How Firm is Your Foundation?

My beautiful picture
Ray and Michelle Manning, who introduced me to boiled shrimp and crab on newspaper,



While in divinity school, I interned during the summers at the church my father had pastored in New Orleans, Louisiana. One of the sermons I preached that summer was entitled, “How Firm is Your Foundation?” I worked on the sermon all week and that Friday evening I went over to the home of some friends who were not members of the church. My godparents, Daisy and Andrew Young Sr. were kind enough to allow me to stay at their home for the summer. During the week, I had spoken with them about the sermon I was preparing to preach. That Friday night I had a ball in a way I was not accustomed in Detroit. My friends, Michelle, and Macletus, their younger brother and sister, and Michelle’s boyfriend along with their mother did something I had never experienced before. They spread newspaper on the table and dumped boiled shrimp and crab in a feast unlike anything I had ever seen. After stuffing ourselves we played cards. Because they were not members of the church I was interning, I felt like I could let my hair down.

When I returned to the Young’s home I got a big surprise. The light was on next to my bed and there was a note pinned to my pillow that said something like this: “Nick, you are preaching a sermon Sunday entitled, “How Firm is Your Foundation?” Tonight, you have stayed out past midnight and I think you should ask yourself, “How firm is your foundation?” The next day I spoke with my god-mother and assured her that I spent the night indulging in shrimp and crab and had not done anything disrespectful to God, the ministry or the church.

The question I raised in that sermon is relevant today, “How firm is your foundation?” In the parable, Jesus tells a story about two people who built homes. One home was built upon a rock for a foundation. The other home was built on sand. When the wind and rain blew against the two homes, only the one that was built upon the rock could withstand the storm.

Our lives are like those two homes. When we build our lives upon the solid principals of Jesus Christ, we have an anchor and a foundation that will help us to withstand suffering, grief, illness, unemployment, divorce, assault and more. I encourage you to ask yourself this simple question, “How firm is my foundation? and reevaluate your faith.

This is the story Jesus told in Matthew chapter 7: 24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!”

28 Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, 29 for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes. [1]


Prayer: Lord, grant me a foundation of faith, that I might withstand the storms and pressures of life. Help me to believe what I cannot see. Teach me to love my neighbor as I love myself, and bless me with your goodness and mercy all the days of my 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

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[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mt 7:24–29). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.