How to Keep From Burning Out

No matter how far along you get in worship leading or in life, it’s always good to stop and ask yourself why you are doing what you do. Your “why” will always take you farther than your “how” or your “what”. Burnout happens when the effort and cost involved in doing something is greater than your passion for why you’re doing it.

I’ve burned out before. It happens. Let’s just be honest up front on that. When I look back and see when I’ve burned out, it’s usually been during a season of my life when I’ve had too much going on. So much so that I neglected the things God gave me to help me live this life. There is grace for us in our callings if we’ll just stay focused. My problem has been too many irons in the fire, and I end up burning out. There’s a saying I’ve heard: When you burn the candle at both ends, you’re not as bright as you think you are.

In the church (ministry, volunteering, etc…) we are no more immune to burnout than people in the business world. That’s why it’s imperative for us to be on fire for our “why”. Galatians 6:9 has something to say about this. However, there are some advantages to the Christian life that help us keep our hearts in check and keep from burning out.

Regular Times of Prayer

If you look at the life of Jesus, you’ll see that he had regular daily times of prayer. His constant communion with the Father was his greatest source of strength. Jesus got his direction from God, and he knew exactly what he was supposed to do. Also, when Jesus prayed, things happened.

For us today, prayer has the same benefits. Jesus operated in this world fully as a man and God, and his time on Earth was our example of how we should live (and pray).
Here’s a great write-up on how Jesus prayed.

Time Reading the Bible

These days there are so many things that seem like new and uncharted territory I’m society and culture, but the Bible says there’s nothing new under the sun. Sure, the internet didn’t exist when the Bible was written, but the principles of wisdom and understanding are still applies the same. We need to keep the Bible as our single source of information and make it the lens through which we view everything. God’s word never changes, and it doesn’t need to. It is active and living, sharper than any two-edged sword.
My pastor says we don’t read the Bible;  it reads us. Our time in the word is for our benefit. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of thinking that Good is angry or disappointed in you got not reading your Bible enough. We are saved by GRACE! There is NOTHING we can do to earn God’s love or favor. When He looks at us, He sees Jesus, and that’s why we are able to have a relationship with God at all. So don’t beat yourself up for not reading enough. Just do better 🙂

Accountability Through Other Believers

When you start to get burned out, you stop showing up. You may literally not be there (church, rehearsal, etc…), or you may physically be there, but your mind is somewhere else. I’ve been there before, and I wish I would have had more people around me to hold me accountable. God puts other believers in our lives so we can help each other out. Christianity is more than a book of rules and a building with a cross on it. It’s a community of imperfect people heading in the same direction — toward God. When we stumble, it affects those around us, but we can also help pick each other up to continue on.

Accountability on your worship team is one of the greatest assets you have as a believer AND as a worship team member. The Bible says (reference) that iron sharpens iron, meaning that believers are supposed to hold each other accountable. When one is weak, the other can be strong. This is when it’s important to do the two things mentioned above (pray & spend time in the word). It’s also important to have the right people on the worship team.

Be Strong

The principles discussed in this article are for more than just the acoustic guitar players in the band. A band is only so strong as its weakest link, and you don’t want that to be you! As you continue on your journey to be the best worship acoustic guitar player you can be, don’t neglect these areas of your life. Spend time in prayer, get into the word as much as possible, and surround yourself with others who will keep you accountable.

Worship music is SO much more than music. We are on the front lines of spiritual warfare, so you will have troubles. But when you face these things, “consider it pure joy” (James 1:2-8), because that’s how you know you’re on the right track. You are blessed that you get to serve God with your guitar in your hands, so take your spiritual life seriously, too.


Do you have a story of how you burned out in worship or serving in another area of your church? If so, what did you do to combat the burnout? What was the end result?

Join the conversation below!

Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV

bible and coffee cup

Take comfort in this verse since God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

“And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV

Whatever you’re facing today, God isn’t surprised by it, and He has actually already gone before you to prepare the way you should go. Stay tuned in to God so you know which way to go.

And don’t fear. It’s easy to say and hard to do, but fear is really just faith in reverse. When we fear, we are doubting that God has things under control.

Pray that God will make you more aware of His continuous presence in your life, and pray that He would help you not to fear.

Is It Worship or Performance?

I’ve never considered myself a performer or an entertainer. One of the things that was hard for me to get over getting on stage at first was feeling like a performer. I also used to go completely the other way and be too introverted on stage. I think there’s a happy balance between the two where the congregation is engaged, and your worship is still genuine.
So let’s look at worship as a whole and see how we can connect with God and not feel like we’re just putting on a show.

What is worship?

I’ve heard the verse where Jesus says we will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). For years I would just put that phrase off as a religious thing that sounded good but was hard to understand. It wasn’t until recently that it started to make more sense to me.
If you think about how people used to worship God back before Jesus came, they had to abide by the strict law in order to be right with God. They had scriptures to go off of, too. They had the word, which is the “truth” part of worship. We are to worship God according to His word. Also, remember Jesus is the word (John 1:1), and he is the way, the TRUTH and the life. (John 14:6).
The second part is the mystifying part – to worship God in spirit. If you go back to the times before Jesus came on the scene, the Holy Spirit was usually just on one person at a time. It wasn’t until Jesus rose from the grave and ascended back to the Father that he sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within us – those who accept Jesus as their Savior. So now we have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us, connecting us to God on a different level that the word alone did.
Worshiping God in spirit is for us to open ourselves up for God to do things in us and through us. When we remain yielded to God’s spirit, we are giving our lives to Him for whatever purposes He has for us. Our direct “link” to the Father is by the Holy Spirit inside us, by faith. So worshiping God in spirit means trusting that there is more going on inside us than just our physical bodies, and therefore EVERYTHING we do (or don’t do) is our worship to God.
Here’s a good read on this topic, if you’d like to check it out:

Why do we worship?

We were CREATED to worship. Isaiah 43:7 tells us we were created for God’s glory. I once heard someone on TBN say that we are going to worship something whether we want to or not, since that’s how we are made. When we live our lives the way God plans for us, that naturally gives God the glory, because his plans are usually the kinds of things that we couldn’t accomplish on our own. We are made to worship God, so that is the purest fulfillment of our purpose in this life.

How should our stage presence be?

Luke 6:45 says, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” I believe true worship should involve us speaking or singing something. Beyond that, there’s no right or wrong answer for how you should be on stage, but it should be genuine.
I’ve found that the more I remain open to what the Holy Spirit wants to do in worship, the more expressive I am. I’m not one to jump around and yell, but I will sing, raise my hands, and close my eyes from time to time. Sometimes this is just a way for me to further submit myself to God and to reorient my heart toward Him in a worship service. Whatever you do in worship, just make sure it helps you stay focused on God.
The flip side of this discussion is that you don’t want to just stare down at a chord chart or your guitar the whole time. That can make you look like you are uninterested, bored, or even angry. This is another reason it’s important to memorize your music.

In Review

I’ve covered the What, Why, and How of worship. This is by no means an exhaustive study on the subject of worship. I’ve only scratched the surface: Worship in Spirit & Truth, we were created to worship, and it’s OK to have a little bit of performance mixed in with your worship. We’re supposed to show the congregation a good example, and sometimes that means stepping outside your comfort zone for a minute. Just remember, when you step out in faith, that gets God’s attention.
Join the discussion! Let me know what you think. Tell a story about your experiences with worship. I’d love to heard from you!

2017 Recap & 2018 Announcement!

2017 Recap

This year has been amazing for Acoustic Worshiper. I first had the idea for the site at the beginning of 2017, and I am pleased with the progress that has been made in one year. I owe the inspiration to God, but I also owe a lot of thanks to Shane & Jocelyn Sams of the Flipped Lifestyle ( for helping me get the nuts and bolts of this figured out.


So 2017 was rocking along, and I was starting to get an idea of what I wanted to do with this site to help all you Acoustic Worshipers out there, and then I got a text from my pastor. He was asking me to be the worship director at my church. I was blown away (and still am) that he would think of me for this role. Up until now, I had just been a member of the band — and I wasn’t even playing every week. I knew it was something that God had brought my way, but it was still intimidating to take on that responsibility.

I accepted the leadership role, and I am still working at it now. The most noticeable change I think is the amount of time I now DON’T have to work on Acoustic Worshiper. If you’ve wondered why there haven’t been any blog posts lately, that’s the reason.


But instead of seeing this as a setback, I see it as a golden opportunity to learn and grow in a way I otherwise couldn’t have. This isn’t a spotlight role where I’m up front on stage every week. I do a lot of the administrative type stuff, and I’m getting to know the members of the worship team better.

Part of being a great member of a band is understanding the leadership that is over you. Now that I am actually in that leadership role, I can see both sides of the equation. I’m learning valuable lessons and advice that I will pass down to the members of the Acoustic Worshiper community.

Coming Soon in 2018

Oh yeah… That brings me to my announcement for 2018. I will be launching the Acoustic Worshiper Membership so I can better serve those of you who would like to learn new and interesting ways to play the acoustic guitar for worship. The membership will grant you access to ALL of the content I create now and going forward. It will also be a place where you can talk with other acoustic guitar players in worship bands all over, plus you’ll have access to me if you need it. I’ll be in the forums and creating the content YOU request.

I’m not sure the exact date for the beta launch just yet, but I will be posting updates about that soon.

Final Thoughts

All this to say: I’ve been very busy, but it’s a good kind of busy. God has given me an opportunity and a platform to help you bring your best to Him when you are on stage at your church. My activity on Acoustic Worshiper may have been a little less frequent lately, but that will change in 2018! Stay tuned for the opening of the membership and other exciting updates!

Connect With Me

Leave a comment below if you have questions or anything to say about the new membership. You can also sign up for email updates and receive a free Chord Cheat Sheet with over 60 chord substitutions to expand your musical vocabulary.

May God Bless You & Keep You!

Use Your Capo Wisely

Featured image: Capo on 4 by Alan Levine licensed by Creative Commons.

When I was first learning to play guitar, a friend of mine showed me how to play Sweet Home Alabama — one of the classic first songs to learn on the guitar! At that point I was still struggling to press the strings down, so my fingers were pretty sore. My friend told me I could put this clamp-y tool thing on the strings and it would “make the strings easier to press down.” He didn’t know what is was called, and I definitely didn’t know. I would later find out that this device was a capo.

Looking back, I don’t think it actually made the strings any easier to press down, but at least I now know that I was playing Sweet Home Alabama in the wrong key! Hindsight is always 20/20 I guess.

So let’s take a look at the capo, its correct use, and how we can leverage it for worship acoustic guitar.

What Is a Capo?

So what is a capo and where did the name come from? I found this awesome website that tells you everything you could ever want to know about capos:

(Who knew a website devoted to capos existed?!)

To paraphrase from, a capo is a tool you use on stringed instruments to shorten the length of the playable strings in order to easily change the key of what you’re playing.

Where Did the Name Capo Come From?

According to the same site, the capo gets its name from the Italian words “capo tasto”, which mean head fret. At first the phrase was used for the nut of the guitar, and then it became the name of the tool we still use today. (Read more about the history of the capo here.)

How Do You Pronounce the Word “Capo“?

According to and every time I’ve ever heard the word spoken, it’s pronounced “KAY-po”. When I was still a beginner guitar player, I thought it was “CAP-oh”.

What To Do With a Capo

Now that we have the facts and formalities out of the way, let’s talk about what you can actually do with a capo. Playing acoustic guitar in a worship band, you will need use a capo at some point. Here are the best ways to use a capo in worship songs.

Partial Capo

Some styles of capos will allow you to turn it around backwards and use it on three of the strings instead of all six strings. A good example is the Kyser Quick Change Capo. As I discussed in a previous post, this actually makes a chord, and it gives you the sound of an open tuning without having to re-tune your guitar. Kyser also makes a Partial Capo, but in my opinion since you can get the same result with a regular capo there’s no need to buy the specialized one.

If you’re interested in a high-end capo with beautiful custom inlays, check out Thalia capos. It’s a whole new level of capo.

2 Capos At Once

Using two capos allows you to play the open sounding chords with a partial capo but in whatever key your singer needs. A full capo on the second fret plus a partial capo on the fourth fret would be a good example.

I supposed with a little experimentation you could probably pull off 2 partial capos and make it sound good. Let me know in the comments if you find anything interesting there. I’ll update here if I find anything useful like that.

High on the Fretboard

I usually try not to put a capo much past the fourth or fifth fret. Going any higher can make the guitar sound thin and weak. It almost sounds like a toy with the capo beyond the fifth fret. However, if you aren’t the only acoustic guitar player, then higher chords can work. You just have to give it a try and see how it sounds.

Change the Key of a Song

This is the most common use of a capo — it’s what the tool was created for. You can not only play a song in the key you know the chords for but also in the key your singer needs to sing in. This reduces the amount of time you need to spend re-learning a song in a different key.

Let’s say you learn a song in the key of E but your singer needs it in G. Unless you have time to learn the chords in G, you can simply play the chords you know (from the key of E) with the capo on the third fret.

Email me if you’re interested in my free Capo & Transposing Guide. I go into more detail with charts for capo placement and transposing songs.

Play Better Chords

Along the same lines as the previous example, sometimes you are more comfortable with chords from a certain key. If you know a lot of filler riffs or chord variations on the chords in the key of C, you can take these tricks with you to another key with a capo. For a song in D, you can put the capo on the 2nd fret and a C chord shape relative to the capo is now a D chord.

Get the FREE Acoustic Worshiper Chord Cheat Sheet

Capo Conclusion

There’s a lot you can do with a capo, but don’t let it become a crutch. Your decision to use a cap should be driven by the music/band/singer needs, not your lack of chord knowledge. ( And of course don’t use a capo to make the strings easier to press down 😋 … That NEVER works! )

A capo is a tool that should be used to enhance a song. It can help you transpose a song quickly into a key with simpler or more familiar chords. It can also allow you to completely change the sound of the guitar to blend in with another guitar or the rest of your band.

Once you understand the patterns of using a capo and transposing songs, the capo becomes an indispensable part of your worship acoustic toolbox.

Email me here in you’re interested in getting the Acoustic Worshiper Capo & Transposing Guide when it becomes available for free download.


Leave a comment and let me know how you use a capo, or let me know if you learned something new here.

You Really Should Memorize the Worship Music Before Each Service

I’ve only recently started memorizing all the songs before I play on Sunday mornings. I’m blessed that memorizing songs has come naturally to me over the years. For me it is liberating to play a song without having to look down at a chord chart, and I don’t feel like I’m hiding behind a music stand. Plus, memorizing songs is really not that difficult once you identify the patterns that exist in music — that’s another post for another day. Here are some reasons why you really should memorize the worship music before each service.

Better Stage Presence

When you play from memory your stage presence will be livelier. Stage presence is not something reserved for performances on stage, but also in a worship setting. Your job as an acoustic player (and thus a member of the worship band) is to lead the congregation, and this is one of those times when appearance actually matters.
Now, it’s not your job to entertain an audience in a worship service. Your heart still needs to be right, but you have to at least look like you’re excited to be in God’s House. Having some enthusiasm and looking comfortable will help everyone else in the room feel the same way. When you depend on your chord chart, it distracts you and closes you off the the congregation.

More Engagement In the Worship Experience

Another good reason to memorize your music is so you can focus more on your own worship to God during the service. Leaders have to be out in front, no matter what context that leadership is in — worship, business, family, etc… Leaders also have to be aware of their surroundings. If you’re staring down at a chord chart the whole time, you won’t be able to tell how the congregation is participating during a song.
As an acoustic player this may not seem like a big deal to you, but knowing what’s going on around you helps you know what dynamics to play with. You’ll also be more available to watch and follow the worship leader — or if you are the leader, you really shouldn’t be staring at a chord sheet anyway.

Flowing Into Different Parts of the Song

Sometimes things happen, and you just have to roll with it. If your leader deviates from the original structure of the song (for whatever reason), you’ll be able to keep up if you have memorized the different parts of the song.  Some of you play in bands that do this regularly, and some not as often. Either way, transitioning to random parts of the song is only possible if you have memorized all the parts. A chord sheet will do more harm than good in this situation.
Also, at the end of the worship set when the speaker is coming up on stage, it is good to usually have some type of background music still playing. Depending on your band structure, that job may fall on the keyboard player, but a solid acoustic guitar player should be able to fill this need, too. Part of being a “solid” acoustic player is being ready.

Final Thoughts

There really is no downside to memorizing the songs before the worship service. It can only benefit you. As with anything you do in life, you have to step back and ask yourself why you’re doing it. The purpose of playing acoustic guitar in a worship service is to contribute not only to the music, but also to the worship experience. Memorizing your music and being ready to play it is just another notch in the belt of becoming the best acoustic player you can be. God deserves our best in every area of our Lives, so why should playing in the worship band be any different?
Do you memorize the worship songs before you play each service? Do you find it easy or difficult? Leave a comment or share a story below, and join the conversation!

The Acoustic Worshiper’s Guide to Alternate Tunings

Back in my early worship band days (high school and college), there was one song that was played with an open tuning, and it was a fun one to play. It had a good mix of strumming & picking, plus the odd tuning sounded really cool! However, the down side to that whole setup was that I had to have a spare acoustic with me on stage. Before service I would tune that second guitar to its open tuning and leave it sitting ready for that one song. Maybe it was a lot of extra work for little gain, but it sure was fun to play!

So there are many ways you can use alternate tunings to add variety to your worship set. Here are some of the ones I’ve found are most useful:

Tuning Down

One simple way to play with an alternate tuning and still play a variety of sounds and styles is to tune your guitar a half or whole step lower – keeping it in standard tuning intervals. For example, to tune down one whole step, you would go from EADGBE to DGCFAD. I’ve used this technique before, and it almost gives you a baritone guitar sound.

The main advantage is that it fills up the lower register of the song in a way you couldn’t do in standard tuning. This is highly effective when your acoustic guitar is the only instrument.

The downside would be that you have to transpose the chords into a different key since you are now a whole step lower. In the example above, an E chord shape now becomes a D sound. This is most useful if you actually need to transpose the song into a lower key.

Drop D Tuning (Old Faithful)

Drop D is probably the most common alternate tuning out there. It involves tuning your low E string to a D note. This really helps you get better low-end out of your guitar as in the first method mentioned, but it drastically changes the chord shapes. The G chord is still doable but it just takes some practice. I found that sometimes the best case to use Drop D is when the song is actually in the key of D.

There are also a lot of cool riffs you can do over a D chord using the open D, A, and D strings. I’ll be posting a video of some examples of how to use Drop D effectively.

Other Partial Tuning

Sometimes you can just lower the B and maybe the high E strings. This changes your sound and gives you some different chord options. I’ve tuned the high E string down to D for a song that was in the key of D. Then when you play xx0230, the smallest string gives the chord a different sound. You can also mix this with drop D and play 000230 for a really big open sounding D chord. Again, you just have to sort out what that does to the rest of the chords you’re playing in the song.

I’m working on an alternate tuning guide. Send me an email here if you’re interested in it. Let me know what you want to see in it.

Partial Capo

This is one of my favorite ways to efficiently add variety when playing acoustic. You just take a capo, turn it around backwards, and place it over the A, D, and G strings on the 2nd fret. By doing this you form an Esus4 chord (if you’re in standard tuning). You can also experiment with putting the capo on the 4th fret (and probably others).

I prefer this alternate tuning, because it doesn’t require you to stop and use the tuning knobs on stage. It’s quick, so it’s perfect for that one song that requires a different tuning — but you don’t have to have that spare guitar with you on stage like I did back in the day! You put the capo on for that one song, then remove it to go instantly back to standard tuning, ready for the next song.

Kyser actually makes some partial capos, but their acoustic capos are the ones you can still just turn around backwards.

In Conclusion…

Alternate tunings can be a great way to spice up a song here and there, but they should be used wisely. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Look for opportunities to incorporate alternate tunings that not only sound good, but also add functionality to your worship set. Trust your ear, and get creative!

What are your experiences with alternate tunings? Do you have any favorites and or bad experiences using them? Leave a comment below and join the conversation.

Spice Up Worship Songs With Alternate Chords

More than a few times in my acoustic career, fellow guitar players have asked me about the chords I was playing during a practice or a worship service. I don’t think it’s because I’m inventing new special chords or anything. I just use the chords I’ve learned over the years. The comments and questions are usually along the lines of, “hey, what chord was that?”. Nonstandard chords can have a positive impact on a song if used correctly. Here are the things you need to know in order to effectively substitute chords in a worship song.

Get the FREE Acoustic Worshiper Chord Cheat Sheet

Pick and Choose

Not all chords are the same. OK, I know — that’s obvious. But you have to be careful on which chords you substitute. Some chords have a more “worship-y” sound (yes, I made that word up). For example, 320003 doesn’t fit as many modern worship songs as 3×0033 does, so in most cases you can play 3×0033 anywhere you see G on a chord sheet. Almost all chords can be substituted and sound great, though. These substitutions are called inversions when you’re still technically playing the same chord but in a different position (Example – Am: x02210 & 577555). Then some of the chords we’ll go over are more of a replacement since they are technically a different chord altogether (Example – A: x02220 & Asus2: x02200).

Follow Your Ear

In all cases, you must use your ear to see if the chord fits. Chords can be an accent, or they can be the foundation of a song. You have to be careful to not “step on the toes” of the melody or any other instruments (especially when you’re in a full band). Also, you don’t want to play the exact same chords as another guitar (if you have two or more guitarists). Two guitars playing the exact same chords just muddies up the sound, and you miss a great opportunity to fill out the sound with a better chord voicing.

Smooth Transitions

Sometimes it’s simply that a different chord is easier to play or transition to than other chords. If you are playing a fast song that needs quick changes or a soft song that needs smooth chord transitions, the most effective solution could be to use a different chord. For example: 2x02xx, 3x04xx, 5x06xx, 7x07xx is a set of smooth transitions compared to this: 244222, 3×0033, x02220, x24432. Both of those examples are the same chord progressions, but they are two completely different sounds and levels of dynamics.

Get Your Head in the Game

You can keep your mind engaged in worship by changing things up with the chords. This is a good way to make old familiar songs interesting to play again. Worship music is not supposed to be complicated, but worship is still something that should be approached with excellence. Simple music is easier to play, but adding in some nonstandard chords is great way to keep you more engaged with what you’re doing. The last thing you want is to feel bored in a worship service. Playing music for the Lord should be exciting and fun!


The moral of the story is to change things up every once in awhile! No matter what you do, it has to sound good. So be wise with the chord variations you choose. Make sure you don’t stand out or step on the sonic toes of another voice or instrument in the band. Look for opportunities to simplify your playing and engage with the song more deeply by choosing better/simpler chords.

Get the FREE Acoustic Worshiper Chord Cheat Sheet

Do you sometimes use alternate chord shapes? What’s your favorite chord? Leave a comment below, and join the conversation!

Devoted to Prayer – Colossians 4:2


​Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

Colossians 4:2 NLT


Prayer is one of the coolest parts about being a Christian. We have a straight-shot connection to God the Father through Jesus. This verse says we should devote ourselves to prayer, but not just any kind of praying. We are to have an alert mind and a thankful heart. When we engage our minds with the things of God, it transforms our entire lives from the inside out. Then the next part, when we have a thankful heart, that guards us against so many things (i.e. bitterness, jealousy, offense, etc…).


Think about your prayer life. Are you always “alert” when you are talking to God, or do you just pray before meals and as you’re drifting off to sleep? How thankful are you for what God has put in front of you?

Be intentional about your prayer. Engage your mind and be alert when you pray. And when you pray, thank God for the things He has blessed you with instead of asking Him to give you more or to fix the things you are uncomfortable with.

Leave a comment below and share how this verse is going to impact your prayer life.

A Sound Mind


For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
II Timothy 1:7 NKJV


God will never motivate is by fear. That spirit is the exact opposite of what God gives us. Have you ever heard of the phrase “peace of mind”? The Bible also says that God gives us a peace that passes all understanding. We follow His peace.

I believe God put this verse in the Bible to open our eyes to the lies told to us by the enemy. Knowing that fear is not God’s way frees is from being led down the wrong path. It’s a simple way for us to know if something is from God or not.


Do you have a sound mind? Are you making decisions based on fear, or are you being led by God’s peace? Ask God to open your eyes to see if you’ve been making decisions out of fear. If you have, it’s not too late to get that sound mind that God freely gives. Ask Him to help you.