I started that first business with my dad back in 1961.....really thought I was some kind of hot stuff. We were selling materials handling equipment. In 1964 we started manufacturing the smaller overhead traveling cranes we had been trying to sell that had to ship in from Chicago making them very expensive. It was just too competitive locally with all the iron shops around and this seemed the only way we could get any of that area of the business. It worked.... really went well for 2 years. Then slowly but surely over the next 2 years, all that had been going "right" was now going "wrong". One disaster after the other, finally ending up with the fire and my encounter with God in 1968.
It took over a year to discover that God was not really interested in my making a million dollars for Him in the crane business. Back then I was clueless about the temptations, not to mention the battle I had been birthed into, or how to engage in that war against God's enemy as he works at destroying me and everything I have..... actually that understanding has just come over the past few years which has made a dramatic difference.... when I think about it... it is really amazing how God's grace has kept us from being totally overwhelmed by all that has happened over so many years without that understanding.
I felt I needed to get out of the business at the end of 1969 and then.....it would survive as long as this old Jonah got off the ship...... So much for another great perception. It didn't work. Within 6 months the business was too broke to officially go broke. The sheriff locked the door and the bank sold everything that was left for a lousy $2000. I didn't get it. I had been bragging to everybody, how this great God I had met was going to turn this disaster from the fire into this great coast to coast business......and......how He would pay back all the money I owed to a zillion different people.....(I called it witnessing for the glory of God so He would get the credit for it when it happened and not His humble servant Philip) :)
That was not the last time I was tempted and ate my version of the apple. Actually it was just the beginning of a basket full of apples. All seemed very reasonable to me...well...you know....God just didn't want me to be in the manufacturing arena.... He had other great things for me to do.... I opened a little Christian Book Store, that I knew.... of course.... God would simply bless and bless and bless. Strangely enough He did.... and it didn't take me long to jump all over my success and "get the vision"....... of ...... coast coast bookstores for Jesus!"