In years past, I have used the "frost on the pumpkin" as my signal that it's time to write the Holiday Greeting. Of course, in Southern California, there is no frost on those glorious gourds basking in the sunshine at the pumpkin patch. This year, however, we're in Neosho, MO, on the family farm, and believe it! There's frost on the pumpkin!
How did we get here? As in everything else in our lives, the prime cause of our being here is God. Three and a half years ago, the Lord laid the men at the Calvary Baptist Church on Lenny's heart. He has interceded for them in prayer ever since. Lenny told me, "God is sending us to Neosho to the Baptist Church." This certainly seemed strange to me since we are not, nor ever have been Baptists. However, that's exactly what happened.
Having lost our home last year, we had been living in the guest house next to Lenny's brother Guni and his wife Doris. In May of this year, we hugged and kissed Kristi and Ken and the kids (our daughter and her family) and the rest of our friends and relatives, packed up the car, placed our real estate business in the very capable hands of Skip Padberg, and came to the family farm in Neosho.
I have used the time to create a website for our writings, and Lenny has kept busy with the deferred maintenance on the farm, writing, and in fulfilling his primary "assignment" to be a witness to God's light, love and power in the Baptist Church. It has been a wonderful time for both of us. We had been so caught up in the Southern Calif. Real Estate rat race for such a long time that we had no idea how totally exhausted we were. God knew, and He had a solution. He brought us here to the "slow lane," where people still have time to stop and "jaw," (that's Missouri lingo for sit and talk a spell).
Inquiring minds want to know how we are going to support ourselves. As our friend Gary Sigler told us, God never asks us to do something for Him but what He provides the means to accomplish it. He is totally in charge. That lesson we learned well. He turned off the faucet in CA and the income stopped. We lost the house. He turned it back on and we earned enough in the first few months of 1998 to allow us to come here, and even purchase a 5th wheel trailer, which we've parked near the house, in front of the barn. (Link to pictures of same at the end of this greeting). This allows us to be close to Mother, who is going to be 81 years young in February of next year, and be of assistance to her if she needs it, and also to have affordable housing, which we need.
God has continued to "fund the program" throughout the summer and fall with referral fees, and listings, which our dear friend and "brother," Skip Padberg, handles in our absence.
How long will we be here? God has not spoken about that. So, neither do we. We have learned to take one day at a time, as they say in the 12 step programs. This is modern day parlance for what Jesus said in Matt. 6:25-34, about taking no thought for what you will eat, or what you will wear, "for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things." We can testify that this is indeed the truth. God has faithfully provided for all our needs, and we have learned the difference between needs and wants.
We both count it a great privilege to be set free to do what seems good and right at this moment. Tomorrow, God may change the program, but we don't have tomorrow. We only have today. Living in the "now" is a joy and a pleasure!
At this time, we're thinking of all of you, and hoping that your year has been blessed, and that you know in a deeper way today than you did yesterday that you are loved! You are indeed, a treasure in an earthen vessel, one that the Lord God of this universe created, and wonderfully formed in your mother's womb. He brought you forth into this world in order to reveal His glory in you. You may not see the glory now, but trust in Him, and it will be manifested in You!
At this wondrous time of year, when miracles seem so near, and life is full of eager expectation, we wish you peace and joy, freedom from worry and fear, and most of all, we wish you love.
Jan and Lenny Antonsson
This holiday time, with hustles and bustles, and parties galore,
with shopping and baking and shopping some more,
it's easy to get caught up in life's little pains,
like lines at the post office and clogged up drains.
Don't let it rob you of the joy of the season,
remembering always that Christ is the reason,
we sing and feast, and string up lights,
to remind us of angels and shepherds on far off nights,
who were waiting and watching for God's plan foretold,
though not expecting the drama to unfold
in a manger - what a very strange place;
but when they looked at the child,
they saw God in His face;
and they worshipped and bowed low and gave what they had,
and when it was over, they were ever so glad,
that the King of kings and Lord of lords had come to stay,
and that they, lowly servants, beheld where He lay.
They pondered these things and wondered anew
when they saw wise men bringing gifts, quite a few;
gold and frankincense and myrrh and awe,
for here was the ONE the prophets saw,
who was come to set creation free,
who would restore and save and heal you and me.
The joy is still there; the star undimmed,
that points the way to the Christ child within;
to Him who holds the world in His hands,
His love extends to all people, all lands.
God is His name, Emmanuel;
He came to save us from fear, death and hell.
The miracle of saying "YES" to Him,
is that He is birthed in our hearts all over again.
That being the case, it does appear,
that we shall celebrate love, peace and joy again this year!
Love and hugs from Jan and Lenny!
Happy Holidays from
Jan and Lenny Antonsson
17178 Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850 (Snail Mail)
The Glory Road
We'd love to hear from you!
Last edited on 11/07/08.