Hops Writes

Reflections on Community, Content, Christ, & Culture.

New Year Momentum: Diving into Change vs. Dressing up Regret

Man jumping for joy down a city street.

In my first post in this short series, I explored the power of science behind small victories. The “Go big or go home” mentality may work for a single football game, but it lacks practical roots for growing new habits over the course of a year.

Today's topic is much more personal for me. Please take what I share as illustrative. Hopefully, it will help you along your New Year's journey.

Continue reading...

New Year's Resolutions and the Science of Progress

Close up of person with black pants and orange shoes stepping up blue, metal stairs.

This past year challenged my resolution resolve.

Setbacks. Major life events. Procrastination. They all grabbed hold of my motivation to achieve awesomeness. 😉

I also felt humbled by last year. Looking back, I have gained more clarity for going forward.

Please, learn from my fears and failures. Here's the first nugget of wisdom I gained from last year.

Continue reading...

It Doesn't Have to be a Hallmark Holiday: When Christmas-time Brings Loneliness, Pain, or Anxiety

Finding Home

Over 100 million people will travel “at least 50 miles from home” this Christmas season. American drivers will set a 20-year record before 2019 is over!

All our holiday traditions center on drawing near to each other. We bend our whole lives to be close to the ones we love. Our desire for home is so strong, we migrate vast distances and risk road rage in freezing weather!

Our holiday traditions are the Olympics of relationships. We train all year for this. We daydream about getting away, being near, reliving memories and traditions. All rooted in the idea of home.

Continue reading...

The Wonder of the Christmas Story: No Dad Bumbling Required

A colorful, carved nativity featuring Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.

The other night I gifted my son a humble, wooden ornament depicting the incarnation: manger, magi, Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus in the center. He held it for a beat and then walked off to proudly display it on his mini Christmas tree.

Later at bedtime I told him, “Ya know buddy, that ornament is the best and most important gift of all.” He stared at me blankly, grinned, and looked bemused at my comment. So, I shared how the King of Kings humbled Himself to become a baby to bring all mankind back to Himself. And how that gift is one that will never run out of batteries or fade away.

Continue reading...

It’s All in the Family: Why Episode 9 Will Resolve Rey's Identity

All the Theories 🤯

Episode 8 seems to have sealed the coffin on the debate surrounding Rey’s heritage (more on that below).

BUT, theories abound. If you want to make your head explode, take five minutes to read these 15 theories on Rey’s identity.

Now that you’re all caught up, I want to argue why J. J. Abrams will give us a definitive answer on who Rey is, and (I believe) what the family connection is.

Continue reading...