Monday, June 27, 2011

Time Marches On!!!

Good Monday Morning To You!

I had a pretty normal week. Nothing extraordinary happened, yet no adversity came along either. I’ll take days like those. I call them ridge runner experiences. You know what I mean. Sometime you have a mountain top experience! A mountain top experience is where something super has occurred. These times are really good and quite desirable, but in reality are few and far in between. Then, there are the valley encounters; those low times in life when things aren’t going so well. Fortunately, they do not normally last too long. Most of life is lived somewhere in between -- not on top of the mountain, but not at the bottom either. Most of life is lived in the middle, on the ridge. That makes us ridge runners. I said in Church yesterday that life is nothing more than a series of events. Some are good, pleasant, and enjoyable, while others we’d rather avoid. One difference between life in Heaven, and life on earth is that life in Heaven is also a series of events, but they are all mountain top experiences and they are never ending.

They are never ending ---time no longer matters. For now, however, time does matter. Our time on earth is limited, and it sometime seems that it is getting away from us. My Sunday message was titled, “Funny How Time Slips Away.” Sometime we see time, and especially its passage as an enemy; but it doesn’t have to be. For a believer the passage of time can be a blessing, because it draws us closer to the day of our glorification; that day that we move to our Heavenly home. Remember, life is a series of events. The last event you will consciously participate in will be your passing. However, that same event will be your first one of Heaven. It will be good, and will be the first of gazillions more. Following are the sermon notes concerning time. Time is a gift to us from the LORD. As believers, we need to understand it, embrace it, and use it wisely.

Funny How Time Slips Away
By Victor Cooper

Intro: Willie Nelson wrote a melancholy song titled, “Funny How Time Slips Away.” Time does march forward and there is nothing funny about it. However, it does not have to make us miserable. For a believer, a proper understanding of time makes it bearable, and possibly even an ally.

Ephesians 5:15-21

I. Key verse is v 16, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
A. Redeeming> ex-ag-or-ad’-zo> to buy up as in to rescue from loss.
1. Time, then, is seen as a valuable commodity.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty.
Believers then, are to walk (live) carefully, so as to be wise, skillful, and thus pleasing the Lord. The manner for this careful, precise walk is making the right use of every opportunity (cf. Col. 4:5), and the reason for this careful walk is that the days are evil. Many are walking in sin, and since the time is short believers must make full use of their time to help turn them from darkness to light. This necessitates wise conduct.
B. Redeeming the time comes by wisdom which is the end result of understanding the will of the LORD.
1. To understand the will of the LORD, you must first know the LORD, then be in fellowship with Him.
C. Redeeming the time comes by being Spirit filled.
1. Being filled with the Spirit and being indwelled by the Spirit are two entirely different and separate things.
2. All believers are indwelled by the Spirit at salvation. If not, eternal security would be impossible.
3. Being filled with the Spirit means a believer is controlled by the Spirit. Many are self controlled. That is simply not a Biblical concept.
Dr. Donald K. Campbell, Professor of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary said, “Each Christian has all the Spirit, but the command here is that the Spirit have all of him.“

Hebrews 13:8

II. Christ has conquered time. Cf Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
A. Christ has conquered time; it has not changed Him.
B. At our glorification we will conquer time, because Christ has conquered it.
1. This is why we will cast our crowns at His feet --- we are crown winners only through Him!

Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 (NLT)

1 I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless. 2 So I said, “Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?” 3 After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world. 4 I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. 5 I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees.
6 I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves. 7 I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned large herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who had lived in Jerusalem before me. 8 I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire! 9 So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and my wisdom never failed me. 10 Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. 11 But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.
[The NLT helps clear up some of the old English words and makes for smooth reading, but be sure you also read this particular passage in your King James Bible] VWC

III. Solomon felt time had slipped away.
A. His focus was wrong.
B. He said it was like “chasing the wind.”
C. The King James rendering is “vanity,” coming from the Hebrew heh’-bel, meaning empty, transitory, unsatisfactory.
D. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
The godly Solomon had satisfaction in his riches and wisdom, when God gave them (2Ch 1:11, 12). The backsliding Solomon had no happiness when he sought it in them apart from God...
(preached 6/26/11 @ Friendship Harmony Baptist Church)

We had a very good service at the Church yesterday with good attendance. As a matter of fact, we have never had a service at Friendship Harmony that wasn’t a joy and a blessing to be part of. If anyone ever asks you , “Where is the Spirit of the living God?”, you tell them He is alive and well at the Friendship Harmony Baptist Church. His presence is definitely appreciated. Have a good week. Stay safe and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Pastor Vic's special gift!

Good Monday Morning to you.
Yesterday was Father’s day. It was a pretty good day with only one little glitch. I’ll talk about that in a minute. I was wished a happy day by all four of my kids. Jason and Michele are both home and saw to it I received good wishes. Amanda called me from her home in Arizona (the part not on fire) and my trucker son Kevin called me from Atlanta. It was cool hearing from everybody. Miss Bessie fixed me my favorite dinner. Turkey! I get a turkey dinner at lease three times a year: Thanksgiving, my birthday, and Father’s Day. Bess is trying to score points after she gave me a horrible gift. My good friend and our minister of music, Ken Birdsong, received from his wife a really nice shofar for his gift. He used it yesterday morning as our call to worship. My gift from my wife --- a badly botched haircut! That’s right; a messed up haircut. We have a set of clippers that are relatively new. When she attempted to use them, they would not cut. She eventually got out the old set, but could not find the guard. She decided to try anyway. This was where things went seriously wrong. She took more hair than a Comanche ever did. I look like Captain Picard on Star Trek. My daughter Michele said I favored Mr. Clean. She even posted a picture of me on her website. If you’d like to see it, go to and click on “blog.” It is hideous!!! My buddy Gene Middleton is going to love it! I’ve been wearing a baseball cap even around the house. I cannot be seen in public looking like this. I’m not a vain person, and I know my looks are more suited for radio than for television, but ridiculous is ridiculous. Go look at the picture and tell me what you think. Please please send up prayers for Miss Bessie --- she is going to need them. I will somehow be avenged. I do not know how or when, but she is definitely in the cross hairs of my sight. It will be sweet. Poor Miss Bessie. Poor Pastor Vic, shamed beyond belief.

Fathers Day at Friendship Harmony was really special. As I said, Ken Birdsong blew his new shofar to start our service, and Karen Fain and Margaret Birdsong sang a beautiful song. Their voices blended with really tight harmony. As a former traveling Southern Gospel singer, I know good harmony. I was really impressed with Karen and Margaret. It was a job well done. I preached a message titled Our Father Where Art Thou? Sometime it seems like God is nowhere to be found. When that is the case, what do you do? Below are the notes for your personal Bible study. You preachers and teachers may use them also. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Our Father, Where Art Thou?
Micah 7:7-8
By Victor Cooper

Intro: Have you ever felt like God was thousands of miles away from you? While theologically that is impossible, sometime that is how it seems. When that is the case, what do you do?

I. God is never unaware.
A. Nothing ever happens to a believer that hasn’t first filtered through the hands of God.
Job 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
B. What God allows, God watches.
Luke 12:6-7 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? 7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

II. God is never “not there.”
A. Troubled as he was, Job knew it. Job 5:17-19 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: 18 For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole. 19 He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.
B. Paul, a man acquainted with trials, knew it. He testified, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;” 2 Corinthians 4:8
C. Jesus felt alone, but still knew God was there.
Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
1. Forsake> to desert
2. Jesus knew God would hear Him, or He would never have called upon Him.

III. Jesus promised His presence.
A. Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
B. The Bible teaches it elsewhere.
Deuteronomy 31:6, Josh 1:5; 1 Chronicles 28:20.

IV. What do you do when God seems so far away?
A. Know that God is there.
B. Keep praying. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
C. Keep believing. Hebrews 11:6/John 20:29b 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. 29 Jesus saith …blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Preached 6/19/11 at Friendship Harmony Baptist Church Fathers Day Service.

As you go about your week, just remember the Savior walks it with you. Just knowing that makes it easier to get through each day. Have a good week and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

The branches without the vine.

Good Monday Morning To You. I will only have an abbreviated blog this week. I’ve done much writing in the past few days and am kinda tired of this keyboard. I do not know how to type, so for me writing can be a laborious event. I type by the Biblical method: seek and ye shall find. I do want to say that yesterday at Friendship Harmony was really good. The attendance was good and it was fellowship meal day. We had more food than we had people to eat it. As usual it was super delicious.

My message was titled Never Leave The Vine. It comes from John 15:1-8. The point of the message was that without the vine the branches are dead. The notes are hear for your private Bible study.

Never Leave The Vine
John 15:1-8
By Victor Cooper

Intro: Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” It is in the best interest of the branches to never leave the vine.

I. A branch is to bear fruit. v2
A. Fruit is useful as it sustains us. Example: An Arab boy once told me that in his country, a tree that was not fruit bearing would be cut down. No tree would be planted for its looks alone. There simply was not enough available land to allow it.

II. A branch is special.
A. v2 A good branch is taken care of.
B. v3 A good branch is clean.
Clean > Gk. kath-ar-os’> pure
C. A good branch is one with the vine. V4a; 5a

III. A branch separated from the vine is doomed. v6
A. That branch is withered. Gk.> xay-rah’-ee-no>
B. That branch will be burned. Cf John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
C. That branch cannot bring forth fruit. v5
D. That branch can not ask that its needs be met.
E. That branch can not glorify God. v8
cf Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Conclusion: It is in the best interest of the branch to never leave the vine.

Preached 6/12/11/am at Friendship Harmony Baptist Church

Next Monday we’ll talk about Father’s day. Until then, have a good, safe, and restful week. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Wide Awake!!!

Well Good Monday Morning to you. I trust your last week was tremendous. For me it sure was! Nothing really special happened, it just was good. I am feeling really good. I thought I was sleeping well at night, but apparently that was not the case. The surgeon who had taken out my gall bladder a few years ago said I had sleep apnea. Finally I was tested, and it was confirmed. Now I go to bed every night dressed like a jet pilot. At bedtime I say that it is time for me to go fly my mission. It took about three weeks to get used to, but now I am sleeping very well. I feel rested and more energized. I’ve learned to ignore the mask --- it’s like it isn’t there. My mask does not really fit well. I’m in between a small and a medium, but I’m used to it. Today I have an appointment to see the lung doctor. He is the one that is following me for the apnea. Sleep is really important for us. God designed it that way. It is during deep sleep that the body rejuvenates itself. If you suffer from O.S.A. obstructive sleep apnea, you do not get into the deep, restorative sleep. That in turn leads to other health problems. If you snore, or if you are tired during the day, why not mention it to your doctor. It is a fixable problem and once under control, you’ll feel better than you have in a long time. I’m not a medical doctor, but I imagine that “feeling better” is because the body is healing itself --- exactly as God designed it to.

Yesterday at Friendship Harmony I preached “An Intentional Church.” Friendship Harmony is an intentional church. Being intentional is not automatic just because a church meets every Sunday and has a service. My guess is that more churches are not intentional than those that are. What do we mean by the phrase intentional church. I have included the sermon notes for your personal Bible study. The notes give explanation, but if you have questions be sure you contact me. Here are the notes.

An Intentional Church
Revelation 3:7,8
By Victor Cooper

Intro: Mr. Webster defines “intentional” as, “…by conscious act or design.” An intentional church is then defined as “a church with a purpose and a plan.” (definition mine)

An intentional church:

I. has a vision. Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish…
A. vision> khaw-zone’> a mental vision, ie a dream
B. People need a dream. — Power of Vision. Vision reflects a realistic perspective. Vision is not dreaming the impossible dream, but dreaming the most possible dream. Vision stretches our abilities, including our ability to dream, but it is not pie-in-the-sky daydreaming. Vision entails a great depth of understanding, a detailed knowledge of facts and potential. It is not a wild-eyed scheme born in a vacuum; rather, it is a notion of what could occur and is deeply rooted in reality. (George Barna)

C. The dream comes from God.
1. The word “vision” is used 103 times in Scriptures. It was one way God communicated with man before the coming of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

II. has a plan.
A. A vision without a plan is a daydream.
B. A plan say do a few things well.
1. Make sure of the need.
2. Determine what your abilities will allow.
3. Determine your human resources.
4. Formulate the plan.

III. has no problem financing a vision.
A. This does not say the church has to be wealthy.
B. A poor or a struggling church can have no problem with financing.
C. The statement means the church values the vision and is willing to spend its resources to make it happen, even if the resources are limited.
IV. has an outward focus.
A. An intentional church has a “them” attitude, not an “us” attitude.
B. An intentional church has a Christ like view toward people. James 2:14-16 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

V. has intentional individuals.
A. Good advise for intentional believers:
In October 1959, Rev. Billy Graham visited Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. A report said he spent time with the students and faculty and shared the following:
Be sure you maintain a personal encounter with Christ. (The blind can't lead the blind.)
Be sure you've had a call from God.
Have systematic daily devotions. (You need at least a half hour alone with God daily, said Rev. Graham. At the time of the report, he was reading five psalms a day to learn how to get along with God and one proverb on how to get along with people.)
Have a consuming love for others. Show compassion by entering into their emotions.
Be sure you have a message to preach. With authority, simplicity, and urgency, preach to a decision.
Be an example. Back up your spoken witness with your life.

Are you an intentional believer? Follow the main points from the notes, and you’ll be well on your way. I hope you have a really good week. Be sure to write and recommend the blog to your friends. I’d really appreciate getting into more homes and offices. Your help is gratefully treasured. This upcoming Sunday is carry in dinner day at Friendship Harmony. If you’re here with us, come and join us. Wherever you are, please pray for us. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.