Monday, November 26, 2007

We're Back...

I pulled into the church parking lot this morning and felt like I was visiting a foreign country. I love vacation and time away from the everyday, but it sure is hard getting back into the routine. I'm sure the natural question on everyone's mind is "How was Seattle?" We have gotten that questions dozens of times since our return and the response has yet to get old. Seattle was amazing.

We really did LOVE Seattle while we were there. Mandy had never been there and I was pretty young when I visited, so we didn't really know what to expect. We had received mixed reviews from others, with some saying they loved Seattle and some ranting about the terrible weather and the depression that follows. Well...we loved it.

It rained all day when we arrived, so that part wasn't much fun. The weather was pretty good, though, the rest of the trip. Most of the time the rain exists in the form of a mist that doesn't really get you wet, so it was not annoying at all. The temperature was great! In the winter the average temps are in the 40s and in the summer the 70s with very little rain. I think I will love the outdoor opportunities that abound in the Greater Northwest.

We had canceled our rental car just days before our trip, so we were at the mercy of public transportation during our stint in Seattle. It worked out great though. We saved a ton of money and were able to ride all over Seattle with ease. We were very impressed and plan on only having one vehicle when we live there, while taking the bus nearly everywhere.

We were able to relax and enjoy the city as well. We ate fresh seafood (including the best Clam Chowder I've ever had) in Pike Place Market. We surveyed Seattle from the summit of the Space Needle. We took a ferry across Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island. I climbed the 65' climbing wall at REI. We went to church at Mark Driscoll's church, Mars Hill Bible Church. Mandy and I loved the time we spent with each other, enjoying the city and discussing our future.

Mars Hill:
The point of our trip to Seattle was to visit a seminary there called Mars Hill Graduate School. Mars Hill is a cutting edge seminary that seeks to prepare students to deal with their own stories so they are able to minister to others, regardless of the culture they find themselves in.

The school was perfect. It is located in one building, an old, four-story luggage factory in downtown Seattle. It is one block away from Puget Sound and is sandwiched between a ritzy hotel and a low-income employment agency. The school has sought to preserve the warehouse feel, keeping its wood floors, vaulted ceilings, and garage doors for classroom walls. The building is full of art from the nearby Seattle Art Institute and student projects.

Our time at the school was filled with great information to help us make our decision. On Friday morning I went through the interview process. On Friday afternoon and Saturday was the actual Campus Visit Weekend. We got to hear lectures from current faculty, staff, and students, get information about academic programs and financial aid, meet other prospective students, and ask tons of questions we all had.

It was a great weekend and Mandy and I really feel called to go to seminary at Mars Hill. The question for us is when? Please be praying for us that we would sense God's timing about when to move on to the next season of our lives.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Last Minute Change of Plans

For who have been reading here in the last few months, you know that Mandy and I have huge plans this coming week as we are traveling to Seattle tomorrow morning to visit Mars Hill Graduate School. We will be flying out of Seattle on Monday where we will have to change planes in Denver. Rather than completing the rest of our trip we are going to stay in Denver and catch a cab downtown just in time to watch the Denver Broncos play live on Monday Night Football. We will then spend the Thanksgiving week at my aunt and uncle's condo in Breckenridge.

We found out this morning, though, that if we check any bags in Seattle on the return trip, they cannot be taken off the plane in Denver, but will simply be shipped on to Sioux Falls. So, we have to carry on all our luggage rather than checking any bags. I am actually quite proud of us for fitting clothes for 9 days into our carry-on luggage. Pray for us that this is the biggest surprise we face on our trip, although I doubt it will be.

Monday, November 12, 2007


For those who read my blog, you know that Mandy and I are flying out to Seattle on Thursday morning to visit a graduate school that we think God is calling us to attend sometime in the near future. I had not thought very seriously about applying because Mandy and I are not sure yet when we would want to go out there for school. One of the pieces of the application process is an interview so I assumed that I would have to fly out to Seattle again after my application was in so I could meet with the interview committee. I found out last week, however, that if you have applied already you can interview this weekend during the Experience Mars Hill Weekend.

So this last week I quickly put together my application and overnighted it to Seattle for $16 so it would be in the hands of admissions this morning and hopefully I will be able to interview on Friday morning rather than having to make another costly trip in the spring.

The last part of the application process that I have not completed yet, though, is the taking of a test called the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Many grad. schools use this as their GRE in order to test your ability to think critically and analytically. I take this 120-question test tomorrow morning, pray that my head will be clear and focused and I am able to think deeply. Each question is in the format of something:something else::something:something else. I have looked at some practice questions and some are quite easy but others might as well say jflasjfla:jfalsjlf::_________:_________. Again pray for me. I'll let you know how it goes.