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Nicholas Hood III Ministries

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The Sanctification of Jesse and hi Sons

The Sanctification of Jesse and His Sons –

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My son, Nathan and Me

 

As we inch towards Father’s Day, today I would like to look at another father in the Bible, Jesse. When Samuel the priest turned Judge, he gained the reputation of being not only spiritual, but mean. Arriving in Bethlehem, searching for a successor for King Saul, Samuel put fear in the hearts of all the people in Bethlehem. The one father and his sons that were invited by Samuel to a ritual meal was Jesse and his sons.

After meeting each of the sons, Samuel asked was there another son. Whispering in the ear of Samuel, the prophet asked if there was another son? Jesse downplayed the last son, David, because he was young and assigned to following the family sheep. As things turned out, David was the youngest son, who was out in the pasture, feeding, protecting, leading and guiding the sheep.

David was anointed king and after the death of Saul, David became king at thirty years of age. As I consider this story from the Old Testament, I think of the following lessons:

  1. David is not present because he was doing what he was supposed to be doing.
  2. It is significant that Jesse is including his sons in a religious ritual, sanctification.
  3. How many times growing up did your father take you to church, Sunday School, or other religious activities?
  4. Jesse does not back down from Samuel
  5. This Father’s Day, what will you do to honor your father?

 

1 Samuel 16: He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. As we approach “Father’s Day,” what are your thoughts about Samuel sanctifying Jesse and his sons?
  2. What are some of the religious activities that you and your father did together?

 

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for my father. I thank you for those things that I have learned from my father. Bless me this day to strong in my faith, redemptive in love, and powerful in your Spirit. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Denise Page Hood

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

More about the ministry, missions, prayers and publications from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Sa 16:5). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Jesus and the Father with the Epileptic Son

Jesus and The Father with the Epileptic Son –

 
With Father’s Day approaching, I want to focus on stories from the Bible that feature fathers. The story I am lifting today is the one of a father who brought a sick son to Jesus. He began with the disciples, but they were unable to heal the boy. Jesus heals the boy and tells the disciples that the boy’s illness was such that only prayer and faith could heal him. The concluding remark from Jesus was that “nothing is impossible with God.”

14 When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him, 15 and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” 17 Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17)

 

Here are some of my reflections and lessons from this story. First, the father brings the child to Jesus. The mother could have brought the boy, but it is the father. In America today, the father often gets a bad rap. However, in this story from the Bible, it is the father who is the advocate for the son.

Second lesson from the story – when the disciples cannot heal the boy, the father keeps pushing until he has a face to face encounter with Jesus. You and I should press on until we have a personal encounter with Jesus.

Third lesson from the story – Jesus tells the disciples that when their faith and prayer life is enhanced, all things will be possible. The same is true for us. As we develop our faith-life and prayer-life, all things are possible!

Matthew 17: 14 When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him, 15 and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; he often falls into the fire and often into the water.[1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What can we learn from the father of the sick son who came to see Jesus?
  2. What does this story tell us about the love and power of Jesus?

 

Prayer: Lord, grant me faith to believe that you can do all things. When I am afraid, bless me to believe that all things are possible. Teach me to love my children, even as I love myself. Through the wind, through the fire, through the storm and rain, happiness and pain, I give my heart to you. Lord, have mercy on me. Lord, shine upon me. Lord, save me. Through 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 from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at http://www.nicholashoodministries.org

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

A Tribute to the Fathers

A Tribute to the Fathers –

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The other day, I saw a photo my father took of my younger brother Emory and his little league baseball team. Emory is the little fellow ,second from left. The coach, I believe was Dr. Joe Hayden. All the boys seem to be paying attention to Dr. Hayden. We played baseball at Winterhalter Elementary School in the Russell Woods Baseball Association. The league attracted hundreds of youth and for several weeks it was the high point of my spring and summer. Then and now, Detroit had what could be described as “De facto Segregation.” When we moved to Detroit from New Orleans, the first year we lived in the Boston -Edison neighborhood. The second year we moved to Russell Woods. In 1960, many of the children who lived in my neighborhood were white and Jewish. The next year, the neighborhood was almost entirely African American.

The African American fathers and mothers in our neighborhood were hardworking, dedicated men and women who wanted to provide the best for their children. Our neighborhood was a sweet mix of all types of people. On my block, there were auto-workers, teachers, preachers, and in the biggest homes on one corner was a husband and wife team where the wife was a leading pediatrician and her husband a top surgeon. On the other corner was a man who was one of the biggest “Numbers” or illegal lottery gangsters in Detroit – and he had the prettiest lawn! These people were black. Dick “Night Train” Lane, a member of the Detroit Lions lived a couple of blocks away with his wife, the great singer, Dinah Washington. Berry Gordy and the “Supremes lived across the street from the football player. We had a wonderful neighborhood with a mix of ordinary and extraordinary people.

The commissioners for the Russell Woods Baseball Association were Forest “Foots” Green and Melvin Jefferson Sr. Their children played in the league with the rest of us. Some of the people who played baseball with us were: Saul Green, son of the commissioner of the league – his father, “Foots” later became the first Ombudsman for the City of Detroit, and Saul became the first African American United States Attorney for Detroit; Mel Jefferson Jr. is now a noted tax lawyer, his father, Melvin Jefferson Sr. became the first African American Fire Commissioner for Detroit; Bennie Napoleon, the county sheriff and his brother, Hilton, played in the baseball league; Charlie Beckem, who works for the mayor, played in the league. My team produced three medical doctors: Dennis and Arthur Harris and John Metters; at least one lawyer, James Parker; a great musician, Spencer Barefield; and a preacher, city-councilman: me.

It was a great league. In my opinion, what made the league great was the fathers who supported it. Men like Dr. Joe Hayden, served as coaches and mentors. My father, who was a pastor, did not coach, but he supported the league with his attendance at games and taking photos like the one in this post. I remember striking out on the last bat of the last inning of a championship game. I was so upset and angry with myself that I stormed off to my father’s car and tried to hide under the back seat. My father was consoling and eventually got me out of the back seat.

I say all of this because not every African American father is a jerk.   We hear so much about the “Absent black father”, but what I experienced as a child was the exact opposite. As a matter of fact, most of the fathers I grew up with in my neighborhood were great men who took the time to nurture not only their children, but the children of others. When I think of the fathers from my neighborhood, I think about the image of God as a “Heavenly father” with compassion for all. To me, it is a beautiful image of peace and serenity.

Psalm 103: 13         As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are the similarities and differences between our Heavenly Father and our earthly fathers?
  2. What are your best thoughts about your father or the father-figures in your life?

 

Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven, I thank you today for the earthly fathers of this world. I thank you for their love and strength. I thank you for every father who has struggled to provide for their family. I thank you for the influence and devotion good fathers have displayed. I thank you that my father helped to make it possible that I might have life. Grant this day that every father might accept a greater commitment to children of all ages. Encourage every man to be a father to the fatherless and an inspiration to their children and the children of others. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood Sr.

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

More about the ministry, mission prayers, photos and publications of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 103:13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Spiritual Gangster

Spiritual Gangster –

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Yesterday, I saw a fellow with a T-Shirt that read, “Spiritual Gangster.” The two words together seemed odd. Spiritual is positive. Gangster is negative. In my ignorance, I spent all day reflecting upon why he would wear a shirt like that and what the deeper meaning might be. Finally, a few minutes ago, I did an internet search on “Spiritual Gangster” and found that it is a movement that includes some persons who are into yoga and others who in their words:

“Spiritual Gangster is a movement designed to join ancient wisdom with modern culture. Inspired by yogis, athletes, artists, lovers and dreamers worldwide, our mission is simple:

May All Beings Everywhere Be Happy and Free

The mission statement is positive and I wish the “Spiritual Gangster” mission blessings and peace. They have a line of clothing that is sold in several retail outlets and online.

When I saw the guy in his shirt, I thought about the words of Jesus regarding “False prophets”:

Matthew 24: 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray[1]

Even today, we have to be careful that those who preach and teach the Word of God, are not leading people astray. Jesus warned his disciples that “False prophets” would be a sign of the end and that they should be aware. You and I must also test every sermon, every Bible lesson, and every pronouncement that Christians make, because not everything that sounds true is true, not everything that promises good, is good, and not everything that is proclaimed good, is good.

Jesus taught that these false teachings should be expected:

“Then they will hand you over to be tortured and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. 10 Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come. [2] (Matthew 12)

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts about what it means to be a “Spiritual Gangster”?
  2. What are some of the reasons why some people will follow “False prophets”?

Prayer: Lord, grant me the insight and wisdom to understand the difference between true and false prophets. Bless me with a spirituality that is so strong and so deep that I will not be swayed by sweet words that scratch the surface of truth, but are designed to take advantage of my resources, mind and body. Lord, I seek your wisdom. Lord, I seek your truth. Lord, I seek your salvation. Trough 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 from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mt 24:11). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mt 24:9–14). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

“Praise Him With the Tambourine!”

Psalm 150: 4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! [1]

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I found an old photograph from my days when I played a tambourine in a dance band. My main instrument was the trombone, but sometimes I also played the tambourine. I do not remember where the photo was taken, but from the look on my face, the night was getting long and we were deep into the music. Dwight Andrews is to my left. It did not matter to me what I was playing, I just wanted to play – case in point, now I play the harmonica. When you play in a musical ensemble, it does not matter what you play, if you play it well and to the glory of God! When all the instruments are played together and in tune, the music comes together in a way that is larger than any one person.

As I think about that old photo, I think about Psalm 150 where David says, “Let everything that breaths praise the Lord! From the little roach in the dirt to the gold on the faucet and everything in between, Let us praise the Lord!

Psalm 150

Praise for God’s Surpassing Greatness

1    Praise the Lord!

Praise God in his sanctuary;

praise him in his mighty firmament!

2    Praise him for his mighty deeds;

praise him according to his surpassing greatness!

3    Praise him with trumpet sound;

praise him with lute and harp!

4    Praise him with tambourine and dance;

praise him with strings and pipe!

5    Praise him with clanging cymbals;

praise him with loud clashing cymbals!

6    Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord! [2]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts regarding best practices in incorporating music in worship?

 

Prayer: Grant me a free spirit, Lord, that I might worship you in Spirit and in truth! God, you have been so good to me, I want to praise you with everything. Let me praise you with my hands and mouth, and my feet. Lord, I am prepared to go the distance for you! There is no barrier that can keep me from you. I am so pleased with the help you continue to provide to me. When I am low, your grace and mercy lift me up.   When I had no money, you showered my pockets. In my temptation, you have hovered over me, under me, beside me and beside me to protect me. Lord, I bless you. Lord, I magnify you. Lord, I worship you, because you are good and your blessings never cease. Through 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, missions, prayers and publications from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 150:4). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 150). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Black Shame

Sunday, June 4, 2017, Plymouth member Diane Reeder will talk about her new book which connects black English to the King James version of the Bible at 1 p.m. on the lower level of the church sponsored by the board for Christian education. This event is free of charge and open to all

Invocation for the Investiture of Judge Christopher Blount

Invocation for the investiture of Judge Christopher Blount-

 

Yesterday, I gave the invocation for the investiture of Christopher Blount as a new judge of the 36th District Court in Detroit, Michigan. The service of investiture was held in the sanctuary of my church. Judges from several different courts were in attendance. I made brief remarks prior to the investiture session. I shared with those in attendance that I first met Chris when I began to baptize people in the Detroit River. Chris was one of the first people to help us as a life guard. I remember him as a enthusiastic young fellow who promised to make sure that no one would drown. He was working his way through law school and now, is a judge! We took a photo after the investiture. My wife, Denise, who is the Chief Judge of the Eastern District of Michigan is standing next to Judge Blount. Judge Craig Strong is on the right with the colorful outfit. He and I are sometimes mistaken for each other- how I don’t know, smile. I guess because we are both light skinned. I am on the left. I thank God for the opportunity that stands before young Judge Christopher Blount. God only knows the future for this young judge.

 

Our Lord and our God, we ask your blessings today upon your servant, Judge Christopher Blount. Bless Judge Blount with wisdom, patience, respect and adherence to the law for all who will appear before him. Grant him a temperament that values all persons, regardless of economic and social class, ethnicity or color. We give thanks to the governor of the State of Michigan for the appointment of Christopher Blount as Judge. O Lord, I pray this day that you might rain down from heaven from the fountain that never shall run dry, abundant blessings upon your servant, Christopher Blount. May his investiture this day be the beginning of a life time of judicial excellence and service. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Senior Minister and Pastor of the Plymouth United Church of Christ

Photo by Robert Warford

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at http://nicholashoodiiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, missions, prayers, photos and publications of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

 

 

The Generations of the Upright Will be Blessed!

The Generations of the Upright Will be Blessed!

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Destiny and Duja Dove

 

Justin Dove and his wife, Courtney, brought their two children to my 32nd Annual Pastor’s Memorial Day Bike Ride. The young daughters look like they are under three years of age and their parents put them in a “Jogger” carrier unit that attached to a bike. With rest stops, the entire bike ride was over 16 miles. As we gathered at the beginning of the “Bike Ride”, I asked all 81 participants to introduce themselves. When it was Justin’s turn, he mentioned that he had participated in the Bike Ride since he was a little boy. It dawned upon me that Justin’s children represent the next generation of persons to participate in my little tradition.

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Courtney Dove, center, grandfather, Delano Dove, right, Mike Daniels, left

 

If anything is to last and grow in life, it must be shared with the generations to come. So often in life, things end when the great ones who established progress pass on. One of the greatest things you and I can do is to build platforms and systems that our children can expand and take to even higher levels.

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Justin Dove, left, Mike Daniels on the right

 

In Psalm 112, David talks about how happy are those who fear the Lord, who “Delight in his commandments” and that their “descendants will be mighty in the land.”   Somewhere, at the back or front of our minds, you and I should always give thought to the generations that will follow us. What we do today lays the foundation for years to come. This is true in every aspect of life. Our financial foundation, emotional foundation and spiritual foundation is the start point for the future generations that will come behind us. My question to you is this, “What foundation are you building for those who will follow you?”

Psalm 112: 1 Praise the Lord! Happy are those who fear the Lord, who greatly delight in his commandments. 2     Their descendants will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts regarding the blessings of God being passed down through the generations?
  2. What are the responsibilities of the current generation to ensure that the blessings of God will be shared with future generations?

Prayer: Lord, make me a good steward of the blessings you have showered upon me. Make me observant and diligent as I seek to follow your word. Bless my children, that they might fear you and follow you in all they say and do. Bless the generations that will follow me, that they might learn from my mistakes, build upon my success, and live lives of faithful service to you.

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

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

More about the ministry of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 112:1–2). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Love Your Sister/Love Your Brother!

Love Your Sister, Love Your Brother!

 
Almost every Saturday morning, my brother Steve, my wife Denise and I meet for breakfast. When Noah is in town, he often joins us for the morning meal. It is a time when we can let our hair down, catch up on the news of the week and bond as family. Last Saturday, Steve drove to the restaurant in his convertible mustang. After breakfast, Denise asked if she could drive his car. The two took a spin around Belle Isle and both were good for the day.

Steve was happy to let Denise get behind the wheel of his “Power Car.” Denise was thrilled to step on the gas. I was tickled to see the two of them so happy. I snapped a couple of pictures of the two of them in the mustang and thought to myself about the importance of love within the family. Denise is like a sister to Steve and Steve is like a brother to Denise. Thinking about the wisdom from the Book of Proverbs, chapter 15, it reads:

Proverbs 15: 17      Better is a dinner of vegetables where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it. [1]

The love between family members can be one of the most powerful forms of love. This is the type of love that will change a flat tire in the rain, go to the ATM machine and with draw to the last dime, swim the ocean blue and carry a letter – all in the name of love! When was the last time you called your sister? When was the last time you called your brother?

Questions for Reflection:

  1. How would you rate the quality of loving relationships?
  2. How is the love of Jesus Christ similar and different to human love?

 

Prayer: Lord, bless me this day with people who love me. Surround me with relationships of substance, meaning and fulfilment. Teach me to care about the wellbeing of family and friends. Lord, show me how to rejoice in the success of others. Help me to celebrate the joy others are experiencing and to share in mutually in suffering. Lord, show me how to love my neighbor as I love myself. 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, message, prayers, photos and publications of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

 

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

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