I looked back at last year's goals and was pleasantly surprised to see that many were actually met or at least attempted.
1. I did finish and defend my thesis. The thesis was defended on April 29. I went on to graduate and receive my Master of Sacred Theology degree on May 26. The degree was award cum laude, "with honor," reflecting a grade point average of an A. I mused in this goal that my initial plan with the degree was to teach, but realized that securing a position was unlikely. However, at the end of last year I was offered a position as an adjunct professor teaching homiletics to a cohort of eight men in the SMP (Specific Ministry Program) during the summer through my alma mater Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Although I've filled out the usual employment paperwork, there is much, yet, that I do not know. Stay tuned! Learning to teach online when I have never taken any coursework online will be one of my great challenges for the new year.
2. Read more. I did accomplish some reading and continue to work on other books. I can always read more and will try to do so in this coming year. My goal this year is mainly to read works connected with the class I am going to teach. To that end, one of the books I am working on is Walther's The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel. I also plan to work though the various essays in Liturgical Preaching (Concordia Publishing House, 2001).
3. Be more disciplined in my devotional life. Still working on this one.
4. Grow in my firefighter skills. Still working on this one as well.
5. Learn or relearn a foreign language. I am extending this one to 2017. My initial effort has already begun with Spanish. However, in looking at the many resources in my library, I have decided to work at German (which I have studied in the past) and Latin as well. Maybe a bit ambitious, but the books I am using are not heavily academic and my goals are fairly modest at this point.
6. Work on the crossbow. I did sight in my new crossbow this fall and actually took it hunting. Although I didn't see much, I did make an attempt. I had planned to go back out after rifle season, especially after the holidays, but that has not yet happened. My license allows me to hunt through January 8, which gives me five more days. We'll see if I can still get out and try one more time.
7. Spend time with those we love. I enjoyed many days this year with my children, both at their homes and at ours, as well as a rented home this summer. We will continue this in 2017.
8. Write and publish. I did not publish anything this year, but have pretty much finished a book review I hope to submit to the Concordia Theological Quarterly. My originally intention was to do this last year, but I'm still procrastinating finishing the review. Some months ago I requested to review a to-be published book from Baker Academic by Charles A. Bobertz entitled The Gospel of Mark: A Liturgical Reading.
9. Maintain my diet. Still working on this. I've been fairly faithful here, although I've experienced some unexpected weight gain since winter set in.
Most of the above goals from 2016 still hold for this year. I would add only a couple more to the above.
10. Be more faithful in exercising. On the first day of the year I got out and went snowshoeing. I would also like to go out and go cross country skiing this year as well. Besides this I try to walk regularly at the church for 30 minutes.
11. Listen to more classical music. I have neglected this and do attempt, at times, to listen to some via the public radio station while driving.