Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Lesson Taught, a Lesson Learned


I was in training last week @ Advanced Instructor Conference with over 300 construction instructors.  One day the topic of our class was “How to Give Constructive Feedback to a Student”.  Our facilitator asked our class of twelve students if we had a memory of someone teaching us something and correcting us when we did it wrong.  I shared the following story:

It was back in 1967- 68 when we lived in Fresno Ca on E. Swift Street, that my Dad (Dale Hopper) taught me a lesson.  We were laying brick and building patio tables, benches and a Bar-B-Q pit with a sink and cabinets underneath. 

He asked me to bring him some bricks in a wheel barrow and he showed me how to load them so it would not be too heavy.  I remember that I got just a few feet when the wheel barrow turned over.  My Dad came again and showed me how to load the wheel barrow and then he showed me how to control the wheel barrow.  If it starts to turn over you simply set the wheel barrow down and hold the handle bars down. 

At that time I was a little fellow and the handle bars were wide and higher than my waist.  But I succeeded in getting him the bricks he needed.

The facilitator asked me what my Dad had shown when he was teaching me to load the brick and use the wheel barrow.  I told her patience and she agreed with me.  Then the other 11 students from around the United States and Canada made the following observations from their thoughts about the lesson:

He modeled- He showed me how to load the brick & control the wheel barrow.

He was very supportive of me- by believing in me and giving me another chance.

He used reinforcement- by showing me again this is how you do it.

He used praise when I succeeded and finally got the brick to him.  Then I was trying to load more brick and with stacking them right I was able to move bigger loads without too much trouble.  

As I looked back 46 years ago to the lesson my Dad taught me and I realize that later I would become involved with building churches, houses then follow my Granddad and Dad into the Laborers Union to build bridges, roadways and refineries among other things.

But it took a trip to Chicago to an Advanced Instructor Conference to really teach me what I learned from the lesson taught to me so long ago.

Then I thought of the many churches that my folks have been privileged to be a part of from Fresno CA to Jacksonville FL, Houston TX, to San Jose CA, to Lexington NC and finally retiring in Apopka FL.

How many others did my Dad teach lessons to and how many others did he exhibit the same traits of patience, modeling, support, reinforcement and praise?  Only eternity will tell but I am sure that it has been many for which we are grateful for all you have done and continue to do Happy Father’s Day to the best Dad!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

You Could Have Heard a Pin Drop!

Here is a sobering thought for today.

JFK'S Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60's when De Gaulle decided to pull out of NATO. De Gaulle said he wanted all US military out of France as soon as possible.
Rusk responded "Does that include those who are buried here?"
De Gaulle did not respond.

You could have heard a pin drop

When in England, at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush.
He answered by saying, 'Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.'

You could have heard a pin drop.

There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying 'Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intended to do, bomb them?'
A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: 'Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?'

You could have heard a pin drop.

Romans 14:12
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

Matthew 12:36
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Hebrews 13:17Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Jesus can ask these questions at the judgement!

 How many did you pray through last week? Or teach a Bible Study to?
 How many new converts have you spent time with this week for me to encourage and lift them up?
 What have you done for me this week?

I ask these questions because of :

Romans 14:12
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

Pastors ask us many times to get involved at the altar, to visit, call or follow up on those new people or visitors.

Hebrews 13:17
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Matthew 7:22-24 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
28And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine.

In other words - You Could Have Heard a Pin Drop

29For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Hebrews 12 1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
5And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, my son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

What are you doing for Christs sake? Sometimes we need to step back and take a hard look at our lives. It is better to do it now and ask ourselves these questions then to have Jesus ask these questions later!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mean Moms

Someday when my children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates a parent, I will tell them, as my Mean Mom told me: I loved you enough . . . to ask where you were going, with whom, and what time you would be home.

I loved you enough to be silent and let you discover that your new best friend was a creep.

I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours while you cleaned your room, a job that should have taken 15 minutes.

I loved you enough to let you see anger, disappointment, and tears in my eyes. Children must learn that their parents aren't perfect.

I loved you enough to let you assume the responsibility for your actions even when the penalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart.

But most of all, I loved you enough . . . to say NO when I knew you would hate me for it. Those were the most difficult battles of all. I'm glad I won them, because in the end you won, too.

And someday when your children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates parents, you will tell them.

Was your Mom mean? I know mine was. We had the meanest mother in the whole world! While other kids ate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal, eggs, and toast. When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches. And you can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that was different from what other kids had, too.

Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times. You'd think we were convicts in a prison. She had to know who our friends were, and what we were doing with them. She insisted that if we said we would be gone for an hour, we would be gone for an hour or less.

We were ashamed to admit it, but she had the nerve to break the Child Labor Laws by making us work We had to wash the dishes, make the beds, learn to cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry, empty the trash and all sorts of cruel jobs. I think she would lie awake at night thinking of more things for us to do.

She always insisted on us telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. By the time we were teenagers; she could read our minds and had eyes in the back of her head. Then, life was really tough!

Mother wouldn't let our friends just honk the horn when they drove up. They had to come up to the door so she could meet them. While everyone else could date when they were 12 or 13, we had to wait until we were 16.

Now that we have left home, we are all educated, honest adults. We are doing our best to be mean parents just like mom was.

I think that is what's wrong with the world today. It just doesn't have enough mean moms!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I Was There 2!

I remember back in '67 I think . We were at Beulah Park Camp Ground out of Santa Cruz CA.

Bro T. W. Barnes was preaching and people were getting healed. God was doing a great work, blind eyes were opened , deaf ears opened, people were getting out of wheel chairs. It was an awesome service.

While all this was happening the owner of the camp ground came down from where he lived on the hill and he was alarmed. He told the ushers that we needed to get out of the building because there was fire all over the roof. He said that he could see it from his front porch!

It was the book of Acts all over again! Acts 2:2-4 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as a rushing mighty wind and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as a fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and spake in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

I want to see it happen again today!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Was There 1 !!

Have you ever heard some one talk about an event they were at and maybe how something different or awesome happened while they were there at the event? Then you have an AHA moment and you say" I was there!"

On the way home from work today ( it is a beautiful drive, on two lanes roads with trees completely overhanging in many places) I began to think about some awesome experiences that I have had over the years.

The more I thought about it the more thought that I would write a series here and if you were there and you have an AHA moment that is great! Just leave a comment or share your story as to how you felt.

I remember a service at 433 Druid & Edison Street in Jacksonville Fl. Jim Price was the choir director, Shirley Cohron was on the organ, Faye Burton was on the piano, Ted Carter was on the drums I was playing the congas when all of a sudden I looked up and Jim Price who had been playing a solo part on his Saxophone was gone. I looked trying to find our choir director and he was walking around the church and still playing his saxophone with the choir still singing!

Needless to say we had an awesome move of God that night!