Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Day at Netherfield Hall

Last Saturday, I went to South Bend, IN with some friends to my first Regency Ball. The Regency Period was between 1790 and 1820, during the Jane Austen time period. The ball lasted from 11 a.m-3, and lunch was served there. My friends lent me the lovely dress I wore and Mom did my hair (she did a great job on it!) :)
I had a great time with friends; I really enjoyed the English Country style dancing. It was also fun to see all the different costumes worn there.

"My idea of good the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company."
"...that is not good company, that is the best."
-Jane Austen (Persuasion)

Monday, March 28, 2011

On Him

Why is it that the Christians who claim to believe in “once saved always saved” are the ones who respond to the altar call, pray the sinner’s prayer, and are baptized multiple times?

Because to validate their Christianity, they look to their own progress in the Christian life, rather than to Christ’s perfect life given for them. To put it another way, they let their sanctification validate their justification, rather than letting their justification validate their sanctification. One of my favorite quotes by Martin Luther talks about what happens when we try to still our consciences by looking at our own contrition, versus casting our sins on Christ:

You cast your sins from yourself and onto Christ when you firmly believe that his wounds and sufferings are your sins, to be borne and paid for by him, as we read in Isaiah 53:6, “The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” St. Peter says, “in his body has he borne our sins on the wood of the cross” (1 Pet. 2:24). St. Paul says, “God has made him a sinner for us, so that through him we would be made just” (2 Cor. 5:21). You must stake everything on these and similar verses. The more your conscience torments you, the more tenaciously must you cling to them. If you do not do that, but presume to still your conscience with your contrition and penance, you will never obtain peace of mind, but will have to despair in the end. If we allow sin to remain in our conscience and try to deal with it there, or if we look at sin in our heart, it will be much too strong for us and will live on forever. But if we behold it resting on Christ and [see it] overcome by his resurrection, and then boldly believe this even it is dead and nullified. Sin cannot remain on Christ, since it is swallowed up by his resurrection.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


It's hard to believe that I'm about half-way finished with my second year of seminary training and that vicarage will be here soon. I have completed a second course in Homiletics (preaching), Church History (medieval period), Pastoral Theology, Lutheran Confessions, Greek Readings, and of course, on-going training in field work at Zion Lutheran.
This coming spring quarter, I will have a second course in Dogmatics, a second course in Lutheran Confessions, and two history courses: the Reformation Era and the Medieval Bible in Luther's time.

Overall, things have been going well here. I have had the privilege of preaching on several occasions at Zion Lutheran, which I always enjoy, and there may be a couple opportunities for me to fill-in as guest preacher, and Elise as guest organist at another congregation towards the end of March.

As far as vicarage is concerned, we put in a request for a local vicarage, which if granted, would hopefully allow us to stay put, and save us a couple of moves. It would also allow us to continue taking advantage of the clothing and food co-ops at the seminary, and Elise could continue her organ lessons with Kantor Kevin Hildebrand. Ultimately it's in the Lord's hands, and we will gladly go wherever He deems best. I will officially receive my vicarage assignment on May 2nd, so we wait with great anticipation and excitement.

The Palmer family continues to do well, as we are always busy with home school and other activities. Elise is sophomore in high school and doing great in her studies. She is doing equally well in her organ training; Dana and I are quite proud of her. John, Lindsay, and Bethany are also great pupils, keeping busy with their home school projects and assignments, not to mention piano lessons. John is also serving as acolyte on a regular basis at Zion. Dana, the amazing homemaker and school teacher, is also serving on the Altar Guild at Zion and assisting with the Student Wives Association.

Dana and the kids will be in Kansas City in late June to attend my nephew's wedding, so hopefully they will be back at Christ Lutheran for a Sunday visit. Unfortunately, I will not be attending, as I will be taking summer classes at the seminary, which (for me) are mandatory in order for me to go out on vicarage on schedule.

I close with offering sincere, heartfelt thanks for the on-going support that our friends and family have given us over the past couple of years, both prayers and financial. Your encouragement means so much to us all.

May God continue to bless each of you during this Lenten and Eastertide, as we serve our mighty Lord and Savior together.