“The book in many ways is both exhausting and liberating. It is exhausting, because of the vulnerability and courage shown by these women. They each have their own voice. They each have their own crosses to bear. Yet somehow, through it all, the Gospel of Jesus Christ shines through. They tell the story of the God who is ever present with His people, who walks with them through the valley of the shadow of death, and who never leaves their side, no matter what the trial. It doesn’t matter if they are talking about the burden of disease or death, single-hood or dementia, they share this language of faith in a way that I did not expect.
“But vulnerability is exhausting. It lets other people into your life. It gives them a place at your table, and you at theirs. It’s why true vulnerability is so rare. It is easy to have a strange kind of pride in suffering and sorrow. LOOK AT ME, we might be saying. But that’s not the voices of these authors. They see their own weaknesses and fears. They see how Satan has tried to sift through them. But more importantly, they see what it means to be one in the body of Christ, in communion with God and with each other. It is a rare treat. I feel like I’ve had a peek into an important family conversation, and I am all the more blessed for it.
“What I like the most about these essays is that they hit the challenges head on. They don’t sugar coat. They don’t turn the Gospel into the over sweet saccharine of the false hope of our age. Real sin demands a real savior, who really died, and really rose again from the dead….”
Read the entire review here. Find excerpts, author interviews, and purchase information for He Restores My Soul.
This year we are pleased to feature an acrylic painting by artist and graphic designer Meghan Schultz for our card entitled Virgin and Child. A deep blue border highlights the beautiful and serene colors in the original art, where Mary gazes at this precious son that God has given her. The words of Isaiah 9:6 on the cover and inside remind us that this newborn child in the manger is, in fact, our “Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Visit our Christmas cards page to have a look at the inside.
Our second new card for 2018, King of Kings, features artwork from the Imperial Cathedral of Speyer, Germany. This Nazarene-style fresco was painted in the cathedral’s interior walls in the mid-1800s by Johann von Schraudolph at the behest of King Ludwig I of Bavaria. The city of Speyer is significant in Reformation history; adherents of the Reformation were first called Protestants when they protested the Holy Roman Empire’s ban against Martin Luther and his teachings at an Imperial Diet in Speyer in 1529.
The inside greeting (see it here) is a stanza from the beloved hymn, “Of the Father’s Love Begotten“:
This is He whom seers of old time chanted of with one accord,
Whom the voices of the prophets promised in their faithful word.
Now He shines, the long-expected; let creation praise its Lord.
Evermore and evermore.
The Israelites could have reached the Promised Land in twelve days, had they been allowed to travel in a straight line. But God knew that would not be good for the Israelites, so He led them in a wide circle, for He saw their frailty. No kink or crook is found in a good and pleasant way around. Of course, God understands better than we how to lead, guide, and govern us. So let us humble ourselves under His mighty hand (1 Pet. 5:6), and not resist His will, but stop and go and follow and move how and where He wishes. All things must work together for our good (Rom. 8:28). He will make the temptation to have an end, that we may be able to bear it (1 Cor. 10:13).
Oh, how our minds are pricked when we see the good life lying before us and cannot instantly get it! What pangs fill our hearts when we are made to suffer on strange, rough, winding ways. Yet he is a wise and blessed man who does not try to overrule the Lord God’s counsel.
The Israelites were to go forth into the Promised Land, but God went before them on the road through the wilderness to the Reed Sea.* Whoever is to make the journey into eternal life must first be led into the wilderness of this world’s misery. He who would inherit heaven with Christ must first suffer and die with Him [Rom. 8:17].
-an excerpt from The Great Works of God: The Mysteries of Christ in the Book of Exodus by Valerius Herberger, translated by Matthew Carver
*this spelling is explained in a later paragraph
I ordered 2 copies of He Restores My Soul, which arrived while I was away at a funeral. Last night, after returning home, I thought, “I’ll just read one story before bed.” I tend to be skeptical when it comes to reading religious books written for women by women. In fact, I usually avoid them and their “Christianity Light” emotive fluff.
I did not read one story. I read the entire book. I laughed, I cried, I sighed, I prayed…I was worn out by the time I reached the last page! So, yeah, it reached me emotionally, but it was not fluff.
Even though I have not had the same life experiences as all of these women, their honest and heart- wrenching essays elicited deep empathy within me. Why? Because their stories ARE my story. While the specifics of my life are different, we all ultimately have the same story: Jesus Christ, the Incarnate, Crucified, Resurrected, and Glorified Man-God is our Savior and it is He who unites us. Not the fact that we are women or that we have been hurt in this life, but that we are sinners and there is only one solution for this problem of sin, which is the root of all pain and suffering. Each of these women expressed this clearly and focused my eyes on Jesus.
Thank you so much for publishing this book. I will be ordering more!
–from Cheryl Ann, a new Emmanuel Press customer
If you follow us on Facebook, you’ve likely noticed a series of KFUO interviews with many of the authors from He Restores My Soul. There are currently eight 15-minute interviews posted, with two new interviews added each week through the end of October. Be sure to begin with the first in the series, where Katie Schuermann explains the purpose and structure of the book, specifically how each chapter ties into a verse from Psalm 23.
In this beautifully-written article in The Federalist, Cheryl Magness explains how He Restores My Soul refutes the common mantras of self-help and self-reliance, focusing instead on God’s promise that He will never leave nor forsake us. While society may tell us, “You’re strong! You can do this!” the Bible tells us the truth: “Christ is strong FOR you.”
Recently on Issues, Etc., Katie Schuermann spoke about post-abortion regret in a powerful interview. Her chapter entitled “I am Herod” in He Restores My Soul addresses post-abortion regret in the form of a narrative, based on conversations and interviews with Christian women who bear this cross. As Schuermann says in the interview, “For the woman who has aborted her child, the absence of her child in her life is with her every day…The Christian’s life is one of wrestling with that Old Adam who doesn’t want to trust in God’s promises, who wants to make us believe instead that we are unforgivable, but that’s not what God says in His Word. God says there is now no condemnation for us, that Jesus advocates on our behalf before the Father, that He has paid our debt.”
Finally, we are entering the season of book signings! Christina Roberts (left) recently spoke about hymnody to the Seminary Women’s Association of Concordia Theological Seminary, signing books over the lunch hour. And Katie Schuermann and her husband turned up at the annual Oktoberfest in Kewanee, Illinois, this week. Here they are pictured (right) with Rev. Michael Frese of Emmanuel Press.
October 25 in St. Louis, MO
November 1 in Sherman, IL
November 3 in Fort Wayne, IN
Details at katieschuermann.com/events/
We are pleased to announce that He Restores My Soul, edited by Katie Schuermann, will be available sooner than expected – on Friday, September 28! This means that, as of today, there are 10 days left to pre-order and save 10%. Learn more about the authors and topics here.
Additionally, we offer bulk discounts* for the benefit of those who wish to place larger orders. Whether you want to read it on your own or along with members of your book group, study questions accompany each of the chapters in He Restores My Soul to guide your personal study or group discussion. Each of the 14 chapters functions independently from the others, making it easy to read straight through or in parts, allowing for book group members to jump back in after missing a session or two. At the same time, all of the chapters are tied together by Psalm 23 and the Good Shepherd who comforts and cares for us all.
And as a reminder, you can also save 10% (through September 27) on He Remembers the Barren, which is a sort of companion book to He Restores My Soul. After we partnered with Schuermann to publish a revised and expanded edition of this book which gently examines barrenness, infertility, and the source of conception, reader comments led us to consider another book which would broaden the discussion of suffering to a wider variety of topics.
*Bulk discount details for He Restores My Soul:
Save 15% on orders of 10-19 books, 20% off 20-29 books, 25% off 30+ books. Contact us for a customized invoice.
For those who want to learn more about why we do what we do in the Divine Service, we always recommend Ceremony and Celebration and The Conduct of the Service. Additionally, we want to call your attention to resources found on the YouTube channel of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Along with recorded services and Bible classes, there is a set of videos in which Pr. David Petersen describes historic practices and ceremony within the context of Divine Service 3. The videos combine parts of a recorded service with his commentary. As Pr. Petersen states, “All Lutheran rubrics, in a sense, are ‘may’ rubrics. That is to say, everything in this is adiaphora.” His helpful explanation of these “ceremonies, particularly how they’ve been modified and in practice at Redeemer,” will be of interest both to pastors, who are the primary audience, and also to parishioners, who will benefit from deeper knowledge of the reverence and history of ceremony in the Divine Service.
Watch the series: Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six.
He Restores My Soul is scheduled for release in early October! In the meantime, there’s plenty to explore. Check out the full listing of authors and chapter topics here; there are links at the bottom of that page connecting you to details about the cover artist and the book cover along with interviews with each of the authors (posted on Katie Schuermann’s blog). Artist Rebecca Shewmaker and Pr. Rick Stuckwisch, who contributed a pastoral response at the end of the book, are also featured in the interviews.
Did you know that He Restores My Soul is a sequel of sorts to He Remembers the Barren? After we partnered with Schuermann to publish a revised and expanded edition of this book which gently examined barrenness, infertility, and the source of conception, reader comments led us to consider another book which would broaden the discussion of suffering to a wider variety of topics. Read more about it here. And leading up to the release, you can save 10% on both books!
Follow along by signing up for email updates on the right sidebar or by liking Emmanuel Press and Katie Schuermann on Facebook.
“Almighty God, holy and merciful Father, who in six days didst create heaven and earth, and all that is in them, and didst rest on the seventh day, grant Thy grace unto me, Thy servant, that in true faith I may partake of the rest which Jesus Christ, Thy Son, merited for me. Let my conscience be at peace from all painful, spiritual, and physical trials; and, when I have labored sufficiently in this vale of sorrow, release me according to Thy gracious will and lead me into Thy rest against the day when, with all Thy saints, I shall rejoice in one Sabbath of peace after another. Grant me this, O God and Father; through Thy Son Jesus Christ, in the Holy Ghost. Amen.”
-Saturday evening prayer from Wilhelm Loehe’s Seed Grains of Prayer