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Philosophy of Life - How I Live Out My Relationship to My Father

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Having come to know and experience the grace and forgiveness and love of my heavenly father, and having come to understand that there is nothing I can do to earn that grace and love, I purpose to make the goal of my life to live in tht grace and love, and to be a channel through whom the love and grace of God may flow to thelives of hurting and neeedy individuals.

I don't want to make a spiritual check list to follow. That feels too much like trying to earn god's favor through performance and personal effort. Keeping in mind that my performance neither earns nor diminishes God's love and approval, I purpose to do only those things that help me to live in and walk in the grace, mercy and love of my father.

Things that I do and will continue to do, things that help me to keep experiencing the gift of God's grace, include;

BIBLICAL MEDITATION: The purpose of Biblical meditation will be to keep reminding myself every day of the immeasurable grace and love of my father. Further it serves to teach me how to love him through obedience to his will. It shows me who Jesus is and what he has done so that I can experience the love and daily forgiveness of my father. God loves me. I am his beloved son. He is pleased with me, not becasuse I perform well, but because I am in christ, ande Christ is well pleasing to the father...as I live in his grace and love and as I allow the character of christ to be formed in me I too am pleasing to my father who loves me apart from what I do or don't do.

I do this daily like eating and breathing and exercise...it is both a sign of life and life-giving.

PRAYER: I am loved unconditionally,a nd accepted ntotally. I love the father who has blessed me and received me apart from my performance. I want to develop that love relationship by talking to my father every day. He wants me to talk to him. He delights to hear from me. I will take time every day to express my gratitude and love in prayer. I will worship and adore him for what he has already done in receiving me as a beloved son. I will share my heart with the father who loved me...my fears, my desires, my needs and my plans. I will listen for his guidance, instructiona nd correction...I do not fear him any more, so taling to him in prayer is a pleasure not a duty. I make it a priority to keep those lines of communication open with the father who loves me.

Whereas in the past I avoided prayer, out of shame, now I talk with my father all through the day, thanking him for loving and receiving me, sharing my hopes and dreams, my struggles and failures, without fear that I will receive from him a disapproving frown, believing that he loves me just as much when I fail as when I succeed, and trustint that he will help me in my weakness.

COMMUNITY: I live in a community of like minded believers, people who have given up the performance tread-mill, people who like me have determined to live in the place where they are constantly receiving the grace and mercy of our father. We remind each other not to ever go back to a performance oriented life-style. We emcourage one another and corrrect one another when we see younger son or elder son behaviors. We are honest about our past, our present struggles and we keep pointing one another to Jesus the reason for the hope that lies within us. I minister from the place of fullness, the place of blessedness, never again from the place of emptiness or need, Thank-you Jesus.

SERVICE: We serve one another and our Father out of gratitude and not out of a sense of duty. We see serving as a way of drawing the love, grace and mercy of God into our lives in much the same way that the liquid flowing out of a hose in a syphon, pulls more liquid into it. It is the love flowing out of me in service that draws his love and mercy in. The only way to stop the flow of blessings is to refuse to let them out. I am blessed. I am loved. Grace flows into my life in an unending stream. I refuse to stop that flow by holding it back, or holding it in. Like Paul, my life will be poured out like a drink offering...in gratitude for the freedom that comes with righteousness that is by faith and not by performance.

FELLOWSHIP: I used to avoid the very people I need, convinced that if they really knew me they



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