This year is my blog’s eighth anniversary.  That’s kind of hard to wrap my head around – that I’ve been writing here for that long.  Granted, the volume of my writing was a lot smaller in the early days, but still.  I believe that this will by my 1400th post.  I’ve had hundreds of comments along the way.  If I’m reading my hosting information correctly, on average 400 people visit this site each day.  That’s about 12,000 hits a month.  While I still suspect that about 10,000 of those are from a deranged schnauzer somewhere in Oklahoma that has figured out how to hit the refresh button on the browser to release a Snausage every couple of minutes from a web-enabled doggie tin, it’s still pretty cool.  

So thanks to all of you reading out there.  I hope you’ll continue  to share posts that you find helpful with others.  Or tape them to dart boards or gun range targets and vent your frustrations that way.  If you have suggestions of things you’d like to hear more about (or less about), feel free to let me know.  I don’t promise to listen to you, but it will get factored into the mental mix.
The reality that readership has grown from a handful of the morbidly curious to a lot of folks I don’t even know about arrived in the mail today.  A letter from Samaritan Ministries letting me know that someone had joined and listed me as their referral.  I presume this person did so because they learned about the program from this blog.  Samaritan was notifying me that, assuming this person doesn’t immediately drop out of the program again, we’ll receive a referral bonus of almost half of one month’s share.  Thank you for mentioning me – what an unexpected blessing!
But, in the interest of full disclosure, that means that I’ve received compensation from Samaritan Ministries for referring someone (inadvertently!) to them.  I just wanted you to know that.  I will still write about them, and I’ll still be objective (I’m certainly not on the payroll, and I believe in being honest in my comments).  But if it matters to you, be aware that there’s the potential that I may benefit from my discussion of this alternative to traditional insurance (and the less traditional Obamacare).  It isn’t my intent or goal to benefit, but apparently it can happen.  You’ve been warned.
As an aside, Samaritan is growing like crazy.  They’ve had larger enrollments every month since at least September, each month setting a new record for 1-month enrollment levels.  They’re scrambling to adjust their infrastructure to handle all of the new clients.  Apparently a lot of other Christians (it’s only open to Christians who affirm a basic statement of faith, among other things) are also having second thoughts about the government dictating health insurance to them as well as dictating what they have to pay for other people’s health benefits.  
Or it could just be a wild, crazy coincidence, y’know?
If you know anyone in the Peoria, IL area who has a programming background, put them in touch with Samaritan as they’re hiring.  If you’re worried about the direction mandatory insurance is headed, check this out.  It may not be for you.  Read the fine print, particularly the fine print about what IS and IS NOT covered.  I’m not an insurance salesman, nor a qualified representative of Samaritan.  All I try and do is talk about my experience with them.  Only you can determine if it’s an option that might be good for you as well.
I’ll also report that each month with our information about who to send our card, prayers, and monthly share amount to, we receive a newsletter from Samaritan Ministries.  There are a variety of different topics – some health related, some theologically oriented, and some that blend the two.  I do NOT necessarily endorse any of those writings/points of view/interpretations.  
This is, incidentally, only the second time in eight years that I’ve received anything for my writings.  The first was a very awful book that someone requested I review and sent me a free copy.  It was not a pleasant read, not a pleasant review, and not a very pleased author.  I haven’t had any more requests to do reviews.  Go figure.
So once again, thanks to all of you who are encouraging with your comments and readership.  And thanks to that schnauzer.  You must be huge by now.  

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