Step it Up!


Sunday was a long day. It began at 5 AM with a last look at the sermon. After two worship services, a new members class, welcome to readers for the African American Passover Celebration and a Confirmation of Faith Class at our home where I cooked and cleaned up, Denise came home and we drove out to see her mother, sister and our brother in law, we did not leave there until 10 PM.

While at their home, my brother in law offered us the most tender corned beef I have experienced in years. I asked him about his technique for cooking the corned beef. He told me about wrapping it in foil and baking it on a low temperature for about 10 hours. After baking he put in outside on the grill to get a little “Char.”

I am a flirting vegetarian, but when that corned beef winked at me, I lost all self- control, was enraptured with the taste and went back for seconds. As I talked with Richard about his cooking method, I shared with him that I have not been cooking that long and really do not know much about the outdoor grilling process. He shared with me some of his outdoor grill moves and the more he talked, the more my head began to swim. I told him that I had a lot to learn about the grilling process. His simple reply was, “Nick, you have to step it up!” I smiled to myself and repeated, “Nick, you have to step it up!”

The “Unified Adult Christian Education Program” which is a series of three to four Bible Studies at my church, is reading the 2nd Letter of Paul to Timothy. One of the messages that Paul is saying to Timothy is, “Step it up” in your faith. Do not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, do not be ashamed of Paul in his imprisonment, join with Paul in his suffering for the faith and rely upon the power of God through Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 1: Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.[1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What part of your faith could you “Step up”?
  2. Are there aspects of your life where you could “Step it up?”


Prayer: Lord, grant me the courage to step out from my comfort zone and step up the quality of my life, the depth of my faith and the character of my 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

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

More about the ministry, mission, prayers, photos and publications by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at


[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (2 Ti 1:8–10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.