2015 was a pretty good year for me and mine.
My lovely wife of 31 years finished her Master's Degree this summer - which means next year we can actually enjoy time off together, since she won't be in summer school! (Of course, the downside of that is her bizarre love for home improvement projects, but that's another story . . . I've pretty much gotten a pass the last three summers, so I guess I can't complain!)
My daughters are wrapping up their time in community college and preparing to enter the workforce. There comes a point, I am told, at which they move out of the house and we get to have money again. But I am pretty sure that is an urban legend.
I saw two of my books published this year, THE REDEMPTION OF PONTIUS PILATE in the spring and MATTHEW'S AUTOGRAPH in December. I finished my fourth book, LOVER OF GOD, and started another, which I am calling THE GNOSTIC LIBRARY. Little by little, I am becoming prolific!
In terms of amusement, I watched 219 movies (yes, I have a serious problem!) and read 71 books, and I added 101 artifacts to my collection (93 personal finds, 8 gifts). I also wasted a good many hours playing SKYRIM and other video games I love. But despite all that, I also found time to teach classes night and day, spend every Sunday in the pulpit, and have a lot of quality time with my family.
I'm blessed to have three siblings that I all get along with quite well, and my Mom and Dad are both still living and mean more to me than I can say. I have a job that I love (well, actually four of them - writing, pastoring, teaching by day at GCS, and nights at PJC!), and my health continues to be remarkably good for a fat guy who doesn't eat like he should.
So yes, 2015 was a good year for me!
Now, what will 2016 hold?
While the future is always in God's lap, I do have some plans for this year. By midsummer, I hope to be done with THE GNOSTIC LIBRARY. It's another adventure for the "Capri Team" - a group of archeologists that I created in THE TESTIMONIUM and have enjoyed following on the adventures I send them on. I rarely go more than a few months without working on something, so before the year is out I may begin my next book.
My biggest adventure this year - or at least the biggest one I have scheduled - is my upcoming trip to Israel in March. I will be leaving on the 9th, after school, for Austin, TX. From there I will fly out via New York to Tel Aviv, to begin a ten day scholarly tour which will take me to about thirty different archeological sites dating from two thousand to four thousand years of age - from the time of Abraham to the time of Christ! I'll even get to spend a day assisting on a dig at a 3,000 year old Jewish village that is mentioned in the Old Testament. I can't wait!
As for the rest? I'll continue to teach, read, watch horrible B-movies (and a few good ones to balance them out), hunt arrowheads when I can, raise goats, and enjoy walking through life with my one true love, my beautiful daughters, my wonderful church family, and the many good friends God has blessed me with. And all of you are invited along for the ride, whether you encounter me here on this page or somewhere out in the wide world.
As the very last Calvin and Hobbes comic strip once said:
"It's a magical world . . . let's go exploring!"