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In This Issue:

From the Director

Are you able to find dedicated time for prayer every day? I have been reasonably good about it over the years, but I am susceptible to distraction, especially during dry seasons. Too often I find myself reading email, browsing the web, or doing something else during the time I have set aside for prayer.

Thomas a Kempis has advice for me and others like me in the Imitation of Christ: "Habit is overcome by habit." Replace bad habits with good ones. Habits are, of course, regular practices that become ingrained, so diligence is needed in the beginning especially to establish the habit.

Location and situation are important. Having a place set aside for prayer where no other activities are performed can reduce inclination to distraction. Again, as Thomas says, "Your cell will become dear to you if you remain in it, but if you do not, it will become wearisome."

It is also possible to redeem situations that may otherwise be distracting and to build associations that are helpful to prayer. By introducing new habits, you can even make your computer into a place of prayer. The CCEL is offering an iPhone app that has Bible versions (NRSV or KJV/ASV) and devotional readings. Now you can make your iPhone or iPod Touch a place of prayer.

Harry Plantinga
Director of the CCEL

New iPhone/iPod Touch App

The NRSV Devotional Bible is only $9.99 and consists of the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible plus three books of devotional readings from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library ( The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, Morning and Evening: Daily Readings by C.H. Spurgeon, and The Practice of the Presence of God: The Best Rule of Holy Life by Brother Lawrence. These books are time-tested classics with a proven ability to bring readers into the presence of God.

The NRSV Bible and the devotional books are completely searchable. This full-featured app includes five different font size options. Viewing can be in portrait or landscape orientation. The bookmarking capability includes the ability to organize your bookmarks within a book by reordering them. All these features and an exceptionally clean interface make both reading and browsing easy.

If you would like to check out how the many features of this app work, try our free version. The only difference is that the free version has the King James Version of the Bible instead of the NRSV.

With the NRSV Bible, all of the standard NRSV features are supported including the notes.  The app remembers your location in each book so you can immediately pick up where you left off. Navigation is easy through the hierarchical table of contents. Scripture references are linked, so you can view the passage in a slide-up window. 

Navigation of all the books is easy. You can scroll up and down within a section and swipe or tap to turn the page. All books are included in the original install, so an Internet connection is not required to use the application. This app is also available with the apocrypha.

What’s New

Holy Holy Holy! by Reginald Heber (1783-1826)

Using reverent and apocalyptic language, "Holy, Holy, Holy!" alludes to Revelation 4:6-11; 5:13; 15:2-4; and Isaiah 6:1-3 to sing the great majesty of the triune God. Note the cosmic scope of the text: human beings (st. 1), saints and angels in glory (st. 2), and all creation (st. 4) praise the name of the Lord! Though God’s holiness, love, and purity are cloaked in mystery, we can still experience God’s mercy and mighty power, and we can participate in praising God. The text is trinitarian in theme, but not in structure. Reginald Heber (1783-1826) wrote the text for Trinity Sunday. …

Read more about this hymn at the Hymnary
Read more about the Hymnary

Featured Book Group

Jesus in the Psalms

Have you ever been reading along in Psalms and said, "Wait a minute! I recognize that thought! It belongs to someone I know. Wait a minute! Wait!… I think that is Jesus!" That is pretty much the only thing I’d like to see in the space set aside for in this group.

As we read through Psalms little by little as time goes by let’s each discover Jesus in the Psalms. It can be a direct quote from scripture, a note towards prophecy, a noted part of Jesus character that the Psalmist identifies with, (kind of a picture of the preincarnate Christ) and some of the emotion found in psalms consistant with how Jesus was feeling during His time on earth. These things add detail to how we see and comprehend the person of Jesus.

This is a casual look at Psalms with everyone able to discuss what they’ve discovered in their devotional or study time.

Read or Join this Book Study Group
More Book Study Groups from the CCEL

Classic Poetry

Wilt Thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin, through which I run
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done;
For I have more. … — John Donne, from "A Hymn to God the Father"

Read this poem at the CCEL
Read this collection at the CCEL

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