Tuesday, July 17, 2007

How about a 6 month update?

It has been a while since we've updated this blog. And to be honest, we can't seem to remember the password for the blogspot account--so if YOU have it, let us know. Ok, found the password. Here is what's been happening the past 6 months or so, written by Sara:

Let's start with January, where we left off: We finished the the Intro to Urban Missions class and it was awesome! It fueled the fire for our passion for urban missions. The best part of the class was taking it together. I sometimes get left out of the seminary experience, so being able to take this class and process stuff together was great for our marriage.

I also ran my marathon (well 1/2 marathon) in January in Carlsbad. People ask me "how was it?!?!" with great excitment and my responce is "it's over." Although the course was beautiful--right along the ocean the whole time--and i finished, it's something I'll probably never do again!! I can say that I've run a 1/2 marathon, and that's fine with me. I've learned I'm not a runner, by any means. But put me on a volleyball court and I can rock your world. (or at least I used to be able to).

In February I went to visit LYNDSEY in colorado!! I went on Presidents day weekend, since LCHS (my place of work) make it a 4-day weekend. And we had so much fun! She took me all over Denver and surrounding area's... wow!! And then I had my birthday, and turned the big 24! I had a birthday bash at my aunt's house in Montrose, with friends and family. Our friends DJ and Jordan taught us and my under-age cousins how to play poker. Good times!!

My good friend... GREAT friend, Candice, also moved to Pasadena in Feburary to work at Russ Reid. and BOY OH BOY am I glad she's here! What a huge joy she is to have near. I love that lady!! I'm always in for a good laugh when we get together, that's for sure!

Matt's birthday was in March and we celebrated by going to Buca de Beppo with a bunch of friends. It was a good time!

April--that was a fun month! I had spring break and Lyndsey came out to visit me! We had a short visit this time and she stayed in our tiny apartment. But we did all drive down to Santa Ana to get my tattoo! Yes, folks that's right. I got agape in Greek on my right foot. Did it hurt? Um... probably but I don't really remember. It took, literally, 10 minutes. And I love it!

We also moved in April to a one bedroom apartment! and it's HUGE! We have a door to our bedroom. AMAZING! Why we didn't go to a one bedroom in a the first place? Who knows! We also got a new couch for our apt--which is also amazing. It has a pull out bed for our visitors. (that means come and visit!)

What a fabulous month May was! On the 8th we went with our friends Cody and Anna to see WICKED! Wow!! It was the highlight of the year! The music, the acting... the set. WOW! Now we are consistently singing the music. I also saw that a friend from high school was one of the main dancers and even played the mom in this show! That was neat to make that connection.

We were also blessed by the unexpected visit of Matt's sister/one-of-my-best-friends and her hubby, Heidi and Joseph. They came and stayed at our apartment during their couple week vacation around the west coast and south america. What a joy it was to have them here!!

Matt and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary May 21 by going out to dinner to an Italian restaurant. Good times.

June came and went faster than you can say SUMMER. I worked until the end of June (since that was how long the school year went) and Matt finished up classes and then did a two week intensive summer school course. While he was in school I did a few interpreting workshops at CSUN. It was a great time to get back into the classroom, discussing and learning about interpreting.

At the end of June Matt and I headed up to Fresno for Jon and Shannon Foster's wedding. Matt was a handsome groomsmen and it was a wonderful wedding. We then left late that evening back down to Pasadena to meet Matt's brother and Sister-in-law (aka, yet another one of my best friends! funny how that works out) for the Coppenger wedding on Sunday in Biola/Irvine. This was good times. Being with family rocks! Steve and Joni and their little Macy... that just spells good times!

We are already into the middle of July and I don't know where my summer went!! Goodness!! This past weekend we were in Fresno for Alicha and Jason Ekk's wedding! I can't believe Alicha is married. What a joyful, and busy, weekend that was. It's hard not getting emotional thinking about one of your best friends getting married, especially since I've known her for 10 years! wow.... and her now husband is an amazing man of God! I'm so glad they married!! Can't wait for them to have beautiful toe-head children.

So now we're back in Pasadena, me trying to get free lance interpreting jobs and Matt working on his 10 page paper about heaven. We leave to go to Bass Lake for a family vacation with my side of the family at the end of July. Then we have another wedding. After that I head up to San Francisco for the RID Conference (Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf), I come home and the next day we fly up up up to Canada to visit Heidi and Joe, as well as Matt's grandparents. So excited for this!! Then we get back and I have a week off, and then back to work for me. Matt won't start school until the middle of Sept--lucky son of a gun! And that's our life in a nut shell. So many fun and interesting things have gone on and I need to be more intentional about blogging. I will!! I promise! And if I don't, tell me. Promise? Ok. You promised.

I'm sure we'll blog after or during our trip to Canada. There will be some good stories, I'm sure of it!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I Know So Little...

I'm taking this class with Matt-Intro to Urban Missions. And if you know us, you know this is something we are passionate about. We have this dream of moving into the city and being neighbors who care. We would love to have a house church with people of the neighborhood who might not feel comfortable going to the middle-class white church. Of course this is our dream, rather than a vision. Is there a difference? I'm not sure.

So we're in this class, together, because one-I wanted to be included in the seminary experience. It's strange to be on the "outside" of what my husband learns and is challenged with here at Fuller. And two--we thought (and still think) this class will help to clarify and encourage our passion for the city. But the deeper we get into this class, the more I read... the less I really know. And it's frightening.

I want to live in the city. It scares the crap out of my parents and a few other people, too. But that's where Matt and I want to be. And yeah, we'll raise our children there, too. But now I am beginning to realize how much I don't know. Yeah, i know squat! And it's funny because here I am, thinking i know "so much" and really, I don't. At least Matt has experienced living in the city (the Pink House, and Calaveras St.) and what do I have? Oh yeah, Paul ave. And Escalon for a brief 6 months. Both streets in suburbia.

I remember when I went to Urbana and heard Bart Campolo speak. He talked about the city needing neighbors to be just that, neighbors. And it sparked something in me. Why? I have no idea. I worked with Wise Old Owl for a few months and that was amazing!! But other than that and a spring break in an urban project, I have no experience in the city. But I still think the city is beautiful and my desire is to be in the city.

This Saturday we are taking a field trip to downtown LA. We get to take the metro (a city wide public transportation system) and tour the amazing historical aspects of the city that are often forgotten about. I'm excited. That--and I have a 1/2 marathon to run this Sunday and i'm happy to be done with that, too. I'm definetly not a runner. I prefer volleybal. (Sooo not the point.)

So... what do I do now? This class is an eye opener. And I'm eating it all up!! But I wonder if this will "help" our dream. I wonder if this is a stepping stone in the direction God wants us to go. Or is it just the popular thing to learn about, and then do nothing. That truly is my fear. I once was afraid of "the city" and God's heart for the city. It was a scarey place, crime inflicted, dirty, foreign. Now it's a place where I want to explore, hang out on the streets with the kids, be invited to the front yard BBQ's and get to know people and give them the respect and honor they deserve.

This class just might change the point of view in which Matt and I view the city and our future ministry there. Now I just want to be involved. I wish I knew where to start...


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Revelation 101

In light of my understanding of Revelation, I'm glad I can turn to professor Lamar Odom for a literal, insightful exegesis. According to Revelation 1:14 (NRSV) "His head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire..." Odom has made t-shirts displaying this verse. Odom states

"Where I'm from, you're a square if you go to church, or if you decide to read the Koran or Bible. You're not cool unless you're standing on the corner selling drugs or smoking weed," Odom says. "If we can get some of their idols wearing this T-shirt, then maybe my brothers will want to talk and walk like Him."

So...if you got to make a t-shirt out of any bible verse (interpreted any way you choose, which would it be?

You can read the rest of Odom’s interview here.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

An update?!?! Are you serious?!?!?

*** I originally wrote this around 9pm on Monday 10/30 but it wouldn't upload, so please read with that timeframe in mind. Thanks! ***

Thanks for such a great weekend everyone! We had a great time catching up with many of you and were refreshed hanging with friends and family. We got back to Pasadena around 1:45pm today, about an hour before I (Matt) had to take a Greek midterm. The highlight of our drive home was Sara helping me go over my vocab by quickly flashing a word in my peripheral vision and then me saying the definition.

Sara is signed up with an organization called Team In Training (TNT) which trains people to run marathons coupled with the raising support to battle cancer, mainly leukemia and lymphoma. The main race is Jan. 21st 2007 (happy 1 yr. BD and Gia) in Carlsbad, CA. It's been fun to head to the YMCA together and do some training, even though I'm not officially part of the team.

Classes are going good and I look forward to keeping up on my reading throughout the last 1/2 of the quarter. Classes end on Dec 8th, but my last final will be on the 7th (Thurs.) The Winter quarter doesn't start until Jan. 2nd so I'll have a good 3 weeks or so to attempt to get a head start on some reading for my upcoming classes.

As for weeks 3-5...we made it! I've decided it's much easier to type a few quick paragraphs at least once a week instead of practicing my novel writing at the end of the week. I've noticed that by the time I'm done I have have no energy to even proofread the 5,000 words.

Our next planned stop in Fresno will be the week of Thanksgiving. We should be in town that Tuesday night and as of now plan on driving back to Pasadena sometime that Saturday. If any of you plan on coming through LA and want to visit our 450 sq. ft. apt, let us know...we'd love to see you!

P.S. A special shout out to Kristi for letting us exchange couches with her. It’s a blessing not having to worry about sitting down and getting poked by the springs!

Much love~


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Fuller Week #2

2 weeks, down, 8 more to go. It's pretty crazy knowing 1/5 of the quarter is already over, (thus midterms in a few weeks). So, to keep with my writing "outline", I'll briefly mention how my classes are going, my/sara's work, and then church/social life. You can use this as a table of contents so if you have no interest in the first 2 parts, just skip right down to the end. Enjoy!

A few weeks of Greek and I feel fairly good about my grasp of the language. I've gotten perfect scores on both my vocab quizzes and we have yet another one on Monday. The thing I've realized with Greek is that you have to use/study it everyday; otherwise you'll forget what was just taught in class. With that said, I'll probably try reading some of the NT when I'm done with this email. I’m learning all sorts of things I should have learned in Jr. and Sr. High (syntax, cases, syllabification, etc.), so it’s somewhat coming back to me now.

Can you believe I dominated that map quiz? If there was ever a time I felt like memorizing something for the sake of memorization, this was it. However...after I began reading Acts for our class, in chapter 2:5-11 it's written

5Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’

Amazing! I know where those places are and I didn't even use the map in the back of the Bible. Let me just say that I can see the reasoning behind the map exercise and am thankful I studied it so adamantly. This past Thurs (10/5) we talked about Acts and were asked to come up with questions regarding our reading; questions that would fall under a few different categories such as Text, Literary, Historical and Theological questions. It was definitely a fresh way of looking at the text and I thoroughly enjoyed a classroom full of people bombarding our prof with, "why in chapter 16:6-9 written as a 3rd person account, yet in verses 10-18 it's written like a first hand account. It then changes back to a 3rd person version, etc." Another one was "why does Luke put Paul in Jerusalem several times but Paul writes he's only been there twice?” There were several more but those are the 2 that were fresh in my memory bank. As for the answers, I'm not gonna be the one to pay for schooling and then just "give" away freebies. Our prof did have a take on those questions, but if any of you would like to post comments, it might make it more interesting.

We are still setting up a foundation for which we filter decisions and responses. We had a quiz outlining those responses and I felt I did fairly well setting up the diagram. Other then that, we haven't discussed many ethical issues, but I feel that will start to change starting this coming Tues. I am reading "Free of Charge, Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace" by Miroslav Volf and it's VERY good. Anytime the opening sentence starts out "In the Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyeyevsky tells a story…" it has to be good. I mean, how can a book not be good when it references Dostoyeyevsky from the start?! (That's a shout out to you Cook).

I met with my small group again and I was the facilitator of our small group session. The theme was community and I enjoyed hearing more about the background of my group, as well as their thoughts on what authentic community looked like. We've set up a tentative retreat (5 hrs. required) on Sat 10/21, so Sara and I might not be back to Fresno until the 28th :( Other then that, I like the diversity in our group and see how incredible it is to hear stories of the Lord at work across the globe.

Lets see, as for employment I just finished my third day of training and am loving the flexibly and variety of my job. No two pools are the same and meeting the owners is a great way for me to meet people outside the Christian bubble. Not realizing that being a pool boy requires being in the sun several hours in succession, I failed to use sun screen the first day and came home a bright red. I've since learned the ways of the pool boy and liberally use sun-screen on my face, neck and arms. Although I have gotten a nice farmers tan, the hope is to someday get the full body tan, something to the effect of Bob Barker's leathery face.

Sara has been busy terping for her student and has had many days from sheol. I can't tell her enough how proud I am of her and to encourage her to do her best. She is so amazing with kids/students that I'm sure she'll have a greater impact on those around her via her lifestyle then anything she could say or interpret. She just had an IEP this past Friday and it went on for a good 1.5 hours. That's a lot of terping without more then a few minutes rest in between. Several of the other students in the same class as her student have talked to her at length about coming to Young Life and helping out. This might be something we pursue as YL definitely has a tug on our heart and (according to Sara), this group also goes to Woodleaf camp! So, perhaps we coordinate with Fresno YL and double down at Woodleaf. All speculation at this point but it would definitely be a blast.

We are planning on attending the Warehouse again this weekend, and would really like to attend the main service to see the church’s vision. The pastor of the Warehouse said a lot of newly married couples are attending this service and he’d like to form a newlywed small group. Nothing yet is concrete, but we definitely miss the community we have in Fresno, especially our small group. A few of the couples on our floor are meeting once a week for dinner and discussion/accountability. They met this past Wed and I was unable to go because of class, but they have changed it to Tuesday’s so we look forward to attending this coming week.

As for "regular" stuff going on, Sara and I used the local laundry here in our apt complex and spent about $12 to wash and dry all our clothes/towels/etc. I'm thinking it might be worth it to drive to our Aunt's house and utilize her washer and dryer, not to mention she has cable (hello ESPN/TLC/HGTV). This weekend Sara's mom and 2 of her aunts from Fresno are driving down to celebrate Aunt Debbie's birthday. It should be fun to see some familiar faces and enjoy some Fresno company.

As of now I'm in the midst of getting a cold, which should be expected because I usually get sick twice a year; once during the transition from winter to spring, and then from summer to fall. Don't ask me why as I'm sure it has to do with pollen and the mold content, but it never fails that I get sick around this time late in the year, as well as around my birthday (end of march) during the beginning of the year.

Sara and I also got memberships at the local YMCA for about 1/2 the price of the nearest gym to us. We're still working out our schedules, but hope to go a few times a week so I can get physically buff, to balance out the spiritual side of my workout. Well, on that note, it's probably time to end this novel...and with that, I hope the Dodgers win at least one game so baseball for me doesn't end today. We'd love to hear from all of you with the things going on at home/church/work and for any prayer requests/praises. Feel free to either post here, or if you don't want to make it public, just email us directly. We love you all and look forward to seeing you in a few weeks.

Much love,
Matt and Sara

Fuller Week #1

Hello friends,

Nothing like a Sunday morning email a day after the Dodgers get into the playoffs. I must say the Lord is blessing us like we couldn't imagine. Just thought I'd write a few words (about 2,000 give or take) regarding my first week of classes, how we're adjusting to So.Cal life and so on.

So the first week of school is always exciting, and seminary is no exception. I got my outfit picked out and ready to go, lunch packed, new notebook and pens, messenger bag and my Bible, ready to take on the world of seminary education. To my surprise, most of my profs told the class we were already behind on the reading and needed to get cracking. That wasn't very Christian of them. Here's a look at my class schedule for this quarter (10 weeks): Greek 1A, New Testament 2 (Acts-Revelation), Christian Ethics, and a Formation class (primarily a small group within the M.Div program).

To my surprise, Greek is actually very interesting and our class has already started reading the Greek NT in class. I'm still working on the pronunciation but everything else is fine. We have a vocab quiz on Monday so I'll be studying later today and tomorrow morning.

NT2 might be my toughest class. We have a map quiz on Tues. (it's a map of and around the Mediterranean, consisting of 50 cities, numerous empires/rivers/islands, etc.) Other then the massive map memorization, the rest of the class should be very interesting. I took this from the course catalogue since it seems to be worded better then anything I would use to describe the class:

"At the end of this course, students will have a fundamental knowledge of the contents of Acts-Revelation, will see more clearly the nature of the Bible as both human word and Holy Scripture, and will appreciate the ways that the authors of these texts expressed beliefs about God, Christ, and the church. Students will gain proficiency in interpreting the New Testament by understanding how the literary, historical, and cultural contexts illuminate the theology of the texts studied in this course."

....so yeah, that's NT2. On the first day of class I was already behind 100 pages of reading. Good to know that "catching up" becomes part of your vocab very early in your seminary experience.

As for Christian ethics, my prof is amazing. She throws out tough questions and the class just sits there dumbfounded because no one has ever thought of this before. If I could come up with an example I would, but it's Sunday morning and my brain isn't quite on yet. This class is going to look at the Sermon on the Mount and Isaiah as our primary texts for ethics. Our book is titled, "Kingdom Ethics" and is authored by a current ethics prof. (Glen Stassen) and a Fuller Alum (David Gushee).

Formations class is "During two quarters the course will interweave the topics of congregational formation, spiritual formation, and missional formation." (You can wikipedia any of these words if you want a cleared definition). Best put, it's a 3 hour class that meets once a week but for 2 quarters. The first 75 minutes the class is lecture format, the last 90+ minutes you meet in your small group and discuss the topics from the reading/lecture. My small group is fairly diverse in all aspects of the word, so I think it should be interesting to get a broader understanding of the church in the world today.

As for non-school stuff, I am most likely going to become the good looking pool-boy in the greater Pasadena area to help supplement my wife's income. A friend going to Fresno State is from Pasadena and her dad owns a pool cleaning business. I went out on Friday with him and it was pretty fun. He's very flexible with my school schedule and most pools are going to be within a few blocks of each other. He said I could take my ipod and listen to music/lectures or bring a friend with me to help out if I needed to get be done in a hurry.

We are feeling pretty good about the Warehouse (i.e. 4th service of Lake Ave. Church) and plan on attending tonight. We met the pastor last week and told him about our desire to serve in the community and were excited to know that opportunities are available.

So...when I'm not reading for class, doing Greek homework or working, I'm listening to the Dodgers come back from (insert your favorite comeback within the last 2 weeks here) and make it to the playoffs. I think it's sad that we don't have any playoff tixs, but $50 a pop is pretty pricy, especially when you drop $350 on books for classes, and 1 quarter of tuition costs over $4k. With that in mind, please feel free to sell your cars or any other possessions like the early church (read acts 2 if you need a refresher) and send your $$ this way. :)

Sorry if this reflection is a little choppy, but you can always call if you want the "live" version. Hope everything in the 'No, Canada and beyond is going well. Sara and I will attempt to come up either the 21st or 28th of Oct, so we'll keep you posted.

Dodgers 4 Life,

-Matt (and Sara)

P.S. For those of you not yet on Myspace, here is a blog that Sara made regarding our transition to Pasadena:

Matt and I have had an exciting summer. In July we picked up and moved down to Pasadena (literally in one weekend. It was crazy!! But with the help of family and dedicated friends, we moved.) We stayed in town ('in town' being Fresno) for a few more weeks and then came home, to Pasadena

*um, one of our shelves we put up, just fell down—dropping books, picture and willow tree figurines. Weird. Don't worry, no one got hurt. I almost screamed tho.*

In August, Matt and I traveled the world to good ole Canada. We visited Oma and Opa, Heidi and Joseph and Aunt Lydia. It was a lot of fun!! I also had minor surgery in Canada. It was gross!! I had an abscess on the inner part of my right thigh. Over the course of our time in Canada, it got bigger and bigger. Heidi and Joe came over on Thursday and I showed them my ant hill and asked what we should do. We decided to go to a clinic and get it checked out. By this time, my leg hurt so bad because of all the pressure. Friday morning we went to the clinic. Oma and Opa had no idea. I didn't want to tell them and freak them out. So, we didn't tell them. And they still don't know. Shhhh. At the clinic, the dr. said "mmm, we're going to have to cut that open and drain it." WHAT?!?! Are you F-in' crazy?? But really, I was relieved. It only cost $45. I love the Canadian health care system. Matt didn't think he was gonna be able to handle the whole cutting my leg open and draining blood and guts out, so he left to get Heidi. I love my sister-in-law. She's amazing. Heidi held my hand as the dr. cut my leg open, drain the blood and guts, and put sterile cotton IN my leg. That part hurt the most. Oh my goodness, it hurt so bad!!!! But I have decided that if Matt can't be in the delivery room—when we decide to have lots and lots of babies--, Heidi is a good replacement. After that, my leg has held incredibly well! I freaked my parents out, though. Not good. I'll show you the scar if you want. It's not nearly as nasty as it was.

The day after we got back from Canada, it was Labor Day. And the day after that… work for me started. It was quite the interesting week. I can't say much about it. I enjoy working there. But I really miss my old school, the kids and especially my friend Holly. There are a lot of spoiled rich kids that attend La Canada High School. Most are ok. It's weird going through high school again. My student tried to add me to his friends on myspace. Funny, huh. said "mm, not so much. Maybe when you graduate." I do enjoy what I do. But I have to fight a lot of what I want and for my student. Some teachers are just so clueless!! He's just deaf. That's it. He's not special ed. Just deaf. (not deaTH—just deaF!!! ) One of the teachers has been learning some signs via the internet. I think he's my favorite teacher.

Matt starts school on Monday. He's excited. This past week has been full of activities. Which was nice because we were lonely. We have a few friends on our floor. Emily and Donovan- they're from Oregon, newly married and really sweet. Donovan and Matt both have duel citizenship in Canada. *thought you'd enjoy that fact* Another couple, George and Lauren, are from Oklahoma. George at first reminded us of Justin (Lyndsey's) husband. George is in the army and has a shaved head. Justin is also in the army. I think Justin is a lot taller than George. Random. I know. The couple we'll be hanging out with after church tonight are DJ, Mara and baby Eli. They are from Alabama. Mara is one of my favorite people here. And her accent is awesome! They're pretty freakin' awesome! Baby Eli is 8 mos and a chunker! Ohhh, he's so cute! The other couple we've hung out with are Cody and Anna. For those of you who've read Blue Like Jazz, Cody reminds me of the cussing pastor. Cody and Anna are also from Oregon. We like them. Anna's a teacher in Monrovia, so it's easy for me to relate to her. We've met many single people, too. But the ones that are my favorite are, of course our CC Danielle! Then Libby and Anna. They're amazing! I love those ladies!! Libby is a fellow snorter—not crack!! When she laughs! duh.

We've kinda found a church. It's called The Warehouse. Reminds us a lot of the Avenue. It's Sunday nights at 6pm. This will be our second time going.

I love Pasadena. It's been hard, with the transition and all. I miss my friends. I miss being part of the interpreting and deaf community. I miss my family and the babies. God is here, just in case you were wondering. He's here. He said HI to me the other day. I was on my way to work and was stopped at a stop light. A big yellow school bus was to my left, so I looked up and this beautiful little black girl waved to me. I smiled and waved back. I looked back down and checked my sidekick (my best friend had IMed me). The light turned green and the cars started to go. I looked back up, the little girl was still there, and waved again. I waved, too and smiled. It made my day.

Not sure what else to update on. Tim, Jameson and the drummer from Until April came to visit Matt the other weekend. I was in Fresno, though, so I didn't get to see them. But I wouldn't mind if you came to visit. It'd be nice to see a familiar face. Really nice. It's not like we're lonely here. Just miss our friends. Starting over is hard. But worth it.

Fuller Reflection (May 2006)

Dear Friends and Family,
Most of you already know that Matt and I have been searching for the right seminary to attend this fall. We visited Boston in April and knew that God was there, as he said "ok, get ready to start school this fall, Matt." We had great trip and you all should've gotten that email.

Last month we also visited Fuller Theological Seminary, located in Pasadena. The good thing about Pasadena was, it wasn't freezing. It was a little rainy, but NOT freezing. (That goes under the "pro" for Fuller.) We drove down Friday night and got to my Aunt Debbie's house, where two crazy yorkies live... oh, and my cousin, too. We went to bed early so we would be fresh for the one day of Prospective Student Weekend.

Matt and I drove about 10 minutes from Aunt Debbie’s house before arriving on campus. Long drive, I know. They fed us breakfast and we ate outside. It was a little chilly, but nothing like Boston. And this time I wasn’t sad. Fuller was, literally, right smack dab in the middle of the city. My heart was happy. It doesn’t look like a college campus at all, which is unique. After breakfast, and some delicious coffee, we went inside the chapel and heard all about “why we should go to Fuller.” We heard the president speak, sang worship and had a good time of prayer. And to be quite honest, I was eating it all up. They talked about serving the poor, seeking justice and working with the marginalized. And I started to get giddy. But I was trying really hard to hide it from Matt. I didn’t want to influence him by my giddiness. We took tours, ate a fabulous lunch and meet some people who have the same passions as Matt and I have. At one point in the day, he turned to me and said “So, whadda ya think?” I tried really, really hard not to jump up and down, and clap my hands because I was in love with Fuller. I tired to hide my smile. “You like it, don’t you,” Matt said. I couldn’t help it. My emotions were on my sleeve, again. Dang those emotions! Matt was liking it as well. And I was more than relieved. We continued looking at the college and talking out questions and looking at housing. When the day was over, my spirit was glad.

We drove the “long” 10 minutes back to Aunt Debbie’s house and waited for her and my cousin to get back from softball. That evening they took us out to the most fabulous dinner and dessert. It was awesome! We talked about the day and tried to process our thoughts. After dinner we went home and Matt and I decided we were going to visit one of the churches in Pasadena. We chose Mosaic.

We loved Mosaic. Erwin McManus is the pastor and is amazing. He’s written a few books, but I couldn’t tell you what they are called…. Matt could, though. Anyway, the service was splendid! The worship touched my soul. They had a drama that clearly related to the message. During the service, on the left side of the auditorium, was a lady painting a picture. And as Erwin McManus spoke, she painted. That was my favorite part. It reminded us of The Avenue (4th service), at The Bridge EV Free, Fresno.

It was a splendid weekend! And I knew that if the Lord wanted us to go to Fuller, I would gladly accept. Not because it’s closer than Boston. If this school was in Boston, than we would’ve chosen Boston. But it’s in Pasadena. And God has clearly, and I mean clearly, shown us that Fuller is the school for us. So, we leave at the end of summer. We begin a new journey. So thank you to those of you who asked Matt and I the hard questions and made us think. Thank you for supporting us in this decision to go to seminary. God has placed a calling on Matt’s life and I’m excited to see where He takes us with it. Please, continue praying for us as we make the transition. We need housing, jobs and oh yeah, that tuition thing. (Does God write checks made out to Fuller? Hmm…)

Again, thank you. We will keep you posted on our new journey.

With love,

Matt and Sara Lloyd