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Nicholas Hood III Ministries

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Joy

For You Will Laugh!

DSC_1940For You Will Laugh!

 

I do not think that Jesus came to earth simply to prepare people for salvation after death. If we look closely at the teachings and ministry of Jesus, we will see that the Lord was first focused on how you and I can receive happiness and joy in this lifetime. When we read the teachings of Jesus as recorded in the “Beatitudes” and other sections of the Sermon on the Mount, it is clear to me that Jesus is showing us how to enjoy life here on earth as well as the promise of eternal life in the kingdom to come. The verse I am starting with today is about the promise of Jesus that those who are sad will be filled with laughter and those who are hungry will be filled.

Luke 6: 21     “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. [1]

Some Christians are too quick to dismiss their quality of life in the hope that everything will be made better after death. This type of attitude misses the main point of the coming of Jesus to earth. I believe the Lord came to earth to show us how to life and how to be happy. If you are unhappy and dissatisfied with your life, you really should step back, read the Bible again and ask yourself, where does the Lord promise that we should defer joy until we die and go to heaven? I do not see it. What I do see and read is that the Lord is promising those who believe in him, joy in this life as well as after death in heaven.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts about the promise of an immediate blessing by Jesus?
  2. Do you think a Christian has to die and go to heaven before receiving a blessing in this lifetime? Why?
  3. What must the Christian do to receive their blessing in this lifetime?

 

Prayer: Lord, turn my sorrow into joy. Teach me to laugh. Teach me to be happy. Transform my grief and tears into smiles and laughter. Lord, turn my emptiness into true satisfaction and genuine pleasure. Lord, I seek your happiness, today. Lord, I seek your blessing in this life, as well as the life to come. Bless me with you peace. Bless me with your joy. Bless me with your laughter. 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

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Lk 6:21). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Chips and Me – Lives Lived Through Play

Chips and Me – Friendship Defined Through Play


Last night, I receive a text and a photo from my cousin, Sheila. The text message congratulated me upon my new status as a grandfather. The photo was an ancient picture of me and my cousin, her brother, Chips. Looking at the photo brought back a lot of memories. Chips and I were the same age. I think we were around two years old in the picture. Thinking about Chips caused me to remember that so much of our time together was defined by play.

Chips mother, my aunt, Estelle, was the closest sibling to my father. When he was in divinity school and could not afford to return to Terre Haute for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, my father would hitch hike to Buffalo to stay with Estelle and her husband, Art. It was natural that when my brother, Emory and I were born, that we should spend a lot of time with our cousins in Buffalo: Chips, Michelle, Sheila and Michael. Eventually, Steve and Sarah were born on our end and they joined the parade of play.

All my memories of Chips are of us at play. We played in their backyard in Buffalo. We played jumping off a lower roof into their backyard. We played in the park alongside Niagara Falls. .I remember Chips visiting me and Emory in Detroit and climbing the pear trees in our front yard. I also remember Chips diving into a bushel basket of oranges under the pear trees and making himself sick. As we got older we saw less of each other. But every time we were together, there was a lot of laughter and playfulness. Chips died early, soon after I was married. I remember like it was yesterday, all the first cousins helped to carry his casket to the grave. It was the dead of an icy, snowy, winter at a cemetery in Buffalo. As we, the pallbearers slipped and slide with the casket up an incline to the final resting place, Emory, muttered under his breath while laughing all the time, “Chips, I don’t know if we loved you this much!” All the pallbearers started laughing and we almost dropped the casket!

As I think about Chips and the wonderful childhood memories, I think about the importance of play in the lives of children. There are no memories of substantive conversations. All I remember is playing hide and go seek, and any number of other games. Somehow, as children, we learn through play. We learn social interaction skills. We learn how to reason. Most of all, we learn how to feel good about ourselves through cheerful interaction with other children and playful adults. The Wisdom writer in Provers 17, talks about the importance of a cheerful spirit. Every time I am around a miserable person, I hear a little voice in my ear asking the question, “Why is this person so downhearted?” I encourage you to take a look at the following verse from Proverbs 15, and encourage you to pray to the Lord for a return to cheerfulness.

Proverbs 17: 22      A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your most pleasant memories from your childhood?
  2. At what point do you think that adults begin to lose the cheerfulness of their youth?
  3. What can we learn from Jesus Christ regarding a cheerful spirit?

 

Prayer: Lord, grant me a cheerful spirit. Free my heart, that even in my old age I might learn to laugh, and play. Lord, teach me cheerfulness, even during troubling times, teach me to find something to smile about. Bless me with an uplifted spirit, a positive countenance, and a heart, guided by love. 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/

www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

www.puccdetroit.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Pr 17:22). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Which of These Women is Pregnant?

Which One of These Women is Pregnant?

 

Can you guess which of these four women is pregnant? Hint: It’s not the two women on the end of the photograph! Ok, I will cut with the suspense, our daughter in law, Sharla, in the grey dress is going to have a baby! Please pray with us for a safe and healthy baby.

 

Psalm 68: 3  But let the righteous be joyful; let them exult before God; let them be jubilant with joy. [1]

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, Missions, Meditations, Prayers and Publications from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 68:3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

“That You May Abound in Hope…”

“…That You May Abound in Hope” –

Sunday, I looked at Reddick Grant holding his young son, who had fallen asleep. I am sure they were waiting on the little boy’s mother, sister and older brother. As I looked at the father holding the little guy in his sleep, I thought about all the potential the little fellow possessed. God has promised him a future and a hope. God only knows what tomorrow will bring for the children of the world, but the love of this little boy’s dad will lay a foundation for what lies ahead. The Apostle Paul teaches that when we are filled with joy and peace in believing that we will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. I pray this day that you will be filled with this hope.

 

Romans 15: 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Where does your hope come from?
  2. Why do you think Paul writes that “Joy and peace in believing…will make it possible for you to abound in hope?”

 

Prayer: Lord, grant me your hope. Fill me with joy. Bless me with peace. Make it possible for me to abound in hope by the power of your Holy Spirit.

 

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, message, missions books and photos of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ro 15:13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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