The CCEL Times 2.12 (December 3, 2007)

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In This Issue:

From the Director

Last month I asked for you to suggest books that "brought you into the presence of God." There were many nice posts on the discussion forum–and hundreds of books were suggested by e-mail. Readers wrote of books that "touched them spiritually," "really made an impact on their day-to-day life," "ignite and inflame their desire for unity with God," "brought them into intimacy with God," have "greatly stirred their soul," "had the most profound impact on their life," and on and on. A great variety of books was suggested, and some of them were mentioned again and again. These books really do make a difference in people’s lives, through the action of the Holy Spirit. What we are doing here really does serve Christ’s church. In some sense this is ‘holy ground,’ and I feel as though I should take my shoes off.

Some of the books that received multiple recommendations include works by CS Lewis, John of the Cross, and Thomas Merton. Also with multiple recommendations were The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee, Introduction to the Devout Life by Francis de Sales, Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, and John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. But the surprise winner (to me, anyway) was Brother Lawrence’s The Practice of the Presence of God.

Harry Plantinga
Director of the CCEL

Support the CCEL

If books on the CCEL have been useful for you, or if you would like to support the CCEL in its mission of making these books available around the world and promoting their use, there are a number of ways you can help. You can make an end-of-year tax-deductible donation, become a CCEL subscriber, purchase a CCEL CD (as a Christmas gift?), or purchase a Logos CD through the CCEL (we have the best prices!). You can also sponsor a student for an internship here at the CCEL. If you would like to hear more about the opportunity of supporting a named internship for a student to work for the CCEL this summer, please contact Nyna Sykes.

Usage Testimonial

Studying Early Christianity
by Grant Hallas

I am a fourth-year University of Waterloo student in Ontario, Canada. It has always been a struggle to find primary documents for my research papers, especially when the topic is on early church. This year I dove into early Irish history and ended up with St. Patrick on the mind, and finding your site and being able to access his "Confession" was wonderful. Thank you very much for opening the wealth of knowledge up for myself and students alike. I will be sure to tell my friends about the site.

How have you used the CCEL to deepen your research, discover new voices, and enliven your faith? Submit a usage testimonial.

Usage Hint

Toolbar Additions

The toolbar underwent some changes recently, the most notable of which is the addition of the "dictionary" button. When you are reading and come across an unknown word, just highlight the word and click the "AZ" button on the toolbar, and you will be taken to its definition on In most browsers you can select a word just by double-clicking on it.

Also new on the toolbar are two buttons for navigating to the previous or next page. They serve the same function as the "Prev." and "Next" links found at the top and bottom of each page, but are in a consistent location for quick access.

Previous Usage Hint

What’s New

Story of a Soul (l’Histoire d’une Ame): The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux

Just as a torrent carries into the depths of the sea all that it meets on its way, so, my Jesus, does the soul who plunges into the shoreless ocean of Thy Love bring with it all its treasures. My treasures are the souls it has pleased thee to unite with mine; Thou hast confided them to me, and therefore I do not fear to use Thy own words, uttered by Thee on the last night that saw Thee still a traveler on this earth. Jesus, my Beloved! I know not when my exile will have an end. Many a night I may yet sing Thy Mercies here below, but for me also will come the last night, and then I shall be able to say: "I have glorified Thee upon earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do. I have manifested Thy name to the men whom Thou hast given me out of the world. …"

– St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897), from "Chapter 6: A Canticle of Love," in Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux

Read this classic at the CCEL

More of What’s New at the CCEL

Special Offer

Free Christmas Gift Wrap

The CCEL CDs make wonderful Christmas gifts—demonstrating caring and warmth. They are the perfect gift for your pastor, Bible study leader, favorite student or friend. In the CCEL store, you can find Christian searchable text CDs, Bible study software and Christian audio books ranging from $5 to $500.

Through December 14, 2007, the CCEL is offering free Christmas gift wrapping of all CDs purchased. Simply add the free gift wrap product to your CCEL shopping cart and your CD(s) will arrive on your doorstep individually wrapped for Christmas.

More information

Classic Reflections

Classic Reflections on the Incarnation

Our Savior, dearly-beloved, was born today: let us be glad. … Let the saint exult in that he draws near to victory. Let the sinner be glad in that he is invited to pardon. Let the Gentile take courage in that he is called to life. For the Son of God in the fullness of time … has taken on him the nature of [humanity], thereby to reconcile it to its Author: in order that the inventor of death, the devil, might be conquered through that which he had conquered. And in this conflict undertaken for us, the fight was fought on great and wondrous principles of fairness; for the Almighty Lord enters the lists with his savage foe not in his own majesty but in our humility, opposing him with the same form and the same nature, which shares indeed our mortality, though it is free from all sin.

– Leo the Great (c. 400-461), from Sermon XXI, Feast of the Nativity

Read this classic at the CCEL.

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