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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

Ready for the Day

January 06, 2011

Personal Mission Field/Preparation

Today I gird myself with the power of the order of the cherubim, with the obedience of angels, with the ministry of archangels, with the expectation of resurrection for the sake of a reward, with the prayers of the patriarchs, with the predictions of the prophets, with the precepts of the apostles, with the faith of the confessors, with the innocence of holy virgins, with the deeds of righteous men.

  - Anonymous, Faeth Fiada (Irish, 8th century)

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.

  - Psalm 91.11

It's easy to dismiss a poem like Faeth Fiada ("Patrick's Breasplate") as merely a curious cultural relic of little more than historical value. But these poems were used by serious people with a serious faith in Christ to prepare themselves for the day ahead.

Let's look at all that's packed into just this one stanza, which served generations of Celtic believers as a guide in preparing for a day of facing all manner of temptation and trial. First we note the invocation of angels, and the expectation that those angels will be sent and will do their job of protecting the believer. They are obedient to the One Who sends them as ministering spirits. Anyone who really believes this - and the Word does teach it - is likely to know a bit more boldness during the day than, well, most of us do.

Second, the view to the end: "expectation of resurrection." The psalmist would say "what can man do to me?" The worst that could happen on any given day would be that we die, but if we're focused on the promise of resurrection, we can say, like Paul, that dying would be "gain", for beyond this life the reward of heaven waits.

Next, the one preparing for the day with this poem expresses his confidence that the saints and angels in heaven ("patriarchs") are praying for him, a notion derived, perhaps, from texts like Revelation 5.8 and 8.1-4. Talk about encouragement!

Finally, note the confidence expressed in the Word of God (prophets and apostles), the faith of the Church (confessors), the holiness of virgins, and all of this - all this preparation - to pursue a path defined by the good deeds of righteous men.

I would say this Celtic dude had a great quiet time the day his preparations included all this.

So we can just dismiss this breatplate poem, or perhaps we can learn something from it about how to prepare for a day of living the faith once for all committed to the saints with a view to turning our world upside-down for Jesus Christ.

Which do you choose?

Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe

Congress is back in session. Will we back them in prayer? ReVision tells us why we should.

Need a little help managing your time in this New Year?  If so, then our January free download, "To Number Our Days," might be of help. Get your copy at the website right now, and share it with some friends.

And while you're there, don't miss Jess Slusher's lovely short story, "A Thin Place."

Our course, "The Writing Pastor," begins in just two weeks. Now is the time to sign up for this six-month webinar to help you make writing a more integral part of your own ministry for the Lord.

If you'd like some help in learning to pray and sing the psalms, visit our bookstore and order a copy of The Ailbe Psalter or Voices Together, two valuable resources than can give your spiritual life a lasting boost.

Finally, our mentoring course, "The Road to Maturity: Practicing the Kingship of Jesus," is all about setting up a workable program of spiritual and ministry disciplines that can help you to know ongoing revival in your walk with the Lord. Why not consider signing up with one of our Mentors today?

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

Our Care and Concern?

January 05, 2011

Spiritual Practice/Seeker

...while it was not of my own choice that I arrived in Ireland at that time when I was almost a lost soul, it was good thing for me, because I was reformed by the Lord and He prepared me to be today what was once remote from me; so that, whereas once I did not even consider my own salvation, now the salvation of others is my care and concern.

  - Patrick, Confession (Irish, 5th century)

Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

  - Romans 10.1

Here's a prayer you can add to your list of what you pray for the people around you each day - neighbors, colleagues and co-workers, friends and family, perfect strangers. If we can do nothing else to express our care and concern for the lost, at the very least we can pray that God would save them.

Patrick did not particularly care for the Irish. Indeed, he fled them and their country, and sought the safety and comfort of his own home in Britain. He'd had enough of the Irish and the slaving ways.

He'd had enough, but not God. After some time of being restored to his home and family, Patrick was shaken to the depths of his soul by a vision of God calling him - an unschooled, unordained, unskilled 22-year old - to go to Ireland and bring the Gospel to the people there.

How would we respond to such a call from the Lord? Would we, like Patrick, defy family and church leaders, give up everything we owned, seek out someone to teach and train us, and then head out among the lost to bear witness to Christ?

We have such a calling: Matthew 28.18-20; Acts 1.8. The fact that it has not come to us as dramatically as it did to Patrick does not make it any less valid.

The difference between Patrick and us is not his call to evangelize the lost. It's his care and concern for the lost souls of people. Do we really believe in hell? In the devil's deceitful ways? That people who do not know Jesus aren't just missing a good thing but are condemned?

Jesus said that He came to seek and to save the lost (Lk. 19.10). He also said that as the Father had sent Him, so He is sending us (Jn. 20.21). Patrick got that, and his faithfulness catalyzed a revival that restored life to much of Western Europe. Patrick got it.

Do we?

Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe

Congress is back in session. Will we back them in prayer? ReVision tells us why we should.

Need a little help managing your time in this New Year?  If so, then our January free download, "To Number Our Days," might be of help. Get your copy at the website right now, and share it with some friends.

 And while you're there, don't miss Jess Slusher's lovely short story, "A Thin Place."

Our course, "The Writing Pastor," begins in just two weeks. Now is the time to sign up for this six-month webinar to help you make writing a more integral part of your own ministry for the Lord.

If you'd like some help in learning to pray and sing the psalms, visit our bookstore and order a copy of The Ailbe Psalter or Voices Together, two valuable resources than can give your spiritual life a lasting boost.

Finally, our mentoring course, "The Road to Maturity: Practicing the Kingship of Jesus," is all about setting up a workable program of spiritual and ministry disciplines that can help you to know ongoing revival in your walk with the Lord. Why not consider signing up with one of our Mentors today?

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

Spite and Malice

January 04, 2011

The new Congress convenes today, and many across America are holding their breath.

Little by Little

January 04, 2011

Spiritual Discipline

Every verse of them that thou recitest, expound their texts minutely; speak in thine own character exactly, and fix on them thine understanding; then thou shalt receive [thy request] from the King of the stars, whose protection is never-ending.

  - Anonymous, Life of Colman Ela (Irish, 17th cent., from an earlier ms.)

"To whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, those taken from the breast? For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little."

  - Isaiah 28.9, 10

Colman's instruction to his monk relates to several spiritual disciplines, here all fused together into one exercise. In the context the monk is praying the daily hours, which means he has a psalm on his lips, which he is reciting - perhaps singing - aloud, and which, at the end, he will render from Latin into Gaelic.

But he is also meditating - fixing his understanding on the psalm - and reflecting, by expounding the psalm as he recites/sings it and speaks it back to the Lord in his own words.

Finally, he is turning all this into a prayer, seeking the help of his King and Savior for whatever may have been on his mind.

This is a good way to think about spiritual disciplines, not as isolated activities that we check off a list, but as exercises in bringing together, in the act of seeking the Lord, a combination of disciplines, based on the Word and processed through our own minds and concerns into meditation and worshipful prayer.

Spiritual disciplines have fallen on hard times with many believers these days, including pastors. Either we don't understand the value of these ancient and Biblical practices, or we're just too distracted or shallow - or both - to want to give much time or effort to them.

But it is in these arenas, where we have the opportunity for meeting God in His glory, that our pursuit of Jesus brings us into real and close contact with our risen and reigning King. From such encounters comes the power that transforms us into the image of Jesus Christ and refracts the glory of God to the world around us.

How is it with your spiritual disciplines? This might be a good time to talk with the Lord about how to improve your own pursuit of His glory.

Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe

Maybe it's a problem of time management that keeps you from having a more disciplined life. If so, then our January free download, "To Number Our Days," might be of help.

Is neuroscience becoming the new phrenology? Today's ReVision takes a look. And while you're there, don't miss Jess Slusher's lovely short story, "A Thin Place."

Our course, "The Writing Pastor," begins in just two weeks. Now is the time to sign up for this six-month webinar to help you make writing a more integral part of your own ministry for the Lord.

If you'd like some help in learning to pray and sing the psalms, visit our bookstore and order a copy of The Ailbe Psalter or Voices Together, two valuable resources than can give your spiritual life a lasting boost.

Finally, our mentoring course, "The Road to Maturity: Practicing the Kingship of Jesus," is all about setting up a workable program of spiritual and ministry disciplines that can help you to know ongoing revival in your walk with the Lord. Why not consider signing up with one of our Mentors today?

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

This study of Psalm 45, in 28 meditations, is designed to improve your vision of Christ exalted and to enrich your access to Him through prayer and meditation.

Real and Close

January 03, 2011

Spiritual Vision

One day when they were on the sea, the devil came in an accursed and dreadful form, and settled on the mast in front of Brendan, and none of them saw him save Brendan only.

  - Anonymous, Vita Brendani (12th century, from an earlier ms.)

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

  - Ephesians 6.12

No small part of the spiritual vision that must guide us in the life of faith is our awareness of the spiritual powers of wickedness that are real and close at hand. They are masters of mischief, deception, distraction, and disinformation, and they plot constantly against the Kingdom purposes of God and His saints.

Celtic Christians lived close to the dark side of the spirit world, in no small part because their familiar culture included much that was mysterious and evil. Saints like Brendan had no doubt about the reality of the devil and the danger he could pose to those seeking to do the will of God.

In our day we have sensationalized the devil and spiritual forces of wickedness with the result that their powers seem somehow remote from where we actually live. But we should remember that the devil can transform himself into an angel of light, and his multitude of minions are no less skillful at the arts of distraction and enticement. It takes a truly spiritual person - like Brendan - to be able to sense the presence of what others may completely ignore.

Even sincere believers - like Peter, for example - can be duped into serving the purposes of wickedness, all the while thinking themselves quite noble in their devotion to the Lord.

But the moment we take our eyes off Jesus, whenever we stray from the path of His Word, we will find ourselves in danger of snares, temptations, and trials of various kinds which are meant to discourage, deceive, and defeat us in our walk with the Lord. Happily, God sends His angels to defend us against such attacks (Ps. 35); but we must take care not to expose ourselves unnecessarily to the wiles of the evil one.

Look to Jesus. Pray without ceasing. Test the spirits that provoke your mind, strum on your affections, or open doors before you. If the direction you are inclining does not lead to Jesus - to see Him more clearly, know Him better, or serve Him more faithfully - then you may be on a path that will take you off course in your discipleship, or worse.

Be alert to the devil and his wiles. He can hurt you if you stray within his reach. Stay close to Jesus, and know Him real and present with you every step of the way. He will guard your path.

Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe

Is neuroscience becoming the new phrenology? Today's ReVision takes a look.

Our course, "The Writing Pastor," begins in just two weeks. Now is the time to sign up for this six-month webinar to help you make writing a more integral part of your own ministry for the Lord.

Please let us know how we can pray for you. Thanks so much for your prayers in support of our work.

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

All in Our Heads?

January 02, 2011

Is neuroscience the new phrenology?

Even Animals Have Rights--Even creatures that “serve” us only indirectly – the songbirds which delight us, the scavengers which remove carrion, even the worms that aerate the soil – all are deserving of a measure of respect and care from their human overlords.

Breach of Trust

January 08, 2011

Breach of Trust--A “breach of trust” can occur over matters of personal property, whether because of injury or damage to the property, or loss or theft.

Care for the Levites

January 07, 2011

Care for the Levites--The Levites, including priests, were busy with the work of the Lord all day long and had but little time to care for their own physical needs.

Pledges and Wages

January 06, 2011

Pledges and Wages--In ancient Israel it was considered a form of oppression either to withhold wages that were due or to cause a man to suffer because of his temporary need for assistance involving a pledge.

On Borrowing and Lending--Commentators differ as to whether what is meant by “interest” here is any interest at all or the exorbitant rates of usury.

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