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

To Love the Spiritual Country

We need a clear vision.

Pastoral Vision (7)

Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day. Psalm 119.97

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart
is set on pilgrimage.
they pass through the Valley of Baca,
They make it a spring;
The rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
Each one appears before God in Zion. Psalm 84.5-7

A problem I’ve noticed in working with pastors is that their personal time in the Word tends to take second place to sermon preparation. The temptation is to elide our devotional time into our preparation for ministry. And while all preparing to preach and teach the Word of God must have a devotional aspect—increasing and enhancing our own personal devotion to the Lord—this must not take the place of daily time reading, reflecting, and meditating on the Word, and communing with the Lord in prayer.

And as we’re doing so, one primary aim must be to enrich our vision of Christ, of our final destination in Him, and of the heavenly City to Come where we will rejoice and rest in the Lord forever. If the shepherds of God’s flock do not have a clear and compelling view of those high green meadows, still waters, and peaceable surroundings, it’s not likely the Lord’s flock will have much in the way of such a vision, either.

Gregory the Great (ca. 540-604) understood the need to nurture this vision of “the spiritual country” during periods of intense devotion and meditation: “But all this is duly executed by a ruler [a pastor or shepherd], if, inspired by the spirit of heavenly fear and love, he meditate daily on the precepts of Sacred Writ, that the words of Divine admonition may restore in him the power of solicitude and of provident circumspection with regard to the celestial life, which familiar intercourse with men destroys; and that one who is drawn to oldness of life by secular society may by the aspiration of compunction be ever renewed to love of the spiritual country” (The Book of Pastoral Rule).

Shepherds need daily time for ruminating on Scripture apart from any of their work of preaching and teaching. We must renew our vision of the unseen realm and listen in silence as the Spirit, using the Word, transforms us into the image of Jesus and teaches us what we must do to further our journey to eternal glory.

Only as, with increasing clarity and consistency, we see the “spiritual country” as our true home will we bring our lives and work into conformity with the expectations and powers of citizenship there.

Resources for Shepherds
Our newest publication is part of The InVerse Theology Series and outlines the great doctrines of the Christian faith, following The Westminster Confession of Faith. Each section of The Pattern of Sound Words begins by asking questions, which are answered in the narrative that follows. And each section ends with a prayer, as all theology should lead us to worship. Learn more about The Pattern of Sound Words and order your copy by clicking here. Or download a free PDF of the book by clicking here.

Visit our bookstore to download a free PDF copy of our most recent book, Colum Cille: A Devotional History. This great 6th-century saint has much to teach us about caring for the flocks of the Lord. In thirty daily installments, we’ll get inside Colum’s vision and see how that played out in the work God gave him to do.

Men, our March Kingdom Conversation will be on the topic, “Practicing the Kingship of Jesus.” This is what the pagans in Thessalonica insisted the Christians were doing. They didn’t “practice” the faith everyone else did, whether of the ancient gods or in the cult of the emperor. They “practiced” Jesus as King. And they turned their world rightside-up for Him (Acts 17.1-8). Are we practicing the Kingship of Jesus? Our guide for this Conversation (though it is not required) is my book, The Kingship of Jesus (you can order a copy by clicking here). We’ll be gathering on Thursday, March 28, at 8:00 pm Eastern. You can sign up by sending me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I’ll send you some questions and exercises to work on in preparation for the Conversation. Limited to 18 men, so don’t wait to sign up.

Men, we would love to have you join us every Tuesday morning at 10:00 Eastern as we seek the Lord for revival. Men from around the country and elsewhere join for 30 minutes to follow a psalm in calling on God for revival, renewal, and awakening in our time. If you’d like to receive the Zoom link to join us, just let me know by writing me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

From the Celtic Revival
Patrick was a true shepherd and a faithful ambassador of the Kingdom of God. As his contemporary, Sechnall, put it:

True and illustrious husbandman of the field of the Gospel,

whose seeds are seen to be the Gospels of Christ

which, with his godly mouth, he sows in the ears of the wise,

ploughing their hearts and minds with the Holy Spirit.

Christ has chosen him as his representative on earth,

who frees captives from a twofold servitude:

very many men has he redeemed from slavery,

countless are they whom he has loosed from the Devil’s dominion.

 - Sechnall, Audite Omnes Amantes[1]

You can follow the remaining installments in Patrick’s story by subscribing to Crosfigell. Update your subscriptions or start a new one by clicking here. Soon we will begin a Crosfigell series on the high crosses of Ireland. Hope you’ll join us.

Want to learn about more of the great leaders of the Celtic Revival? You can download the PDF of our book, Lives of Irish Saints, by clicking here. For an overview of the Celtic Revival, download the PDF book, The Celtic Revival: A Brief Introduction (click here).

T. M. Moore

Support for Pastor to Pastor comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

And please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe with your prayers and gifts. You can contribute online, via PayPal or Anedot, or by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 103 Reynolds Lane, West Grove, PA 19390..

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


[1] All quotes are from John Carey, tr. and ed., King of Mysteries: Early Irish Religious Writings (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 1998), pp. 147ff.

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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