[Photo by Jennifer Hopper]

I love serving my wife.

She works tirelessly for our family, puts in more hours than I do, and doesn’t get nearly as many accolades as she deserves.

She also loves real espresso.

As a result I love serving my wife espresso, knowing it’s a small gesture, surprising her each morning with a little cup and saucer of yummy rocket fuel.

Sure, we could’ve gotten an insert-packet-push-button-machine, but something about seeing her face light up makes the added work all worth it. Plus, I very much like the process myself.

But what if her face didn’t light up?

What if she didn’t do anything for our family?

What if she wasn’t beautiful, didn’t love me back, and had no interest in ever getting to know me? Would I still be as dedicated and excited to serve her espresso just knowing she had value as a human being at large? Would I still be as faithful?

Would you?

It’s easy to serve my wife. She’s remarkably fantastic. I benefit simply by thinking about her.

The real test comes when I ask myself how willing I’d be to serve espresso to strangers.

Non-paying ones.

That want to get me fired.

And then find out where I live.

And crucify me.

It’s our behavior toward people whom we get nothing from that reveals what kind of leader we truly are.

It’s amazing to think that Jesus forfeit his life to serve a Bride that he knew may never recognize his efforts. And he felt just as strongly about serving the soldiers that executed him.

My espresso may be good, but my motives have a long way to go. ch:


Billy Jepma · 12 Mar ’12 at 9:22 am

Wow, I have never thought about it that way. Jesus treated people how wanted to crucify him, people who didn’t know him, with forgiveness and love. I cannot imagine that. Thanks for sharing CH. I love waking up with things to dwell on. 🙂

    Christopher Hopper · 12 Mar ’12 at 10:01 am

    Thanks Billy.

    This is the message of the Cross in its simplest form.

    If Jesus was crucified and could forgive them, how are we able to hold a grudge for a far less offense?

    It’s his greatest challenge to humanity.

Costa · 12 Mar ’12 at 9:40 am

Wow bro, that’s challenging huh? We all have a long way to go; He is too good to us

    Christopher Hopper · 12 Mar ’12 at 10:02 am

    “He is too good to us.”

    YES! What a marvelous, simple truth.

Nathan R. · 12 Mar ’12 at 10:16 am

= Grace

Gabe · 12 Mar ’12 at 10:56 am

Wow, you’re right, that’s absolutely INCREDIBLE.
“He is too good to us” 🙂

    Gabe · 12 Mar ’12 at 11:18 am

    Oh wait, I just came up with an even better descriptive word: “Mind-blowing” 😀

Susie Cook · 12 Mar ’12 at 12:13 pm

Great post Hopper! It’s funny because I was just telling my mom the other that I judge someone’s character by how they treat people that can’t do anything for them. I watch people on how they act when someone who isn’t dressed the best walks in or if they hold a door for a random stranger. I believe God cares about the little things we do for people…who knows…that smile (or espresso) you give to someone could be the only positive influence they have that day…by the way in case you’re wondering you’ve passed the test many times. hahaha Jesus just oozes out of you! 🙂

    Christopher Hopper · 12 Mar ’12 at 4:13 pm

    You’re always so kind Susie. Thank you.

    All thoughts agreed. Good stuff.

David Seaman · 12 Mar ’12 at 2:29 pm

Oh, can I have some of your espresso then?

    Christopher Hopper · 12 Mar ’12 at 4:12 pm

    Would be my pleasure good sir.

    Sarah · 12 Mar ’12 at 4:25 pm

    I’ll second that! I’d take your instructions on how to make it too 😉

Beth · 12 Mar ’12 at 4:51 pm

I love when you write about how much you love Jenny. Your marriage is such an inspiration.

You know what is more amazing than Jesus forgiving those at the Cross, is God (His FATHER) forgiving them. If someone hurt one of your kids like that how hard would it be to forgive them? That is one of the hardest things I deal with; forgiving those who hurt friends and family close to me. Anyone can hurt me and in time (sometimes right away) I forgive them. But to take on the Heart of the Father and watch people I love get hurt and forgive those who hurt them, is not easy. God is awesome like that and we can only strive to be like Him.

    Christopher Hopper · 12 Mar ’12 at 5:34 pm

    Thanks for your encouragement.

    Very astute point on the later. I feel like accepting God’s perspective is more like being clothed in it than striving for it (though I well admit to striving for it at times). Accepting the gift of choice and not the emotion of release is the task before us when confronting peoples’ mistreatment of our loved ones; a root of bitterness is the reward if we fail, freedom is the reward if we win.

    Beth · 12 Mar ’12 at 6:46 pm

    I feel like accepting God’s perspective is more like “being clothed in it than striving for it”.

    I like the sound of that; it’s a great way of putting it. The closer we get to God the more we become like Him and being clothed in His perspective is what we all long for. Not letting our emotions and feelings get in the way of God is the key to freedom. We must also remember that people aren’t our enemy (as Mike Kim shared with us yesterday) the Enemy is. If we remember that than it will be easier to make the right choice.

Brian Gilbert · 12 Mar ’12 at 5:36 pm

Loving God….Loving People. Christ demonstrated His love for us, while we were yet sinners…..He died for us. Great insight my friend.

julie · 12 Mar ’12 at 7:46 pm

I take a particular notice to…
“But what if her face didn’t light up?
What if she didn’t do anything for our family?
What if she wasn’t beautiful, didn’t love me back, and had no interest in ever getting to know me? Would I still be as dedicated and excited to serve her espresso just knowing she had value as a human being at large? Would I still be as faithful?

Would you?

It’s easy to serve my wife. She’s remarkably fantastic. I benefit simply by thinking about her.” ~ Christopher Hopper

Thank you Christopher for this message. It speaks well for servanthood. But I can’t help but think… that for some this concept serves as good food for thought [or an in-service], but for others… a painful reality.
“I pray all those ‘in Christ’ step up to the plate, or in this case, the Espresso Maker. AMEN!”
=) Love you friends!

    Christopher Hopper · 12 Mar ’12 at 9:22 pm

    “…but for others, a painful reality.”

    So true. And sobering. While I mentally subscribe to my own levels of testing on this subject, the question of how I’d truly respond if placed in more trying circumstance is certainly undiscovered. How would any of us respond? Only Jesus knows, and knows what we can handle.

    As always, thanks for reading.

Don B. · 12 Mar ’12 at 8:00 pm

Chris, good leaders are also known by those t,hey gather around them. Harry Truman credited the good he did by saying he gathered leaders wiser than himself in order to accomplish what he did. Your choice, and the gift of Jennifer from GOD, have been a definite asset for you and yours. GOD bless you, my friend.

    Christopher Hopper · 12 Mar ’12 at 9:24 pm

    Amen to that!

    My father always told me in my music career that if I wanted to be successful I was to always surround myself with people more proficient than me. I feel very fortunate to have had such sage wisdom imparted into me at an early age – my success in music is a result of it. And likewise – as you so aptly pointed out – my marriage.

Megan J. · 12 Mar ’12 at 8:29 pm

Wow! Such a great post Christopher!! Love when you share your thoughts, love when you give things to think about, and love when you show your love for Jenny. Such an amazing family that I couldn’t be more happy to know. Thanks for all you do, and all the things you are always teaching me. Incredible. Jesus definitely shines through you!

    Christopher Hopper · 12 Mar ’12 at 9:25 pm

    You’re such an encouragement Megan. This made my night. Thank you. It’s a joy to share life with people like you who appreciate the value of it so much. Love you.

julie · 13 Mar ’12 at 10:21 am

Good morning Christopher!
Having re-read my post to you from yesterday, I see I have come across… ungraceful. My deepest apologies… that was never my intent. I thought your post was STELLAR & RIGHT -ON! And more to the point, your message was perfectly timed & executed. In viewing your beautiful portrait of the love & ways in which God intended, painted a rather raw image for me of love lost. So I am sorry again, for letting myself seep out without discernment & appropriate regard. We all have our cross to bear & carry… but how this is manifested looks different for and to each. I am sure there are parts to your reality that cause you a piercing pain, as well. I have got nowhere to go, no stones to throw, or any right to fall down on my sword.

After all that’s been said, Now…

I am so blessed to see & hear how the Lord blesses His people. You Christopher, in particular, have an amazing gift of sharing the Lord’s wisdom & heart to His people. Your uncanny knack of showing people with words, is exemplary.

I aspire to reach this form of modeling. I was trying to allude to this by my comment “But I can’t help but think… that for some this concept serves as good food for thought [or an in-service], but for others… a painful reality.”

You see, I have had to walk [3 & 5 ½ years now], a very different [even for me] walk with Him. I come to the table with a sometimes bizarre set of marching orders and reality, but like you, I so desire to let God cause all things to work together for good. I know Jesus loves me and that I am called for such a time as this.

Often the Lord has me walk, and sometimes run, in very painful circumstances to reach, grasp [myself included], and even rescue those who can’t see the forest beyond the trees, the future beyond the present, and… the Holy Spirit through their [our] painful reality.

When I read your posts, events, and announcements Christopher, it truly blesses my heart, ignites my soul in unity, and I rejoice with the saints for the marvelous work done for the Kingdom…

Luke 10: 1 Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. 2 And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.

Praise the Lord… we are refreshed every morning! 🙂

    Christopher Hopper · 13 Mar ’12 at 11:11 am

    Ah Julie – I picked up nothing of the sort, however you know your own intentions if there was anything underlying I missed. No offese was taken, and I appreciate your kindness. So be free.

    As to your other comments, I particularly liked the scripture you posted. I just finished preaching on that at New Life, how Jesus never faulted the harvest (the lost) but always pointed to the harvesters. I’m blessed you continue to rise to the occasion and press forward despite hardships. May we continue to challenge and shape one another in Christ for amazing works of service!

Jennifer Hopper · 16 Mar ’12 at 1:24 am

You are so Sweet and I am glad that I am not a stranger to you. I can’t imagine my life without you or without that little morning cup of rocket fuel. Thank you for appreciating all I do. I “appreciate” you (said like Ray Romano)

    Christopher Hopper · 16 Mar ’12 at 8:57 am

    Thanks to you, I have a bum shoulder from falling…

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