End of an Experiment

I am thankful I began this experiment over 18 months ago.

Blogging everyday about something I was/am thankful for was both an epic failure and a colossal success.

Failure: the bar–posting every day--was unrealistic, even though I still have more ideas and themes than I can possibly handle that I could post every day. Daily posting just isn’t realistic for me, as demonstrated by the lack of posts for nearly a year, and very sporadic posts prior to that.

Success: two things–1) learning about the grind of a daily posting requirement, even if it was self imposed and could have easily been changed. I could even have gone on writing binges and scheduled things well in advance…which I actually did a couple of times. 2) Developing a better attitude of gratitude. Is it a daily practice, as was my original intent? Not by a long shot. Am I generally more thankful. I think I can say “yes” to that. Not consistently, but overall.

I especially wish to thank those of you who, once upon a time, elected to follow this blog, for whatever reasons you may have had. I’m sorry I didn’t have the chops to keep a steady stream of some kind posted for you.

I will be transforming this domain (jeffreymdstormer.com) for my business launch in the very near future. (First part of June?)

Same great name (not that I’m biased or anything), totally new content and focus.

It’s been an eye-opening experiment. I learned quite a bit about myself and about blogging in general, and for that, I am thankful.


Musical Monday: Memorial Day 2013 Freedom isn’t free









Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.                                                                                                                                        John 15:13 ESV

Sunday’s Spiritual Spin: The Fallen

Gold Star Service Banner
Gold Star Service Banner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

sunday’s Spiritual Spin

I am thankful for my brothers and sisters in arms who have fallen in the line of duty. Memorial Day is the day on which we honor those who gave their lives in defense of our country. It is no surprise that nearly all Americans recognize this honor, regardless of their viewpoints on religion, politics, etc. It is because we understand that freedom is never free, that “the tree of liberty is watered by the blood of patriots.”

To those who survive, my heartfelt thanks. Word cannot express my gratitude nor comfort your sorrow. I therefore ask the Lord Who is Comfort to do it for me.



While those of us who served, or are currently serving, appreciate the gratitude expressed to us on Memorial Day, we (if I may be so bold as to speak for everyone else) would greatly prefer that gratitude be focused toward those who have joined the ranks of the rarest of honors: Families of the Gold Star.

Veterans are most appropriately thanked on Veteran’s Day. Those currently serving, on Armed Forces Day.

But you know what? It’s better do express the gratitude while we’re all still around to hear it, so while I do have a bit of a…particular view…in the matter, don’t let my hobby-horse get in the way.

Armed Forces Day, 2013

Armed Forces DayI am thankful for our  Armed Forces, the men and women who swore an oath to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Who put themselves in harm’s way to protect our rights.

President Harry S Truman led the effort to establish this holiday for citizens to come together and thank military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.

A bit of nit picking on my part:

Armed Forces Day ( May 18) is to honor those currently serving. Veteran’s Day (Nov 11) is for honoring those who have servedMemorial Day honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

while I am truly grateful for those who acknowledge my service whenever they thank me, I have to admit a bit of…annoyance? that the purpose of these various holidays seems to be getting all mixed up.

This point is this: thank them while you have the chance:

The Active Duty folks you see in the airport today might be coming home in a flag draped coffin. Sad, but all too true. We don’t know.

The Veteran you see, perhaps hobbling through Wal-Mart, might not wake up tomorrow morning–WWII and Korea (for example) were a long time ago.

On Memorial Day, it’s too late to thank the service member for their service. So be sure to look for their survivors: family, friends, comrades in arms–and thank them for their sacrifice.

An Abundance of Opportunity

I am thankful for a boat load of things, which isn’t unusual, but I try hard to limit myself to just one per post. Today just happens to be a bit harder than usual.

The moon was particularly beautiful last night. Don’t know if it was full or not; frankly I can’t see all that well most nights, not that it changes the beauty or my appreciation of it.

And the reason that I was up late to see such beauty was emailing back and forth with “my recruiter” (the folks that are helping me find a contract to teach English in Korea)–they found a school and my interview is this Sunday! And I’ll admit I’m a bit excited. Yeah, right! Who am I trying to kid! I’m a LOT excited!

From the descriptions the recruiters have sent, it looks like a pretty good match. And I’m guessing that the headmaster thinks so too, why schedule an interview otherwise?

Soooo, two new items on my immediate To Do list: research “typical questions for a Korean TEFL interview” and check out the school’s website. Via Google translate…

Thanksgiving 2012

I am thankful that I have gotten a good start on my attitude adjustment experiment. Post #44 today. Attitude still needs major work, but that’s why I’m working on it by trying to focus on Him to Whom I give thanks.

The following article makes my point and rather than try to paraphrase (and goof it up) I have simply included it. It comes from a subscription I enjoy and recommend greatly.

Please note that it is used without permission.

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries

From Whom?

The four lines of what is commonly known as the Doxology have been sung for more than three hundred years:

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

It has been said that the Doxology, which literally means words or saying of glory, has done more to teach the doctrine of the Trinity than all the theological books ever written. To this day, when I sing those powerful lines, I recall the colorful lesson of my first grade Sunday school teacher. With something like cookie dough and bologna magically falling down on the table before us, she read us the story of a God who made the heavens rain bread and quail so that God’s grumbling people might live and know that God is God. I was impressed. And when we sung the Doxology at the end of the service, I thought it immensely helpful that I knew a little more of what it means when we sing that God is a God from whom all blessings flow.

Former president of Calvin Seminary, Cornelius Plantinga Jr. once said pointedly, “It must be an odd feeling to be thankful to nobody in particular.” He was commenting on the odd phenomenon of finding, especially around the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., people thankful “in general.” To be thankful “in general” is very strange, he concluded. “It’s a little like being married in general.”

Of course, his words do not mean to dismiss the gift of being thankful overall or living with a broad and general posture of thanks. Rather, Plantinga’s concern is a philosophical one. Namely, can one be thankful in general, thankful for the blessings that flow, without acknowledging from where or from whom they might be flowing?

In what remains a revealing look at human nature despite religion or creed, Moses describes life after Egypt. Rescued Israel was a grumbling people sick of manna, wailing for meat, even longing to go back to the land God had mightily delivered them from. And in the midst of revealing God’s promise for meat, more physical evidence that God had heard them, Moses says to them, “You have rejected the Lord, who is among you.”(1)

To give thanks is defined in the dictionary as “expressing gratitude, appreciation, or acknowledgment”; to be thankful is to hold “the feeling or expression of gratitude or appreciation.” Here, Moses points out the inconsistency of the Israelites who are grumbling as if all alone. If being thankful is by nature being aware and appreciative and expressive of gratitude toward someone or something beyond us, complaining is refusing to see anything butourselves. It is refusing to see anyone among us, let alone the God we have seen in ages past. Moreover, it is an expression that serves only to affirm our own expectations, whether they are based on faulty visions of reality or not. Certainly the Israelites didn’t really want to go back into captivity, but in their grumbling even slavery began to look inviting.

For the Christian, thanksgiving is a reaffirmation of the word itself, a declaration that we know we are not alone, that we know there is someone to thank; and consequently, that choosing not to see the glory of God, choosing not to raise our eyes to God from whom all blessings flow is in essence to be content in blindness. To live without thanks is to choose not to wholly consider reality, choosing to overlook a good creation and creator at work beyond us, in all things, in all circumstances. In one of his own doxologies written for the Roman church, the apostle Paul declares the glory of God in the midst of his own hardships, and so lifts our eyes to the hope that our thanksgiving indeed has a source.

O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
‘For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?’
‘Or who has given a gift to him,
to receive a gift in return?’
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory for ever. Amen.(2)

The Christian holds onto a most helpful answer for the curious times when one finds himself thankful in general and the times when one is tempted to have in mind the right to complain.Praise God from Whom all blessings flow. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(1) Numbers 11:20.
(2) Romans 11:33-36.

Twitter Digg Facebook Delicious Reddit StumbleUpon DZone Google LinkedIn MisterWong MySpace Netvouz NewsVine Slashdot Technorati YahooMyWeb BlinkList Design Float Webnews.de

I hope you were as challenged and encouraged as I was by Ms. Carattini’s article.

I pray that you have a Happy Thanksgiving and take time to reflect not only on what you are thankful for, but to whom.