Week 17-18 - Jan 5-16

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Dear Brother Cope,

Where are your latest email updates? I haven't heard from you since December 17th.

L.

 

Dear L,

Classes let out at PSU on Dec 19th, and did not start again until Jan 12th. For the Christmas holiday, I went out to Missouri to spend it with Jed, Cindy, and kids. Then I traveled up to Mansfield PA, near the border with New York to spend the New Year with John and Juanita Burgeson, owners of Kingdom Company. I hope to get my next journal out on Sunday.

As it turns out, the journal has been ready for most of a week. I wrote a program that would mail out the journal from my computer. It worked well for several months, but on Sunday when I tried to do the mailing, it would not work. After much hair pulling, railing against all computers everywhere, and many attempts to get the mailer to work, I found out that in December, Yahoo, which provides me mail service, changed their mail service settings to require all emails to be encrypted.

I was none to happy. I wasted most of the week trying to find a way to encrypt the journal so Yahoo would accept it for delivery. Really now, do I care if a "sniffer" intercepts and reads my journal going across the internet? I don't think so. Sometimes businesses make the stupidest decisions. Oh, by the way, they never notified anyone. Suddenly people all over the country couldn't send out their emails. I found out about it from another hapless schmuck ranting on the internet.

Anyway, L. I am finally getting it out.

Bro

On DEC 19th, I traveled out to Columbia Missouri to spend Christmas with my very old friends, Jed and Cindy Smock. It is always a great joy to spend the holidays there because their traditions and their celebrations are always so blessed.

One of the traditions is that I get to tell the kids a story. Most don't know this but I am an old time story teller. I got started about 25 years ago with Gary Cattell's kids. After church I would tell the kids stories about my childhood. I was one of eight kids, with a mother who was just like the mother in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and a saintly father who taught me I could do whatever I set my mind to do. Every day was an adventure, a crisis with power realignments, practical jokes, or a war. My whole family grew up telling stories.

At first the stories that I told were about my childhood, but then I ran out. Since the kids wanted more, I next took some of the smaller incidents in my childhood and embellished them. The kids then had to decide what parts of the story were real and which were mad up. Soon though I ran out of those too.

I finally wound up having to weave the stories out of thin air. I had two series of stories. The first, for the younger kids, was about a magical story book that took John and Judy to many adventures. The second series was about Joseph Baber, a Christian police man who was framed and forced out of the Washington DC police by corrupt officials. He became a world famous private detective.

I would start with just a wisp of a plot, and weave the story on the fly. I found it challenging to be able to keep one step ahead of the audience. All extemporaneous, I built the plot, the characters, did plot reversals, and included a moral lesson. The challenge was to keep the kids enthralled and to throw out enough false clues to keep them guessing. For me, the greatest challenge was when the kids figured out where the story was going. If they did, I had to change the plot, do another twist, and change the outcome - all on the fly. This year's story was one of the better story lines. I kept Jed's daughters hanging on till the very last minute, when I revealed the guilty party.

I rested up in Missouri, and after the Christmas holiday, I traveled from Missouri back to Pennsylvania, and then up to Mansfield, PA to spend New Year's eve with some dear friends, John and Juanita Burgeson. John and Juanita are the owners of Kingdom Company, the church's one stop solution for all audio and video needs.

Kingdom Company has been the largest distributor of blank tapes, CD's, DVD's and every imaginable electronic tool for expanding the church's mission field for many years. If you have any needs for any equipment or supplies for your church's tape/DVD ministry, or if you want to see what other resources are available for church growth, please click here.

The New years eve celebration was a joyous occasion sharing the hope and joy of the Lord with fellow believers. I met some very interesting people and got many chances to share my vision for the college campuses. John was especially interesting. He lives next door to John and Juanita in a castle. Yes, a castle. John is a veteran of many years of street preaching himself. He preached in NYC with David Wilkerson, and is currently working to train young men for the ministry. He also worked with Teen Challenge for many years, and has some very interesting "war stories" to tell. I did not talk to him enough, but plan to rectify that on my next trip.

I shared a message that I feel the Lord has laid on my heart with the Burgesons and several friends. It was well received. We discussed the possibility of committing the message, entitled "The Judgment of the Church has already begun", to a video and distributing it through Kingdom Company. We, after several conversations over the next few days, came up with a plan for several videos.

The first video will be "The Judgment of the Church has already begun". Next we want to do a video that lays the Biblical foundation for street preaching, and answers many of the objections that are raised against street preaching. The last video will be entitled "Bringing the Lord back", and will deal with what the Bible lays out as necessary for the Lord's return. I believe that it is in the church's power to bring the Lord back. This video will show biblically how it can be done.

On the 4th of January, I returned to Kingdom Company, and began working on the first of the videos. The evening of the 5th, I addressed a group of people, called Kingdom Builders, that are preparing for a great harvest in the Mansfield geographical area. I spoke on the subject "The Judgment of the church has already begun".

I wish I could say it was a huge success, but it was not. It was all my fault. I based my talk on a Powerpoint demonstration, but after I got started, I had major problems with the PP. As a result, I lost my tempo and fumbled around badly. Once I stumbled, the rest was stumbling downhill.

Thank the Lord for the Burgesons who jumped in and pulled my chestnuts out of the fire. Next time I present the talk, I will test the Powerpoint better, and practice abundantly.

 

Two blessings came out of my week at Kingdom Company. I met a fellow named Pat who, in times past, preached with Jed at Mansfield State University. He still goes out from time to time and uses a method not as confrontational as what we use in CMUSA. He interviews students on camera and asks them what they think about eternity. It can be a very effective method.

We hit it off great as we spent several hours swapping war stories. Pat gave me two contacts. The first was Julian. This Elmira, NY, street preacher had been booted out of his home church for doing what the Lord had him to do. I went up to Elmira intending to encourage him in his trial. As it turns out, I was encouraged myself. His testimony is a unique one. He came to the realization of the reality of God as an atheist contemplating an acorn on a mountain top in southern Spain. That began his search, and before too long, he had come to know Jesus.

It is not often that we run into someone that we can label as "simpatico', but Julian was one for me. It seemed that on every point we were in agreement, as we swapped testimonies of how the Lord had lead us down very similar paths.

He has started a work in the poorer section of Elmira. He has a large building and is doing much with it. He is bringing together Christian entrepreneurs to start businesses in his neighborhood. He has started a new school for children, and one for street preaching. Also they are planning on a soup kitchen to feed people in the run down section of Elmira. Considering the foul economic times that we are in, I believe the Lord will bless this work, and that God will be greatly glorified. I have always believed that in times of financial crisis, the church is called upon to minister to their community. If they do, souls will be saved, and the church will shine with His glory. Unfortunately, giving is off, and most churches have expense structures as big as their sanctuaries.

The second contact was with a pastor in the Gettysburg area. Again, Dr. Mike is a veteran street preacher. He has invited me to come down to his church to speak, and then to go out onto local campuses to do some preaching. If you remember several weeks ago, I told you about a pastor in York who used to listen to me preach while he was a student at PSU. It turns out that Dr. Mike knows Jack and they have street preached together. I am waiting on hearing back from Dr Mike to set a date.

Which brings me up to last week.

There has been a prophecy circulating around from a source not known for prophetic words about a run on food stores shortly after the inauguration. When I heard the prophecy, I realized that I had been thinking almost the exact same thing for some time. On Monday, just to be a little prepared, I went to the store to stock up on some staples, enough for a couple of weeks for me and some others that I take care of. On Tuesday I prepared an old fashioned root cellar in which to store some potatoes, carrots, and onions.

On Wednesday, I made it out to campus. The campus was winter picture perfect, but the temperature was down in the single digits. It was one of those days when your gloved fingers are hurting by the time you reach your destination. When I arrived, everybody was inside the lobby of Willard Building. Gary and a number of Christians hold court in the lobby. It takes me back to

the early eighties. There was a revival burning at PSU in the late seventies and early eighties. Sometimes up to twenty of us would gather in the lobby to hold church every day. Gary has it going on also. I am very gratified to see it again.

I preached one class break, and surprise of surprises, I was able to gather a small audience for a few minutes. The fellow in the center is an atheist who also asked to be a friend on my FaceBook account. He is what I would consider an honest atheist.

An atheist who fights against God is not what I would consider an honest atheist. A true atheist would not care if someone believed in God or not. He would only find belief to be illogical, but would not try to fight against that which does not exist. Such is Adam. The other atheists fight against God indicating that there is much more there than what is said. It belies a belief in God coupled with a belief that He is evil and must be fought. Simply believing in something that does not exist is not a sufficient evil to justify such a battle. Come Spring, I am going to be focusing on examining the atheist philosophy under a microscope. It is most illogical.

Since the beginning of this year, my support has totaled $67.50. As a result, I have curtailed my traveling as much as I could. I have plans to travel to Mansfield State University next week as I have a place to stay in Mansfield. I also have a place to stay in the Gettysburg area. DR Mike has a "prophets room" that he provides for preachers who are in his area.

But for the most part, I may be staying at Penn State for the winter. My hope is that with the completion of the videos I am working on, I will get some more exposure, and be able to raise enough support to go back out on the road.

Jed Smock was gracious to write me the following letter for inclusion in my journal.

To Whom It May Concern:

Bro Cope and I go back to the beginnings of campus preaching as we have come to know it today. In the fall of 1977, Brother Max Lynch and I took our first mission trip to campuses in the east.

While we were preaching at Penn State, students informed us that the campus already had another evangelist called, the Willard preacher. Later Max and I introduced ourselves and we went to dinner with this preacher, Bro Cope. In subsequent annual missions to Penn State, Bro and I became fast friends. When Sister Cindy joined the team, she also became friends with Bro. In 1982-83, Bro traveled and preached with me for months in the western states.

Bro has a B.A. in computer science from Penn State and served in the US Marine Corps where he was a computer specialist.

In 1984, financial obligations required Bro to leave the full-time ministry. Despite having been away from his field of undergraduate and military training for a decade, Bro soon became a well paid computer consultant for major corporations. Bro is a renaissance man who can do about anything and expound on virtually any topic.

Before leaving the preaching field, Bro trained one of his disciples, Gary Cattell, to continue his ministry on the steps of Willard Hall at Penn State. After all these years, Gary continues preaching at Bro’s old pulpit. Bro financially supported Gary and his family including providing them a house in which to live. At the same time, Bro was also one of the better financial supporters of our ministry.

When Cindy and I incorporated our ministry in the mid-eighties, Bro served on the board of directors. He rotates the Vice-presidency of The CMUSA with Ruben Chavez and Dave Coke. He is also the webmaster of brojed.org.

Last year, the Lord directed Bro to return to preaching whatever the cost. In April and May, Bro and I preached together on campuses in Missouri, Kansas and Kentucky. This fall he preached in the south, but spent most of his time working with Gary at Penn State. Gary and Bro are even faithful to preach on the very cold winter days at PSU.

Bro is willing and wanting to travel throughout the US, especially as the Lord provides the funds. I want to recommend Bro to my friends. At the very least, I would suggest that you request his weekly email updates (jbaber@prodigy.net ), that you may become better acquainted with his ministry. His testimonies should be an encouragement.

You also might want to offer hospitality to Bro in his travels. He would be a blessing in your home, Sister Cindy can testify that he is, unlike her husband, a big help in the kitchen. Bro has not been just a personal friend to Cindy and me; but he is considered as a beloved uncle by all the Smock girls. From their earliest childhood he fascinated them with bedtime stories of his character creation, Detective J. Baber.

Bro was for many years pastor of a home fellowship in State College, Pennsylvania. He is a knowledgeable Bible teacher, who has the capacity to move in the gifts of the spirit and would be a blessing to any church. Bro is the leading expert I know on creation vs. evolution issues. He has a thorough understanding of the doctrinal and theological basis and implications of open-air preaching and has unique insights concerning confrontational evangelism. His keynote sermon is expounding on Matthew 10, when Jesus sent forth the twelve.

The Lord has carried Bro through many personal trials which has strengthened him and gifted him to empathize with those suffering from personal tragedies. “For that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted (Hebrews 2:18). "

I commend Bro to you without reservation as a man of character and integrity, who is always affable and inspirational company. Because of his many ministerial gifts, he is vital to the advancement of the cause of Christ on the campus. So also please consider him for your financial support.

Your Servant in Christ,

Brother Jed Smock
2402 Longview Dr.,
Columbia, MO
65203
573-999-0347

 

See you next week,

Bro

Once again please consider supporting my ministry.  If you can't support me yourself, would you be able to give me any contacts you have of churches that might be open to my ministry as I travel? Any help you could offer would be much appreciated.    
Bro Cope
3598 N Atherton St, Apt 1
Port Matilda, PA 16870
814-883-9183

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