Monday, January 31, 2011

Still Alive!!!

Good Monday Morning to you!!!

I do hope you’ve had a great week since last Monday. Last week Miss Bessie and I stopped at Pastor Bob and Wanda Felber’s home at about noon. Bob and Wanda fried up some eggs, sausage, and apples. We also had biscuits and gravy. This was our dinner. Dinner is what you city folk call lunch. Fancy city folk call it luncheon. Whatever, I’ll bet our dinner beat your cold bologna sandwich lunch. It was delicious. Thanks Bob and Wanda.

Things have settled down here. My son, Kevin, an over the road truck driver, came home in early January. He was supposed to be here briefly, but came down with a case of strep throat. It took two rounds of antibiotics to clear it. He left last Friday and by the time you read this will be pulling into a terminal in Chicago. He’s already made stops in Atlanta and Memphis. This time is different though. This time he left his traveling companion, a miniature schnauzer named Bubba here with us. Our family is partial to dogs in the terrier family, especially schnauzers. Bubba was a rescue dog - he had been treated badly by his former owner. Kevin picked him up in Lexington, Ky. and kept him with him on the truck since last April. With the exception of a few days at home last August, those two have crossed this country ever since. It was decided that Bubba needed some time around other people and animals, so he is home with us. Frazier and Bubba play well, but the cats are still undecided. Bubba is adjusting and doing well, but Pastor Vic is having a hard time keeping up with “the boys.” My cardiologist said I needed exercise, and these two are certainly seeing to it that I get it. They sure are fun - and great company.

For the fourth week in a row we beat an attendance record at Friendship Harmony. It just keeps growing and growing. God gets all the glory for it! I pray our Church continues to receive His blessings, and that we continue to remain worthy of them. I know we are not worthy, but the LORD is blessing the faithfulness of His people. What a tremendous blessing it is.

Our constitution service is just two weeks away on February 13. That will be an awesome day. If you are in the area, be sure you come by and be with us. A fellowship meal will follow the service. If you are not here, why not take some vacation time and come down. I promise you it will be well worth your time. I’m trying to convince my Mom to come down for a visit. Let’s think about this: Cincinnati in February -- 2 degrees and snow and ice on the ground. Pine Island in February -- 72 degrees and the ice is in our lemonade. It is a no brainer, she should come and so should many of you.

Yesterday at Friendship Harmony I preached “The Preaching Of The Cross” from 1 Corinthians 1:17-19. We talked about how the fact of some man living two thousand years ago and dying on a cross to forgive us of our sins is illogical and absurd. Really it is until you stop and consider just who it was that died on that cross. It was the sinless, holy, Son of Almighty God. The cross doesn’t make the difference, but the one hanging there does. Paul was saying that a proper preaching of the cross must include Christ Jesus. The gospel is the good news of the living Christ. Crucified to death? Yes. Dead still? Absolutely not! He is risen, alive, and seated at the right hand of the Father. The good news is because He is alive, a person who is dead in their sins can live as well. It is Christ who makes them alive. Paul would later tell the Corinthians in this same letter that Christ, (the last Adam) “…was made a quickening spirit.” (1 Corinthians 15:45b) Paul would tell the Ephesians’ Church, “And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1) The Greek word for quickened literally means to reanimate; i.e. to bring back to life. When Christ saved you, He made you alive. Heaven is not the place where dead folk go; it is where the living go! Have you been made alive by the power of Jesus Christ? Only He can make you alive. He does it by forgiving your sins and adopting you into His family. Remember: a dead child cannot be adopted, only a living one. Every person that Christ receives to Himself, has been made alive by His power. If you are unsure about this, why not send Pastor Vic a message, and lets discuss it further.

May the LORD bless your upcoming week with good health and Heavenly blessings. Thank you for letting me visit with you each week. I really enjoy it. I hope you do too! I look forward to seeing you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Blessings from on High!!!

Good Monday Morning to you.

Pour yourself a cup of coffee or a glass of juice and let’s visit for a while. Was your last week good? Mine bordered on awesome. It started with a meeting at our Southern Baptist local Association’s office. They host a meeting once a month concerning new church starts. I appreciate all the good coaching I am receiving from Keith Lancaster from The Florida Baptist Convention, and from Everett Rafferty, our local director of missions. Their assistance has been to me priceless. I’ve been in the ministry since 1972, so I have learned and experienced a few things over the years, but starting a church from scratch is a different phase of ministry for me. Next was my 57th birthday back on January 20. It’s hard to believe I’m 57 --- I look so much younger. On Saturday my wife, Miss Bessie, fixed my favorite meal. That is a tradition in our house. On your birthday, you get your favorite meal. Mine is turkey, dressing, cauliflower casserole, and hot yeast rolls. Yum - yum!! We had birthday cake that my kids bought on my birthday. It was funny. They had it decorated with purple and pink flowers and said “Happy Birthday Vickie.” Creative little creatures, aren’t they? Also on Saturday I received a real birthday blessing. A good pastor friend of mine had an antique pulpit he was not using. When I first saw it nine years ago, I fell in love with it; it is an extremely beautiful piece of furniture. Other preachers fell in love with it as well and wanted it badly. When we preachers really want something, we say it is badly needed. When you lay persons really want something, we preachers say you are covetous. That is one of the seven deadly sins you know. Any way, I asked if I could send my brother by with his camera to photograph it, as I have a master carpenter in my Church who could replicate it. He agreed, but before the conversation was over, he had given me that pulpit! It now is sitting in my parent’s garage in Cincinnati, just waiting for a ride down to Friendship Harmony Baptist Church. The old saying is true, “You can’t out give God.” The blessings He has showered down on our new Church is nothing short of miraculous!

Yesterday at Friendship Harmony I preached from 1 Corinthians chapter 1 about having a Christ Centered life. That church had groups with their favorites: some favored Peter, some Apollos, some Paul, and some Christ. Paul taught them emphatically that it must be Christ and Christ alone. He said unity must be centered around Christ. Whether it is a church, a marriage, or a family, put Christ at its center and have everyone positioned around Him. Life works much better that way. That does not mean things will be perfect. Remember, we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world. Our glorification comes in Heaven. Here, we must do the best we can with God being our Helper. Is Christ at the center of your heart and home? If He is you will have a good life with a fantastic end. That end will be to live in the presence of Jesus Himself. The psalmist would say, “Selah!” We can say, “Wow!”

I hope you have a really great week. I know I will. I’ve got lots of visits to make, and I really enjoy visiting with many of you in your homes. Don’t forget, if you are here with us on Pine Island, our constitution service at Friendship Harmony is February 13th in the morning worship service. We have special guests coming from The Florida Baptist Convention and The Royal Palm Baptist Association. For some of you this might be a once in a lifetime chance to see how a Church becomes a New Testament Church. As of now, most of the legalities are in place, but technically we are considered a mission. On February 13, with the adoption of the constitution in place, we will become an a fully constituted Church. In my entire life, I have seen this only one other time. On that occasion, I was the Pastor of the sponsoring Church. I can tell you from experience, it will be a great day in the Lord. Following the service a fellowship meal is planned. Featured will be ham, turkey, and meatloaf with lots of delicious sides and of course desserts. I hope you can come.

One final note before I go. Today, January 24th, is my Mom’s birthday. Happy Birthday Mom!!! I wish I could be there with you to help you celebrate. I love you!

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


Monday, January 17, 2011

Just Talkin'

Good Monday Morning To You!!!

WOW!!! I wish all of you could have been at Friendship Harmony yesterday! Once again we set an attendance record and the excitement is nothing short of contagious. Our husband/wife acting team from New York was with us and what a blessing they were. They portrayed the Apostle Peter right after he denied knowing Christ. You could really sense the shame and remorse Peter must surely have felt. Peter, played by Matthew Zawisa, explained the difference between remorse and repentance. Peter said that Judas felt remorse. He was sorry and hung himself. Peter also felt remorse, but repented --- he changed direction. He turned back to Christ. What a blessing for Peter, and what an example for the rest of us.

After the service, we had a soup, salad, and dessert dinner. I tell you the cooks at Friendship Harmony are some of the finest. Notice I didn’t say the ladies; much of what was served today was fixed by some of our men. It was a good time of fellowship, food, and friendship. That is why our Church has such an unusual double first name. We all feel a great friendship with one another, and we come together in harmony, so Friendship Harmony. I feel like I have been waiting all my life for a Church like this to come along. The excitement, the presence of the LORD, the warmth of the people….. I guess it sounds like I’m bragging, and I guess I am. It’s just that this Church is such a blessing. There are no unimportant people at Friendship Harmony. There is no small group making and forcing their will on everyone else --- everyone at this Church has a voice and their opinions and wise council are are welcomed and appreciated. Not since I left Cincinnati thirteen years ago have I experienced Church they way it’s meant to be. If I sound giddy, I probably am. I just cannot figure out for the life of me why the LORD would choose me for such a great Church! I stand in awe when I think about it. The only thing I know to do is serve Him as best I can, and lean totally upon Him. If anything praiseworthy comes to Friendship Harmony, it comes from Christ and all praise, glory, and credit goes to Jesus. I’m just a tool in the Carpenter’s hand. I do not want it to ever be different.

I’ve got to tell you a little bit about our car. I’m one of these that names my cars. Our current car, a red Mercury Marquis named Miss Daisy, has 167,000 miles. It has been a good car, but it’s starting to show its age. I am thankful that my mechanic, Carl, is so good at what he does. He’s keeping Miss Daisy roadworthy, and keeping a good sense of humor about it. For those of you here on Pine Island, I can whole heartedly recommend Carl’s Service to you. They are good at what they do, and as honest as a New Testament saint. Carl proudly says no one can beat him on tire prices, and I can personally vouch for that. I do not mind telling you about him because I want you to be treated right while you are here. If I, or anyone at Friendship Harmony can ever be of assistance to you, please call. If we can recommend a good business or doctor, or anything else, we’d be only to happy to do so. If you go by and see Carl, tell him hello from Pastor Vic.

Thank you for being such a loyal reader of Monday Morning With Pastor Vic. I appreciate each of you, and it is for you that I write. I enjoy communicating God’s word both behind the pulpit and sitting at my laptop.
Have a good, safe, and healthy week. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!


Monday, January 10, 2011

The preeminence of Christ

Good Monday Morning To You!!

Have you settled back into your routine now that the holidays are behind us? Here in southwest Florida, things are flowing smoothly and times are exciting, especially at the church. Sunday, we saw our highest attendance to date, and I felt as if the LORD were filling my mouth. I have not felt this free in my preaching since moving from Cincinnati. This is an easy church to preach to, because of the love of the people for their Pastor, each other, and especially the Lord. However, it is also a challenging pulpit to fill because this congregation studies their Bibles and knows their Scriptures well. A Pastor has to work hard and study diligently to stay ahead of this band of people. I’m proud to be associated with such a great group of folk!

Every believer has a standing in Christ. Some are on the first rung of the ladder since their walk with Christ is just beginning. Many are a little farther along, while some have reached incredible heights. In First Corinthians chapter one, Paul tells us about our standing in Christ and its benefit. The sermon notes are below. You are free to use them for your personal Bible study. One thing I want you to take away from this study: it all revolves around Jesus Christ. I told the crowd at Friendship Harmony yesterday that since it all revolves around Christ, He should and must be the single most important person in your life. Here is the outline.

Your Standing In Christ
1 Corinthians 1:1-9
By Victor Cooper

You are:

I. v2. Sanctified - made holy.
A. The key word is not “holy” but it is “made.”
1. It is of God, not man. example v1,
“… called… through the will of God…”
B. Holy - def. These terms sometimes denotes outward purity or cleanliness; sometimes internal purity and sanctification. True holiness characterizes outward acts, but still more, the motive and intent of the heart. It is an inward principle; not mere rectitude or benevolence, or any on moral excellence, but the harmonious and perfect blending of all, as all the colors of the prism duly blend from pure light.
A Dictionary of the Holy Bible.

II. v2 Called - invited; appointed.
A. No invitation - no sanctification.
B. The importance is not who is invited, but Who is doing the inviting.S

III. V4 a Recipient of grace.
A. Grace> charis> graciousness.
1. Theological definition --- receiving from God that which you do not deserve.
2. The grace of God is given by Christ.
example: Christ holds out a gift for you to receive. You cannot receive it unless He offers it.

IV. V5. Enriched - made wealthy.
A. : in utterance, i.e. words spoken
B. : in things known John 16:13 (KJV)
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. S

V. v6,7. Confirmed - The strengthening of mind, purpose, conviction i.e. the inner or subjective sense.
A. Your need for your place of service in the Kingdom of God is supplied. 1 Corinthians 1: (NLT) Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Purpose ---

VI. V.8b that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
A. Blameless - All accusations are false and un-provable.
B. v.9 Because it was God’s work, Paul had no question about the outcome. Because the Corinthian believers were justified by God’s grace, they would stand before Him blameless (anenklÄ“tous, “free from accusation”; when Christ returns…
The Bible Knowledge Commentary

I add a hearty A-men to the author’s statement where he said, “Because the Corinthian believers were justified by God’s grace, they would stand before Him blameless… Did you catch in these opening verses of 1 Corinthians concerning the importance of Jesus in it all? Without Him we have nothing. All that God has for us, and all He gives us comes through Christ or it doesn’t come at all. For those of you who like the theological names of things, this is called the preeminence of Jesus Christ. It’s a big fancy phrase which simply means "the most important." Does Christ have preeminence in your life? Is He the most important?

Go out and have a good week as you serve the LORD wherever you are. For those of you who are here on Pine Island, do not forget the special service this coming LORD’s Day. The Living Word Gospel Ministries Team from New York City will be with us in our 10:00a.m. service. This husband/wife acting team will allow to hear from the Apostle Peter right after He denies knowing Christ. After that service, we will all enjoy fellowship and our soup, salad, and dessert dinner. I hope you will be there to enjoy this great day with us.

I look forward to seeing you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Monday, January 3, 2011

WElcome to 2011

Good Monday Morning to You. Happy New Year as well!! I hope this upcoming year brings you lots of good things, and God’s grace to deal with the bad. What do you want to talk about this new year? Family? Hopes? Plans for the upcoming year? It seems like a new year offers all sorts of new opportunities. Many people make resolutions. I heard on the news the other night that resolutions made and kept up to Valentine’s Day will likely be successful. I made a resolution to make no resolution until I needed to. Often throughout the year we can find some areas of our lives that need tweaking. For me it is weight loss, however, I started that last year and to date I have lost nine pounds. I do not need to resolve to loose pounds, so I will stay the present course. In the near future, I’m sure their will be something else I’ll have to take care of. My point is I’ll take care of it when the need arises --- not before.

Jesus taught us to live in the moment. In Matthew 6:34, Jesus said, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” In other words, taking care of the things of today will keep you plenty busy if you attend to them properly.

Yesterday was another banner day at Friendship Harmony Church. The attendance was extremely good and the Spirit’s presence was so obvious. I’m honored by everyone who walks through the door, but to have the LORD Himself meet with us is truly a gift of grace. He doesn’t have to make Himself felt at our Church, but He does so because He chooses to --- that is grace! That was the point of my message yesterday morning. I preached from 2 Samuel chapter 9. There we hear King David express the desire to do some act of kindness for any member of former King Saul’s family.

In that day whenever a new dynasty took over, the new king would search out any remaining members of the former king’s family and have them executed. That would keep them from making any claims to the throne. David discovered Saul’s son Jonathan, who had been a close friend with David, had a son who was crippled. David restored all Saul’s land to this man, whose name was Mephibosheth, and declared that from that day forward, Mephibosheth would eat at the king’s table. What an honor. What grace! Here is a man who was part of the “wrong family” and one who was useless as both a soldier or a servant, but David showed grace. He did not have to, he chose to. Mephibosheth’s name means, “dispeller of shame.” That is just what happened. The shame that Saul brought upon his family caused by his rebellion against God was gone. David had restored honor to Saul’s family through Mephibosheth.

This is a beautiful picture of the grace shown to us by the Lord Jesus Christ. Like Mephibosheth we were part of the wrong family. We were born in sin, meaning we were part of Satan’s family. Jesus chose to make a place for us at His table and declared that we would eat at that table with Him forever. What an incredible blessing. He did not have to, He just did. As Job said, “Blessed be the name of the LORD”

Have a good, safe, and healthy week. Feel free to either add a comment at the bottom of this page or send me an E-mail at You may leave a prayer request, offer a praise report, or ask a question if you’d like. I enjoy writing these for you, but I also enjoy when you write back. Feel free to just chat if you’d like. Tell me what has been going on with you lately.

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