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Christian Newsletter of the Year Awards 2013


NEW for 2014:
The D. H. Ruffle Memorial Library Launches the Christian Newsletter of the Year Awards 2013.

It’s good to stay in touch with our faith both historically (which is the point of my collection of over 100 free downloads here) and with events as they happen around the world today. And that’s where Christian newsletters, feed and blogs come in. I’ve selected the top 6 newsletters that have helped inform and inspire me during the past 12 months.

#5: The Catholic News Agency
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/

#4: Christianity Today
http://www.christianitytoday.org/

#3: The Christian Post Daily Newsletter
http://global.christianpost.com/

#2: UCA News: Catholic News Asia
http://www.ucanews.com/

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JOINT NUMBER ONE WINNERS: Charisma News and New Advent: Catholic News.

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Joint #1: Charisma News
http://www.charismanews.com/

     Charisma News realizes that the Body of Christ is bigger and more diverse than just the charismatic movement, while remaining faithful to their Biblical roots. They have a multitude of FREE newsletter resources they mail out if requested, reporting on what’s happening (mainly) in the North American neo-penticostal and new church scene.

     Charisma News gets the award for challenging the excesses of the wealth and prosperity preaching variety of mega-church pastors, who really DO live what they preach. Unfortunately.

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Joint #1: New Advent: Catholic News
http://www.newadvent.org/news/

     New Advent Catholic News helps you discover the Jesus-loving church that is the Catholics’ best kept secret. Launched by Kevin Knight after the 1993 World Youth Day led by Pope John Paul II, it began as an online resource project -much like my own here- but in Kevin’s case, to digitize the 1913_Catholic_Encyclopedia. But New Advent has grown to be much more, with its regular newsletters unfailingly putting the finger on the pulse on what’s happening in the Catholic Christian world.

     New Advent gets the award for remaining independent while at the same time being faithful to the Catholic Church, which can be quite hierarchical at times. Even under Pope Francis.

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PS: I struggled for ages over who to award the top spot to, and I finally decided I had to make a JOINT TOP AWARD. It so happens that one’s Catholic and the other Protestant, which makes me doubly happy. Both Charisma News and New Advent have been of immeasurable help for me to personally keep abreast last year of what really counted in terms of keeping my personal faith in Jesus relevant, scriptural and inspired. I hope these FREE Newsletters help you too during 2014.

Enjoy the faith journey!
Brother John Ruffle
Founder, The D.H.Ruffle Memorial Library.

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Orphan Planet? – Finding Harmony and God’s Will in 2013


We reflect upon the Nativity of Our Lord and think further about how the Incarnation of the Living Word of God might impact the Church, our lives, and indeed this world during this New Year. At this time let us pause to reflect upon the wonder of the “Word made flesh” and dwelling among us. We are NOT an orphan planet, but part of a beautiful creation that our Father God Adoni has not only blessed.. but LOVES constantly with arms outstretched, welcoming us home to be united with Him through Jesus Christ, Yeshua the long awaited Messiah of Israel.

As world leaders struggle to find answers to global problems that are the result of our own chaos and sin, the answer is ever before them in the person of Christ.. The One whom they reject and cast out of western society as an intruder, as laws are passed that disregard the law and the love, compassion, and mercy of God. Finding God’s will in the midst of a pagan society is as simple – and costly- as a total on-going heart-surrender to Jesus Christ, the crucified, risen and ascended Lord of all.

To do this effectively we need a portrait of Jesus. We find this in the pages of Holy Scripture. The Early Church Fathers add colour to those pages as we learn of the struggles, heart searching and triumphs of the early Church. These writings are all here on my website, totally free for you to download.. around 200 individual volumes.

As we consider the impact of these historic and eternal truths upon the imprint of our own souls, I pray that my online library of free Bibles and devotional books will help you in your quest in 2013. May the God of Israel and the Redeemer of all mankind bless and inspire you by His Holy Spirit now and always, amen.

Your brother,
John Ruffle +
Curator and Lector

50th Anniversary of Vatican II


Dear Friends,

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the 2nd Vatican  Council in 1962. Maybe you were not alive at the time, it is understandable if the significance of Vatican II can be somewhat taken for granted by many Catholics today.

As a kid, however, when we were late for our Anglican Mass, my father would take me to the Roman Mass, where I would sit spell-bound (and sometimes a little bored, I confess!) as the priest, back to the congregation, and off in the far distance, would drone on in Latin. Meanwhile, I would admire, fascinated, at the statues of Mama Mary and the Saints and love the wafts of incense!

I was brought up an Anglican, and later had an encounter with Jesus during the Jesus Movement in USA, before the Lord slowly and graciously allowed me to return to Catholic spirituality, culminating in my reception into the Roman Catholic Church this last Easter-tide. So, I am both an “old” Catholic and a “new” one all in one person, in that I recall the old Latin Mass, and also can gaze in wonder at the depths of the Mass with “new” eyes as well!

Today also marks the beginning of the “Year of Faith” and so I would like to encourage us all to really take this to heart, and to encourage one another in the most holy faith, throughout the year. Don’t be afraid of honest questions, because our God is bigger than any human doubts. Let’s not be ashamed of our faith! Let us draw close to Jesus every single day, and pouring out our hearts to Him, seeking His will for our lives more and more earnestly. One of the things that prevents us from really progressing in our lives is when we have other agendas ahead of God’s agenda for us. Let us seek first and foremost to be DISCIPLES of Jesus this coming year. Jesus is not a gene to help us advance our careers! He wants to be the sum total of our lives, with everything else we do, to fit into this great and hidden plan that He holds in His hands for us! As we do these things, may each one of us be carriers of the love and grace of God, and be bearers of the fruit of that blessed Council that commenced 50 years ago this week, Amen!  

With God’s blessings,

Brother John

PS: I’m thankful for those who have pointed out errors on my blog here, and also for thoise who have made specific requests. The site is due for an update, and I hope to have the time shortly to do that, in the mean time, there are still over 100 books here for download as pdf files, free of charge.

http://www.catholic-ew.org.uk/Home/Featured/Year-of-Faith

St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622)


INTRODUCTION TO THE DEVOUT LIFE 

-St. Francis de Sales

Born in 16th century France, the remarkable backdrop to St. Francis de Sales life must have been the Protestant Reformation, which stormed Europe during his lifetime. After a personal crisis of faith, (a hallmark of so many great Christians from St. Peter and St. Paul onwards to the present day), he decided to dedicate his entire life to God. Francis came to the conclusion that whatever God had in store for him was good, because “God is love”. This faithful devotion to the God of love not only expelled his doubts, but also influenced the rest of his life and his teachings.

He was consecrated bishop of of Geneva in 1602, during which time he gained a reputation as an inspirational preacher and something of an ascetic; in particular, he was known as a friend of the poor; very approachable and of a deeply understanding and compassionate nature. These last qualities come through in his books, the most famous of which was Introduction à la vie dévote (“Introduction to the Devout Life”), which he wrote not as a theological treatise, but rather to help the non-clergy Christian faithful deepen his or her faith and devotion to Christ. (He uses the address “my daughter” in his writings.) His manner of teaching is often referred to as the Way of Divine Love, or the Devout Life, taken from the book he wrote of a similar name: “Introduction to the Devout Life”, added in its entirely here, on his feast-day of 24th January, at: D. H. Ruffle Memorial Library for free download.

  Read or download: Introduction to the Devout Life -St. Francis de Sales

JOHN WESLEY’S Secret Heritage!


GEMS – The Missing Link!

My apologies, I sent out my weekly update a few minutes ago with the new link missing! Here it is below – Thirteen pages well worth reading! While you are on the site, do take a browse at the OTHER new acquisitions we’ve put up in the past seven days!

Wesley and the Anglo-Catholic Revival – G. W. Taylor 

God bless and have a devoted week!

-John Ruffle (webmaster/librarian)

The D. H. Ruffle Memorial Library

John Ruffle

GEMS from our Archives: The Secret Heritage of John Wesley


THE SECRET HERITAGE OF JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791)

This week, we highlight an early 20th century document we’ve unearthed that puts a new spin on the theology of revivalist preacher and founder of Methodism, John Wesley. Wesley was greatly used by God to spread a revival of faith among the commoners of England and also, travelling by horseback, to the ‘new colonies’ – the United States. Although he remained a Church of England clergyman, the Methodist denomination owes its roots to his life, witness, ministry and Gospel zeal. Here then is an essay published in 1905 by SPCK (the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge – the 3rd oldest publishing house in the UK).  Written by G. W. Taylor, it attempts to link the early 19th century Ango-Catholic liturgical revival to the theology and practice of Wesley – otherwise thought to be a low-churchman. Who would have thought to link the worthy names of the Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)  – one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement in the 1830s, who as an Anglican priest, later became Roman Catholic and subsequently made a cardinal – and John Wesley, (1703-1791) – a product of the Reformation if ever there was one! Their births were almost exactly one century apart,  with Wesley impacting the 18th and Newman the 19th. Both of course, shared a deep passion and devotion to Jesus Christ our Lord. But did they have much more in common  than we have previously thought? Read this 13 page document to find out! -John Ruffle, 22/01/2012

Wesley and the Anglo-Catholic Revival – G. W. Taylor 

BOOKS BY JOHN WESLEY already in the D. H. RUFFLE LIBRARY Collection:

“Book of Stories of Boys and Girls”  by John Wesley- Page link HERE 

12 remarkable and true stories about children and the faith, 31 pages.

“John Wesley’s “Notes on the Bible”  – Page link HERE  

“John Wesley’s Journal” -Page link HERE

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For other volumes NEW this week, click HERE