you are a distributor and find yourself running low between issues, we invite you to contact us and order extra copies. We have an inventory of back issues. Please feel free to take advantage of these while supplies last.
While our donors make financial investments in our work, we are keenly aware that our distributors make investments of time and energy. We sincerely appreciate what you do! We think of your daily work and pray that God will bless and reward you for your service.
For our final issue of the year, which we hope to publish later this fall, we will address the topic of the Church. The Church is the body of Christ on earth. The idea for the Church’s existence comes from God. It exists where Christians are gathered, including prisons. It is a place where Christian discipleship happens, and where Christ shines out as the Light of the World. It is the Bride of Christ!
Please partner with us in prayer as our editor and writers ponder how this issue can be made relevant and inspiring to our readers. We want to see God’s kingdom expand in the prisons. Your support in prayer, giving, and distribution of Loaves & Fishes can be a part of this effort.
—Michael Fisher, Manager of Operations