Friday, January 01, 2021

2020 Year in Review

 2020 is certainly a year that no one alive today is likely to forget. Of course the biggest news was the pesky COVID-19 virus that hit our country in March. I’ll speak to that in a few minutes. There have been a few other highlights of this year, some positive rays of light shining on our darkened country. But most of these positive aspects of 2020 have been limited to the personal experience of myself, my family, and my friends, including my church family. Viewing our country as a whole, there hasn’t been much to get very excited about. But for the sake of keeping a positive outlook, I’ll talk about the good things that I appreciate about 2020.

Probably the most exciting thing that happened in 2020 was the birth of our fifth grandchild. Our oldest daughter Brittney gave birth to a little girl. As I mentioned in my 2019 Year in Review, I don’t want to put out too much public information about them because I want to respect my children’s wishes on how much they share publicly. But I will say that she is precious and being a grandfather is a great blessing.

There’s an interesting dynamic in becoming a grandfather to a growing number of grandchildren while still being a father to children at home. It seems as though, most likely, the days of parenting babies and toddlers is over. But there are still challenges in raising children who live at home from the ages of 7 to 19. You’d think I’d have this parenting thing down pat by now, but the longer I parent the more I realize how much I just don’t know. To those, including my children, who may be reading this, just know that I love all my children and I’m doing my best to show that love in the raising of them. To this day I find it very difficult to strike the balance between being too strict and too lenient. Maybe, but I doubt it, I’ll figure it out by the time my youngest flies the coop.

The big news in our church is the acquisition of a new building. It is much larger than our previous building. It is a blessing to have enough space to accommodate everyone in the sanctuary without having to maintain an “overflow” room. There are also a lot more classrooms, making it easier to have several adult Sunday School classes going on at the same time. This Lord’s Day TJ Hooser will be teaching, and I’ll be regularly assisting in, a class on the book of Hebrews. It will be a discussion type of class. It should be good digging into the Word for about 26 weeks. If you are in the Oklahoma City area, I’d love to invite you to visit us. Our website has the address and information about it:

As I mentioned earlier COVID has thrown a wrench into everyday life. One development that has been positive for me personally is that since this thing started to grow in March I have been teleworking every day. This has saved a lot of gas and time and has had the great result of avoiding the red tape and bureaucracy of traveling to and from a military base every day. That was a huge reason I left my contracting job there in 2014. Working from home for the same organization has kept all the benefits while removing the biggest hassle. I don’t expect teleworking to last forever, but when life does return back to quasi normal, maybe a consistent partial teleworking arrangement could be approved.

2020 has seen government overreach unlike I have ever experienced in my lifetime. The whole “mask mandate” thing has been a textbook example of government control. The virus has had just enough truth to prevent it from being viewed as a scam, but the “solution” has been far worse than the virus itself. Our church did online only services for a few weeks, but that did not last long. I think, as elders, we saw the light that some arbitrary virus should not interfere with the worship of our great God. Doing it online is certainly not the same. I’m pretty sure we are committed not to shuttering our doors anymore in the future.

The 2020 presidential election was a mess. Calling it election fraud is an understatement. Trump was winning by a landslide, when in the middle of the night an avalanche of Biden votes came in from six different swing states. As of now, it appears that Biden will take control of the office, and tyranny will grow stronger in America. There is one last bit of hope that Mike Pence will refuse to count the electoral votes of those states where fraud was apparent. But it remains to be seen whether he will have the courage to take such a stand.

I’m going to keep this update short and sweet this year as there are plenty of other opinions on the sad state of affairs in our country. 2021 should be an interesting year to say the least.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

2019 Year in Review

As I sit down on New Year’s Day to type this out I think back on the year that has just passed. On one hand it seems like just yesterday I was writing this for 2018. On the other hand, however, that seems like eternity past.

Back in February of 2019 I had the opportunity to go to an Expository Preaching Conference by Dr. Steven Lawson of One Passion Ministries. ( This was an excellent conference targeted to pastors and elders. I have heard much from Dr. Lawson this year as I have listened to his Men’s Bible Study on the book of Romans. There is a link to that from the website referenced. He also has a mobile app that has the link available. At Northwest Bible Church we have just finished up Dr. Lawson’s series on Foundations of Grace where he shows how the whole Bible teaches the Doctrines of Grace, including Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints. I have also enjoyed listening to his Expositor podcast where he shares in about 5 minutes ways to minister to a congregation, primarily through expository preaching.

On the family front, it’s amazing to watch my children continue to grow up. Justin became our fourth homeschool graduate. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, I have been continuing to teach David to read. Paton is continuing to excel at his violin playing. Sarah has been taking piano lessons from a lady in our church, and is making great strides as well. Melody started in American Heritage Girls. ( Paton, Samuel, and David are involved in Trail Life USA. ( I am leading the “Foxes” (the kindergarten age where David participates). It has been fun, but challenging, to lead these youngest of Trailmen. After having hardly ever going camping for most of my life, (We went a handful of times as a family when I was a boy), I have been participating on a mostly monthly basis in campouts for the older Trail Life boys, including Paton and Samuel.

This year I have also been able to enjoy being a grandfather.  I won’t share too many details on my grandchildren’s lives, because I feel it is their parents’ rights to determine how much to share online. I will say, though, that between all three of my married children I have four beautiful grandchildren. It is exciting to watch them grow, and I’m very happy to see my children and their spouses either actively homeschooling, or preparing in that direction as their children approach school age. It’s amazing to see the little “carbon copies” of my own children in my grandchildren. I see that in Brittney’s family and in Michael’s.

This year we got to try our second attempt at keeping chickens.  Someone who was moving away gave us their chicken coop and two hens. Sarah wanted some ducks. So we bought three baby ducklings. Unfortunately, before we had the coop we had them in a cage, and a predator made off completely with one of them, and badly injured another. I never remember feeling so sad to have to kill a bird. But it tugs at the heartstrings of a daddy’s emotions to take the life of his little girl’s pet, even if it was the most ethical thing to do. The poor little duck had a broken leg and was in obvious pain. The last remaining one has acclimated to his two chicken friends. “Joey” is a big healthy duck now. The chickens, even though they are both hens, have been named Melissa and Doug, presumably after the creators of wooden toys that the kids enjoy.

The most significant development for me personally this year has been my employment/career scene. At the beginning of 2017 I was at Dolese. Though every job has its challenges, I had resolved within myself to remain content and stay at Dolese for the long haul. I have had many jobs throughout my working career. I really don’t enjoy the interview process and the onboarding process of a new job. Plus, as I had turned 50 at the end of 2018 I know that job seeking tends to become more of a challenge as the competition is cheaper, and more recently trained at their colleges and universities in the latest technologies. But the Lord had other plans for me in that arena. In March I was laid off from Dolese, along with two other coworkers. I still keep in touch with my favorite manager out there. Incidentally, I was not reporting to him when I was let go. That ended a three year, three month stint at a place that underwent several changes during my brief time there. I found out later that several more of my coworkers were let go. All of this was foreshadowed by the unexpected termination of the CIO back in May of 2018. She was a good leader, and a lady I enjoyed working for. It is sometimes hard to tell what a company is thinking when they get rid of so much of the talent and experience that they possess in such a short time frame. In any case, I wish them well and hope that, despite what I consider foolish choices in purging their workforce, they are able to keep from running this very old and established Oklahoma company into the ground. I enjoyed the experience while it lasted.

On May 1, I started employment at MidFirst bank. MidFirst is a good company. They almost seem “security conscience to a fault.” If you are a customer of MidFirst, you shouldn’t have to worry about viruses infecting their systems, as none of the developers have access to the internet on their work computers. This can make a day in the life of a software developer a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, they did allow me to bring my personal laptop with my hotspot on my cell phone. So, I was able to browse, unhindered, technical websites that helped me to do my job. Probably the most helpful programming site that I like to refer to is  Anyway, in the Lord’s providence a position opened up at Delaware Nation Industries, a contracting company at Tinker Air Force base. This position was with the very same team that I had worked with previously from 2013-2014. When I went to the interview I sat in a room with three former colleagues and friends, along with the manager whom I had not met when I worked there the first time. We worked well together previously, and I knew it would be a good match once again. Though I felt a little remorse serving at MidFirst for only six months, and leaving my coworkers there with a massive project and an aggressive schedule, I hired on with DNI in November 2019. I believe it was September when I interviewed with them. But for a position that I was being hired for, there is quite a process involved prior to employment. My every intention at this point, is to continue in this position as long as I can, for many of the same reasons that I gave earlier. Not to mention that I have a great working relationship with the guys I knew previously. In hind sight, I believe that the position at DNI is a better opportunity than even what I had at Dolese. So, the Lord certainly had His plans that He was working out in my life, though it was difficult to see while walking through it. That is where faith comes into the picture. In the transition from MidFirst to DNI there were some questions regarding health benefits that caused us to explore other options to insure the family. I will say that MidFirst had very good benefits. Later I discovered that the benefits at DNI were actually a bit better than what I was originally led to believe due to a miscommunication early on. Walking through these issues presented their own challenges. All in all, I am satisfied in the way it worked out, and I look forward to pressing on in 2020 to help my new team at DNI to be successful in all our endeavors.

Things continue to go well at Northwest Bible Church. It is an honor to lead God’s people with the other two elders, Alan Conner and Alan Loeffler. I love our congregation. I have witnessed the joys of seeing new families coming to the church, the bittersweet emotions of talking to one of our elderly members just a few days before attending his funeral, rejoicing with the birth of children to our members, and so on. All of these experiences are common to all members in the church. But seeing it all from the perspective of an elder in the church has been a real blessing. As time goes on I more and more appreciate Reformed Theology. Reformed Theology is simply biblical theology. I hope to continue reading more and continuing to grow in faith in 2020.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Ten Reasons Why Postmates is Better Than Lyft or Uber

I have recently started delivering food through Postmates. As a former Lyft driver, I want to share with you why this gig is so much better.

1. Listen to whatever you want in your car
Do you like to listen to podcasts? Do you ever listen to things that others may be offended by (think politics or religion)? If you are a Lyft or Uber driver then you want to make your car a welcoming, affirming place for your paying customers. With Postmates, the only “passengers” you ever have are stuff, usually food. I’ve never once played music that I thought the cheeseburger I was transporting enjoyed, even if I didn’t.

2. Personal safety
While it is true that there is some level of risk when making a delivery at someone’s home, this level of risk is much less than carrying someone in your back seat for several miles. Most people you deal with are most likely law abiding citizens. For those few who aren’t, I’d rather spend as little time with them as possible.

3. Tidiness of your car
With Postmates, you want your car to be sanitary. I don’t advocate driving a filthy car. You are carrying food, after all. However, with Lyft or Uber, your car needs to be spotless inside and out, or you risk getting a low rating on their app. I like to have a few books with me lying on the seat. It’s even possible I may have my child’s booster seat in the back. Those would be “no-nos” with a ride sharing service.

4. No need to carry “freebies” with you to give away
In hopes of getting a 5 star rating with Lyft or Uber many drivers will carry water bottles, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, and even motion sickness bags for their passengers. The only thing you need to carry with Postmates is the order you have picked up.

5. Rating system
Speaking of “5 star ratings” (in the last point), Postmates has simply a thumbs up or thumbs down on your delivery driver. So unless you really mess up, or you’re dealing with an exceptionally cranky customer, you can pretty well count on getting a thumbs up. Contrast that with Lyft (which I have done in the past). There, if your rating drops below 4.6 you risk getting canned by Lyft. So someone could give you 4 stars, having no problems with your service, but they just have the (correct) attitude that “there’s always room for improvement.” They may not realize that they are hurting their driver when they do that.

6. Age of your car
I drive a 2005 Ford Crown Victoria. For Lyft, your car has to be 12 years old or newer. For Uber it has to be 10 years or newer. I drove for Lyft in 2017. So I barely squeezed in under the limit. I’m not sure if they would have kicked me out in 2018 or not. I stopped before that. But with Postmates, they don’t care. If your city isn’t too spread out they even support you doing deliveries on bicycle or foot. My now 14 year old car is just fine.

7. More consistent earnings
I have been surprised at the demand for Postmates on weekdays. I suppose a lot of people like to have food delivered home on weekdays and like to actually go out in the weekend. In my experience, Postmates seems to be busier on the weekdays than the weekend.

8. No left wing commentary
When I drove for Lyft I received an email from them condemning President Trump’s immigration policy and making it clear that Lyft did not agree with it. Regardless of your position on the policy, why interject it into your business? Why risk alienating conservatives? Here in Oklahoma, conservatives are the majority of your customers.

9. People are quirky, objects are not
When I drove for Lyft it was interesting to read comments from passengers. Some would complain that I was too talkative, some would say I did not talk enough. Some wanted silence. Others wanted music, but none told me their preference while in the car. It was always just left in the feedback. I would grow frustrated trying to please whoever was in my car, not knowing what would please them. Postmates eliminates that frustration.

10. The smells!
I love to enjoy the smell of a container of fajitas in my back seat, or a cheeseburger and fries next to me. Contrast that, however, with the unpredictable smell of passengers with Lyft or Uber. I can’t stand the smell of cigarettes. I could always tell when my passenger was a smoker, even though they didn’t smoke in my car. They would reek of cigarettes to the point that I couldn’t wait to drop them off at the their stop. Or you may have a lady who surely used a whole bottle of perfume when she was dressing up to go out. Postmates gets rid of the people smell and leaves you with the soothing aroma of grease. J

If after reading this short article I have convinced you to sign up with Postmates, be sure and use me as a referral. By doing so, you will gain a guaranteed income of $725 for your first 65 deliveries in the Oklahoma City area (your city may differ), and I’ll earn a little bonus of $150. That should perk up your ears, because you’ll have the chance to do the same when you refer your own friends later.

Here’s the link:

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Make $725 for your first 65 deliveries in OKC

Postmates is guaranteeing you will make $725 for your first 65 deliveries in the OKC area. The link should work outside the OKC area, but the dollar amount varies according to region. I did this for the first time on Tuesday night of this week. For 5 hours of work I made about $86. Not bad for some extra cash on my own time schedule. Plus, this was my first time. There are some things I have learned since then that should net me more for the same amount of time spent. Anyway, the guarantee is nice because if you make less than that, then Postmates will pay the difference.

Click Here For More Information

Thursday, January 03, 2019

2018 Year in Review

2018 Year in Review

As I sit down to type out this year in review for 2018 I realize that this once a year blog post is about the only consistent time I update the blog. Also, if you are used to coming to this blog via, then you may have trouble finding it. I created a website there advertising web site creating services. It’s not really exactly how I want it, so I haven’t advertised much. In last year’s blog entry you will recall my announcing of This is a site I put together for a local businessman who sells art display panels. That site went live in January of this year. Thus the reason for updating my website. I’d like to offer web development or creation services to other small businesses. Often small businesses only need a basic site. But one huge difference that has come about over the past several years is the growing abundance of smart phones and the number of people using smart phones to access websites. There are many small businesses out there using old technology. Their nice looking website doesn’t look so nice on the tiny display of the smart phone. Often you have to zoom into to see the text and pictures. It doesn’t make for a very good user experience all together. Though I need to update the content on my personal site, if you browse over to either or you’ll see what a mobile ready site looks like. My personal site was fairly easy to put together. The Gallery Panels one wasn’t too tough, though there were several products to add to it. If you’d like an estimate for putting together a site for you, please drop me an email at

For my “day job” I am still employed at Dolese Bros.

Back in March of this year I was installed as an elder at Northwest Bible Church ( It is such an honor to have the privilege to serve this congregation. My love for this group of people grows stronger each day. My love and respect for the other two elders at NWBC has grown tremendously as I get to meet with them on a weekly basis. During this meeting we discuss church business, and we also take the time to read the scripture and pray for members of the congregation. Our main teaching elder, Alan Conner, was diagnosed with cancer this year, but by God’s grace it appears that he has completely recovered. That was a huge answer to prayer. His diagnoses came the Thursday before I was installed as an elder in March. After much prayer and several sessions of chemo and radiation, they were unable to find remaining cancer in his body. All praise be to God for Alan’s healing. I was blessed with the privilege of representing Northwest Bible Church with Jeremy Malone at the FIRE Conference in Oxnard, CA this past May. ( It was at that conference that I realized that I am in the same organization as Gunny Hartman, the longtime friend (and best man at his wedding) of my brother Jason. It was great to see him at the conference and catch up.

In April I gave away my second daughter, Brianna, to Matt Petty. Matt is a great guy, and a good husband for Brianna. He is in the Air Force, but plans to become a CPA. I love it that the Lord is blessing me with sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law whom I get along with very well and I feel are a good match for each of my children. I pray for them, along with my own children, every day. Brianna’s wedding was beautiful. We had it on the beach in Galveston, close to Matt’s parent’s home.

In October, my fourth grandchild was born. Andy Southerland was born to Michael and Heather. I’m gradually becoming accustomed to being a grandpa, though I already have four grandkids.

One little note on my health: In June I grew fed up with being labeled by my doctor as “obese.” To me, “obese” means barely able to move because you are so big, it is practically a disability. Apparently, the medical community has their own standard of measure for obesity, with a BMI of over 30 (I believe). So, in June I began a workout and diet regiment of losing weight. At the end of the year I had lost about 30 pounds, dropping from 199 to 169. I’ve got about 10 pounds more to go to be in “normal” range. I did drop out of the “obese” range, and am now classified as merely “overweight.” I still think they are a little harsh on their labels, and I think that my short height (5’ 7”) doesn’t help the BMI calculation, but whatever, I now have a New Year’s resolution to knock out that remaining 10 lbs. With all the fuss over weight loss and the obsession that it is in our country, I’m coming away with the impression that all it really boils down to is self-discipline. At one point my weight had been approaching 220. All it really took was a determined desire to shed the pounds, and the determination to follow it through. The “secret” (if it can really be called that) is simply to burn more calories than you consume. It’s not easy, because I like to eat lots of calories, and I like to not exert myself. But it is simple. About an hour on the treadmill each morning at a speed of about 4.5 miles/hour and eating around 1600 calories a day is what did it for me. The holidays have stagnated my progress, but I’m ready to get moving again and lose those last 10 pounds. When I get to 159, I can enter “maintenance” mode whereby I can slack off on the walking and/or relax the eating regiment slightly. But I can’t neglect it entirely or I will gain back everything I lost. The benefit to my health has been noticeable. I don’t lose my breath like I used to simply carrying a laundry basket full of clothes from our closet to the washroom. Plus, my heart rate hovers around 60 beats per minute, often lower, when at rest.

I will close for now. I won’t promise any further updates, until this time next year. I’ve found Facebook to be a suitable alternative to blogging. Even then, I’m more of a reader than a poster.

Monday, January 01, 2018

2017 Year in Review

I am writing this on the first day of 2018. Time continues to fly by.

On my job front, I am still at Dolese. I really like this company. In February, the company celebrated 115 years of service. The CEO, Mark Helm, has some great plans for IT expansion in 2018 and beyond. It’s great to be a part of this time of growth for Dolese.

This year I also begin my adventure into the world of landlording. We secured our first rental property in Guthrie in August. We found a great realtor, Brice Semrad, who helped us locate and buy it. Brice doubles as a realtor and a real estate investor. So he was a great help in knowing what to look for. I also found a good online resource in and the accompanying podcast. Some people really get into the real estate investing thing. So far, I’ve enjoyed it. But it doesn’t seem to hold the passion for me like it does with some. In any case, I think this will be a good investment over the long run. Real estate, by and large, tends to appreciate over time. It is already cash flowing. I’m sure it’ll have its own set of challenges over time. But so far it really hasn’t been that tough. We managed to get our first renters who started their lease on October 1. They seem to be very good renters and I hope that they continue to live there for the long term.

One interesting providence happened while I was showing the rental property to potential renters. A man walked in to talk to me about my experience in the rental process. He is also a new investor. It also turns out that he is a local business owner. He has operated Armstrong Products since 1974. He asked me what I did on my day job, and when I shared that I was a web developer he asked if I ever took on any side projects. We exchanged information, and he called me several weeks later. He manufactures and sells high quality art display panels used for showing fine art at events. He also manufactures and sells safety tread stair nosings. These are the non-slip surfaces on the edge of steps on a stair case most often seen on commercial properties. Their existing website is If you follow the link you will see their high quality products. However, the website is admittedly very dated. Mr. Armstrong needed me to create a new website that concentrates on his art panels. is the solution we came up with. As of this writing, if you visit it, you will find an “under construction” message. We have not yet gone live with it, as we still need to nail down the details with shipping so that customers can order their art panels and supplies online. I expect that this site will be live in the next few weeks. I built it using Wordpress with a WooCommerce addin for shopping cart purposes. It is mobile ready. I’m hoping that it will really help their sales. If you have a need for an updated website, drop me an email at I’d be happy to talk over what requirements you have and help you formulate a solution.

2017 was the year that I received my first surgery. I had a “clean out” scope procedure on my left shoulder in November. I have healed up nicely from that. There is still a little soreness, but it is doing a lot better. But that was a memorable experience having to wear a sling for several weeks and not being able to drive for about two weeks.

I’m enjoying being both a grandfather and a father. I’m watching my grandchildren grow older, while watching my younger children do the same. This year Paton had his “rite of passage” as he turned 13. This was the first year we were able to host it at our church, Northwest Bible Church. Two of our elders, Alan Conner and Alan Loeffler, gave excellent encouraging talks to Paton. My brother, Jason, and his son, Daniel also shared with him. I’ve now completed three of these for my sons. Two more to go.

I expect that this year Sheri and I will give another of our daughters away. Brianna’s boyfriend, Matt, asked me for my blessing for him to marry Brianna. I gave the blessing. As of now, he has not officially proposed. But regardless of that technicality they are busily planning for it and have given us an estimate of sometime this Spring.

Justin and I wrapped up the computer portion of driver’s ed. In the next few months we’ll work our way through the driving portion. He’s already 16. It’s been tough to have us both home at the same time to get this done.

Paton continues to excel with his violin playing. In addition to his normal recitals, he has played a couple of times at church this year, primarily during the Christmas program.

 Sarah has really blossomed in terms of keeping in touch with family. She’s been the best one of the kids in making sure to consistently email and facetime our extended family in Texas.

Samuel started Trail Life this year. He seems to really enjoy it. I just hope I’ll be able to survive the campouts with him. I’ll enjoy the time with him, though camping hasn’t always been my “thing.”

Melody is very close to finishing her “Teach Your Child to Read” book. She and I have been working on this for quite a while. I have a Bible with her name on it to present to her when we are done.

David is growing taller and has become quite a blessing in our family. He is certainly full of life.

In closing, I wanted to mention the passing of a mighty man of God. Since I came to a Reformed understanding of scripture I have enjoyed and profited from the teaching of Dr. R.C. Sproul. He left this world in December, leaving behind many books and teachings for the edification of the church. I never was able to meet him in person, but I have watched him several times on DVD and read a few of his books.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

2016 Year in Review

The biggest news of 2016 is that I became a grandfather three times! Our first grandbaby, Clara, was born way back in January on 1/5. Then, at the end of January I inherited another granddaughter when my son, Michael, married Heather. Addalynn turned 8 this year. Finally, it wasn’t long after their marriage until Michael and Heather announced that they were expecting their first baby together. My first grandson, Levi, was born on 12/2. So, at the end of 2015 I had no grandchildren. Here, at the end of 2016 I have three! What a difference a year can make.

On the job front, I continued to contract with Dolese until August. In around June or July the management at Dolese offered me a full time position. At the same time, they let me know that if I did not accept it, then I would need to be moving on. After a few weeks of poking around to see what I could find, I realized that I had a pretty good thing going at Dolese in terms of the work I was doing and the people I was working with. So I wound up accepting their full time offer. The pay is a bit less than I was making as a contractor. But it’s nice to have health insurance and paid holidays and vacation again. Plus, I’ve been supplementing my income a bit on the side. Since about October I’ve been doing some Lyft driving. It doesn’t pay a lot, but it’s fun to see different parts of the city and to meet new people. Plus, the biggest advantage is that it is extremely flexible on when I can work or when I don’t have to. I just turn on the app when I want to give rides, and turn it off when I’m done. For supplementing income it gives a lot more freedom than a second job would. Lyft has a few perks that I’ve been able to take advantage of, like a fuel discount at Shell. The better “side job” I have found was through I’m doing some database programming for a company that does mortgage loan processing, titles, etc. It’s all about real estate loans and processing. This is working very well for me, though I’m hoping that as 2017 starts we can pick up the pace and start knocking 2 or 3 of these projects out a week. They pay on a “per project” basis rather than by the hour. I think this is a great way to do it. It sure gives me an incentive to work quickly and efficiently. For both of these “side jobs” I bought some new tools. For the programming job, I bought another laptop. My previous one was in sad shape. The power port had become disconnected so that I could no longer plug it in while working, or even when I wasn’t working in order to charge the battery. In most cases, that would have been a show stopper right there. But I did find a device on either Amazon, or eBay, can’t remember, that allowed me to charge a laptop battery outside of the laptop itself. So that kept me going for a while. However, in the middle of one of my SQL projects, my battery didn’t charge after leaving it on all night long. I had located a small computer shop that had a laptop that was compatible with my existing one. What that meant was that I was able to take the SSD hard drive and the 8 GB of memory out of my old one and use it directly in the new one. This was convenient as I didn’t have to reinstall any of my software, etc. I just popped my existing drive in and continued programming. Now, I have a laptop that I can actually plug in again. I’m writing this post on it now. Another nice thing is that the guy took $100 off the price of the new laptop since I didn’t use his hard drive. The new “tool” that I bought for the Lyft job is another car. Actually, I bought the car before I decided to do Lyft. So, it’s not exactly accurate that I bought it for that purpose. But the timing was pretty close. I bought the car and about two weeks later started doing Lyft with it. If you read the 2015 Year in Review, you’ll remember me describing Brianna’s Crown Vic Police Interceptor. Hers has worked out well. So I decided to get one myself! It’s a 2005, V-8, black and white, with a long police radio antenna on the trunk. I may eventually hook that up to a CB. I haven’t quite decided yet. I really like it. It’s got lots of power and even has keyless entry, which is rare for police vehicles. Doing Lyft with it has been fun as I get lots of comments.

Church has been going great. As time goes on it’s more and more clear that this is the best place for us. It’s another one of those situations where “if I had it to do over again” I would have attended here from the time we first moved to Oklahoma. The last time I experienced that was much more drastic in Tennessee. When we first moved out there we were involved in a charismatic, non-denominational church. By the time we left, we were attending at Reformed Baptist of Nashville. So, the situation here in Oklahoma is reminiscent of that, though quite a bit different in that all three churches we’ve attended here in Oklahoma have at least been much more Christ exalting and orthodox than the charismatic one in Nashville.

Updates on the kids –
I already mentioned Brittney and Landon having Clara. No second baby on the way yet (or at least they haven’t told anyone if there is!).

I also mentioned Michael and Heather already having Levi. His middle name is Malcolm, named after my grandfather.

Brianna has been dating an Air Force guy named Matt. He seems like a really nice guy and he gets along well with all of Brianna’s little brothers and sisters (and her older ones too).

Justin turned 15 and is counting the days until he can get his driver’s permit. Oh no, not that again. J

Paton is excelling at his violin playing. He also turns 13 in April. So I’m busy preparing for yet another Rite of Passage ceremony.

Sarah is doing very well at her piano playing. She’s also loving being an aunt to Clara and Levi.

Samuel is growing in the Lord. He’s got a great smile and is a joy to be around.

Melody turned five. She also loves being an aunt to Clara and Levi, but she has found a new really good friend in Addalynn. They love to play together.

David is David… He’s quite a handful. But he’s full of personality. He’s still attached to sucking his thumb. He turned three last August. He’s got a great vocabulary as he listens in on everything we’re saying.

I’m still learning on the “grandpa” thing. We’re trying to teach the grandkids to call me “Granddaddy.” I liked “Pepaw,” but my older kids vetoed that saying that Pepaw could never be replaced. (That was Malcolm that I mentioned earlier.) But in getting used to the Grandpa thing I’m not certain how much info my kids want me to share on their kids. So until I get a better feel for those expectations my updates on them will be pretty shallow, not that I gave you a lot of info on my own kids either! J But that’s mainly due to time over conviction. I began this post over the Christmas holiday and here it is January 4, and I’m just now posting it. Better late than never. No promises on posts between now and next year, but here’s hoping that I will.

Have a great 2017!