EPILOGUE AND REFLECTION
November 8, 1996
Westlake Village, CA
The book is finished, though there were many things I didn't say, which I could have said. I wrote fast and furiously, night and day, like a woman on a mission, which is exactly what it was. The reason has yet to be revealed. I did a considerable amount of whining throughout this little book, but I hope what the reader comes away with is the fact that through it all, I knew it was God who brought every situation and who resolved it as well, and that because it is He with whom we have to do, I know everything will be all right eventually. Of course, that doesn't mean He'll do things by my plan, but then, His ways are SO much more glorious than ours. Nothing much has changed in our overall financial situation, and I keep saying, "OK, Lord, it's not turning out like I planned, but oh well. Surprise me." And I'm sure He will, even as He surprised everyone looking for His appearing when He was born in a manger. A manger?
Some missed Him as a result of His astounding and unusual entrance on planet Earth, but this time when He manifests Himself in glorified flesh, no one will miss His appearing. This time, every eye will behold His glory, and there will be no doubt that the King of kings and Lord of lords is here, ruling and reigning, and of the increase of His government there will be no end. "The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this" (Is. 9:7). We'll know when this is happening, because Isaiah declares, "Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: FOR THE MOUTH OF THE LORD HATH SPOKEN IT" (Isaiah 40:4-5). What else is there that one could possibly say?
Post Script: written 8/14/05
God provided a place for us to live when the house was foreclosed upon. We moved a mile further up the mountain to Lenny's brother's guest house. It is a lovely round little cottage, all glass, on top of a mountain with spectacular views all around. We lived there from July 4, 1997 to May 10, 1998, when we moved to when we moved to Neosho, as Lenny had prophesied to me. What God calls us to do, He always provides the means with which to do it. This is a "litmus test" about whether the thing in question is of Him or of us. If it is of us, then it's sure to be a struggle (like trying to save our house), but when it is of Him, the provision flows to do it. Accordingly, The Lord had given us two nice sales in winter of 1997, providing us the money to make the trip. We didn't move our furniture, which was stored in a container on Lenny's brother's land. We came with just what we could pack into our car. When we got here, we had the money to purchase a 5th wheel which is parked on the family farm about 300 feet from the house where my mother (87 years young), has lived for six decades. Being this close also allows us to help her out as needed.
Lenny was called to an adult men's Baptist Sunday School class here in Neosho. It is the same church he had been interceding for since we first visited there a few years earlier. He had told me for some time that God was sending him to them, to which I always responded, "You have to be kidding." Lenny was sent to this church to testify about God's light, power, and unconditional love. He attended the class until the Spirit told him not to return until he "returns in power." We await that development, whatever it might be.
In 1999, I felt led to go to the Medicalodge (local nursing home), to help out with the Sunday Service. At first, it was to play the keyboard, because a Baptist brother was doing the rest. He had been out there for 12 years, and his contribution was reading a Bible passage and leading some hymns. Occasionally, he would offer an opinion about the verse he had read, especially when it had anything to do with hell. Then, he would lament about how bad sin was, how long eternity lasted, and what a terrible thing it was to burn in the flames all that time. I would shrivel up inside and wonder what kind of sin he thought they could get into, what with their wheel chairs, walkers, and diminished mental capacity. His cancer came back and more and more he turned the service over to me because he just couldn't do it any longer. I have great respect for the fact that he had been faithful to do it so long.
After I had begun doing the service by myself, I asked God why I was there, and what He wanted me to say. He said, "You are going to tell them they need not fear death or hell because I am going to bring them to heaven when they die." I had no clue how to do that, but as I've learned, if you just follow the Lord, He leads you where you need to go, one step at a time. So, I girded my loins, as the King James Version puts it, and began to give them the gospel, that God is sovereign, so sovereign, Paul declares, that "God has ALL men penned together in the prison of disobedience, that he may have mercy upon them ALL" (Rom. 11:32, Phillips Translation). I ducked, expecting stones to fly, but they received the word joyously.
I've told the old dears at Medicalodge that they are the only group in this town, maybe in this state, where I could say these things and not be stoned or tarred and feathered for my trouble. We often hear from others who have rushed in where angels fear to tread, blurted out the truth of God's eternal plan, thinking everyone would rejoice. The ones who have sent us their personal testimonies were disfellowshipped by their fellow church members. As I pondered this, the truth of Jesus' statement hit me, that He only said what He heard the Father saying, and did what He saw the Father doing. I would add that He only addressed those to whom the Father had sent Him. When we came here, we realized that to survive, we had to leave the results to God. Lenny experienced some severe antagonism against him from the Baptist brothers, some of whom stood to their feet, shook their fingers in his face and said, "You're lying." He would say to them, "Don't kill me. I'm only the messenger."
When I present this truth, I always say, "This is what God showed me. Ask the Holy Spirit what you should believe." This is a totally different approach than those used by the hell fire and damnation teachers who demand we believe them and take appropriate action, or risk eternal damnation. When God prepares the soil, the seed takes root and flourishes. If He does not, then the seed withers and dies. That is all part of God's plan, and nothing to be disturbed about. "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But EACH IN HIS OWN ORDER" (I Cor. 15:22-23). God's timing, like His will, is perfect!
As an aside, before we got to Neosho, a brother who had read my writings, asked if I spoke to groups as well. Having suffered all my life with stage fright, I answered with an emphatic "NO." I then said to the Lord, "I'm a writer, not a speaker. Please don't make me speak in front of people." Our Father is kind and merciful and also quite tricky. He eased me into what I'm doing now so subtly that I didn't know it was happening until it was already in motion. Now, I really enjoy and feel blessed to bring the old dears at Medicalodge the Good News of the kingdom of God. Against all probability, not to mention Fundamentalist dogma, I am the preacher, song leader, and keyboard player there for the Sunday service.
I publish our writings on our website, The Glory Road. This Internet ministry has continued to grow as God flows out in fulfillment of the prophecy He gave me in 1997, when He said, "You will write, write, write, and your words will flow out over the mountains, the seas, the earth." We receive e-mails from readers all over the globe, sharing their stories, which though different in detail, are remarkably the same. We rejoice at the faithfulness of God to bring each of us from where we were to where He wants us to be. There are no mistakes, no happenstance occurrences, and He works His perfect will into our lives in spite of bad translations and doctrinal error. He controls absolutely everything, which I would never have known at a cellular level had we not gone through what we did. Though we lost all the world holds dear, we gained God Himself, and best of all, entered into His rest. The Glory Road is our name for the path back home to God from whence we came and to whom we are being gathered in His fulness. It's been a grand adventure which is not over yet.
In August, 2005, the Spirit began to impress me to publish this book on the Internet, which I have now done, perhaps because it is a reminder to me and anyone else with a receptive heart that ABSOLUTELY NOTHING depends on us. It is part of religion's seductive lie that we can change God's mind or will, change events in our lives by our prayers, our reading and quoting the Bible, naming and claiming what we want, etc. All that is fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. While working with the book to get it on the Internet, I realized that it is the revelation of Jesus Christ IN me and TO me, the result of stripping away of flesh, ego, and pride. That painful process includes the flames (God Himself) which burn up the wood, hay and stubble of our works, leaving only His works shining forth. It is not a comfortable process to endure, but the end is glorious. We came to a personal understanding of Paul's declaration found in II Cor. 4:16-18: "This is the reason why we never lose heart. The outward man does indeed suffer wear and tear, but every day the inward man receives fresh strength. These little troubles (which are really so transitory) are winning for us a permanent, glorious and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain. For we are looking all the time not at the visible things but at the invisible. The visible things are transitory: it is the invisible things that are really permanent" (Phillips Translation).
Thanks for traveling with us.
17178 Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850 (Snail Mail)
Forward to Faxes From the Fiery Furnace
Faxes From The Fiery Furnace, Chapter One
Shame From Shiloh, Chapter Two
E-Mail from Armageddon, Chapter Three
Baggage From Babylon, Chapter Four
Just A Note From Job, Chapter Five
Joy From Jerusalem, Chapter Six
Memo From Moses, Chapter Seven
Dancing With the Devil, Chapter Eight
News From Neosho, Chapter Nine
The Glory Road
We would enjoy hearing from you!
This writing was uploaded to the web 8/26/05,
by Jan Antonsson, webmeister,
and last updated 12/04/08.