Act Like a Winner! –


James Thomas telling stories by the campfire


7AM Tuesday morning, I led a devotional for the youth and leaders of the Boys and Girls Camp which is sponsored by the church I pastor, the Plymouth United Church of Christ.  The Camp is in Oskoda, Michigan.  56 boys and girls participated in this year’s camp.  The children in attendance at the camp came from Detroit and Flint, Michigan.  The theme of my devotional was, “Think like a Winner!”

The point of my message was simple and direct – Be a Winner!  Think like a winner.  Act like a winner.  Prepare like a winner.  Focus like a winner. Compete like a winner.  Study like a winner.  Dream like a winner and at the end of the day, be a winner!  I talked with them about President Obama and his upbringing under the love of a single mother: raised in Hawaii and Indonesia, an absent father, but rising to become the first African American President.  The encouragement I gave the children was basic:  If Barak Obama can become president, the sky is the limit for you!  Don’t make excuses or blame other people, just start right now thinking and acting like a winner and you will be a winner!

I asked the youth to read together the creation story in Genesis Chapter 1.  I spoke with them about the difference between the dominion God gave Adam and Eve over the birds, fish and animals and the ugly stain of seeking to dominate human beings.

I really enjoyed being at the camp and watching inner city youth from two tough cities, Detroit and Flint, Michigan and being reminded of the possibility and hope that young people possess, regardless of where they come from, regardless of race, class and creed.  We are all made in the image of God.  The challenge I leave with you is this:  are you living up to the expectation of God that you might have “Dominion” in your life.  Are you prepared to act like a winner, or are you thinking and acting like a loser?  The choice is ours.  I choose to think and act like a winner!


Genesis 1: 27 So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”[1]


Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts about God giving human beings the authority to have dominion over all of the creatures of the earth?
  2. How can a person have “Dominion”, but not dominate others?
  3. If we are to “Act like winners”, how should we incorporate God into our lives?


Prayer:  Lord, help me to think like a winner, prepare like a winner, focus like a winner, live like a winner and love like a winner.  Lord, I confess that there are times in my life when I do not behave like a winner.  There have been times when I have allowed the pressures of life to overwhelm by thoughts.  Be thou my strength, my joy and my love.  Help be to think and act like a winner and show me your prosperity, peace, and patience.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III – James Thomas telling stories by the campfire at the Boys and Girls Camp sponsored by the Plymouth United Church of Christ, Detroit.

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at



[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ge 1:27–28). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.