Search

Nicholas Hood III Ministries

Make a Difference in the World!

Author

Nicholas Hood III Ministries

Senior Minister and Pastor of the Plymouth United Church of Christ in Detroit, Michigan USA - 600 E. Warren Ave., Detroit, Michigan 48201 - 313-831-2460 - nhoo996937@aol.com

Women in Ministry

Check out my podcast, Nicholas Hood3, on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3

An interview with Rev. Dr. Georgia Hill on the topic of Women in Ministry

Who May Abide in the Tent of the Lord?

Check out my episode “Who May Abide in the Tent of the Lord?” from Nicholas Hood3 on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3/episodes/Who-May-Abide-in-the-Tent-of-the-Lord-e1ccrg

Who May Abide in the Tent of the Lord?

Even though David was a fighting man from his youth, he was also deeply religious.  Before going into battle, David and his men would consecrate themselves through ritual bathing, prayer and a commitment to abstain from sex with their wives until the battle was over.  As we read Psalm 15, the reader gets a sense of the righteousness under which David and his men structured their lives.

Although this Psalm only has five verses, as we read its lines, we understand the power of the desire for David and his men to seek righteousness.  Righteousness is the process by which the believer attempts to uphold the law of God.  The tent in Psalm 15, is the tent of worship.  David writes that to enter the tent of worship, a person must be blameless, do what is right, speak the truth, do no evil to friends, treat their neighbors right, and honor and fear the Lord.

You might remember, that after sleeping with Bathsheba, David encourages her husband, Uriah, to return from battle and sleep with his wife.  Uriah responds to David by saying, “How can I sleep with my wife in my bed, when the king’s men are sleeping in tents on the ground?”  (2 Samuel 11: 5-27) Uriah is referencing the vows of consecration not to sleep with their wives until the battle is over.

Psalm 15 is short and beautiful, but its test as to who will qualify to enter the tent of worship is so high, that only the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for the redemption of sin, makes it possible for ordinary people like you and me to receive the ultimate blessing of salvation from death.  The blood of Jesus Christ has made it possible for you and me to enter the holy tent of God.

Psalm 15

Who Shall Abide in God’s Sanctuary?

A Psalm of David.

1    O Lord, who may abide in your tent?

Who may dwell on your holy hill?

2    Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,

and speak the truth from their heart;

3    who do not slander with their tongue,

and do no evil to their friends,

nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;

4    in whose eyes the wicked are despised,

but who honor those who fear the Lord;

who stand by their oath even to their hurt;

5    who do not lend money at interest,

and do not take a bribe against the innocent.

Those who do these things shall never be moved. [1]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts regarding Psalm 15?
  2. Can you see yourself as one who would be welcomed into the tent of worship?
  3. What good news does Jesus Christ offer those who would desire to enter the tent of God’s sanctuary?

 

Prayer:  Lord, grant me a righteous spirit!  Bless me that I might seek right, and not wrong.  Bless me to love my neighbor as I love myself.  Bless me to treat the poor with respect.  Grant me the strength not to seek or receive a bribe.  Grant me a desire to promote justice for the oppressed.  And, Lord, should  I fall, lift me by the coattails of Jesus, that my sins might be taken away and I shall be washed with newness of life in that kingdom that has no end.  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, and meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms and Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Stard Version. (1989). (Ps 15). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Fools Say in Their Hearts There is no God

Check out my episode “Fools Say in Their Hearts There is no God ” from Nicholas Hood3 on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3/episodes/Fools-Say-in-Their-Hearts-There-is-no-God-e1c6uj

Fools Say in Their Hearts, “There is no God”

The ultimate fool is the person who cannot believe that God is real.  These people believe that if God is real, God must be either indifferent, irrelevant, impotent and absent, because they cannot identify when and where God is making a difference in their lives.  In Psalm 14, David begins by saying, “Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”  Because of this opening definition of the fool, David identifies the fools as people who are corrupt, who do horrible deeds and bad things.  David proclaims that the Lord looks down from heaven to see if there any who are wise, who seek after God.  David concludes Psalm 14 by saying that God will restore Israel and the Lord will provide deliverance.

Psalm 14

Denunciation of Godlessness

(Ps 53:1–6)

To the leader. Of David.

1    Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”

They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;

there is no one who does good.

2    The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind

to see if there are any who are wise,

who seek after God.

3    They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse;

there is no one who does good,

no, not one.

4    Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers

who eat up my people as they eat bread,

and do not call upon the Lord?

5    There they shall be in great terror,

for God is with the company of the righteous.

6    You would confound the plans of the poor,

but the Lord is their refuge.

7    O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!

When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,

Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad. [1]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts about Psalm 14?
  2. What does Psalm 14 tell you about the nature of God?

 

Prayer:  Lord, keep me on a level path. Grant me a clean heart and a right spirit.  Bless my mind with a perspective that is shaped by your values and your principals.  Lord, help me not to be persuaded by those who do not believe in you.  Bless me.  Shape me and mold me and most of all, keep me in your care.  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, and meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms and Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Sitting While Black

Check out my episode “Sitting While Black ” from Nicholas Hood3 on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3/episodes/Sitting-While-Black-e1c47a

 

Sitting While Black

It seems like week after week, there is another story of racial abuse and oppression in America. Racial abuse and oppression are a direct outgrowth of implicit bias.  Each of us has bias of one form or another.  As a child in New Orleans I would watch the Friday night fights on television…would pull for the darker person.  The statistics of police abuse in America are directly tied to racial profiling.  Unarmed blacks are 5 times more likely to be killed by police.  Yes, more whites are shot by police, but when adjusted by population, the number of black people killed by police is higher.  In 2017-2018, out of 987 shooting deaths, 223 were black, 179 Hispanic.  It is not just the police where bias rears its ugly head: health care, employment, housing, financing.

I think I frightened a woman yesterday on Grosse Point Blvd…I was adjusting my headphones for a walk along the Lake Front, a woman, walking past me walked into the back yard of a home I parked by car in front of.  She stayed there until I began my walk!  But, it goes both ways…another woman ran past me, smiling, waving and almost tripped, looking at me…

And yes, we see bias in the coffee shop-Last week, the Starbucks on Woodward and Mack had two white men talking out of their mind, but the staff are comfortable with them.  But, in Philadelphia, two unarmed, quiet, respectful black men were arrested and detained for nine hours, simply because they were black.

In each case of abuse and oppression I ask myself for a biblical and theological response.  Ironically, for the past 13 days, I have been reading and writing meditations based on the 1st 13 Psalms in the form of a blog and Podcast

  1. Several of the Psalms in this section of the Bible focus on oppression and justice
  2. Many of these Psalms were written by David during stressful periods in his life. (Hated by Saul/Hunted by Absalom)
  3. Examples of some of the writing on justice and oppression by David:

Psalm 9: 13  Be gracious to me, O Lord. See what I suffer from those who hate me; [1]

Psalm 10: 2 In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor— let them be caught in the schemes they have devised. [2]

Psalm 5: 9   For there is no truth in their mouths; their hearts are destruction; their throats are open graves; they flatter with their tongues. 10   Make them bear their guilt, O God;

let them fall by their own counsels; because of their many transgressions cast them out,

for they have rebelled against you. [3]

Psalm 3: 1   O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; 2  many are saying to me, “There is no help for you in God.”[4]

 

Let us take a closer look at oppression and justice in the life of David.  One of the underlying questions in the mind of David is the absence of God

-“Answer me when I call” (Psalm 4)

  1. A second issue is the apparent indifference of God

-Psalm 13; 1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

2    How long must I bear pain in my soul,

and have sorrow in my heart all day long?

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? [5]

 

  1. Another issue is the question of the seeming impotence of God
  2. A fourth issue is the mocking of God

-Psalm 2: 1  Why do the nations conspire,

and the peoples plot in vain?

2    The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers take counsel together,

against the Lord and his anointed, saying,

3    “Let us burst their bonds asunder,

and cast their cords from us.” [6]

 

  1. Even today, those who take advantage of the poor, those who exhibit racial bias are actually making a theological statement: God is irrelevant!
  2. Yet, through the oppression and injustice, David continues to affirm his faith in God
  3. It is this same affirmation of faith that has brought African Americans to this time and place in America
  4. We have come too far to turn back now

-As a people, we are much more sensitized to injustice and oppression

 

  1. Two weeks ago, the nation paused to remember the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr…

-Yes, we have the right to vote

-Yes, schools are integrated

-Yes, we can eat at the lunch counter

-But, it is more difficult to get a loan if you are black

-And black people are more likely than white people to be profiled by the police:

-It’s not just “Sitting while black”

-It is also:

-Standing while black

-Driving while black

-Walking while black

-Trying to get a loan while black

-applying for a job while black

-Trying to get a promotion while black

-Just living while black!

 

  1. The God we serve is a God of peace, a God of justice and a God of the oppressed

-This sermon is called, “Sitting While Black,”

-But what it is really about is oppression and the justice of God

-Oppression is real

-Racism is real

-But justice is also real

-Theodore Parker (Martin Luther King Jr) “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

-Yes, there are those who will always try to take advantage of the weak

-Yes, there will be those who will lord their power and influence

-But our God in heaven, who see’s high and reaches low

-Jesus Christ who judges the just and the unjust

-One day, will make it alright

-The challenge for you and me is to never give up!

-Though it may seem like the world is stacked up against you,

-Never give up

-They will lie on you

-Talk about you

-Be frightened of you

-Try to take advantage of you,

-But never, ever, give up

-Never give up, because God is on your side!

-Never give up, because God has a plan for your life

-Never give up, because God has great things in store for you

-Never give up, because behind every dark cloud,

-There is a bright sunshine!

-Never give up, because after every cold winter, there is a spring with flowers

-Never give up, because after every disappointment, there is a new opportunity

-Never give up, because after every crucifixion, there is a resurrection

-They nailed Jesus to a cross,

But he never gave up

-And now is seated at the right hand of God!

-the wicked will cease from troubling

-Mercy and grace will meet

-Righteousness and peace will kiss

-And, the glory of God will shine forever!

-Never give up!

 

 

Psalm 13

Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies

To the leader. A Psalm of David.

1    How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

2    How long must I bear pain in my soul,

and have sorrow in my heart all day long?

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

3    Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!

Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,

4    and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”;

my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.

5    But I trusted in your steadfast love;

my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

6    I will sing to the Lord,

because he has dealt bountifully with me. [7]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts about, “Sitting While Black”?
  2. What do you think God expects us to do about racism and sexism?

 

Prayer:  O, Lord, you are a God of Justice and a God of the oppressed.  Your vision is high, but your reach goes low.  Nothing can escape your almighty vision.  I call on you now, in the name of Jesus, to transform the world into a world of peace and a world of equality.  Lord, help us to remember the poor and with the resources you have put within the palm of our hands, bless us to make this world truly reflective of your almighty plan.  In Jesus name we 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, and meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms and Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 9:13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

[3] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 5:9–10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

[5] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 13:1–2). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

[7] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

You O Lord Will Protect!

Check out my episode “You O Lord Will Protect Us!” from Nicholas Hood3 on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3/episodes/You-O-Lord-Will-Protect-Us-e1c08o

 

You O Lord Will Protect Us!

In Psalm 12, David starts by calling out to the Lord with a complaint that “the faithful have disappeared from humankind.”  To illustrate his point, David continues by saying that “They utter lies to each other; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.”  My guess is that David might have written Psalm 12 after he is king.  One of the things people in power should always watch is when others start to flatter them with vain praise.

How do you know when a person is telling the truth when they start to build you up with statements like, “You really look good today!”  “I like what you had to say.”  “You are great, smart and handsome or beautiful!”  I come back to where I started, how do you know when a person is telling the truth?  I must confess that I am a little distrustful of a person who just starts blabbing off at the mouth with praise that sounds like vapor in the night: the first thought that comes across my head is, “Nick, watch your wallet!”  “Why is the person building you up?”  “Are they fattening me for the kill!”  “What do they really want?”

The questions of David are the questions of a king who is used to people saying anything in the hope that they might incur his favor.  This is where Psalm 12 starts.  As David progresses with his Psalm, he proclaims that God is his protector and will watch out not only for him, but for generations to come.

One significant observation I would like to make about Psalm 12, is that it reminds me that everyone needs the protection of God: not just the weak and poor, but also the rich and famous, and the middle class.  Sometimes, I think people with money and power need the protection of God in a greater way, because they have more to lose.  The more money you have, the more somebody out there wants to figure out how to take it away from you!  They want your money, your fame, your connections and access to power.

As I read Psalm 12, I encourage you to pray a similar prayer to the Lord for protection, wisdom and courage and what you will find is that God will bless you, extend favor to you and establish your home in peace.

Psalm 12

Plea for Help in Evil Times

To the leader: according to The Sheminith. A Psalm of David.

1    Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone who is godly;

the faithful have disappeared from humankind.

2    They utter lies to each other;

with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

3    May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,

the tongue that makes great boasts,

4    those who say, “With our tongues we will prevail;

our lips are our own—who is our master?”

5    “Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan,

I will now rise up,” says the Lord;

“I will place them in the safety for which they long.”

6    The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure,

silver refined in a furnace on the ground,

purified seven times.

7    You, O Lord, will protect us;

you will guard us from this generation forever.

8    On every side the wicked prowl,

as vileness is exalted among humankind. [1]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Can you relate to the dejection of David in Psalm 12? Why?
  2. Why do you believe David says, “the promises of the Lord are pure?”
  3. Why do you feel that David proclaims in verse seven that, “You O Lord, will protect us from this generation forward?”

 

Prayer:  Lord, your promises are pure.  Your promise to be with us until the end of the earth is true and good.  Your promise to love and protect transcends this present age, even to future generations.  Lord, in you I trust.  Lord, in you I hope.  Lord, in you I walk by faith and not by sight.  In Jesus name, 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, and meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms and Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

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

East Side Sunrise in Detroit, Michigan

In the Lord I Take Refuge!

Check out my episode “In the Lord I Take Refuge ” from Nicholas Hood3 on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3/episodes/In-the-Lord-I-Take-Refuge-e1bshq

In the Lord I Take Refuge!

20171124_0702561689332223.jpg

One way I focus my prayers and meditations is I have often resorted to reading the Psalms.  When reading the first and sometimes second verse of the Psalms, one gets a sense of the direction for the entire Psalm.  In Psalm 11, David begins by saying, “In the Lord, I take refuge…”  There were two main sections in the life of David when It probably seemed to him like the entire world was shooting arrows at him.  First, when Saul became jealous of him and tried to kill him.  Second, when his son Absalom revolted and ran David out from his own kingdom.  In both cases, David was on the run.  One of the reasons things seemed so dire was that David did not have complete information – he did not know how many people were lined up against him.  As it turned out, particularly during the fight with his son, Absalom, David had more people supporting him than he may have realized.  So, David put his trust in the Lord.

In like manner, there are and will be times in our lives when it seems like the odds are against you.  Sometimes, the challenge of making enough money, advancing in your career and keeping your health together can seem like a quiver of arrows is loaded, drawn and shooting your way.

Jesus Christ has promised to be with us to the end, Matthew 28:20” And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”[1]

Take “Refuge in the Lord!”  What does this mean?  Think for a moment about what it means to take refuge.  To take refuge from the rain means you seek a dry space.  The ship in a storm looks for a safe port.  An airplane that seeks refuge seeks a hanger.  Barak Obama, the former president of the United States, said that as a child he sought refuge from the tough times while being raised by a single mother by immersing himself in books and seeking academic achievement.  To seek refuge in the Lord means that we seek to:   Know the word of God, Believe the Word of God, Live the Word of God.  Try the Word of God and you will find refuge in the Lord. In my life, I have found that it is my faith in God that provides me with refuge from the storms of insecure, weak people, who lash out in their own failed sense of social, intellectual and relational weakness, as they attempt to struggle to seek self-esteem while lording their confused sense of power over others.  And, through it all, I keep pushing for what is right, fighting for what is right and working for justice in all things.

Psalm 11

Song of Trust in God

To the leader. Of David.

1    In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to me,

“Flee like a bird to the mountains;

2    for look, the wicked bend the bow,

they have fitted their arrow to the string,

to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart.

3    If the foundations are destroyed,

what can the righteous do?”

4    The Lord is in his holy temple;

the Lord’s throne is in heaven.

His eyes behold, his gaze examines humankind.

5    The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked,

and his soul hates the lover of violence.

6    On the wicked he will rain coals of fire and sulfur;

a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.

7    For the Lord is righteous;

he loves righteous deeds;

the upright shall behold his face. [2]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. At what point in the life of David do you think Psalm 11 was written?
  2. When have you felt like “Taking refuge in the Lord”?

 

Prayer:  Lord, in you I take refuge.  The world is so big.  The world can be so cold, but in you I have found peace from the storm, a light in the cave, water for the fire, and joy amid sorrow.  Lord, you are my refuge and strength, my hope for today and joy for tomorrow.  Lord, you are my solace and my refuge.  In Jesus name 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, and meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms and Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mt 28:20). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 11). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Why, Lord, do you Stand Far Off?

Check out my episode “Why Lord, do you stand far off?” from Nicholas Hood3 on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3/episodes/Why-Lord–do-you-stand-far-off-e1bns9

Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? – Psalm 10

Have you ever wondered, “Why won’t God just step in and put an end to this mess?”  Studying for the ministry, I was introduced to an unfamiliar word, theodicy, which is the question of evil:  If God is all good, all knowing and all powerful, why does evil exist?  To make the question more down to earth, Why do I have cancer?  What great sin did I commit to have a heart attack or stroke?

People of good and not so good will raise this question anytime something unexplainable takes place: when a good person is hit by a car; the really nice woman who cannot find someone to love and to be loved; the child who is born with a congenital illness; good people who cannot seem to break the cycle of poverty; the innocent, unsuspecting person who is carjacked; the hard worker who gets passed over for a promotion; the corrupt manager or supervisor who demands that employees fudge the truth and make a report sound better or worse than reality.  African Slavery, the Jewish Holocaust, Liberian and Sierra Leone child-soldiers; rape; incest; and all the other examples of people to people brutality, hate, murder and theft all can cause a person who believes in God to stop and wonder, “Why God are you so far of?”

One of the lessons I have learned along the way is that every situation we find ourselves in can be addressed through the Bible.  In the 10 Psalm, David writes a psalm that starts right at the very beginning with the question, “God, why are you so far off?”  The psalmist continues by noting that the people who do evil mock God and the believers in God, because they do not believe that God will show up and fight on behalf of the faithful.  As the 10th Psalm winds down to a close,  the writer proclaims that God will route those who would do evil.  Listen as we read Psalm 10, and you will see how the opening question regarding the absence of God is transformed to an affirmation of faith in what God can and will do.

Psalm 10

Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies

1    Why, O Lord, do you stand far off?

Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

2    In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor—

let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.

3    For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart,

those greedy for gain curse and renounce the Lord.

4    In the pride of their countenance the wicked say, “God will not seek it out”;

all their thoughts are, “There is no God.”

5    Their ways prosper at all times;

your judgments are on high, out of their sight;

as for their foes, they scoff at them.

6    They think in their heart, “We shall not be moved;

throughout all generations we shall not meet adversity.”

7    Their mouths are filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;

under their tongues are mischief and iniquity.

8    They sit in ambush in the villages;

in hiding places they murder the innocent.

Their eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;

9      they lurk in secret like a lion in its covert;

they lurk that they may seize the poor;

they seize the poor and drag them off in their net.

10  They stoop, they crouch,

and the helpless fall by their might.

11  They think in their heart, “God has forgotten,

he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”

12  Rise up, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;

do not forget the oppressed.

13  Why do the wicked renounce God,

and say in their hearts, “You will not call us to account”?

14  But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief,

that you may take it into your hands;

the helpless commit themselves to you;

you have been the helper of the orphan.

15  Break the arm of the wicked and evildoers;

seek out their wickedness until you find none.

16  The Lord is king forever and ever;

the nations shall perish from his land.

17  O Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek;

you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear

18  to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed,

so that those from earth may strike terror no more.[1]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Have you ever felt like David in Psalm 10, when it seems like God is far removed from you?
  2. How would you encourage a person who feels like God is too far removed to help them with their life?

 

Prayer:  God, sometimes it seems like you are so far away!  Help me in my loneliness.  Help me when I feel weak and vulnerable.  Remind me that you are seated on high, and have vision that reaches low.  You know are thoughts before we speak, even before words are formed on our lips.  Lord, step in now and lift me in your strength.  Lord, I call on you to fight where I cannot fight, to listen when I cannot hear, to love when I do not want to love.  Come into my life now, Lord Jesus and help me to fight this fight.  In Jesus name we 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, and meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

NewListen to readings from the Book of Psalms and Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Walk With Me!

Denise and Nick Formal color

I would like to share a new dimension of my personal spiritual journey, an audio, verbal reading of the Bible that you can connect with right here on your personal computer. Currently, I am reading one book of the Psalms each day, followed with a meditation and prayer. Later in the year, I will switch to the Gospel of Mark. It would make my day if you would take the time to check it out. Also, I would like to know if you think it is too long or too short, and if there is anything else you would like me to include. It is called, “Podcasting” which is available either of two ways, by clicking either of the following links:

If you have difficulty locating the podcasts, please email me at nhoo996937@aol.com or call me at 313-999-4492. Thank you, and continued blessings,

Nick

www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

or, www.puccdetroit.org

The Needy Shall Not Always be Forgotten!

Check out my episode “The Needy Shall Not Always be Forgotten ” from Nicholas Hood3 on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3/episodes/The-Needy-Shall-Not-Always-be-Forgotten-e1bjvv

The Needy Shall Not Always Be Forgotten —

The Needy Shall Not Always Be Forgotten

Hearing the news about two African American men who were arrested in a Starbucks in Philadelphia, simply for sitting and waiting for another person to meet them, and a 14-year-old in Rochester Hills, Michigan who was shot knocking on a door asking for directions to school, it makes one wonder, when will justice rule the land?

As I read Psalm 9, David asked related questions as he waited for justice to kick in and level the playing field. Reading Psalm 9 reminds me that just as David, the man who would be king, who eventually became king, had to fight to make justice a reality.

If we want justice to become the reality of the day, you and I, like David, must protect ourselves, stand up for justice, fight for justice, dream of justice, hope for justice, and maintain our faith in God!

We should also never be so overwhelmed that we refuse to dream. My cousin, Sheila, sent me the photo that is at the top of this writing. It is a photo of me and my son, Nathan, wearing a Jesse Jackson for president T-Shirt. At the time Jesse ran for president, it seemed like a long-shot, but in the aftermath of the Barak Obama presidency, it is clear to me that Jesse was way ahead of his time. Think for a moment about the implications of a “Peace and Justice” person running for president?

I encourage you to hold on in the faith, that one day, all people in America and throughout the world will live together in the sweet communion of fellowship between peoples of color and various gender and live as brothers and sisters in pursuit of justice and equality, and a high dream of eternal life, here on earth. Bless the Lord in his righteousness!

Psalm 9

God’s Power and Justice

To the leader: according to Muth-labben. A Psalm of David.

1 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;

I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

2 I will be glad and exult in you;

I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

3 When my enemies turned back,

they stumbled and perished before you.

4 For you have maintained my just cause;

you have sat on the throne giving righteous judgment.

5 You have rebuked the nations, you have destroyed the wicked;

you have blotted out their name forever and ever.

6 The enemies have vanished in everlasting ruins;

their cities you have rooted out;

the very memory of them has perished.

7 But the Lord sits enthroned forever,

he has established his throne for judgment.

8 He judges the world with righteousness;

he judges the peoples with equity.

9 The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,

a stronghold in times of trouble.

10 And those who know your name put their trust in you,

for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

11 Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion.

Declare his deeds among the peoples.

12 For he who avenges blood is mindful of them;

he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.

13 Be gracious to me, O Lord.

See what I suffer from those who hate me;

you are the one who lifts me up from the gates of death,

14 so that I may recount all your praises,

and, in the gates of daughter Zion,

rejoice in your deliverance.

15 The nations have sunk in the pit that they made;

in the net that they hid has their own foot been caught.

16 The Lord has made himself known, he has executed judgment;

the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion. Selah

17 The wicked shall depart to Sheol,

all the nations that forget God.

18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten,

nor the hope of the poor perish forever.

19 Rise up, O Lord! Do not let mortals prevail;

let the nations be judged before you.

20 Put them in fear, O Lord;

let the nations know that they are only human.[1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your favorite verses in Psalm 9?
  2. What do you feel about verse 18, “For the needy shall not always be forgotten…?”

Prayer: Lord, hear our prayer! Have mercy upon the poor. Have mercy on the tired. Have mercy on those who are left out, shut out, and kept out from equality and justice here on this earth. Lord, prick the hearts of those who take advantage of people of color. Lord, touch the hearts of the oppressed, that we might challenge those who would deny and denigrate, only because of the color of skin. Lord, I have heard of your promise that the poor will not always be forgotten. Lord, we are waiting for your justice to roll like waters and righteousness to flow like an ever flowing stream. Lord, those who suffer are waiting for your justice, your peace and your mercy. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior we 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, and meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms and Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on:

Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 9). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Hearing the news about two African American men who were arrested in a Starbucks in Philadelphia, simply for sitting and waiting for another person to meet them, and a 14-year-old in Rochester Hills, Michigan who was shot knocking on a door asking for directions to school, it makes one wonder, when will justice rule the land?

As I read Psalm 9, David asked related questions as he waited for justice to kick in and level the playing field. Reading Psalm 9 reminds me that just as David, the man who would be king, who eventually became king, had to fight to make justice a reality.

If we want justice to become the reality of the day, you and I, like David, must protect ourselves, stand up for justice, fight for justice, dream of justice, hope for justice, and maintain our faith in God!

We should also never be so overwhelmed that we refuse to dream. My cousin, Sheila, sent me the photo that is at the top of this writing. It is a photo of me and my son, Nathan, wearing a Jesse Jackson for president T-Shirt. At the time Jesse ran for president, it seemed like a long-shot, but in the aftermath of the Barak Obama presidency, it is clear to me that Jesse was way ahead of his time. Think for a moment about the implications of a “Peace and Justice” person running for president?

I encourage you to hold on in the faith, that one day, all people in America and throughout the world will live together in the sweet communion of fellowship between peoples of color and various gender and live as brothers and sisters in pursuit of justice and equality, and a high dream of eternal life, here on earth. Bless the Lord in his righteousness!

Psalm 9

God’s Power and Justice

To the leader: according to Muth-labben. A Psalm of David.

1 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;

I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

2 I will be glad and exult in you;

I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

3 When my enemies turned back,

they stumbled and perished before you.

4 For you have maintained my just cause;

you have sat on the throne giving righteous judgment.

5 You have rebuked the nations, you have destroyed the wicked;

you have blotted out their name forever and ever.

6 The enemies have vanished in everlasting ruins;

their cities you have rooted out;

the very memory of them has perished.

7 But the Lord sits enthroned forever,

he has established his throne for judgment.

8 He judges the world with righteousness;

he judges the peoples with equity.

9 The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,

a stronghold in times of trouble.

10 And those who know your name put their trust in you,

for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

11 Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion.

Declare his deeds among the peoples.

12 For he who avenges blood is mindful of them;

he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.

13 Be gracious to me, O Lord.

See what I suffer from those who hate me;

you are the one who lifts me up from the gates of death,

14 so that I may recount all your praises,

and, in the gates of daughter Zion,

rejoice in your deliverance.

15 The nations have sunk in the pit that they made;

in the net that they hid has their own foot been caught.

16 The Lord has made himself known, he has executed judgment;

the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion. Selah

17 The wicked shall depart to Sheol,

all the nations that forget God.

18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten,

nor the hope of the poor perish forever.

19 Rise up, O Lord! Do not let mortals prevail;

let the nations be judged before you.

20 Put them in fear, O Lord;

let the nations know that they are only human.[1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your favorite verses in Psalm 9?
  2. What do you feel about verse 18, “For the needy shall not always be forgotten…?”

Prayer: Lord, hear our prayer! Have mercy upon the poor. Have mercy on the tired. Have mercy on those who are left out, shut out, and kept out from equality and justice here on this earth. Lord, prick the hearts of those who take advantage of people of color. Lord, touch the hearts of the oppressed, that we might challenge those who would deny and denigrate, only because of the color of skin. Lord, I have heard of your promise that the poor will not always be forgotten. Lord, we are waiting for your justice to roll like waters and righteousness to flow like an ever flowing stream. Lord, those who suffer are waiting for your justice, your peace and your mercy. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior we 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, and meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms and Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on:

Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 9). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑