Books I'm Reading

Lewis and Clarks Journey and Journals

Just finished watching Lewis and Clark’s scientific/exploratory
expedition to the northwest by master historical documentarian Ken
Burns. Thorough, fascinating, important…Great stuff.

I remember when I lived in the St. Louis area, I had a book by John Bunyan restored called Pilgrims Progress.

I had the book work don by one of the best restoration craftsmen in the country.

Richard C. Baker offers a full range of conservation services for books and printed works on paper and parchment

While I was picking up my book Richard showed be what he was also working on at the time .

He took me in the “the vault” as he called it and behind a glass case was one of the original Lewis and Clark journals,

the “Elk skin” journal was right before me.

What a memorable moment to see that kind of history placed just inches in front of me.

Just recently I was give the Ken Burns documentary of Lewis and Clark’s journey on DVD.

I can’t remember exactly how much time was actually covered in history class about the journey of Lewis and Clark to explore the land purchased from Napoleon and France by President Thomas Jefferson in 1803. I know it was discussed, but essentially it was glossed over in text and given a paragraph or two. The magnitude of what they did, especially in those times, was never presented.

Thankfully, the Ken Burns documentary production of Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery rectifies this. Burns makes the case that the journey of Lewis & Clark as at least as important as the journey to the moon – if not more important. When they set out, the United States was a collection of former British Colonies on the Atlantic Ocean. By the time they returned, the nation stretched from sea to shining sea. In addition to exploring the land purchased, they also explored the disputed Oregon Territory, came back with details of many of new species of plant and wildlife, forged relationships with Native Americans along the way, and provided confirmation that the mythical Northwest Passage, searched for by so many for so long, didn’t exist.

The history behind the two men who led the expedition is in itself somewhat astonishing. Merriweather Lewis was Thomas Jefferson’s personal secretary. Only twenty eight years old, he was an unlikely selection. He had been an army officer and considered to be skilled on the frontier. It had been noted he was prone to depression and sometimes he drank too much. The depression seems evident at times when there are no entries in his journal. Burns focuses on these bouts of depression quite a bit, as they resulted in the suicide of Lewis a few years after the expedition returned.

William Clark was a frontiersman, having spent time on what was then the western frontier – Kentucky and Ohio. He didn’t have the same education as Lewis, but had the knowledge and temperament. In the end, he would be the one to tell the stories and details of the expedition as Lewis died without ever forming a manuscript from the journals they kept along the way. Luckily, the journals themselves did survive.

The trip itself was treacherous. The budget was just $2,500. In addition to the fact that they spent most of it going upstream against the currents of the muddy Missouri River, there were the usual dangers of frontier life and exploration: wild animals, disease, lack of food, weather. In addition, the men had no idea of where they were going or what they would encounter along the way. While the astronauts could look up and see the moon (and remain in contact with their base back here in Houston) Lewis & Clark were on their own, venturing to places they could never have imagined. There were no photographs or descriptions of the Great Plains or Rocky Mountains. In addition, they could never be certain of how the Native American population would react to them along the way.

I am really enjoying the study of this amazing time in American history.

Steve and Brenda at the launch point for the Lewis and Clark expedition along the Missouri River.

Arizona, outdoors


We had our first good rain of the season today here in Prescott.

The smell and the sounds are awesome.

You actually see people looking up in anticipation of the Monsoon season.

The word “monsoon” comes from the Arabic “mausim” which means “a season.” It was first used to describe the winds over the Arabian sea which blow from the northeast for six months and from the southwest for six months. Over the years, monsoon has been extended to include Europe, Africa and the western coasts of Chile and the United States.

Strong annual variations of temperature over land masses is the primary cause of the monsoon. This causes an excess of high pressure in the cold months and low pressure in the warm months. This deficit of pressure coupled with the storm track well to the north in the summer, allows the tropical moisture to literally be sucked northward toward the lower pressure in the low levels of the atmosphere. The end result is a shift in the winds over an area and enough moisture to trigger seasonal rains.

This pic was taken this morning at 5:33 AM.

In Arizona, the process starts with the hot and dry weather of May and June. Usually, the winds are from a dry westerly direction, so humidity is low and temperatures soar above 100 degrees in the deserts. As the atmosphere warms, the jet stream retreats northward. this allows the winds to shift to a more southerly component and bring in the moisture. Most of our humid air comes from the Sea of Cortez, but a good portion also comes from the Gulf of Mexico. Once the moist air arrives, our strong summer sun heats the moist air causing the familiar thunderstorm (cumulonimbus) clouds.

Our monsoon is the most pronounced in southern Arizona and becomes more marginal over northern Arizona. The monsoon lasts longer in the south, usually beginning around the middle of June. In the Phoenix area, the moisture is usually here by the first or second week in July. The end of the hot and humid weather normally comes in the latter half of September state wide.

Statistically, we consider it a “monsoon day” when the average daily dew point is 55 degrees or higher. This can easily be measured and gives us a way of comparing one year to another.

Still not convinced? During the dry monsoon (April, May and June) we get only 6% of our normal yearly rainfall. During the wet monsoon (July, August and September) we get 32% of our normal yearly rainfall!



Monsoon Facts and Figures

Average date of monsoon beginning July 7
In 2 out of 3 years the monsoon begin July 1 through July 16
Earliest Monsoon beginning on record June 16, 1925
Latest monsoon beginning on record July 25, 1987
Average date of first break in monsoon August 16
Average total number of monsoon days 56
Greatest number of monsoon days on record 99 in 1984
Greatest number of consecutive monsoon days on record 72 in 1984
(June 25 through September 5)
Least number of monsoon days on record 27 in 1962
Wettest monsoon on record (July, Aug. and Sept. rainfall) 9.38 inches in 1984
Driest monsoon on record (July, Aug. and Sept. rainfall) .35 inches in 1924
Average monsoon rainfall (July, Aug. and Sept.) 2.45 inches
Books I'm Reading


I just picked up this book by Jentezen Franklin the other day.

So far, It is a great read.

Will you live in FEAR? Or will you live by FAITH? Fear has the deceptive ability to influence and affect our daily lives and the world we live in. What do you fear most in life? What are the greatest threats facing you? Crime? Violence? The economy? Failure? Death? Eternity? “Fear Fighters” helps you identify and defeat the very source of fear that threatens you from living in peace and joy. This  book is opening my  eyes, building my faith and hope.

Jentezen is one of the few Christian TV guys that I can listen too.

church family, Ministry


Last night I was invited to a friends house to watch  UFC fight night.

Wow, those dudes are tough.

Here is the outline to Cage Fighters part 4.

Living a Life of Spiritual Adventure
Pastor Steve Lummer

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:8


* The Cage of Responsibility * The Cage of Routine * The Cage of Assumptions * The Cage of Guilt * The Cage of Failure  * The Cage of Fear




1. Looking ABOVE my assumptions of PERSPECTIVE.

He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Genesis 15:5

2. Looking BEYOND my assumptions of LIMITATION.

being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. Romans 4 :18-21

It is never too late to become the person you might have been

3. Looking PAST my assumptions of TIME.

Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” 7 And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” Genesis 21:1-7



Today Brenda and I celebrated with  what seemed to be all of Prescott on the town square at this years fourth of July parade.

It was great to celebrate the 4th with such a neat little town.

On July 4, 1776, we claimed our independence from Britain and Democracy was born. Every day thousands leave their homeland to come to the “land of the free and the home of the brave” so they can begin their American Dream.

The United States is truly a diverse nation made up of dynamic people.  My wife was born in Switzerland and my family history is from somewhere in East Germany….but we all made here and today we celebrate living together in one amazingly diverse nation.

Each year on July 4, Americans celebrate that freedom and independence with barbecues, picnics, and family gatherings.

Happy Birthday, America!

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands. One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Books I'm Reading


“Our generation needs a reformation. But a single person won’t lead it. A single event won’t define it. Our reformation will be a movement of reformers living compassionately, creatively, courageously for the cause of Christ. This reformation will not be born of a new discovery, It will be the rediscovery of something old, something ancient. Something primal.”…..Mark Batterson

This will be the third book I have read by Mark.

Great writer as well as a great public speaker.

If he is ever in your area go hear the talk.


lead pastor- Prescott First A/G



Here are some  photos of the pups I wanted to post for the month of June.

Bella and the pups are working great together.

Clark, Lewis Natascha and Bella.

Bren the pups and Bella.

Clark and Lew.

Clark at 12 weeks.

Clark in the wind.

fountain of youth.

Lewis @ 14 weeks.

Lewis (back) Clark (front)


First bath.

Clark and Lewis.


The month of June proved to be awesome with the two. We started walking them on the leash and they are basically potty trained.

We are loving the bundles of energy.

church family, family, Life experiences, Ministry


I just wanted to post a brief blog about a landmark Brenda and have reached this month.

30 years ago this month we started in ministry.

June, 1980

After graduating from Central Bible College in Spring field Missouri we landed together in my home town of Davenport Iowa to serve Westside assembly of God as youth pastors.

Here are the great communities we have lived in over the past 30 years.







It has been an amazing journey and we have met some amazing people.

Each community gave our family something special and created amazing memories for us.

The church’s we served out of all had one thing in common.  Just regular people attempting to do there best to make a positive impact in their world.

Thank you to all who we have had the opportunity to know and work with.

June 30, 2010

Steve and Brenda