Friday, August 9, 2013

Our New Ministry with Vision Orlando--JOIN US!

For 40 years we've walked beside many of you and your families and have often been told, "Pastor George and Cheryl, if there's anything we can ever do for you..."
Now, here's your opportunity...
Dear Friends,

As many of you know, at the beginning of this year the Lord made it clear He had achieved through Cheryl and me what He sent us to Calvary Assembly in Orlando, Florida to accomplish.  In response to the leading of the Holy Spirit, we resigned in March after nearly eight years of ministry there. But our burden and heart for Orlando has not changed!

Like Abraham, we were called to leave Ur(church pastoral ministry), not knowing where He was sending us. But when God ordains our steps, our only spiritual response must be obedience, even when it looks and feels different to what we have ever known.  Cheryl has said, “If you’re Abraham, then I’m Sarah.”  She is also an ordained minister, and is trusting God to reveal her ministry role in this new season, as we have always worked side-by-side in our 40 years of ministry.

So, what's next? 
I have accepted the invitation to serve as a faith-supported, full-time servant with Vision Orlando (V.O.),       a Central Florida non-denominational ministry founded over 20 years ago by a few concerned local pastors and Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ (now known as Cru) and Dr. Steve Clinton, V.O. President.  
Vision Orlando exists to bring the Body of Christ together in our city for the purpose of uniting community and ministry leaders. The goal is to come together to seek God’s presence and to see Christ's church revived and our communities transformed.  The desire is to develop networks and join together to plan community-wide evangelism and discipleship initiatives, expecting the Holy Spirit to move and impact our city and world.
Previously, I served for six years on the board of Vision Orlando with Dr. David Uth of First Baptist Orlando, Dr. Joel Hunter of Northland, and Rev. Anthony Clark of Cathedral Church of St. Luke. Now, I have been asked to assume an executive role as Pastors’ Director. In addition to leadership development and pulpit ministries, I will build a pastors’ network, form a Pastors’ Council and spearhead and raise funds for new citywide evangelism and discipleship initiatives. Cheryl and I will also serve as ambassadors at various community ministry events and outreaches. Simply put, our roles will be as Servants to the City.
We need prayer partners, monthly supporters and financial investors. You will reap the same reward when you partner with us as we serve on our new mission field together through Vision Orlando.
Raising up our own prayer partners and financial support team is new territory for Cheryl and me, and a tremendous challenge. But like David, we are refusing to give to God that which costs us nothing! We are asking you to do the same. Thank you for seeking the Lord on how He would have you come alongside us in any of the following ways:
We need praying people to stand in the gap for us daily. Knowing how to pray is critical if you are going to be effective, so we’ve included a prayer card at the bottom of this blog post. Thank you for covering us daily in prayer! 
Any Kingdom-sized harvest of souls requires significant investment.  I am charged with the responsibility to raise the funds for the ministry operating budget needed to expand Vision Orlando. These budget items include administrative expenses, ministry resource materials, travel, and funding for citywide evangelism, discipleship and prayer initiatives. 5% will go to Vision Orlando who will handle the financial accounting and receipting of all funds raised. I am challenging 100 people to invest $1000.
No one walks into faith-supported ministry, you must be launched. I am currently receiving no salary and am responsible to raise my own financial support, which is included in the ministry operating budget. I need a launch team of monthly supporters to cover our basic personal monthly expenses. No monthly gift is too small or too big, and we are asking individuals and groups to partner with us by giving a monthly gift of $25, $50 or $100 or more!  Please send/give your first donation directly to us with a completed pledge card (SCROLL DOWN FOR PLEDGE CARD) We will make sure you are receipted for a tax deduction by Vision Orlando. Checks should be made out to Vision Orlando. Please write George Cope on the subject line.
The Lord has already begun to bring by our side advocates with a heart for Jesus and for us. They have provided office space for me and administrative and technical support. We also need advocates to help us dialogue (over a meal, or just over coffee) to introduce us to potential donors to invest in our ministry.
Can we count on you to come alongside with us in any of the ways listed above? However the Holy Spirit leads you, whatever is accomplished, you will share in the reward!
God’s Richest Blessings,
Dr. George and Cheryl Cope
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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Dual Message

If I asked you to preach an Easter message, what would your theme be?  I’m not a betting man but if I were I would bet you two double cheeseburgers that your theme would be resurrection!  Right?

Ever paid close attention to the theme of both the angel andJesus when they met the two Mary’s at the tomb? Why not check it out for yourself (Matt. 28:5, 10; Mark 16:6).

Their message was NOT He is Risen but “fear not.”  Both the angel and Jesus address the humanityof the women and later the disciples all of which evidenced in fear.

When we aren’t sure of something we will cross our fingersin a sign of hopefulness that it will occur. I’m sure Mary and Mary didn’t have their fingers cross but there musthave been enough doubt and outward anxiety on their countenance that wouldwarrant both messengers to offer supportive words of hope in a most anxiousmoment.

Fear, according to John, has to do with punishment (1 Jn.4:18).  Resurrection reality in our souldrives out any fear that has set up resistance to divine plans and order.  Fear can and will keep us from prayer.  Fearing God unwillingness to answer will sooften causes prayerlessness. 

Many are so afraid of failure that they will not evenattempt to achieve anything for God. It’s as if they believe to failure is to be fatal.  What failure is to us is an opportunity forGod.  Easter in the eyes of a pagan worldwas failure but Mary and Mary Magdalene found out the duel message of Easter: Our fears are forever destroyed becauseof our Lord’s Resurrection!

Thanks for praying your way to Easter with me.  I have enjoyed sharing my insights and soulwith you.  I want to thank Mark Battersonfor writing The Circle Maker and allthe revealing truths it has taught me. Please join me in pledging to not stop here but continue to draw yourprayer circle and step in daily. 

May you see RAIN like Honi! 

May your faith flourish like Honi!

May your heart be forever changed like Honi!

I’ll continue to meet you at the throne,

Pastor George    

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Eve

This is our next to last day on our 40 day journey to Easter.  We’re just hours from the stroke of midnight and the Easter sunrise…the day we’ve been anticipating.

This day, the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday gets a bum rap for there is little we can do on this day but wait.  In the words of an old preacher; “It’s Friday but Sunday’s Coming,” Saturday is left out as if it doesn’t even exist.

I’m not trying to sound silly or ridiculous but there is something here I want to excavate for you.  Even though we don’t know what was really happening in divine order on that historic Saturday we do know God was at work.  It wasn’t a dead space for God, there is no such thing.

This day, the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, must have felt like the forty years between Moses exodus the first time and his return.  Did Moses know God was at work paring him for ministry? 

This day just may be the darkest day in human history for the crucifixion had occurred and the resurrection was yet to happen, yet there was no hope in sight for those who loved the Messiah.
I have spent many a dark day, spiritual Saturday’s, waiting for something to resurrect.  My hopes in the natural were dashed and the darkness of my night was blacker than any moonless night. 

Mary Magdalene didn’t allow that dark day to rob her, she rose before dawn to travel to the grave.  She anticipated something in the dark.  I would be different than she would find and sometimes our wait will do the same for us.  Trust me it was worth the wait for the darkness of night would never again be as dark as it was That Day. 

You and I do not have to wait for sunrise tomorrow to celebrate Easter, on this side of the cross every day is Easter!  So enjoy your Saturday prayer time…we’ve already seen Jesus and He’s Alive!

I’ll meet you at the throne,

Pastor George

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sacred or Significant?

If you’ve ever been to Jerusalem or the Holy Land you can’t help but notice that around every site where something happened during Jesus’ life and ministry has been turned into a sacred spot.  Many come to muse over the place rather than embracing the meaning.
I would agree that geography and spirituality are not unrelated when it comes to divine acts which have impacted individuals.  Israel was famous for building memorials at significant places but sacred?  I really doubt it. 
The picture of the church at the top of the page is a significant place in my life.  It was in this building on May 15, 1960 I gave my life to Jesus Christ and became His follower.  I was nine years old and it’s a day I will never forget.
The building is no longer a church but a community center, that congregation would a few years later see the building to the city of Mobile, AL and move out into the suburbs.  But that building still stands as the most significant place in my life, for there, my sins were forgiven.
Why this trip down memory lane you ask?  Simple!  There is nothing magical about the place but there is something significant about it for God met us there and we will never forget His love, acceptance, forgiveness or miracle power.  Do you think Peter forgot the Mt. of Transfiguration?  Or Saul the spot on the Damascus Road where he was struck from his horse by the bright light of our Savior’s presence?  Every time Zacchaeus walked by that Sycamore tree don’t you think there was a flashback to that special day when Jesus stopped and called him down?
Your prayer spot, that place which you’ve deemed your prayer circle for these 40 days should become a significant place you will visit many times to come and as your prayers are answered, just remember, the God who did it back then will do it again today!
I’ll meet you at the throne,
Pastor George

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Walking in Circles

It’s been a few days since I’ve mentioned our spiritual guide and historical friend Honi the Circle Maker.  For those just joining me on this journey to Easter I have based my observations on Mark Batterson’s book The Circle Maker

Mark introduced us to a man who understood spiritual value of a circle.  Drawing one in the dirt he turned it into his prayer closet.  A cylinder shaped shaft that reached into heaven and from it God saw remarkable faith and granted Honi’s request for rain.
We’re preparing ourselves for Easter through praying and fasting realizing this to be more than just a season but a soul searching which brings revelation only in the privacy of personal prayer.
One day in 1997, in the middle of the Sunday morning service, while sharing my heart I felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to challenge those listening to take a journey with me around our building.  We needed a miracle and there was no way I could muster up the money or the motivation of our church.  They had been burned by a building program that had taken their heart, soul and pocketbooks.  You can be as “broke as a church mouse” but if you’ve got feet you can walk and walk we did. 
I’m sure people driving by that morning wondered what a single file line of people were doing marching around the church when they should have been sitting in their comfortably padded pews.  Some, more than likely, thought we were crazy Pentecostals. 
For me, I didn’t care what they thought!  I needed a miracle and the Spirit prompted this by faith and we walked a circle.  When I reentered the sanctuary there was no one in the room, I was the first one back and they had all followed. 
Let’s cut to the chase, what happened you ask?  A book’s worth but in short God honored us walking in a circle and $400,000 was given in faith in 90 days by 115 people.
A.W. Tozer was right when he said; “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”  So let me remind you as you might be preparing to pray, our biggest problem is our small view of God.  It is not what we’re facing that should be our concern but who we’re trusting for our deliverance.
God is so much bigger than our biggest problem!  Pray that way.
I’ll meet you at the throne,
Pastor George  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Senior Moments

Memory is a remarkable thing.  Our brain is wired to extract concepts, truths, decisions, and observations from our surroundings and then it plug it into a memory bank for later reference.
When that memory begins to wane, and it will, we have “senior moments” affectionately taken from those advanced in years.  Before I’m scolded by readers older than me (I’m 61), let me be perfectly clear, people my age and younger can have “senior moments” too!
Memory alone should not be valued, rather we should value what we do with the wisdom and understanding we’ve gained through the years and stored in our mind and memory.  Many older than me have forgotten more than I will ever know, but what they know and live are what I’m impressed with.
Abraham was seventy-five when he heard God and left his home.  Moses was eighty when he knelt barefoot in front of a burning bush where his heart and soul was warmed.  Anna was in her eighties when she saw the Messiah and remembered what God had promised through the prophets.
We must not fall into the trap of believing that somehow Abraham, Moses, Anna and any other biblical character were more spiritual and thus different from us.  They were NOT!  Age has nothing to do with it, neither does IQ or memory.  Faith is activated when we believe God will do for us what He did for them.
When you step into your circle today, don’t let a senior moment keep you from believing “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8).  Pray expecting…God will do the rest.
I’ll meet you at the throne,
Pastor George 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Archimedes of Syracuse said; “Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the earth.”
A pretty ambitious statement without explanation isn’t it?  He was referring to the use of one of what Renaissance scientists identified as six simple machines that would change industry for the future.
A simple lever does what it would take several men to accomplish.  It amplifies the force which makes it able to lift or move objects by one person.  The principle gets even better, the longer the lever, the greater the leverage.
Oswald Chambers said, “It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not.  We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things.”  His words remind me of the lever, ordinary people, like you and me, can move greater obstacles when using leverage. 
Prayer is our lever!  It’s the difference between human ingenuity and divine outcomes.  No one is greater than their prayer life.  In the book Circle Maker, Mark Batterson says:
“Our potential is directly proportional to our prayer life.  It is the single greatest indicator of our success in any endeavor.”
He goes on to change Archimedes words giving them spiritual import.  Instead of saying give me a place to stand, exchange that to read, “Give me a place to kneel on, and I will move the earth.”
Let us never forget that in God’s Kingdom humility equates authority!  This is where our leverage comes from, our knees.  On our knees God will leverage us in ways we could have never humanly accomplished.
I’ll meet you at the throne,
Pastor George