Category Archives: Pastors Corner

Inspirational faith based articles from local Pastors in the Eastvale area.

A New School Year

By Melody Kraemer

A new school year! Who is ready? I have enjoyed these past summer months with my kids at home, and it seemed we were off to some adventure almost every day. 

It could be that we subconsciously are making up for the summer before when we were in “lockdown.” The summer, let alone this year, has flown by in a blink of an eye. Now the kids will be starting school, and though that much-needed break between us is probably needed. I will miss the lazy days of sleeping in, the swimming, the extended sunshine days, no schedules, and all the downtime. Now isn’t that what summer is all about?  

In a few short days, we will buckle back down and get back on our daily schedule. It won’t be easy, and granted, I should have stayed on a schedule during the summer, but my kids needed this break and had only a few short weeks of summer. With my boys having ASD, autism spectrum disorder,  they attended ESY (extended school year). So these few weeks of summer were precious to us, we enjoyed them and made as many memories as we could.  

My youngest will even be going back to school with a brand new look. He decided to find his daddy’s beard trimmer and start shaving his head. There’s never a dull moment in our world, now onto the next season of life. Reach out and let me know if you are ready for school. 


Ecclesiastes 3:1
1. For everything there is a season, and a time for every a purpose under heaven


 Melody Kraemer is the Editor and Publisher of  AutismMomAdventures.com

Follow her on Instagram @So_Cal_Autism_Mom_Adventures and Facebook.com/autismmomadventures 

For more information or general encouragement, feel free to email her at: autismmomofboys@gmail.com.

Deliberate Confidence

By Pastor Dennis Morales

“But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me…” 2 Timothy 4:17

What gives you confidence?  Watching the “2020” Olympics, I can’t help but to be impressed by the confidence of the athletes who are on one of the biggest stages of their lives.    Families and whole countries are cheering them on and hoping they bring home the gold.   It would seem a lifetime of training, a strong support system, a focused mind, and for some faith, has given these athletes such strong confidence.   Paul the Apostle used athletic metaphors often.  One of his last metaphors he employed was of both a fighter and runner.   As Paul was penned his swan song letter to Timothy, he says “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). What is most impressive is that he wrote these words from prison, with few friends left.  In prison for his faith in Christ.  Having few friends willing to stand with him for fear of their own lives, or because of societal shame.  What then gave Paul confidence?  Paul experienced God standing with him in past circumstances and difficulties.  He also knew countless others were spurred to faith in Christ through his chains as his faith was on display (Philippians 1:12).  Many saw the reality of Christ power in his willingness to suffer for Christ.  Oswald Chambers once said, “Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.”   Paul found himself at times in chains, being beaten, shipwrecked, and even abandoned, but those were times when he knew the Lord was closest and stood with him (2 Timothy 4:17).  Paul said, “none of these things move me” so to finish his race with joy (Acts 20:24).  Joy in the fact that he would finish his race on this side of Heaven with unwavering faith.  Deliberate confidence is (Faith) that God is always in control.  The Lord stood with Paul as Paul stood with the Lord.  I pray you that you live deliberately confident in the fact that God hears you and is standing with you. 

Calvary Chapel Eastvale meets at Eastvale Elementary located at 13031 Orange St, Eastvale.  Sundays 8:30/10:30am.  Livestream, YouTube Live, and Facebook Live is also available.  http://www.calvaryeastvale.org. 

India

By Mark Hopper

One of the most memorable places my wife and I have visited is India. Several years ago we flew from Los Angeles to Taiwan then on to Singapore and arrived in Mumbai on the west coast of India. It was a long journey. We spent several days in Mumbai seeing some of the sights and visiting some ministries working among the poorest people in the city. Then we flew to Hyderabad where our host met us at the airport and drove 3-4 hours outside the city to a boarding school and orphanage.

We were surprised by the heavy traffic. Driving in India is not for the faint hearted. Hundreds of cars, trucks and scooters crammed together honking their horns as they waited for the traffic lights to change. When we left the city behind us we found the two-lane highway heart stopping too. Cars and trucks struggled to pass each other on the busy highway.

The countryside provided a different perspective of life in India. We saw people working the fields and were impressed by the variety of agriculture that stretched to the horizon.

We spent a week at the boarding school and orphanage working alongside the staff and leading a children’s program with over 300 students participating. We shared Bible lessons, led recreation and engaged the students in making crafts and art projects.

We were impressed with the hard working staff and the enthusiastic students. Students were respectful and energetic. The school provided meals, housing and a rigorous education for the children. It was a week we will always remember.

Our host drove us back to the airport in Hyderabad where we caught a flight to Delhi in northern India. We couldn’t leave this beautiful country without seeing the Taj Mahal. This magnificent structure is located about two hours outside of Delhi. It is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Several of our neighbors in Diamond Bar are from Indian descent. They are delightful people who are proud of their heritage. I love to tell them about our trip to India. It is a beautiful country with beautiful people. Let me encourage you to set your sights on visiting other parts of the world. Get outside the tourist centers and catch a glimpse of daily life in the country. And get to know your own neighbors who have come from other parts of the world. You will be glad you did and they will too!   

Read 365 more stories and articles (one for every day of the year) in the book Let me Encourage You by Mark Hopper. You can purchase two copies for only $30 plus postage ($5). Buy one for yourself and one to give a friend. Order your copies at mark@efreedb.org.

Healing Faith

By Pastor Dennis Morales

“Be of good cheer, daughter, your faith has made you well.” Matthew 9:22

As Jesus would pass through the region, people would crowd him to see Him, hear Him, or seek to be healed by Him.  His reputation preceded Him as a prophet and healer, but little did they know at the time that He was the Christ, who was prophesized about going back to Genesis 3:15.   As Jesus made his way through this particular city, and as crowds were pressing into Him, He says “who touched me?” (Luke 8:45).  One of His disciples says with exuberant confidence “Master everyone is touching you.”  Yes, obviously, many seemed to be touching Him, but Jesus said this was different.  He says, “I perceive power has gone out from Me.” (Luke 8:46).   Something was different about this person’s touch.  When Jesus asked the question “who touched Me,” the crowd dissipated a bit and all who was left was a woman on her knees trembling.   This woman reached out and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was healed instantly.   She “reached out” as a last resort after 12 years of seeking physicians and exhausting her every dime.   She was a woman most likely ostracized for her condition as she was considered “unclean.”  Ostracized from family, friends, and being able to worship at the temple.  Jesus then reaches out to her and speaks to her.  He calls her “daughter.”  Something that she needed and possibly longed to hear.  A term of endearment.  Having a stigma follow her for years, she had little contact with people.  He fulfilled her emotional need, but most importantly, He says to her, “your faith has made you well.”   Her greatest need was for a Savior.  Faith was necessary for her healing.  She, in the midst of years of disappointment, believed God could heal her.  Religion or a church cannot heal you, but if you reach out to Jesus and ask Him into your heart, He can touch you spiritually.  Believe He can transform you today.   

Calvary Chapel Eastvale meets at Eastvale Elementary located at 13031 Orange St, Eastvale.  Sundays 8:30/10:30am.  Livestream, YouTube Live, and Facebook Live is also available.  http://www.calvaryeastvale.org. 

Wash Your Car & Meet Your Neighbors

By Mark Hopper

I love the long summer evenings in Southern California. I love to get more things done after dinner with the extra daylight we enjoy in June and July. I was surprised the clock read 8:30 PM when I came into the house after washing my car.

An added bonus to the long summer evenings has been meeting more of my neighbors. There are a lot of men, women, and young adults walking past our house every evening. Many of them are doing laps around our block and come by several times. And many of them are walking with a spouse, children or exercise partner.

I like to pause what I am doing and say hello as people pass by. Some share encouraging comments on how nice my car looks. I like to return the compliment and tell them what a good job they are doing as they walk through our neighborhood.

Some people pause when I ask them their name or where they live. It has been challenging to learn new names and remember them the next time I see them. But I enjoy our brief conversations and I like getting to know my neighbors better.

There is a verse in the Bible that says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). It is hard to love your neighbors if you don’t know your neighbors. One of the biggest obstacles to getting to know your neighbors is the garage door. People drive down the street, press the garage door opener, pull into their garage and close the door. It is pretty hard to get to know them when you can’t even speak to them.

Other obstacles include the back yard patio and the indoor air conditioning. It is interesting that older homes were built with a front porch. People would get out of their warm house on a summer evening and sit outside to enjoy a cool evening breeze. The front porch provided a natural setting to greet people walking by. It enabled neighbors to meet other neighbors.

Let me encourage you to get to know the neighbors who live around you. Why not wash your car during these long summer evenings and say hello to the people who walk by. Why not set up a lawn chair in your front yard instead of sitting in your air conditioned house or the back yard patio. You will be glad you did and your neighbors will too!

You can read 365 more stories (one for every day of the year)  in the book Let Me Encourage You. by Mark Hopper for only $25  (includes postage). Order your copy this week at markh@efreedb.org. Visit Mark’s website to read his latest stories at Letmarkencourageyou.com

Strength

By Pastor Dennis Morales

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:12

We read of Daniel being a fearless follower of God (Daniel 2).  The Babylonians were trying to assimilate the young Jewish males in order to control them.  They knew the young men had strong religious ties, so the Babylonians sought to change the names of the young men, change their worship, and change their diet.  Daniel resisted the king’s delicacies, purposing in his heart not to defile himself and honor God.  Another occasion finds Daniel resisting mandated worship of the king and continued to pray to his God.  Scripture says that “when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God” (Daniel 6:10).  As a result, Daniel eventually finds himself in the lion’s den, where God delivers him.  You can’t help but to notice a truth in this Biblical account of Daniel.   God delivers Daniel while in the lion’s den.  As we walk with the Lord, we can experience God delivering us from our troubles on occasion.   Many times, our prayers are requests for God to take us out of any given difficulty.  One of the things that may be hard to process is that sometimes God wants to deliver us while in the time of difficulty.  No doubt, the Lord was with Daniel in the lion’s den and God delivers him.   What gave Daniel the strength to stand against the enemy?  In Daniel 6:10, it says that Daniel “always prayed.”  He was accustomed to praying.  Daniel heard God often, and it would appear that Daniel drew strength from his prayers.  Do you need strength today?  You will find great strength in kneeling before the Lord (Philippians4:7).  Due to school closures, Calvary Chapel Eastvale is temporarily meeting in a “Drive In format” at American Heroes Park in Eastvale.  Livestream, YouTube Live, and Facebook Live are also available at 8:30am and 10:30am Sundays.  Starting Sunday JULY 11, Calvary Eastvale will be moving to a new location at Eastvale Elementary School. 

Change Your Expectations

By Mark Hopper

In my previous article I shared how unfulfilled expectations can result in frustration. That is true when you are playing a round of golf. If you expect to play well and get a good score, you may find yourself discouraged and disappointed by the end of the day. Your score may be a lot worse than you expected!

I believe there are many married couples who are disillusioned after years of marriage. They started married life filled with hopes and dreams. But as the years passed they found themselves frustrated and disappointed. Their married life has not turned out the way they expected it would.

There is a powerful song in the musical Les Miserables where a woman expressed her heartache about the way her life has turned out. It is titled – “I Dreamed a Dream”. Some of the lyrics are:

“I dreamed a dream in days gone by, when hope was high and life worth living – I dreamed that love would never die, I dreamed that God would be forgiving. Then it all went wrong”

Those words may express how you feel about your marriage. But I want to urge you to not give up hope and don’t give up trying. God loves to repair relationships and restore marriages.

One of the things that can undermine a marriage is unfulfilled expectations. Spouses can become bitter and resentful when their hopes and dreams are not met. One of the best things you can do is change your expectations. Don’t wait for the other person to change – look for ways you can change your expectations with God’s help.

Years ago we met a wonderful couple during my summer internship in El Centro, California. The husband was a cattle rancher. He rarely got home on time for dinner. His wife was frustrated. Dinner was ready and the kids were hungry. But she decided to change her attitude and not expect him to be home for dinner. She realized that cattle, fences and water pumps may need immediate attention. She decided to just feed the kids when dinner was ready and warm up dinner for her husband when he got home. She changed her expectations and it reduced the level of stress on their relationship. Let me encourage you to change your attitude and your actions. Change your expectations. Ask God to change your heart. Be willing to forgive others that you feel have hurt you (Ephesians 4:32). You will be glad you did and they will too.   

Read 365 more stories and articles (one for every day of the year) in the book  Let me Encourage You by Mark Hopper. You can purchase two copies for only $30 plus postage ($5). Buy one for yourself and one to give a friend. Order your copies at mark@efreedb.org.

Christmas Isn’t Cancelled

By Pastor Dennis Morales

“Let nothing you dismay, Remember Christ our Savior Was born on Christmas Day, To save us all from Satan’s power, When we were gone astray, Oh tidings of comfort and joy, Comfort and joy…”

These are the amazing words from the Christmas Carol “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”  I love these words.  Such a reminder of the Heart of Christmas.  During this Covid-19 Climate, people have unwittingly said “we have to cancel Christmas.”  I understand the reason for the phrase, I understand the fear and the hurt that this year has brought.  I also understand not meeting with family because of uncertainty.  But the message of Christmas is so much more than a gathering or gifts. 

I pray that this Christmas, we don’t miss the heart of the celebration of Christmas.  We see some in the Gospels who missed the heart of Christmas.  We see the innkeeper who missed out on Jesus because he was too busy (Luke 2).  We need to make time for the Lord.  We see that King Herod was too fearful to let Christ rule his life (Mat 2).  Turn to Christ today.  Don’t let the pandemic replace Christmas in your heart.  May we not allow anything take the place of worshipping Jesus Christ, who is the true meaning.  Christmas is the ushering in of hope to this world.  The hope of eternal life.  This hope was wrapped and placed in the manger. 

We remember Jesus wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger (Luke 2:12).  In time, your Christmas gifts will mostly be forgotten.  But God has given us the ultimate gift—the gift of His Son Jesus Christ.   This year lets mindfully peel back the exterior and look at the Heart.  Jesus is our gift.  May we remember it’s God’s eternal Gift that cancels out the power of sin and death over us who trust in Him (John 3:16).

Due to school closures, Calvary Chapel Eastvale is temporarily meeting in a “Drive In format” at American Heroes Park at 8:30am and 10:30am.  All midweek services can be viewed on Facebook Live at 7pm.  All of our services can be viewed on our Facebook Channel (Calvary Eastvale).  Download our online bulletin to stay current at calvaryeastvale.org.

The Christmas Train

By Mark Hopper

One of my favorite Christmas toys was my train. I received a Lionel Train set for Christmas when I was a young boy. We have a photo of me and my father and my grandfather playing with my new train on Christmas morning in the early 1960’s. We still have the brochure that came with the train. The date on the brochure says 1962. 

The train set was lost for many years in a closet in my parent’s home.  I thought they had given it away after I got married. When we helped my parents move out of their house, my brother discovered the train set. But he didn’t tell anyone. He surprised me on Christmas Day with this mystery box.

Now we have a photo of me, and my children and my father playing with that old train at Christmas in the 1980’s. After we moved to Diamond Bar, the Christmas train ended up on a shelf in our garage for many years. Finally, some of our adult children asked me to get the train down and set it up for their children to see.

I was reluctant to do it. I didn’t know if the train even worked anymore. But, children and grandchildren can be pretty persuasive.  I finally got the box down and set up the train around the Christmas tree. To my surprise it worked! However, the wires that powered the transformer were brittle and the train engine was sluggish. I took the engine and transformer to a model train store in Costa Mesa. The owner was able to clean it up and lubricate the engine and put a new cord in the transformer. My childhood train was running again.

Every Christmas season we set up the train Lionel Train again.  When the grandchildren come to our house, I let them help me set up the train around the Christmas tree. I let them help me operate it too. They enjoy it and I do too. Even the youngest ones have become confident in driving the train. It is fun watching them start and stop the train. They like to load things on the different train cars and deliver their freight to different destinations. There are some train wrecks from time to time but they make the necessary repairs and get the train running again.  My wife took a video a few years ago to capture the memory of another generation playing with the train.

I hope that my children and grandchildren will continue the tradition of playing with the Lionel Train with their own families for many years to come. It is one of my most memorable Christmas gifts.

You can find more stories and articles by Mark Hopper at his web site – letmarkencourageyou.com. His book with 365 stories and articles (one for each day of the year) is available for $25 which includes postage – contact him at markh@efreedb.org.

Pastor’s Corner: Joe & Charlotte

Joe and Charlotte began to attend our church when I was the new pastor at Chapel in the Hills in Tucson many years ago. Although I had served on the staff of larger churches, this was the first time I was on my own after graduating from seminary.

I was pretty young to be leading a church. The church was small. A secretary came in one morning a week to print the Sunday bulletin. The church treasurer was a volunteer. Our attendance was small and our resources were limited.

Joe and Charlotte lived in the neighborhood and they actually attended a larger church across town. But they started coming to our Sunday evening services and to our mid-week Bible study. They were school teachers and loved kids. They had served with a ministry providing children’s Bible programs in rural areas of Arizona. And they rode a tandem-bike along the Mississippi River from Minnesota to New Orleans during two summers.

They offered to lead our first summer Vacation Bible School to reach children in the community. I was so thankful to have the help of this remarkable couple. They came with ideas and experience that were invaluable. VBS was a success and we met a number of new families in our area.

There is a similar couple in the Bible. Their names were Priscilla and Aquila and they worked with the Apostle Paul on a number of occasions. Paul said that they had actually risked their lives to help him. Later they started a church in their own home (Romans 16:3-5) and they provided solid Bible teaching to a budding evangelist named Apollos (Acts 18:26).

I believe God loves to bring older, seasoned people into our lives to help us in our career or ministry. Let me encourage you to watch for an Aquila or Priscilla who is willing to help you grow and learn. And be willing to use your knowledge and experience to be an Aquila or Pricilla to help others. You will be glad you did and they will too. 

You can find more stories and articles by Mark Hopper at his web site – letmarkencourageyou.com. His book with 365 stories and articles (one for each day of the year) is available for $25 which includes postage – contact him at markh@efreedb.org.

Pastor’s Corner: To Tell or Not To Tell

Mark Hopper

Many years ago we took our children on a trip to California. We spent two days at Disneyland and then drove north to visit my brother and his family in Grass Valley. Our kids enjoyed time with their cousins and we enjoyed catching up with my brother and his wife.


One day we went to a pumpkin patch and each of our kids and the cousins selected their own pumpkin. They looked forward to carving and decorating their own pumpkins for Halloween when we got home. On our way back to Arizona we realized we would need to stop at the border for an agricultural inspection. We knew we would be asked by the border agent if we had any agricultural products that we were bringing into Arizona from California.

My wife and I had a lively discussion about what we should say to the agriculture inspector. If we said that we did not have any agricultural items – our children would get to keep their precious pumpkins. But, our children would also know we did not tell the truth. On the other hand, if we did tell the border agent that we did have some agricultural items – their personal pumpkins might be confiscated at the border and they would have nothing to carve for Halloween.


What would you say if you were faced with a similar situation? Do you tell or not tell? Do you disclose or conceal. Do you tell the truth and risk the loss of the precious pumpkins? Or to you tell a lie and hope you don’t get caught?


A man named Abraham faced a similar test. His wife was beautiful. He told her to lie and tell people she was his sister. He told the same lie when he was asked about her. Abraham was afraid someone might kill him and take his wife (Genesis 20). Years later his own son Isaac did the same thing following of his father’s example (Genesis 26)!


I know people are more important than pumpkins. I believe it is better to tell the truth and face the consequences than to tell a lie. There is a verse in the Bible that says, “Put aside falsehood and speak truthfully” (Ephesians 4:25). Your reputation is on the line and your children may follow your example. When we got to the border we decided to tell the inspector about our precious pumpkins. We held our breath – then he said no problem. Pumpkins are permitted! Let me encourage you to tell the truth. We were glad we did and you will be too.

You can find more stories and articles by Mark Hopper at his web site – letmarkencourageyou.com. His book with 365 stories and articles (one for each day of the year) is available for $25 which includes postage – contact him at markh@efreedb.org.

Pastor’s Corner: Strong

Pastor Dennis Morales

“In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.” Psalm 138:3

Daniel faced a powerful king and he faced Lions with great strength. When we read of Daniel facing Lions in the Lion’s den, you have to wonder how Daniel was able to do it. Yes, he trusted God, but something brought him to the place of trust. We are told in Daniel 6 that a law had been passed prohibiting prayer to any god or any human other than the king. In fact, the punishment for breaking this law was being thrown to the Lions. It appears that what Daniel does next is what gives him strength. “When Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God” (Daniel 6:10 NLT).


Scripture tells us that Daniel had always done this. Daniel was wired to pray when things got difficult. If obeying God meant certain death, he trusted God. It causes me to think about the things I do when things get difficult. I believe Daniel knew one of the keys to standing was actually kneeling. We are encouraged to resist worrying about anything; instead, pray about everything (Philippians 4:6 NLT). Daniel did just that. Daniel prayed and God gave him the strength to stand in the Lions Den.


As we read, Daniel trusted God, and God shut the mouths of the Lions. What are you facing today? Does it feel like a mountain? Do what Jesus did and go to the mountain and pray. God is able to shut the mouth of the enemy. God is also able to move mountains (Matthew 17:20). God is able to make you strong (Philippians 4:13). Pray and walk in His strength today.


Due to school closures, Calvary Chapel Eastvale is temporarily meeting in a “Drive In format” at American Heroes Park at 8:30am and 10:30am. All midweek services can be viewed on Facebook Live at 7pm. Download our online bulletin to stay current at calvaryeastvale.org.


Join Calvary Chapel Eastvale for Bright Night. Bright Night is a fun and safe alternative to Harvest festivities for families on October 31st at 5PM through 8PM at the American Heroes Park, 6608 Hellman Ave. This is a free drive-thru event for all ages to enjoy the free candy, treats, and music. You can even join in the festivities by decorating your vehicle! For more information, visit www.

Wrestling?

Pastor Dennis Morales

“O Lord, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear?” Habakkuk 1:1

Pandemic, panic, division, and the question, “How much longer, Lord?”    At some point, some of us have wondered, “Where is God?” We may even have thought that it seems like evil is winning and God is silent. Habakkuk shows us that we have a choice as to how we respond to the difficulties in our life.  It’s obvious by the language of Habakkuk at the onset, that he begins to wrestle with God in prayer (Habakkuk’s name actually means wrestle).  Have you ever felt like your prayers are like wrestling prayers?  Habakkuk was troubled by the moral and spiritual decline of the world around him and he wanted answers.  God answers Habakkuk, but it’s probably not the answer he is looking for.   God says, “I’m working, but if I told you how, you wouldn’t believe it” (Hab1:5).  God said He would use the wicked Chaldeans to judge Judah. God’s response troubled him even more because it meant things would get worse. Habakkuk didn’t understand God’s response, but he says later “the just shall live by faith” (Hab 2:4).  Habakkuk would learn that understanding how God works is not his job, trusting Him is.  If God told you everything He is doing and how He would do it, would you be able to understand it?  Would you accept it?  Scripture says God doesn’t think like us (Isaiah 55:8).  It’s easy to get anxious, but God says, “He is working.”  Habakkuk brought his prayer to God and allow His peace to flood his heart (read Philippians 4:7).  Habakkuk’s worship and prayer of encouragement is a beautiful demonstration of his faith in God .  He trusted the steadfast love and faithfulness of his Savior even when he didn’t understand God’s plan.  The prophet Habakkuk lived in a day of uncertainty, much like we do. In light of all his questions about the future, his response remained simple, “yet I will rejoice in the Lord” (Habakkuk 3:18). We too can rejoice, no matter the circumstances.  Will you trust Him today? We are complete in Jesus alone and in His steadfast love and faithfulness (read John 16:33).  Habakkuk’s wrestling became worship. 

Due to school closures, Calvary Chapel Eastvale is temporarily meeting in a “Drive In format” at American Heroes Park at 8:30am and 10:30am.  All midweek services can be viewed on Facebook Live at 7pm.  Download our online bulletin to stay current at calvaryeastvale.org.  

Pastor’s Corner: The Man In The Mirror (Part Two)

Mark Hopper

In my previous article I shared about how we need to take a look in the mirror and see what changes we need to make in our own life. The words of the song Man in the Mirror and the story of the pastor with the rebellious daughter really drive home the principle that change needs to begin with you.

Many years ago I attended a helpful seminar on leadership. I picked up some useful ideas on how to be a more effective leader of our staff and our church. One of the speakers was Ken Blanchard, he was well known for his best-selling book – The One Minute Manager.  He shared an illustration that he often used with business leaders that has been very helpful to me as a husband, pastor and leader.

He said that when things are not going well, a foolish manager will look out his office window and place the blame on his workers. Why are sales and production declining? The employees must not be doing their jobs. On the other hand, when things are going well, a foolish manager will look in a mirror and congratulate himself for the great job he is doing.

Blanchard went on to say that when things are going well and sales are up and production is growing, a wise manager will look out the window and recognize the success is due to the hard work of his employees. And, when sales are down and production is declining, a wise manager will look in the mirror and ask himself – What am I doing wrong? What steps do I need to take to help our business improve?

There is a passage in the Bible where King David ignored the warning of his own advisors and demanded that his staff count the number of troops under his command. This action resulted in the death of a number of innocent people. David realized his mistake and asked God to forgive him and stop the devastation and destruction. He accepted responsibility for his arrogant behavior (Second Samuel chapter 24). If things aren’t going well in your life or business, let me encourage you to take a good look in the mirror. Ask yourself – what changes do you need to make in your life? Accept responsibility and change what you are doing. And if things are going well in your life or business, I hope you will give the credit to God and to the people who have made it possible. They will be glad you did and you will too.

Pastor Hopper has published a book with 365 of his articles and stories. The title is “Let Me Encourage You”. The cost is $25 which includes shipping. Order your copy at markh@efreedb.org.

Pastor’s Corner: The Man In The Mirror

Mark Hopper

Many years ago, I heard a pastor share his story about his relationship with his teenage daughter. He was discouraged and concerned that his daughter was angry and frustrated with him. One day he took his whole family to a local park. As they sat on some tree stumps, he asked his wife and each of their children this question – “What changes do I need to make in my life that can help heal our family”? He said it hurt deeply as each of them shared some of their frustrations with him. His teenage daughter was the most vocal. She told her father that he was too busy and he never listened to her.

After each of them shared, he told them he needed some time to be alone and think about what they had said. As he got up to leave, his daughter stopped him and said she needed to ask him the same question. “What changes did she need to make in her life?” This was a turning point in their strained relationship. His heart was softened and he began to make some changes in his schedule and he spent more time with his daughter. The daughter’s heart was softened and she began to make changes in her life too.

There is a passage in the Bible where Jesus said, “Before you try to remove the speck from your brother’s eye, you need to remove the log from your own eye” (Matthew 7:1-5). If there is a problem in your family, marriage or other relationship – the place to begin is in your own life. Look in a mirror and ask yourself this question – what am I doing that is causing problems in our relationship? What changes do I need to make in my life that will help heal the wounds and restore my relationship with others?

There is a song from the 1980’s written by a famous singer with the title – Man in the Mirror. Some of the words are, “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change. I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways”.

I love the phrase – Changed people change people. I believe that when you make positive changes in your life it will produce positive changes in others too.  Your words, attitudes and actions can have a positive or negative impact on others. Let me encourage you to look in the mirror and ask yourself – what changes do I need to make in my life. You can ask your spouse, children or a trusted friend too. Pray and ask God to reveal some things to you that you need to change in your life with His help. You will be glad you did and those around you will too.

Pastor Hopper has published a book with 365 of his articles and stories. The title is “Let Me Encourage You”. The cost is $25 which includes shipping. Order your copy at markh@efreedb.org.

Pastor’s Corner: Water Pressure

Mark Hopper

When was the last time you checked the water pressure in your house? Most people have never checked it. We just turn on the faucet and we are thankful to have running water in our homes. We assume the water pressure is fine until we have a problem. Recently a hose burst in our bathroom in the middle of the night. My wife heard a noise and woke me up at 3:00 AM.  The noise came from the bathroom at the other end of the house. The hose that supplied water to the toilet had burst and it looked like a fire hose was flooding the bathroom, bedroom and hallway. I quickly turned off the valve but the water damage was extensive. I wondered why the small hose had burst and flooded the rooms. The next day I checked the water pressure in our house and discovered it was 120 PSI – twice what it should be. A few weeks later I was able to replace the water pressure regulator which reduced the pressure down to a normal 60 PSI.

Just as high water pressure can damage your home and high blood pressure can damage your heart, outbursts of anger can cause serious physical and emotional damage to yourself and to others. Two different words are used to describe anger in Ephesians 4:31-32. One word is thumos which describes outbursts of anger when people lose their temper and vent their anger with words and deeds. The other word for anger is orge which is a slow, simmering temper that gradually builds up like a volcano until it finally bursts or explodes.  Both of these types of anger can be harmful and destructive just like high water pressure and high blood pressure.

In the same passage there are two different words – kindness and compassion. These are helpful and constructive. They are the antidote of anger.  Kindness and compassion seek to resolve problems and restore relationships. Words and acts of anger damage and destroy relationships. If anger is simmering beneath the surface in your heart or revealing itself in harmful words and deeds, let me encourage you to get help.  A new ministry called Domestic Kindness is equipping churches to be part of the solution to domestic abuse. Find them at domestickindness.org. Let me encourage you to ask God and ask those you have hurt to forgive you. Ask God to give you a heart of kindness and compassion that comes through faith in Christ. You will be glad you did and your family and friends will too!

Pastor Hopper has published a book with 365 of his articles and stories. The title is “Let Me Encourage You“. The cost is $25 which includes shipping. Order your copy at markh@efreedb.org.

Pastor’s Corner: A New Four Letter Word

Mark Hopper

There is a new four-letter word in our vocabulary. I know there are many appropriate four-letter words that people say like – love, hope, help, kind, sure and more. There are also some four-letter words that people use that I don’t think are necessary nor appropriate to mention.

But there is a new word that has become part of our vocabulary during the Corona Virus outbreak.  The word is Zoom.  I’m not sure if it is a noun or a verb. Maybe it can be used both ways. But I hear the word in many conversations by both older and younger people. Even our grandchildren are including Zoom in their vocabulary as they describe going to school and connecting with their teachers and classmates.  

Previously we used tools like Skype and Facetime to talk with people on the internet. But Zoom seems to have surpassed them in popularity. I teach an adult Bible class on Sunday mornings using Zoom. Many churches are using Zoom to broadcast their church services to people at home. Schools are using Zoom to teach their students. Doctors are meeting with their patients on Zoom instead of in their office.

In many ways. Zoom and similar tools are changing the way we do business, education and the way we connect with family and friends. This has been a very useful and helpful tool during the Corona crisis. We have a Zoom call with all of our children and grandchildren once-a-week. But I sense most people feel it is not the same as meeting with people face-to-face. Many teachers feel that online instruction is not the same as classroom instruction. Many students miss the benefit of connecting with their classmates in the classroom and on their school campus.

The Apostle Paul wrote to some church leaders in Corinth expressing how his written letters may give a different impression than when he met with them face to face (Second Corinthians 10:1). Phone calls, email and text messages can be useful. Cards and letters are too. But I believe that Zoom will never replace meeting face-to-face with grandkids, clients, customers and classmates. When this pandemic is over and restrictions are lifted, let me encourage you to spend more time with other people face-to-face. Theywill be glad you did and you will too!

Pastor Hopper has published a book with 365 of his articles and stories. The title is “Let Me Encourage You”. The cost is $25 which includes shipping. Order your copy at markh@efreedb.org.

Pastor’s Corner: Snow Days

Mark Hopper

It only snowed 2-3 times a year in Dallas. It was a nightmare to drive in the traffic. Most residents had little experience driving in snow and on ice covered roads. One time in early January, the Superintendent of the public schools canceled classes because of the weather. It seemed like a wise decision but the sun came out by noon, the snow melted and the Superintendent looked foolish.

A few weeks later, when snow was again forecast for the Dallas area the Superintendent did not cancel classes. Students and teachers were expected to report to school. Unfortunately this was a serious snow storm and there were many accidents on the roads. In fact, my wife and I were in an accident as a car slowly slid down a hill into the side of our car. A mother who was trying to get her children to school hit our car while I was trying to get their teacher to school!

Many people were critical of the Superintendent when he canceled classes on a snow day in January and many people criticized him when he did not cancel classes on a snow day in March.

This sounds strangely familiar as we face the current Corona Virus situation. It is easy for people to be critical of government officials for decisions and actions they have and have not taken. Some feel leaders did not act early enough. Others feel that many of the actions and restrictions are an overreaction. State and local officials are making decisions regarding school closures, canceling public events and restricting travel. It is easy to criticize them.

We are living in an uncertain time. It is easy to focus our frustrations on our government and business leaders. Many people are fearful and concerned about how long this will last and how bad it will get. I think our parents and grandparents felt the same way when our nation was attacked by the Japanese in 1941. I’m sure there was fear and concern about how long the war would last and how bad it would get.

There is a wonderful promise found many places in the Bible that says, “Fear not for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10 / Acts 18:9-10). Let me encourage you to open your Bible and read these verses for yourself. Pray for our country and our leaders. Help a neighbor or a classmate.


With God’s help and by helping one another we will get through this together.

Presence of Peace

Pastor Dennis Morales

“The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace” Psalm 29:11

To have peace, is the quest of most of society. “If I could only have this or that… then I will be at peace.” We have a tendency to place earthly demands on peace. Meaning, many think peace is only attained by things we can see, handle, or control. I am reminded when the disciples had followed Jesus into a boat, He had gone right to sleep after a long day of teaching. A violent storm had erupted, and the disciples were soon being tossed around the boat struggling to fight against the waves and wind (Mark 4:35-41). Mind you, some of the disciples were also toughened fishermen. Goes to show that no matter what our experience, we can feel helpless at times. Scripture says that the waves “covered” the boat (Matt 8:24), so the disciples were desperate. Marks Gospel details that other little boats had followed, so they weren’t alone in what they feared. The disciples, gripped by fear, searched and found Jesus in the stern asleep (literally “numb” in the original language). They respond, “don’t you care that we are perishing!” Jesus simply gets up, goes over, and rebukes the wind by simply saying “peace, be still!” Choice words that resonate today. Jesus then responds by saying to the disciples, “where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25). That was the problem. The disciples still lacked faith in Jesus, who had power over the very elements striking fear in their hearts. I think we have a tendency to turn to outlets for information and remain focused on the information, rather than on God’s presence. We have confirmation in God’s word that God gives strength to his people as they trust in Him. Another caveat of His presence is peace (Psalm 29:11). You will have true peace today if you trust He’s in the boat with you (Psalm 46:10). He is near to all who call upon Him(psalm145:18).

Calvary Chapel Eastvale meets at Clara Barton Elementary School 7437 Corona Valley Ave, Eastvale. Services times are 8:30 & 10:30 on Sundays. 7pm on Wednesdays. Currently ALL SERVICES online: “Calvary Eastvale” YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram.

“Faith is Stronger”

Pastor Dennis Morales

“…Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

As Joshua took the baton from Moses, his first task as new leader was to take the million plus people across the Jordan and into the Promised Land. It appeared to be a daunting task, because it was harvest time and the Jordan was swollen beyond its banks. Nevertheless, God gave the instructions to cross. The priests would go first. God said the moment they touch the Jordan river water with their feet, the flowing water would part, and all the people could cross. Three days the people waited as they watched the torrent of water. Three days for the enemy to try to plant seeds of doubt and fear in everyone’s hearts. It would take great faith to cross the Jordan. Joshua encouraged the people as he was encouraged by God to have faith. The day came for the people to cross, and they did as God had commanded them. We know from the story why God wanted the priests to go first. It’s because they carried the Ark of the covenant. The Ark represented God’s presence to His people. It was always at the center of the camp and was to be at the center of God’s people. When the priests went into the Jordan, they were told to stand in the center of the riverbed until everyone crossed. The Ark stood with them in the middle of the riverbed until all the people crossed. They experienced God presence with them as they crossed to dispel any doubt or fear. It took faith as they waited and as they crossed, but God brought them through. The same is true today. God standing with you. Faith is the opposite of fear. Trust the Lord to bring you through this difficult time. Trust what God sees. You may not see Him, but He sees your situation. Faith is stronger than Fear. Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 26:3 and Philippians chapter 4. I encourage you to commit your faith in the Lord and experience His peace today. He will bring us through.

Calvary Chapel Eastvale meets Sundays 8:30 and 10:30am/Wednesdays 7pm @ Clara Barton Elementary (currently suspended due to the COVID19). ALL SERVICES ARE CURRENTLY ONLINE: calvaryeastvale.org, YouTube, Vimeo, , church bulletin app, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.