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 https://www.mikesoutherland.com, 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 http://gallerypanels.com 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 https://mikesoutherland.com or http://gallerypanels.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 (https://www.nwbcokc.org). 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. (https://www.firefellowship.org) 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.