Moving to christopherhopper.com
Because of the amazing amount of traffic around the upcoming East Coast Fantasy Fiction Tour, my blog has now found its new home on the Official christopherhopper.com website.
Thanks for your continued support!CH
I've moved my blog to WordPress
. Please visit me there. I was tired of waiting for Blogger all the time, slow uploads, and too many days down for me. Enjoy!christopherhopper.wordpress.com
August in Review (and parts of September!)
Thought I'd start off with this really cute of little Eva. Couldn't resist...
It's been a doozey of a month...and a half! Is that even a real word? Are authors allowed to use word's that don't really exist? Is that sacrilegious?
This has definitely been the busiest summer on record for us Hoppers. I'm so ready for school to start back up and welcome the order that fall seems to herald.
Our teen and college ministry at church, 33 Live, has been inundated with visitors which is very exciting. Youth groups from all over the state have joined us almost every week. Even visiting youth pastors and senior pastors have dropped in to worship with us. It's been such a blessing to meet new people and see them coming to little Depauville, a place where God is moving in a big way. I tell you what, I feel so tremendously blessed to be here. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. This county is our promised land, a place of abundance and blessing.
(PIC: Hannah St. Croix as herself)
33 Live took our first out-of-state trip this year two weeks ago to Elkton, MD. I had been asked to be the guest speaker for a youth conference at Spirit & Life Bible Church; but the invitation was extended to whomever I wanted to bring with us. So we made it a youth group trip. What an awesome time in the Lord it was! Many new friends were made, relationships built, and churches networked. Not to mention all the lives that were touched. Many thanks to Pastors Chris and Amy and your wonderful team. We love you all immensely!
(PIC: A crazy youth pastor interrupting a skit)
Directly following Maryland our house became "company property," and I mean literally "company." We had company everyday through the following Sunday. It was a joy to catch up with old friend Paul Mitro, and our dear freinds Steve and Heather Ciferri. If you own either the Vertical or Live records, you'll know Steve's guitar work.
(PIC: McEwen Library Director Wendy Newell)
Last week I did my first book signing on a United States military base! Thursday evening we hit Ft. Drum up here in northern NY. A few friends stopped by along with a couple of soldiers. Even the base's press stopped by for some pics and an interview (of course, it helped that we are really good friends with them). Thanks Hannah! We had a wonderful time and many thanks go to Wendy, Hope and Alan. Thank you for making us feel so at home!
As you may or may not know (from the e-mail we sent out), we played Rokla. Yes, the first game (or gita) of Rokla ever to be played on planet earth is now in the history books. For those of you not familiar with Rokla, or for those who have not read Rise of The Dibor, Rokla is the "national" game of Dionia. It loosely consists of four teams, each with their own goal at the apex of a square field. Two balls, the "stri" - which adds a point to your team when scored with, and the "kafe" - which deducts a point from the team you score on. +5 points wins the round or "gita," while -5 points against your team removes you from the game.
About 20 of us gathered at Lion's Field in Clayton, NY under overcast skies and a mild drizzle. Very medieval if I might say. After spending the first half an hour explaining the game (and trying to remember what I wrote!), we spent the next half an hour trying to set it up and think through it. There were many heads being scratched and questions being asked I had never thought about.
But to see something I've envisioned for years in my mind now playing out before my own eyes was a very moving, rewarding, and exhilarating experience! When the first gita commenced (thanks to a scream from little Leah Gilchrist), the two fastest players from each team surged forward toward the center of the field. It was just like in the book! I was charging forward with Luik and Hadrian--but this time it wasn't a story; it was real. Talk about an adrenaline rush!
After the first few minutes, one thing was very clear; the perfect race of Dionians could run much longer than we could. I don't think there was one person not gasping for air. Rules were examined and changed, strategies ironed out, and teams made even. Soon we changed from a simple two-hand-touch rule to full tackle for the guys and two-hand-touch for the girls. This made things much more interesting and exciting.
I must say that Rokla is a very intense and draining game. And people who are normally restrained and calm in other sports seemed to become different people! I had one friend of mine ask me to replace him (as my team had reached -5) because he was so upset! Normally, this guy is totally cool, calm and collected! I had to laugh! I think it must have something to do with how you fight and fight and fight for just one point and then suddenly you return to your side of the field only to be informed that someone scored on your team with the kafe thus nullifying your hard-earned victory. It's very debilitating!
Only one mild injury for the day, and that was a heel in the jaw during a tackle. But he recovered quickly and was back in within minutes. The only other complaint, aside from being completely exhausted and spent beyond measure, was how sore everyone was for the next few days--yours truly included!
(PIC: The 1st Rokla Team)
It's clear that the Dionians have a few up on us in terms or endurance and durability, but we earthlings sure had a ball! (Pun definitely intended!).
Check out the video when you have time! http://christopherhopper.org/media/film.php
A special note on Amber. On Friday August 25th, dear friend Dee Lousia Kontos and her amazing team of volunteers, put on a beautiful, fun-filled benefit for my sister-in-law in Ednicott, NY. The event was not solicited by any of the family; it was all Dee's idea.
CHB traveled south to play for the event and had a great time. We caught up with many old friends and family members as people came out to meet Amber and hear her wonderful story. Even the news came out! After the interview that Amber and I did together, the anchor remarked, "You know, it's so good to be putting news out on TV that actually inspires people. I'm sick of the drudge." WOW! What a comment! Needless to say it opened up a huge door for ministry. And in the end a few thousand dollars were raised to help off-set Amber's medical expenses. THANK YOU, DEE!!!
(PIC: Lou Rathbun, editor extrodinaire!)
BOOK II has been sent to the senior editor! Yes, for those of you dying to know what happens next in The White Lion Chronicles, the second installation has been shipped. After nearly two weeks of "cleaning up" the manuscript (an extremely long and tedious process), the final edition is "in the books" (or at least until I get the re-writes!). Special thanks goes to Lou Rathbun for driving all the way up to kick the editing process into high gear. We brewed a pot of coffee and dug right in. Also, thanks to Sue Crawford for her corrections. Their help has made Book II far better than you could ever imagine!
Thanks for reading!
To France and Back
What a trip, I tell you what! If ever you could put a concentrated amount of the Holy Ghost in the same container as a horse pill of "grueling traveling," this trip was it for me. I'm thinking of inventing a "G" suit for traveling ministers if I ever do this again; you know, something to keep me from blacking out somewhere between the in-flight TV dinner and the post-worship ride to where you sleep for a few (and I mean FEW) hours.
(Pic: Baptism of Nils Blyth on 07.23.06)
Physically speaking, this trip was quite the whirlwind. After twenty hours of traveling, I no sooner arrived at Radikal For Jesus (yes, they spell it with a "k") than they inform me, "Pastor Hopper, you are doing a seminar in fifteen minutes." O really? says my body. On what? "On evangelism." And for how long? "One hour."
My youth group in Depauville will remember my message about a month ago on Mark 3:20 where Jesus and the disciples "didn't even have time to eat" because of all that there was to do. I was instantly reminded that many times we don't even have time to study. We simply have to be ready. I had no notes prepared for "evangelism." But my spirit was in communion with His. Like I said. No problem.
(Pic: CH during a seminar on "Teen Years Are For God")
"Pastor Hopper, you are leading worship tonight, too." News to my ears! With what worship team? "We'll introduce them to you later." But the meeting starts in two hours!
(Pic: [below] Radikal For Jesus tent at Moncel)
Again. How ready are we as the people of God? Needless to say all the times of preaching and leading worship were amazingly wonderful and intense. Saturday night's service was about 3.5 hours of straight worship with not a single "slow song." It was full-bore 110%. We were sweating and three of my fingers started bleeding all over my strings and guitar. All but five or six songs were entirely prophetic. Then there was preaching and then more worship. Each night we'd get home around 1am and then to bed by 2am. Up at 7am for a leader's meeting. Sunday night was a concert open to the community. All in all I felt wonderfully "used" by God and completely spent both physically and spiritually.
God's Holy Spirit is moving across the nations, and let me tell you, it's intense. Nations represented there included Columbia, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Morocco, Congo, Guinea, Central Africa Republic, Switzerland, Italy, Bulgaria, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Holland. The overall all theme of the conference was "changing our mentality." From what? From one of expecting other people to do the work of the ministry to expecting us to do the work. We spent a lot of time equipping the youth for action and strengthening their spirits. It was a deep time of encouragement and deliverance.
And when I say "deliverance," I mean hard-core deliverance. The most common manifestation in Europe? Throwing up in the middle of worship. Someone begins crying out to God and turning their spirit over to Jesus. So the demon has to leave. Suddenly someone screams and throws up in the midst of a song. I look over to them and there they are, smiling like they just got let out of jail. It's such an ironic scene. Being so happy, yet dripping wet. For in fact they were let out or prison.
I'm so very glad to be home and my body is starting to forgive me. I'm obviously glad to be with my girls again and excited to see my church family.
Thanks for all your words of encouragement and your effective, fervent prayers for me and my little family!
Blessings and much love,
Book Signings & Denver
So far late June and all of July has been a whirlwind of activity! Here goes...
The first month of sales for Dibor has been amazing and far more than expected. I've truly been overwhelmed by the support and feedback from friends all over the country buying the book. Now if I could only get them all to post on the web board! >grin< Our book signings in Depauville (June 16th), Dryden (June 17th), Pittsford (July 5th), and Williamsville (July 15th) have been so much fun! I've gotten to meet many wonderful people, made new friends, surprised by old ones, and made new fans of the book. Thank you to all those that made the trek out!
Special congratulations goes to the graduating class of 2006 of the Christian Academy of Western New York in Lockport.I was so proud to be your commencement speaker. Thank you for the honor and the privilege it was to impart just a little into your lives.
July 9th through 12th Jennifer and I flew to Denver, CO to attend the annual Christian Booksellers Association national convention. What a great trip that was! We had the pleasure of meeting our publishing company's (Tsaba House) staff and fellow Tsaba House authors for the first time. That was such a joy! We also were able to connect with some of our favorite authors and get some autographs and pics for our friends back home. It was quite an experience to be relating to authors on an "author-to-author" level and not merely and "fan-to-author" one. My book signings on the convention floor and at the Barnes&Nobel on 16th St. in Denver were a hoot.
This week I'll be flying to France for the Radikal for Jesus youth conference (July 20th thru the 25th) held at Moncel in Longuyon. Thanks for your prayers as Jenny and Eva will be staying behind for the first time which makes this trip extra hard.
Thanks for reading! Blessings!
- - -
Pics in order:
1.) CH & Linda Bartlett at Pittsford Community Library, Pittsford, NY (07.05.06)
2.) Book signing on the CBA convention floor 10am Tuesday in Denver (07.11.06)
3.) Author Wayne Batson (http://thedoorwithin.com/)
4.) CH, JH, and our Aunt Becky Nesbitt, head of Fiction for Tyndale
5.) CH and JH with dear friend Doug Gresham
6.) CH & author Angela Hunt
7.) Author Bryan Davis (http://dragonsinourmidst.com/)
8.) Author Donita K. Paul (http://www.donitakpaul.com/)
9.) CH and author Ted Dekker (http://www.teddekker.com)
The Book Is Here!
I'm so happy to announce that my book is here! It was released nationwide last Thursday and we're off to a great start! First off, I just want to say thank you to all those who have purchased the book and are sending me great feedback. I guess you just don't figure on people actually loving your work...a nice "settling for it" will do. But it's been anything but that. The response has been overwhelming and I'm so blessed.
My first Book Release Party was so much fun! About 65+ people gathered together at New Life Christian Church in Depauville last Friday night. My sweet Jenny introduced me and then I set up for a reading of chapter 20 complete with a flute/bass/drums soundtrack playing in the background (many thanks to Chris Harvey).
What I thought would be a simply round of applause burst into an emotional and heartfelt adulation. They got it. And what a felling it was. After about 30 seconds of clapping we moved into a Q&A session where I took questions on publishing, writing, and inspiration. It gave me a chance to talk about the book, my wonderful publisher (www.tsabahouse.com), and the process of writing and the Lord opening doors for your gifts. Thanks to all who bought the book and continue to support this ministry! Also many thanks to my surprise visit from Ron and Val Sykes (our bassist/pianist and worship dancer with CHB) who drove all the way out from Rochester to surprise me! Wow!
The next day we journeyed south into my hometown of Dryden, NY for my fist ever library signing at the Southworth Library. I admitted to the Library Director, Sarah Dovi, that I still had late fees there, but she assured me that my donation of an autographed copy of the book would cover it.
What a thrill it was to see so many old friends and to actually be sitting at my old library, but this time on the other end of things. Sarah and her wonderful staff had set up a beautiful little table outside complete with sign and balloons.
I did my best to stay out of the sun to keep my head from gettin' red! It was a perfect day. Thank you Jesus! Many thanks to Sarah and Southworth Library; see you next summer!
That's all for now! Stay posted for the new website due out this week!
June is here?
Hey'a Cyber Crew!
I last wrote in April...now summer is officially here and I still am amazed, as if I haven't learned it yet, at how fast time flies. Are things speeding up or is it just me? Jennifer and I continue to fight for a few moments of rest, now having to "work" at just staying home. However it is not without just cause. Our activities at New Life Christian Church are more than rewarding and the production of art, whether it be musical or writing, is still an enjoyable adventure. But even more rewarding is being a daddy. Just this morning Eva picked up her shoes after our "morning wrestle" and after I put them on her she went to the front door and started pulling on it. A "morning walk" is sure to become yet another habit. She has captured my heart and I don't know what I'd do without her. I admire my wife, the once "I-have-no-idea-how-to-cook-and-would-rather-be-out-in-the-barn" girl who has become quite the little house wife and loving it. I sit here a blessed man.
With the nationwide release of Rise of The Dibor just one week away, things have been really picking up at my office. I've found great encouragement by the reviews that have already come in as well as by the letters of those of you who've had a chance to buy pre-release copies at our recent concerts. One young man just wrote to say he and his mom burned all his Harry Potter books and is now hooked on The White Lion Chronicles.
If you haven't already, you can pre-order Rise of The Dibor (also through our link on our website www.christopherhopper.com) which will transfer you to our end of Amazon.com.
June 15th Rise of The Dibor will be available in stores. If your local book store has not stocked it, please ask them to. All Barnes & Nobels and Borders have the book in their national warehouses and all Christian book stores have access to it through our distributor, FaithWorks (for them to order call: 866.732.6657). Your support is greatly appreciated! We so appreciate your "buzz making" abilities! Thank you!
I'm really excited as next week we'll be launching a brand new website with many cool new features. Stay tuned!
Last Friday I had my first live TV interview for the book on TCT Channel 25 in Buffalo which covered Rochester, Toronto, Canada, Bradshaw, PA and Ohio. It was a lot of fun to talk about my book and what the Lord is already doing through it. Ministering through writing has opened up a whole new world which I'm sure I don't even know the half of yet.
Next Friday, June 16th, we'll be having the Official Book Release Party at New Life Christian Church in Depauville. If you'd like directions please call 315.686.6090. The fun starts at 7pm and will include a reading, QnAs, food, music, and a discussion on writing and publishing.
The following day, Saturday June 17th, I'll be making an appearance at my old hometown library, Southworth Library in Dryden, NY from 12pm-2pm. I'd love to see you! Please come out and say hi!
Also, thank you for your continued prayers for my sister-in-law, Amber. She is walking completely on her own now and mentally she improves a little more each day, thought still not 100%.
That's all for now, folks!