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!!!