“Speaking is my passion,” Stoppe told the editor. “I’m a speaker, I’m a teacher — that’s what I do.”
Now, however, Stoppe can add "published author" to her list of roles after releasing a 124-page book titled “Moms Raising Sons to be Men” on March 1, following a year’s worth of effort. She is hosting a free book signing and tea to promote the book at First Baptist Church in Patterson at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 23.
Stoppe — a wife, mother and grandmother — writes from a biblical perspective while incorporating her own life experiences after raising two sons and two daughters with her husband, Steve Stoppe, pastor of First Baptist Church.
Her book works on the basis of a quote from popular Christian author and Bible teacher John MacArthur: “mothers are the makers of men; they are the architects of the next generation.”
“We have to teach our sons to think, teach them to weigh out choices when they are still in your home and teach them how to recover when they make mistakes,” Stoppe said by phone Thursday, March 21. “The key is not to raise them for what people think of you — in other words, people pleasing — but to raise them with good character quality and the ability to think and make wise decisions.”
Over the years, Stoppe learned from her own life and from the experiences of others who have raised families. She read books on how to be a good mother and at the same time received help from other moms she knew.
“There were older women in my life that came alongside of me and basically taught me how to be a good mom,” Stoppe said. “This book is really a collection of my own experience and the moms from the Bible and moms in history to the present day. "The book itself is like you sitting across the table having coffee with me.”
Stoppe’s husband was a youth pastor for 18 years in Texas, San Jose and Patterson, and she said many of those youths are now parents. The local couple also has mentored many young men and women at First Baptist Church in Patterson.
“Those young people are now parents, so a lot of them contact us for parental advice,” Stoppe said.
Young parents are so busy that to sit down and read is hard for them, she said. As a result, she structured her book so that readers can read by the subheadings within a chapter rather than read the whole chapter in one sitting. Her book features tips on how to guide a son without smothering him and includes references to Scripture, she said.
The book's publisher, Eugene, Ore.-based Harvest House, has published more than 100 million books worldwide, featuring many well-known evangelical authors including James and Shirley Dobson, Tim LaHaye, Hal Lindsey, Joni Eareckson Tada, Josh McDowell and John MacArthur.
Stoppe’s website lists endorsements for her book from popular contemporary Christian recording artists Phil Joel and Matthew West.
Joel wrote that the book is “a must for any mother who understands the incredible influence she has on her son(s), and who desires to be a faithful steward of this privileged task — and have some fun along the way.”
West stated the book contains “a powerful perspective” and contains “great advice for mothers to raise theirs sons to be men that can affect generations to come.”
Stoppe said she is working on two more book proposals for the publishing company and is preparing chapters for each.
“One I’m hoping they choose is ‘Women Who Rock Their World’ about the call to live in your generation the life you were called to live,” Stoppe said. “The second proposal is ‘Are You A Good Thing?’ a book based on the scripture (passage), ‘He who finds a wife finds a good thing.’” (Proverbs 18:22).
In the meantime, she looks forward to Saturday’s tea and book signing event, which will take place at 1 p.m. at the church, 124 S. Del Puerto Ave. She is selling copies of the book, which is normally listed at $12.99, for $10 each during the event.
Free childcare is available for attendees at the tea.
For information: First Baptist Church, 892-2088; or http://rhondastoppe.com