As we come again to that time of year when we celebrate the birth of Christ, I'm looking back at last year's column and find that some things need to be repeated and some things are new. Last year at this time, we as a nation were grieving the death of 20 children and 6 adults at a school shooting in Connecticut. This was followed in Pasadena by the shooting death of our friend Victor McClinton, on Christmas day 2012, by local gang members.
Our federal legislators proved they were cowards when they later refused to pass a bill which would require the registration of every gun sold in this so-called Christian country. On December 15, of this year, the pageant of death played itself out again as our ultimate gift to the NRA. A student at a high school in Colorado, near infamous Columbine, walked into the school he attended and shot at a few people, hitting two, before he shot and killed himself.
With all the death happening, we still have much to thank God for. On a personal level my granddaughter was in an automobile accident recently. Her car was hit by another car who ran a red light. The car turned over and then brought itself back to an upright position. When I arrived at the accident scene, I adjusted to an, "Are you alright?" mode. She suffered bumps, bruises and other injuries but she was alive. She didn't know how afraid I was that she could have suffered more than she did.
That was the ultimate Christmas gift to our family. There are now seven grandchildren born to our three sons. We are thankful that they are all doing well, healthy and blessed. I'm looking forward to our annual celebration with all of them this Christmas.
Add to your calendar the following events:
My son, Dr. Jamal Dominique Hopkins, will speak at Metropolitan Baptist Church on Sunday, December 29th while visiting Pasadena for the holidays.
He will be hosting a reception of his new organization, Institute for Advanced African American Christian Thought. That event will be held at Saturday December 27th at 4:00 p.m. at The Journal Offices 1541 N. Lake Avenue, Suite B (Corner Howard & Lake), Pasadena, CA. All who are interested are invited to attend. Dr. Jamal is a religious scholar who has taught and lectured across the world. Refreshments will be served. Please R.S.V.P. by calling The Journal Offices at (626) 798-3972.
My son, Brother Yusef who just returned from a gig in Rochester, New York, will again be performing at the annual Kwanza celebration hosted by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority on December 27 at 11:00 a.m. at the La Pintoresca Library, on Raymond Avenue in Pasadena. The public is invited.
The other news that I'm proud of is my Miss Ruthie has been elected and as Vice President of the local chapter of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. I celebrated 51 years of marriage with Miss Ruthie in June of this year. As for me, my Law Practice celebrated 31 years of service to the community in November, along with the 24th year of the Journal. I'm still kicking, thanks to good parental Christian training and a great wife who understood forgiveness and being there as a support for all my ambitions. I tried to give as much love back as I got.
Jesus is the reason for the season, and a great family is the gift that keeps on giving. Thank God for that. I invite everybody to step back and look at your gifts but, most of all look at what you can achieve if you invest in family. My mother and father are long gone but they set out the plan and the pattern which my family follows, through good times and bad times. It takes work, but it's worth it.
MERRY CHRISTMAS – To All!