Monday, January 29, 2007

Cozy by the fire

Every Friday night Ell and I head to the Dutch Village Inn to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi, and also to hang out with our very good friends who are usually working there at Starbucks. Since the bitter cold of winter has finally come to rest on NE Ohio, we can't stray from our home for more than 3 hours at a time or our fire will go out. No fire, no heat. [Spend a night in a drafty old log house and you'll see why this is so important!] So after they got off work, we all headed back to our house. We played cards for an hour or so, and then looked through photo albums in front of the fire.

As it tends to do, the fire took affect and we all got pretty sleepy. Ell got some pillows and blankets and we all crashed on the floor in front of the fire. Like sardines, all five of us spent the night cuddled up around the heat. I haven't done something like that in a long time. It was so much fun. When we were younger Ell and I used to do that all the time. It was so romantic and nice. But now we're old farts [sorry Ruth] and we know we have a big comfy bed we could be much more comfortable in. Not nearly as romantic, but much softer. But our friends wanted to sleep by the fire, and we wanted to be with our friends. So we slept right beside them on the floor. It was so random we'll be talking about it for a long time!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Funny

I know this joke has been around for a long time, but someone sent it to me last week and Guy posted it too. So I thought I'd pass it on. Sometimes I feel the need to preface certain jokes and this is one of them. I've never been a fan of Jesse Jackson. I think he's phony and annoying. But if you like him then don't read this joke. You've been warned.

Jesse Jackson, while visiting an elementary school, found himself in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings.

The teacher asked Rev. Jackson if he would like to lead the discussion of the word TRAGEDY. He heartedly agreed. He turned to the young class and asked them, "Can any of you give me an example of a TRAGEDY."

One little boy raised his hand and said, "If my best friend, who lives on a farm, got run over by a runaway tractor while he was playing in a field, that would be a tragedy."

"No," said Jesse Jackson, "that would be an accident."

A little girl raised her hand and said, "If a school bus carrying 50 children drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy."

"I'm afraid not," exclaimed the pious Jackson. "That's what we would call a great loss."

Fearing more rejection, the room fell silent. No other child would volunteer an answer. Rev. Jackson looked over the class. "Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?"

Finally from the back of the room little Johnny raised his hand. In a bold voice he said, "If a plane carrying the Rev. Jesse Jackson were struck by a missile and blown to smithereens that would be a tragedy."

"Fantastic!" yelled Jackson. "That's right. And can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?"

"Well," says little Johnny, "because it sure wouldn't be a great loss, and it probably wouldn't be an accident either."

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

One of my dreams

People have blogs for different reasons and how they write can vary from person to person. And sometimes it's really hard to get to know a person by just what they write about. You are limited to knowing just what they tell you. For me that can get a bit frustrating. I like to think I have a decent handle on who someone is and how their background and beliefs make them who they are. And then I get blindsided by a comment or a post and I feel like I'm starting all over in making a mental image of them. For some that's exactly what they want. And that's alright. But for me, I guess I want people to see the real me. I don't make stuff up and I don't talk about things that I don't care about or have an opinion on. Which is why I want to apologize...

There's a rather big part of me that many who read this drivel don't know about. I'm not hiding it; in fact I've mentioned it once or twice and it's in my profile. But I've never talked about it as being one of the major things in my life that make me tick. I think about it daily, I dream about it nightly, I study everything I can find about it, and my future will be dramatically changed because of it. Wow! With a build-up like that it sounds like I have a terminal illness or I'm running for president. Sorry, but nothing quite so intense.

For all of my adult life I've had a dream to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. This is no small undertaking and it's not an easy thing to do. Less than 10,000 people have done it and it's been around for almost 75 years. It takes about six months and $3000 to $5000 to do. The number of people that start vs. the amount who finish is less than 5%. Pretty intimidating numbers. For years I kept kicking myself that I didn't do it when I was younger [and thinner.] But a visit from an old friend a couple years back got me re-energized to do it. To that end I started making my plans. I started a [kind-of] hiking club where I send out e-newsletters to others who are interested in doing the same thing. With the help of Kimmy I set up a website to organize my plans. [Who am I kidding, Kimmy set the whole thing up herself.] When I actually hit the trail I'll have someone post my trail journals on the site so people can follow along with my progress. I may even use it to post the trail journal of the friend who got me into this again. She plans on thru-hiking in a year or two.

My plans are to do my thru-hike in 2010 or 2011. By then, Ell will have been out of school for a couple years, our credit cards will be paid off, we'll only have about 5 years left on our mortgage, and hopefully I'll be in much better shape. Ell has actually taken a very strong interest lately in joining me, which might happen. It puts a different spin on the trip, but definitely not a bad one. Who knows what this'll do to our lives, but they'll surely be different when we get back. A trip like this can be a life changing/defining thing. All I can say is that I can't wait!

There you go, now you know something else about me. If you want to check out my Appalachian Trail website click HERE. I'll add a link to it in my sidebar as well.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

No lie

I just opened a checking account for a customer. When I got to the part where I asked him for a four digit PIN number for his debit card, he took off his hat and read a number off the inside. I can't make this stuff up! He said it was the same number he uses for everything. Come on. If you had a number you used for everything wouldn't you remember it? What he should have said was, "I have a terrible memory and I can't remember a simple series of four numbers so I write them down on the inside of my clothes."

All I can say is I hope he doesn't lose that hat!

Monday, January 22, 2007


Wow. It got heavy in here fast. To quote a movie [which is rather relevant this morning,]

"How 'bout them Bears?!"

The interesting thing about the whole "Pay" talk is that I never stated my stand on the issue. I clearly and strongly stated my stand on the pastor's role in the church, and on the fact that we need to take a look at the model laid out for us by scripture in that area. But I never said we shouldn't pay pastors. I argued a side of the argument to get people thinking and it worked. I don't reveal that as an "I got ya!" moment. I say it b/c I think it's interesting to see how people feel or don't feel about certain things. And I find it very interesting how we get so animated about so many things within the church. It's great for the church to dig deep into issues so as to define their doctrine. But when that digging gets in the way of witnessing, caring for the weak, and all the other stuff Steve and Andrew mentioned, we lose sight of our purpose as Christians. Our job us to go out and reach the lost. Period. The other stuff is just that, stuff.

One other thought... God didn't call His people to be a complacent group; rather He called us to always be out there on a limb. To always search and to never be satisfied with the status quo. I am personally glad He did that for us and I want to strive to do that for Him.

Thanks for reading and participating so much the last few days. I really enjoyed it!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

To pay or not to pay? Part three

Dad, if being persecuted is what the "church" needs and what "I" need to live a right life and become vibrant and alive for Christ....You better believe that's what I want to happen. Bring it on, and watch the church become energized and explode.

As for getting paid for what you do as a form of respect and thankfulness for a job well done? Sounds good. How long does it take to research and prepare a sermon? Two hours? Four? Six? How long does it take to preach it? Thirty minutes? Forty Five? Sixty? The original job of the New Testament pastor was to teach/preach. Not to do all the stuff they do in 2007. [We've already gone over this.] So I'll pay you for that time. And yes Dad, if God called me to help people with their financial problems, I would do it without a paycheck. But working at a bank is so much more than that. So I would do all that other stuff and get paid for it b/c it's my job, and do the financial counseling as an aside for God's glory. I'm not ripping on the pastors here for the extra work they do, I'm just saying those things are someone else's responsibilities. And just b/c pastors get stuck with it doesn't then qualify them for a paycheck.

Again Dad, as for the pastor/elder thing, how about you stay on topic so we can argue the same thing without jumping around and confusing everyone? Yes, the pastor was one of the leaders. Yes, some of those elders he appointed were probably pastors. But Paul didn't come back to set up "only" one pastor as you originally stated. He came back to set up the much needed leadership of the early churches. All aspects, all positions. Show me where it stated the pastor was the number one guy in each group as you stated and I'll reconsider my point.

I love the fact that Andrew brought up how the church is not drawing in the non-believers anymore. This whole new look on how I am viewing modern spirituality is right along that line. We need to be an outward-moving people. We need to reach out to the non-believer where they are. Not to reach out and bring them into our building so we can save them there. We have to start a mentality [like Christ and the apostles] that we meet people where they are, show them the truth, and save them where they are. Then teach them how to do the same thing in their world and sphere of influence. Not in ours. I am running out of time to go further in this topic, but hopefully this'll spark more convo.

Friday, January 19, 2007

To pay or not to pay? Part two

I guess it was an interesting enough topic judging by the comments.
Rob, I echo your thoughts on the Levites. Whole sections of whole books of the Bible describe what the Levites role in the temple was, and how they were to be supported. And no, the fact that Paul supported himself does not negate God's original purpose. But I have to wonder if Jesus' time on earth did? Those books of the Bible describe in great detail what kinds of animals to sacrifice, the killing of these animals, the proper spilling of their blood, what the Levites were to wear while doing it, and finally who and how to enter the Holy of Holies...The place where God was. Only a chosen few could approach God. When Jesus died, the curtain to that place was ripped in half to "allow all believers access to the Father." Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice and an ultimate end to the use of the Levites and all they did in regards to sacrifice.

As for the Acts 13&14 story my Dad shared, he was wrong on some details. [If it sounds like I'm always argumentative with my Dad, we just debate in the same form. We do have a great relationship.] Paul was only persecuted/stoned in one city. The others he left in anger after he heard the Jews were mad at him. "So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium." Acts 13:51. And he didn't appoint a "pastor" in chapter 14; he appointed "elders." Plural. I checked in two study guides and neither translated that word into pastor in that specific reference. The elders were leaders of all kinds and were indeed very important. But they weren't necessarily pastors.

I get the impression that some people think I'm bashing the pastor's role. Please know I am not in any way saying that the pastor's role isn't super-duper important. But as Andrew said, a paid pastor that is expected to do all roles simply makes a congregation lazy. A pastor's role is to teach. According to later New Testament teaching it is the deacon's [which is not another word for pastor despite denominational usages as such] job to do the visiting and cleaning and cooking and praying and so much more. I know, believe me I know, that preparing a sermon or a teaching is hard work. That's what the job entails. God demands it from only the people that He knows are capable of doing it. But does that automatically mean it deserves a paycheck? If so, why it more than something else that takes just as much skill and is designated to specific people?

I truly feel that called pastors are mighty men of God who have specific roles within the Body of Christ. Whether they are paid/not paid does not justify or negate that calling. Period. God does not place calls on people's lives and then lay out their 401k and health plan at the same time. That's what we humans do with it after God gives it. God only grants us the gift and asks us to use it.

In closing [now that sounds like a pastor] I want to share with you something I heard this morning: The Chinese population in Communist China from the 1940's to the 1970's grew from 2 million to 60 million. That was without church buildings or paid pastors or seminaries or programs or larger groups than 15 or anything we can't seem to do without here in the states. Wasn't that God? And wasn't that exactly the New Testament church?

Did I make you think? Did I stretch you? I hope so. I'm not trying to redefine anything, I just think we should do as the scripture says and, "question everything."

Friday Funny

I want to continue the previous topic, but I know how all of you need your laughter pill every so often. So I'll continue tonight or tomorrow with the pastor/church talk and leave you with some short jokes for the weekend. Enjoy!

Second grade teacher to her students: "Do you know the importance of a period?"
Kid: "I do. Once my sister said she missed one. My mom fainted, dad got a heart attack, and the neighbor boy ran away."

Why men aren't secretaries...
Husband's note on the fridge for his wife:
Someone from the Gyna Colleges called. They said the Pabst beer is normal. I didn't know you liked beer.

Red Skelton's number one rule for a happy marriage:
Two times a week, we go to a nice restaurant, have a little beverage, good food and companionship. She goes on Tuesdays, I go on Fridays. (Wasn't he the funniest guy? I loved him!)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

To pay or not to pay? That is the question.

In our group on Tuesdays we are studying Ephesians. This week we were in the beginning of the fourth chapter. Specifically the verse that says (ph) "to some were given to be pastors, to others prophets, to others evangelists, to others teachers," etc. Nowhere in that passage, or anywhere else that I've found, does it say that out of that group the pastor is the most important role. Now I've kinda had that thought in my mind my whole life. When I was a kid and my Dad was still doing concerts, he used to share an example about the fact that God gave us all a job to do. Even down to the janitor, every job is just as important as the next. You know, the whole "parts of the body" analogy from Corinthians. Each part has a purpose. No part can do the job that is another parts job. The body only works when all parts are doing their own job. It all makes perfect sense. But why don't we really believe that?

What I mean by that question is why do we place the pastor as the number one person within a church? I know we need leadership and all that; but is the pastor actually supposed to be the leader? I don't find that written anywhere. The pastor is the one that shares his heart and the Word of God with the 'members' of the body. I find no reference to a pastor being a do-all-end-all. But yet that's what happens in most every church. With all the talk about the hand being no more important than the ear, why do we make the pastor the head? It's gotten so bad in some churches that if you cut off the head the body would die. You know what I mean?

One of my brothers threw out an interesting question on Tuesday along this same vein: Is it right that we pay pastors? A paid pastor is set up to be supported by a church. As being [most of the time] the only paid person in the church, their 'job' is to be the head of all things. The church expects it b/c they are paying him. And why shouldn't they? To give you have to get something in return. The fact that even suggesting a no-pay pastor is just ludicrous and stupid. But is it really? Without name-dropping, there are some denominations that don't pay their pastors. The pastor has a 'day job' and is only responsible for doing the preaching on Sunday. The members of these churches, as well as their leaders, do what we would consider the rest of the pastor's role. Visiting the sick, office work, setting up meetings, etc. Those churches are thriving and growing and are in no danger of crashing without a pastor at the helm. So the arguments that people immediately throw up against this concept fall on deaf ears to these organizations. Is there something there we should take a look at?

There is a lot more to this idea than I can fit into one post and I promise to write more soon. But this is enough to get people talking and thinking.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Those stupid idiots

Anyone who knows me well knows one of my biggest pet peeves is weather forecasters. They have only one real job, and they screw up that one job all the time. And no, that one job is not telling us what the weather is; any moron can step outside and tell whether it's raining or snowing or cloudy or sunny. The only job they really have is to tell us what the weather "will" be.

I'd seen since last week that we were supposed to get snow yesterday. I had to go into town to get some lumber to work on our upstairs, and I wanted to know when the snow was coming so I could plan my day. So I was up early in hopes of catching the first weather forecast of the day. The little ticker in the corner of the television screen said it was 5:30am and that it was 42 degrees. The verbiage varied on all three local stations but the numbers were the same. Here is the exact forecast as it was shared on all three local stations:

"We hit our high for the day at midnight at 40 degrees, as the temperature will be dropping all day. At noon we will be down to 30 degrees, and you'll see temps in the low 20's on your commute home at 5:00. The rain will give way to flurries by mid-morning, and we could see a half inch by 7:00 pm."

Now even though the temp on the screen said it was two degrees higher than what they said the actual high would be, I can live with a two degree difference. I went back to bed with plans of heading to the lumberyard mid-morning after the rain had quit. I was back up in a couple hours and working on my project. Around 9:30 I looked outside and saw that the rain hadn't stopped. I flipped on the telley, and the temp in the corner of the screen said 51 degrees! What?!?! They had said it was going to stop raining and that it would be colder! Well, I had already arranged getting a truck so I had to make the drive in the rain. I was home by noon and decided to check out what the mentally-challenged rejects were saying now. Guess what? The forecast was still the same as it had been at 5:30 that morning! The stupid idiots could see it wasn't snowing and that the temperature was rising, not falling, and yet they still just read off their prompters like nothing was wrong.

I know trying to predict what mood 'Ol Mother will be in, and what she'll do because of that mood can be hard sometimes. But come on!!! Don't go bragging about your Doppler 9000 when you don't have a clue how to use it. And maybe, just maybe, when you can see the red stuff in the thermometer going the wrong way, throw away the cue cards and admit you're wrong. Yeah right; like that'll happen. They'll just keep making the same stupid forecasts and we'll just keep watching them like the sheep we are.

One final thought... the people that write the Farmer's Almanac make weather forecasts for a year in advance, and they are statistically right more often than they're wrong. Makes ya think doesn't it?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday Funny

I get so much of my funny stuff from Guy, and this is yet another one. So with a thank you to Guy, enjoy!

A young boy entered a barbershop, and the barber whispered to his customer, "This is the dumbest kid in the world. Watch while I prove it to you."

He put a dollar bill in one hand and two quarters in the other. He called the boy over and asked, "Which do you want son?" The boy took the two quarters and walked out.

"What did I tell you?" asked the barber. "That kid never learns!"

Later that day, the customer ran into the little boy coming out of an ice cream store. "Hey son, may I ask you a question? Why did you take the two quarters instead of the dollar bill?"

The boy licked his cone and replied, "Because the day I take the dollar, the game's over!"

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Three Things...

Kimmy tagged me on a list. So here goes.

Three things...

...that scare me: Driving in bad ice/snow, falling asleep at the wheel, something bad happening to someone in my family.
...people that make me laugh: Andrew Stryffeler, Lewis Black, Will Ferrell.
...I love: my wife, my garden, my close friends.
...hate: TV news, people who lie, bad drivers.
...I don't understand: why so many people just believe things they hear/read without doing their own research, how so much information fits into/onto things like microchips and network blades, my own thoughts.
...on my desk: pictures of Ell, a stack of notepads, business cards.
...I'm doing right now: pretending to do a report so I can fool around on non-work things like this list, playing drums on my desk, thinking about a lot more than just what's in front of me.
...I want to do before I die: Thru-hike the AT, own a Shelby Mustang, visit Hawaii.
...I can do well: throw a great party, eat twice my age in chicken wings, grow a really good garden. should always listen to: your parents (good or bad, they will help you shape who you are,) music that you like, God should never listen to: Country music, people who refuse to listen to you, people telling you to act your age.
...I'd like to learn how to do: sign language, rebuild a Volkswagen air-cooled engine, manage my finances better.
...favorite foods: apples, pizza, fresh vegetables.
...beverages I drink regularly: water, beer, Starbucks coffee (which my Mom always said I'd learn to like.)
...TV shows I watched as a kid: Cosby Show, Dukes of Hazzard, the Fall Guy.
...books I read as a kid: Little House series (over and over and over,) Narnia series, Zane Grey westerns.
...bloggers to tag:
Andrew, Laura, Kristen.

Monday, January 08, 2007

What are you talking about?

Last night I went to the Metro church in Youngstown, Ohio. The pastor, Josh Shank, shared some thoughts on the issue of questioning God. Since I'm in a place of questioning a lot of things, I was greatly interested in what he had to say. In the Bible, in the book of Luke, you can find the story of the Good Samaritan. What a guy, right? It's a story that has been passed down from generation to generation. Heck, we have laws in many states that borrow the phrase as their name. (Kind of funny in a country that screams separation of church and state! I digress.) No matter what your walk in life or what your background is, chances are you know the story. But what most people don't know is why Jesus was sharing it. A teacher of the Law, an expert who most likely had (what we know as) the whole Old Testament memorized, was questioning Jesus as to how to get to Heaven. Jesus asked him what he thought the law said, and the expert gave Him a simple answer to love God with all you have and to love your neighbor. Jesus told him he was right; do those things and you would have eternal life. Then the expert, in an attempt to justify himself, asked who his neighbor was. As a response, Jesus told the Good Samaritan story.

I won't go into a sermon here, I just want to focus on the question. There are an awful lot of people in the world, and (unfortunately) even more in the church that test God with silly questions. And as Josh shared last night, they aren't asking to get answers. They are asking to avoid answers. I know a lot of biblically knowledgeable people that try to justify themselves by ranting on about this or that. Their objective, is the more they ask the more they don't have to live it out. If they play stupid, or even worse just judge everyone around them, they don't have to answer for their own actions. Their knowledgeable questions make them seem holy so they don't have to live out or pursue anything. And we wonder why so many people call church go-ers hypocrites?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not putting myself up on any kind of pedestal here. I have done this same thing more times than I want to admit. It's easy to look holy when I vomit out all my knowledge and try getting people to think. But that's not where true heart change happens. God wants us to actually "do" what we're talking about. Which is part of what I talked about in my last post. Actually "doing" and not "talking" is what Jesus did. So that's what I want to do. There's nothing wrong with questioning God. The evil happens when we are hiding behind the questions. Shut up and go "do" something.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Well, it happened

Warning! Long Post.

For a few months now I've been struggling with my thoughts in relation to church. Not being a member of one presently has allowed God to stretch me in my thoughts and in my prayers. I didn't leave my church b/c of these thoughts or b/c of any anger at the church as a whole. In fact, I doubt my mind would have wandered into uncharted, dare I say radical, thinking if I had still been a part of that healthy church. Which may be the very reason God urged me to leave. My parents always said that God has predestined me for something grand, maybe this is it.

With that said, here's the big stuff slamming around inside my head........
-Am I really trying to be like Jesus as the Bible says?
-If Jesus were here today, would He be in our church on Sunday morning?
-What am I, or should I be, physically doing to be like Jesus? (What is Missional-Thinking and how can I apply it to my life?)
-When I speak about my beliefs, how can I get convince the "religious" people I love?
-Is going to church just an easy, dare I say lazy, way out to follow God?
And then the defensive issues........
-Are churches doing something wrong by pulling people together on a regular basis?
-Why does everyone rooted in the church cry foul when people suggest Jesus wouldn't be in a church on Sunday morning?
-The established church has been around for 1700 years, can it really be all that bad?
-Doesn't Missional-Christianity have a place within the established church?

I have many answers to these questions, but none of them seem to blend together to look like any kind of educated anything. All I know is that God is working on me, and I desperately want to do what He wants.

The issue that raises the most hairs is the church meeting/building one. I grew up very "churched." My Dad was [and is] a very talented musician, and he traveled all over to sing, play, and preach. Our family would often travel with him. So besides doing the 3-times-a-week at our home church like most people talk about, there were times I was in church services every day and even sometimes did 3-times-a-day. I say that not to boast but rather to emphasize my roots. Going to church just wasn't questioned. It's what we did and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. God is not asking me to question is going to church right, but rather is it enough?
I really don't think so. Which goes right into my next thoughts.........

Besides the [what has become] cliche bracelet wearing WWJD stuff, I know that just going to church every Sunday is not what it takes to be like Jesus. I'm pretty sure the church today isn't doing what Jesus would do. Bold statement, huh? You bet it is! I'm pretty sure Jesus wouldn't be talking about feeding the poor; he'd be doing it. I'm pretty sure Jesus wouldn't be listening to someone talking about witnessing to the lost; He'd be doing it. And I'm pretty sure Jesus wouldn't be holed up in a building once a week getting His God fix; He'd be out daily showing God's love to all he came in contact with. So how do I do that? There's my dilemma.

I truly feel that all Christians should be trying to be like Jesus. The Bible demands us to do that. So when's the last time you actually physically fed the poor? When's the last time you went to a prostitute's house and witnessed to her and her family? When's the last time you skipped the service on Sunday and instead walked through a field with those you were mentoring? When's the last time you prayed for hours and hours? Jesus did all these things and yet we don't. The excuses range from I sent in some money, it's illegal to visit a prostitute, I have responsibilities at church, we live in a different time with more time constraints. Sound familiar? But you don't get off on those technicalities. Those are things that Jesus did and we are told to do what Jesus did.

So anyway, where does that leave me? Confused. Scared. And more. I lead a guys Bible study every week. Out of Ephesians 2, I asked them when was the last time any of them did something physically for someone else to change their lives. [Jesus did something pretty physical for us, didn't he? Aren't we trying to be like him? That means actually doing something physical.] All of a sudden, it happened. Under the leading of my friend Andrew, ideas were flying, money was being thrown on the table, and I was being challenged with the notion that our group was becoming just like any old church were all we did was study and talk and never acted. We ended up taking $29 to Pizza Hut and telling them to pay for the next person's pizza with instructions to tell the customer that someone wanted to bless them. Next week we're all bringing food and diapers for a single mother. And I have a feeling it's only gonna get bigger. We aren't big, and our actions aren't earth shattering, but both are being like Jesus.

I know I didn't answer or address most of the stuff I brought up. I just wanted you to know what happened when I opened the can of worms with those guys. I'm still confused where my brain activity will take me. And I'm still scared that God is going to ask me to do something I don't feel adequate enough to do. [Or want to do!] But I can't let the devil use those things to hold me back. I am ready. Use me God.