A Cow Bell

By Pastor Mark Hopper

Many years ago my wife and I and a group of adults from our church traveled to Romania.  We worked in partnership with a young pastor and growing church in the middle of the country.

In addition to visiting their church in the city of Cluj, we spent a week together in a rural village near the Transylvania mountains.

A number of young couples participated in a week-long marriage retreat.

In addition to daily discussions on marriage, there was also time for recreation and relaxation.  The Romanians were just as competivte as Americans.  Coed volleyball games were enjoyed by all of us.

One day during the week, I saw a line of cows walking down a dirt road near the field where we were playing volleyball.

The lead cow had a small brass bell hanging from a strap around his neck.  He was leading the other cows back into the village at the end of the day from the grassy fields nearby.

I told the members of our team that we were going to continue to play volleyball until the “cows come home”.  They didn’t know how accurate my prediction was.  We ended the game a few minutes later after the cows passed by us on the dirt road.

Recently while I was playing with our granddaughter at our house,  she had discovered a small cow bell on a self in our bedroom.  She was intrigued by its size and sound.  She didn’t know that this small bell was a gift from our friends in Romania.

I had not noticed that bell for years, but it immediately brought back fond memories of our trip to Romania and the wonderful friends we met there many years ago.

You probably have some keepsakes and souvenirs that remind you of people and events in your life.  You may have a picture or a plaque that brings back special memories of places you have been.

In one example in the Bible,  the people of Israel piled up twelve large boulders along the bank of the Jordan River.  These large stones were to serve as a reminder that the Israelites crossed the Jordan River on dry ground (Joshua chapter 4).These large stones were to remind future generations of this remarkable event in their nation’s history.

I think we all need visual, tangible objects to help us remember special events and special people in our lives.  You probably have some things around your house – pictures, trophies, and souveniours.  Let me encourage you to take some time this week to look around your house or office and reflect on the memories you find there.

Take time to tell your children and grandchildren the meaning and significance of some of the things that are hanging on your walls or sitting on the shelves in your house.  Maybe it is time to add a few new ones while you have the time.  You will be glad you did and they will too!


Pastor Mark Hopper

Efree Church of Diamond Bar

3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd

(909) 594-7604

Sunday Services: 9:00 & 10:45 AM