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?



  1. Hey Joel. Thanks for the post! It's always nice to read news from Ethiopia. It was also encouraging to read your post. I must say I experience now what you experienced much in the past: Having so many other things to read. Though, I know I need to spend more time with the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. It's so much truth in there, and it's only that which can help us through the end of times - which I believe soon is to come. Thanks again for the encouragement!

    I also agree what you say about stuffing our brain with various things. It's almost a little funny. I hardly ever watch movies anymore, and this last spring I watched the gods must be crazy 1. I always thought it was so much fun! Though, this time I had the same bitter taste in my stomach after watching it like you. I believe the reason we feel this dis-taste, is because God sure is working on us and our conscience. May we do His will for the future!

  2. It's so good to read a new blog from you Joel! I trust that God is keeping you in the palm of His hand as you are working for Him :)

    The Holy Spirit has been making me aware of the things I've been exposing myself to lately. I do think God calls us to a higher way of living. Only through His grace and guidance can we achieve this. That's why it's so important to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and be obedient to His word.

    I'm praying for you, Joel. The other day I missed you as I was looking through camp pictures. I do wish I could see you running to and fro on campus haha.

  3. Dear Joel,
    I'm so excited to hear how God is using you there in Ethiopia. I just finished praying for you; never forget that you have prayer warriors back here in the States lifting you up to Jesus. God is really doing things to and through you, I can tell! We miss you at Bible Study and everything else! I can't wait to meet the souls in Heaven who will be there as a result of your witness this year!
    In Christ,

  4. Hey Joel, that message is pretty deep. I was thinking about some of that stuff today, and reading this has helped me to become re-focused. Thanks a lot. God bless you over there in Ethiopia!

  5. I appreciate your blog, Joel. God has been working similarly with me. I used to be addicted to TV and movies, but now when I watch them or hear my friends watching them, I think, "That's ridiculous! Why would I want to waste my time watching that??" I also have an increased desire to read Ellen White's writings. It took a lot of prayer, but I can finally see God pulling me out of my hole in the world. :D I'm glad to know that He's doing the same for others.

  6. Thank you... It really puts in perspective Ps. 37:4--"Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart." When we honestly commit our way to Him, He and everything about Him will become our one desire--and we have been promised that He will always grant it.

  7. you know the bushman from the Gods Must Be Crazy? He converted to seventh day adventist after the movie came out...random fact of interest


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