Terry Mai
Water of Life Ministries

A Good Steward

This testimony takes us back some 25 years to the beginning days of my walk with God.  God was teaching me in those days about stewardship as Jesus states in Luke 12:42-44,

"Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?  Blessed is that servant whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.   Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath."  

A steward is simply an overseer, caretaker, or housemanager, and God literally used houses, among other situations, to teach me and to prove me faithful in whatsoever he gave me.  God began this principal with Adam, the first man God created in the Bible, in Genesis2:15,

"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." 

In Luke 16, Jesus spoke a parable about the unjust steward, and then he said in verses 10-12,

"He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.  If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?  And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's who shall give you that which is your own?" 

I got opportunity right away to be faithful in another man's as we leased houses for the first six years after we were married.  Actually, if God had not led us to build and buy a house, we would still be in a lease situation.  You see, God did another work in my heart during this time because I was compelled by "The American Dream" to own a house.  As I was wrestling in my heart with this controlling spirit one day, God said to me, "What's the difference renting and paying interest on a mortgage?"  I thought, "I don't know, but since you're supplying the money, Lord, and you don't seem to be bothered by it, why should I?"  After that, I quit pursuing the ownership of a house and overcame the care of it.

From February, 1979 to January, 1985, we lived on four different leased homes.  Each house was bigger and better than the previous house, but each house also needed complete maintenance to be done inside and out.  God was also overwhelming my heart at the time to show me how He would bless anyone that would follow Him.  The owner of the first house, which was a quaint 2-BR, wood-frame, cottage-type home, asked me to live in the house "rent free" and take care of it.  At first I thought it was a joke, but I could tell the man was serious, so I agreed.  He then proceeded to pay me to replace some of the wood siding and paint it completely.  Frankly, I was astonished but overcame, and we were blessed to live there.  The next house was larger but needed even more work.  It needed complete painting, carpet in the living area because the previous resident used it to repair motors, and grass with virtually none in the entire yard.  In fact, the only thing in the front yard was an area about 12 foot in diameter surrounded by rock with cactus, a steer skull, and more rock, and nothing but weeds around it.  Well, we painted it for our rent deposit, the carpet was replaced upon request, and I cleaned out the "Southwestern exhibit" (Ha!) and planted new grass seed.  Within four months we had a complete new lawn.  It also seemed to provoke the entire block as all of our neighbors began to upgrade and maintain their yards, and I never spoke to any of them about it.  However, it obviously had an influence on them.  Actually, all during the time we were leasing, we never paid a deposit, which is unheard of here in Texas, but nothing is impossible with God if we can believe!  I won't go into detail about the other houses except to say that as before, we took care of them as if they were our own homes, and as if each one was a gift from God!  I know that is why God continued to bless us with a bigger and better home until finally He gave us a home of our own because we were diligent and faithful to take care of each one He gave us.  I must add another purpose was to constantly enlarge my heart to believe Him.  The primary purpose God deals with all of us is to change our hearts toward Him.

The "faithful" principle also carried over for me into the workplace.  As I have shared in the past, God led me into the paint business.  In the beginning, I didn't even know how to hold a paint brush (nor did I want to know, but God dealt with my rebellion!) nor anything about painting.  As I overcame the rebellion and gave thanks, I learned quickly, became diligent and faithful on the paint jobs, and was soon relegated to chief sprayer.  Shortly thereafter, the company contractor gave me his truck to work out of, and soon, he even turned some of the paint jobs completely over to me.  After two and one-half years of faithful stewardship in the paint business for another man, God led me into my own paint business which He blessed exceedingly, abundantly above all I could think or ask.  Finally, after consistently being faithful in my own paint business for nearly ten years, God literally dried up the paint business and led me into full-time ministry, and I am eternally grateful!    We are to trust in, rely on, and adhere to the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ because that is the power of God unto salvation! (Romans 1:16)  He continues to prove us faithful as we continue to grow and be established in the Gospel of the kingdom of God, which is the greatest gift of all.

biography written by Kathryn Currier
Mai slide show
Songs Composed
by Terry Mai
sung by Terry:
sung by Sweet 16:
Original songs are written by Terry Mai and © under Water of Life Ministries. They are not for profit or resale, but for ministry purposes only.

Water of Life Ministries PO Box 861327 Plano, TX 75086-1327 terrym@terrymai.com