Friday, October 5, 2012

Publication Release - July 2012

Copyright © 2012
ISBN: 978-0-615-63573-6

We are each given a garden. Ours is not made with physical hands but is symbolized by our journey through the seasons of life. Our garden is cultivated on how we spend our time in this life. There will be opportunities inside our space in which to find God’s favor, both here and in an everlasting Garden. I invite you to walk with me through my garden, a garden which, at times, is without a hedge.

A Life of Heartache & Victory

Heartache and victory have been mixed together in my life and that of my family. Some events are earmarked in my book. Here's a brief overview:

HEARTACHE: As a small child, hate was a prevalent fixture. Having no brothers or sisters, I was the target of physical and mental abuse... 

HEARTACHE: September 30, 1976, was the day when the Hoppers world would forever be changed in the form of a devastating automobile accident that not only paralyzed my husband but our family as well.

VICTORY: July 1977,  forty-one weeks after the accident my husband walked again after doctors had given him no hope to ever walk again. But " Buds of Faith” - simple faith, strewed with prayer and fasting brought “Miracles in Bloom.”

HEARTACHE: January 27, 1993, the day our son, Mark, age 32, was shot and killed. His death was heartache enough but many of the accounts that circulated as to what had happened sent us reeling for months.

HEARTACHE: February 13, 1996, the enemy came again in full force to tragically take away our only grandchild, at the time. Five month old Zoe Claire was the light of our lives, and had brought back smiles and laughter that had been missing, but our laughter was again buried in sorrow.

VICTORY: Victory comes when we turn everything over to the Lord. We must understand that calamity in some fashion will come unexpectedly to is a matter of holding to faith when we don’t understand. In fact, it is VICTORY that must reign in a born-again Christian's life.

Excerpts from the Chapters of Without A Hedge

Chapter 1
“James Allen once said, “A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master gardener of his soul…of his life.” The ruler of desolation doesn’t need to own our garden. He has no rights there. We are the gardener, the caretaker, whose mastery, by God’s grace, will protect the beauty that has been allotted us.”

Chapter 2
“And, while it may sound a bit abrasive, “once upon a time” will sometimes be just that, a fairy tale, a set of unrealized dreams. Regrettably life isn’t the waving of magical wands, the “Bibadee Bobadee Boos” created in Walt Disney’s Cinderella. Instead, life will be just plain old life, with obstacles, challenges, heartache, and pain. The Bible says that joy and sorrow are inseparable; and believe me, they are joined tighter than any set of conjoined twins…”

Chapter 3
“Hedges oftentimes act as protective barriers for gardens, marking a boundary or territory. Their design may be one of encirclement or a ring to offer privacy from what lurks just outside our garden. This line of defense helps acts as a buffer to keep harm from touching us. Removing a hedge exposes us, making our soul vulnerable to what may be targeting us.”

Chapter 4
“Without fencing to act as a buffer, we are prey to every despicable varmint. And sometimes fencing won’t even keep the critters out, as harmful creatures try to sneak their way inside our territory. It is up to us to identify everything that enters our garden to defile our spiritual being, and then we must address it.”

Chapter 5
“Working in a garden can be a painful experience. If the achy back, sunburned face and arms, and bruised knees don’t get to you, the prickly thorns hiding on a plant and/or bush’s stems will. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to get a thorn puncture while diligently working at maintaining our space? It is our “thorn in the flesh” experience.”

Chapter 6
“Being a victim is not pleasurable. It can be painful and shakes our confidence in ourselves, others, and even God. If we find ourselves in such situations, we have a choice as what response to make. Choice is a gift given to us to ultimately triumph over our previous circumstances and live our lives in victory.”

Chapter 7
“When I speak of prayer, or even think of prayer, I know that I am the chiefest of offenders. Nevertheless, my desire is to search my “soul,” then toil my “soil” so that I will be worthy to secure “holes in my soles and scuff marks on my toes.” Isn’t that how it should be?”

Chapter 8
“Our life’s garden was intended to be filled with faith in a wonderland of colors bursting with vibrant blooms. A faith that comes from a small seed placed in the soil, given water as nourishment, and sunlight to grow. Faith can produce beauty from the tiniest of seed, one the size of a mustard seed.”

Chapter 9
 “Comforting words! How important are they are? I am sure we all want to hear words that bring solace to the soul. Needless to say, whether for the good or the bad, words are one of life’s constants...”

Chapter 10
“…weeds of deceit come to overwhelm all - no one is immune. None of us! It is what we do when first seeing an unusual seedling that matters. Do we uproot it immediately or leave it alone planning to pull it on another day? Or do we see beauty in its form, and wait in awe for it to color?”

Chapter 11
“There is a saying: “Silence is golden.” What a multitude of messages are in those three words. There is a silence so golden that it can penetrate our inner soul and bring guidance. It is in the solitude of our mind that we find refuge and protection from hurtful words and actions.”

Chapter 12
“The originality of the shed has quite a history. Prehistoric people were the first to find the need for sheds. Their sheds were built from whatever the local geography, its climate, and materials would allow. These early storerooms speak volumes about a civilization...I can’t help but compare them in part, to the early church structure and its sheds. The early church speaks volumes about the ones who prepared our spiritual structure...”

Chapter 13
“I often wonder how life knows when to bring the sun’s warmth or rain’s sprinkles atop my valley? But Life knows. And how does life know when to bring a mighty storm, a turbulence longing to topple my very existence? Life knows.” – Poem by K.J. Hopper

Chapter 14
“Affliction can seem a monster bigger than life itself. Its ugliness hammers our being, weakening us in an attempt to destroy our soul. Every part of our being that can be shaken will be shaken.”

Chapter 15
“Many seasons will come into our lives but not identified as winter, spring, summer or fall. Rather, they will be spiritual seasons, ranging from mild and enjoyable to harsh, or even cruel. Many will bud with joy, profusely blooming with vibrant colors, proclaiming happiness lives here. Others will bring about twisty angling shoots displaying withered flowers suspended in an unrecognizable fashion, representing pain and anguish…”

Chapter 16
“Have you had occasion where frustration built on the inside until from deep within you wanted to scream, "STOP, can't you feel my heartache, my pain? Don't you care?"

Chapter 17
“Positives are a vital part of our garden and its appearance. What is good and pure lend to its beauty, and positives happen mostly because of “angels.” I love my angels! My angels bring positive proclamations that allow me dignity. I find comfort in them.”

Chapter 18
“We need to always cherish any miracle the Lord extends, no matter what it is or how it affects our life. Miracles are God’s gifts because He cares. We must never allow self to depreciate a miracle received or allow others to cause us to question our miracle because it isn't according to their expectations.”

Chapter 19
“In our garden, beauty should be the most prominent feature. Beauty answers an ache in the soul. We cannot live without it. When we focus on life's beauty, all the ugliness of life fades away. Beauty is definitely the gift of God…”

Special Events

Above, with my "peanut brittle" mentor, Gladys Johnson.
(would need to read the book to understand my comment)
We go way back, with friend, Virginia Treadway.

Western District Camp Meeting 2012, Santa Maria.
Good to visit with so many dear friends.
“We come from the earth;
we return to the earth and in-between we garden.”

- unknown