I did something today that I thought I would never do.
I joined the Republican Party. I have always been a registered Independent because I strongly believe that the political party system is inefficient and destructive to America as a whole. But, that is a whole other issue to discuss another day.
I have always been conservative but could not bring myself to actually join the Republican Party. Some may say I have ‘sold out’. So be it. I do still believe that the party system is flawed, wrong, and inefficient. But there is a candidate that has become a serious contender in the Republican party that shares my values nearly point by point. Mike Huckabee. The only way that I can help Mike Huckabee become President right now is to give him my vote, and in the State of Florida I can only do that as a Republican in the primary. So I am putting my issues with the party system to the side for now and using the system to help a man that I truly believe in become the next President of the United States of America.
In short here are the big ticket items that I like about Mike Huckabee.
Mike Huckabee has a positive message for America. Energy Independence, the Fair Tax, Immigration Reform, and solid values regarding life.
To learn more about Mike Huckabee and where he stands on the issues I recommend checking out his website at http://www.mikehuckabee.com.
I have been reflecting back on the past year and realized that a lot has happened in my life. A lot of things probably happen to me every every year, but I think this year has had some unique opportunities and challenges that have made a profound impact on the way I think about the world, myself and life in general.
I have listed here what I believe are the top 5 events in my life during the year 2007.
1. I learned that God is truly a God of Justice and Mercy. I knew this before, I really did. But it wasn’t until I read through the Old Testament this year that I really understood this. I discovered that God’s love does not mean he looks the other way and lets people do whatever they want. (Even though it can seem that way if you look around) His love can often involve allowing very bad things to happen to us, so that we will seek Him. I learned that all ‘bad things’ are not from the enemy, but can be from God to bring us to Him. I wrote about this on July 30th of this year in more detail here.
2. I have learned the value of a calorie. I have been living the past 15 years ignorant of how much weight a calorie has on me, and due to this I added a lot of weight to myself. I am now eating better and working out almost every day. I am losing weight and feeling great, simply because I learned the value of a calorie.
3. I learned about The Children’s Network of Southwest Florida. Jaime and I were looking to adopt a child internationally when we learned about kids here locally that need homes. We have gone through M.A.P.P classes and are now waiting to begin the home study process. Learning about the needs of children in our area will dramatically change our lives within the next year since we will have children! I wrote a bit about this here on October 19th of this year.
4. I learned that I have relatives on my biological Father’s side that have been praying for me my entire life. This has been an amazing and encouraging experience. I know God has heard their prayers and has guided me to where I am today. Learning all of this is a mixed bag of emotions from excitement to sadness. Wishing that I could have had the opportunity to know them as I was growing up, but I can’t change the past and can only move forward and see what happens. I wrote about this initial phone call on June 27th of this year here.
5. I began blogging. I have had this blog for a while, but I didn’t actually start blogging regularly until the beginning of this year. Simple writing things from time to time has really helped me to process my thoughts and come to grips with various issues.
In October I began seriously working out after my Doctor informed me that I have a really high triglyceride count and am at an extremely high risk of becoming Diabetic. So far I am having success in maintaining an almost daily workout routine and am watching what I eat far better than I ever did before. I have truly learned the value of a calorie. And it is this knowledge that is really making all the difference.
The tool that helped me learn the actual value of a calorie was Gyminee.com. Their website allows you to log what you eat so you can see how many calories you are consuming in a day. You can set calorie goals, fat gram goals and more. After doing this for over a month I have finally learned how much a calorie is worth. And by going to the gym daily I have learned how much working out is actually needed to burn off a calorie. These two things combined have dramatically changed my outlook on food and daily activity. I used to think walking around the block was a big deal, and now I realize that it hardly burns any calories. To really lose weight you need to be more active than simply taking a short stroll around the neighborhood.
When I started in October I was 213lbs and now I am at 192lbs. I had a 38 inch waist and now I have a 35 inch waist. 21lbs gone and 3 inches in about 2 months! I am still not at my goal but seeing results is very encouraging. I hope to be near 170 pounds by the time I see the Doctor again in February and maybe even have a 32 inch waist. (I believe that was my waist size when I started college)
Here is the politically correct version of “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.