Tuesday, July 23, 2019


Dear Small Business Owner,

I’m not asking for money or votes, I just want you to have what’s good for your soul and right for your world.

Long ago in Lawrence Kansas, I started a small business from scratch as a young man in my twenties without any money. For five years prior to starting my business, I planned and prepared for it by taking business management and accounting classes at night and weekends, working days as an apprentice in my chosen field, and purchasing and storing needed start-up equipment whenever it came up on sale and I could afford it. It was a tremendous amount of work but, I wanted it, and that made all the difference.

After operating my business successfully for 12 years in Lawrence, I shut my business down, not because I had to but because I felt a calling in my heart I could not identify and, it was driving me crazy. I purchased a Winnebago, drove to the west coast and hiked around in the mountains for 9 months. I then returned to Lawrence and continued searching for myself for another year when, while out walking my dog on a summer day, Jesus turned the lights on in my heart, and completely blew my mind.

Free at last and joyful for it, I set out traveling in the footsteps of those that truly put themselves in God’s hands. By canoe, by foot, and horse-and-wagon, I traveled 5,000 miles though America. I knew I would run out of money, and I was running out of time for finding a wife, having a home, and building a family, but in my heart, God said he would share his children with me, and He took such excellent care of his new servant, as to amaze me again and again. With faith, and a lot of hard work, I used skills learned in business to fund my mission independent of any individual or organizations religious or otherwise. Today I could not bring my horse and wagon to town because city code forbids it, but I do have a connection with the people of Lawrence, small business people like you, and that is why I am here.

There are countless ways to “happiness” in this world from the cereal we eat to the cola we drink to the shiny cars we drive, but true happiness is different, and those that have it know it is not the goal but rather, an outcome same as financial success is an outcome of striving to do your best in business. Some Christians will tell you that you can have it all simply by acknowledging Jesus as your savior, but a sincere Christian, same as a sincere business owner, will do the hard work even when others claim it isn’t needed. And although I cannot tell you God’s plan for you (only He can speak to your heart), I know this: When we open our hearts and let His light shine in, there will be, in a very real manner of speaking, dawn in God's everlasting masterpiece, a new life in a new realm with virgin mountains, plains, and rivers. And like a jigsaw puzzle, only God knows where the pieces go, but it is our steps, taken in faith, upon the difficult path, that make the pieces fall into place, and the picture that comes together in our soul is a treasure larger than this world has space to hold.

Your soul is the one and only thing you get to keep forever. And God wants nothing more than for you to keep it, so give God more than a nod. Step onto His narrow path of truth, keep putting one foot before the other, and He will lead you to a broad spiritual plane where, looking back, you will know, He saved the one thing you keep forever - your soul - and of course, that made your life great!

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter!


James Sheldon

 My dog UB and I, portaging around a dam on the Missouri River

 My dog UB and I, on the Snake River

 My horse Reba and I, in rural America

 My horse Reba, dog Jill, and I, in small town America

 Reba and I, in rural America

Reba, my black and white Clydesdale 

My business in Lawrence, Kansas

Reba's blue eye

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