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

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

What God Sees

February 26, 2011

Things pertaining to salvation (6)

Everything Matters

February 25, 2011

It's not enough to do whatever I do with all of my might.

Scorning Democracy

February 24, 2011

When I was a kid, and a bunch of us wanted to get together to play football, usually there was no shortage of pigskins from which to choose. We all had footballs and, at certain times of the year, tended to carry them around with us much of the time.

But you didn't ever want to get in a game when there was only one ball. Particularly if that ball belonged to someone who was a jerk. Because if he got mad, or didn't get to be the star, or didn't like the way things were going in any way, he'd just take his ball and go home.

Not very sporting, I think you'll agree. And not the kind of kid you wanted to rely on in a pinch for anything.

Sort of like the state Democratic senators in Wisconsin. Knowing that by absenting themselves from the democratic process, and from their duty as elected officials, they could slow down and perhaps throttle a piece of legislation they simply don't like, they fled the state, denying the Senate a quorum, and throwing the capital into chaos and confusion.

This is not politics. Politics plays within rules, the rules of a democracy, rules to which the electorate and the elected agree before the game kicks off. These Democratic senators show that they actually scorn the democratic process because, if followed, it means a sure defeat for them and certain of their primary supporters - supporters who themselves are fairly scornful of democracy as well, denying the right to work to all but those who "join" their union and "contribute" their dues, dues which are funneled to Democratic candidates and office-holders.

The state Democratic senators of Wisconsin, off on a lark (on taxpayers' money?), are sending a message to the people of Wisconsin and the nation. The message is this: We love democracy, as long as it works for us. Otherwise, you can take your democratic principles and shove 'em.

Their behavior is beyond irresponsible. It is juvenile. It represents an attempt to become the law rather than to abide by it. They didn't like what they saw happening, they weren't going to be able to be the stars of the game, so they've taken their quorum ball and gone, not home, but to Illinois. It should make us wonder what else they do which shows such scorn for democracy and the law.

Christians should note here a violation of the fifth, eighth, and ninth commandments. John the Baptist wouldn't let Herod get by with violating the seventh commandment, and believers shouldn't give their state senators a pass on this, either. There are plenty of local newspapers, radio call-in shows, backyard fences, and coffee shops where Christians should be explaining, gently and reverently, that this is what you get when elected officials consider themselves a law above, not only the laws of a democracy, but the Law of God.

Additional related texts: Deuteronomy 17.14-20; Matthew 14.1-4 (cf. Lev. 20.21); Acts 23.1-3

A conversation starter: "So, how does it feel living in a state where the lawmakers can become a law unto themselves any time they choose?"

T. M. Moore

Better Things

February 24, 2011

Things pertaining to salvation (5)

Hang Your Day on Prayer

February 24, 2011

Spiritual Discipline/Prayer

Do not practice long-drawn-out devotions, but rather give yourself to prayer at intervals, as you would to food.

  - Comghall, Rule (Irish, 6th century)

Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules.

  - Psalm 119.164

We are mistaken if we believe that the few minutes we spend in morning devotions will suffice to nourish and sustain our souls throughout the remainder of the day. Even if we increase our morning prayer and reading to an hour or more, still, we will need to be resupplied before the day is finished.

The saints of Scripture understood this, and we frequently find them praying at intervals throughout the day, as Daniel (chapter 6) and the apostles (Acts 3). Praying at various times, even set times, throughout the day can help us to approximate the idea of praying without ceasing, which Paul commands (1 Thess. 5.17).

But how shall we do this? Well, we should make appointments with God, to meet Him for prayer. Then, come to each time - no more than 5-10 minutes - with some specific prayer item to use: a psalm to pray, or the list of the people in your Personal Mission Field, or just random reasons to praise the Lord as the Spirit leads.

Use these prayer intervals also to thank God for the day thus far and to seek His will and help for the things that remain. Hang your day on prayer and you will know greater strength, joy, and sense of the Lord's presence with you.

The hard part of this is being willing to take the time, to interrupt whatever you're doing, or somehow, in the midst of doing it, find a way to focus your thoughts on God and to offer your prayers to Him. But it's a worthwhile discipline which will enrich your walk with the Lord and your awareness of the larger, unseen realm.

Try it for a week, and you'll see just how beneficial this discipline can be.

Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe

Please keep us in your prayers. Our Members meet next Monday night in The Gathering, and we have some important matters before us, as we consider more effective ways of serving the men in ministry to whom God has called us.

Thank you very much for sharing your prayers and gifts with us. Your support is greatly appreciated. If you'd like to contribute, simply use the donate button here or on the web page, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 100 Lamplighter Ct., Hamilton, VA 20158.

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

There is glory to behold in His face.

The Liberal Mindset

February 22, 2011

I confesss that I have some trouble following the liberal mindset.

What Song?

February 22, 2011

Personal Mission Field/Transformation

I beg that me, a little man trembling and most wretched, rowing through the infinite storm of this age, Christ may draw after Him to the lofty most beautiful haven of life...an unending holy hymn forever.

  - Colum Cille, Adiutor Laborantium (Irish, 6th century)

For we are his workmanship...

  - Ephesians 2.10

Paul says that God is creating us into His poems - that's the Greek, poema, which we translate, "workmanship." You are God's poem. What kind of poem are you?

Are you one of those, highly favored these days, free verse cacophonies that piles image upon image in cascades of mere self-referentialism - no rhyme, no reason, just whatever comes out, let 'er rip? Take it or leave it?

Perhaps you think of yourself more like some kind of epic poem - regular meters, lots of drama, exciting twists and turns, building toward the big finish with you as the hero?

Or are you a sonnet: proffer a puzzle in twelve lines, then, just as the curtain comes down on the last two of your life, solve it with flair and to the delight of all?

What if your life was a song? What would it sing? What would the "beat" of your life be? Is there a recognizable melody line? Some decent harmonies? Modulations? Inversions? Is the song of your life easy to sing, and pleasant, or does it grate and confuse like a John Cage "composition"?

Colum Cille longed to be an unending holy hymn forever. He wanted his life to sing the praises of Jesus, to draw others into the Savior through the sweet intonations of every aspect of his being. He worked like a possessed composer to get there, too - disciplined, austere, measured in everything, scholarly, a servant to all, and steeped in spiritual vision and prayer. He was the greatest man of his age, and the song which was his life continued to sing for hundreds of years, inspiring thousands to follow Jesus in lives of sacred martyrdom.

What's the song of your life? What do people "hear" when they're with you? Does your song invite others to sing along? Does it give pleasure even as it penetrates to the depths of another's soul? Do people, hearing the song of your life, look forward to hearing it again?

You are God's song, God's poem. What will you be singing today?

Today at The Fellowship

If you haven't yet downloaded this month's brochure on the Christian Literacy Campaign, may I encourage you to do so? Make several copies, fold them neatly into three panels, and give them to some friends. Be sure to follow-up, and help your friends get started as serious readers in the life of faith. Serious readers often become serious Christians and, well, we need a lot more of those.

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

 

Minds in Gear

February 21, 2011

What do you think about during the course of the day?

Morals and Emotions

February 20, 2011

The Christian worldview can account for ethical non-negotiables.

Kingdom Visionaries (4)

Back to the Beginning

February 27, 2011

Back to the Beginning--At the root of all coveting is the desire for autonomy – what Augustine referred to as a “deadly corrosive.”

The tenth commandment

Exodus 20.17

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Deuteronomy 5.21

“‘And you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’”

Luke 12.13-21; Ephesians 5.5; Colossians 3.5; 1 Timothy 6.6-8

At the root of all coveting is the desire for autonomy – what Augustine referred to as a “deadly corrosive.” We want to be our own god, to make up our own minds about what we should have and enjoy. We do not want to be restricted or constrained by God telling us what’s good for us. This was the strategy Satan employed to bring Adam and Eve to rebellion.

When we indulge coveting, we are seeking to throw off our creaturely status, rejecting contentment in the Lord and His will and seeking to arrogate power and authority unto ourselves. We want to be god!

Thus, coveting brings the Law full circle. Even the temptation to covet, therefore, can be used of God to reinforce obedience to Him. Guard against all coveting, and you will strengthen fear and love of God, know a greater desire to please Him, and discover that you walk more obediently in all His ways.

And this is the path of righteousness, of fullness of joy, life, and pleasure forevermore.

This series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to www.ailbe.org and click on our Book Store.



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