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Nicholas Hood III Ministries

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Ten Commandments of Marriage

img212The 10 Commandments of Marriage –

 

Genesis 2: 24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed. [1]

October 4, 1970, my father, Rev. Nicholas Hood Sr., wrote a document that he distributed to married couples in the church entitled, “The Ten Commandments of Marriage.” The following is a summary of “The Ten Commandments of Marriage.” If you would like a free copy of the entire document, please email me at nhoo996937@aol.com Or, write me at the church, 600 E. Warren Ave. Detroit, Michigan 48201

The Ten Commandments of Marriage:

  1. Thou shall understand what marriage really is.
  2. Thou shall accept each other for what each is.
  3. Thou shall talk things through.
  4. Thou shall trust one another.
  5. Thou shall forgive one another.
  6. Thou shall develop a sense of humor
  7. Thou shall be loyal to one another.
  8. Thou shall take the positive approach.
  9. Thou shall cultivate thy romance.
  10. Thou shall make thine a Christian marriage

Sunday, October 29, 2017, I will lead a roundtable discussion for married couples and those who are thinking about getting married entitled, “The Ten Commandments of Marriage.” This “roundtable” discussion will take place at 1 PM at the Plymouth United Church of Christ, 600 E. Warren Ave. Detroit, Michigan 48201. If you are unable to attend in person, I invite you to check it out on Face Book Live at Plymouth United Church of Christ Detroit. I am interested in hearing your thoughts about the “Ten Commandments of Marriage.” What would add or delete to this list?

Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Pastor and Senior Minister, Plymouth United Church of Christ

600 E. Warren Ave. Detroit, Michigan 48201

www.puccdetroit.org

 

More about the prayers, photos and meditations and books published by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ge 2:24–25). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Singing Praises to God!

Singing Praises to God  –

This past weekend several of the musicians from my church joined me in Atlanta. I preached at the 1st Congregational Church, which is pastored by my childhood friend, the Rev. Dr. Dwight Andrews. Although I felt good about the message I preached, what really moved the church was the singing of our choir during the prelude to prayer.

Chenethia Wooten and Sheila Oden figuratively “Tore the roof of the church” singing, “Pray for me.” Their singing was so soulful, earthy and powerful, tears began to well up in my eyes.

Pray for me, pray for me. Oh my brother, pray for me. When you bow at the altar, please dont forget to pray for me, for me, for me.

I prayed alternatively with Dwight. I began the prayer with a prayer of praise. When I stopped, Dwight prayed a prayer of intercession and thanks. I concluded the prayer with supplications. Several persons who were in attendance came up to me afterwards and told me they had never experienced anything like this. On the road back to Detroit today with Volante and Atty. Darwyn Fair, Walt Young, DDS, called to say how much he was moved by the prayer, and asked me If we sing like that before, during and after the prayer every Sunday. I told him yes, every Sunday, we praise God in this very simple, but very powerful way. You have to remember, we are from Detroit and have a lot to pray about! Smile.

I want to thank all of the musicians who joined us in Atlanta: Asia Anderson; Chenthia Wooten; Sheila Oden; Christian Shore; Asia Anderson; Nancy  ; Greg Whiting; Doug Whitaker; Cheryl McClenic; Lamar Willis; Ibrahim Jones; Jerome Clark; and Jason Johnson. In our own unique way, collectively we praised God to the heavens above.

1 Chronicles 16: 8  O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. How do you praise the Lord?
  2. What are your thoughts about “Singing praises to the Lord”?

 

Prayer: Lord, I sing praises to you. You are better to me than I am to myself. When I am down, you lift me up. When I feel good, you make me feel better. I thank you for your mercy. I thank you for your grace. Most of all, I thank you for your love. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

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

More about the ministry of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Ch 16:8). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Church and the Canoe

The Church and the Canoe on Courtland Street –

 
A canoe can be steered by one person, but I learned on Belle Isle, a city park in the middle of the Detroit River, between Canada and Detroit, how to paddle in a canoe with a partner. My father used to take me and my younger brother, Emory, to Belle Isle to canoe.   My father taught us that the person in the rear of the canoe was the one who steered the canoe. The person in the front provided the strength to power the canoe. Our father taught us that the two roles in a best-case scenario should complement each other, and not work against each other.

If the person in the front of the canoe tries to steer at the same time the person in the rear is also attempting to steer will cause the canoe to go in circles, if not, tipping over into the water.

I will give you a preview of what I am preaching about tomorrow at the 1st Congregational Church in Atlanta, Georgia. This is the 150th anniversary of the church. I am using the analogy of guiding a canoe for my sermon. Paddling a canoe is a tension between allowing the canoe to rest while gliding and the power of the short, deep, strokes that provide the forward momentum.

The scripture I am basing the sermon upon is from Acts, chapter 2, where we learn about the 1st century church:

Acts 2: 43 Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. 44 All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. [1]

 

The 1st century church, immediately after the death and resurrection of Jesus, was for the most part of one accord. They prayed together, sang together, ate together, shared their money together and distributed funds to those in need. The 1st century church operated like a two-person canoe team. They alternated between the power of the person in the front and the guidance of the person in the rear. Through it all, the church grew, “Day by day.” If the modern church is to grow, we must learn from the early church and work together, pray together, share together and love together.

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. How do you determine when it is time to initiate, and when to allow others to lead?
  2. What are your thoughts regarding the cooperative spirit of the 1st century church in the context of the modern church?

 

Prayer: Lord, I pray that you might encourage me to know when to lead and when to follow. Teach me the importance of humbling myself to work in coordination with my family and those with whom I might work. Teach me to put in the effort to stride, but also the patience to glide with the tide. Lord, I want to serve you more completely! Thorough Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written 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 of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ac 2:43–47). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Join Me Sunday in Atlanta!

For those in the Atlanta area I will be

preaching at the First Congregational Church, 105 Courtland Street in downtown Atlanta at 11 a.m. Sunday morning. I will be joined by several members of the choirs from the Plymouth United Church of Christ in Detroit also there will be a joint Choral concert this evening at 7 at the First Congregational Church United Church of Christ in Atlanta hope to see you!

Rev. Dr. Nick Hood3 

Www.puccdetroit.org

Praying in a Dark, Deserted Place

Praying in the Dark –

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Irish Bayou at Sunrise (New Orleans East)

 

The morning after a tremendous, exhilarating and perhaps draining experience of healing and teaching, Jesus rose while it was still dark, went out to a deserted place and prayed. Walk with me as we look at the key words in the verse: First, it is morning. Jesus was an early riser! He went to bed after teaching and healing, but now, he was preparing for what would come next. It is morning “While it was still very dark.” The darkness of night, as it transitions into dawn and sunrise has several stages: Pitch black where the only light is the moon and stars; Blue black, purple black, orange and red, finally day light! Why is Jesus praying in the dark? Why did he want to get out of the house? Perhaps he spoke out loud while praying and was afraid he would wake up others. Maybe the snoring, tossing and turning of the others in the house distracted him. It is not only dark, but a “Deserted place.” A “Deserted place” would have few distractions. Jesus did not have to go far to find a “Deserted place.” How many of us would choose a dark, deserted place to pray? Maybe, Jesus went outside of town. Maybe he went to a forest, a mountain, down to the Sea of Galilee. Maybe he went to the outskirts of town and sat on a log. What did Jesus pray about?

Probably some combination of the following: praise, confession, thanks, intercession and supplications. Intercessory prayer is the prayer where we ask God for direction and assistance. I believe that a major portion of the night time prayer of Jesus was intercessory, because when Peter and the others find him, Jesus tells them that it is time to move on to the next town. I believe Jesus was praying for direction, and the answer he received was it is time to move on. The easiest thing in the world is to stay put. Particularly when things are comfortable and going well. It is easy to settle into a groove and just continue to do the same old things. The same thing, every week, in your retirement. The same thing, every week in your marriage. The same thing, every week, every day in your single life. The same thing, every week in your personal time and space. The same thing, every week at work, at recreation. Our recent China Trip has caused me to reconsider how I exercise. In China, I saw people who looked older than me doing one arm pushups, chin-ups, kicking above the head to the opposite side of the body, and I decided I need to step up my game! Monday, I signed up to start swimming again! Visiting China was an inspiration to me to do more! One of the lessons I hope we can take away from this story in the Bible, is that Jesus was not content to stay stuck in a rut. Even a nice “Rut” is still a “Rut.” Jesus was always “Pushing the envelope” and moving in different, deeper, directions. One of the things I enjoy most about the type of ministry that I am engaged in is that every day, every week, every year, I am praying to the Lord for guidance and new directions. And, I never want to stop pushing:

 

The trip to China was exceptional, but I am not willing to stop there! Next Wednesday, at 6 PM I will lead a overview of next year’s trip to Israel! Can’t stay stuck on China, it is time to move on to Israel! Sometimes, a new direction is not necessarily brilliant. For example: last Saturday morning, I walked door to door with men of the church to invite people to come to church… Guess what? We had many more children in our Sunday School than normal! That means the door to door worked!

So, we learn from this story that Jesus prayed in the dark. Prayed in a deserted place, and found inspiration to move on! Ask yourself, when do I pray? How do I pray? Are my prayers quick little prayers, or do I ever pray long, knockdown, drag out prayers? My encouragement to you is that every now and then, you get up in the dark and pray in a deserted place. If you are uncomfortable praying in the alley, or in the middle of a dark, deserted city street, Go to the country, to a rural area! My fear in driving to a rural area to pray would be that the police might follow me and mess with me. (nothing like being a black man in America!)

A deserted place can be another room in your house. This morning, I prayed today in the dark, solitude of my living room. My hope and prayer for you today is that you follow the lead of Jesus. Get up early, go to a quiet place and pray to the Lord. Listen for the voice of the Lord. At some point you will hear the Lord tell you, “Get up out of your rut! Do something interesting! Don’t get stuck in doing the same thing every day, in the same way! Move on and find something stimulating and interesting to do! Jesus kept moving until his path took him to Jerusalem. On one dark Friday, they nailed him to a cross, so your sins and my sins would be taken away!

Never hesitate to pray, and every now and then, steal away in the darkness of the morning and pray in a place without distractions – a deserted place!

 

 

 

Mark 1: 35 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.[1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. When, where and how do you pray?
  2. Do you think you would feel comfortable praying in a dark and deserted place?
  3. Why do you think Jesus chose to leave the house and pray in a dark and deserted place?

 

Prayer: Lord, make me comfortable in praying to you. Lord, help me to feel at ease at any time and any place with you. Bless me now with your inspiration. Bless me now with your direction. Bless me now with your peace that surpasses all understanding. 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 of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mk 1:35). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Join Me this Sunday in Atlanta!

Join Me this Sunday in Atlanta at the 1st Congregational United Church of Christ

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I will be preaching this Sunday, at the 1st Congregational Church United Church of Christ, Atlanta, Ga. Rev. Dr. Dwight Andrews is the pastor and has been a friend since we were 10 years of age! We played in a “top 40 dance band from the 11th grade in high school through college. Dwight has continued as a professional musician and pastor. He and I have talked for some time about a celebration of the music of the historically African American Congregational Churches within the United Church of Christ. The music in our tradition is diverse, spanning the spirituals, gospel music and classical music. A choral concert is scheduled for Saturday, October 14, in the sanctuary of the church. Members of several of our choirs at my church, the Plymouth United Church of Christ, in Detroit, will join with the choirs of the 1st Congregational Church UCC for a wonderful celebration of the music of our churches, both Saturday, October 14 at 7 PM and Sunday, October 15 at 11 AM. I will be playing the harmonica and for the first time, most of the dynamic, exceptional musicians in our Sunday morning band will be joining me in Atlanta: Lamar Willis on keyboards; Chenethia Wooten, vocals; Sheila Oden, keyboards and vocals; Ibrahim Jones, bass; Jerome Clark, guitar; and Jason Johnson, drums. This weekend will be our first time traveling together outside of Detroit! If you are in the Atlanta area, you owe it to yourself to experience this special slice of spiritually uplifting music from Detroit!

DSC_4458 internet version

 

Where: 105 Courtland St. NE, Atlanta, GA30303

When: This Saturday, October 14, in concert at 7PM and Sunday worship, October 15, 2017 at 11 AM

I will be preaching this Sunday, at 11 AM at the 1st Congregational Church, Atlanta

 

  • Also, join us for a free, “Fish Fry” Friday, October 13, 2017 6:30-8:30

 

I hope to see you this Saturday and Sunday in Atlanta – and, bring a friend!

DSC_4454 internet version

 

Jesus and the “Gig” Economy

Jesus and the “Gig Economy” –

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My sermon this Sunday is about the, “Gig Economy.” The “Gig Economy” is when a person works one or more contractual jobs as opposed to one, salaried position. For example, the person who teaches school or works in a factory by day, but drives for Uber when they are off work, is a participant in the “Gig Economy.”

One of the challenges of working in the “Gig Economy” is that essentially, you must, “Hustle.” Often, when a person has to “Hustle” for contracts, they must work the, “Gig” and look for other, “Gigs” at the same time. If we are not careful, the exercise of going from “Gig” to “Gig” can burn a person out.

Our faith in Jesus Christ will provide those in the “Gig Economy” several things:

  1. Direction
  2. Protection
  3. Inspiration
  4. And perhaps most of all, Perspective, to keep the multiple jobs and life in balance.

In John 14, Jesus makes a promise to give us all of these things and much more:

John 14: 15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. How does your faith in Jesus Christ strengthen you in those moments when you have to “Hustle” to make ends meet?
  2. What are some of the most difficult challenges you have faced when you have had to “Hustle” for survival?

 

Prayer: Lord, in you I seek direction and protection. When the way is cloudy and the path is slippery, give guidance and keep me safe. In those days when my creativity and energy is dull, grant me inspiration. Lord, help me to keep everything in balance. Make me never so hungry that I put my faith and trust in you on the back burner of life. Bless me today to work for the best, to strive for the best and to hope for the best in your name. 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 of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Jn 14:15–17). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Glory of Queens is to Search Things Out

The Glory of Queens is to Search Things Out-

Hon. Denise Page Hood, Laverne Johnson Young, Cheryl Steel in China

Curiosity is the theme of this message. One of the most exciting aspects of our humanity is our curiosity. As people made by God, we dance between our curiosity and fears of the unknown. Sometimes fear overwhelms our desire to understand what we do not know. Curiosity opens our eyes and ears to people, things and places that are outside our zone of comfort.

Before our recent church sponsored tour of China, several persons asked me if they thought this was an appropriate time to visit that country. 31 persons made the trip. One of the things that bound each person together was a desire to not only visit China, but to learn more about the country, its people, its history and its culture. In the end, we were unified in our curiosity to know more about China.

Curiosity is one of those things that makes the world move forward. In a desire to understand and know more about other people, places and cultures, we realize that we are more similar than different. God has called us to search things out, to learn as much as we can, to give as much as we can, to share as much as we can and to live as much as we can.

Proverbs 25: 2        It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. How does your faith in God help you with your curiosity about life?

 

Prayer: Lord, grant me a spirit of curiosity. Lord, grant me a willingness to explore this world and universe. Jesus, help me to understand the differences and similarities in people, places and cultures. Take me to places I have never been before. Free my mind and my body, that I might be unafraid to search things out. Bless me, keep me, release me so I might better serve thee. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas hood III

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

More about the ministry of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Pr 25:2). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Don’t Let the Devil Speak!

Don’t Let the Devil Speak!

The Gospel of Mark teaches that after healing many who were sick, who had a variety of illnesses, Jesus “Cast out many demons; and would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.” (Mark 1: 34) In Jesus time, it was believed that illness was caused by something demonic that possessed the body. To some extent, this attitude continues in today’s world. Doctors prescribe some medicines to prevent the occurrence of illness, but often, we go to the doctor because an illness has already surfaced in the body. Cancer, and many other illnesses are treated after the diagnosis, not before the diagnosis.

In the scripture, Jesus heals many who are possessed. After healing the sick, Jesus commands the demons that have possessed the people to keep silent. I want to raise the question, why does Jesus command the demons to be silent?

First, Jesus is trying to keep a low profile. He is not ready to go public with his ministry. Second, Jesus probably wanted the demons to remain silent because a major source of the power of evil is to name and claim victory over you and me. When a person calls a person out of their name, they are “Naming and Claiming” and defining the other with crude, vile and disgusting names.

The demons are a counter force to God. The demons were strong, but not as strong as Jesus!

What are the “Demons” in your life that you need to cast out? Many of us need to cast out the demon of depression and the demon of despair. Some of us are dealing with the “Demon” of doubt and insecurity. Others are dealing with the “Demon” of indecision, jealousy, hurt and shame. Whatever “Demon” you are struggling with, I encourage you to follow the lead of Jesus and call out your demons and forbid them to “Name and Claim” your life.

Mark 1: 34 And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Why do you think Jesus would not let the demons to speak?
  2. What are your thoughts about illness and demons?

 

Prayer: Lord, grant me the wisdom to recognize evil. Grant me the courage to cast out demons and the power to keep the demons in my life from confusing and confounding me with misdirection, miseducation, and misconduct. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo 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, prayers and publications of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mk 1:34). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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