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Circle Maker Testimony - Rhonda Beeland

The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. Psalm 24:11

What a great verse ! It is good to get this planted and established in our hearts. The beauty of this realization is that we belong to Him. Let that sink in a minute. Who are we that He is mindful of us? Who are we that He would want to share the fullness thereof ? Much less have a relationship with us. But we are His , and the Word says that 'It is His
Good Pleasure to give us the Kingdom' . And all that is His ...we have inherited ! But the greatest Gift we have received is ....Himself. 

So right now I would like for you to imagine ,for just a moment , that you are a child. And say you were invited over to a friends' house to play. Now when you got there you realized that there was so much room to run and play , and so many toys to play with. Outside there was a swimming pool with a slide, a big tire swing, a beautiful playhouse that had steps leading up to the roof where you could sit and look out over the yard. There was also a ping pong table, a pinball machine , and every imaginable toy. The lady of the house always had food ready , and snacks in between . The man of the house was always building, or planting, or playing with the children. The doors were always open for guests. And then on almost every Sunday after church , there was roast beef , mashed potatoes, and green beans for dinner. The neighbors knew each other and watched each others kids. At night ...no one wanted to go inside. You would sit outside with friends until the fireflies danced across the lawn . And everyone felt safe. Ah.... this was real life or was this just a great fairy tale. Dreams were so big. Well believe it or not ....this was my life. This was my home. This was paradise to me. 

From the description you would think us to be rich.....nope. Not us. We just had stuff. We weren't poor, but we certainly weren't rich. We got by nicely. My dad sang in the choir, my mom was a Brownie Leader , and I always remember Daddy writing a check for the collection plate , and then giving us money to drop in also. We received a dime every Friday and thankfully they didn't ask us to give any up....we would have been broke for sure !

Then family struggles began. Back operations , heart operations, traction , alcoholism , drug abuse, job loss, attempted suicide, and church was no longer in the picture , much less tithing. And then came..... the separation. Daddy left and we moved. What Happened !!!!! Where did the paradise of my childhood go? Life ' just happens' they say. Many years went by . But along with many cheers ... came many tears. Many rights and of course .....many wrongs.

Decades later I'm married Jimmy . This is a bright spot for sure. You all know him. He is my blessing . Well , I started going to church and a year later Jimmy followed . We began to learn about giving a portion of our income. We already knew a little about giving back to God. But we did think , 'God must be in the same bind we are' ! He obviously is broke too 'cause He needs our money once a week ! ' . But as we learned, we gave more. I can remember my dad , ( who ,by the way , got back with my mom after six month apart and rededicated himself to Jesus), asked me one day, " How much do you give?". I thought it was really none of his business --but I told him anyway..... since he was my daddy. And he said "Wow .... that much huh?". I remember telling him I had a lot of 'making up' to do. Oh, the way we think sometimes must give God a chuckle and hopefully a smile. But I meant it. Our hearts found joy in giving.

When Jimmy and I came to St. james we were in debt for many reasons. We mainly had a lot of medical bills. But we wanted to tithe . We wanted to give back to the God who had saved us. The One who had healed our hearts from our pasts. The One who had given to us more than we could have ever imagined ....or ever repaid. Who is this God that is mindful of us? So how can we do anything less than to be good stewards of all that He has entrusted us with?? We are still learning.... and He is still teaching us.

As of this day, Jimmy is without a job. Many of you know this and have been praying for us . Thank you. He has taking a step of Faith. Is this easy ....no. But I am proud of him. And I am on this journey with him . We are believing that God has a good plan for him. You know.....It is the Right Path when you trust God. There is a stewardship of Faith and Trust. And there are other types of Stewardship as well that we are learning about. We really want to be good stewards of our faith. And good stewards of the blessings that He has given us. Not just material possessions, but good stewards of our family, our friends , our time , our work, our giving, gifts and talents, and especially be a good stewards to you...... the Body. This is an area where we are most like Christ. And isn't that truly living.... when we are truly giving....in His Name and by His Spirit? And to me, that is real paradise!

You can keep the 'playhouse' if you want, but I'd rather give you Jesus! He is our Great Reward ! So....what do you give back to God ? Do you count it all joy... even when it's hard ? Think about His Kingdom for a moment, I bet He has the best tire swing ..... ever !! See ya there!

Rhonda Beeland