Post-Iowa thoughts

So, Iowa has come and gone, and we have some fairly interesting results, in my opinion. Looks like Santorum and Romney came out essentially dead even with Paul in a close third. As I write this, the winner’s not yet decided, but really, it doesn’t matter in the overall picture. Romney surprised no one, Santorum suprised a lot of people, and Paul did exactly what the polls said he would.

Now, Iowa has a pretty good record of showing who’ll be the nominee historically on the Democratic side  – but on the Republican side, they picked Huckabee (34%) over McCain (13%) in 2008, and Dole (37%) over Bush Sr. (19%) in 1988. They did get Dole right in 1996 and Bush Jr. in 2000, but if we go back further, they were wrong on Reagan as well. So we can’t really say that, at least recently, this is going to make a huge impact on the chances of those top 5 in regards to November’s results.

What it does do, however, is cut the field to five, and the hopeful field to four, since this was Perry’s best-polling state out of the first five. Bachmann and Huntsman are done, though I’m sure Bachmann will squeeze a few more dollars out of her supporters before tapping out, and anyone hoping for Cain to come back can fuggedaboutit. I think the most surprising thing to me is how strong Santorum polled – I suppose he’s the one receiving the majority of the “oh please don’t let it be Mitt” vote. Romney actually pulled the exact same showing as he did last year, which can’t be an encouraging start in his camp, given he has the huge advantage in name recognition and time spent.

But that Ron Paul… he over doubled his result from last year and came dangerously close to taking it. That’s a bit surprising to me, given how hard the media’s tried to ignore the guy. That said, he was polling ahead of both Romney and Santorum yesterday, though by a narrow margin, which means he’s not grabbing much of the undecided vote. He ended up gaining about 1% in the actual vote, where the other two made up about 6% each – that could be a problem for him going forward. Now, he’s currently polling second in New Hampshire, behind a heavily-favored Romney and just ahead of Gingrich – Santorum is only polling at around 3% there right now

Now assuming Paul stays steady, this makes me think that he may hold on to a strong position as he’s still polling top three in the next few states to hit their primaries, where Santorum and Perry are both doing terribly. Unless Santorum sees a big swing in those states soon, I’d expect Romney, Gingrich, and Paul to be the frontrunners by the end of the month – and given the media’s treatment of Paul thus far, that means we’ll be hearing a lot about Gingrich and Romney.

As it is, I’m already starting to consider Paul the least of the available evils – somewhere I didn’t think I’d see myself a few months ago. Oh what interesting times these are.

Happy New Year

Every year I quote one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, as he has written probably the most charming New Years wish I’ve read anywhere. So here’s to you, readers:

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

Happy new year.

Not a typical Sunday

Today, a man of God passed away. He is home with his Father now, and his family rejoices, because they have hope.

Today, a man of God got engaged to the love of his life. His friends rejoice that God has brought together two of his children in such a way.

Today, a man of God stood before a room of hungry believers to teach and used the passing of his wife to forward God’s kingdom.

Today, a man of God spoke to a sports reporter saying emphatically that his excellent performance was not his work but God’s.

Been a pretty awesome day for the Kingdom, I’d say.

It’s been a heck of a week

This week so far, in bullet points:

  • Got over a nasty cold.
  • Heard a great message from Pastor Tom.
  • Beat Borderlands, finally.
  • Got to present my work in front of the VP of Operations for our entire company – and got kudos.
  • Met with some friends over coffee to discuss a chance at going back into web development.
  • Officially hit the 100 lbs lost milestone, posted on r/loseit, and got… compliments?!
  • New employees are doing great.
Now that’s a good first half-week, no?

I Was Wrong

Just over four years ago, I wrote a journal post explaining why I thought it was unnecessary to go to church. Why fellowship didn’t really mean a church body, why I was good enough on my own and could grow more without attending church or being around other Christians. Why going to church was actually even harmful sometimes – those bad apples would drag me down, you see. I needed to be free.

And for some reason, several more experienced Christians who I had (and have) great respect for took the time to tell me, in far kinder and gentler words, that I was being an idiot. And being an idiot, I ignored them, and did a remarkable job of missing the point and rationalizing my idiot decision. Fortunately, the last four years have done an awfully convincing job of proving them right.

I’ve been going to Redemption Church for about 4 months now, and I love it. However, only tonight did it suddenly click with me that this could be a real home. I attended their 20-somethings ministry, called Seven Ten, and was promptly greeted by several friendly faces who then introduced me to their friends. A couple of hours of fellowship and talking with my peers later and I was back on my way home, and I find myself looking forward toward next week with something that I can only describe as hunger.

So should you be considering the same thing I was and stumble across this post, dear reader: please, don’t be an idiot like me. The church isn’t perfect – no institution with people is – but it’s far better than the alternatives.