A Note of Thanks and Some Statistics

kathryn-b_day037One of my personal joys at the recent All American Council in Pittsburgh was the opportunity to meet face-to-face a number of readers of this blog, including some who regularly post comments. Their warmth and encouragement for the writing that I do is about all it takes to keep me writing. That, and a whole lot of grace.

I continue to be deeply thankful for the readers, and the generally warm community that seems to gather or pass through the site. In the two years the site has been in existence there has been a great deal of traffic.

This evening, we crossed the mark of 1,000,000 views (if you pay attention to statistics). Other statistics of note (the dashboard of the blog tells me all these things):

There have been 822 posts (articles I have written), which, astonishing to me, is more than one a day.

There have been 11,108 comments – all of which I have read and to many of which I have responded. The “conversations” are a very important part of what takes place here.

One of my favorite statistics is 43,732 pieces of spam blocked by WordPress’s Akismet Spam Blocker. It learns as it goes, so the program seems to only get better. I think 80 per cent of the spam has either been related to gambling or insurance, go figure.

If it were possible to have a party on a blog-site, we would have one. As it is, you will all have to settle for my heartfelt thanks. I will drink a toast (if it’s compliant to the Advent Fast) in your honor! Glory to God!

25 Responses to “A Note of Thanks and Some Statistics”

  1. Patty Joanna Says:

    Dear Father Stephen,

    Thank you (and thanks to Bishop Dimitri for allowing you) to do this work. Your writing was so helpful to me in coming to the Orthodox faith, and now that it has been a year (almost) since our family was baptised and chrismated, the blessings are even richer.

    When I was looking beyond my Protestantism, looking both East and West, I found Pontifications, and so much benefited by your guest posting there and the kindness between you and your friend, Father Al.

    Your blog (and usually, the comments, as well) are my one “daily read” on the internet, and the place I often send those who are looking at Orthodoxy. Your work is blessed, even as we pray in the Psalms (is it 89 or 90?): Establish the work of my hands.

    God grant you many years, and thank you for all you have given.

    Kind regards,
    Patty Joanna

  2. Karen C Says:

    Dear Father, bless! Yes, heartfelt thanks both to you and to Bishop Dimitri. I thank God for you both and will remember you in my prayers that God may continue to grant you grace to continue this ministry to His glory for many years to come.

  3. Gail Hyatt Says:

    Congratulations Fr. Stephen!

    As the wife of a blogger, I know how amazing those stats are. The real gift is the tremendous ministry happening as a result of this blog. Thanks be to God. God grant you many years.

    (By the way, “If it were possible to have a party on a blog-site, we would have one.” … would that mean we could have a Blog Party (Block party … haha) Ok, nevermind.)

  4. fatherjamesearly Says:

    Congrats, and may God grant you many years. You are a blessing to me.

  5. bronislava Says:

    Тоже верно.

  6. Epiphanist Says:

    Yes, Glory to God. I have found much inspiration in your writing and quotes.

  7. luciasclay Says:

    Its great to see such statistics. The Lord is using you and the writing here is an inspiration to me. It has helped to teach me, and I am sure many others, about Orthodoxy.

    In my comments below I do not offer them to talk about me but rather as an example of the impact this website, and several others related to Orthodox, is having on myself, my friend, and others.

    In my life my only contact with an Orthodox was a nice Greek waitress who when I wished her happy easter, nicely and kindly said thanks and pointed out her being Orthodox and the fact they observe differently. This encounter didn’t factor at all into me getting interested in Orthodox, I offer it though to make the point that other than the web presence I would not have become aware of the Orthodox.

    A friend turned me on to your website and orthodoxy. He too is a protestant looking for something beyond the least common denominator. Realizing the reality of the church existing by oral tradition prior to the nt canon. Realizing that even in scripture we are told to cling to the tradition whether delivered by word or letter. Realizing that the sacrament of communion really is the body and blood of our lord. Realizing the problems that arise from adopting an every man for himself method of defining the faith that is what we have observed as protestants. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    The path he and I are on would most likely have resulted in us eventually becoming Roman Catholic. Which, while being in schism, would in my mind be closer than protestantism. He found Orthodoxy and told me about it. We are both learning much from it.

    As a result of reading the theology of Orthodox, the history of the Church, etc. I have become overwhelmed with awe. Its taken many years to get me to the point where I was even searching, and many months after my exposure to Orthodox but I have now attended a few liturgies. Last sunday I sat in the catechumen class as an inquirer. I ate with the members of the parish after service. My family has observed a liturgy with me. My wife is not ready to accept Orthodoxy but is willing to visit again from time to time.

    Myself I will continue to explore the Orthodox, probably relying more and more on the local parish now than simply on the web. I still have a few things to work out.

    Thank you Father for taking the time to blog. Thanks to your Bishop for allowing this mission work.

  8. David Bryan Says:

    Thanks be to God for this peaceful, “knowledgeably ignorant” (if such a phrase makes sense outside my head) blog.

    You write about what you do know, Father, and you do so very well, glory to God. Thank you.

  9. Audora Burg Says:

    Father, bless..
    We met you in Detroit almost two years ago at the Anglican/Orthodox symposium and found your blog shortly thereafter. My voice joins with others in offering fervent thanks for your ministry, first in your witness through conversation and presentations in Detroit and thereafter through these writings.

    It’s a rare thing that one source can be an evangelistic witness to those presently “outside” of but hungry for the One True Faith as well as continue to nourish the newly-illumined (my family of five, as of Palm Sunday).

    Blessings to you and many years, dear Father in the faith!

  10. Michael Says:

    I would also like to offer my sincere and heartfelt thanks Father. The sacraments have contained all. Glory to God!

  11. Damaris Says:

    And another sincere thank-you from a lurker who rarely posts but always loves to read. Xronia pola!

  12. Martin Says:

    Many heartfelt thanks for all your hard work from me as well.

    It’s funny how your blog is the first thing I think of when I’m having a not-so-good day, and how I always find in these pages something that lifts me up and brings me joy. I know you’re likely to say that the credit shouldn’t be yours, but I thank you nevertheless.

    How I wish I had access to someone like you fifteen years ago when I’d just moved to Eastern Kentucky from Bulgaria. It’s good to finaly realize that I wasn’t (that) crazy (I’m referring to your classic “Are You Saved?” and all the posts featuring Dostoevsky and my favorite drunkard, Marmeladov) but it could have saved me a whole lot of angst… which may have turned out to be a good thing.

  13. fatherstephen Says:

    Martin,

    I did more than my share of angst before getting anywhere near the Orthodox faith. I even read Dostoevsky without really getting it. Somethings take time – and the angst makes me appreciate it all the more.

    Many thanks to all for the kind words!

  14. Martin Says:

    “I think 80 per cent of the spam has either been related to gambling or insurance, go figure.”

    The introduction to any good textbook on Insurance Law will include a reference to the case of Earl of March v. Pigot (1771) 5 Burr 2802, 98 E.R. 471. It deals with the wager “originally proposed between young Mr. Pigot, the present defendant and young Mr. Codrington to run their fathers, each against the other” […] Mr. Pigot’s note runs thus — ‘I promise to Pay to the Earl of March 500 guineas, if my father dies before Sir William Codrington.'”

    Not surprisingly, it was clergymen who condemned life insurance schemes as being nothing but gambling on lives.

  15. Alice C. Linsley Says:

    Father, I’m glad for you that you were able to meet some of your readers in person. Imagine what it will be like in Heaven! We will see many whose earhtly paths we have crossed and we will learn something of the nature of our purpose while here.

  16. Dianne Says:

    I must add my thanks to you for writing this blog. It is certainly my favorite Orthodox blog. I so appreciate and learn from and am edified by your insights, and you are always, without fail, courteous, kind, and generous in your writing. I think this blog is the most positive, constructive, snark-free, contention-free zone of all the sites I frequent. One might think that such a consistently non-combative blog might be boring (ha), but it is really one of the most intelligent, thought-provoking, eye-opening, edifying blogs around.

    By the way, I hope that you will write a book on the one-storey vs. two-storey universe. I’m serious. Your posts on that theme really need to become a book.

    Many Years to you, Father!

  17. shevaberakhot Says:

    I agree with Dianne here Father, and how edifying would it be!

    Blessings.

  18. mic Says:

    There are many other things that you could do with your free time Fr., and yet this is the lot you choose…THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!

    O Lord Jesus Christ, enkindle the hearts of all Thy Priests with the fire of zealous love for Thee, that they may ever seek Thy glory; Give them strength that they may labor unceasingly in Thine earthly vineyard for the salvation of our souls and the glory of Thine all-honorable and majestic Name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

    Glory to God for all things!

    peace
    mic-

  19. Alexander Says:

    Many years to you and to the blog and to all of us!

    I remember, at the time of my constant online presence in a small IRC sub-community (about 11 years ago), we sometimes celebrated certain events chatting as a group on IRC (for hours!) with a glass of wine or cup of tea.🙂

    P.S. We already prayed for the new Metropolitan Jonah this weekend, it felt… joyous for some reason.🙂

  20. Andrew Says:

    Thank you Father for all your hard work and enlightening thoughts!

  21. frmilovan Says:

    Congratulations Fr. Stephen!

    From a fellow Orthodox clergy-blogger I can only ask – how do you do it?!?

    WordPress used to have a page you can go on and see the top daily blogs. I went on there a couple of times and you were always somewhere on that list. It always made me feel good knowing that among the many different (not to mention strange) things people were reading, one of the most popular was an Orthodox priest’s blog. How great!

    Mnogaja ljeta – Many years (and posts)!

    Fr. Milovan

  22. marygail Says:

    Thank you, I have been richly blessed by this blog, can’t begin to describe all the many ways your essays and the following comments have helped and instructed me.

  23. Ben Says:

    Thank you. . . And please continue. . . May God grant you many years, God grant you many years, God grant you many, many, many years! (and healthy typable years too)

    This blog was ultimately (besides The Orthodox Church by Met. Ware) the thing that led me to Orthodoxy. Thank you very much for your tireless ministry.

  24. Jonathan Richards Former Federal Prison Inmate Says:

    Thank you Father. While I was in prison, I had to ask myself, why did God do this to me? But then I realized that he has given me the power to choose and I chose to break the law. There is no blame to be placed elsewhere. Now for those inmates who insisted on their innocence. All I can say is that God has his reasons for all things. Would you agree?

  25. fatherstephen Says:

    Jonathan,

    God’s reasons are always His work for our salvation. May He help the innocent and grant mercy to all.

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