Monday, September 8, 2014

The Unknown Alarm

Good Monday Morning To You!
I’ve got to tell you what happened to me last Tuesday morning. Let me set up the scene. My cell phone had a problem --- you could not hear the ringer, or any of the alerts. My son, Kevin, and I had planned to take it back to Verizon for a repair or a replacement. I went to bed and Kevin was going to wake me the next morning. Miss Bessie and I had bought a new mattress and it was our first night on it. The next morning we were awakened to the loudest siren I have ever heard. I knew it was not one of our alarms, so I figured it had to be my C pap machine. It was just slightly out of reach, but I frantically kept hitting the off button, but the alarm still sounded. As I said, we have a new mattress and it is hard to sit on --- it’s slick. Picture this, I am leaning over quite far and I am sliding toward the floor. I managed to get my feet to the floor, but it is tile and I was bare footed. It was like being on ice. I am sliding to the floor and I yell, “Kevin, help!” He came in and took my hand, but instead of a hand up, he helped me make a more graceful fall to the floor. I’m sitting on the floor, the siren is still sounding, and the three of us are laughing hysterically. Kevin said, “Dad, turn off your alarm.” I replied, “What alarm?” Kevin said, “I fixed your phone, and I set your alarm.” He turned it off and I told him to never again set an alarm in my room without me knowing it. We all laughed about it the rest of the day. It would have been great for “America’s Funniest Videos.” Seriously, family life is wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Yesterday was a great day at Friendship Harmony. The attendance was good and there was a good spirit among the people. The congregational singing was excellent, and I might try to have a make shift choir from time to time. I certainly have the singers for it.

Yesterday I concluded our series of messages concerning, “Why God Allows Suffering.” Below you will find the sermon notes, but I would hope that tomorrow, Tuesday, you will watch the video. It is the message as delivered to Friendship Harmony in its entirety. The video can be seen at Remember, you do not have to have a Facebook account in order to view the video. Below are the notes; please feel free to use them for your personal Bible study. Preachers and teachers may also use them for their classes, their small groups, or their messages. May God bless you as you study His word.

Why Suffering?
Various verses
Suffering Series 3 of 3 8/12-9/6/14
By Victor Cooper

Intro: The other day I was asked, “Why does God allow suffering? Why does He allow someone to hurt an innocent person?” This is the age old question which was probably asked by Eve when she buried her son, Abel.

Review: Earlier we discovered that sin originated with Lucifer; it did not originate with God. We learned that the reason for suffering is sin. Sin means, “to miss the mark.”
The question is not, “Why is their suffering?” The question is, “Why does God allow suffering?
All sin is rebellion against God, not withstanding any one or anything else offended.
Rebels often try to enlist the aid of others in their cause.

God allows suffering because:

I. God has limitations. There are two kinds of limitations pertaining to God.
A. Natural limitations. His limitations are those things contrary to His nature.
1. God cannot lie. Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
2. God cannot be tempted to sin, nor can He tempt man to sin. James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
B. Self imposed limitations. Those things He has chosen not to include in His plan.
1. He choose Isaac not Ishmael; Jacob not Esau.
2. He choose not to spare James.
Acts 12:2 And he (Herod Agrippa I) killed James the brother of John with the sword.
3. God did not spare His own Son.
Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
God’s Self imposed limitation is the first tie in point to our question, “Why does God allow suffering?”

II. Man has free will. The ability to determine how one will live their life, and whether or not they will submit to God’s will.
A. For God to stop suffering at the hands of another, He would have to remove their free will.
B. To remove one’s free will, they are no longer responsible and are outside of the need for redemption.
C. To remove free will reduces man to being an automaton, one destined to serve God without any say in the matter.
D. Becoming an automaton leaves out loving God.
E. In order for God to even remove a person’s free will temporarily, He would have to remove it from everyone.
Man’s free will is the second tie in point to our question
“Why does God allow suffering?”

III. It reminds us of the viciousness of sin.
God takes sin more seriously than we do.
A. Sin brought man into open rebellion against God.
B. Sin affected all God’s creation from the angels in Heaven, to the fish in the deepest part of the sea.
C. We see the sins of others as bad, but our own we justify away.
D. From week one we quote from Professor Walter Veith “Sin must run its full course for the enormity to be fully abhorred; but it eventually will be eradicated along with its instigator.”
Professor Veith’s observation is the third and final tie in point to our question,
“Why does God allow suffering?”

Conclusion: Our question was, “Why does God allow suffering? Why does He allow someone or something totally ` innocent to be hurt by another?”
The answer:
1. God’s self imposed limits will not allow for it. This is a point of Theology.
2. Man has a free will. This is a gift from God; it is a point of Grace.
3. It reminds us of the viciousness of sin.

A final thought: In my blog dated Sunday, August 24, I wrote, “On the surface these are not easy questions to answer, but actually they are. The problem is not the answer. The problem is our acceptance of the answer. Here is where faith enters the picture. I am talking about a mature faith that has been and is being nurtured by a diligent study of Scriptures, and much communication with the Holy Spirit.”

I’ll not be seeing you here on the blog for the next three weeks. Miss Bessie and I will be on vacation. I will miss you, but I’ll tell you all about our trip when we return. Please pray for us for safe travel and for a time of mental and spiritual refreshment. May the LORD richly bless you, and I’ll see you on the video tomorrow, and again in three weeks on Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Happy Labor Day!!!

Good Monday Morning To You.

Happy Labor Day!!! Do you have any plans? Many people like to have that one last pic-nic before fall and winter arrives. In my hometown of Cincinnati, there is a huge fireworks display down on the banks of the Ohio River. This impressive show has been an annual event for nearly 30 years. I might be off on its length, but it is a fantastic show with the fireworks timed to music. You can tune on your radio to a certain station and hear the music while you watch the fireworks. Even if you are not there, their selection of music is first rate. It is one of the biggest fireworks shows in America, second to only New York City. I remember one year when the kids were younger, taking them downtown to the show. I knew driving and parking would be tough, so we boarded a city bus, dedicated for the purpose, and it took us to the main deck of Riverfront Stadium. As I recall the fare was a dollar per person round trip. I gladly paid it in order not to have to fight the traffic.

Yesterday was a great day at Friendship Harmony. The attendance was right on target for this time of year, and we had a good, Spirit filled service. We sang the song, “Count Your Blessings.” We stopped at the end of each verse, and I randomly chose someone l recount a blessing. It is always good to hear the testimonies of God’s people. After the final verse I opened it up to anyone who wanted to share. What a blessing --- I wish you could have been there to experience it.

Although most of you could not be with us in person, you can view the message as it was delivered yesterday at Friendship Harmony. I preached part two of a series of messages titled, “Why Suffering?” To see the video, go to This video is about 30 minutes in length, and in it I examined “rebellion” as we search for the answer to, “How could a good God allow suffering?” Next week we will explore, “The Nature Of God” as we zero in on our answer

The notes are below for yesterday’s message, and as always you are free to use them for your personal, or group Bible Study.
Why Suffering? (C)
Various verses
Suffering Series 2 of ? 8/12-30/14
By Victor Cooper

Intro: The other day I was asked, “Why does God allow suffering? Why does He allow someone to hurt an innocent person?” This is the age old question which was probably asked by Eve when she buried her son, Abel.

Review: Last week we discovered that sin originated with Lucifer; it did not originate with God. We learned that the reason for suffering is sin. Sin means, “to miss the mark.”
The question is not, “Why is their suffering?” The question is, “Why does God allow suffering? To continue our quest for an answer, we must look at the results of sin.

I. Sin is rebellion.
A. It might be rebellion against nature. Example:. Intentionally setting a forest fire.
B. It might be a sin against mankind. Example:
Adolph Hitler
C. It might be a sin against an individual. Example:
Stealing from someone.
D. Ultimately, all rebellion is against God.
God gave the 10 commandments with His own finger, and with His own mouth.

II. The divisions of law. The Jewish law is divided into three separate and distinct parts.
A. The civil law. These were laws pertaining to the citizens of ancient Israel. They have passed away as that society has passed away. Example:
The laws of Jamestown, Virginia in 1609 are different from the laws in Jamestown, Virginia in 2014.
B. The religious law. These laws pertained to the worship services of ancient Israel. When the veil in the Temple was torn in two at the crucifixion of Christ, the religious laws were fulfilled, thereby rendering them non-binding on believers today.
C. The moral laws are as binding on us today as they were upon Israel in the wilderness when God introduced them.
D. A moral law suggests a moral law Giver. Therefore rebellion against any part of the law is rebellion against Him.

III. Rebel rousers often try to enlist the aid of others in their cause.
A. Lucifer enlisting the aid of a group of angels rebels against God. This rebellion is squashed by God Himself. For the fallen angels there is no redemption.
B. Lucifer next enlists the aid of God’s most special creation: man.
1. Man is not special because of his intellect, man is special because he is the only created being of God, angel or animal who God said, “Let us make man in our own image. Gen 1:26
C. At the point of sin man became under sin’s penalty:
Death. Death means separation from God.
1. The curse. Genesis 3:14-19 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: [15] And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. [16] Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. [17] And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; [18] Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; [19] In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
2. The continued line of sin. The Apocryphal Book of 2 Esdras says, “For the first Adam bearing a wicked heart transgressed, and was overcome; and all they that be born of him.” 2 Esdras 3:21
3. David the Psalmist would agree when he wrote, “ Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Psalm 51:5
4. Why is there suffering? Because all mankind is fallen and cursed. All of us are capable of horrible acts
5. The antidote is Jesus. Jesus erased the
penalty of sin, the Holy Spirit assists with dealing with the power of sin, and the Father will one day remove the presence of sin.

Whatever your plans for Labor Day, stay safe, and have a good time. If you’re grilling burgers, be sure to throw one on the fire for me. Don’t forget the cheese when it’s done! I’ll see you tomorrow on the video at, and back here next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Why Does A Good God Allow Suffering?

Good Monday Morning To You!
Welcome to the blog. If this is your first visit, my prayer is that these writings will be a blessing to you. If you have come this far, you can also read blogs from the past. For those of you who stop by for a visit occasionally, or regularly, I thank you for your time. I enjoy our visits together!

Yesterday at Friendship Harmony, I began a series of sermons examining the oldest two questions known to man. The first is, Why would a good God allow suffering? The second is similar; Why would a good God allow an innocent person to be hurt by someone else?

On the surface these are not easy questions to answer, but actually they are. The problem is not the answer. The problem is our acceptance of the answer. Here is where faith enters the picture. I am talking about a mature faith that has been and is being nurtured by diligent study of the Scriptures, and much communication with the Holy Spirit. Does that sound like believers have a lot of work to do? Actually, we should be living like that every day. Do you have the time for Bible study and prayer? If you do not, I’m glad you don’t feel the same way about breathing! I am happy that your heart does not send a message to your brain saying, “I’m tired. I beat constantly day and night. I’m going to take a few days off.” Yet that is the same thinking many believers apply toward their Bible study and prayer. If you want to effectively deal with the reason why God allows suffering, you need to tighten up your Christian life. If it sounds like I’m preaching, you’re right. I am preaching to everyone reading this blog, beginning with the man writing it --- me!

Yesterday I began our series of messages titled, “Why Suffering?” I said that the quick and easy answer to the question is sin. In the message we examined what God had to say to Lucifer, also known as Satan; the devil. Rather than me attempting to re-preach the message in this blog, I’m happy to announce that the entire message was video recorded yesterday. You will see it as did the people at Friendship Harmony. It should be ready to view on Tuesday morning. You can find it at You do not need a Facebook account to see the videos. In the meanwhile, please enjoy the sermon notes used in our study. All message notes will be available to you on this blog.

Why Suffering? ©
Various verses
Suffering Series 1 of ? 8/12-16/14
By Victor Cooper

Intro: The other day I was asked, “Why does God allow suffering? Why does He allow someone to hurt an innocent person?” This is the age old question which was probably asked by Eve when she buried her son, Abel.

. We must start by examining “sin.” Definition> missing the mark

I. The origin of sin.
A. It originated with Lucifer
1. Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
2. Something happened.
3. Ezekiel 28:2 Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:
4. About whom is the Holy Spirit referring; the king of Tyre, Lucifer, or someone else?
5. Three individuals.
6. Point of Theology: In Scriptures there are several kinds of truth.
(a) Immediate truth. It is true at that moment
Example: Genesis 6:7 (KJV)
And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
(b) Eternal truth For evermore
Example: Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
{c} Prophetic truth for the future
Example: Rev. 20:10 (KJV)
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
(d) Our Scripture in Ezekiel 28 employs all three .
(1) Immediate --- king of Tyre
(2) Eternal --- Lucifer aka Satan
(3) Prophetic --- the antichrist
B. Now lets go back to our Isaiah and Ezekiel Scriptures, and apply it to Satan

II. God is not the originator of sin --- Lucifer is.
A. God created Lucifer perfect.
B. Then sin was found in him. How did it get there.
C. Simple answer; Lucifer chose it.
D. During every age, whenever man, or in this case angels are given a choice, they will eventually choose wrong.
E. Why didn’t God simply eradicate Lucifer along with sin?
Answer Professor Walter J. Vieth wrote, l “If God had chosen Lucifer at that point, some would have served God from fear rather than from love.” “Sin must run its full course for the enormity to be fully abhorred; but it eventually will be eradicated along with its instigator.”

Once again, thank you for reading the blog. I really appreciate you so much. This coming Sunday I will be delivering part two of our series. We will examine the nature of God. In order to answer our questions about suffering, some groundwork must be set. That is what the first two messages in our series will do. Have a good week wherever you are and I’ll see you tomorrow at, and then again next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Gettin' Better

Good Monday Morning To You!
Once again this will be an abbreviated blog. I’m still recovering, but I tire easily. This hospitalization took a lot more out of me than ever before. Each day is some better, and as I write, they have my blood numbers where they want them. I was able to preach at Friendship Harmony yesterday. It felt good being in the pulpit again. When I was preaching, I felt strength surging through my body. Some might say this was an adrenalin rush, but I beg to differ. I believe it was a Holy Spirit rush; I’ll never be convinced otherwise!

An abbreviated version of the message will be available on Tuesday, August 19. You can see it at In this message I pose this question: How big is your Jesus? I hope you’ll watch it.

Now let me make an announcement. This coming Sunday Morning, I will be beginning what I believe will be the most important series I have ever delivered in my 42 year preaching ministry. The series is called, “Why Suffering?” I was asked recently, “Why does God allow suffering? Why does He allow an innocent individual to suffer physical, emotional, or spiritual injury at the hands of another?” I will attempt to address this question in the weeks to come. If you cannot be with us here at Friendship Harmony, it has been requested that we tape the entire message for the video. This we will gladly do because in this suffering world, this is a most important question. Please pray for me as I prepare.

This coming Sunday is our fellowship meal. If you are in the area, plan on being with us in our morning service, then we invite you to stay afterward for a delicious meal. I hope to see you there. If not I’ll see you tomorrow on the video, and again next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Good Monday Morning To You!!

Welcome to this abbreviated version of Monday Morning With Pastor Vic. It has been a difficult two weeks for me. Two weeks ago on Sunday night, I got really sick. I had a fever, chills, nausea etc. I saw my doctor and he prescribed a course of action which included fluids and rest. During this time I noticed that a toe on my right foot was turning black and beginning to travel up my led. I already had an appointment with my foot doctor. He performed some minor surgery, prescribed two antibiotics, and gave us a plan for home treatment. Miss Bessie has been great taking care of me. She has been soaking my feet twice a day, bandaging them, and making sure to apply the topical meds as well as seeing to it I take my other prescription four times a day. I am supposed to keep my foot elevated as much as possible. It feels better, but I have this rash on my right calf which looks like I’ve been burned. It feels like that too. Please forgive me if I keep it simple this week.

The sermon notes from yesterday are here for you, and as always be sure to check out our video ministry at Thank you for your prayers.

God Speaking ©
Various Scriptures

By Victor Cooper

Intro: Religion is man’s way to God and it does not work. God hade to reach down to man. He did it by speaking to man in four different ways.

I. God spoke directly - twice.
A. God reached down to you by making a specific way for you to hear from Him.
Matthew 17:5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
B. The specific way was Jesus.

II. The Holy Spirit speaks to the soul.
A. The Holy Spirit brings the words of Jesus to your memory. John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
B. The Spirit, like the Father, speaks of Jesus.
John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

III. God’s word speaks to the mind.
A. John 17 uses the word “word” three times speaking od God’s word.
John 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
John 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
B. These verses are not limited to meaning only Scriptures.
C. They also refer to the direct spoken words of God we discussed earlier.
D. Those words lead specifically to Jesus.

IV. Jesus reaching out to you.
A. Jesus prayed for you specifically.
John 17:20-24 (NLT)
"I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony. [21] My prayer for all of them is that the world will believe you sent me. [22] "I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are— [23] I in them and you in me, all being perfected into one. Then the world will know that you sent me and will understand that you love them as they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father—that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and much as you love me. [24] Father, I want these whom you've given me to be with me, so they can see my glory. You gave me the glory because you loved me even before the world began!
The final portion of Jesus’ prayer (vv. 20-26) was for future believers who would come to Him through the message of the apostles. In the Church Age all Christians have come to Christ directly or indirectly through the apostles’ witness. Jesus knew His mission would succeed. He would die and be raised, He would send forth the Spirit, the apostles would preach, people would be converted, and the church would be formed. As each high priest of Israel bore the names of the tribes before the presence of God in the tabernacle and the temple (cf. Ex. 28:9-12, 21-29), so now Jesus, the great High Priest, carried future believers into the holy presence of His heavenly Father (cf. Heb. 4:14-5:12; 7:24-8:2). Bible Knowledge Commentary
B. It boils down to if you are one with Him, what should you do?
1. Follow the example of Christ.
2. Cling to the words of Christ.

Thank you for visiting with me today. Stay safe and well, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hope through Jesus

Good Monday Morning To You!
It is always good to visit with you. It is especially nice when you talk back. From time to time someone writes in with a question. It never ceases to amaze me how many people ask about Johnny and Vic. I received a question this past week where the reader wrote, “I enjoy reading the adventures of Johnny and Vic. My question is, was Johnny and Vic good boys, or bad boys? I hope you answer my letter.

Thank you for your question. Writing about Johnny and Vic allows me revisit the best time of my life. Johnny and Vic were good boys. We spoke respectfully to adults and obeyed the law. We used words like please, thank you, and you’re welcome. We never called an adult by their first name. In our house, you did not simply finish your meal then get up to leave. You said, “May I be excused please?” You then waited until you were told it was alright to leave the table.

Johnny and Vic were normal little boys. We were adventurous, and a bit bold, but were normal boys from the late 50’s and early 60’s. I remember one time we built parachutes out of bed sheets. Johnny had a wall in his back yard, so we planned to jump off. I do not remember how high the wall was, but to eight year olds, it was monstrous. The parachute idea did not work out as we wanted, but that gives you a good idea of what Johnny and Vic were like; just normal, precocious, but good little guys who were the best of friends and who rode their bikes all over town.

Yesterday was a good day at Friendship Harmony. We have been blessed to have visitors coming, and coming regularly. That is an encouraging sign. I concluded the series on “hope.” The notes from last week are enclosed. Yesterday’s notes were simply a wrap up of the preceeding two weeks. The video will be ready by Tuesday morning, so be sure you watch it. I’m proud. This week I was under 10 minutes by 25 seconds. We try to keep them about 10 minutes long. You can see it, or past videos by going to Let us know what you think of our video ministry. Here are the notes from July 20.

Here’s Hope: Jesus©
Romans 5:1-8
Hope Series 2 of 2 By Victor Cooper

Intro: Today from Romans chapter 5 we learn that Paul had much to say about hope.

I. Hope is an end result. expectation v 3,4
A. Experience --- the ability to endure
B. Patience --- constancy
C. Tribulation --- pressure
Pressure worketh constancy; constancy, the ability to endure; enduring, expectation.

II. Hope indicates grace v5.
A. …maketh not ashamed… disappointed
Romans 5:5 (NLT) And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
1. It is God’s gift; ie grace.
(a) Grace: receiving from God that which you do not deserve.
2. Jewish people viewed the Holy Spirit especially as the Spirit who had enabled the prophets to hear and speak for God. In this context, Paul means that the Spirit points to the cross (Romans 5:6-8) and so enables Christians to hear God’s love for them. In many Jewish traditions, the Spirit was available only to those most worthy; here he is bestowed as a gift.
[Bible Background Commrntary]
III. Hope is for sinners v6-8
A. Without strength; the inability to save one’s self; hence the inability to find favor, fellowship, or festivity with God.
1. Festivity is agape.
B. Good man?
1. The Greeks believed a good man was a rare thing, and to die for one was heroic, yet extremely uncommon.
2. To the Jews, dying for someone else was not even praised.

IV. There is hope for believers.
A. As I said in last week’s message, “For a child of God, there is no such thing as “no hope.”
B. Romans 4:18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
1. When there was no hope, Abraham had hope -- God had promised.

Conclusion: Are you in a situation where it seems as if there is no hope? What has God told you? How has He treated you in the past? Remember the words of Pastor Adrienne Rodgers, “Never doubt in the darkness what God has shown you in the dark.”
My wish for you is that you sense the real hope you have in Jesus Christ. If you have no relationship with Jesus, or you are unsure or have questions, please contact me at Have a really good week, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!


Monday, July 14, 2014

Good Monday Morning To You!!

Have you had a good week since we last visited? I hope you have, and I hope this blog finds you in good health. You will notice in my last sentence I used the word hope twice. Later in the blog we will talk about hope. For the time being, I want you to consider which is better: false hope or no hope. As you read on, think on that.

On my past two blogs, I have told you about my childhood in Elmwood Place, and my best friend, Johnny Miller. Someone asked me did I not grow up in Norwood? The answer is I grew up in both. We moved to Elmwood from Carthage (two blocks) in 1959, and moved in June of 1966. These were the best seven years of my life. As I said, we moved to Norwood in 1966, and as of the date of this writing, my brother, Greg, still lives in our house on Hunter Avenue. Dad has been gone since March of 2003, and Mom left us in January of 2013. I lived in that house from June of 1966, until I married in September of 1976. Many of my happiest memories are at that home. However, it wasn’t always so.

Our house on Oak Street in Elmwood was right behind the school. To get to school, all I had to do was jump the fence, which I regularly did. The fence was only three feet tall, so it was quite simple. I started Kindergarten there, and stayed until the end of my sixth grade year. The school was the reason my parents moved to Elmwood. Our house (rented) in Carthage was inside Cincinnati city limits, while Elmwood was not. My parents preferred I be schooled anywhere except Cincinnati Public Schools. From the day I started in Elmwood, I had this unspoken feeling that it was my school. The kids were my friends. I felt comfortable and at home in the Elmwood Place Public School. Then what I had always counted as a blessing turned into a catastrophe. The school took our house. This was the first house my parents ever owned, and I’m sure it was hard for them too.

Dad and Mom were paid a fair price, thanks to Johnny Miller’s Dad, John, who was on the school board. Mr. Miller fought to save our home, but his was the lone vote in our favor. Mom and Dad found a house on Hunter Avenue in Norwood. It was a nice house on a dead end street, with a public park four doors from our house. During the summer there were park leaders who had crafts, movies, and lots of fun things to do. It was a kid’s dream, but I hated every minute of it. I wanted no part of it. I spent as much time as I could inside watching television. I was away from my school, my friends, and my best friend Johnny.

Norwood Public Schools were like Elmwood, in that neither were part of the Cincinnati School system. Norwood had great schools, but the problem was they were not my school. When I entered seventh grade, I felt alone and vulnerable. I was not in my school, I was in “their” school. For the next two years I floundered because I simply could not make the adjustment. To their credit, the Norwood kids did offer me friendship, and I did make friends, but it wasn’t the same. I was miserable! I became withdrawn, moody, and quite surly. In 1968, something happened that would make a profound change in my outlook, and my life.

In September of 1968, I went to Norwood High School. All Norwood kids attended the same High School. Suddenly it was not “my” school, or “their” school; it was “our” school. I fit in again! I was relaxed, happy, contented, and nice again. Norwood High School probably saved me from a life of misery; possibly even delinquency. I had a teacher at Norwood, Mr. J. R. Phillips, who instilled qualities in me that have made me the man I am today. If I could go back in time and re-live any part of my life, it would be my Elmwood days, but I thank God I spent four memorable years at Norwood High School. Believe it or not, back in February, I was able to attend a high school reunion right here in Ft. Myers. What a treat it was!

What a great day we experienced at Friendship Harmony yesterday!! For this time of year, the attendance was good, and it was a pure joy to be at our church. The song service was excellent. We sang some familiar hymns, and it was a treat to hear people singing the different parts. Friendship Harmony might not be the biggest church on the planet, but she sure does have some mighty fine singers.

The morning message was on the topic “hope.” Earlier I asked you which is better, false house or no hope. I conducted a survey on Facebook where I asked that very question. I had eleven people respond, and eight said false hope was better. Before I began this study, I would have answered that same way. I polled the people at church and one third said false hope was better, one third said no hope was better, and one third did not respond. Below are the sermon notes. I think they are pretty much self explanatory, plus on Tuesday morning, you can watch our 10 minute video on this message. I want you to watch the video, but let me let you in on a glorious fact: for a born again child of God, there is no such thing as “no hope.” You will also find that according to Scriptures, false hope “…makes the heart sick." You can find the video at If you feel as if you are trapped in a hopeless, helpless situation, please watch the video. The notes are below, and they too should be most helpful.

Here’s Hope: Jesus
Romans 15:4
Hope series: Part 1 Victor Cooper

Intro: Do you have hope? Do you even know what it is? Which is better, false hope, no hope, or what you define as hope? Do Scriptures speak of hope?

I. My Facebook survey question #!. Which is better false hope, or no hope?
A. Eight of eleven people said false hope was better.
1. Those answering false hope agreed that as My daughter, Amanda Cooper Nooner, said, “False hope is at least motivation to keep going.
2. My high school friend, Steve Brennecke responded, “With false hope, you are still in there fighting, even though it’s hopeless.
B. Three of eleven said no hope is better.
1. Two people simply responded no hope is the better of the two.
2. Bess’s and my friend in Ohio, Linn Ash,
Said, “It depends on the circumstances the hope is applied to.
3. Before I began this study, I would have said
False hope was better because at least you had something.
4. False hope is a lie --- you think you have something, but you are simply ignoring the fact of hopelessness.
5. The Bible says in Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Ii. The fact of no hope sounds bleak and debilitating.
A. Thompson’s Chain reference Bible defines no hope as, “state of despair, having no expectation of a favorable outcome.”
B. Jonah felt the full weight of despair and
hopelessness. Jonah 4:8 And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.
C. For a believer no hope and false hope is swallowed up by hope!

III. My Facebook survey question #2 was, What is hope?
A. Amanda Nooner responded, “Hope is the feeling and belief that things can change. It’s knowing that there is more.”
B. A friend from my high school band days Linda Craycraft Albos, wrote, “A dream of something good. A belief that if you do something right, your hopes will come true.”
C. In the OT, several words are translated hope.
1. A place of refuge
2. Expectation.
3. A cord.
D. In the NT the Greek word is elpis, and means

IV. The world is full of hope, but it is a hope with the potential to fail.
A. Failed hope is worse than false hope or no hope.
1. We have a good team this year. We have the hope of winning it all.
2. I’m desperate, I sure hope these lottery numbers hit.
B. In both examples the potential to succeed or fail is present. The chance of failure is greater.

V. The hope in Christ is totally dependable, without the possibility of failure.
A. Paul said Jesus was his hope. 1 Tim. 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and the Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope.
B. The writer of Hebrews calls our hope an anchor.
Hebrews 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which
Entereth into that within the vail.

Conclusion: Which kind of hope is predominant in your life:
False hope, no hope, or the hope this world
Offers? Do you prefer these, or what Christ

Thanks for reading the blog and for watching the video. My prayer is that they are a blessing to you. Have a good week, and I’ll see you tomorrow on the video, and again next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.


Monday, July 7, 2014

Precious Sounds From The Past

Good Monday Morning To You!!!

Last week I told you about more of the adventures of Johnny and Vic. I told you about the different smells we experienced and their origin. This week I want to reminisce a bit more as I take you back with me to Elmwood Place located in southwest Ohio. Elmwood Place is a Cincinnati suburb, but is not part of the Cincinnati City limits.

There were three distinct sounds that I remember: the trains, the Carthage Mills whistle, and the nine o’clock siren.

Johnny and I lived next door to each other, and our houses were sandwiched in the middle of two railroads; the C&O a block and a half to the west, and the L&N a block and a half to the east. Our street, Oak Street ran east to west. When we road our bikes to the C&O tracks, at the next block from ours, just past the second house, we were inside Cincinnati. In order to get down to the Mill Creek, we had to cross these tracks. We very rarely played on these tracks. I don’t know why we didn’t, we just didn’t. Maybe it was because we just chose to stay inside our own little village and not to cross into Cincinnati. On either the north, or the west of us, we were about a block from the city.

To the west, about the same distance as the C&O, were the L&N tracks. We did play on these from time to time. I remember one time putting rocks on the tracks to see what would happen. These rocks were small, not much bigger than a marble. That night we heard an awful sound: an L&N train had derailed. I knew I was going to jail! Those rocks had forced that locomotive off the tracks, and I was headed to prison. As much as I feared jail, I feared Howard Cooper even more. I knew that by the time he was finished with me, there would be nothing left to jail. I imagine the same thoughts were running through Johnny’s mind. We decided to keep quiet and only breathed again when we heard that the derailment was caused by a more serious problem, but not our rocks. My dad explained to me that a train’s wheel were made to throw debris off the track. He probably never suspected why I would ask a question about things on tracks.

The train’s sounds were wonderful. At night you could hear the trains roar past, and up at the L&N tracks, the engineer blew his horn when he crossed our street. Back then a train went by nearly every fifteen minutes. For the most part, we were so used to them, we rarely heard them. However, even now in my mind I can hear the horn and the train passing by. I’d love to hear that sound again, but I now live on an island in the Gulf of Mexico, and there are no trains here.

Two other sounds were the Carthage Mills whistle, and the siren located at the fire station. My dad worked at Carthage Mills, so I was always proud of that whistle. Its sound was a low, deep sound that could be heard for miles. The whistle sounded at 7:00am, 8:00am, and 3:30pm. Although its primary purpose was for signaling the beginning of work, and the ending later that day, the people in both Elmwood, and Carthage depended on that whistle. It helped moms know when to get the kids ready for school, and when it was time for them to go home. Years later I would bowl on the Carthage Mills bowling team, and one of our bowlers was John Smallwood. John was the factory’s boiler engineer; the man who so faithfully blew that whistle. That whistle is silent now, and Carthage Mills is gone, but I can still hear it if I really concentrate. It said, “AOOOOOOOOHH! AOOOOOOOOHH!”

The nine o’clock siren was also an unmistakable sound, and one that you’d better not ignore. It had a twofold purpose. The first was to call the volunteer fireman or the life squad people to the station. If it sounded one time, the ambulance was needed. If it sounded multiple times, it was for a fire. Whenever the fire alarm was sounded, we’d run up the street to the station and follow the truck to the fire. Elmwood Place was a small village, so seeing where they went was not too difficult. Even back then, you could see what they were doing, but the police wouldn’t let you get too close.

The second purpose was to signal the nine o’clock curfew. When it sounded it meant kids needed to be at home. You could play out past nine, and we often did, but you needed to be in front of your house. For most moms, it was the “time to go to bed” signal. I honestly do not know if today’s Elmwood citizens get to hear the siren. I doubt it, but I am not sure.

Even though these memories were fifty years ago, I still count them as some of my most precious. What I wouldn’t give to be able to reset the hands of time and go back to those days! Maybe one night soon the LORD will allow me to go back, even if only in a dream.

We had a good service at Friendship Harmony yesterday. What was really encouraging was our visitors. Our church is always so honored when people come. All three visitors have visited before, so I hope they continue to come. Who knows --- one day the LORD might direct them to become members. I hope so.

I’ll not tell you about the morning message, but I will invite you to hear it over the internet. It is at I will say it is about the transfiguration of Christ, and its significance for us today. You do not have to have a Facebook account to see the video. This week’s message is 12 minutes in length. We try to keep them at ten minutes, but I missed my signal and went over. I hope you will enjoy the videos.

Thanks for sharing this time with me. I really appreciate each of you. Stay safe and well, and I’ll see you this Tuesday with the video, and again next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Monday, June 30, 2014

The Further Adventures Of Johnny And Vic

Good Monday Morning To You!!!

It is so amazing to me how many of you want to hear more stories about the adventures of Johnny and Vic. John and I were talking about it the other night. We grew up in a tiny village nestled within, but not part of the Cincinnati city limits. Our houses were in Elmwood Place. To get a good feel for what Elmwood was like when we were kids, just visualize Sheriff Andy’s Mayberry, and you would be close. Some of my fondest childhood memories go back to those days in that place. If the LORD would let me go back and relive any part of my past, it would be with Johnny and Vic in Elmwood Place.

As I was saying, last evening Johnny and I were discussing the smells and sounds we remembered. Cincinnati surrounded us on three sides, and St. Bernard filled in the gap. There were factories all around us, and depending upon which way the wind was blowing, determined what factory smell you got. One such factory to the north of us just a few miles was National Distilleries. The smells from them were nice, especially when they were making vanilla flavoring. It was my favorite then, and I’m still partial to it today. A bit closer to us was Fries and Fries. They made perfume. As I recall their smell was also nice, but could be overwhelming. Going the other direction, in St. Bernard was P&G. Crisco, Joy, and Prell were made there, as well as their flagship pride, Ivory Soap. Back then you could buy Ivory Soap, Ivory Flakes, and Ivory Dish Washing Liquid. When we had winds coming from that direction, Ivory filled the air. It was oppressive; it burned your eyes and nose, and was horrible. I wish I could describe it to you, but you would have had to have been there. We still played outside, but there was no doubt as to what Procter and Gamble was cooking.

However, in our little village, we had smells unique to us. Johnny reminded me about the Mill Creek, and the Chili Kitchen. The Mill Creek was a block west of us, and we occasionally went down there. Basically it was an open sewer. Many of the factories along its path released sewage into it because it had a chemical smell. We never played in it as I recall, but we often played beside it. I was in Elmwood about two years ago and I started to walk down to the creek. I was told it had been cleaned up and “improved.” I turned around and walked away, preferring to remember it as it was --- a nasty place that holds many precious memories for me. Funny, it did not seem nasty to us back then. (For more on the Mill Creek, go to and search Mill Creek Ohio.)

Also unique to us was three distinct chili restaurants. The smells coming from them was mouth-watering. There are no longer chili parlors in Elmwood, but our little village was chili and cheese cony heaven back when Johnny and Vic had their adventures. Next week I’ll tell you about the sounds. Let’s just say they were bone rattling.

Yesterday at Friendship Harmony was one of those services where you could go home feeling good about being in church. At this time of the year, we are at a seasonally low attendance. All of our snowbirds are back in their northern nests, and many of our full timers are taking their vacations. Still, the attendance wasn’t bad and the service was awesome. The morning message dealt with covenants; one covenant of God with man, and another man with death and hell. God’s covenant sign we examined was the rainbow. Not only does it signify that God will no longer destroy the earth with water, but God validates that it is indeed Him talking by the use of the colors in the rainbow. The colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, and they always appear in that order. ALWAYS! God has given it a sense of order, and it does not stray from it. God is not the author of confusion, as 1 Corinthians 14:33 tells us. He is a God of order, and the rainbow has order. The video will be available, and you can get a 10 minute version of the message. You can find it at It’s an excellent way to invite me into your home and not have to feed me. Speaking of food, I believe I’m going to have a 4-way today. If you don’t know what that is, meet me in nearly any neighborhood in Cincinnati, and we’ll show you why Cincinnati is the chili capital of the world!!

Have a great week and I’ll see you tomorrow on the video, and again next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

This One Takes The Cake!!!

Good Monday Morning To You11

Thank you for taking the time to read the blog. I hope it is a blessing to you. As you know, Friendship Harmony has an e-mail address for your convenience. It is You are encouraged to contact us with prayer requests, questions, or comments.

I received this question the other day. “When did you enter the ministry, and what is the strangest thing you have seen?” To begin with, I announced my calling into the ministry in April of 1972 at my home church, Grace Missionary Baptist Church in Norwood, Ohio. In June of that same year, I preached my first sermon. That also was at Grace. I have been preaching for forty two years, and it seems like just yesterday.

As for the strangest thing I have seen in church work, my mind goes back to 1982 in Carlisle, Ohio. The “event” did not happen to me, but I was in the congregation and saw it all.

I’ll not name the church, but it was very large, and was having revival services. The evangelist was a man I knew, and had a great deal of respect for, Orville Griffin. Brother Griffin would go on to become The Executive Director of The State Convention of Baptists In Ohio. On this particular night, Brother Griffin preached the paint off the wall. To say it was powerful would be an understatement. When the invitation was given, many responded to the call to Christ. The altar was full, and more were coming.

Suddenly the pastor walked to the microphone and said, “We’re going to have to stop this for the moment. We forgot to receive our evening offering. We’ll get back to the invitation after the offering is taken.” I glanced over at Brother Griffin, and he was stunned. I had never seen such a look of utter disbelief on another person’s face.

The offering was taken, then the pastor walked back to the pulpit, called the musicians back, and announced that the invitation would continue. No one else came forward. The invitation was dead. The Holy Spirit had departed. That was, I believe, the strangest thing I have ever witnessed in forty two years of ministry. I do not know what happened in the pastor’s office when he and Brother Griffin talked, but I imagine it wasn’t pretty. Orville Griffin preached for me several years later, and I would never have considered a stunt like that. He and I never discussed the incident - it was better left in the past!

Yesterday was a good day at Friendship Harmony. The attendance wasn’t bad considering this time of year, and I enjoyed the service. I believe others did as well. The message was from Psalm 17, and was titled “Praying Believing.” In that short 15 verse Psalm, David exhibited praying, and believing he had God’s full attention. This is also called confidence. The notes are below, and the video should be ready by Tuesday morning. You can see the video by going to Remember, you do not have to have a Facebook account, but if you do, be sure to “like” our page.

Praying Believing!! ©
Psalm 17:Selected
By Victor Cooper

Intro: Jesus taught us in Matthew 21:22 “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. ‘ an unbelieved prayer is a waste of breath.

I. David prayed approaches God. V.1
A. “Hear the right.” v1 i.e. the righteous one
1. Claiming to be righteousness is not an arrogant claim.
2. It is an honest understanding of one’s position before God.“Hear the right.”
v1 i.e. the righteous one
B. “Attend unto my cry”
1. Attend - pay attention
2. Cry - loud shout of grief
C. “ear unto my prayer”
1. Prayer - Supplication i.e. “to ask a favor.”
D. “ not out of feigned lips’
“LORD, I’m being absolutely honest with you”
Psalm 17:1 (NLT)
O Lord, hear my plea for justice. Listen to my cry for help. Pay attention to my prayer, for it comes from an honest heart.

II. David declared to God that he had been tested. V.3
A. He is telling God, but not in an informative way.

III. Belief and confidence are displayed.
A. v6 “I called and you heard.”
B. v15 “I will be satisfied” - filled to satisfaction

IV. David’s petition v7,8
A. v7 -- “Show to me all that you show to all who have trusted in You.”
1. It is a reasonable request which will be granted; not just answered, but granted.
Peter said in Acts 10:34, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:”
B. v8 -- The apple of the eye; i.e. the pupil, that part that sees.
Adam Clarke Commentary - “Take as much care to preserve me now by Divine influence, as thou hast to preserve my eye by thy good providence. Thou hast entrenched it deeply in the skull; hast ramparted it with the forehead and cheek-bones; defended it by the eyebrow, eyelids, and eyelashes; and placed it in that situation where the hands can best protect it.”
C. Hide me under the shadow of thy wings.
Illustration Pictures a hen sheltering her chicks.
Lesson--- When the lady touched the hem of Christ’s garment, she touched the fringes of His prayer shawl. These fringes were called “wings.” She understood and believed the Malachi 4:2 which said, “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.”

Thanks for spending this time with me. Remember, if you have a question or a prayer request, be sure to write. I enjoy getting to talk to you, but I equally like you talking back. Have a good week. I’ll see you at the video tomorrow, and again next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Monday, June 16, 2014

Memories of Dad and Mom

Good Monday Morning To You,
I hope you had a good week since we last visited. Yesterday was Father’s Day. Was it a good day for you? It was for me. I heard from all four of my kids, and my youngest son, Jason, came over on Saturday and spent the day with us. Just having him there was great!!!

I was thinking about my own dad and many fine memories flooded my mind. I remember once when I was about five years old, my dad, mom, Howard and Alene Cooper, and I were all sick. My dad believed that when you were sick the best thing for you was a shot of penicillin. We went to a doctor in Cincinnati named Dr. Schuelsinger. He was an old German Jew, and he believed in shots also. I hated shots. I just did not do needles very well. Dr. Schuelsinger’s office was downtown, and it only had one exam room. Mom went back first and I went in with her. When she was about to get her shot, I went back out into the lobby. Mom came out and dad went in and I walked back with him. Sure enough, dad got his shot, but not a word was said to me. I was not getting a shot! I was elated!

Dad paid the receptionist and we started back home. We lived in a little village called Elmwood Place. We were not in Cincinnati city limits, but it surrounded us on three sides. Our house was about five miles from the doctor’s office. Dad turned to mom and said, “How did Victor do with his shot?” Mom said, “I thought he was you when he got his shot.” It was at this point that I knew that a shot was the least of my worries. Dad, much to my surprise, did not say a word. He simply circled the block and headed back downtown to Dr. Schuelsinger’s office and took me in. He went to the receptionist and told her what had happened. I heard her say, “Sure, no problem.” I was then escorted back to his office, where I was examined, and received my sentence: penicillin injection. At the time it was a horrible experience, but as I look back on it some fifty five years later I can say in all honesty that it was indeed a horrible experience. At least now the tears are not from fear of the shot, but from missing mom and dad so much. The beautiful thing is that mom and dad were Christians, so the separation is just temporary. I will see them again.

My Father’s Day message will be available tomorrow, Tuesday morning. The title is “What Every Man Should Be.” The life we examined was Joseph, the earthly daddy of the little boy Jesus. Joseph was a fine example for his children, and is a good role model for us today – men and women alike. I hope you’ll watch the video, it is only 10 minutes in length. You can find it at Remember, you do not have to have a Facebook account to see the video.

Thank you for spending these few minutes with me. Thanks for letting me share my memories with you. If you’d like to share some with me, drop me an e-mail at I’d love to hear from you. Stay safe and well, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Monday, June 9, 2014

Graduation Day

Good Monday Morning To You!

I hope this note finds you well, and enjoying all the blessings God has sent your way. Yesterday was a very special day for me. I was asked to speak at this year’s Commencement exercises at the SouthWest Florida Bible Institute. What an honor it was to be part of the joyful celebration. Several of the graduates had been in my classes, and I felt so proud. One woman, who had enjoyed a career in medicine, came to me in the receiving line of instructors and said, “I’m not shaking your hand. I need a hug from you.” I told her I would gladly hug her. I whispered in her ear that she was one of my best students, which she really was. I gave her a 95 on a paper once, and she wanted to know where her other five points were. Marlene studied hard and was proud of her accomplishments. I am proud of her and the others too. Dr. Jim Scafidi, the school’s president, explained why it was called “commencement.” He said when receiving their diplomas, the students were not facing an ending, but a beginning. My prayers are with each of the graduates as they go forward and use their education to assist in the advancement of the Kingdom Of God!

The service at Friendship Harmony was such a blessing. The attendance was good, and it was so good to have been in the house of the LORD. At Friendship Harmony, we sing the old tried and true hymns, and we still use our hymnals. None of us have any fight with the more modern ways, but there is such a comfort in being part of services similar to those like when we were growing up. We consider it a privilege.

The morning message was from the Parable of the Pounds from Luke chapter 19. The notes are not available at this time. I am in the process of learning to use my new laptop. I typed the notes on the old one which uses XP and Microsoft Works. My new one uses Windows 7, and Microsoft Word. I like XP and Works much better, but that is probably because they are all I know. I originally bought a laptop installed with Windows 8, but I quickly took it back. I let my daughter look at it and she said it was too much computer for me. She said Captain Picard could run the Enterprise with that thing. I won’t say it frustrated me, I’ll just say it is times like that when I thank the LORD for eternal security.

After services were over, I had to make a quick exit to get up to the school for the graduation ceremonies. I was unable to tape for the video broadcast, and that really bothered me. I am going to be working on idea which will put some videos “in the can.” That way when I cannot tape, we will have one ready to go and no one will miss the videos.

When I learn how to convert Microsoft Works to Microsoft Word, I’ll post yesterday’s notes. I bought a book called, “Microsoft Office 2013 For Dummies.” I absolutely amazes me that I have enough intelligence to be working toward my second doctorate, yet a computer which most ten year olds can routinely operate throws me into a tail spin. I know everybody has their gifts, but I wish I were just a bit more computer literate. Oh well…..

Have a good week, and stay safe and healthy. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Sunday, June 1, 2014

What Happened To The Eighteen Year Old Kid?

Good Monday Morning To You!!

Can you believe it is already the first week of June? They say time flies when you are having fun. If that is true I must be having a blast. Some people I graduated with reminded me that it was 42 years ago this past Monday the senior class of Norwood High School received their diplomas. As I look back at those earlier days, it is as if I am looking back at someone else’s life. That muscular, (yes, Bill Wolfe, I was) sandy haired kid disappeared somewhere and re-emerged as a father of five, and a grandfather of two. Those 42 years of life have been a roller coaster ride with the ups and downs, the twists and turns, and the exhilarations and the fears. All in all, I must say it has been a pretty good ride. It is very doubtful that I have another 42 years to look forward to, but wherever life takes me, I take comfort in the fact that I do not go alone. Jesus has promised He would, “…never leave me nor forsake me.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Yesterday was an awesome day at Friendship Harmony. The attendance was good, and the service was uplifting. On the first Sunday of each month we observe The Lord’s Supper. I took the occasion to preach a message on communion. Don’t worry about the technical, theological jargon, just understand that it means “fellowship.” When you have a right relationship with God, you have fellowship with Father, Son, and Spirit. This is Christian doctrine; other religions cannot comprehend a god that would want or have a close fellowship with man. Their thinking is that we are not worthy to have communion with someone as mighty, majestic, and magnificent as God. This would be correct except for the fact that we have been made worthy by our Lord, Jesus Christ. That is communion. It is not about us, it is all about Him. The video will be available tomorrow, and can be seen at Remember, you do not have to have a Facebook account to see it. This week’s message is slightly less than 10 minutes long, so I do hope you’ll check it out.

May the LORD bless your upcoming week. Stay safe and well. Remember, if you’d like prayer for any reason, be sure to write me at I always enjoy hearing from you. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Monday, May 26, 2014

Decoration Day!!!

Good Monday Morning To You!!

I hope you have had a good and a safe week. Let me say Happy Memorial Day to you from all of us here at Friendship Harmony. When I was a boy it was known as Decoration Day? Does anyone else remember that? Every year my parents would load up the car and head for “down home.” For us, down home was Harlan County, Kentucky. We would go to the graves and “decorate.” My Mamaw and Papaw Cooper were buried in a family plot on top of Little Black Mountain. The hike up the mountain was through thick brush on a copperhead infested hillside. Each year it became more and more difficult until dad finally said we could not go up there any more. Those graves were grown over and abandoned until just a few years ago when the State of Kentucky put a road in. I have not seen it, but I’m told the graves look nice, are well kept, and you can drive up to them. I’d like to see them one day.

Yesterday was a super day at Friendship Harmony. The attendance was good and the presence of God’s Spirit was evident. With it being Memorial Day weekend, we sang patriotic songs. We started with Abraham Lincoln’s favorite hymn, “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic.” I too have always liked that song. For our offertory, our pianist played “The Star Spangled Banner,” We followed that by pledging to the American Flag. It was a very moving and enjoyable service.

Last week we looked at death from a practical standpoint. The three points were: The pain of separation; The hope of expectation; The joy of jubilation. This week we look at death again, but this time from a theological standpoint. The message can be seen on our internet video ministry. You can see it at Remember, you do not need a Facebook account to access the videos. This week’s video should be ready by tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. I hope the videos are a blessing to you.

Thank you for being so dedicated to both our written blog and our videos. We do them with the desire to serve our Lord Jesus Christ, and to be a blessing to each of you. Be sure to contact us from time to time; we love hearing from you. Our E-mail address is


Monday, May 19, 2014

Summer Camp

Good Monday Morning To You!!!

Hello to you. Welcome to the blog. Whether you are a new reader, or have been reading for a while, I want you to know how much I appreciate you taking the time to visit with me.

Sitting on my desk is a photo sent to me by my friend of the past 55 years, John Miller. It is so hard to call him John; to me he has always been Johnny. The picture is of him, the others in our cabin, and me at Camp Meachem in Mentor, Kentucky. I’ll never forget that summer. It was 1964, and I was 10 years old. Johnny went to camp every year, but I’d never been. In order to go, you had to be a member of the YMCA. I remember dad taking me to the Powell Crosley Jr. YMCA on Hamilton Avenue in Cincinnati. As I recall, the building was brand new, so they had a special deal on memberships. Dad signed me up, and I was going to camp. I couldn’t wait! Every year Johnny would come back and tell me all about his experiences. I wanted in on all that fun. The day soon came and dad drove me to Mentor, which sits right on the Ohio River. It seemed like a long way from home, but in reality it was not too far from Cincinnati.

When we drove into the camp, I was so excited about baseball, crafts, movies, and hiking the mountains. Actually they were hills, but to a ten year old, they were mountains. Some of the “veteran” campers warned us to not let our leaders take us on an overnight camp out. They said that way back in those hills was “Headless Hattie.” Headless Hattie was a lady who had been killed by a camper and she was out for revenge against the one who had killed her by chopping off her head. Since she was headless, she could not tell one kid from another, so she struck at random. I didn’t believe the story, but still enough doubt was in my mind that I didn’t want any part of hiking those mountains. I figured daytime wasn’t safe either since Hattie was headless and wouldn’t know the difference. As it turned out it rained quite a bit that week, so there was no hiking. I was fine by that!

My favorite camp experience was getting off by myself and walking the banks of the river. As I looked across the river into Ohio, everything I could see was natural. There was nothing man made in sight. I remember wondering if this was what it looked like to the Indians, and the early explorers. Surely it must have been. Even at age ten, I felt connected to the past. I was seeing what those historical people saw as they saw it. As I looked, I wondered what thoughts must have gone through their minds.

I don’t know if Camp Meachem exists any longer. I wonder if you can still look across that river and see only God’s handiwork, without any man made distractions. In any event, I look at that picture often, and my mind goes back to those care free days of my youth where your only worries were being axed to death by a headless old woman. Long live the memories!

Yesterday was an absolutely fantastic day at Friendship Harmony. The service was good, and we were honored to have a new family in attendance who had just bought a house across the street from the church. They are from Pennsylvania, and were on their way back to take care of personal business before coming to Pine Island permanently. It spoke volumes about the Christian character of these people who, before leaving on their trip, made time to attend services.

Following the service was our monthly fellowship dinner. This month featured Mexican dishes. In the past we have featured Italian, and it was wonderful. I was impressed how well our ladies did with Mexican. Maybe in the future we can feature Chinese. On second thought ---- naw!

The message was titled, “Death, What Meaneth Thou.” The notes are below and the brief video will be available Tuesday morning. To see the video go to Scroll until you find the video. You do not have to have a Facebook account to watch the video. Now, here are those notes.

Death, What Meaneth Thou?©
John 11: selected
1 in a series of 2 By Victor Cooper

Intro: For a believer in Jesus, Death does not claim the victory, but rather is the victory!

I. The pain of separation. Verses 17-21
A. In Scriptures death means separation, not cessation.
B. Death hurts? Paul said it had a sting.
1 Cor. 15:55a O death, where is thy sting?
C. Separation brings sorrow. v19
1. Mary, Martha, and their friends felt it albeit differently.
2. Jesus also felt the sorrow. V 35 Jesus wept.

II. The hope of expectation. Verse 22
A. Martha’s statement was not one of faith, but of cultural teaching.
B. Verse 39 shows that Martha’s statement to Jesus was not one of faith.
C. Verses 40-43 allows for hope.
1. Christ calls on the Father as Martha had suggested in
verse 22.
D. Christ was confident.
E. Mary and Martha had hope because of Jesus’ confidence.

III. The joy of jubilation. Verses 43-45
A. Sadness turned to joy.
B. Joy became faith.
C. Faith produces more joy.
D. Sorrow is temporary, but joy is eternal because Christ is eternal. Cf Psalm 30:5, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

1. I heard fom a mother of two sons in Wisconsin who is struggling with some painful issues. Please pray for Karen and her boys.
2. My wife, Miss Bessie, is doing some better, but is still having pain from her broken ribs, and punctured lung. The doctors tell us that it will take time for her to heal, but in the meantime she is to take it easy and not exert too much. When our doctor told us that, I thought, “This is going to be interesting.” Trying to keep Miss Bessie down is as easy as putting a racehorse in the gate, starting the race, while telling the horse, “Stay, don’t run!”

If you have a prayer request please send it to us at I will not reveal your full name and excact location, but please let people pray for you. The blog is now reaching over twenty six thousand readers world wide, so you’ll have lots of people bombarding Heaven with your need.

Have a good week. I’ll see you tomorrow (Tuesday) on the video, and again next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

This Year's Mother Of The Year Is Awarded To ...

Good Monday Morning To You.

I hope all you moms who are reading this had a good Mother’s Day yesterday. We had a really good Mother’s Day service at Friendship Harmony; I’ll tell you about it in a minute.

Last week I shared a prayer request concerning my wife, Miss Bessie. Last Monday afternoon I took her for an X-ray, and after reading the films, the radiologist told us to go straight to the Cape Coral Hospital Emergency Room. The ER physician looked at the X-rays and ordered a CT Scan. The scan showed that she had 4 broken ribs, a punctured lung, and a partially deflated lung with a touch of pneumonia. This was on top of the fractured wrist we were already of. The CT also showed bruising on her liver, but they were not too concerned about that. As I said last week, our orthopedic doctor, Michael Jugan, believes her hip is the problem and the reason for the fall. Thank you for your prayers, and I’ll keep you posted.

Yesterday I gave much thought to my own mom, Alene Cooper. She was a tremendous mom. Every night at bedtime she would come in and sit on my bed and listen to my bedtime prayers. She taught me two. One was, “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the LORD my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the LORD my soul to take. A-men.” The other was, “I see the moon, the moon sees me. God bless the moon, God bless me. And God bless mommy, and God bless daddy, and God bless …..”

Did you pray either of these prayers? The lessons she taught me about prayer stays with me to this very day. The first prayer was a prayer of faith. It was faith in God and faith in prayer. The second was a prayer of thinking of others. I would later learn that was called an “intercessory” prayer. I may not have known the theological technicalities of it in the late 50’s and early 60’s, but I did learn about the importance of prayer.

As I said earlier, the service at Friendship Harmony was tremendous. I know it seems like I always say that, but it is true. The attendance was good and the Spirit in the service was awesome. I thank our Lord Jesus Christ for meeting with us at church. Without the presence of the Holy Spirit, we would be just a club.

The message was called, “Mother Of The Year: Naomi. The message came from selected passages in the book of Ruth. We talked about Naomi being acquainted with sorrow and hard times, yet knowing the LORD was sufficient to see her through. Untested faith is shallow faith, and Naomi’s faith was deep and steadfast. This was from Ruth 1:3-5.

We saw from chapter 1 verses 7-9, we saw that Naomi was considerate of the needs of others. She had buried her husband, then her two sons, leaving herself and her two daughters in law. Naomi was going back home to Israel and told the girls that they could return home and find husbands among the men of Moab.

In chapter 1, verses 16-18 we learned that Naomi was a highly treasured woman. Her daughter in law Ruth said this to her. Ruth 1:16-18
“And Ruth said, ‘Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: [17] Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.’ [18] When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.” What a fitting compliment for a fine lady.

We saw that Naomi was a descerner of God’s will. To accomplish this she had a close personal walk with the LORD. Are you able to descern the will of God? If not, perhaps you need to draw closer to Him. This we saw in chapter 3, verses 1-4. From this wise counsel of Naomi to Ruth, Ruth and Boaz eventually marry and have a son named Obed. He grows and has a son named Jesse, who in turn has a son named David. David would not only become Israel’s greatest king, but from him one day the Messiah, Jesus would be born. Naomi knew the will of God for Ruth, and her simple act of faith blossomed into a Messianic line.

Finally we learned Naomi was known to others as a person blessed of God. From verses 14 and 15 of chapter 4, we saw how others recognized the hand of God at work in the life of Naomi. May we all, women and men alike, follow the fine example set forth by dear Naomi.

May the LORD bless your upcoming week with the blessings of good health and Spirit filled days. There is no video being posted tomorrow, so I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!©


Monday, May 5, 2014

Prayer request: Do you have any?

Good Monday Morning To You!!

I trust you have had a good week. My week was good, but my wife, Miss Bessie, has had a tough time. Last Sunday evening, I was out and she decided to stay home. After my visit, I decided to drop by Wal Mart to buy a shovel. I was surprised that our Wal Mart does not carry them. As I drove home, I had an uneasy feeling as I got closer. When I went up the steps onto the porch, I could hear moaning coming from inside. When I went in, I found Miss Bessie lying on the floor. She was in terrific pain from falling. The first question I asked her was, “Did you hit your head?” She told me she had not, but that she could not get up, nor could she reach the phone. When I asked her what had happened, she said she got up out of the chair, took one step, and went down. She hurt both her knees, her ribs, her shoulder, her hip and her wrist. She still hurts terribly. Last Tuesday she saw our orthopedic surgeon, Michael Jugan, who told her that he believes her hip was the culprit. Back in November of 2012 when he replaced her second knee, I remember him telling her then that her hip would soon need some attention. Last Tuesday he put her wrist in an “air cast,” which is what we used to call a removable brace. He wants her to wear it for a month. He also wants the other injuries to “settle down,” then he wants a more thorough exam of her hip. I ask you to keep her in your prayers.

May we at Friendship Harmony pray for you? Please feel free to share your prayer request with us. You can contact us at I will share your request on this blog so others can pray, but I will respect your privacy, and will not give out your name and location unless you give permission.

Yesterday was a very good day at Friendship Harmony. The service was uplifting, and we were blessed at the invitation to have a lady come and request membership in our church. I served as her pastor once before in another location, and I am so honored to have her with us. She studies her Bible faithfully, and she can ask some very deep and thought provoking questions during Sunday School. Her husband is ill, but possibly one day he can come also. His name is Larry, please pray for him.

The message title was, “I Will Extol Thee” from Psalm 145. The 10 minute version of the video should be ready to view on Tuesday morning. To see it go to Remember, you do not need a Facebook account to view the video. I do hope it is a blessing to you.

Have a good and a safe week, and remember, if you have any prayer requests, please share them with us at If you have any questions concerning Scriptures, you may use that E-mail as well. May the LORD bless you, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Can You Expect Anything From God?

Good Monday Morning To You!
I hope your Easter was a good one. We had a great day at Friendship Harmony. Due to rain our Sunrise Service had to be held inside, but the LORD blessed and it was a good service. We recorded it for those who could not attend. If you’d like to see it go to Remember, you do not need a facebook account to view the videos. The video should be ready by Tuesday morning, and I thank Jim and Gwen Cook for their tireless labor of love in getting these videos posted for all to see. It is a lengthy, time consuming project, and I am so grateful for their dedication to the Friendship Harmony Baptist Church video ministry.

I want to let you know what happened last week to the blog. I had been having trouble on my phone line, so I called our local phone provider, Century Link, to come and take a look. I was getting heavy static and cross talk. Cross talk is where I can hear other people who I did not call, and they can hear me. If you remember the days of the party line, it is similar to that. The phone man found corroded wires which he fixed. He then asked me who installed my internet DSL connection. I told him that Century Link had installed it, and he told me it had been installed incorrectly. He asked if I had been having trouble with the net and I told him that I could get on, but I couldn’t stay on. He said that he had fixed it when he repaired my phone line and that I should have no more problems. He was right, and I am glad to have dependable service again.

The Easter Morning message was called, “What Did You Expect?” Every year at both Christmas and Easter, preachers attempt to preach the familiar message in a fresh, and uplifting way. We ask ourselves, “How can I say something relevant and fresh, as if it had never been preached before?” Even though I have preached many Easter sermons in my forty two years of service, the Holy Spirit always steps in and gives me the right thing to say, and it’s always like brand new. I marvel at how He works with us preacher boys.

The notes are below, and I hope they are a blessing to you. I trust they are beneficial in your personal Bible study.

What Were You Expecting?? ©
Luke 24:1-9
Easter Sunday 4/20/14
By Victor Cooper

Intro: When you come to Jesus, do you come expecting? What you find might not be what you expected, but Christ always supplies what you need.

I. What they expected.
A. They came expecting to find a sealed tomb.
1. The stone was a large, cylindrical object sitting in a groove. The groove would have had a slight down hill pitch, making it difficult to move.
2. These ladies were on a mission for Jesus, and obstacles were not considered.
Adam Clarke Commentary -- …when persons have strong confidence in God, obstacles do not hinder them from undertaking whatever they have reason to believe he requires; and the removal of them they leave to him: and what is the consequence? They go on their way comfortably, and all difficulties vanish…
B. They came expecting a dead Jesus.
1. The angel would remind them of what He had said concerning His death.
2. The world going to His tomb today still expects to find a dead Jesus.
3. Sadly, many church goers feel the same way.
C. They expected to find someone to help move the stone away.
1. Remember, they were serving Jesus and they believed God would provide a way.
II. What they found.
A. The stone was rolled away.
1. Their questions would have been who? And why?
B. They found an empty tomb.
1. They were perplexed and confused.
2. They did not have a printed Bible as. we have. They were living it.
3. What would be your reaction to visiting the grave of a loved one and finding it open and the body gone?
4. Would resurrection be the first thought to come to your mind?
C. They found two angels.
1. In Scriptures, angelic appearance ALWAYS comes withy a message.
2. “Angel” means “messenger.”

III. What they needed.
A. They needed the message of the angels. Vv5-7
B. They needed hope.
C. They needed assurance.
D. They needed courage.

Conclusion: What they expected was not what they found nor was it what they needed. What you can expect from our LORD is that He will, “supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Phil. 4:19

As the women had to go to the tomb, you have to
“seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

Barb and Wayne Ratcliffe want to thank you for your prayers for their son, Mark. His surgery was a success and he is now recovering at home. We are always happy for praise reports. Can we pray for you? Send your prayer request to We will post your request here on the blog so others can join with us in prayer.

May the LORD bless your upcoming week, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Can WE Pray For You??

Good Monday Morning To You!!!

Let me begin by giving you an update on a prayer request I made two weeks ago. I had asked you to pray for Brandy Ward, the daughter of Friendship Harmony members Claude and Ann Ogle. Brandy’s body has been recovered from the Washington mudslide of several weeks ago. Her husband, Tim, is now home from the hospital, and will be in a wheel chair for at least the next 6 months. Please continue to lift Tim up in your prayers. The doctors hope his time in the chair will be temporary, but at this point they do not know. Claude and Ann appreciate your prayers.

Another prayer request has been shared with us. Mark Radcliffe, son of our members, Barb and Wayne Radcliffe, will have heart surgery on April 15. The Radcliffes would appreciate your prayers for Mark, and have asked me to keep you updated concerning his progress. I am very happy to do so.

Do you have a prayer request? Feel free to share it here. This blog reaches all over thy planet, and believers everywhere stand ready to pray for you. Contact me at If you’d prefer to keep your request confidential between you and me, I’ll list it as an unspoken request. People cannot pray unless you write, so let me here from you.

Once again we had a wonderful service at Friendship Harmony. The Holy Spirit’s presence was real, and it was good to be in the House of the LORD. I do not have any notes to share with you as I did not use any, but you can see the abbreviated version at Remember, you do not have to have a Facebook account to see the videos. Let me know what you think of our new, compact showing. I do hope you like it.

The message was about Stephen, so be sure to read his story in Acts chapters 6 and 7.

Next week, the LORD willing, I’m going to review three movies Miss Bessie and I saw in the last two weeks. One of them was, “God Isn’t Dead.” I urge you to see this picture. It is above awesome. I’ll cite my reasons why next week. Until then, stay safe, and remember as you are praying, please remember the Friendship Harmony Baptist Church. We would be honored if you would.

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


Monday, March 31, 2014

The Battle Is The LORD's!!!

Good Monday Morning To You!!!

Last week I posted a prayer request concerning a family in our church, Claude and Ann Ogle. Their daughter, Brandy Ward, was trapped under the mud in the Washington mudslide. Her husband, Tim, is in a Seattle hospital with a broken back and pelvis. As of the date of this writing, Brandy has not been found. They are bringing in a dog to see if it can pick up on her scent. Pray that the LORD uses that dog to accomplish His will. Please also continue to hold up this family in your prayers.

Another lady from our church, Barb Radcliffe, asked if I could use the blog to request prayer for her son Mark, who is having heart surgery on April 15th. I also promised her that I would keep you informed of his progress. ABSOLUTELY I will share prayer requests and updates. I cannot think of a better purpose this blog can have than that. If you have a request, send it to me at, or You may also call me at 239.283.8331. This blog is currently reaching over 22,000 readers in places like The United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, China, India, as well as countries from the former Soviet Union. Your brothers and sisters around the globe stand ready to pray for you. Share your request with me and let me post it so others can be praying. If yours is an unspoken request, we will also let others know to be praying for you.

Yesterday was a fantastic day at Friendship Harmony. Most of our services are truly enjoyable, but some days seem to be a notch above. Yesterday was one of those days. What did we do that was different? Nothing! It’s just that the glory of the LORD was present and He decided to make Himself known and felt. I was hopping He would. The last few weeks I have been preaching messages of encouragement and hope. I preached from 1 Samuel, chapter 17 where a young shepherd boy named David, steps into a seemingly impossible situation. He asks, “Is there not a cause?” He is saying, “Is their not a cause to stand for? Is our God worthy of our taking a stand for Him?” Each of us come face to face with our Goliaths frequently. Does Goliath cause you to fear and tremble, and become paralyzed as he did the army of the Children of Israel, or do you go face him with what you have and the LORD at your side. All David had was a slingshot and five rocks, but he trusted God, faced the giant, and declared victory in the name of the LORD.

I put a statement in the bulletin in big bold letters. I encouraged the people to cut it out and put it on their refrigerator. It said, “Child of God do not be downhearted. The victory is yours because the battle is the LORD’s.” You think about that.

May the LORD bless your week. Do what you can to keep yourself healthy and safe. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!

Don’t forget to send those prayer requests!!!


Monday, March 24, 2014


Good Monday Morning To You!

When I write this blog, I try to keep it light, enjoyable, and refreshing. Many of you begin your week by reading this, and I want to help you start your week on a cheerful note. Today, however, I cannot do that. Instead, I have a prayer request to pass along to you. As you have heard, a mudslide in the town of Oso, sixty miles north of Seattle, Washington, has destroyed that entire neighborhood. Many have been injured, some have been killed, and numerous more are missing. Believed to be trapped under the mud is Brandy Ward. Brandy is the daughter of some of our church members, Claude and Ann Ogle. Brandy’s husband Tim is in a Seattle hospital facing reconstructive lower body bone surgery. Claude told me that Brandy and Tim were in different parts of the house when the mud hit. The part of the house where Tim was, was pushed by the mud several hundred yards, while Brandy’s location was engulfed by the muck. I’m asking you to pray for Brandy and Tim Ward, Claude and Ann Ogle, and Tim’s parents as well. This is a devastating time, and even though I too am a dad, I cannot begin to imagine the mental anguish this family is experiencing.

I will write a special mid week edition, so please check back on Wednesday morning. Hopefully I will have some good news to report to you, at least on behalf of this family. While you are praying, be sure to lift up the other victims and their families as well.

I’ll see you Wednesday morning right herte on Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.