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.


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