Monday, December 26, 2011

One Last Hoorah

Good Monday Morning To You!

One final time in 2011, let me, wish you a merry Christmas. How was your Christmas? As I sit writing this, it is still Christmas at about 8:30 pm. Officially there is less than four hours of Christmas remaining. Next week is New Year’s Day --- 2012 will begin. When I was a boy, 2012 was so far into the future, that it was never even considered. Now, it is six days away, and suddenly it takes up a lot of space in my thinking.

2011 has been a good year for me personally, and professionally. On the personal side, even though there was a bump in the road, I’ve come out of it better. I’m better physically, and spiritually. Physically, my heart is good and strong. My doctors are using such phrases as, “doing much better than expected,” and “this report is very good.” The dieting and exercising are tough, and quite frankly some days I don’t want to do them, but hearing the good words from the physicians and the cardiac rehab team at Cape Coral Hospital make it all worthwhile. Plus, I feel great!

Professionally, Friendship Harmony Baptist Church has been a real blessing in my life. I told the crowd at our Christmas Eve Service, that I wish I would have started our Church twenty years ago. God had perfect timing, though, and this Church came along at the right time in the right place. Our Church is farther along at just a little over a year old than is many churches that have been around much longer. To God be the glory! If an interviewer were to ask me what has the Church and I done to bring about such phenomenal blessings, I’d have to honestly say that our Lord has done it all, we’ve just been along for the ride. I believe that as long as Friendship Harmony follows the leadership of the Holy Spirit, we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg --- even greater days lie ahead in the not too distant future.

Last Wednesday, seven of us from FHBC visited the Sovereign Grace Church of the Brethren in North Fort Myers. I have known the Pastor, Bob Chapman, for nearly twenty years. I was invited to lead in the Communion part of the service. It was a real joy to be part of that service. Bro. Chapman’s congregation was so gracious to us, and made us all feel right at home. I hope we as a Church can fellowship with these good people again in the future.

As I mentioned earlier, we had a Christmas Eve service this past Saturday night. It was a traditional service with the singing of carols, a sermon preached in two parts by two different preachers, and an offering collected for foreign missions. For those of you who might not know how we as Southern Baptists support missions, let me introduce you to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Lottie Moon was an American missionary to China, long before the Communist take over. She dearly loved and cared for the people of China. Her example of warmth, grace, compassion, and a zeal for sharing Christ is what Southern Baptists try to emulate today. Part of how that is done is through this special offering. Every cent collected goes to the support of international missions; no administrative fees are received. If you would like to be a part of this outstanding and most efficient missions offering, you can mail a check made payable to Friendship Harmony Baptist Church. On the memo line, write “Lottie Moon.” Do it quickly though, we will only be collecting the offering through January 8th. Offerings can be mailed to FHBC; 2296 Date Street; St. James City, Florida; 33956

Next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic will see each of us in the year 2012. Have a good, safe, and joyous week. I hope that as you look back on 2011, you will forget the bad and focus on the blessings and the good. My prayer for your 2012 is that it is exciting, joyous, and filled with many blessings from above. Seek it! You’ll find it! (Matthew 7:7)

I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Life's Purpose: Conclusion

Good Monday Morning to You!

Are you ready for Christmas? Ready or not in just six days we celebrate the birth of Christ. Now I realize His birthday is probably not December 25. It is more likely a spring time event. Shepherds were not in the fields in December. However, whenever it was, I do not think Jesus minds when we celebrate it, just so it is done with grateful hearts. He came to our world as one of us to be our Redeemer and Lord, so go on and celebrate it. Enjoy your time with family and friends, just don’t get so wrapped up in the festivities that you forget about Him. I know you know all of this. I know I’m, “preachin’ to the choir.” However, I also believe a gentle reminder is good for all of us, Pastor Vic included, from time to time.

I wish you could have been with us at Friendship Harmony Baptist Church yesterday. Our day started with sister Brenda Conley teaching one of the best lessons I’ve ever heard on Abraham preparing to sacrifice his son Isaac. What a blessing it was to hear her comments and the ensuing discussion. The worship service was tremendous. It is always joyous when we sing the Christmas carols. They are some of the most uplifting and Scriptural songs in the hymnal. One song we sang, “O come, Emmanuel,” is actually sung in the style of a Georgian chant. That was fun.

For the message, I concluded the two part series, “Life’s Purpose,” looking at the life and ministry of John the Baptist. John was a unique man and was a link between the Old and New Testaments. Jesus declared him to be a prophet –that’s Old Testament – yet he preached Jesus – that’s New Testament. Did you also realize that John the Baptist was the first person to be filled with the Holy Spirit while still in the womb? In Old Testament times the Holy Spirit did not indwell. He came upon people to aid them as they accomplished something for the LORD, then departed. Old Testament – New Testament! As believers we receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at the moment of our salvation, and He remains until we are ushered into the presence of the Father at the time of our glorification, ie: our death.

The notes are included below. I hope they help in your study of God’s word.

Life’s Purpose, By Victor Cooper

From Luke 3:1, Various

Intro: In part one in Luke 1 we saw John’s lineage (v 5), upbringing (v 6), history (v 11, 12), and purpose (v 13, 14.) That put John into a good position to fulfill his purpose. As he fulfilled it, we note he had the right message, the right motive, the right moment, the right method, and the right movement.

I. John had the right message v 2 – “…the word of God.”
a. V 3 – He was not preaching baptismal regeneration – ie: salvation by baptism.
i. He was preaching be immersed in repentance.
ii. Repentance is a turning “from – to.”
iii. To be immersed in it means to be totally sold on it. You accept no other way. Example –

Grant Smith: Topic Repentance 10409 – Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations.

British detective Grant Smith was sentenced to a three year prison term after confessing to Scotland Yard he had planted drugs and other evidence on four men in order to brighten his promotion chances. All four had been convicted. As a result of Smith’s confession, all four were given pardons to clear their names. Smith turned himself in shortly after becoming an elder in our evangelical congregation. “I want to be totally committed to Christ,” he told authorities. “I feel I cannot do that until I have come to terms with my fellow man.”

b. V 4 – “Prepare” –key word
i. In that day if a king was coming, the roads were smoothed and curves taken out. (v 5)

II. John had the right motive. V 15-17
a. He could have grabbed the glory and claimed to be the Messiah.
b. He could have said, “Christ is my cousin. Our family has come to save you. Come follow us.”
c. He displayed humility and grace.
d. He let them know it was not about him, it was about Jesus. Read John 3:28,30

III. John had the right moment. John 1:6, 7
a. He had the call and he responded – then; not later. John 3:38
i. John could not afford to delay – the timing was impeccable.
b. Jabez prayed for the right moment.
1 Chronicles 4:10 “….enlarge my coat…” includes give me the right moment.

IV. John had the right method. V 4 (back to Luke 3)
a. (v 4-6) He preached, ie: proclaimed.
b. (v 8a) He challenged
c. (v 9) He warned
d. (v 10-14) He taught
e. He was following a pattern later recorded by Paul in 2 Timothy 4:1-5
1. preach
2. be instant (right moment) – From a Greek word meaning, to be present.
3. reprove
4. rebuke –forbid.
5. exhort – to invite; to call near; to encourage.

V. John’s reward was the right movement. Matt 3:5,6
a. It was the planned result.
b. It was the expected result.
c. It was the honored result.
i. Jesus said, Luke 7:28 A
For I say unto you, among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist:
ii. Your reward – Luke 7:28 B
but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

We’ll meet again the day after Christmas so from the entire Cooper family, all fifteen of us, Merry Christmas to all of you and your families. I’ll see you next week on Monday Morning with Pastor Vic.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bless the Lord, O My Soul!

Good Monday Morning To You.

I hope you have been well since we met last. I am doing tremendously well, also. I set a goal for myself to be up to twenty minutes on the treadmill bu Christmas. This past Friday I made it! I did 21 minutes. For some of you, that is nothing, but for me it is a milestone. My former Pastor and good friend, B. J. Thomas, said success is not reaching a goal, but setting another one once the old one is reached. He was right. As we see 2011 quickly winding down, are there goals you have yet to reach? If you have reached them, have you considered what's next? Not preachin' --- just askin'!

What a fantastic day it was at Friendship Harmony! We had a guest speaker this morning; Dr. Tommy Simmons from Arcadia, Florida. Dr. Simmons and his wife Sandy came and shared their ministry and goals for their work, Community Christian Fellowship. These folk are our ministry partners, and Friendship Harmony is honored to serve with them. Our Church recommended them, and supports them as they are in the process of entering the Royal Palm Association. Community Christian Fellowship will be a fine addition to our local association of Southern Baptist Churches.

Tommy preached from Psalm 103:1-5 which says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. [2] Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: [3] Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; [4] Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; [5] Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.” He reminded us that we can bless the name of the Lord in times of prosperity, and discouragement. This is possible because our iniquity (sins) has been forgiven. We have been shown mercy, not judgment. All sins must be judged, yours and mine alike. The difference between a believer and a sinner is that the believer's sin has been judged on the cross. The sinner's sin is judged by living eternally in the lake of fire. The benefit is that as a believer, I will never experience that place of eternal torment. I can know about it from a Theological standpoint, but never shall I experience it. Wow! Talk about a benefit; God's mercy. Do you stand in need of God's mercy? Is there any un-confessed sin in your life? You do not have to wait until Sunday at Church to find the benefit of forgiveness. Take God's offer of mercy now while He is speaking to you. The devil won't tell you not to, but he will try to convince you to wait. When it comes to your relationship, or lack of one with God, wait is the most dangerous word in the dictionary.

Next Sunday, the Lord willing, I'll preach the second and concluding message in our series titled “Life's Purpose.” On Saturday evening, December 24, at 6:00 pm, our annual Christmas eve service will be held. The order of service is tentative, but I possibly will be joined in the pulpit by my long time friend and minister, Bro. Bob Chapman. I'll give you more details next week. On Sunday January 1, at the request of several of our folk, I will begin a prophecy series. If you are in the area, I hope you can be here for all the services I mentioned.

Have a good week, and keep yourself safe if you are doing any Christmas shopping. Park in well lit areas if you go out at night, and go in a group if you can. Start your car as soon as you get into it and pull away. You can put on your seat belt at the first light or stop sign... Ladies hang on to your purses. I witnessed as one woman left her purse in the seat of her shopping cart, then wondered off down the aisle. She made herself an easy target. Men, consider putting your wallet in your front shirt pocket. I heard a reformed pick pocket say that spot is unable to be picked without notice. I know it all sounds foreboding, but Pastor Vic wants you to enjoy this Christmas season.

I'll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Consider Your Ways

Good Monday Morning To You!

Did you have a good Thanksgiving? Did you nearly eat yourself into oblivion on turkey or whatever your family likes. Here at the Cooper's we had the traditional turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes (which Pastor Vic doesn't eat,) pumpkin pie, (which Pastor Vic wouldn't eat with a gun held to his head) and Miss Bessie's home-made applesauce. She had never made it before, and quite frankly, I didn't realize you could make it! Remember- I was born a city boy. Our applesauce came in a glass jar from the Mott's factory. I'll never eat store bought again. Miss Bessie gets an A+ in applesauce making!! I married her for her cooking. When we first met I was a scrawny, 160 pound , six feet two inch dude with surfer boy blonde hair, and Elvis Presley sideburns. Look at me now. After all her good cooking I'm still six feet two inches, only now it's proportioned differently!

Yesterday was a good day at Friendship Harmony, but we missed Ken and Margaret as there was some illness. We are praying for a return to good health soon for Margaret. I had to lead the singing which is nowhere like Ken does it. The best part of my song leading is when I announce the page. After that, it's pretty unremarkable.

The message yesterday was from Psalm 119:57-64. In these verses the psalmist is extolling the mercy of God. He asks God to be merciful to him, “... according to thy word.” (v58) Why? In verse 57 he says, “Thou art my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words.” He is saying he trusts God's words. You are probably thinking, “Where do you see that in that verse, Pastor Vic?” It comes from the phrase, “Thou art my portion, O Lord.” It means “allotment; ie something given.” It is a statement of ownership. He is saying, “You are MY Lord. He knows God is a Lord. That fact is a given. He also grants that God is the Lord. That too is true, but it does nothing for him personally. However, when he claims him as, “my Lord,” he has personalized it. Once He became HIS Lord, he would have full trust in God's word. Asking God to grant mercy according to that word shows complete trust in it, and total dependance on it. My question to you is, “Is Jesus Christ YOUR Lord?” I'm not asking if you recognize Him as The Lord; even Satan does that! I want to know is He your Lord. Join the psalmist in verse 59 and, “think on your ways.” Are they the ways of holiness? Are they His ways, or your ways? Think on that.

The psalmist goes on to say three things about what he did after he considered his ways. First, he turned to God's testimonies, ie God's word. (v59b) Jesus said in John 5:39 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Next the psalmist says he hurried to keep God's word. The old English word here is he did not “dilly dally,” If you procrastinate upon receiving God's mercy, you are either not serious, or you are not convinced. You have faith or you do not. It is really that simple! Our psalm writer testifies he had faith. Do you have faith? Would you like some? The Bible says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:19) If you want faith, get into God's word. Really, there is no other way.

Finally, he says, “At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.” (Psalm 119:62) Are you grateful for the mercy God has bestowed upon you? Does the life you live indicate that? Have you ever even received God's mercy, pardon, and grace? If you want to talk privately about it, contact me. I'd be happy to help you.

Last week I told you about a dear lady of our church, Irene Bodziak. Later today, the doctors will likely shut down the respirator she is on. They say there is nothing more they can do. We still believe God is able to heal her, but from our human vantage point, it appears He has chosen not to do so. Maybe He will heal after all of man's efforts have expired; only He knows. Whatever God chooses, pray for the Spirit's comfort for her husband and family.

I'll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sister Irene Bodziak

Good day to you. Welcome to this special mid-week edition of Monday Morning With Pastor Vic. Happy Thanksgiving to you!!!

As I promised on Monday, here is an update on Sister Irene Bodziak. As you might recall, Irene fell Sunday morning and hit her head on a closet door. The fall caused bleeding in her brain, and she had emergency surgery Sunday evening. The surgeon said the first 48 hours were the most critical. She is now past that point, but is still in critical condition. The doctors are using phrases such as, “if she survives,” and “brain damage,” and “paralysis” and “the inability to speak or walk.” These are frightening words. I encouraged the family to hold on to hope until God says different. Irene is indeed in need of a miracle, but the Great Physician is very able. Please continue to bombard Heaven with your prayers. We are asking that you pray for a complete and total healing. Our LORD wants us to pray “specifically,” so on behalf of her husband, children and family, that is what I am asking you to do. Pray also for the Spirit's comfort for her loved ones at this time.

Thank you for praying, and I'll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Special Edition

Good Monday Morning To You.

I’d like to ask all you readers to please remember Irene Bodziak in your prayers. While getting up to get ready for church yesterday, Irene lost her balance and fell, hitting her head against a door. She seemed alright, but her husband, Don, wisely insisted that she let him drive her to Cape Hospital to have it examined. They admitted her, but about 5:00pm she took a very quick turn for the worse and had to be rushed into emergency brain surgery to relieve the pressure. She came through the surgery fine, but the doctor cautioned that the next 24 to 48 hours were the most critical. He is cautiously optimistic. Pray for her recovery, and for Don as well. Also, family members are flying in, so pray for their safe journey.

While visiting the ICU, we met a man whose name I am not free to share at this time. He had sent word that he wanted to see me. Bill and I shared the gospel with him, and he said he was saved, but I wonder. I’ve been doing this for forty years this coming April, and I’ve learned to “read between the lines.” His answers were correct, but the way he said them caused red flags to go up in my mind. I’ll just ask you to pray for “Bud.” Again, that is not his name, but God certainly knows him. I just pray he truly knows God!

For an update on Irene and Bud, I will post a Monday Morning supplemental on Wednesday morning, and again on Friday.

Thanks for your prayers. I know the families appreciate it as well.

Please be sure to stop by our new Facebook Fan Page and click "LIKE." We will be updating the site regularly, so please be sure to stop by and visit and share with your friends and family! It's a great way to stay updated and to keep in touch with us...

Stay well, and have a good Thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 13, 2011


Good Monday Morning To You!!

Can you believe Thanksgiving Day is upon us? As of today, it will be here in only 10 days. Are you ready for it? I hope yours is special, but don’t work so hard on it that it takes away your joy. Let’s think about the meaning of thanksgiving. The best way to think about it is to pause and consider something for which you are genuinely grateful. For me this year is an easy choice. I will be thankful that I will be able to sit with my family at a Thanksgiving table. As some of you may very well remember, back in July it was quite possible that I wouldn’t be here to do that. Even now, I do not take tomorrow for granted. I am feeling much better, and I have more energy than I’ve had in years. My cardiac rehab is progressing very well. I’m up to twelve minutes on the treadmill, which for me is a tremendous improvement. When I first started I was only able to walk it for about one minute, and sometime less. I see all of this as a gift from Almighty God and I’m very thankful. I try to live every moment of each day in a spirit of gratitude. For what are you grateful? I’m sure if you’ll allow yourself to think about it, you can come up with several thoughts.

Yesterday was another delightful day at Friendship Harmony. The music, as always, was uplifting, and the Spirit made His presence known. I preached a message about a thankful woman from Luke 7:36-48. I’m sorry, but there were no notes. It was an expository message, but if you will take time and read the entire seventh chapter of Luke, you will see why this lady would be thankful. In fact, she never intended to wash Jesus’ feet with her tears, or anything else for that matter. How do we know? Two reasons. Number one, it was the custom of the day to provide a guest of the house with water so they could wash their feet. Simon the Pharisee, was the Lord’s host, and although he grossly slighted Jesus, the woman could not have known that in advance. Number two, she did not bring a towel. She was prepared to anoint Him with a costly perfume, but not wash His feet. However, when she arrived in His presence, she was so overcome with joy that a flood of tears ensued. All she had was her hair, which she used to wipe her Lord’s feet. We also see she repeatedly kissed the Savior’s feet and anointed them with the perfume. Normally, the head is anointed, not the feet. Perhaps she did not feel worthy to anoint anything BUT His feet. In verses 41, and 42, just 41 words in your King James Bible, Jesus slams the door on Simon’s arrogance. Actually, He lead Simon into slamming the door himself. He told Simon about a man who was owed by two individuals. One man owed 500 pence, while the other owed only 50. Both men had their debt forgiven. Jesus asked Simon which man would be the most grateful. Simon correctly answered the man who was forgiven most. Jesus, not to subtlety, lets all in that room know that the woman’s expression of love toward Him was brought about by her thanksgiving over her forgiven sin. Her love of Christ did not bring about her forgiveness. Her forgiveness, however, brought about her love of Jesus. She loved much because she had much forgiven.

My question to you is this: is your outward expressions of love for Jesus a good indicator of how much you have been forgiven? At this Thanksgiving season, you think about that.

For those of you who are here with us, don’t forget the announcements for the week. On Wednesday at 2:00, our small group, “The Jewish Roots of Christianity” meets at the home of Ken and Margaret Birdsong. On Thursday our ladies meet for their monthly luncheon at 1:00 at Captain Con’s in Bokeelia. Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. our men meet for their monthly breakfast. It’s a busy week at Friendship Harmony, but we are so blessed to have these groups meeting. Have yourself a good, safe and healthy week and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.


Sunday, November 6, 2011


Good Monday Morning to you. I Hope your had a good week. Last week for me was extremely busy. I had several people each in different hospitals. One man, Ken Long, sure needs your prayers. He has had a tough recovery since his accident. Please pray for both him and Lois.

Some of you have asked about my wife, Miss Bessie. She is doing much better. As you know, she had been experiencing terrible pain in her stomach. The doctors ran many tests and finally her gastro doctor found her problem. He did a procedure called an ERCP. It was cut – cut, snip – snip, and he felt confident that her pain should go away. Indeed it has! She spent two nights in the hospital, and says it feels good not to wake up every morning with that pain. If you're in our area and ever need a gastro doctor, I highly recommend Dr. James Penuel. He is an awesome doctor and a fine human being. Bess and I really like him both professionally and personally. Miss Bessie is mending now and is a bit sore, but she sure appreciates the prayers.

Yesterday was an awesome day at Friendship Harmony. I thought we had a fine service. The music was tremendous, but it always is. Ken and Margaret Birdsong, our music leaders have been doing a private Bible study at home on the fruit of the Spirit. He picks songs to reflect that. Last week was love, while this week was joy. Next week will be peace. Maybe you could join in too. The fruit of the Spirit can be found in Galatians 5:22,23 and Ephesians 5:9.

Yesterday's sermon was called “Un.” I know that is an unusual title, but we looked at words that begin with the prefix “un.” These words concern our salvation. Our salvation is undeserved, unearned, and unaffordable. The notes, which you are welcome to use for your private Bible study, are below.

By Victor Cooper

Intro: When it comes to salvation, there are some “un” words we kneed to know; words with the prefix “u-n.” Our final word, which I shall introduce in my conclusion is unnecessary.

I. Your salvation is unmerited i.e. undeserved.
Ephes. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
A. If you deserved it, it would be a right, not a gift.
B. You were not born saved. John 8:44a Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.
C. Believers are adopted.
Romans 8:14-15 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. [15] For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
D. If it was your right, God would not have had to choose you. 2 Thes. 2:13-14 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: [14] Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

II. Your salvation is unearned. 2 Tim. 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
A. If it was according to works, it would be salary i.e. earned.
B. It was according to His pleasure. Ephes. 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
C. You cannot be good enough or work hard enough to earn it. Titus 3:5a Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

III. Your salvation is unaffordable.
1 Cor. 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
A. Price yes, but at what cost?
1 Peter 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; [19] But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1. Quote: Matthew Henry Commentary
Our bodies have been redeemed from deserved condemnation and hopeless slavery by the atoning sacrifice of Christ. We are to be clean, as vessels fitted for our Master’s use. Being united to Christ as one spirit, and bought with a price of unspeakable value, the believer should consider himself as wholly the Lord’s, by the strongest ties. May we make it our business, to the latest day and hour of our lives, to glorify God with our bodies, and with our spirits which are His.

Conclusion: Our final word, as I mentioned in the introduction is unforgiven, and as we have discovered is unnecessary.
Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations2352. Gravestone: “Forgiven” (Only)
Not far from New York, there is a cemetery with a grave, which has inscribed upon its headstone just one word—“Forgiven.”
There is no name, no date of birth or death. The stone is unembellished by the sculptor’s art. There is no epitaph, no fulsome eulogy—just that one word, “Forgiven.”
But that is the greatest thing that can be said of any man, or written upon his grave, “Forgiven.”
Have you been forgiven, or are you yet Unforgiven?

Our winter visitors are starting to return. It is so good to see them. If you are getting ready to head south, be careful as you travel. For those of you who live up north full time, stay safe, healthy and warm No matter who you are, I'll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!


Monday, October 31, 2011

The Strong Tower

Good Monday Morning To You!!!

Yesterday at Friendship Harmony, I gave a sermon illustration telling about an incident when my son's dog, Bubba, ran off. We were watching him while Kevin was in north Florida on business. I was using him as an illustration of the words from Hebrews 11:6 (see notes below) concerning “diligently seeking.” I mentioned that in looking for him, I drove up and down the streets in our neighborhood calling out his name. I told about how when “diligently seeking”, you keep at it until what you are seeking is found. What I failed to tell them was, as Paul Harvey used to say, “the rest of the story.” I just preached the finest sermon of my long and illustrious career, with points of theology worthy of Charles Haddon Spurgeon or maybe even Paul himself, and when it's over what did they ask? “Did you ever find Bubba?” Alright, you've got me on this one. Yes, I found Bubba in a neighbor's yard two blocks away. I don't know who was happier to see who, Bubba or me. Anyway, I didn't scold him. I put him into the backseat of the car and delivered him safely home. (I can see another sermon illustration here.) Now whenever either of our miniature schnauzers go out, it is never without the leash. If one tries to run off now, the best they can hope for is 16 feet. One more episode like the other day, and my heart will surely fail!

Yesterday's message was called, “That Strong Tower' from Proverbs 18:10; “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” Note, the righteous, those right with God, run into it, not simply to it. There is a big difference in running into something verses running to something. The sermon notes below will go into more detail concerning the difference. Some translation speak of running to His name, but the correct rendering is running into His name --- big difference. The goal of the message was to guide us as to how we can run into His name. It is a three point sermon with each point beginning with the letter “C.” Hopefully, that will help us remember better. Below are those notes. Feel free to use them in your personal Bible study. Other preachers and teachers are free to use them as well, I'd be honored.

That Name Of Strength
Proverbs 18:10
By Victor Cooper

Intro: Solomon tells us the name of the LORD is a place of strength and safety. Those who are right with God are advised to run into it. The question is, “How?”
Note: run into it; i.e. you run to where it encompasses you.
1. You run into it, not to it as some translations suggest.
Example: You are running to catch your bus. You get right up to it as it pulls away. That’s running to it. OR, you are running to catch your bus and you get in just before the driver closes the door. That’s running into it.

You run into the name of the LORD by:

I. calling upon the name of the LORD.
1 Cor. 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

A. To call upon the name of the LORD you must believe He is interested in you.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
B. Calling on His name is not a magical incantation.
1. That’s called religion; i.e. man’s way to God. Remember: God is not religious; He is that strong tower!

2. You are a child of God, not Merlin the magician.

II. confessing His name. 2 Chron. 6:24 And if thy people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; and shall return and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication before thee in this house;
Matthew 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
A. Confess > Heb yadah’> to hold out the hand
example: (allow congregation to stand and demonstrate)
B. Confess> Gk homolog’eo> to acknowledge
C. Both are similar.
1. Yadah is physical, but it must begin with homologeo; acknowledging with the heart and mind.

III. citing the name of the LORD; ie to publishing His name. Genesis 4:26 (YLT) And to Seth, to him also a son hath been born, and he calleth his name Enos; then a beginning was made of preaching in the name of Jehovah.
A. Men made His name known.
B. Men called themselves by the name of the LORD. By faith, they identified themselves with Him.
C. The sons of men (Cain) proclaimed that since God had created the stars and celestial bodies, and had set them in their place, it was right to honor and worship them.
1. This was the birth of idolatry.
D. The sons of God (Seth) proclaimed the worship of the Creator exclusively, not the


Conclusion: To run into the name of the Lord, you must call upon His name, confess His name, and cite His name. That guarantees you entrance into that Strong Tower.

Some of our winter visitors have returned, while others will be here shortly. For those of you who have just arrived, “Welcome Back.” For those who will soon be joining us, have a safe trip down and we look forward to seeing you soon. Let me also express my gratitude to our full timers. Without you, Friendship Harmony Baptist Church could not exist. Your dedication and loyalty to this young Church is deeply appreciated. Be safe and healthy this week, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Monday, October 24, 2011

"What Were You Thinking?"

Good Monday Morning To You.

I trust you have had a good week since we last visited. Our snowbirds are beginning their southerly migration. We are always glad to see them return because we miss the fellowship with them during the summer. If there could really be a Jeanie in a bottle that could grant wishes, mine would be for year round fellowship with all our winter friends. I suppose that is selfish of me, but I really enjoy the time spent with them. Any of you folk that are getting ready to head south, have a safe trip and we'll see you soon!

Yesterday's service at Friendship Harmony was very good. Our people really enjoy being together and worshiping as a group. Our Sunday School is a blessing, our small groups are an absolute gift from God, and our services are always uplifting. We currently have four small groups meeting. They are our ladies group which meets monthly, our men's group which also meets monthly, our group dedicated to studying the Hebrew roots of Christianity, which meets weekly, and our fellowship and recreation group which meets in season. Hopefully, our Tuesday Morning Ladies Bible Study group can resume soon. This group is led by Sister Brenda Conley who is currently experiencing some medical issues. Brenda is unable to conduct the group, but with a return to good health could conceivably resume in the future.

Yesterday's message was one I had preached back in 2006. It is very rare when I reprise a message, but I felt the leadership of the LORD to do so. This message answers a question I want to ask Adam when I meet him in Heaven. I will ask him, “Adam, what were you thinking?” We saw from Scripture that Adam had it all. The earth was his home. God had given him dominion over it as well as the creatures inhabiting it with him. God gave him all the provisions he would ever need and a companion to share it with. Adam enjoyed fellowship with God, yet he wanted more. He wanted to be like God. He wanted to please his mate. He believed God was withholding good from him. Basically, he was selfish. It had come down to what he wanted verses what God wanted. The end result of his selfishness was rebellion. Selfishness always leads to sin. It is said that multi-billionaire J. Paul Getty was asked what possibly could a man of his immense wealth want. His purported answer was, “One dollar more.” Selfishness says, “I can never be satisfied.” Christian obedience says, “Jesus is enough for me.”

Next week, the LORD willing, I'll be preaching “That Glorious Name.” It is a new message that is even now in the early phases of the sermonizing process. Pray for that message, and if you're in the area, try to be with us. We'd be pleased if you would.

I'll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Headed For Heaven

Good Monday Morning To You,

Some of you are wondering where your Pastor Vic blog was last week. Bess and I along with Bill and Patty Wolfe left after church last Sunday morning to attend a two day Celebration for mature and senior adults at the First Baptist Church of Central Florida. We heard outstanding preaching by Junior Hill and Clayton Clorer, and superb music. Dino Kartsanakis played piano, and he is literally a concert master. If you like good piano music, go and purchase some of his cd's. Also, please add Dino and his family to your prayer list. They lost their home in last years tornado that ripped through Missouri. If you remember the movie, Chariots Of Fire, the theme song was played by Dino. He is a great showman, and a very nice man. The Taylor Family sang as well as Ernie Haas and his group, Signature Sound. I also promised Ernie we would be praying for him as his knee is going to have to be replaced. I received a tremendous blessing from our worship leader for the conference, David Crain. He had us singing, laughing, and crying. What a blessing! If you ever get the chance to see him in person, do so. Pastor Vic promises you will receive a blessing. Next year's event will be on October 8 & 9. I hope Bess and I can go, and I'd like to take as many of you as I can. As time gets closer, I'll share the information with you.

Yesterday, our associate Pastor, Bob Felber preached. He is a super preacher and one of the most humble men I know. It is indeed my pleasure to be serving with him. He preached a message titled, Headed For Heaven from 1 Peter 1:3-5. Bro. Bob's message wasn't so much about what Heaven is like (but he touched on it), but rather he spoke about the road to it He presented a tremendous lesson on the Doctrine of Sanctification. He reminded us that we have been saved from sin's penalty, we are being saved from sin's power, and that at the moment of death, we will be saved from sin's presence. Bob fed us meat from God's word.

After the service, the ladies fed us a bean and cornbread dinner. As usual, they prepared a fine meal. They tell me that next month wev will be having a Mexican Fiesta. If you like food from south of the border, come be with us. That date will be the second Sunday, which is November 13. Our meals always preceed our Sunday Morning service.

Last Sunday, I finished my sermon series about spiritual Cardiology. The message was titled Treating Spiritual Heart Disease. The notes are below for your personal study.

Treating Spiritual Heart Disease
Luke 6:43-45

Sermon Series: Spiritual Cardiology By Victor Cooper
(Sub points)

(Main Points from the Preach The Word Commentary)

When treating the spiritual heart, treat it:

The spiritual cardiologist must have his/her heart right.
The spiritual cardiologist recognizes that he/she has experienced sin before God.
The spiritual cardiologist understands that his/her own heart is, “... deceitful above all things.” (Jeremiah 17:9)

The spiritual cardiologist must pray for him/her own self as well as the patient.

The spiritual cardiologist must treat the heart condition as, “thus saith the LORD.” 2 Tim. 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [17] That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

The spiritual cardiologist must love his/her patient.
The spiritual cardiologist understands the difference between judgement, and judgementalism. The Preach The Word Commentary says, “Judgmentalism is rooted in ill will, while judgment has the best interests of the other person in mind. Judging others must be an act of love for God and his moral revelation, and also an act of love for the sinner, giving him the truth for his ultimate good.

The spiritual cardiologist understands that mercy is what Jesus is all about. Remember: mercy is not receiving from Jesus that which you deserve. Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
The spiritual cardiologist understands that he/she must exemplify Jesus.)

For those of you interested in deeper Bible study, I have discovered a website you might be interested in. It is This site is provided by Lifeway, and is easy to use. The site is free, but there are expansions that can be purchased. Check it out and let me know what you think.

My thanks goes out to the many of you who have asked about my health. I am now two full weeks into my cardiac rehab, and I am feeling better than I have in a long, long time. I have more stamina, and I am feeling much stronger. I appreciate your prayers. Keep yourself healthy and strong so that I can see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.


Monday, October 3, 2011

News From Pastor Vic

Good Monday Morning To You!

Cooler weather has come to us here in Florida. The morning temps are in the low 70's and daytime highs in the mid to upper 80's. The humidity is down, and it simply feels good outside. How is your weather? From what I here, it is a bit cooler up north. Kevin, my trucker son, saw ice on the roads last week in Montana. Fall has arrived, and that means many of our winter visitors are getting ready to migrate south for the winter. For those of you coming down, please be safe on the roads; its a jungle out there.

Last Friday I started my cardiac rehab at Cape Coral Hospital. I did one hour of various exercises. When I was finished, I felt like I had trained with the Cincinnati Bengals. I could hardly walk out of the building. I didn't realize I was so out of shape! I remember when I was training with the Norwood High School Baseball team back in '72. I was in tip top shape then. I'll never get back to where I was at age 17, but they tell me, I will strengthen over the course of these rehab sessions. The hardest thing for me was the treadmill. I walked at one mile per hour for a total of just over four minutes. They told me that wasn't bad for a rookie. The lady next to me was going at an extremely faster clip, and had already done ten minutes. It is not so much that I mind being bested by a woman, but she looked to be about 112 years old. All I can say is, “Go granny, go granny, go granny go!”

Last Wednesday a group of us were privileged to visit the Beth Yeshua Messianic Synagogue for their Rosh Hashanah service. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish equivalent of our New Year's day. It is the beginning of their civil new year. It was a very good service, and our people enjoyed it tremendously. This coming Friday, we have been invited to come and observe Yom Kippur with them. Yom Kippur is also known as the day of atonement, and for the Jews, this is a major holiday. It is not like our Easter, but it has that kind of importance. Next Monday morning, I'll let you know more about that service.

As you have heard me say many times before, yesterday was another great day at Friendship Harmony. I have been preaching a series of sermons on Spiritual Cardiology. We have looked at what a sinner's heart looks like and what a backslider's heart looks like. Yesterday we looked at what a good heart looks like. Next Monday morning I'll share those notes with you. It seems I have misplaced the memory stick I used to store them. These “senior moments” are starting to get ridiculous. I wish I could have my secretary Teri back. She did all my remembering for me. She's a great christian lady and I miss her both personally and professionally. If I find it before next week, I'll send a mid week edition with those notes.

Until then, have a good week and I'll see you Next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Believer's Heart Trouble

Good day to you.
I trust you had a good week since we last met, and that you are in good health. For me, the last two weeks have been a little out of the ordinary. Bess was dog/house sitting for Sister Brenda Conley who had flown up to Kentucky for her daughter's wedding. Brenda's house is less than ten miles from ours, so I stayed with her about half the time. Then this past Saturday, our men's group met for their monthly fellowship breakfast. I really enjoy my time with them. The fellowship is great, and the food is excellent. If you are ever in this area, I highly recommend The Twisted Lemon Cafe on Pine Island Road in Cape Coral. If you go there and leave hungry, its your own fault. Their portion sizes are more than generous, and the prices are reasonable. Plan to go early in the day as they only serve breakfast and lunch. Be sure to tell them Pastor Vic sent you. They will likely not know me, but I always like sharing information with you about good people.

Yesterday's service at Friendship Harmony was quite enjoyable. Our director of music, Bro. Ken Birdsong played a trumpet duet with his pianist wife Margaret. The did the old hymn, “Nearer my God To Thee.” Maybe I'm prejudiced, and I know I'm bragging, but the music at Friendship Harmony is as good as you will find anywhere. Of all the churches I have pastored, the music at Friendship Harmony is second to none.

The sermon was the second in a series dealing with spiritual heart trouble. This week we examined some symptoms of spiritual heart trouble of a believer. The notes are below.

Symptoms Of Spiritual Heart Trouble Of A Believer
2nd of a series by Pastor Victor Cooper
Proverbs 4:23

To diagnose a believer's spiritual heart trouble:

I. watch his life. Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...
A. What he is doing comes as a result of the condition of his heart.
B. His words and actions do not agree.
C. Our Text verse from the NLT: Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.”
1. “Heart” also encompasses one's values. See what a believer values.

II. listen to his speech Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
A. In the first part of the verse, Jesus is affirming what the verses we saw in Proverbs said.
B. In the last section, Jesus says, “...for what is in his heart is going to fly out his mouth.” VCT*
Victorism 2011 “Humility is easy to recognize, and hard to fake.”

III. see his faith. James 2:20, 26 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
A. These verses are a good diagnostic tool.
B. Christianity is about doing. James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
C. Jesus called for followers, ie doing something. Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Next week's message will examine what a good heart looks like. Go out and make it a good week. Search out opportunities to serve your fellow man. In doing so you also serve Christ. How do I know? Read these familiar words of Jesus. And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40

I'll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Heart of Man

Good Monday Morning To You!

As always it's a real pleasure to visit with you in this way. I know that if your life is as busy as mine, the word hectic definitely comes into play. I really haven't done anything worth blogging about this week, so there's no sense in telling anything.

Yesterday was another good day at Friendship Harmony, but we missed one of our deacons, Bro. Ken Long. Last week Ken was at a gas station in Cape Coral, and was walking back to his car after paying for his gas. A lady came into the pumps from the wrong direction, and upon realizing her mistake, put her car in reverse and backed into Ken, knocking him to the pavement. Ken, who is over eighty years old, was injured and required surgery to fix a broken pelvis. Please remember him in your prayers this week. His pain is minimal, but he will not be able to put any weight on it for six to eight weeks.

I began a series of sermons today on spiritual cardiology. Lately, for some strange reason, I have been thinking much about the heart. As I was sitting in my cardiologist's procedure room, awaiting a stress test to determine my degree of stamina, I looked around the room at all the machines used for diagnosing heart trouble. There were three other patients there having various and different tests. We had one thing in common: we had told our doctor what was going on with us, and from those conversations, he was able to pick up on symptoms. Those symptoms told him that there was something that needed further evaluation. It dawned on me that I am a spiritual cardiologist, dealing with man's spiritual heart. As the medical doctor has symptoms he watches for, there are also symptoms of spiritual heart trouble. This week we looked at three symptoms the lost exhibit with their heart. Next week, we will learn of heart trouble of God's people. In the weeks to come, we will look at treatment options. Below are the sermon notes. Feel free to use them for your personal Bible study. Other ministers and teachers are free to use them as well, as long as proper credit is given. (Sorry, but my highly educated, over paid, and under-worked Baptist attorneys make me say that.)

Spiritual Cardiology
Proverbs 10:20
Series: Cardiology By Pastor Vic Cooper
#1 Heart trouble of the lost 9/16,17/11

Intro: My cardiologist, Kenneth Town and I have something in common. I too am a cardiologist. While he deals with man's physical heart, I deal with the spiritual heart. As he looks for symptoms in diagnosing a problem, so do I. Today we look at some of the symptoms of the spiritual heart troubleof the lost.

I. Prone to error --- Psalm 95:10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:
A. err> Heb. Taw-aw'> to vacillate; to stray

II. Covetous --- Jeremiah 22:17 But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it.
A. covetousness> Heb.> beh'-tsah > plunder, unjust gain
B. This is one of the seven deadly sins. It is also known as avarice/greed.
1.  "Avarice" is more of a blanket term that can describe many other examples of greedy behavior. These include disloyalty,deliberate betrayal, or treason,especially for personal gain, for example through bribery, scavenging and, hoarding of materials or objects, theft and robbery, especially by means of violence, trickery, or manipulation of authority are all actions that may be inspired by greed.
B. Peter, another spiritual cardiologist wrote of it as well.
2 Peter 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices...
1. covetous > Gk. > pleh-on-ex-ee'-ah > fraud; extortion; greedy practices
III. Far from God --- Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
A. Jesus is quoting from Isaiah 29:13
B. He is speaking of “lip service;” those who “talk a good game.”
1 I know folk who speak of their loyalty to Christ who wouldn't darken the door of a church.

Poem: The heart of man is stony and cold,
whether young and tan, or grey and old.
Only Christ can fix that mess,
When we our sins to Him confess!

Maybe next week something exciting will happen, and I will have something to tell you. For those who may not know, Friendship Harmony has a Facebook page where you can be updated on prayer requests, and see announcements of upcoming happenings at the church. You can even join our group if you'd like; we'd be glad to include you. Have a good week, and I'll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hate Evil!

Good Monday Morning To You!

I trust you have had a great week since we met last. For those of you who are new to Monday Morning With Pastor Vic, let me say, “Welcome” to you. Did you see any of the 9-11 remembrances? I did not see many, but the pre-game remembrances put on by the New York Jets was the most touching and awesome thing I have ever seen on television. I've seen lots of good on TV, but this was television's finest hour. It is my intention to e-mail NBC and ask them to replay it. If it is ever available as a memorial CD, sign me up for a copy. My favorite song in the whole world is Amazing Grace, they played it as part of the ceremony --- on the bagpipes. When I hear it played on bagpipes, I feel I'm as close to Heaven as I can be yet still be on earth. Years ago my family was directed to be sure the bagpipe version of Amazing Grace was played at my funeral. If you're there, don't be too surprised if I sit up so I can listen too. Again, my hat is off to the Jets for such a fine program. I did, however root for the Dallas Cowboys. Other than my hometown Bengals, I'm a Cowboy fan. One of the things on my bucket list is to see a Dallas game at Cowboy Stadium.

I know you must get tired of hearing this, but yesterday's service at Friendship Harmony was absolutely fantastic. Brother Ken's selection of songs is what sets the tone. Our people sing like they are part of the Brooklyn Choir! I wish everyone of you readers could experience a Friendship Harmony Baptist service. It would absolutely bless your soul. Never in my 39 years of ministry have I ever been privileged to be part of such a fine church. I thought there would never again be a church like Calvary Baptist in Norwood/Oakley, (Cincinnati). I was wrong! I believe God saved my best for last! I thank Him and praise Him for it!

The message was from Psalm 97:10-12. It was about making the right choices. Verse 10 says those who love God should hate evil. Hating evil is not only hating to see evil acts performed by others, but here hating means to reject; to not choose. We are told to not choose evil. Sadly, many believers believe that the sins committed by others are evil, but theirs are only "minor infractions.” All sin is an affront to God: yours, mine, and theirs. Therefore, if you love God, do not choose sin. I heard a song the other day that said, “Jesus is second to none.” When we choose sin, we are saying, “Jesus is second to my desires." That is not loving God. If I sound like I'm preaching, you're right --- I am. It's what I do. It's called standing in the gap. I must tell you what the Scriptures say because God holds you to them whether you know them or not. The verse goes on to say that God is quite able to deliver you. The Greek literally means He snatches you away from the hand of the wicked; ultimately, the wicked one.

Verse 11 is a verse that on the surface is an encouragement, but in reality it is also a very deep theological statement. The first part speaks of Light being sown for the righteous. Notice I have capitalized the "L" in the word Light. That sown Light is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Light of the righteous. Jesus said John 8:12,” I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Righteous means, “right with God." As a believer, you are righteous. The Light is there for you, therefore you can reject (hate) sin! However, that verse has a second part. That part says,”...and gladness for the upright in heart.” The word “and' links the word “sown,” so that as Light is sown for the righteous, gladness is sown for the upright in heart. This part of the verse is speaking of the Holy Spirit. The New Living Translation reads, “ Light shines on the godly,and joy on those who do right.” (Psalm 97:11 (NLT) You have joy in the Lord thanks to the working of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says in Romans 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

Verse 11 reads, “Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.” Those who are rejoicing in the Lord will not choose evil. Are you rejoicing in Him? As you think of His holiness, you can do nothing else but rejoice! Let me leave you with this suggestion. The next time you are tempted to choose wrong, tell the Devil, “Wait just a minute.” Then start reflecting on the holiness, goodness, and grace of God. I guarantee you God will deliver, and Satan will flee.

Have a good week these upcoming days. If this blog is a blessing to you, feel free to share it with others that you know. You can print it to give to them, or share the web address. If it has helped or blessed you, it might help others. I hope so; that is the reason the blog exists.

Be sure to pray for me when it goes well with you, and I'll see you next week on Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

As Good As God

Good Monday Morning To You!!!

I hope you had a tremendous week since we met last Monday. By the way, Happy Labor Day to you. Today we honor the American worker; those who have made America strong. It is not the politicians in Washington who have made this country great. It is the men and women who have worked in our factories, driven our buses, mined our coal, took dictation from their boss, taught us, then later our children. It is those who have staffed our hospitals, manned our courtrooms, and gave that much needed daycare to our kids. This list could go on for miles, but you get my point. Thanks goes out to our farmers; try to survive without them! Thanks to our truck drivers who literally are the life blood of this nation. Where would we be with out them? The American economy owes its very life to the small business owners; those who own the florists shops, the roofing companies, and the home based businesses. Again, I do not want to leave anybody out, but you know who you are. Thank you for all you do, or did if you have retired.

Yesterday saw another fine service at Friendship Harmony. With that service, we officially began our second year as a congregation. As I look back over this past year, it is truly amazing to see all the blessings bestowed upon us from on High. God is surely in this venture! I should call it an adventure, for certainly is has been that!

Yesterday's message came from Matthew chapter 19. We listened in on a conversation between our Lord Jesus, and a rich, young ruler. Twice in one breath he uses the word “good” when speaking to Jesus. He called Jesus good master then asked what good thing could he do to insure eternal life. Jesus replied in verse 17, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God...” What Jesus was waiting for was to hear the young man say something like this, “But of course you are good. You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Jesus essentially tells him that even keeping the commandments were not sufficient; you must be as good as God. This boy had been raised in religion. He knew that was not possible.

As we read further, we hear Jesus tell him to, “go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” The Bible then tells us that he sorrowfully left Jesus. The young man received his answer, counted the cost, and decided it was too expensive to follow Jesus. What the LORD was showing him was the condition of his heart. Very likely had he told Jesus that he was willing to do that, and had made plans to follow through, the LORD would have stopped him as he did Abraham when he was bringing the knife down on Isaac. Jesus isn't against riches. I personally have known some very wealthy people who love God with all their heart. I have also known many “regular folk” who put what few things they might have in front of God. Jesus clearly has shown this rich young boy that he has not kept the commandments. He violated commandment # 1 which states, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:3) Matthew Henry writes these words, “The first four of the ten commandments, commonly called the FIRST table, tell our duty to God. It was fit that those should be put first, because man had a Maker to love, before he had a neighbor to love. It cannot be expected that he should be true to his brother, who is false to his God. The first commandment concerns the object of worship, JEHOVAH, and him only. The worship of creatures is here forbidden. Whatever comes short of perfect love, gratitude, reverence, or worship, breaks this commandment.”

Another commentator, Adam Clarke wrote, “This commandment prohibits every species of mental idolatry, and all inordinate attachment to earthly and sensible things. As God is the fountain of happiness, and no intelligent creature can be happy but through him, whoever seeks happiness in the creature is necessarily an idolater; as he puts the creature in the place of the Creator, expecting that from the gratification of his passions, in the use or abuse of earthly things, which is to be found in God alone. The very first commandment of the whole series is divinely calculated to prevent man’s misery and promote his happiness, by taking him off from all false dependence, and leading him to God himself, the fountain of all good.”

As the rich young ruler knew better, so do we. How do I know he knew better? Because he went away sorrowful. Had he not known, he would have had no sorrow! How do I know we know better? We have the indwelling Holy Spirit telling us. As a born again believer, you literally have God living in you, and He cannot be quiet to your sin and rebellion --- including putting things, or even others before Him. Jesus said in Matthew 10:37, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Did the rich young ruler ever turn his life over to Christ? I hope so, but only in Heaven will we know for sure. However, he is not your concern. He lived and died centuries ago. You are your concern. Is following Christ too costly for you? Would you be willing to give it all up for Him. When I consider what He gave up for me, the answer is easy. I know how to answer this question, but would I really? Would you really? I hope so.

It's been good visiting with you. I hope you have a good week and that you keep your eyes upon Jesus. I'll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!


Monday, August 29, 2011

From Rebellion To Restoration

Good Monday Morning to you!

Another week is past and once again it is my honor to be able to spend these few minutes with you. Were you one of those who suffered from the effects of Hurricane Irene? I hope not, but if you were, please know that the Friendship Harmony Baptist Church is praying for you, and I make this invitation: If there is any assistance that we can provide, please contact me.

Last week was very busy for Bess and me. On four consecutive days I saw two doctors, and two labs. One doctor was all the way on the other side of the county. We have big counties here in Florida, so it was quite the trip. This week I see one more doctor, and visit one more lab, then hopefully it will settle down. Let me offer you this bit of advise: Don't ever have a heart attack. It is absolutely too time consuming! I thank God for the insurance provided to me by our church, but the co-pays are killers. Like I say, it should ease up after this week.

Today begins a great week here at Friendship Harmony. First, this date marks the one year anniversary of the founding of our church. As I look back over the past year, I can clearly see where the hand of the LORD has guided us every step of the way. His blessings to us have been phenomenal and quite numerous. One of those blessings bring me to another event for the week. On Wednesday, August 31, at two o'clock, our newest small group begins. It is called “The Jewish Roots of Christianity.” I am as excited about this as I have ever been. The last time I was this excited, the Big Red Machine was still playing baseball! Seriously though, have you ever read your Bible and wondered why something was done or said as it was? If you understand the culture of that day, not only will your study make more sense, but practical, modern day application to our own lives becomes much easier. This is called Human Geography and happens to have been my major at Miami University. Can you see now why I'm so excited? I promise you, this is going to be a blessing to all. Please contact me for more information. If you are here in the area, try to come. It is open to all; members and non members alike. By the way, just so you know, Miami University is not in Florida. It is in Oxford, Ohio near my home town of Cincinnati, and was a major University when the land upon which the University of Miami, Florida, sits, was hunting grounds for the Seminole Indians.

Yesterday we met King Manasseh of Judah. You can read about him in 2 Chronicles 33, and 2 Kings 21. He was an evil king who with each passing day, out-did his own wickedness. He was rebellious to put it mildly. However, he finished well: he went from rebellion to restoration. He gave his heart and life to the LORD, and was blessed by the Almighty for it. The next time you are telling someone about the love of Jesus and they tell you their sins have been too bad for the LORD to forgive, take them to 2 Chronicles 33. Show them the account of this man's life. Let them know that just like Manasseh, they are not too bad for the grace of Jesus. Precisely because they are bad is why it is called grace.

I hope you have a blessed week. Go out this week and intentionally be a blessing to someone else. When you do, watch what Jesus will do. I'll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Eclectic Ramblings

Good Monday Morning To You!!

Last week I promised you that I would show you a picture of our “new” pulpit. I say “new” because it dates back many years. Here are a couple pictures. Many thanks again to Pastor Jim Rankin for making it available, and Bill Wolfe for stripping and refinishing it. Also thanks mom for letting it live in your garage for several months. I hope you had a great week.

Last week was a good week for Pastor Vic and Bess. We saw Bro. Keith Lancaster up in North Port, and met other people who are working in “traditional” churches. Friendship Harmony is classified as a traditional church. We sing the old songs out of hymnals, and conduct services, “in the old fashioned way.” I’ve been to contemporary services, and they are fine if you enjoy that. Their music is Scripturally sound and the messages are Christ centered. I preached in a contemporary service onboard the cruise ship, “The Jewel”. However, I’m more comfortable in a traditional church. I like songs like, “Redeemed How I Love To Proclaim It,” and “Love Lifted Me.” Our minister of music, Ken Birdsong, feels that way too. His selection of music each week makes our services tremendous! I wish all you readers could experience a Friendship Harmony service. The LORD’s presence is strong with us. I pray it is always so; we certainly do not deserve it, nor have we earned it. It is sheer grace.

Yesterday I returned to my roots and preached an expository sermon with no notes. I studied all week, opened my Bible, and had the time of my life. Preaching is my joy and my calling. My cardiologist in Cincinnati said in order to relieve stress, normally they would retired me. However, he went on to say that for a preacher, not preaching would be more stressful than preaching. My message yesterday came from Isaiah 50:2-8. This is one of those passage with several applications. The first is called the primary application. In these verses, the primary is concerning the Messiah. They are called Messianic. This passage shows why the Book of Isaiah is called the fifth gospel; Isaiah writes it as if it has already happened! The next is called the secondary application. This is where the example can be applied to our life.

In this passage, God calls Israel to remembrance in verses two and three. He does so to remind Israel of who He is. The secondary application is that He also calls us to remembrance. This is done to help us remember that God is worthy to serve, and doing so is safe.

Verse four is the key to this section; it all revolves around this verse. Notice the statement, “… that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary…” This is the reason for the call to remembrance. As we remember who God truly is, and what He has done for us, we then can “speak a word in season to him that is weary.” This is what is meant in the beginning of the verse when he speaks of, “the tongue of the learned.”

In verse five, he speaks of being open to God’s teaching. Are you open to it? Sometime it comes through prayer, sometime through Bible study, sometime through revelation, but most time through experience.

What does God equip us with? Experiences! Experiences where He, through His majesty and might, has carried us, sustained us, and delivered us. Remember what He has equipped you with and why. The what is personal with you. The why is so that, (verse four), so that I can, “speak a word in season to him that is weary.”

Have a good week and remember Pastor Vic, Bess, and family in your prayers. We pray for you, too. I’ll see you next week on Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Four Friends And Old-Timers

Good Monday Morning To You!

How was your past week? Mine went from boring to busy and back again; talk about a roller coaster ride! Some of the time I was resting and recovering, and other times I was visiting this doctor, or this lab, or… You get the picture. It if it was not for the medical profession, I’d have nothing to do and nowhere to go. When I was a kid, I’d hear the “old-timers” talking like this. Have I become an old-timer? Perish the thought! I’m still a youngster who has mysteriously gotten trapped into an old timer’s body. Oh well, in Heaven I’ll be 17 again.

When I was in the Bethesda North Hospital, one of my preacher friends who came to visit was Bro. Jim Rankin and his wife Lisa. Jim told me about a message he preached called “Four Friends Of A Believer.” He named the four friends and I thought I would really like the people at Friendship Harmony to meet these four, as well as the faithful readers of this blog. Later that night while still in I.C.U., I began to think about the direction of this message. The LORD directed me as I developed it, and I have included the notes here. I wish I could have heard Bro. Rankin’s version; I imagine it was tremendous! He’s a good preacher and a good friend. Thanks Jim!! Here are those notes.

Four Friends Of The Believer
Mark 2:1-5
Main points by Pastor Jim Rankin
Sub points and fill Victor Cooper

Intro: These are not a believer’s only friends as introduced by Scriptures, but get to know each of them. They’ll never let you down!

I. These friends are only introduced by Jesus. V1
A. The Bible says your body is a temple. 1 Cor. 6:19
B. You can only meet these four if Jesus is in your house.
C. Is He in your house?

II. V3. The name of the first friend is Compassion.
A. The man was brought by his friends. They believed Jesus could and would help.
B. They were willing to take of their time to help their friend.

III. V4a The name of the second friend is Hope.
A. Hope = from the Greek elpis, the expectation of good
1. The key word is “expectation.”
B. Man’s definition of hope - “I hope my lottery ticket wins those big numbers.”
C. They expected good from Jesus.

IV. V4b The name of the third friend is Perseverance.
His nickname is Longsuffering.
A. They kept at it. They refused to quit until their friend met Jesus.
B. Most people give up at the first sign of a problem.
1. Their pat excuse, “Well I guess God wasn’t in it.”
2. Noah worked on the ark 120 years.

V. v5 The name of the fourth friend is Faith.
A. Jesus commended their faith.
— Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
When Jesus saw their faith -- It is remarkable that all the three narratives call it "their faith" which Jesus saw. That the patient himself had faith, we know from the proclamation of his forgiveness, which Jesus made before all; and we should have been apt to conclude that his four friends bore him to Jesus merely out of benevolent compliance with the urgent entreaties of the poor sufferer. But here we learn, not only that his bearers had the same faith with himself, but that Jesus marked it as a faith which was not to be defeated -- a faith victorious over all difficulties. This was the faith for which He was ever on the watch, and which He never saw without marking, and, in those who needed anything from Him, richly rewarding.
B. His sin was not forgiven due to their faith, but his healing came as a result of his faith and theirs.
1. Often folk are healed, delivered, blessed, etc… due to the faith and prayers of others.
C. His forgiveness indicated that he too had faith.
D. He definitely was the one who had asked to see Jesus.

Conclusion: Are any of these four friends of yours? Jesus wants to introduce you to all four. It took all four to carry the sufferer. Are you suffering? Get acquainted with these four friends and they’ll bear you along.

I enjoyed preaching this one. This was my first time back in the pulpit. When I stood to preach, I was not feeling as good as I had wanted. However, as soon as I read the text and began, I could feel a surge of energy running through me: I preached as I did in my thirties. If I can get stronger, I might get back to preaching like I did in my twenties. Watch out!! Seriously, I thank the LORD for the gift of being able to stand and deliver His word. I can’t wait to see what the LORD has for us next week.

Speaking of next week, I’ll try to post a picture of our new pulpit. Pastor Jim Rankin gave it to me to be used at the church. It is actually an old-timer itself. Yesterday it made its debut at Friendship Harmony. I bet that old pulpit has heard many fine messages in its past. I just hope the ones it is yet to hear is just as good. Certainly they will be Scriptural. Bill and Patty Wolfe picked it up from my mom’s garage in Cincy a few weeks ago. Bill spent many hours restoring and refinishing it. I cant’ wait for you to see it. It definitely has that “wow factor.” I don’t know if I can post a picture, but I’ll try.

Have yourself a good, prosperous, and healthy week. I look forward to seeing you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Back In Florida!

Good Monday Morning To You!

Bess and I are back home in Florida again after an “extended” vacation. I saw the cardiologist in Cincinnati, Dr. Stephen Lewis, last Monday morning. He said all looked well and felt safe to allow me to travel by car back home. It is 1050 miles from my mom’s front door to mine. It is 17 hours as hard as you can drive. In my younger days I drove it straight through, As I “aged” I got smarter and we would drive it in two days. Last week we took three days. We started home last Tuesday morning after a nice breakfast my mom fixed and we drove to Athens, Tennessee, about 45 minutes north of Chattanooga. The next morning, the motel lady told us of a cafeteria up in town that the locals liked. She was not joking! The country cooked food was awesome. We drove that day and made it to Lake City, Florida. Next destination: home! We got home Thursday evening and my dogs were thrilled. They jumped and whooped and hollered. It is great when someone is glad to see you!

While I was in the Bethesda North Hospital in Cincy, my son Jason flew up to be with us. Bess can tell you he was a great help to her and mom during that time. He flew back to Ft. Myers on the Sunday before Bess and I left on Tuesday. All four kids would have been there if they could - our family seems to draw together during a crisis. I’m proud of each of them!

Yesterday was a super day at Friendship Harmony, although I cannot recall us ever having a routine, ho-hum service. Bro. Daryl Ellis preached as I was not quite ready to do it. I thought last week that I probably could, but after I did the announcements, I was glad he was there. He preached a fine message from 2 Corinthians chapter twelve. He spoke about personal weaknesses; we all have them. Bro. Ellis reminded us that while society tells us we should “be strong,” and “exercise your will power,” Scriptures never issue such commands. Our strength comes from the LORD. As far as will power goes, we follow Christ, not our own desires.

When we recognize a weakness, Pastor Ellis suggested a three step plan. First, admit the weakness to yourself. Next, admit the weakness to God. Finally admit the weakness to someone else. It is easier to work through something if someone else is assisting and praying. He preached it is as easy A-B-C. Admit the weakness. Believe in the sufficiency of God. Consecrate your life to following Christ.

Thanks Daryl for some much needed advise as to God’s way for handling personal weaknesses; fine words from God’s word.

Next Sunday morning, the LORD willing, I’ll be back in the pulpit preaching, “Four Good Friends Of The Believer.” It comes from Mark 2:1-5. I’ll give more details, including the notes next week.

For those in the vicinity of the Church, this coming Saturday morning at The Twisted Lemon on Pine Island Road is our men’s meeting. It’s a time for the men to come together and talk about whatever. We have the private meeting room in the back, and the food and service is exceptional. The time is 8:00 A.M. I hope all you guys in the area can attend. Also this coming Sunday after services is our monthly carry-in dinner. Again, I’d like to invite all to come. We have many fine cooks in our Church, and it seems as if they just keep getting better. You do not have to be a member of Friendship Harmony to participate; just come and fellowship around the table with us.

Have a good, safe, and healthy week. Thank you for the continued prayers for me as I continue to recover, and for my family as they are going through together.

I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hello from Cincinnati!!

Good Monday Morning To You!

Hello from hot, Hot, HOT, Cincinnati, Ohio. Yesterday marked the fifteenth day in a row of at or above 90 degree temperatures. In two more days, a new record for consecutive days of 90 degrees will be set. The old record dates to 1901. However, before I proceed, I know many of you have been praying for me, and also Bess and the family. First, I want to thank the LORD for allowing me to go on a little further. I also want to thank the doctors and medical staff at the Bethesda North Hospital for the fine care I received. Not only was it top quality, but you could sense genuine human compassion from these good people as well. It is no wonder I chose to be born at Bethesda 57 years ago! I also thank Brenda Conley, and Bill Wolfe for keeping everybody informed. Thanks goes to my family who is even now my best support system. Finally, I thank each of you for your prayers, calls, cards, and E-mails. I was told I was being prayed for from as far away as France. Wow!!!

One thing I learned was how important a visit from the preacher is when you are in the hospital. As a pastor, I have made thousands of hospital, care facility, and at home sick calls. I knew the visits were appreciated, but I had never really considered that those visits were valued and treasured. However, when I became the patient, I quickly saw it from another perspective. I received visits from the hospital chaplain, Thad Griggs, another Southern Baptist colleague. My mom’s Pastor, Brady Clark, stopped by to visit and pray with me. Two of my dearest friends, Pastor Jim Rankin and Pastor Norman Patterson along with their wives, Lisa Rankin, and Chris Patterson came by. Each of these visits was to me a gift more valuable than gold. It sure seems different when you are the one lying in the bed looking up instead of the one who is above the bed looking down.

You do not have to be clergy to bless someone with a visit. Do you know of someone who is confined due to illness, or even age? Plan to make a trip one day soon to see them. Phone calls are nice, and cards are fine, but nothing beats that face to face visit. Go see someone this week.

I have my final cardiology visit here in Cincinnati today at 10:30a.m. Bess and I plan to make our way back to Florida on Tuesday morning. Please pray for our trip; poor Bess will have to do all the driving. Perhaps next week I can tell you a bit more about our journeys, which included visits to some of the winter friends of our Church. My the Lord Jesus bless each of you, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Update on Pastor Vic

Good Monday Morning to you,

This is Michele, Pastor Vic’s oldest daughter, we just wanted to give you a report on dad.

I would first like to thank everyone for their prayers and support for my family, it means the world to us. While we had a few very scary days last week, it appears that Pastor Vic is on the mends. The LORD has heard all our prayers and my dad's doing much better.... He is expected to have surgery on Tuesday (tomorrow) when they will put in the defibrillator to keep his heart pumping. He does have an infection in his blood, so that date is tentative and could change.

If you would like to stay up to date on any news concerning Pastor Vic, please visit the Friendship Harmony Baptist Church's Facebook group. Brenda Conley is doing a wonderful job updating everyone, so you can be sure to get the latest information. (Thank you Brenda.) Again, thank you so much for your prayers and well wishes....please continue to pray that his surgery goes well and he and Bess can start home.

That said, hopefully dad will see you next week on Monday Morning with Pastor Vic.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

On The Road With Pastor Vic

Good Monday Morning To You!

First, to answer a question many of you have asked: What happened to the Monday Morning Blog last week? On Thursday of last week Bess and I left for a two day conference sponsored by the Florida Baptist Convention. It was very good, but rained cats and dogs the whole time. I had planned to write the blog on down time, but I was exhausted after each daily session. On top of that, the motel had no internet service. We spent a few days on the road and went to stay in some friends of ours condo in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. We got to go and visit Charleston S.C. From genealogical searches my daughter Amanda and I have done, we think the Coopers first came to this country through Charleston. We know that two families of Coopers came ashore here. The first was an aristocratic family, who was part of the House of Lords in the British Parliament. They were wealthy land barons. The Cooper River was named after them. The second family was servants; not slaves, but servants. What I need to find out is were we descendants from the group that got off the boat with their noses stuck up in the air, or were we the ones carrying the luggage. I can tell you at this point, it does not look good.

Friendship Harmony had two good services while we were away. I heard that yesterday’s service was very good. My thanks to our Director of Missions, Everett Rafferty, for sharing the names of these pinch hitting pastors. Our people had good comments to say about both. I do not have their notes to share with you, but I have reached back to last September to the second message I ever preached at Friendship Harmony. It was called Together In The Boat. I wanted our people to know that this new ship we found ourselves in had Jesus on board with us. With Jesus on board, no harm can befall you. Here are those notes.

Together In The Boat
Mark 4:35-41
By Victor Cooper

Intro: As you navigate the seas of life is Jesus together with you in your boat? He was with His disciples in their boat, and even in a fierce hurricane type storm, because they were together with him, everything turned out fine.

I. They were together in their efforts. V37
A. Several of them were experienced shipmen.
1. Undoubtedly they tried to handle it.
2. This is not necessarily a bad thing.
A. God gave you the ability to learn what you know. He expects you to use it.
B. Some situations are outside your realm of expertise.
B. The Bible does not elaborate on how hard they tried, but they were together in agreement, “We cannot handle this!”
1. They were correct. Jesus addresses the storm using the same words He used to cast out demons.
2. Jesus likely knew this storm was satanic in origin.
Cf. Job 1:19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men…

II. They were together in their prayer. V38
A. Hear their desperation in their cry.
B. Their prayer was an attempt at manipulation.
1. They attempted to shame the Lord into delivering them from the storm.
2. A simple, “Help us Lord we’re perishing and we don’t know what to do,” would have been sufficient.
C. Jesus honored their unity of prayer. Matthew 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

III. They were together in their growth. v40
A. Jesus questioned their cowardice.
B. It was a great object lesson in faith.
C. Jesus taught them that as long as He is onboard all will be well.

IV. They were together in their worship. V41
A. In stilling the storm Jesus assumed the authority exercised only by God in the Old Testament (cf. Pss. 89:8-9; 104:5-9; 106:8-9; 107:23-32).
—Bible Knowledge Commentary
B. They would soon know in their hearts what they now knew in their heads!

Conclusion: Are you together with Jesus onboard your boat? If not, why not invite Him aboard! All He is waiting for is an invitation from you.

I hope you have a good week. I will tell you a bit more about our trip into the Carolinas next week. I’ll even tell you how I found myself in Virginia, quite unprepared for. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!