Sunday, November 24, 2013

You Need To Hide Your Scriptures

Good Monday Morning To You1

I hope your past week was one where you felt blessed and some good memories were made to be re-lived again at some point in the future. I had an experience last Monday evening that I have got to share with you. As most of you know I am teaching a class on ancient civilizations at a Bible College in Southwest Florida. This semester we have studied Egypt, Israel, and Rome. Unlike some professors, I do not give a mid-term exam. I assigned a mid-term project. The project has the weight of an exam which is 40%. On the first night of class I told the students they could choose from any civilization we would be studying and to do a project of their choosing depicting life in that country. I told them if they could draw, a picture would do, or if they could sculpt, a sculpture would be great. I told them if they could sew, a garment would be acceptable, or if they cooked, an ancient dish could be brought in to share with the class. I told them to let themselves be guided by their imaginations. Last Monday night must have been a welcome to Egypt night because that is what they each choose. It would be too lengthy to tell what each student did, but I can tell you food ruled the night. One lady did her report on pyramids and even came dressed in headgear similar to what would have been worn by Cleopatra, Egypt’s last Pharaoh. One man found a 4000 year old recipe for nut covered dates. I do not like dates, but this Egyptian sweet treat was delicious. We are having snacks after our Christmas Eve service, and Miss Bessie and I might bring some. Two ladies joined forces and brought in an Egyptian bean dip and pita bread. It was a bit spicy, but very good. This dish is still enjoyed in Egypt today. One young lady, however, did a science experiment as her project. She performed the mummification on an apple. She cut the apple in half, and using the same ingredients and processes used in ancient Egypt, she performed that ancient embalming on the apple. When she unwrapped it, she too was seeing the the end result for the first time. The only word I can use to describe it is “phenomenal.” The highest grade I could give her was a 100, but believe me I would have given her a 1000 if I could! Each student learned more than I could teach by researching for their own project, then seeing others show and explain theirs. To me, it’s all about education - even the tests. I do not care as much about grades as I do about learning. It was one of the most enjoyable evenings I have had in a long time. It is definitely a memory I hope to re-live for years to come. A good friend of mine was a long time professor of geography at Central Michigan University, and he wanted me to let him know how the project/exam idea worked out. Burt, it was fantastic!!

Yesterday at Friendship Harmony was awesome. We always have a good service, but yesterday was a notch up from most. The attendance was good and everybody really got into the singing. This was one service that will definitely get me through the remainder of the week. Along with a Sunday Morning service, we have a small group Bible study on Tuesday evenings at 6:30p.m. We are looking into the Book of Romans. It is a tremendous treat to pastor a church where people love God, love each other, and keep to the Scriptures!

The message title was “Honor The Word By Hiding The Word.” It was taken from Psalm 119:11 which says, “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” The message was to celebrate Bible Sunday. The notes are below and you can see the video on Tuesday morning at Remember, you do not have to have a Facebook account to see the video. Let me know what you think of the videos. I hope these notes are beneficial to you.

Honor The Word By Hiding The Word ©
Psalm 119:11
By Victor Cooper

Intro: My calendar calls today “Bible Sunday.” It seems appropriate to have a day to honor God’s word, although the day would be better served as the day we celebrate the fact that we have honored the Bible all year.
Hiding God’s word is to shield and protect it, hence to us it is something of great value; something we can honor.

I. We honor God’s word by letting it comfort us.
A. The Psalmist asks a question.
Psalm 119:82 Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?
B. The Apostle Paul gives him his answer.
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
C. The Bible tells us of a better life in Heaven.
Revelation 21:1-6 {lengthy, read from Scriptures}

II. We honor God’s word by letting it condemn us.
John 15:2-4a Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. [3] Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. [4] Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
A. “Bearing fruit” is living a live that gives evidence of conversion.
B. Our text verse says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
Psalm 119:11
!. The logic is that when we do sin, the word brings it to light.
C. Condemnation is good. Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:
1. The Biblical admonition is our way of life because it shines the light on the safe path.
(a) For the sinner because it shows him his need of Jesus and…
(b) … because it lights the safe path to Christ.
(1) It is the safe path because the world offers many paths to God, but Scriptures only point to one: Jesus

III. We honor God’s word by letting us consume us.
Illustration: What if we treated our Bible the way we treat our cell phone? What if we …

… carried it with us everywhere?
… turned back to get it if we forget it?
… checked it for messages thorough out the day?
… used it in case of an emergency?
… spent an hour or more using it everyday?
… refused to go to sleep unless it is checked one more time?
A. Psalm 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
1. If you are consumed by the word, sin will have no dominion over you.

On behalf of the entire Cooper family, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Be sure to be thankful for all God has blessed you with. I know you will. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

What A Treat It Was!!!

Good Monday Morning to you!

Yesterday after church I went to Cracker Barrel. Is there a Cracker Barrel near you? You can find them up and down I-75, and I-71. I’m sure they are located on other interstate highways as well. I think I saw a few on I-95. Going out to eat is enjoyable. I can remember, however, when eating out was a treat. We ate out twice a year. Once would be a stop at White Castle on the way home from church. They were 8 cents apiece back then. Dad would stop and buy a sack. To us, that was 5 star! Our second eating out adventure would be at Frisch’s. Every Cincinnatian knows about Frisch’s Big Boy. What makes Frisch’s Big Boy unique over other Big Boy franchises is the sauce. Frisch’s makes its own tartar sauce which is unbeatable. I always had them “make mine wet.” That meant extra sauce. Whenever I am in Cincinnati, I still order them that way. As a kid, we used to enjoy pulling under a canopy, ordering over a speaker, and having a car hop bring our order. We actually got to eat in the car! This was an absolute treat in the early sixties. The other kids I played with in Elmwood Place (Cincinnati) had parents who ate out as infrequently as we did. My mom, like their moms, was a stay at home mom and cooked supper every night. I learned later why we had not eaten out more. Dad had a factory job and he couldn’t afford to take us out repeatedly. Mom told me about a year ago that if it had not been for the overtime dad was working, we would not have made it. My friends parents were in the same shape as were we. However, I wouldn’t trade my childhood for all the riches the world could offer. I had a great childhood: my parents saw to it. I can only hope my kids feel that way about me. Time will tell I suppose.

Yesterday was an interesting day at Friendship Harmony. About a third of the way through the sermon, the power went out. The problem was not with our breakers; power was out all over the island. This wouldn’t be a disaster, but we video our sermons so they can be shared over the internet. The camera runs on battery power so we do not have electric cables running all over the floor causing a potential tripping problem. Here is where I thank God for modern technology. When the lights went off, the camera’s light immediately came on. It likely switched itself to low light mode as well. Jim and Gwen Cook, our producers, said they could bring the lighting problem up when they were editing and uploading to YouTube. I can’t wait for Tuesday morning to come so that I can see the finished project. To see for yourself, go to Like I said earlier, it was an interesting day! Most of the congregation at FHBC said I looked much better in the dark. Hmmm!

The sermon notes are below for a message titled, “Realize!” It was taken from Deuteronomy chapter 32. In this chapter, Moses gives his farewell speech to the Hebrews. The Children of Israel were getting ready to cross into the Promised Land, but Moses would not be going with them. It was time to climb the mountain and die. Even though Moses was not able to personally lead the people across the Jordan River into the land due to his disobedience, God is a merciful God. He led Moses to the top of Mt. Pisgah and allowed him to look over into the land. On that mountain top, Moses died and was buried by God Himself according to Deuteronomy 34:5-6. What a grave side service that must have been!

The notes are below. I hope they are a true blessing to you. You who are preachers and teachers, feel free to use these notes as they are, or adapt them as you see fit for a preached message, or a class lesson. For those of you who are using them for your personal Bible study, let me encourage you to use your Bible and a good commentary. There are many available, but I recommend the Bible Knowledge Commentary, published by Cook Communications. This commentary was written by many of the professors at the Dallas Theological Seminary. Get yourself one for Christmas. You deserve it!

Deut 32, selected
By Victor Cooper

Intro: Moses is making his farewell address to the Children of Israel. He challenges them to realize how blessed of God they had been, to realize how dependent on God they were, and to realize that they needed to live lives of unswerving loyalty to the LORD. It is also good advise for today.

I. Realize how blessed of God you have been. 32:7
A. God provided the land vv7,8.
1. Moses reminds them that even though they hadn’t been in the land for over 400 years, it is still theirs.
B. God provided the promise vv 9,10.
1. God is saying, “The land is yours, and you are mine.”
C. As the eagle forces her young out of the nest so it can fly, God forced Israel into the desert.
vv 11-14
1. The desert in this sense is not just the wilderness wonderings, but the entire experience in Egypt.
2. Egypt was the desert, versus the Promised Land; the land flowing with milk and honey.
a) Milk symbolized wealth, while honey symbolized abundance and blessing.
b) The Hebrews knew exactly what God was offering.
D. They had forgotten from where they had come
1. They were for essentially Egyptian!

II. Realize how dependent on God you really are v 39.
A. God alone is omnipotent.
1. Several times in Isaiah 45, God says there is none beside Him; there is none else.
2. Our life is in His hands.
3. Our death is in His hands.
B. One day God will make everything right v 43.

III. Realize you must live a life of unswerving loyalty to the LORD vv 46, 47
NLT Deut. 32:47 These instructions are not mere words—they are your life! By obeying them you will enjoy a long life in the land you are crossing the Jordan River to occupy.
A. These words are your life,
1. because they are God’s words.

I do hope you have a good upcoming week. If you plan on doing any traveling, please be careful. Here is a free piece of advise for you to go along with this free blog: If you are driving, please do not text. In Florida it is against the law to do so, and it should be everywhere. In Hamilton County, Ohio, a young man was texting and ran up on a sidewalk killing a three year old boy who was riding his tricycle. It’s not worth it; please pull over if you need to answer. Well, enough preaching from me, it’s just that I care. Keep yourself well and healthy, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

I Told Them

Good Monday Morning To You!!

Have you had a good week since we last visited? I hope so. Last week I told you about the lady at my church in Cincinnati who told me the Bible says communion grape juice has to be purple, and it has to be Welch’s. I jokingly told you that I intended to tell it to the seminary class I teach. I ended by saying I wouldn’t do it though. To those of you who know me, you know that sometime my mouth spouts words before my brain has a chance to stop it. I can’t help it; it’s just my nature. I don’t mean to do it, it’s just that sometime I start talking and I can’t shut up. At Norwood High School I stayed in trouble because most of my teachers failed to understand my sense of humor. I suppose I was just ahead of my time. My English teacher, Mrs. Wilson, finally admitted in front of the class that I was smarter than her. (Yes ending my sentence with “her“ is incorrect, but the proper way sounds goofy.) She said, “Victor Cooper, I just can’t teach you anything.”

I told my class that according to Sister Adam’s Bible, (not her real name) grape juice had to be purple, and it had to be Welch’s. Incredibly, they didn’t believe me. Oh, they believed the good sister had told me, but they rejected the notion about proper grape juice. I guess I have my work cut out for me.

We spent two weeks looking at ancient Egypt. You cannot teach as much as you’d like about Egypt in two classes. Egypt and Babylon are my two favorite ancient civilizations. Actually, I believe I must be part Egyptian. I think it comes through the tribe of Ephraim. I’ll have to check with my good friend, Rabbi Jim Pickens about this.

Yesterday was an awesome day at Friendship Harmony. In Sunday School we looked at the first Passover, and the other plagues. Egypt could have been the most blessed country on the planet if only Pharaoh would have listened. Instead, he decided to reject God and do things his way. As you know from your readings in the Book of Exodus, the results were both devastating and catastrophic. How about you? Is God speaking to your heart about a matter? Take a lesson from Pharaoh and obey the voice of the LORD. Had Pharaoh listened, Egypt might have become an oases of Christian teaching. Instead, look at her today.

Pastor Bob Felber brought our morning message. It was a message I wish thousands could have heard. Perhaps they will. As you know, the preaching part of our services are video recorded and posted to both YouTube, and Facebook. The easiest is through Facebook. Simply go to You do not need a Facebook account to view the video. Bob’s message should be posted by Tuesday.

Some of our winter visitors are returning, so if you’re heading our way, we look forward to seeing you soon. For those of you whom I have never met, let me say how much I appreciate you for being such a loyal reader. Without you, this blog would have no reason to exist. Thank you! Wherever you are, have a good week, and be sure to pray for Pastor Vic and the Friendship Harmony Baptist Church. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Purple Grape Juice

Good Monday Morning To You!

What a busy week it has been! I’ve had something to do nearly every day. I love busy times though. One thing Bess and I was privileged to do was to attend a Pastor’s premier screening of a new movie to be released later this month. Our associate Pastor, Bob Felber, and his wife Wanda accompanied us to see The Christmas Candle. The film is set in a small village in England near the turn of the century. If I go into too much detail, I might spoil it for you. If you would like to see the preview, go to Be sure your sound is turned on! I highly recommend this film and I heartily endorse it, and I hope to see it again when it is released. The movie is appropriate for all ages, and is very well done with a good story. If you do not see any other picture this Christmas season, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to this one. As soon as this movie is available on CD, it will definitely be added to the Cooper collection. Check out the preview and I hope you will enjoy it as much as Bess and I did.

Yesterday was Communion Sunday at Friendship Harmony. That is always a very special day. I had to announce to the congregation that the communion juice was clear. When I went to the store to buy a bottle, clear (they call it white) was all they had. I told the story of a dear little lady in my former church in Cincinnati who scolded me for having the wrong color grape juice. The deacons were supposed to take care of the supplies, and each of the men thought the other had done so. However, Kroger was less than a mile away, so I slipped out during Sunday School to buy a bottle. It never occurred to me that they might be out. “This is Kroger,” I told myself, “they never run out.” They ran out! All they had was white grape juice. I figured since it was 100% pure juice, it would not matter. It mattered! The elderly lady told me in no uncertain terms, “The Bible says the grape juice has to be purple, and it has to be Welch’s!” She was deadly serious and meant every word of it. I thought to myself that the school I had attended had cheated me because they never taught me that. Do you think that perhaps I should inform my students in my class later tonight that communion juice has to be purple and it has to be Welch’s? If I do, it’s likely the Dean of Old Testament Studies and the school’s president will call me into the office for a chit-chat. I think I’ll pass.

I hope you have a really good week, and that the LORD’s blessings come to you and your family abundantly. Pray for me when it goes well with you; I do so appreciate it. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!