Monday, September 8, 2014

The Unknown Alarm

Good Monday Morning To You!
I’ve got to tell you what happened to me last Tuesday morning. Let me set up the scene. My cell phone had a problem --- you could not hear the ringer, or any of the alerts. My son, Kevin, and I had planned to take it back to Verizon for a repair or a replacement. I went to bed and Kevin was going to wake me the next morning. Miss Bessie and I had bought a new mattress and it was our first night on it. The next morning we were awakened to the loudest siren I have ever heard. I knew it was not one of our alarms, so I figured it had to be my C pap machine. It was just slightly out of reach, but I frantically kept hitting the off button, but the alarm still sounded. As I said, we have a new mattress and it is hard to sit on --- it’s slick. Picture this, I am leaning over quite far and I am sliding toward the floor. I managed to get my feet to the floor, but it is tile and I was bare footed. It was like being on ice. I am sliding to the floor and I yell, “Kevin, help!” He came in and took my hand, but instead of a hand up, he helped me make a more graceful fall to the floor. I’m sitting on the floor, the siren is still sounding, and the three of us are laughing hysterically. Kevin said, “Dad, turn off your alarm.” I replied, “What alarm?” Kevin said, “I fixed your phone, and I set your alarm.” He turned it off and I told him to never again set an alarm in my room without me knowing it. We all laughed about it the rest of the day. It would have been great for “America’s Funniest Videos.” Seriously, family life is wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Yesterday was a great day at Friendship Harmony. The attendance was good and there was a good spirit among the people. The congregational singing was excellent, and I might try to have a make shift choir from time to time. I certainly have the singers for it.

Yesterday I concluded our series of messages concerning, “Why God Allows Suffering.” Below you will find the sermon notes, but I would hope that tomorrow, Tuesday, you will watch the video. It is the message as delivered to Friendship Harmony in its entirety. The video can be seen at Remember, you do not have to have a Facebook account in order to view the video. Below are the notes; please feel free to use them for your personal Bible study. Preachers and teachers may also use them for their classes, their small groups, or their messages. May God bless you as you study His word.

Why Suffering?
Various verses
Suffering Series 3 of 3 8/12-9/6/14
By Victor Cooper

Intro: The other day I was asked, “Why does God allow suffering? Why does He allow someone to hurt an innocent person?” This is the age old question which was probably asked by Eve when she buried her son, Abel.

Review: Earlier we discovered that sin originated with Lucifer; it did not originate with God. We learned that the reason for suffering is sin. Sin means, “to miss the mark.”
The question is not, “Why is their suffering?” The question is, “Why does God allow suffering?
All sin is rebellion against God, not withstanding any one or anything else offended.
Rebels often try to enlist the aid of others in their cause.

God allows suffering because:

I. God has limitations. There are two kinds of limitations pertaining to God.
A. Natural limitations. His limitations are those things contrary to His nature.
1. God cannot lie. Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
2. God cannot be tempted to sin, nor can He tempt man to sin. James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
B. Self imposed limitations. Those things He has chosen not to include in His plan.
1. He choose Isaac not Ishmael; Jacob not Esau.
2. He choose not to spare James.
Acts 12:2 And he (Herod Agrippa I) killed James the brother of John with the sword.
3. God did not spare His own Son.
Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
God’s Self imposed limitation is the first tie in point to our question, “Why does God allow suffering?”

II. Man has free will. The ability to determine how one will live their life, and whether or not they will submit to God’s will.
A. For God to stop suffering at the hands of another, He would have to remove their free will.
B. To remove one’s free will, they are no longer responsible and are outside of the need for redemption.
C. To remove free will reduces man to being an automaton, one destined to serve God without any say in the matter.
D. Becoming an automaton leaves out loving God.
E. In order for God to even remove a person’s free will temporarily, He would have to remove it from everyone.
Man’s free will is the second tie in point to our question
“Why does God allow suffering?”

III. It reminds us of the viciousness of sin.
God takes sin more seriously than we do.
A. Sin brought man into open rebellion against God.
B. Sin affected all God’s creation from the angels in Heaven, to the fish in the deepest part of the sea.
C. We see the sins of others as bad, but our own we justify away.
D. From week one we quote from Professor Walter Veith “Sin must run its full course for the enormity to be fully abhorred; but it eventually will be eradicated along with its instigator.”
Professor Veith’s observation is the third and final tie in point to our question,
“Why does God allow suffering?”

Conclusion: Our question was, “Why does God allow suffering? Why does He allow someone or something totally ` innocent to be hurt by another?”
The answer:
1. God’s self imposed limits will not allow for it. This is a point of Theology.
2. Man has a free will. This is a gift from God; it is a point of Grace.
3. It reminds us of the viciousness of sin.

A final thought: In my blog dated Sunday, August 24, I wrote, “On the surface these are not easy questions to answer, but actually they are. The problem is not the answer. The problem is our acceptance of the answer. Here is where faith enters the picture. I am talking about a mature faith that has been and is being nurtured by a diligent study of Scriptures, and much communication with the Holy Spirit.”

I’ll not be seeing you here on the blog for the next three weeks. Miss Bessie and I will be on vacation. I will miss you, but I’ll tell you all about our trip when we return. Please pray for us for safe travel and for a time of mental and spiritual refreshment. May the LORD richly bless you, and I’ll see you on the video tomorrow, and again in three weeks on Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Happy Labor Day!!!

Good Monday Morning To You.

Happy Labor Day!!! Do you have any plans? Many people like to have that one last pic-nic before fall and winter arrives. In my hometown of Cincinnati, there is a huge fireworks display down on the banks of the Ohio River. This impressive show has been an annual event for nearly 30 years. I might be off on its length, but it is a fantastic show with the fireworks timed to music. You can tune on your radio to a certain station and hear the music while you watch the fireworks. Even if you are not there, their selection of music is first rate. It is one of the biggest fireworks shows in America, second to only New York City. I remember one year when the kids were younger, taking them downtown to the show. I knew driving and parking would be tough, so we boarded a city bus, dedicated for the purpose, and it took us to the main deck of Riverfront Stadium. As I recall the fare was a dollar per person round trip. I gladly paid it in order not to have to fight the traffic.

Yesterday was a great day at Friendship Harmony. The attendance was right on target for this time of year, and we had a good, Spirit filled service. We sang the song, “Count Your Blessings.” We stopped at the end of each verse, and I randomly chose someone l recount a blessing. It is always good to hear the testimonies of God’s people. After the final verse I opened it up to anyone who wanted to share. What a blessing --- I wish you could have been there to experience it.

Although most of you could not be with us in person, you can view the message as it was delivered yesterday at Friendship Harmony. I preached part two of a series of messages titled, “Why Suffering?” To see the video, go to This video is about 30 minutes in length, and in it I examined “rebellion” as we search for the answer to, “How could a good God allow suffering?” Next week we will explore, “The Nature Of God” as we zero in on our answer

The notes are below for yesterday’s message, and as always you are free to use them for your personal, or group Bible Study.
Why Suffering? (C)
Various verses
Suffering Series 2 of ? 8/12-30/14
By Victor Cooper

Intro: The other day I was asked, “Why does God allow suffering? Why does He allow someone to hurt an innocent person?” This is the age old question which was probably asked by Eve when she buried her son, Abel.

Review: Last week we discovered that sin originated with Lucifer; it did not originate with God. We learned that the reason for suffering is sin. Sin means, “to miss the mark.”
The question is not, “Why is their suffering?” The question is, “Why does God allow suffering? To continue our quest for an answer, we must look at the results of sin.

I. Sin is rebellion.
A. It might be rebellion against nature. Example:. Intentionally setting a forest fire.
B. It might be a sin against mankind. Example:
Adolph Hitler
C. It might be a sin against an individual. Example:
Stealing from someone.
D. Ultimately, all rebellion is against God.
God gave the 10 commandments with His own finger, and with His own mouth.

II. The divisions of law. The Jewish law is divided into three separate and distinct parts.
A. The civil law. These were laws pertaining to the citizens of ancient Israel. They have passed away as that society has passed away. Example:
The laws of Jamestown, Virginia in 1609 are different from the laws in Jamestown, Virginia in 2014.
B. The religious law. These laws pertained to the worship services of ancient Israel. When the veil in the Temple was torn in two at the crucifixion of Christ, the religious laws were fulfilled, thereby rendering them non-binding on believers today.
C. The moral laws are as binding on us today as they were upon Israel in the wilderness when God introduced them.
D. A moral law suggests a moral law Giver. Therefore rebellion against any part of the law is rebellion against Him.

III. Rebel rousers often try to enlist the aid of others in their cause.
A. Lucifer enlisting the aid of a group of angels rebels against God. This rebellion is squashed by God Himself. For the fallen angels there is no redemption.
B. Lucifer next enlists the aid of God’s most special creation: man.
1. Man is not special because of his intellect, man is special because he is the only created being of God, angel or animal who God said, “Let us make man in our own image. Gen 1:26
C. At the point of sin man became under sin’s penalty:
Death. Death means separation from God.
1. The curse. Genesis 3:14-19 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: [15] And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. [16] Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. [17] And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; [18] Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; [19] In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
2. The continued line of sin. The Apocryphal Book of 2 Esdras says, “For the first Adam bearing a wicked heart transgressed, and was overcome; and all they that be born of him.” 2 Esdras 3:21
3. David the Psalmist would agree when he wrote, “ Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Psalm 51:5
4. Why is there suffering? Because all mankind is fallen and cursed. All of us are capable of horrible acts
5. The antidote is Jesus. Jesus erased the
penalty of sin, the Holy Spirit assists with dealing with the power of sin, and the Father will one day remove the presence of sin.

Whatever your plans for Labor Day, stay safe, and have a good time. If you’re grilling burgers, be sure to throw one on the fire for me. Don’t forget the cheese when it’s done! I’ll see you tomorrow on the video at, and back here next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Why Does A Good God Allow Suffering?

Good Monday Morning To You!
Welcome to the blog. If this is your first visit, my prayer is that these writings will be a blessing to you. If you have come this far, you can also read blogs from the past. For those of you who stop by for a visit occasionally, or regularly, I thank you for your time. I enjoy our visits together!

Yesterday at Friendship Harmony, I began a series of sermons examining the oldest two questions known to man. The first is, Why would a good God allow suffering? The second is similar; Why would a good God allow an innocent person to be hurt by someone else?

On the surface these are not easy questions to answer, but actually they are. The problem is not the answer. The problem is our acceptance of the answer. Here is where faith enters the picture. I am talking about a mature faith that has been and is being nurtured by diligent study of the Scriptures, and much communication with the Holy Spirit. Does that sound like believers have a lot of work to do? Actually, we should be living like that every day. Do you have the time for Bible study and prayer? If you do not, I’m glad you don’t feel the same way about breathing! I am happy that your heart does not send a message to your brain saying, “I’m tired. I beat constantly day and night. I’m going to take a few days off.” Yet that is the same thinking many believers apply toward their Bible study and prayer. If you want to effectively deal with the reason why God allows suffering, you need to tighten up your Christian life. If it sounds like I’m preaching, you’re right. I am preaching to everyone reading this blog, beginning with the man writing it --- me!

Yesterday I began our series of messages titled, “Why Suffering?” I said that the quick and easy answer to the question is sin. In the message we examined what God had to say to Lucifer, also known as Satan; the devil. Rather than me attempting to re-preach the message in this blog, I’m happy to announce that the entire message was video recorded yesterday. You will see it as did the people at Friendship Harmony. It should be ready to view on Tuesday morning. You can find it at You do not need a Facebook account to see the videos. In the meanwhile, please enjoy the sermon notes used in our study. All message notes will be available to you on this blog.

Why Suffering? ©
Various verses
Suffering Series 1 of ? 8/12-16/14
By Victor Cooper

Intro: The other day I was asked, “Why does God allow suffering? Why does He allow someone to hurt an innocent person?” This is the age old question which was probably asked by Eve when she buried her son, Abel.

. We must start by examining “sin.” Definition> missing the mark

I. The origin of sin.
A. It originated with Lucifer
1. Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
2. Something happened.
3. Ezekiel 28:2 Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:
4. About whom is the Holy Spirit referring; the king of Tyre, Lucifer, or someone else?
5. Three individuals.
6. Point of Theology: In Scriptures there are several kinds of truth.
(a) Immediate truth. It is true at that moment
Example: Genesis 6:7 (KJV)
And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
(b) Eternal truth For evermore
Example: Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
{c} Prophetic truth for the future
Example: Rev. 20:10 (KJV)
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
(d) Our Scripture in Ezekiel 28 employs all three .
(1) Immediate --- king of Tyre
(2) Eternal --- Lucifer aka Satan
(3) Prophetic --- the antichrist
B. Now lets go back to our Isaiah and Ezekiel Scriptures, and apply it to Satan

II. God is not the originator of sin --- Lucifer is.
A. God created Lucifer perfect.
B. Then sin was found in him. How did it get there.
C. Simple answer; Lucifer chose it.
D. During every age, whenever man, or in this case angels are given a choice, they will eventually choose wrong.
E. Why didn’t God simply eradicate Lucifer along with sin?
Answer Professor Walter J. Vieth wrote, l “If God had chosen Lucifer at that point, some would have served God from fear rather than from love.” “Sin must run its full course for the enormity to be fully abhorred; but it eventually will be eradicated along with its instigator.”

Once again, thank you for reading the blog. I really appreciate you so much. This coming Sunday I will be delivering part two of our series. We will examine the nature of God. In order to answer our questions about suffering, some groundwork must be set. That is what the first two messages in our series will do. Have a good week wherever you are and I’ll see you tomorrow at, and then again next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Gettin' Better

Good Monday Morning To You!
Once again this will be an abbreviated blog. I’m still recovering, but I tire easily. This hospitalization took a lot more out of me than ever before. Each day is some better, and as I write, they have my blood numbers where they want them. I was able to preach at Friendship Harmony yesterday. It felt good being in the pulpit again. When I was preaching, I felt strength surging through my body. Some might say this was an adrenalin rush, but I beg to differ. I believe it was a Holy Spirit rush; I’ll never be convinced otherwise!

An abbreviated version of the message will be available on Tuesday, August 19. You can see it at In this message I pose this question: How big is your Jesus? I hope you’ll watch it.

Now let me make an announcement. This coming Sunday Morning, I will be beginning what I believe will be the most important series I have ever delivered in my 42 year preaching ministry. The series is called, “Why Suffering?” I was asked recently, “Why does God allow suffering? Why does He allow an innocent individual to suffer physical, emotional, or spiritual injury at the hands of another?” I will attempt to address this question in the weeks to come. If you cannot be with us here at Friendship Harmony, it has been requested that we tape the entire message for the video. This we will gladly do because in this suffering world, this is a most important question. Please pray for me as I prepare.

This coming Sunday is our fellowship meal. If you are in the area, plan on being with us in our morning service, then we invite you to stay afterward for a delicious meal. I hope to see you there. If not I’ll see you tomorrow on the video, and again next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Good Monday Morning To You!!

Welcome to this abbreviated version of Monday Morning With Pastor Vic. It has been a difficult two weeks for me. Two weeks ago on Sunday night, I got really sick. I had a fever, chills, nausea etc. I saw my doctor and he prescribed a course of action which included fluids and rest. During this time I noticed that a toe on my right foot was turning black and beginning to travel up my led. I already had an appointment with my foot doctor. He performed some minor surgery, prescribed two antibiotics, and gave us a plan for home treatment. Miss Bessie has been great taking care of me. She has been soaking my feet twice a day, bandaging them, and making sure to apply the topical meds as well as seeing to it I take my other prescription four times a day. I am supposed to keep my foot elevated as much as possible. It feels better, but I have this rash on my right calf which looks like I’ve been burned. It feels like that too. Please forgive me if I keep it simple this week.

The sermon notes from yesterday are here for you, and as always be sure to check out our video ministry at Thank you for your prayers.

God Speaking ©
Various Scriptures

By Victor Cooper

Intro: Religion is man’s way to God and it does not work. God hade to reach down to man. He did it by speaking to man in four different ways.

I. God spoke directly - twice.
A. God reached down to you by making a specific way for you to hear from Him.
Matthew 17:5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
B. The specific way was Jesus.

II. The Holy Spirit speaks to the soul.
A. The Holy Spirit brings the words of Jesus to your memory. John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
B. The Spirit, like the Father, speaks of Jesus.
John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

III. God’s word speaks to the mind.
A. John 17 uses the word “word” three times speaking od God’s word.
John 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
John 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
B. These verses are not limited to meaning only Scriptures.
C. They also refer to the direct spoken words of God we discussed earlier.
D. Those words lead specifically to Jesus.

IV. Jesus reaching out to you.
A. Jesus prayed for you specifically.
John 17:20-24 (NLT)
"I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony. [21] My prayer for all of them is that the world will believe you sent me. [22] "I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are— [23] I in them and you in me, all being perfected into one. Then the world will know that you sent me and will understand that you love them as they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father—that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and much as you love me. [24] Father, I want these whom you've given me to be with me, so they can see my glory. You gave me the glory because you loved me even before the world began!
The final portion of Jesus’ prayer (vv. 20-26) was for future believers who would come to Him through the message of the apostles. In the Church Age all Christians have come to Christ directly or indirectly through the apostles’ witness. Jesus knew His mission would succeed. He would die and be raised, He would send forth the Spirit, the apostles would preach, people would be converted, and the church would be formed. As each high priest of Israel bore the names of the tribes before the presence of God in the tabernacle and the temple (cf. Ex. 28:9-12, 21-29), so now Jesus, the great High Priest, carried future believers into the holy presence of His heavenly Father (cf. Heb. 4:14-5:12; 7:24-8:2). Bible Knowledge Commentary
B. It boils down to if you are one with Him, what should you do?
1. Follow the example of Christ.
2. Cling to the words of Christ.

Thank you for visiting with me today. Stay safe and well, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hope through Jesus

Good Monday Morning To You!
It is always good to visit with you. It is especially nice when you talk back. From time to time someone writes in with a question. It never ceases to amaze me how many people ask about Johnny and Vic. I received a question this past week where the reader wrote, “I enjoy reading the adventures of Johnny and Vic. My question is, was Johnny and Vic good boys, or bad boys? I hope you answer my letter.

Thank you for your question. Writing about Johnny and Vic allows me revisit the best time of my life. Johnny and Vic were good boys. We spoke respectfully to adults and obeyed the law. We used words like please, thank you, and you’re welcome. We never called an adult by their first name. In our house, you did not simply finish your meal then get up to leave. You said, “May I be excused please?” You then waited until you were told it was alright to leave the table.

Johnny and Vic were normal little boys. We were adventurous, and a bit bold, but were normal boys from the late 50’s and early 60’s. I remember one time we built parachutes out of bed sheets. Johnny had a wall in his back yard, so we planned to jump off. I do not remember how high the wall was, but to eight year olds, it was monstrous. The parachute idea did not work out as we wanted, but that gives you a good idea of what Johnny and Vic were like; just normal, precocious, but good little guys who were the best of friends and who rode their bikes all over town.

Yesterday was a good day at Friendship Harmony. We have been blessed to have visitors coming, and coming regularly. That is an encouraging sign. I concluded the series on “hope.” The notes from last week are enclosed. Yesterday’s notes were simply a wrap up of the preceeding two weeks. The video will be ready by Tuesday morning, so be sure you watch it. I’m proud. This week I was under 10 minutes by 25 seconds. We try to keep them about 10 minutes long. You can see it, or past videos by going to Let us know what you think of our video ministry. Here are the notes from July 20.

Here’s Hope: Jesus©
Romans 5:1-8
Hope Series 2 of 2 By Victor Cooper

Intro: Today from Romans chapter 5 we learn that Paul had much to say about hope.

I. Hope is an end result. expectation v 3,4
A. Experience --- the ability to endure
B. Patience --- constancy
C. Tribulation --- pressure
Pressure worketh constancy; constancy, the ability to endure; enduring, expectation.

II. Hope indicates grace v5.
A. …maketh not ashamed… disappointed
Romans 5:5 (NLT) And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
1. It is God’s gift; ie grace.
(a) Grace: receiving from God that which you do not deserve.
2. Jewish people viewed the Holy Spirit especially as the Spirit who had enabled the prophets to hear and speak for God. In this context, Paul means that the Spirit points to the cross (Romans 5:6-8) and so enables Christians to hear God’s love for them. In many Jewish traditions, the Spirit was available only to those most worthy; here he is bestowed as a gift.
[Bible Background Commrntary]
III. Hope is for sinners v6-8
A. Without strength; the inability to save one’s self; hence the inability to find favor, fellowship, or festivity with God.
1. Festivity is agape.
B. Good man?
1. The Greeks believed a good man was a rare thing, and to die for one was heroic, yet extremely uncommon.
2. To the Jews, dying for someone else was not even praised.

IV. There is hope for believers.
A. As I said in last week’s message, “For a child of God, there is no such thing as “no hope.”
B. Romans 4:18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
1. When there was no hope, Abraham had hope -- God had promised.

Conclusion: Are you in a situation where it seems as if there is no hope? What has God told you? How has He treated you in the past? Remember the words of Pastor Adrienne Rodgers, “Never doubt in the darkness what God has shown you in the dark.”
My wish for you is that you sense the real hope you have in Jesus Christ. If you have no relationship with Jesus, or you are unsure or have questions, please contact me at Have a really good week, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!


Monday, July 14, 2014

Good Monday Morning To You!!

Have you had a good week since we last visited? I hope you have, and I hope this blog finds you in good health. You will notice in my last sentence I used the word hope twice. Later in the blog we will talk about hope. For the time being, I want you to consider which is better: false hope or no hope. As you read on, think on that.

On my past two blogs, I have told you about my childhood in Elmwood Place, and my best friend, Johnny Miller. Someone asked me did I not grow up in Norwood? The answer is I grew up in both. We moved to Elmwood from Carthage (two blocks) in 1959, and moved in June of 1966. These were the best seven years of my life. As I said, we moved to Norwood in 1966, and as of the date of this writing, my brother, Greg, still lives in our house on Hunter Avenue. Dad has been gone since March of 2003, and Mom left us in January of 2013. I lived in that house from June of 1966, until I married in September of 1976. Many of my happiest memories are at that home. However, it wasn’t always so.

Our house on Oak Street in Elmwood was right behind the school. To get to school, all I had to do was jump the fence, which I regularly did. The fence was only three feet tall, so it was quite simple. I started Kindergarten there, and stayed until the end of my sixth grade year. The school was the reason my parents moved to Elmwood. Our house (rented) in Carthage was inside Cincinnati city limits, while Elmwood was not. My parents preferred I be schooled anywhere except Cincinnati Public Schools. From the day I started in Elmwood, I had this unspoken feeling that it was my school. The kids were my friends. I felt comfortable and at home in the Elmwood Place Public School. Then what I had always counted as a blessing turned into a catastrophe. The school took our house. This was the first house my parents ever owned, and I’m sure it was hard for them too.

Dad and Mom were paid a fair price, thanks to Johnny Miller’s Dad, John, who was on the school board. Mr. Miller fought to save our home, but his was the lone vote in our favor. Mom and Dad found a house on Hunter Avenue in Norwood. It was a nice house on a dead end street, with a public park four doors from our house. During the summer there were park leaders who had crafts, movies, and lots of fun things to do. It was a kid’s dream, but I hated every minute of it. I wanted no part of it. I spent as much time as I could inside watching television. I was away from my school, my friends, and my best friend Johnny.

Norwood Public Schools were like Elmwood, in that neither were part of the Cincinnati School system. Norwood had great schools, but the problem was they were not my school. When I entered seventh grade, I felt alone and vulnerable. I was not in my school, I was in “their” school. For the next two years I floundered because I simply could not make the adjustment. To their credit, the Norwood kids did offer me friendship, and I did make friends, but it wasn’t the same. I was miserable! I became withdrawn, moody, and quite surly. In 1968, something happened that would make a profound change in my outlook, and my life.

In September of 1968, I went to Norwood High School. All Norwood kids attended the same High School. Suddenly it was not “my” school, or “their” school; it was “our” school. I fit in again! I was relaxed, happy, contented, and nice again. Norwood High School probably saved me from a life of misery; possibly even delinquency. I had a teacher at Norwood, Mr. J. R. Phillips, who instilled qualities in me that have made me the man I am today. If I could go back in time and re-live any part of my life, it would be my Elmwood days, but I thank God I spent four memorable years at Norwood High School. Believe it or not, back in February, I was able to attend a high school reunion right here in Ft. Myers. What a treat it was!

What a great day we experienced at Friendship Harmony yesterday!! For this time of year, the attendance was good, and it was a pure joy to be at our church. The song service was excellent. We sang some familiar hymns, and it was a treat to hear people singing the different parts. Friendship Harmony might not be the biggest church on the planet, but she sure does have some mighty fine singers.

The morning message was on the topic “hope.” Earlier I asked you which is better, false house or no hope. I conducted a survey on Facebook where I asked that very question. I had eleven people respond, and eight said false hope was better. Before I began this study, I would have answered that same way. I polled the people at church and one third said false hope was better, one third said no hope was better, and one third did not respond. Below are the sermon notes. I think they are pretty much self explanatory, plus on Tuesday morning, you can watch our 10 minute video on this message. I want you to watch the video, but let me let you in on a glorious fact: for a born again child of God, there is no such thing as “no hope.” You will also find that according to Scriptures, false hope “…makes the heart sick." You can find the video at If you feel as if you are trapped in a hopeless, helpless situation, please watch the video. The notes are below, and they too should be most helpful.

Here’s Hope: Jesus
Romans 15:4
Hope series: Part 1 Victor Cooper

Intro: Do you have hope? Do you even know what it is? Which is better, false hope, no hope, or what you define as hope? Do Scriptures speak of hope?

I. My Facebook survey question #!. Which is better false hope, or no hope?
A. Eight of eleven people said false hope was better.
1. Those answering false hope agreed that as My daughter, Amanda Cooper Nooner, said, “False hope is at least motivation to keep going.
2. My high school friend, Steve Brennecke responded, “With false hope, you are still in there fighting, even though it’s hopeless.
B. Three of eleven said no hope is better.
1. Two people simply responded no hope is the better of the two.
2. Bess’s and my friend in Ohio, Linn Ash,
Said, “It depends on the circumstances the hope is applied to.
3. Before I began this study, I would have said
False hope was better because at least you had something.
4. False hope is a lie --- you think you have something, but you are simply ignoring the fact of hopelessness.
5. The Bible says in Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Ii. The fact of no hope sounds bleak and debilitating.
A. Thompson’s Chain reference Bible defines no hope as, “state of despair, having no expectation of a favorable outcome.”
B. Jonah felt the full weight of despair and
hopelessness. Jonah 4:8 And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.
C. For a believer no hope and false hope is swallowed up by hope!

III. My Facebook survey question #2 was, What is hope?
A. Amanda Nooner responded, “Hope is the feeling and belief that things can change. It’s knowing that there is more.”
B. A friend from my high school band days Linda Craycraft Albos, wrote, “A dream of something good. A belief that if you do something right, your hopes will come true.”
C. In the OT, several words are translated hope.
1. A place of refuge
2. Expectation.
3. A cord.
D. In the NT the Greek word is elpis, and means

IV. The world is full of hope, but it is a hope with the potential to fail.
A. Failed hope is worse than false hope or no hope.
1. We have a good team this year. We have the hope of winning it all.
2. I’m desperate, I sure hope these lottery numbers hit.
B. In both examples the potential to succeed or fail is present. The chance of failure is greater.

V. The hope in Christ is totally dependable, without the possibility of failure.
A. Paul said Jesus was his hope. 1 Tim. 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and the Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope.
B. The writer of Hebrews calls our hope an anchor.
Hebrews 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which
Entereth into that within the vail.

Conclusion: Which kind of hope is predominant in your life:
False hope, no hope, or the hope this world
Offers? Do you prefer these, or what Christ

Thanks for reading the blog and for watching the video. My prayer is that they are a blessing to you. Have a good week, and I’ll see you tomorrow on the video, and again next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.