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
A prison warden had an unusual manner for determining afternoon passes. He would call the eligible prisoners in one at a time and ask them two questions. If they correctly answered both, they could gain an afternoon pass. He called in the first prisoner and asked, “What would happen to you if I were to poke out one of your eyes?” “I would be half blind, of course,” answered the prisoner. “What would happen,” continued the warden, “if I poked out the other eye?” “I would be completely blind,” answered the prisoner. The warden wrote him an afternoon pass and as the prisoner left, he whispered the correct answers to the next eligible prisoner. The warden called the next prisoner in and asked him, “What would happen if I cut off one of your ears?” The prisoner answered, “I would be blind in one eye.” Confused, the warden asked a second question. “What would happen if I cut off your other ear?” “I would be completely blind,” answered the prisoner. “Can you explain your answer?” asked the warden. “Sure,” smiled the prisoner. “My hat would fall down over my eyes!” The warden wrote the pass.
The natural man may be witty and cunning, but he cannot receive the wisdom of God’s Spirit unless he studies the Word of God, believes it, & obeys every word. The natural man can have lots of book learning and know many things in the physical realm, but unless he gets online with the Holy Spirit he can never receive the depth of wisdom that is available for all who believe. God’s wisdom can save us from unforeseen heartache and troubles.
A leading economic expert, Professor Irving Fisher of Yale, had this to say about the bright future of the stock market and the American economy: “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” His statement was spoken in early October 1929, just a couple weeks before the stock market crash that ushered in the Great Depression. Man’s knowledge is not enough; it is limited.
T. S. Eliot put it so beautifully when he said, “All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance. All our ignorance brings us nearer to death, but nearness to death no nearer to God.” Then he asks the question that hangs over this whole generation: “Where is the life we have lost in living?” Many people, today, are in a bad way because they lack the wisdom of God. Things would be so different if they would only submit to His word. God can turn things around. He can do the impossible. He can save. He can heal. He can give peace. He can restore a broken marriage. How? He is God!!
It is written, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:33-36). Equate God to no man! He is the All Wise God over all!! For more, you can visit us online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com.
Just imagine how you would feel if you handed someone a gift, he took it, said “Thank You” then laid it down with no attempt to open it nor even find out what it was. Now, put yourself in the place of God. He has given every person a gift to enjoy and yet there are millions of people who never take the time to find out what it is, they never put it to work, then use excuses for not being fulfilled in life. Hopefully, you’re not guilty of this.
The Word of God declares emphatically: “As each of you has received a gift (a particular talent, a gracious divine endowment) employ if for one another as good trustees of God’s many faceted grace and faithful stewards of the extremely diverse gifts granted you by His unmerited favor” (I Peter 4:10). So, God has given to each person a specific gift; therefore, we are responsible for what we do with it. The gift that we are given is for everyone’s benefit and it is imperative that we use it or others will be robbed of a blessing.
Some years ago a study was done by an agricultural school in Iowa. It reported that production of a hundred bushels of corn from one acre of land required 4 million pounds of water, 6,800 lbs. of oxygen, 5,200 lbs. of carbon, 160 lbs. of nitrogen, 125 lbs. of potassium, 75 lbs. of yellow sulfur, and other elements too numerous to list. In addition to these ingredients are required rain and sunshine at the right times. Although many hours of the farmer’s labor are also needed, it was estimated that only 5 percent of the produce of a farm can be attributed to the efforts of man.
And so it is with our individual gifts: we use them but God causes the increase. We bless others with them but God gets the glory. We receive benefits and rewards from them, but we honor the One who has given us the gift. The gift that has been given us fits our personality and understanding and flows naturally. But of course, we are able to enhance our gift with use and we are able to increase our use of it by using it more.
Another important part of using our gift is it encourages others to do the same. When a speck of dust blows into your eye, instinctively the eye is rubbed by your finger. There is no debate with the finger about whether it should bless the eye. Later, after pulling down the lid, causing the eye to water, the speck is washed out. In a short time the eye is back to normal and everybody is happy. But without the hand including its specially gifted active finger, the irritant would have remained an annoyance. Each member of our body is equally important and that’s the way it is in life.
Every gift blesses another gift. Your God-given gift is very important and you must never be hindered from using it. Use it unreservedly for the benefit of others. And it will return to you in ways and measures that you never knew. God’s Word says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure and pressed down and running over…” (Luke 6:38). P.T.L. For more info you can visit us online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com.
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.