Well, I didn’t quite complete as many of the goals for 2014 as I would have liked (actually, not many at all), but I believe that I accomplished a couple of the most important ones.
2014 IN REVIEW:
1. I definitely was able to read the Word of God more and started memorizing scripture again. A lot of credit for this revitalization of interaction in the Word was another goal realized…
2. Hunting: I shot, processed, and ate a deer (which was #18 on this past year’s list). But more importantly hunting got me out in the quiet of nature, where I spent hours meditating on God’s written and natural revelation.
3. I went on more dates with my wife this past year, but nowhere near the frequency that I believe to be healthy. I started off the year better in spending time individually with the girls, but thins slowed down quickly as the year progressed. Instead of a 15 anniversary with just my wife, we decided to take a trip to Asheville as a family. Ashlee and I love our girls and our marriage has been greatly blessed by our relationship with our daughters. It was a blessed time.
4. Physically speaking, 2014 was an utter disaster. My knee was messed up for a while which slowed me down, and my shoulder has been messed up for 4 months…so working out has been a big challenge. I ran nothing, and lost no weight. And I certainly did not eat any less bread and pizza. FAIL!!! But, I’m alive and my heart seems healthy. I also picked up contacts for my eyes this year that made life a bit easier.
5. My wife and I developed and nurtured a decent garden this year. We grew a lot of yummy beans, lettuce, peppers, okra, herbs and several other produce items. I also worked a way in to have one of my classes help out with the building of the fence around the garden. Score!! We also accomplished our goals of raising chickens this past year. It has been an amazing blessing to our family as they consistently produce at least 8 eggs a day.
6. One of the most exciting developments this past year was the opportunity to travel to a different country: India! My colleague, Matt Benson, handed me a gift of a lifetime to travel with him to India to visit some of our students over there and to engage the culture for 3 weeks. It was truly a life changing visit and I look forward to going back.
7. We also had a wonderful first full year with our church family at the Gathering. This community has blessed us in numerous ways and we look forward to growing with them this next year as we study, pray, converse, sing, play, and eat together.
Last year had some challenges to it, but ultimately it was one of the most exciting years of my life. I can’t say enough about Now I look forward to the goals I have for 2015.
1. GOD: Number 1 is always the same for me: spend more time in communication with my creator! Although I have easily spent over a thousand hours in the Word of God, I have never completed a “Read the Bible in a Year” regimen. So, I plan on doing one of those plans this year.
2. GOD: Also in relation to the Word, I plan on memorizing 3 chapters of Romans. Romans 12 has always been a favorite of mine, and my heart has been very focused on Romans 1 this year.
3. FAMILY: Becoming a better servant to my wife is always a priority, and I have a lot of room for growth. I need to be more intentional about this. This means trying to actually accomplish the 1-date-a-month goal as well as intentionally focused hours a week with her. I’m looking for at least a two or three-day retreat alone with the wife this year.
4. FAMILY: Daughters, daughters, daughters. I need to spend more individual time with my daughters. Life is crazy and hectic, but I’m setting a goal of one VERY INTENTIONAL hour a week with each daughter, and three VERY INTENTIONAL hours a week with them together.
5. HEALTH: Still looking to get back into running: I’ll stick to the modest goal of running once a week and running a 5K race this year.
6. HEALTH: I still need to get down to 190. That will be a HUGE challenge as I am currently at 218.
7. HEALTH: Control my EATING!! I love food, and saying no is a problem. I have gluten issues and saying no to bread and pizza has been a real challenge that I have consistently failed at. I’m turning this around in 2015!!….God willing.
8. VOCATION: I’m still looking to apply for a PhD program somewhere this year. It’s hard to envision how this can happen in my current context, but the goal is there.
9. VOCATION: I’m want to get an article published in a professional journal this year. I’ve had a few articles published in academic blogs, but need to concentrate on the next step.
10. VOCATION: I still would like to present a paper at a professional conference in 2015. I presented plenty of talks on Christianity, GenY, and social media this past year, but none at a professional conference.
11. VOCATION: I’d like to visit another country again this year in conjunction with my role at Bryan College. I’d love to go back to India, but will be happy to go anywhere the Lord leads.
12. VOCATION: Write!! I got nowhere on the worldview book this past year, so it needs to be a focus this year. I also want to turn my master’s thesis into a book. I did blog more this past year, but I’m looking to increase that in 2015 as well.
13. HOBBY: Didn’t make the banjo a priority this past year, but there is hope to take it up in 2015.
14. HOBBY: Bow Hunting! I killed a deer with a rifle and a muzzle loader in 2014, but in 2015 I’m looking to killing a deer with a bow. (Let me clarify also that I don’t kill animals to kill animals. I process them myself and we eat as much on the animals that we feel appropriate to eat, including the heart and ribs of the deer.)
15. HOBBY: Read! I have an unhealthy habit of reading parts of books, I need to finish some. Also, this may offend many, but I haven’t read a fiction book all the way through since 2004. Oops! Yes, I know, it’s probably a sin to not read fiction. So, I have a goal to read a fiction book this year.
Well, there you go! As always, call me out on the progress of my goals. One of the main reasons I made the leap of faith in finishing my MA in Ethics and applying to teach was the encouragement of friends to bravely move forward in what I felt God leading me to do. Be the body of Christ to me, because I need it. Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!