Nov 07

Welcome to the November 2007 issue of your newsletter. No matter where you are in life, you have probably noticed that the people you hold close tend to mirror your actions and you theirs. Right? Many have even had a significant impact on your daily mood, or influenced your daily decisions.

By the same token, a lack of close personal friends will influence your life as well. We all truly need friends whether we admit it or not. This month’s newsletter will focus on one of the most important things you will ever accumulate on your road to success: good friendships.

Friends of Proximity

Most of us, by matters of convenience, have what I call friends of proximity. Simply put, they are the individuals you spend time with throughout the day because of their proximity, not necessarily by your choice. These people are usually co-workers, classmates, neighbors, or even that drive-through teller you see every Monday morning. Simply by physical association, we make friends with those we see often. If you’ve ever changed jobs, schools, or even houses, you will notice that when you move from one place to another, your friendships are modified. A new location, a new friend. While there are certain “social butterflies” that are exempt from this generalization, most of us change friends when we change locations.

There are, however, exceptions. For instance, when you leave a job that you’ve held for the past decade, there are those friends with whom you’ll still associate, even though your proximity to that person has changed. Be it dinner every other week, a daily phone call, or even those you still vacation with, you’ve truly made friends that last. Those friendships, my friend, are the ones this month’s Newsletter implores you to foster.

Intentional Friendships
The most intimate friendships we develop are what I call “intentional friendships.” These friends may include your spouse, your children, a former co-worker who lives in a different state but still calls you every week, or an old friend from high school who remains part of your life.These are the friendships that make indelible impacts on your life. Because of their significance and durability, these friendships are of great worth. Unlike your friends of proximity, it takes more than just being around intentional friends to maintain them. It takes phone calls, lunch or dinner dates, and other planned activities on a regular basis – but it’s well worth the effort!

Staying in Touch
Here is an idea that I have been using that might help you stay in contact with your intentional friends – I call it the Contact Circle. Over the years I have accumulated a group of individuals with whom I “intentionally” want to connect. Most of them live in completely different states; however, for one reason or another, I have come to value them in my life. Unfortunately, without some sort of regular contact, those friends will become 10-year-reunion buddies. The Contact Circle is what I use to keep important relationships active and alive. Because I spend a lot of time on my computer, I keep a file in the upper left-hand corner of my screen called “Long Term.” For those of you who are technically challenged, let me suggest you do the same by placing a piece of paper on your fridge or in your car where you will see it every day. On this paper, or in this file, list the people with whom you want to say in contact. Then, next to each name, list the medium of communication you typically use with each. Why? To establish a meaningful relationship with each person on your list, try using a medium of communication they don’t normally use. For example, if they send emails every day, write them a letter. If they talk on the phone every day, take them out to lunch. If they are “email-rebels,” send them an email and explain to them how to check it. No matter how much they may say they hate emails, they will love to check their email once a week for that “special email” from you. The idea is to break their normal patterns of communication so that YOURS stands out! By doing this you will become more than just another “person of proximity” to them! Then, it is up to you to schedule how often you go through the list and how often you make contact. Personally, I try to contact one person on my list every other day. It may sound mechanical, but I just start at the top of my list, and work my way down to the bottom. Then, when I reach the end, I add another person or start at the top again. Next thing I know, I’ve created life-long intentional friendships! You can, too!

From A Biblical Perspective

One of the most beautiful things about our relationship with Christ is the intentionality of His friendship. While it would have sufficed for Jesus to sacrifice Himself only so that we could spend eternity with Him, that clearly was not His only goal. He wanted us to have an intentional friendships with Him. When the disciples finally started to realize that Jesus was leaving them, they were horribly distraught. They were losing their best friend. However, Jesus enlightened them, “I didn’t tell you this earlier because I was with you every day. But now I am on my way to the One who sent me. Not one of you has asked, ‘Where are you going?’ Instead, the longer I’ve talked, the sadder you’ve become. So let me say it again, this truth: It’s better for you that I leave. If I don’t leave, the Friend won’t come. But if I go, I’ll send him to you.” John 16: 4-7

The Friend Jesus was speaking of is the Holy Spirit, a friend who leads, guides, teaches, and comforts. His purpose on earth is to be an Intentional Friend, someone who is with you always, by choice and desire!

One of the great differences between an Old Testament relationship with God and a New Testament relationship with God is what the Holy Spirit adds. He is a unique Friend using a unique medium of communication, for the unique purpose of retaining you as an intentional friend!

I sincerely hope you ponder this teaching, make your list of intentional friends, and start the circle. Intentional Friendships truly make life worth living!

Thank you for your referrals


Thanks to all of you who have passed along our newsletter to friends (intentional and otherwise), family, and co-workers! You’re a HUGE part of helping us reach one billion people each day with words of inspiration and encouragement – Thank You!

Thank you – Part II
Thanks to Zac P., who contributed his “Contact Circle” system to this newsletter. If you liked it, let us know!

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