Changing Habits

Changing Habits

I just finished Desire of Ages! Now I'm 3/5s of the way through the
Conflict of the Ages series. I'm going kind of backwards; I started
with the Great Controversy in 2005, then read Acts of the Apostles in
06-07. Now I'm going on to Prophets and Kings, but I think I'm also
going to read GC again.

I think there are two factors that are contributing to my increased
pace and interest in this series; I have more time for discretionary
reading (i.e. not assigned reading), and there aren't a lot of "more
interesting" options, like there would be at home. I've read tons of
exciting literature in my life, and it's been a challenge to get
interested in spiritual things. I've read a lot of quality stuff as
well, but usually because I "knew it was good for me," similar to the
way some people eat salad. But if you persist with salad-eating long
enough, and especially if other, unhealthy alternatives are removed,
it's very possible to develop a taste for the stuff. And that's what
God is doing for me.

You know, as I think about it, this same process is evident in every
part of my life. God is working with me to purify and elevate my
tastes and desires. For instance, last night, we watched a very
funny, mostly quality film called The Gods Must Be Crazy II. It was
produced quite a while ago, and so has very few questionable elements
in it. But still, there were a few moments when I thought, "why did
they have to put that in," and I came away from the evening with a
slightly bitter taste in my mouth. Yes, it was 99% good, very funny,
and it even had lots of moral lessons; in fact, it was more wholesome
than a great majority of other things I've watched, but I still felt
kind of disappointed afterwards. It was sweet in the mouth and bitter
in the stomach. I think I want to try to make the same committment
that David did; "I will set no unclean thing before my eyes."

Given the times we're living in, I think it is especially important to
commit to God 100%, in everything we do, or read, or listen to, or

What do you think? God has high standards; should ours be high as
well? Has He really called us to holiness?


What I've Been Doing

What I've Been Doing

Hello everyone!
Yes, I'm still alive; things are just getting so busy around here that
it's getting harder and harder find time to blog and email. It's
interesting how God works things out. On Monday last week, I was kind
of depressed, because I felt like I wasn't really doing anything
important. I was trying to find things to keep myself occupied. I'm
used to being busy, independent, and productive, and it was a new
experience to have to depend on other people, to try to find things to
do, and feel like you're not really making a difference. But I talked
with God about it, and came to the realization that if I can best
serve Him by doing little odd jobs in the accounting department here,
then I'll work hard to do my best at that. That very afternoon things
picked up, and now I'm absolutely swamped, and loving it! For
example, here is a sample of some of the things I did last week.

Took minutes for Administrative committee meeting. Hired some
blockmakers to teach the volunteers how to start cranking out cement
blocks. Drew up new organizational chart for the hospital. Went to
town with Henock and purchased mattresses for the incoming volunteers
and lots of flour for the Kitchen. Went to the bank with Mulisa and
wired money to Ashebir. Wrote a check for petty cash (first time by
myself) and worked on posting some misc. cash payments. Drafted work
statements for Personnel Director regarding a nurse formerly employed
by the Hospital who is seeking employment in Australia. Wrote a blog
for the hospital. Fixed some accounts in Peachtree. Paid
blockmakers. Tried to come up with volunteer schedule. Wrote up OPD
Doctor report form for Yohannes. Wrote up volunteer questionnaire and
internet use schedule. Participated in orientation for Barlows. Got
them started on clearing out storeroom. Negotiate with their
cooks—one doesn't like the other, they don't know if they can handle
the work load. Drafted letter to gov't. concerning closure of Dongoro
clinic. Started tabulating results of volunteer questionnaire. Met
with some guys who offered to lift our water tank onto the
platform—today! Got gardeners to come up; one guy climbed the tree
overhanging the platform and chopped off a couple of branches so the
crane can get in. Helped chop some limbs down. Drafted letter to OHB
regarding their annual grant to the hospital—asking them to give us
the money allocated to us. Crane came, so I went out and helped with
that. Paid them 2,000 birr, plus 50 for the broker. That was kind of
an interesting deal because the crane operators used a crane owned by
the Chinese road construction crew, without telling them. It was sort
of a side job. Coordinated Barlows activities for Thursday and
Friday. Did a lot of computer troubleshooting. Started exploring
process necessary for filing quarterly OHB report. Found a bunch of
dept. report forms that apparently aren't being used (need to get
those into use so we can get data from the depts. about numbers of
patients seen, cases, etc. Began posting latest construction expenses.
Talked with Gadisa—apparently the hospital is out of propane, so he
wanted the okay to send our tanks to Addis to be refilled. Went back
to the house and had vespers with all the faranjis. I'm beginning to
think a significant part of my job from here on out is going to be
volunteer coordinator. Oh, and Paul came up with another title for me
as well; projects director. So those go along with accountant,
administrative assistant, and co-business manager. I am sure not
having problems finding things to do now!

God was just waiting for me to stop trying to make things happen on my
own, and let Him work them out in His time.

In a different vein; have you been following the news lately? Could
this be It? Definitely motivation for a closer study of prophecy; at
least it has been for us here.