I have two Godly, wonderful daughters and seven indescribably amazing grandkids (with fathers that are pretty terrific, too). One family lives nearby and the other resides in the flat lands of south Georgia. At one point last week, the whole gang was at my small house. We had thirteen for dinner that night, and my house is still leaning sideways. Five of the thirteen stayed at our house for a week.

My wife has recovered but I am still in process.

My nearby daughter and I work at spending time together. Our ongoing talks, like the recent day centered around going for strawberries at the strawberry farm for her world-wide heralded jam, are energetic and delightful. Talks with my daughter from the peach state with four kids are a little more difficult to come by. So, we went to breakfast one morning last week before all the kids woke up. We talked about the kids, her husband, and circles—concentric circles to be more accurate.

Parents of adult children: Do whatever you have to do to still encourage your “kids” in their walk with Christ.

Joy mentioned she had been reading a book which urged her to make Jesus the center-piece of life—the bullseye. Everything else belongs in the circles that run outside and around that center. They are important, but secondary. From the center flows life and instruction and riches and joy. Chapter one of Philippians came up. In context, the Apostle Paul acknowledges there are competing teachers in the church of Philippi. Some were self-motivated, yet the higher value/purpose/priority of proclaiming Christ overrides their personal agendas. Listen in:

   Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of
   Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope
   that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be
   honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is
   gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I
   cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with
   Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.
(Philippians 1:18b-24)

“Life is Christ,” testifies the Apostle. Even more, “to die is gain.” Ouch. Do I think that way?

This passage cocks the rifle and fires the bullets of our longings, pursuits, life investments, and heart. It brings into focus our time, treasures, and talents given to us by Christ. Later, Paul will describe the prized center—bullseye—as “knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (3:8). Such all-consuming, all-pursuing intimacy centers him so that he lives with the tension of “ready to go but willing to stay.”

So, how are you improving your shot toward the bullseye?

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