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About David H. Roper

David H. Roper was a pastor for more than 30 years and now directs Idaho Mountain Ministries, a retreat dedicated to the encouragement of pastoral couples. He enjoys fishing, hiking, and being stream-side with his wife, Carolyn. His favourite fictional character is Reepicheep, the tough little mouse that is the soul of courage in C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. His favourite biblical character is Caleb—that rugged old saint who never retired, but who "died climbing." Find books by David Roper

Playing the Fool

By |2020-07-10T12:16:14-04:00July 14th, 2020|

My most humiliating experience ever was the day I addressed the faculty, students, and friends of a seminary on its fifty-year anniversary. I approached the lectern with my manuscript in hand and looked out on a vast crowd, but my eye fell on the distinguished professors seated in the front row, garbed in academic gowns and looking very serious. I immediately took leave of my senses...

Dancing Before the Lord

By |2020-06-12T16:38:26-04:00June 17th, 2020|

A number of years ago, my wife and I visited a small church where during the worship service a woman began to dance in the aisle. She was soon joined by others. Carolyn and I looked at each other and an unspoken agreement passed between us: “Not me!” We come from church traditions that favor a serious liturgy, and this other form of worship was well beyond our comfort zone...

Easy Does It

By |2020-05-22T11:52:32-04:00May 31st, 2020|

My father and I used to fell trees and cut them to size with a two-man crosscut saw. Being young and energetic, I tried to force the saw into the cut. “Easy does it,” my father would say. “Let the saw do the work.” I think of Paul’s words in Philippians: “It is God who works in you” (2:13). Easy does it. Let Him do the work of changing us...

The Would-Be Woodcutter

By |2020-03-27T16:21:52-04:00March 28th, 2020|

One year when I was in college, I cut, stacked, sold, and delivered firewood. It was a hard job, so I have empathy for the hapless logger in the 2 Kings 6 story. Elisha’s school for prophets had prospered, and their meeting place had become too small. Someone suggested they go into the woods, cut logs, and enlarge their facilities. Elisha agreed and accompanied the workers...

The Mouse That Roared

By |2020-02-12T12:21:29-05:00February 15th, 2020|

Several years ago my sons and I spent a few days camping in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in Northern Idaho. It’s grizzly bear habitat, but we carried bear spray, kept our campsites clean, and anticipated no major grizzly encounters. One evening, in the middle of the night, I heard Randy scramble around trying to get out of his sleeping bag...

An Old Clay Pot

By |2020-01-24T13:26:03-05:00January 28th, 2020|

I’ve acquired a number of old clay pots over the years. My favorite was excavated from a site dated during Abraham’s time. It’s at least one item in our home that is older than I! It’s not much to look at: stained, cracked, chipped, and in need of a good scrubbing. I keep it to remind me that I’m just a man made out of mud. Though fragile and weak, I carry an immeasurably precious treasure—Jesus...

A Designed Deficiency

By |2019-12-23T13:40:25-05:00December 30th, 2019|

There’s a natural spring that rises on the east side of the city of Jerusalem. In ancient times it was the city’s only water supply and was located outside the walls. Thus it was the point of Jerusalem’s greatest vulnerability. The exposed spring meant that the city, otherwise impenetrable, could be forced to surrender if an attacker were to divert or dam the spring...

A Road Not Traveled

By |2019-10-28T12:12:42-04:00October 29th, 2019|

People ask me if I have a five-year plan. How can I plan five years “down the road” on a road I’ve never traveled? I think back to the 1960s when I was a minister to students at Stanford University. I’d been a physical education major in college and had a lot of fun, but I left no record of being a scholar. I felt wholly inadequate in my new position...