Sunday, May 26, 2013

Pastor Vic: A Sweet, Innocent, Misunderstood Freshman Seminarian

Good Monday Morning To You.

Happy Memorial Day to each of you. As you enjoy this special day, don’t forget to thank God for our military --- both active and retired. Be sure to pray for those currently serving. My daughter is married to a soldier, Tim, and I sure am proud of him. I pray for his safety, and the safety of his buddies daily. May God bless our military and their families.

It is hard to believe that this coming January I’ll be sixty years old. It seems like just days ago that my childhood best friend, Johnny Miller and I used to tear up the streets of Elmwood Place, nestled in Cincinnati, with our bikes. Only yesterday I was a freshman in Bible College, starting life’s journey, yet that was 41 years ago. Who would have dreamed that a rowdy Southern Baptist prankster attending an “independent” Baptist College would return to Seminary one day as professor of Human Geography. Talk about the Sovereignty of God…!

I recall the day I started my Bible classes. I went to the school knowing only one other person. I hated my name. I literally cringed at being “Victor” - even “Vic” bothered me. I did, however, like my middle name, Wayne. I decided that since this was a new environment, I could change my name and go by “Wayne.” I introduced my self as Wayne, and that is how I was known. Everything was fine for a day or two, but soon I got the reputation for being a conceited snob. The problem? I would walk the sidewalks of the campus and someone would call out, “Hey Wayne!” I would walk on by, not realizing they were talking to me. People would say, “He’s one of those Southern Baptist. They’re uppity.” I really wasn’t, I just did not link “Wayne” with me. Soon I became Vic again and all was well. Actually I became a bit of a hero when I knocked the Dean’s hat off his head with a snowball. I’ll tell you more about that in a future blog.

All I can say about services yesterday at Friendship Harmony is, “WOW!” What a blessing! The attendance was good, and the service was very uplifting. If a genie in a bottle was to allow me to pastor the church of my choice, it would be Friendship Harmony. There are churches that are bigger, but none are better. Each week the presence of the LORD is real. He is indeed with us. I am pleased to announce that we received a special offering for the Southern Baptist relief efforts in Oklahoma. As you read this, Southern Baptists are on the ground in that tornado stricken area providing assistance, food, and spiritual comfort. If you would like to help, send your donation of any size to Friendship Harmony Baptist Church. On the memo line write “Oklahoma.” We will then forward it on to the proper location. Send your gift today so that we can get the money to where it is needed most. The address is Box 583; St. James City, Florida 33956. Our offering was $300. With the help of you, our faithful readers, we should be able to increase that total. Thank you for your help.

Several years ago I was preaching a message and I made the statement that when I got to Heaven, I planned to find Adam and ask him, “What were you thinking?” From those few words, a sermon series developed called “What Were You Thinking?” Yesterday we asked the question of Adam. From Scriptures we can ascertain his answer. The notes are below and you can see and hear the message in its entirety on Tuesday. To do so you can go to From their homepage banner type, in Friendship Harmony Baptist Church and hit enter. From our icon, scroll to the title, “Adam, What Were You Thinking?” I hope the notes and the video are a blessing to you.

“Adam, What Were You Thinking?”
Genesis 3:1-9
1st in a series By: Vic Cooper
Updated 5/13

When I get to Heaven, one of the first people I want to meet is Adam. I want to ask him, “What were you thinking?” Until then, we can look into Scripture and get a glimpse of what was going on with our first parents.

I. What Adam had:
A. dominion over the earth --- 1:28-30
B. a home with provisions --- 2:8, 9
C. responsibility --- 2:15
D. a companion --- 2:21, 22
E. fellowship with God --- 3:8a

II. What Satan had:
A. nothing --- 1:30 --- man had dominion over the serpent
B. loss of God’s fellowship --- Ezekiel 28:14-16
1. Cherubim were in the “inner circle of the angles.” (BKC)
2. They were charged with guarding God’s holiness.

III. What Adam wanted:
A. to please his companion --- 3:6
1. It was willful on Adam’s part. Cf.1 Tim. 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
B. to be like God --- 3:5
C. more
1. J. Paul Getty, the one time richest man in the world said all he wanted was one penny more.

IV. What Satan offered:
A. Lies, and deceit --- 3:1 subtil> aw-room’> shrewd
B. (BKC) “ The word of the Lord brought life and order; the word of the serpent brought chaos and death. Truth is older than falsehood; God’s word came before Satan’s lies.”
C. John 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, …He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. …he is a liar, and the father of it.”

“Adam, What were you thinking?”
“I thought God was withholding good from me.”
“I thought I could be like God.”
“I thought it would be good to be like God.”
“I didn’t think God would really punish us.”

V. What Adam received:
A. the curse --- 3:16-19 They would still be doing as
they had done before with one notable addition: the
B. separation from God --- 3:23,24

Next week we will meet with the Apostle Peter and ask him what was he thinking when he denied Jesus. If you cannot be with us at FHBC, I hope you get a copy of those notes, and that you will continue to visit with us on youtube. Again, have a happy and safe Memorial Day, and I trust that whatever your plans are for the day, they will include a pause to reflect on the true meaning of the day. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Monday, May 20, 2013

Relaxing With Friends

Good Monday Morning To You!

Last week Miss Bessie and I took a few days to get away and relax. One of my favorite things to do is to spend time with friends I do not get to see often enough. Two of our dearest friends, Gene and Sally Middleton, live in Astor, Florida, and we were with them for several days. It was good to just sit back, rest, and have good conversation with them. The first night we were there, Gene grilled some steaks that were better than I’ve been getting at my local steakhouse. Sally made potato salad just for me. The only potato salad I have ever liked is Sally’s. For whatever the reason I do not like it, but Sally’s is excellent. It was really good seeing them again. I would ask you to pray for Gene. He is having a total knee replacement surgery done today.

One word describes the day at Friendship Harmony yesterday: AWESOME!!! The Spirit of the Lord is mighty upon our congregation! Several of our visitors who have been coming regularly told me that Friendship Harmony feels like home. I believe several will unite their membership with us. We have two awaiting baptism, and yesterday we had a class for our young people who have been coming. These younger people range in age from 15 to 20, with a 13 month old cutie named Violet who is the best baby I’ve ever had in a service. She is quiet, but very alert. At our church, people sit at tables. While we were singing a rather lively song, Violet was on the table swaying to the music. She was really into it. I looked at her and thought, “She is the only one here who gets it.” She had no inhibitions. She simply “got into the service.” She preached a much better sermon on how to worship than I ever could!

I’m excited about our new small group starting this Wednesday evening. It is designed for people who are new to the faith, those seeking answers about Christianity, and those who have been in church for many years, but would like to look into God’s word a little more. The exciting thing is that I did not initiate this class. Several people asked about starting it. I am totally convinced this is from the Lord. I cannot wait to see where He goes with it.

Yesterday I preached the message, “We Have Heard The Joyful Sound,” from Psalm 89: 15-18. Here are those notes. You can view the message by going to From their home page type Friendship Harmony Baptist Church into their banner and hit enter. Click onto our icon and look for the message title, “We Have Heard The Joyful Sound.” The video should be posted by tomorrow.

We Have Heard The Joyful Sound!!!
Psalm 89:15-18
By: Vic Cooper
updated 5/13

Blessed > eh-sher’ > happy

The verse could be otherwise stated,
I. Because the happy people know the joyful sound:
A. (v15b) they shall walk in the light of thy countenance.
ie. face
Isaiah 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
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.
B. (v16a) they shall rejoice all day long!
1. rejoice > to spin around ex. When a top is spinning, it is
C. (v16b) they shall be exalted in His righteousness.
1. not in their righteousness - that is their position
2. in His righteousness - that is their privilege
3. exalted > room > to be held high
4. Believers are held high:
a. above the law.
b. above the world.
c. above the power and ferociousness of Satan.
d. above death.
e. above accusation. Romans 8:33-34

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. [34] Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Spurgeon Quote By the Lord's righteous dealings the saints are uplifted in due time, however great may have been the oppression and the depression from which they may have suffered. In the righteousness which the covenant supplies, which is entirely of the Lord, believers are set on high in a secure and blessed position, so that they are full of sacred happiness.

II. The joyful sound!!!
Quote Leviticus 25:9 (NKJV) Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land.
The joyful sound is that:
A. (v17a) He is the glory of our strength.
1. It causes us to consider our natural weakness.
2. It causes us to consider our strength in Him. Col. 1:11 (Living) We are praying, too, that you will be filled with his mighty, glorious strength so that you can keep going no matter what happens--always full of the joy of the Lord.
B. He is the One who lifts us on high.
C. He is our defense. ie. shield; buckler, the scaly hide on an
D. He is our King.

Don’t forget our new small group which begins this Wednesday at 6:30. If you are in the area come on by. Contact me for directions. You can reach me at 239 283 8331, or e-mail to Have a good week and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Exciting Times At Friendship Harmony !!!

Good Monday Morning To You!!
I trust that all is well with you. I am doing fine, feeling good, and excited about what is going on at Friendship Harmony. We are a seasonal church, and the assumption is when our winter visitors are gone for the summer, we nearly go into hibernation. While that may be true in some places, it is definitely not true at our church.

I was called the other day and asked if I would start a new converts Bible study. No one has ever had to ask me twice about teaching the Scriptures. We are not calling it a new convert’s class. We are calling it “Basic Beliefs of Christianity.” It will be very useful for those new to the faith. It will also be good for people who are interested in basic Bible teachings. Believers who have been studying the word for a long time will be refreshed in returning to those tried and true doctrines they hold so dear. This new group will begin on Wednesday, May 22, at 6:30 p.m. If you are here, please feel free to join us. Contact me for the address of our study.

I am also excited about the young people who have been faithfully coming these past few weeks. It is so good to see that they feel the need to be in the house of the Lord. I told them if they would keep coming, we would look into some events they would enjoy. I am just absolutely excited about what God is doing at Friendship Harmony. I promise you, we will not roll over and go to sleep until the fall. Our fellowship dinners will continue, the video ministry will move forward, and some other things are in the works. I’ll tell you more about that after some details have been worked out.

Yesterday was another great day at Friendship Harmony. The attendance was good, and the service was blessed. I truly wish each of you could come and experience Friendship Harmony! As I’ve said many times in the past, you do not simply attend our church. You experience it.

The morning message was. “Missed Opportunities.” In it we looked at missing Jesus’ leadership, missing Jesus’ teachings, and missing Jesus’ fellowship. The sermon came from Matthew 26: 30-45, and looked at the opportunities the disciples missed, and how that if we’re not careful, we can miss them too. Here are those notes. I hope they are a blessing to you. You can also see the message at From their homepage, type Friendship Harmony Baptist Church into their banner, hit enter, then click on our icon and select the message you’d like to view. I hope the notes and the video are a blessing to you.

Missed Opportunities
Matt. 26:30-45
By: Victor Cooper

I. Missing Jesus’ leadership.
A. 1st contradiction v33
1. Jesus said you will - Peter said I won’t.
B. 2nd contradiction v35
1. “Yes Peter, you will.” “No Jesus, I won’t.”

Important, but often overlooked key:
v35b Likewise also said all the disciples.

C. 3rd contradiction v40
1. “We won’t deny you, Lord. We’re right here with you;
every step of the way.”
D. 4th contradiction v43
1. “Sorry Lord. We’re here for you, We’ll watch and

II. Missing Jesus teaching
A. v31 He heard, took it personally, became offended and
missed what Jesus said next. (v32)
1. Verse 35 indicates he heard the “die” part, but nothing

III. Missing Jesus fellowship
A. They, too, were to be watching and praying. v38,41
1. watch> gray-gor-yoo’o> from the Greek root egeiro
meaning to keep awake ie to be on the alert
B. question Why did He single out Peter?
answer Refer back to v33-35. It was Peter who voiced
the group’s sentiment.
C. Some of the saddest words in the Bible. v45
1. They missed the opportunity of fellowship with Jesus
when He needed them.

Conclusion: What opportunities are available to us at this time?
Have we pledged loyalty to Jesus only to fall

My prayer is that your week is healthy and safe. It is always such a privilege to visit with you in this blog. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!

Late news to share: J. C. Smith, a winter visitor to Friendship Harmony, and a dear friend to Bess and me these past sixteen years went home to be with the Lord earlier today in Ashboro, North Carolina. Please remember to pray God’s comfort to his wife, Berniece, and their family. J. C. was a devoted Christian, and a fine man.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Rescue, Rehabilitate, Release

Good Monday Morning To You!!!

I hope you have had good days since we last visited. Miss Bessie and I were able to get away for a bit last week, and although we were frequently rained out, we did make it to Sea World in Orlando, and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, Florida. I’ll tell you more about Clearwater in a minute, but I’ve got to tell you about an experience we had at Sea World. I call it a “God appointment.” We weren’t sure when we were going to Sea World, but we felt a strong urge to do it last Monday. When we arrived, we entered the park and as tourists do, we went from exhibit to exhibit. After lunch, we went to a show with dancers and acrobats. We were about thirty minutes early for the show, so we began talking to a couple in the row in front of us. They were about our age and lived in North Carolina. We also found out they were dedicated Christians who were active in their Church. We soon discovered that the wife was fighting cancer and undergoing Chemotherapy. For many people the cancer treatments can be rough. I remember Miss Bessie’s treatments. She suffered greatly and was ready to quit several times. Having experienced it herself, Bess was able to give this dear lady some comfort, hope, and a listening ear. I call it a God appointment, because He wanted us there at that time for those people. I do not know why the Lord wanted a clergy couple from Pine Island, Florida to meet a couple from North Carolina while in Orlando, but I am certainly glad He did. We were able to minister to their need, and to make new friends.

Services yesterday at Friendship Harmony were tremendous. I’m very excited about the visitors who have been coming. Not only are they coming, but they are coming repeatedly. What a tremendous blessing!

As I told you earlier, Miss Bessie and I visited the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. If you saw the movie, “A Dolphin’s Tale,” I’m sure you remember the little Dolphin named Winter who lost her tail after becoming entangled in some fishing nets. This is a true story which actually took place at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. If you live in Florida, or are planning to visit here, I strongly urge you to go to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. I guarantee it will be a highlight of your trip. As our guide told us, “We are a hospital first, and an attraction second.” Their motto is, “Rescue, Rehabilitate, Release. The plan is to rescue a marine animal in distress, treat its wounds, and prepare it to be able to go back to its natural habitat. Their main focus is dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and river otters. They also rescue other animals, stabilize them, and then transport them to facilities that specialize in that animal’s care. For more information about these fine people, visit their website at

As I was thinking about their motto, Rescue, Rehabilitate, Release, I realized that is what happens when God saves a soul. For our example, I used the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, better known to you as the Apostle Paul. The notes are below, and you can see the message tomorrow on From their home page, type in Friendship Harmony Baptist Church, hit enter, then click on our icon. I hope the notes and the video is a blerssing to you.

Rescue, Rehabilitate, Release
Acts 9:1-20
By Victor Cooper

Intro: At the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, their motto states their purpose for being there. They rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured dolphins, sea turtles, and otters. They also rescue other animals and birds in or near the ocean and Gulf of Mexico, and send them to a facility that specializes in those species. They rescue, rehabilitate, and release the animal back to the ocean.

Saul of Tarsus had a similar experience.

I. Saul’s rescue. Acts 9:3-5
And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: [4] And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? [5] And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutes…
A. The rescuer was available with the right equipment --- a light.
B. The rescuer spoke firmly but gently.
C. Other rescuers were ready to be involved.
Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
1. You were rescued from the clutches of sin because someone (s) was willing to be


II. Saul’s rehabilitation. Acts 9:15-16; 19-20
But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: [16] For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
[19] And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. [20] And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
A. A goal was in place. V15
B. A plan was in place. V 16
C. The plan was carried out. V19
.1. He went off for three years to learn.
Galatians 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
D. The rehabilitation was complete. V20

III. Saul’s release. Acts 9:27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
A. He was released to serve. Acts 9:20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
I hope your upcoming week is one that will provide you with God appointments where you will be able to participate in someone’s rescue, rehabilitation, and release. If you are not a believer, or are unsure, please let me hear from you. My e-mail address is Feel free to contact me at any time. Be sure to check out the video tomorrow, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.