A carpenter hired to help restore an old farmhouse had just finished up a rough first day on the job. A flat tire had made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup refused to start. As he rode home with a friend, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, as he walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. Then, opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a big kiss. Why the transformation?
The tree in his yard was his “trouble tree.” He knew he couldn’t avoid having troubles on the job, but one thing was for sure—troubles didn’t belong in the house with his wife and children. So he just hung his troubles on the tree every night when he came home and, in the morning, picked them up again. The funny thing was that when he came out in the morning to collect his troubles, there weren’t nearly as many as he remembered hanging up the night before.
A lot of people have an ejection-seat mentality. As soon as they experience trouble they want to pull the ejection cord and zip off into the unknown and hide, hoping to get away from it all. Listen, trouble excludes no one. It comes to all: rich, poor, dark, light, sinner, and saint. But, getting through them is uniquely personal. There can be no triumph without trouble. We can’t have victory unless there’s a vicious attack. Potential comes from having problems. For us to win, it takes a challenge. By focusing on the trouble we actually do not solve a thing, but in reality we cause our problem to be magnified bigger than it is. We see everything the wrong way and begin to get down on ourselves. Discouragement sets in, then despair which provokes depression, hopelessness, and eventually defeat. We must stop focusing on the problem and set our eyes on the right thing.
God has given us a way through tough times, but it’s up to us to focus on it. He has given us His Word the Holy Bible to look at and to meditate on in place of troubles. The devil is always trying to blur our focus in time of trouble so be aware of his tactic.
I want to share five keys that will help you to focus and get through tough times. 1. Remember that God is with you and will help you get through. Read Psalm 121:1-8 for help. 2. Resist the fear of man. Look up Hebrews 13:5-6 and meditate on it. 3. Believe that God has a way out. Check out I Corinthians 10:13 for clarity. 4. Always maintain a good attitude. James 1:2 will help you. 5. Watch what comes out of your mouth. Ephesians 4:29-32 pulls no punches. Also, the Apostle Paul says, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair” (II Corinthians 4:8). Yes, the New Year is upon us, so kick-start it with this godly attitude and you’ll never be the same! This “From The Heart of J.C.” was written on December 17, 2013. For more info you can visit us online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com
People will forget what you say, forgive what you do, but will never forget how you made them feel. So, during this special season, why not make it the greatest Christmas you have ever experienced. How? By being a blessing to others. Go out of your way to make people feel good about themselves. Give them that much needed compliment. Initiate a smile. Don’t wait for others to smile first. Give yourself away. Give a feeling of self-worth to someone. Be sensitive to the countenance of others and give them a lift if that’s what is revealed to you.
I know that it is much easier to be negative or mean. We don’t have to work at it. It just happens, but let’s start working at giving good feelings to others. Especially now! Let’s turn selfishness into selflessness by giving ourselves away. What does it cost? A little humility and some love mixed with a desire for peace. It’s true, there’s no money involved just a lot of pride reduction. But, by investing our heart into the much needed love of others we send good treasure ahead for our own benefit. Because, people will never forget how you made them feel and the blessing will be returned good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.
This is how Christmas got its start. God so loved you and me that He gave Himself away. He humbled Himself, though He was God, did not demand and cling to His rights as God, but laid aside His mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and became like men. And He humbled Himself even further, going so far as actually to die a criminal’s death on a cross. He took our place which is proof that we were on His mind.
Our attitude should be the same that was shown by Jesus Christ. Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing. We cannot forget that Christmas didn’t start in a shopping mall or as a retailer’s incentive to success. It began in a manger at a lowly stall in an obscure town called Bethlehem with two humble people who had given themselves away. Joseph and Mary had yielded their lives to the will of God during a time when taxes were high, the economy was bust, corruption was on the rise, and the government demanded a census for everyone. Times were difficult and life for this young couple was not easy. Nevertheless, they humbled their hearts becoming instrumental to experiencing the first ever Christmas.
The Christmas attitude has changed since its beginning to a more self-centered dynamic. And this shift in attitude has turned selflessness into selfishness; at least in the world, but the spirit of Christmas remains holy and steadfast among those who remember the reason for the season. Yes, this is the time to give the gift of love. It will last a long time and will never be forgotten. For more info you can visit us online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com
Over a hundred years ago a sixteen-year-old boy left home to seek his fortune. All he had he carried in a bundle. As he walked along he met the captain of a canal boat and the following conversation took place that changed his life: “Well William, where are you going?” “I don’t know,” he answered. “My father is too poor to keep me at home any longer and says that I must now make a living for myself.” “There’s no problem with that,” said the captain. “Just be sure you start right and you’ll get along finely.” William told the captain that the only trade he knew was soap and candle making, because he helped his dad at home make these things. “Well,” said the captain, “Let me pray with you and give you a little advice and then I’ll let you go.”
They both kneeled down and the captain prayed earnestly for William then gave him this advice: “Someone will soon be the leading soap maker in New York. It can be you as well as any one. Be honest, give your heart to Christ, give the Lord all that belongs to Him of every dollar you earn, make a quality soap, give a full pound, and I am certain you will be a great and rich man.”
When William arrived in the city he could not find work. Lonesome and far from home he remembered his mother’s words and the words of the captain. He decided to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and start going to church. He remembered his promise to the captain and the first dollar he earned brought up the question of what belonged to the Lord. He searched the Bible and found that the Jews were commanded to pay one-tenth (a tithe) to the Lord. So he said, “If the Lord will take a tenth I will give that.” And so he did and ten cents of every dollar was sacred to the Lord.
Soon having regular work he became a partner and after a few years his partner died. William became the sole owner of the business. He kept his promise and made a quality soap, giving a full pound, and instructed his bookkeeper to open an account with the Lord and place one-tenth of all his income in that account. He prospered! His business grew! His family was blessed! His soap sold and he grew rich faster than he had anticipated. He then gave the Lord 20% and prospered more than ever. Then he gave three-tenths, four-tenths, and eventually 50%. He educated his family, settled all his plans for life, and gave all of his income to the Lord. He prospered more than ever.
This is a brief documented true story of William Colgate. He gave millions of dollars to the cause of Christ and left a name that is world-wide. He comprehended the truth of Malachi 3:10-12. Most have a regular time for washing their face, combing their hair, brushing their teeth. It is a daily routine. If most people are like me they do not have a regular time for washing their car, and it shows. Giving to God is like that. It must be a regularly scheduled part of our life. If not, it doesn’t get done and it shows. 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.