The Word Remains: An Excerpt for Pentecost

“What began on that first Pentecost is still ongoing and endures until the end. The same breath of eternal love from heaven still blows, even if not accompanied by visible signs. The tongues that set the world aflame still burn, even if not in visible tongues of fire. We hear the mighty deeds of God praised in every language. The word of the apostles is alive in every nation. The multitude of those who hear, the number of the faithful grows and increases.

“No one can hinder this work, nor will it ever cease. The Holy Spirit continues the inexorable work of building the temple of the Father and the Son. It is always Pentecost.”

-Wilhelm Löhe in The Word Remains: Selected Writings on the Church Year and the Christian Life

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He Remembers the Barren is now available!

The revised and expanded second edition of He Remembers the Barren by Katie Schuermann is now available for shipment! Find details on purchasing, our bulk discount, how to get a giclee print, excerpts, and reviews here.

“Rarely have I met a woman so eloquently able to describe the valley of the shadow of death with such honesty. Even rarer to find someone who can thus acknowledge that even there, ‘Thou art with me, Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.’ Having traveled that valley, those of us who ‘mourn in Israel’ are deeply moved and also comforted by Katie’s stubborn faithfulness, which turns our hearts and minds not only to the reality of the cross, but also to the greater reality of God’s unfailing love, which made that cross necessary. Katie reminds us again and again that Christ will give us ‘beauty for ashes, a garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness…’ This book is a must read for those of us who need to know that there are fellow travelers who will rejoice as we will to be where there is ‘no more crying or pain or sickness or death anymore.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”
-Dr. Donna Harrison, MD, OB/GYN;  LCMS member

“In He Remembers the Barren, Katie Schuermann comes alongside barren couples on their lonely way through their specific challenges and crosses, including the plethora of ‘solutions’ that often turn out not to be, the pressures that come with them, and the ‘people problems’ those pressures aggravate. In the end it is both a vividly personal and theologically reflective study in the cruciform life, lived in faith in Christ and in that love that sees what is not and brings good out of it. For couples struggling with barrenness, those struggling to know how to support them, and those who just want to grasp in a real way how the body of Christ — in suffering together, in believing together — is built up together in that hope that will not fail, Katie proves, especially in this new edition, to be a faithful, forthright, and full-hearted companion.”
-Rev. Dr. John and Heidi Sias

*Tomorrow is the last day of the Summer Reading Sale with all books up to 25% off!

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Prof. John Pless endorses He Remembers the Barren

“First published in 2011 and now out in an expanded second edition, Katie Schuermann’s He Remembers the Barren remains a powerful testimony marked to the author’s continuing struggle with barrenness, held within the firm confidence that all of life is to be received as a gift from the hand of a faithful Creator. Rich with insights from the Holy Scriptures, Katie Schuermann gives voice to lament while remaining full of the hope which does not disappoint. The second edition carries with it the added bonus of reflections on medical ethics, giving thoughtful acknowledgement that while medical technology is a gift, it never is to become a substitute lord for the Christian. This is a book worthy of reading not only by women who have not been given the gift of children but also for pastors and Christian friends who care for them.”

John T. Pless
Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Mission/Director of Field Education
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN

*Release details coming soon! Pre-order now and save 10%. Also save up to 25% with our Summer Reading sale!

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A comment from Dr. Beverly Yahnke of Doxology

Dr. Beverly Yahnke, executive co-director of Doxology, regarding Katie Schuermann’s work and writing on barrenness: “I believe that she has done some important work to facilitate a conversation which is too often whispered with guilt and shame and too rarely explored with Christian confidence and common sense.”

Get the book and join the conversation to support our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering under the cross of barrenness.

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Dcs. Rose Adle endorses He Remembers the Barren

“In the second edition of He Remembers The Barren, we are blessed to receive the same compassion and care of the first edition, along with a considerable infusion of courage. Katie Schuermann takes up new, challenging topics with careful attention and firm truth, spoken always in love. This book would be helpful to those who are without children and are eager to receive more of the promises of Christ concerning their station in life. There is also sound, Christian instruction in response to some of the difficult questions they may ask. For those who do not know the reality of barrenness personally, this book is incredibly valuable. It is for every Christian. It helps me in my desire to understand, relate to, and care for those who hurt with a pain that I myself have not experienced. The cover artwork is a beautiful illustration of the book’s central theme of redemption and hope in Christ.”
-Deaconess Rose Adle, co-author of LadyLike: Living Biblically

*He Remembers the Barren is currently available for pre-order at 10% off. Also be sure to check out the previous post regarding our Summer Reading sale, with all titles up to 25% off!

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Summer Reading Sale – up to 25% off

What’s on your reading list for this summer? Add some theological meat to your list by taking advantage of our latest sale! All books are up to 25% off through June 3. Be sure to search for excerpts on the right sidebar and check out our updated Reviews and Endorsements page.

*The Brotherhood Prayer Book (and CD) includes services for the day (Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vepsers, and Compline), the entire Psalter, daily and seasonal propers, and a Beichtspiegel unique to the BPB.

*Paul H.D. Lang’s Ceremony & Celebration gives a confessional apology for why the Lutheran Church is a liturgical church. It instructs in every aspect of the service, such as liturgical actions, liturgical space, and the church year. It explains why we do what we do.

*The Conduct of the Service describes what to do in the chancel, such as where to stand and how to move so that the emphasis remains on Christ and not on the liturgist.

*Prof. John Pless’s Didache uses the Bible, Luther’s Small Catechism, and the hymnal to instruct in a basic pattern of catechesis which expounds upon doctrine, liturgy, and vocation. Many pastors find it to be a helpful guide for Bible Class, while other customers use it for individual or group study.

*An Explanation of the Common Service is an excellent supplement to Ceremony & Celebration in that it explains the actual words, or the rite, of the Divine Service.

*We expect the second edition of He Remembers the Barren by Katie Schuermann to be available very soon, but you can pre-order it now. This book offers comfort not only to those who struggle with the painful experience of barrenness, but also to anyone who knows the grief and shame of suffering. It is a valuable resource for family members, friends, pastors, or anyone seeking to better understand and empathize with the barren experience of a loved one.

*Liber Hymnorum: The Latin Hymns of the Lutheran Church is a collection of hymns taken exclusively from Lutheran hymnals and chant-books of the Reformation and post-Reformation era. It is two hymnals in one, the first half being English, the second Latin, exactly mirroring the first half in contents and numbering.

*The prayers in Wilhelm Loehe’s Seed Grains of Prayer contain collects for all occasions and are particularly good for personal devotion.

*Thy Kingdom Come and God With Us by Pr. David Petersen offer daily sermons for Lent/Easter and Advent/Christmas. These books are invaluable for homiletical ideas and for the devotional reading of good Law & Gospel sermons.

*What an Altar Guild Should Know gives details about church services, rubrics, altar care, sacred vessels, and other topics related to liturgical worship. However, anyone who is interested in liturgical worship will appreciate Lang’s keen theological insight into why reverence and beauty and the externals of worship matter.

*In The Word Remains, Wilhelm Löhe gives insight into the confessional Lutheran understanding of the church year, the Word of God, and matters related to the Christian life.

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Unveiling the book cover: He Remembers the Barren, Second Edition

For the cover of this second edition of He Remembers the Barren, we commissioned an original work of art from artist Edward Riojas. Together with author Katie Schuermann, we gathered together our ideas and expressed our Christological vision to the artist, knowing that he would bring more than we could even ask into this beautiful painting.

Pictured here is a barren tree at the peak of springtime, showing the contrast between that which is full of life and that which bears no life, a tree that is stuck in winter even in spring. The tree appears healthy with no obvious scars, except for its womb-like cavity that grieves with emptiness. Yet a cruciform shoot sprouts from the trunk, symbolizing the Life—namely, Christ—that would spring from the stump of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1). It is life and hope springing out of what is dead, and the shadow that the shoot casts on the larger tree signifies its identity in Christ. There is also an unexpected function of the tree: while the tree bears no fruit of its own, it bears fruit in other ways, offering itself as a resting place for a nest, for a mother bird feeding her hatchlings. This is but one example of the other vocational gifts that God gives to the barren, an opportunity to serve her neighbor by supporting other mothers and children, for those of us in the family of Christ are joined by the waters of Holy Baptism, not just by the branches in our family tree or the blood in our veins.

First published in 2011, He Remembers the Barren is a tender conversation with women in the church who wrestle with the issue of barrenness in marriage. Schuermann offers encouragement and support to those struggling with infertility, gently addressing issues such as control of our bodies, family planning, IVF, adoption, and the source of conception, all while reminding the reader of her clear vocation in Christ and pointing her to the ultimate source of fruitfulness, vitality, and comfort: our Triune God. This book is not only for barren women but also for anyone seeking insight into suffering and hope; Schuermann focuses on our identity in Christ, told through the lens of barrenness. Read more about the content of the second edition here. We anticipate it being available at the end of May. More details to come!

To learn more about Edward Riojas, read our book cover artist announcement from March. Special thanks to our graphic designer Meghan Schultz, who collaborated with Janet Frese to design the cover. 

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The Word Remains: Now available on Kindle

The Word Remains: Selected Writings on the Church Year and the Christian Life by Wilhelm Löhe is now available on Amazon, in both paperback and Kindle eBook formats. This is especially good news for our international customers, due to Amazon’s global reach. If you already have this book, we’d be most grateful if you’d write a review for it on Amazon!

This collection of excerpts comes from Löhe’s extensive writing on mission, pastoral theology, history, and liturgy. Originally published in German in 2008, The Word Remains is the English translation of a delightful book that gathers his profound wisdom into one small volume, making it well suited for devotional reading. In these pages, Löhe articulates the confessional Lutheran understanding of the church year, the Word of God, and matters related to the Christian life: faith, prayer, fellowship, worship, creation, and hope. In addition, the biography by Hans Kreßel and the appended essay by John T. Pless give insight into Löhe’s life, the context in which he lived, and his lasting influence.

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What an Altar Guild Should Know: Not Just for the Altar Guild

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In What an Altar Guild Should Know, Paul H.D. Lang gives detailed information about church services and rubrics, liturgical terms, everything related to the altar, sacred vessels and linens, paraments, and other topics related to liturgical worship.

However, this is not just a How To manual for altar guild members and their pastors. Lang offers keen theological insight into why reverence and beauty and the externals of worship matter. Anyone interested in liturgical worship would benefit from reading this book (and also Lang’s Ceremony and Celebration).

Beautifying worship: “The service which the altar guild can render is valuable as an aid to extol the beauty and greatness of God and to awaken the response of His people in all forms of beauty, care, and reverence. Beauty in the church is not a matter of indifference…. Why do we want to make the house of God and our worship of God as reverent and beautiful as possible? Such a desire is of God and for God. He is present in our churches. Through His Word and sacraments, Christ comes to us as we are gathered together in His name.” (p. 11)

Preparing a setting for the Gospel: “By making God’s house and the services of the church more beautiful, we provide the Gospel a setting in which it is more attractive to people and puts them in a more receptive frame of mind for worship….Of course, God’s Word and sacraments are not dependent on human embellishment for effectiveness. They are in themselves ‘the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth’ (Rom. 1:16). It is only fitting, however, that we should present them in surroundings that are as attractive as we can make them.” (p. 11-12)

Externals not essential, but important: “God has not given Christians of the New Testament era specific laws governing the outward forms of worship. Christianity is not essentially a matter of externals but of faith and life….Where the Word of God is rightly taught and the sacraments are rightly administered, there is the Christian church….Nonetheless, externals are invariably associated with Christian worship. Therefore they are important. Christian doctrine, faith, and life are never merely theoretical, barren, or lifeless. They express themselves in outward acts.” (p. 12-13)

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Thy Kingdom Come: Excerpts for Holy Saturday

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“This Jesus, who was crucified, who went as weak as a kitten to the cross, has sapped the devil of all his strength. The trickster has been tricked. He ate the fruit that hung from the tree on Calvary, tempted and beguiled like Eve in the garden. He ate, and now his belly bursts. His jaws are seared shut. He can take no more. He is done, finished, over. He has no accusations left. He hurled every last one of them at the Christ, and the Christ has answered for all of them, and there are none left for us or for anyone. Jesus died to take them away.”

“Did Satan then think that a rock or a guard could keep Jesus dead? The angels laugh at such a thought. Can a thimble hold the ocean? Can a dolphin swim to the moon? They hold Satan in derision. God is good. He gets His way. He won’t be stolen from. He takes back what is His. He takes Eve, Gomer, us back out of slavery and prostitution and error. He has bought and paid for us, and the devil has no claim. He got what he thought he wanted. He took a bite out of God. He bruised His heel. He spent all the fury of hell on Him and killed Him, put Him to death. But Jesus has crushed his head. The devil has nothing left. He cannot speak. He cannot lie anymore. Jesus died, but Jesus lives.”

–David H. Petersen in Thy Kingdom Come

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