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Become a Friend of the Blog

This is the first of three big announcements I’ll be sharing with you this week. Today’s keyword is Friends, tomorrow’s keyword is Cruciform and Wednesday’s keyword will be Connected. Stay tuned as you won’t want to miss any of them.

By the end of this post I will have told you something, I will have offered you something and I will have asked you for something. That’s just so you know what to look for. So here goes.

This blog has become a major part of my life. For the past seven years (or very nearly so) it has been a daily part of my life even. I’ve grown awfully attached to it over the years and really can’t imagine life without it. It has given me near-endless opportunities to serve, to be served, to grow in grace and to meet so many brothers and sisters in Christ. Any success it has seen has been entirely unexpected and stands as clear evidence of God’s grace to me. I am very grateful to you, the readers, for making it part of your lives as well. It’s truly humbling. I probably do not say that to you often enough.

So that’s what I wanted to tell you.

Now let me talk about an exciting new program I’ve put together.

Recently the expenses associated with the blog have begun to rise. The hosting costs are sixteen times greater than when I started out and I’ve also had to invest thousands of dollars in infrastructure, such as moving to the new software package that drives the blog today. This is really just the cost of having a blog that is independent and heavily-visited (compare it to a business that, when it grows, needs to move to bigger and more elaborate offices). It’s nothing I resent or regret, of course—it’s just reality. For some time now I have been running ads to offset those expenses and to free up a bit more of my time for the writing and maintenance of the site; they’ve generally done a good job of it. But always I’ve been wanting to think creatively and outside of that proverbial box, hoping I could eventually trim back ads in favor of something else. I’ve wanted to find a way of bringing value to you, the reader, and to the people you buy books from, the people whose music you listen to, the people whose magazines you read. I think I’ve found a unique way of doing that.

Today I am asking if you would like to help out by becoming a Friend of the Blog.

Friendship has its privileges in this case. Here are some of the immediate highlights for anyone who becomes a Friend of the Blog:

  • A $10 gift certificate from Westminster Books
  • A $20 gift certificate from ChristianAudio (for the first 250 Friends only so don’t dawdle! They will go fast.)
  • You choose 4 new books or DVDs from Zondervan (including Tim Keller’s new DVD Gospel in Life)
  • A one-year subscription to Ligonier Ministries’ Tabletalk magazine
  • Album downloads from bands and artists you like (four to start, more to come)
  • Deals and savings from other stores

There are also things to win including, right off the top, a Kindle. Everyone who signs up as a Friend by the end of April will be entered into a drawing for that Kindle. If you’re really a book addict, you may want to become an Affiliate and refer friends, earning $5 in Westminster Books credit with each person you refer.

So that’s what I’m offering you. I think you’ll see right away that there is a lot of value there—$160 at least. And we’re just getting started. This is a year-long effort and more will be added over the course of the year. When you sign up, you get everything there plus whatever else comes in over the year.

And what I’m asking for is $39. All of this (and more!) is yours for that price—the cost of a one-year membership. I’ve worked hard to make this the best deal it could possibly be. And I will continue to do so.

You can get all the details at Friends of the Blog. Check it out and join the club!