Sunday, October 31, 2010

Belonging to Jesus!

Good Monday Morning to you!

Did you have a lot of trick or treaters last night? Do you perhaps have kids who brought home tons of candy. I had four little ones many moons ago and when the candy was brought in it was a candy buffet. I’d send the kids to bed then feast. Oh I miss those days! Where we live now we get no trick or treat children, but as an old scout, our motto was “be prepared.” So, I purchase lots of candy, then ….. Well, it would be a sin to waste it. (Bill and Patty I’m just kidding --- simply taking “poetic license.”) I’ve made my son Jason a deal. If I lose thirty pounds, he will stop smoking. I sure intend to try because I know if I do, he will fulfill his end of the bargain. To keep me honest, Bill and Patty Wolfe parked me on their scale. I’m not going to publicize what the scale said because quite frankly, I believe it is broken! Let’s move on to more spiritual matters.

Yesterday was another awesome day at Friendship Harmony Church. The Spirit of the LORD was very present and attendance was extremely good. God has been so good to our Church. The blessings from week to week are nothing short of phenomenal! All I can say is, “Praise His holy name!!!”

The sermon topic was from Isaiah 43:1-7. I preached a verse by verse expository of that passage. What I wanted people to see was the encouragement that comes from being a child of God. The first verse reads, “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” In that particular verse is four words that are key to the entire passage. Not only are they of importance, but so is their placement. The words are “created,” “formed,” “redeemed,” and “called.” Let’s talk a quick look at each. As they are defined, their placement becomes obvious. The first word is “created.” This word comes from a Hebrew word that indeed means created, but it has to do with choice. God chose us. He certainly didn’t have to; He just did. There was nothing in us worthy of His favor, He simply favored us. If we were worthy, salvation would be earned. It would become salary. However, grace is not earned nor is it deserved. Remember, grace is receiving from God that which you do not deserve. It is a gift from God, and God is no Indian giver.

Our next word is, “formed.” Formed comes from a Hebrew word pronounced “yaw-tsar’.” It means being “squeezed into shape.” Did you play with Silly Putty as a child? Do you remember squeezing it and making things out of it? The concept is essentially the same, but on a much grander scale. God squeezes us to mold us. Sometime squeezing hurts, but God does it for our good. Surgery also hurts, but our doctors do it for our good; it is necessary. As God molds us, we become better fit for His service. That is the purpose of the squeezing.

Next is the word “redeemed.” This is the most familiar of the words. It means to “buy back.” Scripture teaches us from 1 Corinthians 6 and 7, “You are bought with a price.” God purchased you with the blood of His dear Son, Jesus. That means in God’s eyes, you are valuable. Do not let the devil make you feel cheap. Do not buy into his lies when he says you are worthless or useless. You certainly are not! God paid the ransom for you with the life’s blood of Jesus Christ. Remember the last part of verse one. God declares, “You are mine.” I’m surely glad for that.

The final word is, “called.” The Hebrew word is qura,” pronounced kaw-raw.’ It literally means being accosted in a good way. Think of two people walking side by side with one person having their hand on the other one’s back gently guiding them. This is exactly how the LORD walks with us. As we walk down this road called life, His hand is on us making sure we are maintaining a proper course. But why? The answer is found in verse seven: “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” Be sure you open your Bible and read the entire section. As you read those words, hear them as if The Holy Spirit is speaking directly to you because actually He is. May the LORD bless you as you read.

Well, I imagine you have things you need to get to, so I’ll say good-bye for now. Thank you for allowing me to share this time with you and as always, I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Angels and Frazier

Good Monday Morning to you!

Did you notice I changed my profile picture? The little guy with me is my best friend, Frazier. Frazier is 10 months old and is our new puppy. We got him back on the 6th of February. He is a miniature schnauzer who originally came from McKee, Kentucky, near London. Like nearly everyone else in Florida, he is from somewhere else. He is adapting well, but has a few things to learn. We are trying to teach him not to jump on people when they come to see us. We live so far back in the woods that company is rare at our house, so I guess he’s excited about seeing fresh faces. The dog whisperer has given us many excellent tips, and it doesn’t hurt that he too has a miniature schnauzer. Frazier has brought a lot of love and happiness to our home, but I must confess he is my last puppy. I simply do not have the stamina to keep up with his youthful exuberance. I just wonder what happened to mine.

Yesterday we had an excellent service with super attendance. The sermon title came from an old song entitled, “Angels Watchin’ Over Me My Lawd.” I tried to convey to the Church that as believers God sometime will send “ministering spirits” or angels our way as needed. We examined the fact that they are sent. Genesis 24:40a “ And he said unto me, The LORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way…” Angels never come on their own, nor do they ever initiate any action, with the exception of praising God. An angel will only act upon God’s command. If only we as believers would follow that example.

Also, an angel can be an answer to your prayer. That is not to suggest that you pray specifically for angelic assistance, but God can and indeed has dispatched them to the aid of a believer in distress. We read in Numbers 20:16a “And when we cried unto the LORD, he heard our voice, and sent an angel…” God is not limited when it comes to answering our cries for help and angels stand ready to assist just as quickly as the LORD says, “Go!” Are you is a difficult or perplexing situation? Perhaps an angel is at your side.

Did you realize an angel can take on any form necessary including that of a human? This is not science fiction, nor is it super spiritualism --- angels are real. They are created beings says Nehemiah 9:6 who according to 1 Peter 1:13b are interested in the happenings here on earth. They even rejoice when a sinner confesses and trusts Christ. (Luke 15:10) Perhaps you have seen an angel, but did not recognize him as such. When we think of angels we think of winged creatures with halos. As far as wings go, that is, according to Isaiah 6:2, an accurate description of the seraphim, one classification of angels. There are many taught in Scriptures including cherubim, principalities, authorities, and powers. The Bible also speaks of the archangel, Michael. Many hold to the teaching of seven archangels, but do not believe tradition; believe your Bible. Michael is referred to as “the” archangel, not “an” archangel. The Bible recognizes only one. The apocrypha speaks of several, but it is not inspired text and should not be given the same respect as the sixty six books of the authorized text.

The Bible says in Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Maybe you have seen or met an angel and did not even recognize it. If not, that’s O.K. God does not require you too. Remember one key fact about an angel - an angel is a messenger. The angel’s message might not come by what he says, but by what he does. Pay close attention; you’ll get the message!

I hope you have a good, safe, and healthy week. The Lord has really blessed my family and me these past few weeks, and we cannot thank Him nor praise Him enough. I pray He bless you, too. By the way, Happy Birthday today to my nephew Shaun. I love you buddy, have a super day! Frazier and I look forward to seeing all of you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Heart problems!

Good Monday Morning To You!

What a glorious day we had in church yesterday! The Lord has provided us with a new family who is very eager to serve Him and use their talents for His glory. Their talents? She is a keyboardist and excellent soloist, and he is a music director who has served on staff in that capacity in Texas. He also is an excellent trumpet player. We thank the Lord for sending Ken and Margaret our way! The Lord has been so good to us. How do I thank Him enough? I’ll just live my life in accordance to His word and be obedient --- I believe He will accept that along with my praises toward Him as thanks enough.

Have you had a good and healthy week? I do hope so. My wife, Miss Bessie, had surgery this past Thursday. Her Doctor, Thomas Carrasquillo, a fine Christian man and an excellent surgeon to several in our Church, myself included, thought due to her lungs that she might have to spend one or two nights in the hospital. This was her third surgery in the past seven months. The first was in Hollywood, Florida. She had a ventral hernia with bowel strangulation. As you might recall, she had a tough time with that one resulting in a second surgery in Naples, Florida. We thought the problem was fixed, but she had to go again for more repair and mesh insertion. She did so well that she was discharged the same day. She is awfully sore, but she says each day is a little better and she seems to be mending fine. Thank you for your prayers for her.

Have you ever visited a doctor known as a cardiologist? If you have, you know he or she specializes in that blood pumping muscle known as the heart. Kardia is the Greek word for heart. The Bible has much to say about man’s heart. By that I do not mean the blood pumping muscle, although even that is referred to in Scriptures. Often in Scriptures the heart means the totality of man’s entire self. Before the flood, the Bible tells us in Genesis 6:5 “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” First we note that God saw. Sin is not hidden from Him. However, from a closer look at this verse we see that man did not attempt to hide his sin. He performed it openly in God’s sight. This is the grossest form of sin known as rebellion. Man had stepped beyond the boundaries of total depravity; he had become absolutely depraved. Absolute depravity is a theological term which means “without the ability of performing or being good.” The only fix was a flood. You might say God used a flood to wash away the sin!

God started over with Noah, Mrs. Noah, and their three sons and daughters in law. However, the Bible teaches us that man is no better today. From Acts 28:27 we read, “For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” The phrase waxed gross comes from the Greek pachyno, and means to thicken, ie calloused. This heart, ear, and eye problem did not come as the result of an illness, it came by choice. We see it once again: rebellion. As in the pre-flood days, God needed to send something to wash away man’s sin. My former Pastor, B. J. Thomas, used to say, “The only known antidote to sin is the blood of Jesus Christ.” He preached that all his ministry, died believing it, and was ushered into the presence of God due to it. The old song says, "What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!"

Jesus taught in the Sermon on thye Mount, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8) Man’s heart must be right with God before he can be accepted by our Lord. Six years ago I was feeling poorly, and knew something was wrong. I went to my doctor who did an EKG then immediately had his office make me an appointment to see a heart doctor. After several tests, it was discovered that my heart was in need of repair. I went to the heart surgeon and the necessary repairs were made. We do those things to not only live, but to have a good quality of life. This is just as necessary in the spiritual world My cardiologist, Dr. Kenneth Towe, said that with my heart there was only one surgeon he wanted me to see. I can remember him saying, “If there is going to be a problem in the operating room, Dr. Hummel is who you want to be in there with you. If you were my father, I’d send you to no one but him.” When I needed a spiritual heart transplant, there was only One qualified to perform the operation: Dr. Jesus.

What is the condition of your heart? Do you know? I have regular tests done to see my heart’s condition, but is there a test for a spiritual heart check-up? Most definitely there is and it can be found in Matthew 6:21, and can be self administered. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” I ask you, what things do you value? What and where are your priorities? The answer to these questions goes a long in determining the condition of your heart. For example, do you have a nice bank account? Perhaps you are a millionaire. If so, thank God for the blessing. Having money is not a sin. However, loving it is. It indicates a wrong priority - that is a heart problem. Are you famous to the point that many folk recognize your picture or your name? Fame, like money, is not a sin; it all depends on what you do with it and how you achieved it. Osama bin Laden is recognized by millions, but then again, so is Billy Graham. Which would you prefer as your next door neighbor? This kind of heart problems is not exclusive to the rich and famous. This is not a “their problem.” It is an “our problem.” What do you value?

I preached this message at Church yesterday, and I hope it has helped you, too. Thank you for allowing me this time to visit. Believe me when I tell you I enjoy our time. Have a good, safe and healthy week ahead, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Find No Fault With Him!!!

Good Monday Morning to you!

Have you had a good week since we visited last? I sure have. I had a super week and another great day in Church yesterday. We have the unity of the Spirit and you can feel the love and positive energy flowing from person to person in our congregation. Everyone is of one mind and one accord and it is just awesome. My message was entitled “I Find No Fault In Him!” More about that in a moment.

Yesterday was Pastor Appreciation Day in American churches. My group totally surprised me with a carry in dinner after services. It is I who am appreciative; they treat me so well. They did not have to do anything, but they gave Bess and I the dinner, great fellowship, and a few gifts. I am so blessed to shepherd these people. If your Church did not do anything for your pastor, the entire month is Pastor Appreciation month. Why not send him a card and let him know you love him and appreciate him and his family. Believe me it will mean the world to him.
As I said the sermon title was “I Find No Fault In Him!” As Pilate examined the life of Christ and could find no fault, I too have examined Him and have drawn the same conclusion: I find no fault in Him. I spoke of three areas of Christ’s ministry in which I found no fault. I found no fault with His grace, His mercy, nor His promises. As I promised our Sunday morning congregation, here are the sermon notes. Feel free to use them for your private Bible study or devotions. You teachers and preachers are free to use them as well.

“I Find No Fault In Him.”
John 19:4,6
By Victor Cooper
Delivered 10.10.10

Intro: Pilate told the crowd, “I find no fault in Him,” three times then turned Him over to be crucified. I find no fault with Jesus either and I want to do better by Him than did Pilate.

I. I find no fault with His grace. Grace --- quick definition
Receiving from God that which you do not deserve.
A. I have received eternal life. John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
B. I have an eternal home with Christ. John 14:1-3
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also…
C. I have the Holy Spirit. John 16:7,13a Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:
D. I have received mercy.
1. Grace, by definition comes before mercy.
2. Receiving from God that which you do not deserve. We do not deserve mercy!

II. I find no fault with His mercy. Mercy --- quick definition
Not receiving from God that which you do deserve.
A. I am under no condemnation. John 3:18
 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
B. I receive no punishment. Uncondemned people are unpunished people!

III. I find no fault with His promises.
A. He promised to be my Shepherd. My shepherd:
1. guards my soul. 2 Timothy 1:12b for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
2. keeps my by God’s power. 1 Peter 1:5
are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation
3. keeps me from falling. Jude 24
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
4. will keep me from the coming tribulation. Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Conclusion: I have thoroughly examined Jesus and like Pilate, I find no fault with Him. Unlike Pilate, I do not intend to turn Him over to the mob for crucifixion. I intend to love Him and serve Him as long as I have breath.

I hope you have a super and a blessed week. Remember, you are free to contact me with any prayer requests and praise reports. I really enjoy hearing how God is moving in your lives. May the Lord bless you and keep you and I look forward to seeing you again next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

We goofed!

Good Tuesday Morning to you, or which ever day you read this. Circumstances beyond my control prevented me from being able to post this blog late Sunday evening so that you could have it on Monday morning. We have become so accustomed to technology being at our immediate call that when it fails us, we are stranded. For years I fought getting a computer, and when we finally did, I did not do any Bible Study or sermon prep on it --- I didn’t know how! Then a dear lady at the church, Jacque Blaney, bought me a laptop for Christmas. She said one of her former pastors had one and that it revolutionized his sermon preparation. For my birthday, which is less than a month past Christmas, Bess bought me a very nice Bible study program. I learned to use them, enjoyed them, and came to depend upon them. When my laptop went to cyber-heaven, I had to go back to the old way of doing things. Have you heard the old saying, “You can’t go back again?” I’m here to tell you truer words were never spoken. I struggled! How I missed my computerized way of Sermonizing! Now I have another laptop and I downloaded my study program onto it. I had to download version # 7 of a Bible Study program called Word Search. My former Word Search 5 is not compatible with Windows 7. My former computer had Windows XP which I liked. I’m not crazy about Windows 7 or Word Search 7. Oh well, so much for my fussing. there is one thing I know I can absolutely depend on and it will never fail --- my Lord Jesus Christ. He said, “I am the LORD, I change not.” I take great comfort in that promise!

On Sunday I preached about deliverance. I suppose the message title could have been “The Door To Deliverance.” We talked about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: the three Hebrew children of Daniel chapter 3. They were facing certain death and as humans just like us, I’m sure they prayed to be delivered from their situation. I’m sure they prayed for a door of deliverance. God indeed provided a door, but not what they had figured on. Their door to deliverance was a fiery furnace. However, they were indeed delivered and God received the glory. If you fast forward to Daniel chapter 6, another Hebrew named Daniel was facing certain death by being fed to hungry lions. As a regular man, as are we, Daniel prayed for deliverance. His door to deliverance was the lion’s den --- not exactly the doorway he was hoping for. However, it was his door to deliverance and as before, God got the glory. Are you going through a hard time or situation? Are you praying for deliverance? Do you find that sometime in your praying you even start advising God on the best doorways to deliverance? I know I have. I was praying just last week and I found myself saying, “Lord, I asked you for deliverance. What happened?” His answer was, “You asked for deliverance, but sometime you get the fiery furnace.” As I studied and prepared for the message, I learned that asking for deliverance is fine, but trust God to determine the right door.

I do hope you have a safe, healthy, and good week. Hopefully next Monday morning we back on track again with the blog posts. Thanks for reading and my prayer is that these little writings will inspire you to be the best Christian you can be. If you are not a follower of Christ, or are not sure, feel free to contact me at I look forward to the next time we meet --- next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.