It is an amazing experience to watch someone break a mustang. When a three-year-old wild horse, who has never had a saddle on his back, feels a saddle, for the first time, it must be frightening. Some horses react with anger, rearing back and trying to get away, even striking out with their forefeet at their trainer. Their nostrils flare, their eyeballs roll, and they panic. Others will just stand there trembling, shaking like a leaf. They won’t move because they are bound with fear. They don’t know what’s happening.
Many immature Christians respond to pressures like a wild horse. Some panic and cry out to God, “What’s wrong?” Others may just freeze up and do nothing. But, mature Christians are like the horse that has learned from experience to trust its trainer. They sense what is happening and respond by submitting to their master’s hand. They understand that God is preparing them for something good. We must realize that tests and trials are not to our detriment but for our perfection.
Here’s another good example to compare with: the kite-flyer. He must take in hand and hold tight the string of his kite then run until the kite lifts up into the heavens. But he knows that he cannot reach his goal if there is no wind. A kite-flyer knows that wind is very essential. But note: kites do not rise with the wind but against it.
So listen, Christian: that’s what trials and troubles are all about. We cannot ascend to higher heights unless we are facing pressures. Now look inwardly and be honest with yourself. Ask yourself: Do troubles make me soar high or do they make me sour? The answer will depend largely upon your level of maturity.
Let me share with you what a mature Christian leader said. “We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:3-5). Did you notice the step by step development of a trial? Each level moves us up to perfection closer to God. A man told me that he doesn’t go to church because people don’t accept him and they look at him weird. He decided to shrink back instead of soar to a higher level. My response to him was that when Jesus preached His first message the people were filled with wrath and rose up to kick Him out of the city and were about to cast Him headlong off a cliff, but He passed by them and went on to the next city and preached to them. He didn’t let their rejection or weird looks keep Him out of God’s house. He didn’t change His mind about going to God’s house because people had a bad attitude.
Jesus is our perfect example of maturity to follow. He kept His focus and He never stopped going forward. He soared so high that He became the only way to the Father. We must be obsessed to go all the way to the finale. For more you can visit us online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com.
An eighty-year-old couple was worried because they kept forgetting things all the time. The doctor assured them there was nothing seriously wrong except old age and suggested they carry a notebook and write things down so they wouldn’t forget. Several days later the old man got up to go to the kitchen. His wife said, “Dear, get me a bowl of ice cream while you’re up.” “OK,” he said. “…and put some chocolate syrup on it and a few cherries on it and some whipped cream too.” Then she added, “You’d better write all this down.” “I won’t forget,” he retorted. Thirty minutes later he came back into the room and handed her a plate of scrambled eggs and bacon. She glared at him. “Now, I told you to write it down! I knew you’d forget.” “What did I forget?” he asked. She replied, “My toast!”
Of course this is a funny, but in reality there are things that we need to let go of and forget, especially bad memories, hurts, offences, and not write them down. We need to bury them in the bone-yard of the past so we can move on with our lives. It amazes me to see how many people are being controlled by bad experiences that hold them back from living their full potential.
Listen, the enemy knows that if he can keep us dwelling on the past we will be locked down. His objective is to steal our personality, kill our destiny, and destroy all of our dreams. It appears to me that one of his most effective weapons against us is called bitterness. This weapon gives him the ability to manipulate and control us. It is haunting. It is mean and unforgiving. We must be aware of his tactic of waging war against our minds. Also, commonsense tells us that we are the gate-keepers over our minds and that the enemy cannot put anything on us that we will not allow.
Nobody can make us think badly about someone without our consent. The choice is ours. The Word of God says, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (I Corinthians 15:33). By hanging out with negative talkers we are influenced to think like them. Negative thinkers gravitate to themselves negative thinkers, but on the other hand, positive thinkers are influenced by positive thinkers. We can’t complain about what we allow to influence us. We must choose to set our minds on high things. So, no matter what we are going through, we have the ability to persist keeping the right attitude and finding something good to say.
Our lives always move in the direction of our most dominate thoughts. So, if we care about our future, our family, and friends, we must choose the right influences. It is imperative to surround ourselves with honesty, morality, praise, thanksgiving, and wholesomeness. These help us to not dwell on the hurtful things in life. Yes, the influence of God’s Word directs our forward movement in a most productive way. If we fill up our minds with His Word we will think the way He wants us to. Yummy! For more information you can visit us online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com.
Judge Troy L. Nunley said, “You can’t use your background and economic situation as an excuse. Rather, you should use it as a motivation to do more and to want more.” Who is Judge Nunley? According to Hudson Sangree, a Sacramento Bee Staff Writer, the judge graduated from a prestigious law school, had a successful career as a prosecutor, and was appointed to the Sacramento Superior Court bench at age 38. He was one of four children raised by a single, teenage mother who grew up in San Francisco’s Hunter’s Point projects surrounded by crime and poverty. The judge says his background gives him a different perspective on the offenders in his courtroom, those now facing the consequences of bad choices. The judge credits his mother’s unrelenting influence to steering him and his siblings, all of whom overcame dire childhood circumstances, away from trouble and toward success.
Nunley said that while growing up he saw a friend die in a drive-by shooting, and a cousin convicted in a gang killing. Friends became drug dealers. People from the neighborhood were stabbed and sexually assaulted. Neighbors landed in jail or juvenile hall. He and his siblings attended Catholic schools, played sports, pursued higher education, and now work in law, business, health care, and religion. Judge Nunley is the youngest sibling. His sister earned her engineering and business degrees from Stanford University and is an executive with IBM. A middle brother is a nurse. Another is a minister.
The reason for the family success, says the judge, is their mother’s belief that education was the path out of poverty. “Her mantra was, education is the black man’s way out of the ghetto,” said Nunley’s sister, Francine Anthony. Their mother, Gennie Nunley-Thompson, grew up in rural Louisiana and Hunter’s Point and had four children by the age of 20. She said she set high expectations for herself and her children and looked beyond their immediate circumstances to a better world. And she made her children believers by the example she set. While caring for them she finished high school, held down two full-time jobs as a telephone operator and group-home counselor, and went to college. She earned her bachelor’s degree, completed a master’s thesis and became a senior award-winning probation officer in San Francisco. “I might be here for the rest of my life, but the projects are no place for you,” Nunley-Thompson told her children. “Every generation has to be better than the previous generation.”
Judge Nunley’s mother insisted her children work hard, do well in school, and stay out of trouble. He said at Hunter’s Point he saw a “corner mentality” of people hanging out and not being able to see anything better. “That corner became their whole world,” he said. “Crime and violence only broke the monotony. You have to get beyond that corner mentality. Don’t become a victim.” For more about Joy, you can visit us online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com. Everyone is welcome. Nobody is perfect. Anything is possible.
United States District Judge Troy L. Nunley
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.