12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)

I’d like to direct your thoughts to beyond the big event in front of you – beyond Christmas. I know. The season has a way of wrapping itself around us and demanding our constant attention. Preparing, decorating, gathering, shopping, giving, receiving, baking, greeting, cleaning, and then doing it all over again. Who can push their vision to beyond all that without being purposeful about it? I know I can’t.

But I also know that when this season is over there is a new year in which to pursue the wonderful things of God. And I want to begin that new year with purpose, not simply exhausted, limp and just hoping for some rest. So I am beginning to lift my eyes above the fray of this wonderful season to say “Lord, what’s next? 2010 is coming to a close, how can I serve you in 2011?”

I am praying about starting several “Living Life on Purpose” groups (or “Purpose group” for short) in 2011. I participate in a couple of groups known in the business world as “mastermind” groups. They are small groups of people who meet monthly to encourage and help each member achieve greater success in their business life. I want to carry that concept into the rest of my life because what we’ve experienced is that the mastermind group meetings regularly bring our goals into focus and helps us make progress toward them. What’s best is that this happens in an environment of encouragement and support, not hold-your-feet-to-the-fire accountability. I’d like to see that in my spiritual life as well.

Our life with Christ is a tremendously exciting, sometimes arduous, journey. It is truly the journey of a lifetime. The enemy’s desire is to sabatoge us along the way and he does that by taking our focus off the goal. Quite frankly, I think we make it easy for him! My husband said it well in a small group many years ago: “We are too easily distracted by bright, shiny objects.” For some the bright, shiny object is the newest thing in town – the new organization to belong to, new church to atttend, new store to explore, new computer (or computer game) to obsess over, new activity to participate in, new habit to develop, new diet to embrace, new television series to become a fan of, new project to throw yourself into, yada, yada, yada.

I don’t want to make it easy for satan. I want to make his job as hard as possible. In fact, I want to make his job impossible. With Christ in me and my focus continually on Him, how can satan win? He can’t. The secret is to keep that focus on Christ and what He wants for my life. Daily Bible reading and prayer help us keep that focus daily; regular church attendance helps keep that focus weekly; a monthly Purpose group will help me keep that focus monthly on those goals that are more longterm.

Here’s the plan: Each month the group gets together for for an hour or hour and a half. During that time, each member will share his or her successes and blessings, then ask for ideas about how to improve in areas that aren’t moving forward. Other group members will offer encouragement and ideas. Each group member has about ten minutes in which everyone’s attention is focused on helping them meet their goals in the coming month. Of course, we’ll close praying for one another.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say one of my goals this year is to read my Bible more consistently. Perhaps right now I only read 3-4 days/week. At a typical meeting, I would share what blessings I’ve experienced over the previous month and what positive things I’ve experienced toward my goal. Perhaps I am enjoying my reading more – God is causing Scripture to jump off the page into my heart. Or perhaps I’ll share a specific Scripture that touched me. Then maybe I’ll share that the desire to be more consistent is growing in my heart, but I haven’t quite been able to increase my Scripture reading. Wanting to meet the goal is a step in the right direction because previously it was just something I felt like I should do, now it’s something I want to do. That’s progress! But I need help moving forward. What suggestions do other group members have that might help me? I would then have the benefit of hearing the experience and ideas of three or four other people. My experience is that the ideas that flow in such a group will encourage and motivate me while providing practical suggestions that will help me move toward my goal.

Perhaps you’re reading this and beginning to wonder how you can participate. (I hope you are!) You don’t live anywhere near Norwalk, OH, where I write this blog from. Not to worry! One of the business mastermind groups I participate in is a virtual group. Our meeting is done monthly via phone and computer. I’ll be honest – I don’t know all the ins and outs of the technology yet, but if enough of you are interested in joining a Purpose group with me, I’ll learn it.

So what do you think? Would you like to commit to one and a half hours each month to live life on purpose in 2011? There may be a minimal cost to participate – such as the cost of the phone call or a small cost for a virtual meeting site. Those details will come, but I promise they will not be significant. And of course, if they prove to be our undoing, we’ll find workarounds so that they are not our undoing.

If you’d like to participate, please comment on the blog or send me an e-mail. Give me your name, the city, state and time zone in which you live, your e-mail address and your phone number. I will contact you with more details.

In the meantime, go back to enjoying the Christmas season!

2 Responses to “Living Life on Purpose – Want to Join us?”
  1. […] from: Living Life on Purpose Posted in Uncategorized | Tags: life, life-because, make-progress, mastermind-group, rest, […]

  2. I’ve got some things that I’d like to accomplish, but just haven’t applied myself toward them yet. This group approach sounds like just the thing for me. Sign me up!

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