Good Monday Morning To You!
Many of you have asked about my mom, Alene Cooper. Several weeks ago we almost lost her to a rupturing gall bladder. She came through the surgery fine, but spent a week in the i.c.u. Physically she has progressed well, but she stayed in a mental fog for her entire hospital stay. She was released to a convalescence hospital in the eastern suburbs of Cincinnati, and since that time she has made remarkable progress. Yes, we are grateful for the wonderful care she is getting there, but we give God all the glory for both her physical and her mental healing. Just before I started writing this blog, I called and spoke to her. She sounded good, and her mind appeared clear. She says she’d love a good cold drink of water, or a glass of Pepsi. At this time, her water has to be thickened because she chokes on thin liquids. Beginning today, she will begin therapy that will help with the swallowing. I told her that when she was able, I’d come up and we would drink a Pepsi together. She promptly told me that Pepsi Colas were fattening and I didn’t need one. I think her mind is more clear than we imagined! Thank you for praying for her. The prayers of God’s people have made all the difference. I’ll keep you posted both here, and on the church facebook page which is www.facebook.com/friendshipharmony.
The services yesterday at Friendship Harmony were absolutely fantastic. The congregational singing was tremendous. Two of our ladies, Penny Johnson and Karen Fain, sang a special. They sang “Amazing Grace.” As they sang, you could tell it was coming from their hearts, and that they believed what they were singing. As some of you know, I traveled with several gospel groups some years ago including The Anchormen and The Maranatha Singers. I can tell you that I personally knew several people who were unsaved, yet singing about Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, these were very talented people, but they could not sing from their hearts. I’d rather hear a fellow believer sing about my Lord than a sinner any day of the week.
Once again the attendance was nothing short of phenomenal. We had many returning visitors, plus quite a few first time folk. We are so honored when visitors come and share their time with us. We were especially encouraged to have several young people with us. One little boy came for Sunday School, so we went off together and I told him the story of Noah. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done! I have taught the Scriptures for years including lecturing at the seminary level. That I can do with no problem, but I must confess teaching a six year old with a terrific imagination was something I hadn’t done since I taught a primary Vacation Bible School class back in 1972. I have gained a new respect for the fine men and women who teach Children’s Sunday School classes every Lord‘s day.. Give me a class full of “would be” theologians any day of the week. There was something the boy, Will, asked me before we dismissed. He said, “Next week can we talk about Jesus?” Yes my new little friend, next week we’ll talk about Jesus.
In yesterday’s message, I preached part two of our three part “Going Forward” series. As you might recall, in part one we looked at Going Forward By Stand Still. If you did not get the notes, you can scroll down to the Monday Morning blog dated 2/12/12 and review them. Today the message title was Going Forward By Walking. The notes are below and I hope they are a blessing to you.
Going Forward By Walking
Going Forward Series 1 of 3 By Victor Cooper
Intro: In our series opening message, we examined the paradox of going forward while standing still. Today we look at the topic Going Forward By Walking. Just as the two men on the Emmaus Road walked with Jesus, we too have that opportunity every day.
I. We walk in the light. John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
A. Jesus is the light. No other light can outshine Him.
1. In the New Jerusalem, Christ will be the light of the city.
2. In the New Jerusalem the light of the sun will pale in comparison to the light of Christ.
B. Believers are no longer in darkness, but light.
1. Darkness def. The absence of light.
2. Light def. Illumination
C. Our Light is also our truth and our Life.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
II. We walk in a new life. Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
A. The Bible declares that in Jesus our lives are new.
2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
B. New> Gk kainos> fresh This verb is in the perfect tense. It means constantly fresh.
III. We walk after the Spirit. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
A. walk> Gk> peripateo> to walk about to prove you can.
B. after> Gk> meta> to accompany
C. We walk uncondemned.
D. Walking after the Spirit is the antidote to carnality.
1. Carnal def pertaining to the flesh; given to the ways of man, not God; the opposite of spiritual.
2. 1 Cor. 3:1/ 2 Cor. 10:4 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
IV. We walk by faith. 2 Cor. 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
A. Faith is expected. Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Cf. (Habakkuk 2:4)
B. Faith pleases God. 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.
V. We walk in obedience to God’s commands.
2 John 1:6 (Living Bible) If we love God, we will do whatever he tells us to. And he has told us from the very first to love each other.
A. Learning His commands comes from prayer, Bible study, and church attendance.
B. Command> Gk> en-tol-ay‘> prescription
C. Obedient walking is rewarded. Psalm 19:7-11 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.  The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.  The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
Conclusion: The song says, “Are you walking daily by the Savior’s side?” Are you? We’ve discussed standing with the Lord and walking with the Lord. You cannot walk if you are not standing.. You can do neither if you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. A believer cannot walk with the Lord if the light has been dimmed due to sin in one’s life. Are you going forward by walking?
Have a good, safe, and healthy week. If you are in the area I hope to see you at Friendship Harmony this coming Lord’s day. If youb are far from us, please rememberr us in your prayers. Thank you for being a loyal reader, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!
Monday, February 27, 2012
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Have you had a good week? I do hope so. Before I go any further, let me give you an update on Mom’s condition. She is still in the I. C. U. in Cincinnati. She has pneumonia and a urinary track infection which are being treated with antibiotics. She also requires much oxygen and is not eating very much. My brother, Greg, tells me she still has times of confusion, but when her mind is clear, it is very clear. The doctors say she is recovering, albeit at a snail’s pace. For those who do not know, she was rushed to the hospital a week ago last Friday with a gall bladder that was seeping poison and was ready to rupture. The Lord brought her through the surgery, and I’ve got to believe she will make a complete recovery. I do not believe the Lord provides half a healing. We thank you for your prayers, and I ask that you also remember my brother. He is holding down two jobs and seeing to mom. I’m sure he is exhausted. For Bess and me, being eleven hundred miles away is hard. We feel so helpless. I do not know what we could do if we were there, but sometime being there helps. I don’t know who it would help more, her or us. When the time comes, we will likely make a trip north, but for now we’ll remain here and keep you updated on our Facebook page and in this blog. Our page is www.facebook.com/friendshipharmony.
What a tremendous service we had yesterday! We had another high attendance day, and our song service was incredible. Our congregation raised their voices as one in praise to the Lord. I heard several people comment on how much they enjoyed both hearing, and being a part of it. Our Church is also blessed to have two pastors; Bro. Bob Felber and me. It is truly my honor to be serving with such a fine man as Bob. He preached a powerful message yesterday concerning God’s plan for the ages. He covered material from the first coming of Christ, until well past His Second Coming. To cover that much in a thirty minute message is quite difficult, but Pastor Felber did it superbly. I wish every one of you reading this blog could come and enjoy a service at FHBC. You do not just attend a service here, you experience it. If you’re anywhere close by, come and experience Friendship Harmony!
So, what is it that makes this Church so special? Why do so many want to come worship here? There are several reasons. The first and greatest is that the Spirit of the living Lord is not only here, but is alive and active. You can literally feel His presence when you walk into the building. The second is the love for one another and the spirit of cooperation that is part of who we are. Visitors come back because they feel good about being here, and they are made to feel like one of us. Indeed they are! The Friendship Harmony experience is for anyone who is seeking an encounter with Jesus Christ. Believers will be blessed and encouraged, and sinners will be loved and shown God’s way of redemption. Believe me when I tell you, Friendship Harmony has to be experienced.
My preaching schedule is as follows:
Sunday 2-26, “ Going Forward - Walking” Series message part 2
Sunday 3-4, “Going Forward - Running” Series message part 3 (conclusion)
Sunday 3-11 “The Horses In Satan’s Stable” (resumption of prophecy series)
I hope you can be with us. If you can’t due to distance, pray for us, please. Pray that the Lord will continue to bless us as He is now doing, and pray that we as a congregation will keep our eyes on Him and never brag about what we are doing. It is all Him --- that’s what makes it so incredible!!! Again keep up with us @ www.facebook.com/friendshipharmony and click “like.” Thanks for being a loyal reader of Monday Morning With Pastor Vic. I really appreciate it. Have a good and safe week and once again, thanks for praying for my mom, Alene Cooper. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!
Posted by Pastor Vic at 8:21 PM
Monday, February 13, 2012
My heart is overflowing about the tremendous day we had at Friendship Harmony yesterday! As you know, it was our first anniversary of being a fully constituted church. The Lord gave us a tremendous service. It was one of those days when you went home really rejoicing and feeling like you’d been to church --- church the way it’s supposed to be. We started the day with terrific attendance. I believe it was a record breaker. Last Thursday our visitation teams made over six hundred contacts. God honored their efforts by sending folk in. The Majestic Sounds Quartet from Wilmington, Ohio came to sing for us, and they did a fantastic job. Our people really enjoyed them, and have asked me to invite them back. This was our first time having outside singers come in, and I didn’t quite know what to expect. I knew the congregation would like them, but it is hard to book someone a year in advance when you do not own your own building. The civic association we rent from each Sunday has a full slate of their own activities, and we do not want to interfere with them. They have been really good to us, and we try to treat them with the utmost Christian courtesy and respect. We were also happy to have Jennifer Horton and Everett Rafferty from The Royal Palm Baptist Association with us. It is always good to see them. They both had a big hand in helping us through our early formation process. After the preaching service, we stayed and enjoyed a turkey, ham, and all the fixings fellowship meal. Our ladies, who are the best cooks in the entire Southern Baptist Convention, out-did themselves. The food was awesome! The pulpit stands about eight feet from the counter. Before church lots of food was brought in. The trouble I had was with the turkey. I love good turkey. The fumes from that bird were blowing right in the direction of the pulpit. It was tough breathing that in and trying to stay focused on the message.
My message yesterday was about going forward. As I was preparing it, I thought about when Friendship Harmony started and how far the Lord has brought us. I thought, “Where do we go from here?” The obvious answer is we go forward. I came up with a simple, three point sermon that would direct us as how to proceed. We go forward by standing, by walking, and by running. As I dug deep into the Scriptures to validate my three main points, it became very clear that I could not fit it all in with one sermon and do justice to the word of God. With the direction of the Holy Spirit, it was decided I would preach a three part series, with each week dedicated to one of the points. Below are the notes from yesterday as we looked at Going Forward By Standing Still. I hope they are of benefit to you.
Going Forward By Standing Still
Going Forward Series 1 of 3 By Victor Cooper
Intro: To Go for Jesus we must do three things: stand, walk, and run. This week we look at the paradox of going forward by standing still.
I. We stand to consider God’s majesty.
Job 37:14 Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.
A. This is our starting point on our journey forward.
B. Considering God‘s majesty keep us focused.
Cf. Psalm 111:2 The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.
Adam Clarke Commentary --- The wondrous works of God—Endless in their variety; stupendous in their structure; complicated in their parts; indescribable in their relations and connections; and incomprehensible in the mode of their formation, in the cohesion of their parts, and in the ends of their creation.
II. We stand in the ways that have proven true.
Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
A. Stand in the ways of God’s righteousness.
JFB Commentary --- Idolatry and apostasy are the modern way; the worship of God the old way. Evil is not co-equal with good, but a modern degeneracy from good.
B. Why stand? To keep from moving in a wrong direction.
Quote: “If you’ve got a good horse, you ride him till he drops.” (Howard Cooper) i.e. Stick with what works.
III. We stand in the house of the Lord.
Jeremiah 7:2 Stand in the gate of the Lord's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the Lord.
A. Be found in Church. Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
B. Stand and proclaim the word of God..
1. They are of the utmost importance.
John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
IV. We stand in the wisdom of God.
1 Cor. 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
A. The Book of Proverbs is an encapsulated version of the wisdom of God.
B. Read one Proverb a day corresponding with the date. For example on the 12th of the month, read Proverbs 12.
Cf Job 12:13 With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.
As some of you may know, my mom, Alene Cooper, is currently in the ICU at Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati. She had to have emergency surgery this past Friday for a serious gall bladder issue. Hers was within hours of rupturing. Her vital signs are good, but she is having trouble keeping her blood oxygen numbers where they want them. She is on the respirator, but they are slowly trying to wean her off it. Also, she has infection in her blood, but those numbers too are trending downward. Please continue to keep her in your prayers. We will keep you updated on the Friendship Harmony Facebook page.
Next week Pastor Bob Felber will be preaching, and will return us to our prophecy series. If you are in the area, please come be with us. I hope you have a good week wherever you are. If you have to shovel snow, or fight with ice, please exercise caution and stay safe. Keep yourselves well and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Good Monday Morning To You!
I hope your past week was a good one. Not much happened here, but Bess and I did get to attend a concert. We heard The Florida Boys sing, and what a good concert it was. There was a group of us from the church that went, and everyone had an enjoyable evening. The folk at Friendship Harmony truly does enjoy one another’s company. One sign of a healthy church is what happens once the service is over. At many churches, people simply go to their cars, and head home --- but not at Friendship Harmony. When our services are over, no one is in a great hurry to leave. People hang around, and enjoy a time of fellowship. As you know, we meet in a community clubhouse. One of our responsibilities is to make sure the tables and chairs are back where the association we rent from left them. That means the pulpit has to be moved, the keyboard and all the microphones, amps, and speakers have to be dismantled and taken away, and all that takes time and effort. People pitch in and help without being asked, and what could be quite time consuming, is actually accomplished very quickly. I’ve noticed that even this crew fellowships and laughs and enjoys each other while working. I wish more of you could be part of this great blessing known as Friendship Harmony. It is so refreshing to be part of a congregation that is excited, alive, and eager to serve Jesus. If I sound like I’m a Friendship Harmony cheerleader, you’re right. I am! I haven’t seen people this revived since I was at Calvary, Cincinnati. Revival? We’re in it!
Speaking of blessings, this coming Sunday will be a red letter day at Friendship Harmony. We will be celebrating our first anniversary of being a fully constituted church. It is so hard to believe a whole year has passed. We will have a special day featuring a visit from our local Southern Baptist Director of Missions, Everett Rafferty, his ministry assistant, Jennifer Horton, and our musical guests, The Majestic Sounds Quartet from Cincinnati, Ohio. Of course, no Baptist celebration would be complete without food. After the service, a fellowship will follow, complete with cake and ice cream. The church is providing turkey, ham, drinks, and dessert. Our ladies are bringing in potatoes, vegetables, and salad. If you are anywhere near our area, you will not want to miss this day. If you are up in the cold, rainy, gloomy, frigid north, how about spending some time here in sunny, warm, beautiful southwest Florida? Our temperatures have been in the middle eighties. We know how to have February! Load up the car, or jump on a jet and come on down. You will want to start your visit by being at our birthday celebration this coming Sunday. I know many of you live a long way off, but I do not want anyone from anywhere to miss Friendship Harmony for lack of being invited. Consider yourself invited!!!
Yesterday, I continued our prophecy series as we looked at the believers in Heaven after the rapture. The past notes are available, and if you’ve been able to be with us, or you are keeping up through the notes pasted to this blog, you will remember that at the judgment seat of Christ, rewards, also called crowns, will be given. However, it is in this life that we earn our crowns and properly care for them. How is caring for them accomplished? I believe it is brought about by following three very simple points: care with service, care with joy, and care with tenacity. The study notes are below, and should guide you through each of these three lines of reasoning. If at any time you would like clarification on these or any other notes, feel free to call me, or send an e-mail. My e-address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are the notes for that message.
Caring For Our Crowns
Series: Judgment Seat of Christ By Victor Cooper
Intro: At the judgment seat we will receive crowns. Which you receive and how many are up to you. Are you actively pursuing any? Which ones?
I. Caring for crowns with service. Psalm 126:5-6
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.  He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
A. v5 These people genuinely care about the souls of others --- they weep.
B. v6 These people reach out --- “goeth forth.”
C. These people rely on the word of God --- “precious seed.”
D. These people are rewarded people --- “come … bringing.”
Cf. Isaiah 55:11/Proverbs 11:30
Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. ( Proverbs 11:30) The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
II. Caring for crowns with joy. Psalm 100:2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
A. Gladness --- Heb> sim-khaw’> glee, giddiness
B. Singing --- “It is easy to sing when you are joyful. Singing is an outer expression of inner joy.” Pastor Victor Cooper
Ex. Opposite -- Psalm 137:1-4 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
 For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
 How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?
C. But preacher, I can’t sing. Will God want to hear me?
Psalm 100:1 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
1. “You make whatever sound you can from a joyful heart, and it will be sweet music to the Lord’s ears.”
Pastor Vic Cooper
III. Caring for crowns with tenacity.
Definition; tenacity. (From Dictionary.com) Holding fast, keeping a firm hold, persistent, stubborn, not easily pulled apart.
Matthew 5:11-12 (NLT) God blesses you when you are mocked and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers.  Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted, too.
A. v11 revile (KJV) defame, tease, make fun, NLT - mocked
1. Aka soft persecution
2. JFB Commentary “…abuse you to your face…”
B. persecute --- lit. to pursue after; to chase
1. Called hard persecution as it becomes legal or physical.
Conclusion: When we present our crowns to Christ, we want them to be clean, shiny, and sparkling, not dull, dirty, and dingy. How you care for them now determines either having them, or how presentable they will be. If you want to give Him the best you can on that day, follow this simple three point plan and you will be just fine.
For an up to date calendar on what is coming in February at Friendship Harmony, go to our Facebook page at facebook.com/friendship harmony. We will resume our prophecy series on February 19 with Pastor Bob Felber speaking on “The Inhabitants Of Earth After The Rapture.” Pray for Bro.
Bob as he prepares to teach on an ugly time coming for the lost who will enter the Tribulation. This coming Sunday at our celebration I will, the Lord willing preach, “Where Do We Go From Here?
I’ll see you at Friendship Harmony (hopefully) this Sunday and next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.