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Nicholas Hood III Ministries

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Join Me on Memorial Day for my 32nd Annual Pastor’s Bike Ride

Join me for my 32nd Annual Memorial Day Bike Ride-

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When: Monday, May 29, 2017

Time: 9 AM

Where: Gather at my home – 375 Lodge Drive, Detroit, Michigan 48214

Route:  the ride will start at Denise and my home on the east side of Detroit; rest/comfort stops at the homes of Steve Hood along the Jefferson/Chalmers Waterfront Community in Detroit and the home of Dr. Elizabeth Asfaw Phd and Dr. Ingida Asfaw, Md. on Windmill Pointe, along Lake Sinclair;  Final rest stop at Grosse Pointe Memorial Presbyterian Church with a breathtaking view of Lake Sinclair.

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What is the distance of this Bike Ride:  ten miles round trip, not counting the “cut a way’s” for the rest stops.

After the Bike Ride: Join me for a Cookout at the conclusion of the Pastor’s Annual Bike Ride in my backyard

What do you need to bring? – a bike, helmet, and a heart for fun, light exercise and a wiliness to meet others.

Information: 313-831-2460

Nhoo996937@aol.com

Women in Ministry

Women in Ministry-


What are your thoughts about women in ministry? Today, my church celebrated “Women’s Day.” The colors were white and purple. I wore a black suit, white shirt and purple tie. The guest preacher was a woman. Many of the women in attendance today wore white dresses with purple accents. Rev. Dr. Georgia Hill, my associate minister was honored as the “Woman of the Year.” Rev. Hill has worked with me since 1994 – first as my City Council chief of staff for eight years. During her tenure with me at the City Council, Rev. Hill informed me that she felt a call to the ministry. I told her I was not impressed and that if she wanted I would give her a raise. She insisted she was serious, so we worked out a plan where she could work part time at the City Council, commute to Chicago and enroll at the McCormick Theological Seminary. Working part time, she graduated number two in her class, and a few years later she earned a doctorate of ministry, also from McCormick. When she obtained her first degree in ministry, I made an offer to Rev. Hill to work with me as an associate minister. Let me tell you why I am sharing my history with Rev. Hill.

There are several verses in the Bible that forbid women teaching men, even talking around men. I know of some churches that forbid a woman speaking or preaching from the pulpit. I have decided that even though I have read these verses that are negative about women in ministry, I still think it is appropriate for a woman to teach males and to be called into the ministry. I believe my congregation feels similarly. Rev. Hill is my second female associate minister, so I do not think the congregation has a problem with women in the ministry.

The question that must be asked is larger than should women be allowed to serve as ministers? The real question is this: how should a believer decide as to which verses in the Bible they do not follow? If the Bible is the Word of God, what should a believer do with verses they just do not believe in? Slaves in America were forced to listen to the Bible, but they chose to close their ears to verses like, “Slaves be obedient to your masters.” (Ephesians 6:5)

Many progressive theologians argue that the modern believer in Jesus Christ must read the Bible within the context of the culture within we live.

I have had some people to challenge me on parts of the Bible they think should be lifted as more important than others, such as condemnation of homosexuals. My argument is that if you are willing to look the other way regarding the Bible and slavery, then we also ought to make room for women as preachers of the Gospel, then you ought to also be willing to rethink if there is room to accept homosexuality.

When I have been asked as to what parts of the Bible are most important, I respond simply that I believe in God, Jesus as the Son of God and the Holy Spirit. The four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, tell of a Saviors love, Jesus Christ who does not contemn women or homosexuals, who offers forgiveness from sin and eternal life to all who confess that he is Lord and Savior.

1 timothy 2: 12 I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent.[1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What do you think about women in ministry?
  2. How do you determine what parts of the Bible are central to your concept of God?
  3. What are your thoughts about verses in the Bible that tell “Slaves to be obedient to their masters”?
  4. What do you think about people who use the Bible as a wedge or hammer over people or life styles they do not agree with?

 

Prayer: Open my eyes Lord, that I might have a fuller understanding of your Holy Word. Lord, help me to understand your truth. I believe in your Word. I trust your Word. I need your Word to survive. Bless me, that I might rise above the temptation to be unfair in what I think about others. Lord, grant me a true faith. Lord, grant me love without bounds. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Ti 2:12). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Jewish Passover Celebration Incorporates the African American Passover Celebration

Jewish Passover Celebration Incorporates the African American Passover Celebration

This week, a Jewish Passover Celebration in a home setting incorporated portions of the African American Passover.  This home Passover celebration took place in Cleveland, Ohio, at the home of our friends, Dr. Lisa Brand and her husband, Eric. Lisa and my wife, Denise, met in junior high school and high school and have continued their friendship to this day. Lisa and Eric are secular Jews, and very much steeped in Jewish culture. I found their home Passover celebration fascinating, but most of all, I was pleased to see how they incorporated some parts of my African American Passover Celebration into their Jewish Passover Celebration. The following are the words from my African American Passover Celebration that were woven into the Passover Service created by Lisa and Eric:

  • “We celebrate, this evening, the bond which has been formed through the years of sharing.”
  • “We celebrate our collective life as a people.”
  • “We celebrate the extended family in our community connecting us one to another”

 

I wrote these words and unveiled the “African American Passover Celebration: From Bondage to Freedom” in 1993. In 2017, the African American Passover Celebration was published. Recently, this year the African American Passover Celebration was broadcast world-wide on the Word Network.

I hope you will take a moment and check it out on YouTube by clicking this link –

If the link does not take you directly to You Tube, go to You Tube and type, African American Passover Celebration, and it will take you there!

Full color copies of the African American Passover Celebration are available on Amazon.com

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photos by Judge Denise Page Hood

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, message, prayers and publications of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

 

Closer than a Brother

Closer than a Brother –

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Emory Hood

 

My brother, Emory, and I shared the same bed room, closet and clothes until I went away to college at age 17. Emory was handsome, intelligent, and full of life, energy and fun. When he died, his funeral was unlike any funeral I have seen at Plymouth United Church of Christ. There was a line of women and men, but mostly women, that stretched out the doors of the church and Warren Ave. was shut down to traffic. We played baseball, basketball, football and hockey- all in our back yard. We played in the same little league baseball association. Between high school and college, we played in a popular “Top-Forty” R&B band that performed at dances, public and private events. Many of the parties and dances we played were in virtual darkness with low light. The band practiced for hours before our engagements. The time we spent practicing was intense, but also a lot of fun. Emory and I were physically close, but emotionally distant. Looking backward upon our time together, I cannot recall one substantive conversation between us.

I am sharing this reflection, because in the 18th Chapter of the Book of Proverbs, the wisdom writer talks about friendship.

Proverbs 18: 24      Some friends play at friendship but a true friend sticks closer than one’s nearest kin. [1]

How many friends do you have? Who are the people who accept you as you are? Who are these people who you can share your fears, frustrations, hopes and dreams? Thinking about Emory reminds me that just because we are connected through our DNA, does not mean that these are the closest relationships. I have some friends that are real friends. We actually talk, listen and share with each other. If a person can find even one person you can communicate and share with, you are fortunate.

Jesus Christ is closer than a brother. He who died for our sins has promised to love us, walk and talk with us and ultimately, grant us eternal life in that kingdom which has no end.

Proverbs 18: 23     The poor use entreaties,

but the rich answer roughly.

24  Some friends play at friendship

but a true friend sticks closer than one’s nearest kin. [2]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. How would you describe the nature of a true friendship?
  2. How are the relationships between family and friends similar and different?

 

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for friendship. I thank you for the people in my life who care and love me. I thank you for those persons who accept me as I am – those who accept my faults and celebrate my moments of excellence. Thank you Lord for receiving me, walking with me and talking with me and blessing me with the promise of eternal life. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, prayers, and publications from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Pr 18:24). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Pr 18:23–24). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Honor Your Mother!

Honor Your Mother!

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Yesterday, Denise, Noah and I did a crazy thing. Immediately after conducting Mother’s Day worship services at the Plymouth United Church of Christ in Detroit, Michigan, Denise and I drove to Toledo, Ohio, picked up our youngest son, graciously allowed him to drive us to Columbus, Ohio, and we met Denise’s mother for dinner at a new restaurant. After a delightful meal, we got back in the car and drove home. Yes, it was a long day, but the ride was fun. We talked the whole ride to Columbus. On the way back, we went back and forth between listening to a science fiction audio book where some people were fighting and running away from a huge monster and conversation that was all over the board. It was a great time. We arrived back in Detroit at 12:30 AM.

DSC_8675The decision to drive to Columbus was last minute. Two days earlier, I made the case to Denise and Noah that Mrs. Page, her mother, was in her eighties and had fewer Mother’s Days in front of her than behind her. She did not want to come to Detroit this year because she has a sister who is recovering from surgery in Columbus. So, we brought “The mountain to Mahatma!” and drove to honor the oldest mother in our family. Yes, we also honored Denise, so, yesterday, we honored both mothers. We came home tired, but satisfied that we had done a good thing.

Exodus 20: 12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. [1]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. How do you honor your mother?
  2. Do you honor your mother in differently than you honor your father? How?
  3. Why do you think God commands us to honor our father and mother?

 

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for reminding me to honor my father and mother. I thank you for the woman who gave birth to me. I thank you for her willingness to experience extraordinary pain, that I might have life. I thank you for the hopes my mother had for me. I thank you for her sacrifices. I thank you for the nurture, I thank you for the support, I thank you for the love my mother has provided me. Lord, grant that I might display honor and respect to my mother and all of the mothers of this world. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, message, prayers and publications from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ex 20:12). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Do Not Forsake Your Mother’s Teaching!

Do Not Forsake Your Mother’s Teaching

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Dr. Elizabeth Hood with her grandsons, Nathan and Noah

 

 

Mother’s Day is Tomorrow. As I think back to my mother, I remember a time when in the throes of a terminal illness, she asked if she could watch our young sons, alone! I was terrified and felt like I was between a rock and a hard place. Even though my mom had cancer and was terminally ill, she still was the grandmother to Nathan and Noah and deserved every right to be with the boys. If I said yes, my fear was that our very active and aggressive children would knock her over. My mother wanted time alone with her two grandsons.  Yes, she was frail.  Yes, she knew she was dying, but she still wanted time alone with her grandsons.img164

In a split second, my choice was clear: yes, the boys could get to know their grandmother and she could interact with her grandchildren without her son and daughter – in law meddling in her business. As things turned out, the boys calmed down around their grandmother and they spent a couple of hours together.

The Wisdom Writer tells us in Proverbs 6 that we should “Keep our father’s commandment, and do not forsake you mother’s teaching. Both my mother and father are dead. I think about both of them all of the time. Regardless if the situation is work related or purely for fun, I think about my mother and father and the lessons they imparted upon me. Catching me day dreaming in the middle of homework, my mom would say, “Focus, black man, focus!” I think about her concern that I would never learn the verb to be. My mother was great about writing a letter to inform someone of her displeasure. At this stage of my life, I write about five letters a day to congratulate and thank people. In addition to her work as a teacher, counselor, vice-principal, high school principal and tenure professor at Wayne State University, my mother was active in several community projects and served on several boards. Like my mother, I serve as a director and trustee for three boards. My mother wrote a weekly column for the Michigan Chronicle Newspaper. I have just published two books and in the process of trying to determine what the next book should be.

I have my father’s name, but I also have my mother’s DNA. I thank God for both of my parents.

Proverbs 6: 20        My child, keep your father’s commandment, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What lessons have you learned from your mother?
  2. If you could talk with your mother today, what would you say to her?

 

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for my mother. I thank you for her care, concern and most of all, love. For those times, I disappointed and hurt my mother, have mercy on me! For any time, I was rude and insulted my mother, have mercy! For those days when I made life difficult for my mother, have mercy upon me. Lord, I thank you for my mother. Lord, I celebrate my mother. Lord, I give thanks for my mother. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers, Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, prayers, and publications from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Pr 6:20). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Vision Awaits its Time!

The Vision Awaits its Time

Delano Dove, Henrietta Carson, Delano Hornbuckle, Steve Bostic (right)

Two days ago, I wrote about the “Widow and the Sanctuary Lights.” I shared a true story about a widow in my church, Marjorie Bryant, my Sunday School and Vacation Bible School teacher, who for the past several years has made consistent, dedicated contributions toward a major upgrade of the lighting in our church worship space in memory of her deceased husband, Melvin Bryant. The new lights will be multi-color LED lights which will bathe the sanctuary with colors to reflect the mood and sense of the Spirit in worship. Wednesday, I wrote that my original vision for new lighting in the sanctuary was relatively limited in scope. All I could see was a mere four new LED lights to enhance the lighting of the chancel area. When the upgrade is completed, each of the initial 36 light fixtures in the sanctuary will be converted to LED lights and 26 new multicolored lights will bathe the space in Spirit -filled color.

I thank God that my vision was slowed down. I could see and taste what I thought would enhance worship, but there were a few impediments along the way. In the post two days ago, I shared that the Mormon Tabernacle was my inspiration. To be honest, I had another, more local inspiration for the new lighting – topless bars! While I have never entered a topless bar, and have no desire to go into these places, as I drive by these establishments in Detroit, I am intrigued with the exterior lighting. The colors are vivid, often intensely vibrant light shows, and cutting edge in terms of light. The only places I have seen with more vivid exterior lighting are the gambling casinos. I have often asked myself, “Why is it, that these establishments are pushing the envelope in lighting and the church community still is stuck in the past?”

The prophet Habakkuk was told to write the vision and make it plain. The Lord commanded that he wait until the appointed time for the vision to become a reality. Today, I met with Steve Bostic, who is the media coordinator for our church; Delano Dove, who is also a member of the church who will do the “hard-wiring” of the new lights; Delano’s son, young Delano, who is helping the church with its IT issues, but if things get rough, may help his dad with the ladder and high – wire connections; and Henrietta Carson, who is the church accountant and my executive administrative assistant who has helped set aside the capital funds for this new lighting project. As I looked at our lighting team, I thanked God and reminded myself of the words of Habakiuk:

Habakkuk 2: 2        Then the Lord answered me and said:

Write the vision;

make it plain on tablets,

so that a runner may read it.

3    For there is still a vision for the appointed time;

it speaks of the end, and does not lie.

If it seems to tarry, wait for it;

it will surely come, it will not delay. [1]

 

Questions for Reflection:

 

  1. What does waiting for the “Appointed time” for a vision mean to you?
  2. How does patience connect with faith in God?

 

Prayer: God, I am waiting for your vision to become reality. Grant me patience, grant me hope, grant me faith. Lord, I have built my life around my faith in you. Sometimes, you have provided for me a vision of the future. There have been occasions when disappointment and setbacks have clouded my vision and caused me to wonder when your providence and mercy would be my saving grace. Come quickly, Lord, Jesus, for your vision awaits its time. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, missions, meditations, prayers and publications from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Hab 2:2–3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Widow and the Sanctuary Lights

The Widow and the Sanctuary Lights –
 

About fifteen years ago, my family drove to the Grand Canyon. Along the way, we stopped at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah. We took a tour of the Mormon facilities. What struck me was the tour of the Tabernacle. It is oblong and painted a light color. After, or maybe as part of the tour, an organ began to play. What captured my fascination was that the colors on the walls changed with the mood of the organ that was playing. Softer music produced cool, pastel colors. As the organ swelled in volume, the colors bathing the walls were transformed into a crescendo of fiery orange, yellow, purple and red. It blew my mind to realize that color and sound could be coordinated to accentuate praise of God!

I have never forgotten how I felt when experiencing light and music in Salt Lake City. Fast forward to Detroit. Several years ago I spoke to a recent widow in my congregation to inquire if she might be interested in donating additional lights for our church sanctuary. She had just lost her husband and I suggested that a contribution of lights for the sanctuary could be a way to memorialize her husband. Her name is Marjorie Bryant. When I was a young boy, Mrs. Bryant taught me Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. I liked her husband, and I thought they made a great couple.

In a slow, methodical way, Mrs. Bryant had made regular contributions towards a lighting project for the sanctuary. Earlier this year we reached our goal of $15,000. The new lights have arrived and we have an installation date in two weeks. Mrs. Bryant was in church today, with her niece, Rhonda, for our Wednesday Noon Worship Service. I informed the two women about the installation schedule and asked my Associate Minister, Rev. Dr. Georgia Hill to take our photo.

Mrs. Bryant reminds me of the widow Jesus talked about in the Gospel of Mark,who in her humble, unassuming manner, gave more than many rich persons – not because the amount was so great, but because she gave from her heart. I encourage all who are reading this to search your heart and ask yourself, “How and why do I give back to God?” Ask you ask yourself these questions, think about the widow in the Gospel of Mark, who gave from her heart with no pretense, but with a humble attitude.

Mark 12: 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44 For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” [1]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are you thinking when you make an offering to the Lord?
  2. If someone asked you to describe an appropriate attitude when thinking about what to give to God, what would you tell them?

 

Prayer: Lord, instruct my heart! Lord, I approach you today with a grateful heart. As I consider the life I am living and the blessings that I enjoy, in all honesty, I must admit that if it were not for you on my side, I do not know where I would be. I am not rich, but rich beyond measure because of what you continue to do for me. Lord, you have blessed me in ways that are far too wonderful! In you, I hope. In you I have faith. In you, I have learned to love. In you I feel empowered. In you, I am learning the ways of peace. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Georgia Hill

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, prayers, photos and publications from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mk 12:42–44). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Prayer for Wisdom

A Prayer for Wisdom –

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Redick Grant and son, Joey

 

This Wednesday, tomorrow, I plan to preach a sermon about the desire of young King Solomon for wisdom. In a dream, Solomon asked God to bless him with wisdom, and for good measure. A short while earlier, David, the dying 70-year-old father of Solomon, had issued a “Hit list” with the names of two men he thought the new king should execute. Following the “Hit list”, David tells Solomon to be brave, be courageous and faithful (1 Kings 2).

After the death of King David, Solomon follows the direction of his dad and the kingdom is consolidated. God was pleased that Solomon did not seek to enrich himself, but rather had requested that God might grant him wisdom.

One of the lessons from this passage from the Bible is that if a person can obtain wisdom, money, success and power are not far behind! The opposite is also true. “A fool and his money are soon departed…” is an expression that bears truth. I am always fascinated at persons who came into money, only to lose their money because they did not use their money in a wise and disciplined way. A poor person with focus and discipline can turn a few dollars into big dollars if they draw upon the wisdom that God grants each of us.

My word to you this day is this: pray for wisdom. Base your life on the wisdom you have been granted. And, most of all, pray to God to use your blessings for good and not evil.

1 Kings 3: 10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you. 13 I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor all your life; no other king shall compare with you. 14 If you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your life.” [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. If God granted you one wish, what would you ask for?
  2. What are your thoughts about Solomon’s desire for wisdom?

 

Prayer: God, grant me wisdom. Grant me the ability to discern truth from false, right from wrong and that which is real from that which is fake. Bless me now, my Lord and my God, with an inner eye that can see into the heart. Teach me to test commitment and to live love, guided by truth and grace, mercy and peace, hope and faith. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the Ministry, Missions, Meditations, Prayers and Publications of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Ki 3:10–14). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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