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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.



For if you are busily occupied with mind and hand in all these things, you will have no leisure for vain, wandering, or wicked thoughts; but, as though ever at a new beginning, you will gather for yourself those fruits which you shall enjoy forever, and you will deserve the name of a single-minded man, a seeker after the one reward, an outstanding merchant of the eternal kingdom.

  - Columbanus, Letter VI to a Monk (Irish, 7th century)

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

  - Philippians 3.13, 14

Sherlock Holmes was famously single-minded. He worked hard to gather into his mind only the facts and data he would need to be able to observe intensely, think clearly, and conclude correctly. Extraneous information he simply ignored, as when, in a conversation with Dr. Watson, the good doctor mentioned the Copernican revolution, and Holmes had to ask him what that was.

The "all these things" Columbanus was writing about were the subjects of Christian learning and the goals of Christian living to which he intended his reader, and all his monks, to devote themselves every day. The leaders in the Celtic Revival understood the power of the mind and the need to focus its power on Kingdom duties, lest the mind lead them into sinful ways. Good study, regular and hard manual labor, rigorous spiritual disciplines, and tender service in love - these were the "all these things" that Celtic Christians sought to fill their minds with, so that they might become single-minded in the things of Christ.

What about us? Would you describe yourself as single-minded in the things of Christ? Or do the world and its frivolous ways control more of your thoughts, plans, and agenda than they should? Christian learning is the way to engage and employ the mind of Christ which is ours by virtue of our redemption (1 Cor. 2.16). But if we will not deliberately and consistently engage the mind of Christ, our minds, active things that they are, will look elsewhere for substance.

Double-minded people are unstable in all their ways, as James reminds us (1.5-8). But attaining to single-mindedness means putting certain things aside and taking up other things faithfully, intensely, reflectively, and with a view to learning Jesus Christ. The world needs more people who are single-minded for Jesus. Today is a good day to resolve that you will be one of those. Let us know if we can help you get started.

Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe

This holiday season sharpen your focus on Jesus by learning to sing from the hymn book He used - the Psalms. The Ailbe Psalter sets all 150 psalms into familiar hymn tunes, so that you can sing the hymns of Jesus in the melodies you've always loved. You can get your copy from our bookstore, and let this holiday season ring with the psalms of David, Asaph, and the sons of Korah in your home.

We have a few spaces available for pastors to take advantage of the mentoring opportunities offered through The Fellowship. Grow your spiritual life, clarify and expand your ministry, sharpen your focus on building the church, and do it all from your own study via online webinars and telephone counseling. Check out the website, or write me for more information.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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