30 Years (Part One)

By Mark Hopper Thirty years is a long time. It is almost a third of a century. But, that is how long we have lived in Diamond Bar, California. I began my new job as the pastor of our church on June 1, 1988 – 30 years ago. My wife and kids stayed in Arizona waiting for our […]

Stuck on the 405

By Mark Hopper Recently, my sister in law’s car broke down while she was driving on the 405 Freeway.  Bummer! She had spent a few days with her grandchildren in San Diego and was driving home to in Bakersfield when her Nissan began to sputter and finally died in the middle of the north bound 405 […]

The Final Four

By Mark Hopper The Final Four championship of the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament was held in San Antonio, Texas a few weeks ago in the huge Alamo Dome. I actually attended the Final Four At that same location about 20 years ago.  It was a great experience that I still remember. Unfortunately, my favorite college teams were […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

I Can Fix That

By Mark Hopper For many years, we had a gardener who mowed our grass each week.  He was faithful and conscientious and did a good job. However, one day I got the idea that maybe I should be mowing the lawn.  I could save money and get some valuable exercise too! I have hybrid-Bermuda grass […]

Happy Thanksgiving

By Mark Hopper One of the ways that I know that Thanksgiving is coming is when I see Pumpkin pies at Costco.  I love Pumpkin pie and I get excited to see them in season at Costco. Their pies are big and they taste good! My wife loves to decorate our house in different ways for the changing seasons.  She has special […]