Sunday, March 30, 2008

Solomon's Porch Crew

Look out Starbucks-
or the Village People

Fam Night- Potato Pancakes and Popcorn Shrimp

Fam night for Jesse's 18th birthday.  We sang happy birthday on ichat with the crew in Montana, and Jesse got five books of Spurgeon Sermons- that should serve him well.  Jaxon Clay was our guest and he brought Jason and Becca. Daniel, Josh, Matt Pirolo  were there, and Heidi came straight from the airport, and her first
change of planes- hey at 14, it can be a big deal-- I can get lost at Denver International!
Anyhow, Happy Birthday Jesse Jeremiah.  I remember the day you were born in Colorado Spirngs. I think that was the last time my car was so clean.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Off to Israel

Our trip to Israel is just a few days away and after more than a half dozen of these I recognize the countdown phase as I slide towards departure. It's a mixture of excitement, controlled chaos and
'where am I going?' I have been fortunate to be able to bring children on most of these trips, so the separation anxiety is eased and I feel like the travel really contributes to our family.
Daniel has worked on a number of these trips producing video, and that will be the case again now.
I had hoped to bring Heidi along with Levi and his family this time, but Levi decided to break his leg in Montana, so that plan didn't work. Daniel's soon to be bride Leanne took Jenni's spot- she will be working at the conference in Jerusalem that I am organizing. (From 7,000 miles away)
We are also producing a updated tour of Israel, and working on documentary about a boat from AD 100 (
We are interviewing some pretty neat Israeli officials for this one and Daniel is producing a re-enactment of a storm on the Sea of Galilee. But first, I have to get busy about this Conference with Joel Rosenberg, Skip and Pastor Chuck. And oh yes, we have about 1,000 people on this tour between the three groups. Interesting times. Shalom

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Jesse J is 18 Today

Jesse turned 18 today. Don't be fooled by the mirrored sunglass look. He is a major sweet heart of a son. Tender for the Lord and destined for great things in the Kingdom.
Jesse has almost never caused trouble except for the great water balloon incident of 2003.
And maybe the time he dove into the St. Lawrence Seaway in Montreal ... and then there was the time....
Never mind. It is his birthday- he gets a pass- Happy Birthday Son!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Choir!

Risen Indeed!

Easter 08 was over the top at CCABQ. It is always a mega stadium event. This year,
it was smooth and cool as the other side of the pillow. We did have church with the Harlem Gospel Choir! My inner black child rejoiced greatly because Motown is in my soul.
It was a treat to hang out with the choir, they are fairly famous, recording on U2's Rattle and Hum and playing for the Pope next month at Yankee Stadium.
I took the drummer to work out at Del Norte after the whole choir enjoyed New Mexican food and took home a jar of salsa for each.
Plus I got to say things at the stadium and at two services at church

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Full Quiver- One broken arrow

Sometimes, I think God overflows our cups even when we aren't asking. Take my children. Please.
(that's an old Johnny Carson joke) Seriously, I never envisioned having a large family.
They just appeared one day. I began to notice at dinner, I was badly outnumbered.
Each child turned out uniquely, and to be an incredible blessing in their own way. Each is on their own path, it is a trip to watch and wonder.
Last weekend I realized that Daniel was in Seattle at an engagement party with his fiance Leanne. Jesse was snowboarding at Wolf Creek in Colorado, Josh was on outreach in Mexico, Levi was busy breaking his leg in Montana, while Heidi and Becca were home in New Mexico.
And now, they are multiplying like rabbits! Jaxon, Alivia & Lenya! Wow- what a major blowout blessing. And the kids are just warming up on pro-creating! By the time Heidi and Jesse kick in, I may need a scorecard to keep track of them! A full quiver indeed.

Above is a picture of Levi relaxing in the snow in Montana. Actually, you can't see it, but his overworked Angel is right behind him, having just prevented an even more serious injury (again) this time from a snowmobiling adventure gone very wrong. A broken femur is a severe injury, but it could have been worse. Thank you Jesus.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Shopping with Alivia (on left)

Ministry in Montana

Greg, Levi, Crystal & Phil


18 months ago, I had never been to Montana. Now, I'vd been there 7 times and can't stay away. It's a big
state,  but my Montana universe revolves around the Flathead Valley near the entrance to Glacier National Park.
Whitefish and Kalispell remind me of the Colorado I came west for in 1977.  The valley is drop dead gorgeous, uncrowded
and oh yes, home to my son Levi and his tribe: A wife he doesn't deserve and two daughters  I am scheming to 'borrow'
The Lord is such a comedian sometimes. Before Levi moved to Montana soon (not to be a dental floss tycoon, as Frank Zappa would have it)
to start a church, I spent a weekend up there to look at the area for a friend who wanted to build some radio stations in and around the Flathead Valley.
 Little did I know what God had in store. Before long Levi, and whole flock of friends and staff from CC ABQ would move to Kalispell and Whitefish!
Now, the FCC has granted Levi's church their own Full Power FM and the church is blowing up. Unfortunately, Levi is falling apart, having failed
an Evel Knievel stunt.
Montana is quite an adventure to get to and from. But, wow,is it worth it! Can't wait to get back.

Monday, March 17, 2008

So cold in Montana .......

..., the cows are blue!
Not really - the flathead valley is low and protected- so quite
Elsewhere in Montana - plug the cows in at night! But not this one.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Lusko motion

The lobster

Mike and Joel at Red Lobster

Chico and Pam Richards

CC conference in Tucson

Soon to be snowboarding valley

What a week!

Just 7 days. But wow. Last Sunday, I had a brief getaway to the Taos Ski Valley- a  Rocky Mountain escape with heavy spiritual overtones.
Monday - Wednesday, I was in 75 degree heat at the Calvary Pastor's conference in Tucson. Good times with great old friends.  Thursday, back in ABQ
we had a funeral for a CCABQ Pastor who died of a massive heart attack.  As I walked from the graveside I noticed a voicemail from Brian Ray in Montana. 
Levi, my son had a huge outreach with Greg Laurie and Phil Wickham the night before, where 1,000 people came:  and I expected this to be a message of good news. But no. 
'Levi has had a serious snowmobiling accident and broken his femur, we are on the way to the hospital.'  That was a shock. 24 hours later, on Friday 
I was midway through a nine hour layover in Denver, courtesy of United Airlines. Made it to Montana at midnight and slept (kind of) at the hospital with Levi.
He had three hours of surgery and is doing amazingly well. 
What a week. Let's see what God has next week, it starts with two services at Fresh Life Church, where I am teaching, The Peak to the Pit. I think Levi can relate.

Mellow in Montana

(not a real bear)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sunrise at sky harbor

Taos- 31 years later

Below is the trail map at the base of the Taos Ski Area.
Up to March 19th, one of three or four areas in the country that don't allow
snowboarding.  I lived in Taos 31 years ago, during my search for skiing utopia.
Working at the Saint Bernard, (I had dinner there Satruday night, more on that later)
and hoping to find truth through powder. Well, Taos is giving up and going boarding next week
so I thought it would be retro to rent skiis and go to Taos. A friend gave me lift tix and that sealed the deal.
Taos has NOT changed in 30 years. Nothing like the growth in Aspen or Summit County. Wow. They kept the vision
for a Swiss destination Ski Chalet Valley. Impressive.

Friday, March 7, 2008


The little rock star below is my granddaughter Alivia!  the first of three (so far) 
Wow- this stage of life took me totally by surprise (a very pleasant one) 
Smack me on the head and call me Shirley, but I never had a single thought about 
my kids having kids and how sweet it would be. Duh! 
Maybe my band width was taken up in raising my tribe, but it NEVER crossed my mind.
Until a day at a hospital near Laguna Beach: I met a little person named Alivia- now, Lenya and 
Jaxon have followed. The Lord is good. And full of surprises. 

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sunday, March 2, 2008

nsight from a liberal

Although Richard Reeves is a flaming liberal-- this article has some good insight. Especially Reagan's take on delegation derived from Calvin Coolidge.

Why Hillary Stumbled

FEBRUARY 22, 2008

LOS ANGELES — The "fellas" who worked for Ronald Reagan — he called them that because he couldn't remember their names — rarely saw the boss angry. But James Lake, a campaign press secretary, did, just once.

Lake walked into Reagan's section of the campaign plane in 1980 and said he had to talk about something important, some issue of the day. The candidate blew up, growling: "Can't you see I'm busy. I'm working on my speech. Go away! We'll be there in 20 minutes and I have to give this speech."

Lake was stunned. What did it matter? Reagan gave the same speech over and over again, practically word for word. What he did not understand, and Reagan did, was that speeches were the candidate's real work. The words he was studying one more time, changing one or two, were what really counted. The 40th president, an amazingly effective one, understood a few big things.

This was one of them, told in two different ways:

— The president's job is not to run the country; it is to lead the nation.

— In that business, words are more important than deeds.

Poor Hillary Clinton! She is smart, knowledgeable and disciplined. And she has been getting it wrong, wrong, wrong — 10 times in a row, at least. Yes, it was bad luck that she, improbably, had to run into this "kid," a former state senator from Illinois who knew what Reagan did and what John Kennedy did. In the end, in a great democracy, what a president can and must do is bring out the best in the American people. Some, tragically, bring out the worst in our nature, as President Richard Nixon did.

Ready to govern on Day One? Does Sen. Clinton think the Office of Management and Budget is the heart of the Republic? Does she believe there is something lacking in her opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, because he is eloquent and inspirational, because he can move people, because his words can persuade and prepare them to do what must be done? Does she know why no one remembers whether Lincoln balanced the budget?

Reagan knew. We used to laugh at him because he said one of his favorite presidents was Calvin Coolidge, whose idea of a good time seemed to be taking a nap. Well, there was a lot wrong with Coolidge — for one thing, he wasn't much of a speaker — but there was something important about one of the paragraphs in Coolidge's autobiography that Reagan underlined as a young man: "In the discharge of the office (of president) there is one rule of action more important than all others. It consists in never doing anything that someone else can do for you."

Ah, that Reagan, growing up along the Mississippi River, a regular Tom Sawyer, ready to persuade people to paint fences for him. Great training for a president. You can hire fence-painters and smart people.

Choosing a president is the great, most important, most dangerous responsibility in the world. It's a gamble on character, not so much the character of a candidate but the character of the American people. In her struggle to stay in this year's Democratic race by stopping Obama in Texas and Ohio, Clinton is right about one big thing: No one knows enough about the man to know if he will be a good president, much less a great one.

Obama does not know himself. Nor does Clinton know about herself. The job is sui generis. The presidency is not about qualifications or experience; it is about judgment. Beyond being wise and lucky in making appointments, much of any presidency is essentially reactive. The job is dealing with crises unpredictable and unanticipated: attacks, strikes, bombings, market crashes, revolutions, plagues of nature.

The best a voter can hope for is a man or woman who can find the right words to explain such things and persuade us all to follow the dictates of our better angels.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

ABQ Journal: Be Very Afraid

For better or worse,daily newspapers are still powerful. They are in a steep circulation decline no doubt, especially with young demo's
but walk through a Starbucks at 7 AM and see what the buzz is, caffeine in, papers open.

ABQ was among the small number of cities that still had two dailies. Until this week. It was silly really, a throwback to the 40's when
a morning and afternoon edition would update the news. This was kind of before network TV & all news radio, not to mention CNN and  the web.
But the Trib soldiered on, with little ad space and small circ. Until this week.
As for the Journal, (what can be said about a frog named Fred?)  As a journalism major, I am appalled by lack of fact checking, the prevalence of advocacy journalism and
sloppy/lazy reporting that is pretty standard. 

So when the Journal calls for an interview, I have major mixed reactions, I know we must cooperate, but I know some unpleasant things can happen.
When a reporter called this week  about our Homeland Security Series, (  I took a deep breath and gave the interview.
You never know.  Skip wasn't available for quotes, so I was going solo. Shouldn't have allowed the picture- bad lighting.

And one does not know how they are going to play it When I ran into the reporter the next day at a cafe, I got a little shiver when he said, "We're getting a few other opinions."
This could mean many things, we are often used as the token conservative voice for stories, and then the reporter gets all sorts of liberal slants. Oh well.

Some background,  a few years ago, CCABQ was in the middle of a 'mild church crisis' that the Journal blew up to  the front page 12 of 19 days- ugly. Full color, above the fold front page
coverage. You can't pay for that kind of exposure, though I would have paid to prevent it.
So each morning, like Bill Murray in Ground Hogs' day, for three weeks and more, I would trudge to Starbucks at 6 AM and slowly approach the Journal stand, there it would be, an
awful, biased article blasting CCABQ  et al.

So, this Wednesday I was not prepared for full color-front page- above the fold:  BE VERY AFRAID  Calvary Pastor Preaches Peace Can Come From Fear.

But Happy ending, the story was fair- (loose on some facts) and generally positive. Though I was not ready for my close up