The Lord got ahold of my husband a few months ago and it is so interesting to watch! Phil’s been a Christian for a long time and he loves the Lord. But God gave him an idea and it has totally changed him!

First, the back story: This has been a tough year for us financially. Many of you are probably in similar circumstances. Add to the mix a friend who is planting a church. We want so much to give financially to the church plant but haven’t been able to. We don’t live near enough to provide physical support. Of course we’re praying, but it is such a blessing to give financially and we miss it.

Enter God. He gave Phil the idea to start an affiliate marketing website. That was about 2 months ago. Before getting the idea, he hadn’t even heard the term affiliate marketing. I’m aware of it, but only to the extent that you can purchase books from from my “Books I’m Recommending” page. I didn’t know that LOTS of companies allow you to sell their products from your site and even pay you a commission to do so!

A concept is born: create an affiliate marketing website and give 50% of our commissions to various ministries. They probably won’t get rich from it and neither will we, but it’s a way for us to give more than we are currently able to give. That makes it essentially “free money,” right?

Trust me, it’s not free money. Phil has spent almost every spare minute on his new website, and it’s finally taking shape. This is still version 1.0 – he has plans to upgrade the usability, he’s adding new online retailers every day and he’s pursuing additional ministries to partner with. Check it out: Click on one of the ministry partners listed and begin shopping!

The cool thing is that you are buying from retailers you’d probably be buying from anyway, and you’re going directly to their site to make your purchases so you’re paying the same price you’d pay if you started at their site. The only difference is that they will send us a (small) percentage of the price of your purchases and we’ll give 50% of it to the ministry you shopped from. We’re pretty excited to be able to give to these ministries in a way that we haven’t been able to. (I was actually praising God for the poor economy last week because without it we probably would not have been receptive to hearing God speak about this new endeavor.) We are trusting God that the 50% we keep will cover our costs of running the website.

Now the interesting part – Phil has never developed a website before. I’ve tried and tried to get him involved in developing on our company’s website but he hasn’t shown any interest in it or aptitude for it. Now he’s coding in HTML! There are other tasks associated with our primary business that he has never embraced (that’s putting it kindly – he’s actually avoided them like the plague!). He’s embracing those tasks as they relate to ShopOnline2Give. By nature, he’s not a planner, but he has great plans for ShopOnline2Give. Most curious of all is that I have never known him to be this obsessed with anything. We’ve been married more than thirty years, we’ve started several businesses together, we’ve ministered together, we’ve moved across the country twice to pursue our dreams together, we’ve taken “vacations of a lifetime” together, we’ve succeeded and failed together. Through all that, he has never been this obsessed with anything. ShopOnline2Give is nearly all he talks about and he is always thinking about it.

Yes, it can get a little frustrating – I’ve been a bit of a web widow lately – but there is no doubt in my mind that God is in this project, and it is incredibly fascinating to watch it develop…and in the process, change the one I’ve known and loved for over thirty years.

If you’ve ever wondered if God can really change a person or a situation, friend, believe that He can. I’m watching it in real time!

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