on making mistakes

I am going to make myself a little vulnerable here. I make mistakes.
Ecc 7:20 says "...for there is not truly one righteous person on the
earth who continually does good and never sins."

I'm not talking about sin in this entry, I'm talking about human error.
This week has been full of days where I'm confronted with some recent

I put 4 saber players out the door with errors in 3 of the files, such
that all of Acts chapter 13 was skipped. WOOPS. How did that happen?
Well, I keep backups of backups of files, and I caught the error, fixed
it, and then proceeded to put the OLD file onto the player.

I skipped all of Luke and Acts for another language on the Audibibles.

I have spent weeks trying to get a video to render properly and finally
got it all edited and rendered and it's too long to fit on 1 dvd. WOOPS!

Thankfully, I'm aware that I make mistakes and I ask others to double
check my work before calling the project 'complete' and giving it to
PNGians. And, those other people (my safety net) caught the mistakes
and sent them back to me.

When you make mistakes, you have to redo the work. Which is ironic
because mistakes often happen because you're overworked in the first place.

When I was younger, starting out in the professional market, I wasn't
aware of the mistakes I might make. I proceeded to learn from any
mistakes I made and I rarely ever made the same mistake twice. My mind
was sharper and faster then, so I could keep track of multiple projects
at once.

Now I'm older, and my mind is not as able to track the details of many
simultaneous projects, but I'm also more experienced and know how to
manage my time better, and avoid time draining obstacles that I
otherwise could not foresee.

Knowing that my mind can get cluttered with a lot of simultaneous
projects going on, I have created a system for myself. I have several
'reminder lists' as well as backup systems that tell me where I left
things with each project. I WRITE thing down.

Digital friends of the Silicon Valley, don't mock me, I use pencil and
paper to track my lists most times. It's quick, it's portable, it's not
affected by dropping it. It's resilient, to most thing but water and fire.

When I was young I saw a movie "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure".
Silly movie. At the end of it, the two are trying to break into a
police station and they said 'Ted, let's use the time machine, go back
in time, grab the keys, and hide them so we can get them now!" "Okay
Bill, where should we hide them?" "Right behind this plant!" then they
reach behind the plant, find the keys and cheer together.

That scene forever stuck in my head as an illustration of setting up
practices and systems to protect yourself.

For example, I ALWAYS put my keys in the same place every day when I
come home from work. I don't plop them down any random place.

There have been times when I've wandered the house saying 'where are my
keys?' and then my inner Ted tells my inner Bill 'the past you, should
have put them in the key basket' and I go to the key basket and there
they are. When I was younger I could remember what I did the previous
day with the keys, but not now. Now that I'm older, I just know that
they would be in that basket.

The difference is subtle, but its all about acknowledging that you make
mistakes, and setting up systems to avoid other people having to suffer
from those mistakes. Safety-nets.

This week, my safety nets have been in full swing, as they've caught a
few mistakes.

Sure it's humbling to be reminded that you're not perfect. It's tiring
to have to re-do work. But my commitment to excellence is high because
I want the people of PNG to be hearing the Scripture as clearly as I can
get it to them.

Even if it means re-doing the job several times (which I have done),
until it's right. Not perfect, but right.

As I think about this professional sense of safety nets, I also think
about a spiritual safety net. My two chief parts of that would be
accountability and prayer.

Thankfully I have a good accountability team here. I lose that team
when I am in the U.S. or rather, that team becomes a remote team.
On the prayer side, we have all of you. Praying for us. When we go to
the U.S. I get a chance to update those people who are praying, spend
time with them, and be around them and hopefully re-excite them to
remember to pray for us again for the next term.

I would highly recommend to anyone in the field to have these two
things. Accountability doesn't have to be only 'I messed up, help me
not to.' it can be 'I need someone to talk to, I'm stressed, lend me an
ear.' as well as lending an ear.

And prayer doesn't always have to be an hour of knee bending, deep
laments. It can be a quick 'God, please protect Chad and his family
today, right now.. thanks, Amen.'

But both of these things will enable you to be more successful in your