A 2016 Thank You!

During a busy holiday week with friends and family coming and going, I have been on the internet less and face-to-face more. So I was a bit delayed in receiving some good news brought to my attention by some of my fellow GenRef Gents. Gentle Reformation was named as one of “My Top 10 Blogs of 2016” by Tim Challies. So I had to sneak away from company this morning and write a bit!

For several reasons, this recognition is quite an honor for us. Though some of us have attended conferences or interacted personally with Pastor Challies on occasion, for the most part he has been a “mentor at a distance” to us. The rich content of his blog combined with his caring, pastoral tone – qualities we sought to capture in the naming of our blog – have set a high mark that we have tried to emulate here. So as one who is a father and leader in the Christian blogging movement whom we respect highly, having Tim think of us in this way is surprising and quite humbling. To be honest, as Tim’s linking to us draws far more attention our way than we normally receive, it feels a bit like winning an Oscar or Emmy award (though I know Tim is too humble to think that of himself and would probably shudder at this being considered a “Timmy”). So many thanks to you, Tim.

If I may continue a moment with my “acceptance speech,” I also want to acknowledge my fellow bloggers here. Our formula has been fairly simple. Choose a team of brothers from different parts of the church who walk in holiness, have not become so reformed they have lost their sense of humor, demonstrate the ability to write well, and are kindred spirits (Phil. 2:20), then entrust to them a day or two of the month to write and let them go at it. Though occasionally there is some behind the scenes editing or discussion about a post, and we do collaborate on some projects such as the 3GT podcast or a column for the Reformed Presbyterian Witness, for the most part we are just a band of bloggers with little coordination between us writing what is on our hearts. So thank you to the other GenRef Gents for your faithful co-laboring in the Gospel, as well as to several others who contributed articles this year that were well-received. Though we do not want to get a team that is too unwieldy in size, to practice faithful discipleship and reach other people we are discussing training younger bloggers and adding a woman or two at some point.

Finally, we do want express our gratitude to you, our readers. So many of you have commented enthusiastically on the blog or in person, shared our posts on Facebook, tweeted out a link, etc., all of which encourage us in our labors. You have also sent to us ideas for columns, which are always welcome. We especially have been touched by testimonies of how a post has ministered to you, whether going through difficult life situations or just simply by bringing a smile to your face. So special thanks to you.

Now, on we go into the next year, hopefully writing and reading being a year wiser, humbler, and more loving, with hearts even more thankful for what Christ has done for us than when we entered into this one.

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