Wedding Season

By Mark Hopper Spring has traditionally been the season for weddings. I often tell people that some of the happy parts about being a pastor are weddings and babies.  And, some of the sad parts about being a pastor are deaths and divorce. I have two requirements for doing a wedding – come to church […]

Leftover Easter Eggs

By Mark Hopper I have shared in previous articles how much my wife loves decorating our home during the various seasons of the year.  We have boxes and plastic storage tubs full of decorations for spring and fall, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I think we also have some patriotic decorations for the 4th of July. […]

Planting Seeds

By Mark Hopper I have an Aunt who lives in Des Moines Iowa. She was an elementary school teacher and principal for many years. Now she is retired and in her 90’s. We were able to visit her when my wife and I went to see the Solar Eclipse in the mid-west last summer. We enjoyed our […]

Bumper Crop

By Mark Hopper I always say that the nicest days in California are the days after it has rained. We have enjoyed some beautiful weather the past few weeks thanks to string of winter storms that brought blue skies, white puffy clouds and crystal clean air. It reminds you why Southern California is such a nice place […]

Decorating For Easter

By Mark Hopper One of my least favorite assignments is to “get the boxes down from the attic.”  I hear these words several times a year, when my wife wants to decorate our house for a new season.   The largest number of storage boxes contain Christmas decorations.  Most of these are stored on shelves in the garage.  […]

Impossible (Part 2)

By Mark Hopper A few weeks ago, I shared that the foundation of the Christian faith is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.  Easter Sunday is the day that Christians around the world celebrate this important and remarkable event. For many people it just seems impossible. Why would anyone believe that a dead person […]

How Did I Get Here?

By Mark Hopper I was sad when I heard the news that Billy Graham died.  He was 99 years old.  I never met the man, but he had a profound influence in my life and my family. According to the news reports, Billy Graham spoke to over 200 million people who attended his crusades during […]

Lost And Found

By Mark Hopper You have read in my previous articles how much we enjoy getting to spend time with our grandchildren.  We usually babysit one day a week. They love to come to Grammy’s house and we love to have these special visitors. In addition to playing with toys and baking muffins at our house, we […]

Planning Ahead

By Mark Hopper My wife and I will be celebrating our 47th anniversary soon.  That is a lot of anniversaries to celebrate and it is a lot of Valentine’s Days to remember, too. You would think that we would have learned to plan ahead by now.  But that is not the case.  Sometimes things just […]

Impossible

By Mark Hopper In C.S. Lewis’s famous book, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, there is a remarkable scene where the evil White Witch killed the powerful Lion named Aslan.  Aslan had willingly surrendered himself to the Witch.  She and her minions had bound, ridiculed and humiliated the Lion and she had personally killed […]

Fun With Grandkids

16By Mark Hopper We enjoy taking care of two of our grandchildren one day a week.  They like coming to “Grammy’s” house.  I don’t know why it is not my house too, but to them it is known as “Grammy’s” house. One of the reasons they like to come to our house is that we have […]

More Family Connections

By Mark Hopper Two months ago, my wife and I traveled to New York to see Niagra Falls in western New York and visit some of her cousins near Albany on the eastern side of the state.  My wife really enjoyed reconnecting with her cousins. She had not seen some of them in over 40 years. Over the past few years, we […]

A Famous Photo

By Mark Hopper Three years ago, my wife and I celebrated Christmas with our whole family in Lisbon, Portugal.  Our four adult children, three son-in-laws and seven grandchildren were all together for five memorable days. My wife’s mother was unable to travel with us to Portugal, but she sent some money to purchase gifts for […]

Wash Your Car

By Mark Hopper People seem to be on edge since we have not had any rain since last March or April.  Normally, we start getting rain in Southern California in November or December. The typical rainy season extends from November to March. Now we are entering a new year with no rain in sight. I have noticed […]

If I Had A Hammer

By Mark Hopper It is a privilege and an honor to be a grandfather to eight precious grandchildren. They bring delight and joy into our lives. One of the special benefits of being a grandparent is the variety of gifts that we receive from our grandchildren.  I’m sure that their parents provide guidance and assistance as our […]

The Christmas Train

By Mark Hopper I have shared in the past that 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 1950’s. The train set was lost for many years in a closet in […]

First On The Block Again

By Mark Hopper I have shared in the past that my wife likes to put up our Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving. We have boxes and boxes of decorations that take hours and hours to put up and display. It is a lot of work, but she really enjoys decorating for the Christmas season.   Part of decorating for […]

Dress For Success

By Mark Hopper In a recent article, I shared about some of my experiences as a pastor when I visit people in hospitals. Thousands of people work in hospitals, Technicians, clerks, nurses, surgeons, security officers and janitors all work in hospitals.       Different employees wear different clothes and uniforms. The security people wear warm jackets. The doctor’s will usually wear lab […]

I Can Fix It (Part II)

By Mark Hopper A few weeks ago I shared that my lawn mower was broken.  I tried to fix it myself, but was unsuccessful.  Then I called my faithful lawn mower repairman but his phone was no longer in service. What a Bummer. In desperation, I looked on the internet to try and find another […]

College Football

By Mark Hopper One of the fun things that happens at this time of year is college football. The season has gone by so quickly and there is already a lot of talk about which teams will qualify to play in the post-season bowl games. There is something about college football that appeals to me. College football is full of […]