A Prairie Lad’s Walk with God, by Les Arent with Joan Kruger. [Lenexa, KS]: 3Cross Publishing, 2007.
Les Arent, a Nebraska native and a long-time Assemblies of God lay leader in Wausau Christian Assembly (Wausau, Wisconsin), has recounted his life story in A Prairie Lad’s Walk with God.
Balance! Priorities! Attitudes!
These may be just words to most of us, but to Les Arent and his wife, Iloe, they are the foundation stones for success.
Life began for Les Arent 80 years ago on the western prairies of Nebraska in a home that he describes as “three rooms and a path with a pig pen next door.”
“God brought me from a prairie lad on a dirt farm in Nebraska to the number one dairy farmer in Wisconsin,” he said.
But the road he traveled was neither straight nor smooth.
After graduation from high school and a two-year hitch in the U.S. Army, he began working as a ranch hand.
“I became a tough, lonely cowboy dedicating my weekends to partying and dancing, trying to figure out what life was all about,” Arent recalled. “I was like a ship without a sail, but God had a plan.”
That plan began to unfold at age 25 when he became a Christian and married Iloe.
“Early in our marriage we gave God control over our lives,” he said. “I told my employer that God was first in my life, my family was second and my job on the ranch was third.”
It was a sincere commitment but it wouldn’t be fully realized until a dozen years later.
In the meantime, he was building up his own herd of Holstein cows, as well as growing a family. All of the couple’s five daughters were born during those years on the ranch.
In 1962 he bought a run down dairy farm in Wisconsin and began the arduous task of trying to make it profitable.
“After six years of struggling with the dairy farm, I came to the place where I realized that I needed a new revelation from God — a new level of faith,” Arent said. “I had to face the fact that I’d never given God complete control of my life.”
It was then that he began to focus on priorities, balance, and attitudes.
“As I viewed these three concepts, I realized that I had to continually stay focused on the right balance between my God and my church, my family and myself, and my work,” he said. “So often I had made the mistake of allowing one of these to get out of balance resulting in bad attitudes.”
Nine years later, in 1977, Arent was named the dairy farmer of the year in Wisconsin, with the highest milk-producing herd in the state.
The next year he sold the cattle and the farm at peak prices and later build another successful business in the modular home industry.
The Arents have lived in Springfield, Missouri, since 2001 and now Les Arent has written a book, A Prairie Lad’s Walk with God, which recounts his life’s journey.
“This book is my testimony of what God has done in my life,” he said. “It’s my way of sharing these principles of success to others.”
Article by Kelsey Garman. Reprinted with permission from the Community Free Press (Springfield, MO), March 14-27, 2007, p. 10.
Paperback, 133 pages, illustrated. $12.00, plus $2.00 postage. Postpaid on orders of 3 or more. Order from: Les Arent, 2643 S. Jonathan Ave., Springfield, MO 65807.