En Route to Florida

Katrina and I made it to Valdosta, GA, today and I’m pleased with how well she did.  It’s hard making car trips with MS, but we left Nashville about 10 AM and arrived here about 7 PM.  That’s a long day, but we’ve listened to the new Jeffery Archer novel on CD and stopped at an antique mall and found some of the little green glasses we collect; and, after checking into our motel, we walked up the street for supper.  Tonight I’m trying to tackle some of my backlogged e-mails.

Tomorrow we’re going on to Venice, FL.  I’m speaking tomorrow night, Saturday morning, and Sunday morning at the Good Shepherd Church of Englewood.  If you’re in the Tampa area, please join us.

Before leaving Nashville, I received an e-mail from a young man who was concerned about his family.  “I was just sitting here ,” he wrote, “thinking about some members of my family, and my question is:  ‘How do you deal with family members that are struggling with their relationships with God?  How do you intervene in their lives when you don’t want to come across as super-spiritual?’  I just don’t know how to show them I love them.”

My counsel, for what it’s worth, was this:  There are four things you can do (and this could be a sermon outline).

First, put them on a regular prayer list alongside verses that you’re going to “pray into” their lives.  Select some specific verses that correspond to the needs of each loved one, write those verses under their names in your prayer notebook, and make it a project to intercede for them regularly using those verses.

Second, be as cheerful, friendly, helpful, and kind as possible.  The key passage on this is 1 Peter 3, which says, in essence, we’re to be so radiant, friendly, and selfless in our attitude that over time our lost loved ones will come to Christ with virtually no words being spoken.

Third, there will come times when we can speak words, so we should just have verses rolling around in your mind all the time.  If they come out in naturally and easily — not in a nagging or preaching way (not that those two things are synonyms) — then the Holy Spirit, using God’s Word, can take it from there.

Fourth, be prepared for it to take time, but be equally expectant for God to do it.