Monday, December 31, 2018

The Year in Review (2018)

I have not posted nearly as much on this blog as in previous years. I post nearly daily on Facebook, which I have come to see as a tool of teaching and discipleship. Social media is also a marketing tool. My "marketing" has primarily been for the School of Theology and Ministry at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Here is my year in review.

The biggest personal change this year was my son Thomas going to college. He has a full tuition ROTC scholarship to Purdue (yes, he was present in Nashville at that horrible game Friday). Pray for the Lord to show him the best path for his future! This coming year will probably see all of our children out of the home. Pray for them if you think of it!

Preaching and Teaching
I preached at least nine times this year, including IWU chapel, the Holiness Emphasis Week at Southern Wesleyan University and a chapel at Asbury Orlando.

I also piloted an 8 week Bible study series on Romans with Sam Maddox and Light and Life Wesleyan Church in Three Rivers, Michigan. We will probably do another study this spring, perhaps on 1 Corinthians. If you have a small group at your church that is interested, this is a live Bible study probably on a Thursday night for an hour, using Zoom. I see possibilities here!

1. One of the most interesting ventures this year was my shift from blogging to Patreon. Someone made an off comment on Facebook around April 7 about Patreon, about which I was unacquainted. On April 8, I started posting videos--and then podcasts (at the suggestion of Marc Jolicoeur) on Acts.

It took 35 weeks but I went through the entire book of Acts in Greek both in video and podcast. It turned out to be 220 videos, which you can watch in order at this playlist. It amounts to a course in Acts, minus the homework. Every week I did a special video for my patrons, almost all of which are now public.

I have several patrons who give $5 a month to support my work here. On December 10 I started working through Isaiah 40-66. Here is the playlist site. This week I hope to finish up Isaiah 41.

Books Read
I either read or skimmed several books this year:
Books I've Written
  • I wrote two more novellas in my Gabriel's Diaries series. 
  • A book on Hebrews moves forward. We'll see what comes of it.
  • I floated a proposal something like Sophie's World, spent some time writing a sample chapter. The lack of an enthusiastic response has it on hold.
  • This fall I invested a good deal in a Greek for Ministry idea I've had for years. I have about 150 pages written. I hope to send a proposal to a publisher in January.
Math and Science
I have always loved math and science. Several years ago I started making videos going through physics, calculus, and chemistry. Inevitably, I don't have time during the year to work much on these, but I have done quite a bit in the summer. I still hope to better understand relativity and quantum mechanics before I die. Did some study in the summer.

Dean Matters
  • This is my third year as Dean of the mostly undergraduate School of Theology and Ministry (STM). Each year surprises with a different challenge, but each year also brings successes and opportunities. 
  • STM is a spectacular team. Charlie Alcock is a one man recruitment army with the work he does bringing thousands of young people to campus and running ministry teams in the summer. Amanda Drury is a grant-writing monster who has brought many students to campus who would not otherwise have come, including many diverse students. David Smith has been teaching Bible study in churches all over the US. Eddy Shigley continues to foster connections with the KERN Foundation. Brian Bernius has configured and reconfigured our curriculum into a lean and mean teaching machine. I could go on and on about STM's faculty and divisional leadership.
  • The challenge of middle management is always partial power. You can facilitate some decisions, but the most impactful ones are out of your hands. You find yourself daydreaming a lot about what you would do. Suffice it to say, I have a large number of ideas (I've started keeping a notebook). We'll see if the Lord opens the door to use any of them!
So farewell, 2018. Onward to 2019!

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