Letters from Katie Luther preview - Chapter 18: The Plague

Below is an excerpt from Chapter 8: The Plague from Letters from Katie Luther by Shirley Casemier.


August 10, 1527

Dear Ave,

The Black Plague has come to Wittenberg. The professors and students have moved the university to Jena, hoping they would not become ill there. Sir Doctor said he must stay so he will be here for the people who need him. “A shepherd,” he said, “may not leave his flock.” I told him if he stays, so will I, but I did not tell him how frightened I am. What of the baby I carry? What if we become sick and die? And who would take care of our little Hans? I must put my trust in God and live one day at a time. People are terrified. They run from each other and abandon even family members.

…At first we went from house to house, trying to help, but now we have opened the Black Cloister to take in those who are sick. There are bodies lying in the streets. Every day, people pound on our door, asking to be let in. All forty rooms are filled with beds of the sick. There are mats on the floor with sick people lying on them. I try not to step on them as I go about giving a glass of water here and a comforting word there.

…Every night I thank God for the strength he gave to get me through the day, and every morning I pray again for strength and faith to get through this new day. God is teaching me to rely on him, and him alone.

…When I think I cannot go on working any longer, I remember the text in Isaiah 41 where God says, “I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand saying unto thee, fear not, I will help thee.” He does help. Without his help I could not face each new day.

…I pray God will keep us well, so we can help the sick. Some of them are terrified to die. Sir Doctor comforts them with God’s word. How frightening to die without faith. I long for winter, when the cold weather will help bring this terrible sickness to an end. Pray for me that I may be what my husband and all these poor sick people need.


Your sister in the Lord,



Coming this week!* 

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*Due to the current shelter-in-place order in Michigan, some preorders of this book will not be fulfilled until at least the week of April 13. Thank you for your understanding.  


RFPA Update newsletter - Winter 2020



Books about the last days

The beginning of sorrows

We live in troubled times. But the church is not troubled. Christ teaches us that disease and pandemic are signs of his blessed return!

Books about the last days

In Called to Watch for Christ's Return learn about the signs Christ gave his disciples of his coming and what it means to be ready for his return. This commentary is an exposition of Jesus’ teachings to his disciples in Matthew 24 and 25.

Behold, He Cometh!: If you are daunted by the symbolism in the book of Revelation, read this commentary. It is clear and understandable, and you will be comforted by this truth—though the world may seem to be out of control, our God is sovereign and he controls all things.


As To Conditions (2)

According to the Heidelberg Catechism, as we have seen, faith is never presented as a condition unto salvation, or as a condition which we must fulfill in order to enter into or remain in the covenant of God. Always it is presented as a means or instrument which is wrought in us by God and given us of him, by which we are ingrafted into Christ, become one body with him, and thus receive all his benefits.

Instrument and condition certainly do not belong to the same category of conceptions.

If faith is a condition it certainly is something man must do in order to and before he can obtain salvation. Unless we attach that meaning to the word it has no sense at all. And as I wrote before, in the minds of the people the term condition undoubtedly stands for some notion that makes salvation dependent on something man must do.


Time is running out!

Don't keep waiting to get the first five volumes of the Unfolding Covenant History series$9.99 for each volume!

Volume 6 of the series is arriving in house the first week of April and this offer is only good until volume 6 arrives.


April 1, 2020 Standard Bearer preview article

Sodom and Gomorrah invade Zion

The 2019 Synod of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) received the interim report of a committee of ten individuals that was tasked to write a “theology of human sexuality.” This is a committee that was appointed at Synod 2016 “to articulate a foundation-laying biblical theology that pays particular attention to biblical conceptions of gender and sexuality” (Acts of Synod 2016, pp. 917-19). A final report is to come before the Synod of the CRC in 2021. The reason for coming to Synod 2019 was that delegates of this past year’s Synod might give feedback for the committee in its ongoing work.


As To Conditions (1)

In his editorial in the March 15, 2020 issue of the Standard Bearer, Prof. Russell Dykstra recommended reading ‘As to Conditions,’ a series of Standard Bearer articles written by Rev. Herman Hoeksema in 1949. Over the next eleven weeks, we will be posting one article from the series each week.

This first article in the series 'As to Conditions' was written by Herman Hoeksema in the October 15, 1949 issue of the Standard Bearer.


As the reader knows there has been, for the last year or so, a controversy in our papers about the question of conditions in the covenant of God. The question was really whether the term “condition” could be used properly in Reformed theology, and especially whether it could be used to express Protestant Reformed thought.

The controversy was introduced by the Rev. A. Petter who defended the use of the term and evidently conceived of the possibility of its being used in a sound Reformed sense. He even thinks that we need the term in order to express a necessary element in the Reformed conception of the covenant, the element of the responsibility of man.


Not Troubled

At a time of global uncertainty, fear, and panic, we are brought back to the words of Jesus, who told his disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1). What follows is a meditation by Rev. Herman Hoeksema on that text, taken from the book Peace for the Troubled Heart.


“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”—John 14:1

The heart can become profoundly troubled.

Just as the deep sea, having been swept up by a howling storm, becomes restless, so that her usually calm surface heaves and groans, her waves, as high as houses, rolling and foaming, rising and dropping precipitously, finding no rest, so too the profoundly deep heart of man under the influences of the raging storms of life can be extremely agitated. The heart becomes so troubled that it can find no rest.

Man’s heart is the center of his life from a spiritual perspec­tive.

Out of the heart are the issues of life.


“Remembering how God helped [Katie Luther] may help you when God sends hard trials into your life"

“This story impressed upon me the importance of godly friendships, especially among Christian women. It also encouraged me in my work. Sometimes God calls his children to serve him in the study, in the pulpit, and in the courtroom, as he did Martin Luther. Sometimes he calls his children to serve him by bearing children, caring for the sick, and butchering chickens, as he did Luther’s wife.

Sometimes he calls them even in their elder years to take up their pen and write for the love of the generations who follow them, as he did Mrs. Casemier, whom her friend calls the “Grandma Moses” of writing. I am glad he did.”

—Sarah Mowery, children’s and youth literature reviewer, Perspectives in Covenant Education   


A book by Herman Hoeksema on prayer

I must know him, the only true God, in order to be able to pray at all. But I cannot know him out of myself, I cannot find him out...Only he can make known to me who he is, and what he is. Hence I must begin to let him speak to me before I can even begin to speak to him. This he does in his word, in the holy scriptures.—In the Sanctuary, p. 12

Using the perfect model prayer given by Jesus, this book teaches the requirements of a true prayer. The author explains that because prayer is given to us by the Holy Spirit and because it is a time of fellowship with God in his sanctuary, we must pray in a God-honoring way.


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