2016 A to Z – J – J.O.Y. Principle

Everyone should have the exceptional blessing and extreme joy of having someone like Minnie Bryan in their life. This woman initially entered my life as a next door neighbor, but then became my baby sitter, or day care mother, as she preferred for the next twelve or so years and was actually keeping my son, Isaac 30 years later when she became too ill to continue.

j Long before this she became a major influence in my life. My parents were good moral people, never doing anything I would now consider to be a non-Christian act, yet they did not feel the need to be a part of a church congregation. Interestingly they were all for Minnie taking me to church beginning at a young age. I never really came to understand that duality as both of my parents have died now. I guess Minnie knew I needed the experience of being a part of a church, so she introduced me to hers.

From an early age I felt like I was eager to pull in all the knowledge I could from her. I liked her example, her presence and her being. She was my model of what a Christian should be like. One rock solid thing she taught me was the subject of this post, the J.O.Y. Principle. What is the J.O.Y. Principle? Jesus is first, Others are second and Yourself comes last.


SACRILEGE!  You mean I am supposed to give God my best, and then help others before taking my part? Yes, yes I do. Matthew 22:37 tells us: 37And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND. If you can begin to master this instruction the other two tenets of the J.O.Y. Principle will dove tail along seamlessly.

joelibMinnie lived this example for the 30 years I was blessed to know her. The greatest example I saw was how she made God first and then focused her Others action on helping to ensure she found a great Christian partner for me to share my life. That’s right my wife of now nearly twenty-four years was part of her Others focus. Minnie wanted me to find a good Christian girl to marry and have a family with. Minnie said she had the same idea in mind for Libby, my wife, as well. When you have such a powerful, god fearing, God abiding ally in your corner how could you fail?

Even after Minnie’s time on this earth began to fade I remembered her sterling example and tried to instill this idea in my children. Several years ago at our former church we were asked to design a Family Mission Statement. The J.O.Y. Principle is a major component of ours and the laminated sheet is still on our refrigerator today, nearly a decade later.



Have you ever heard of the J.O.Y. Principle? Do you choose to live your life this way? I do, it is a large reason why I write posts like this, to share my knowledge and Christian experience with others. As society as rapidly gravitated toward online communication we have to take the message to other platforms and continue to follow God’s directions. Thanks for clicking on this and I pray you were blessed for your time. Come back soon as I plan many more posts on this blog!


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