We began Monday’s weekly staff meeting with a look at a couple of the more familiar call narratives in the Old Testament—Jeremiah’s appointment as a prophet to the nations in Jeremiah 1 and Moses’ call at the burning bush to lead God’s people out of Egypt in Exodus 3. I’m certain every single person in ministry, generally most of you reading this article, and definitely all of us around the table Monday, feel some sense of a call from God to be doing what we’re doing for him and his Kingdom. “Call” is a tricky concept. We all have different definitions and different feelings about the idea of being called or ordained or sent by God to perform a particular task for him. But we all at least feel some sense of it, I’m sure.

 And we all, at some points, can feel overwhelmed or intimated by the tasks before us or inadequate or even incompetent to perform them. But listen to the Word of the Lord to Jeremiah. “Do not be afraid for I am with you and will rescue you.” Every single time Moses gave God an excuse at the bush—five or six depending on how you count—the excuse centered on Moses’ shortcomings. And each time God answered with something along the lines of, “It’s about me, dummy, not you!”

 Moses asks, “Who am I?” And God says, “It’s me, not you.”

 “I will be with you,” God says in Exodus 3:11. “I AM WHO I AM,” he says in verse 14. And then the kicker in Exodus 4:11, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

I think it’s Wiersbe who said God’s “I am” is more than my “I am not.” Great words of encouragement and comfort and a source of confidence and courage to anyone who feels the call of the Lord.

Messy Games Day yesterday with the Legacy Youth Group. Egg volleyball, water slide, mustard, ketchup, oatmeal, flour—a truly disgusting display of what a little imagination and a lot of condiments can do to a teenager. Whitney looked and smelled like a salad bar gone bad. MessyWhitI’m really impressed by what Jason & Lance come up with to stay involved in these kids’ lives and their dedication to being with our teens. It’s non-stop around here. With no breaks. They’re gearing up to host the area-wide Summer Youth Series here at our building tomorrow. Praise God for the energy and enthusiasm of our young people for the Kingdom!

 Finally, there are only 78 more days left until football season. And #78 in the countdown is longtime Oakland Raiders offensive lineman Art Shell.

Art ShellShell and Gene Upshaw anchored the left side of Al Davis’ Rai-duhs OL for 14 seasons from 1968-82. Shell was named to eight Pro Bowls, he played in nine AFL/AFC Championship Games, and won two Super Bowls. His single greatest accomplishment may have been holding the great Alan Page and Jim Marshall to zero tackles and zero assists in the Super Bowl XI win over the Vikings. Bengals Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz and Colts & Cowboys great Big John Dutton receive honorable mention. But the best player to ever wear #78 is Art Shell.

Not Leon Lett.LettDown