ccm Cross 0118
Saturday September 10, 2016
Schuler Family Cross
Upper Whitefish Lake
Pine River, Minnesota
ccm Cross #0118
GPS/DMS 46°41’24.1″N 94°16’50.9″W
Additional photos after Testimony
4151 cdd Beyond Alcohol, Pot and Meth
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 17 Number 183
Today’s Author: Pastor Bill
Scripture: Ephesians 2:8-9
“It is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast” NIV
Hello my name is John Schuler and this is my Cross testimony. Miracles are real and I am a walking talking witness of how God gave me a special gift in my wife Nancy and how her prayers were answered in spite of me.
My story begins during high school in the 1960’s. It was a time of choices. When Nancy and I met and we dated that was a good choice. Our relationship was becoming serious but a parallel choice I was making drove me to alcohol and partying. As our relationship grew Nancy became pregnant.
In 1964 we were married and in 1965 our son Scott was born. The responsibilities of being a husband and father constantly conflicted with my alcohol consumption and partying. Our family situation was tentative and Nancy prayed diligently for me. The more Nancy prayed for me the more I was driven to drink and party. Then in 1967 the Lord spoke to Nancy about me. She heard the Lord say, “John has a good heart and some day you will see that. Trust me.” That gave Nancy hope.
In 1968, I made another bad choice. I was introduced to pot, grass — marijuana. I was immediately addicted and replaced my alcohol consumption with the weed. I justified it in my mind because I spent more time at home with Nancy and the kids rather than partying or hanging out in bars.
My new best friend, who I was doing drugs with, introduced me to drug sales. Another bad choice. Together we were selling pot to help pay for our addiction. By 1971 we decided to jointly buy an airplane to help us move our goods. Nancy continued her loving and unselfish prayer for me continuing to claim the words she heard from the Lord. Her scripture for me was: Proverbs 3:4-5 “And so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.”
Choice of friends does make a difference. Here I also made a bad choice. My drug buddies were soon to introduce me to a new more powerful drug. Again another bad choice. One hit on meth and I was hooked. Satan had me. All the while Nancy prayed for me claiming what she had heard from the Lord.
Meth was flourishing in my life and then in 1973 my best friend and pot dealing partner died in a head on car collision. I was on my own. Nancy continued in prayer and did not wavier in claiming what she had heard from the Lord.
My airplane was a Cessna 206 and one weekend I filled it with friends for a ski trip to Mount Telemark in Wisconsin. After skiing we were taking off on our return to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Once in the air, at 300 feet, I reduced power and the engine stalled. With no power it became an intense few moments of using all my flight training to find a suitable place to land. My choices were the trees ahead, an open field or a road. I made an instantaneous choice for the road. As we descended we just missed power lines in our approach and I swung left to hit the road which we did. But I was unable to stop the plane and we hit a ditch and vaulted into the trees. The engine in front of the plane was completely torn off at the firewall and gas spewed over everything.
The loss of our engine was a miracle because once separated all power was cut off to the plane. There were no sparks to ignite the fuel. We all walked away from the crashed plane with no serious injuries.
The Lord had saved me as Nancy was praying for us. He saved my life that day but more importantly he saved me to fulfill his promise to Nancy. And he clearly saved me from an eternity in hell.
It took a while for all that had happened to settle in but the Lord with His great grace didn’t give up on me. And Nancy never wavered in her prayers claiming me for the Kingdom.
Shortly after, my dad retired from our family shoe business. I was heir apparent being the third generation in the business. I bought him out. Now I had the responsibility for the many store locations and a great many employees. I continued on meth every day.
By 1976 the weight of all that had happened began to soften my heart. I had kids to consider, the death of my best friend and the miracle of walking away from the airplane crash, running a large business and Nancy’s unceasing prayer — all got my attention.
I approached Nancy and suggested we go back to church. For the next few years we attended church (good choice) but I remained a meth addict. Using daily (bad choice) hiding it from everyone. We joined prayer groups and engaged terrific Christian friends. Nancy continued to pray claiming her promise form the Lord. I continued to use and my guilt became unbearable.
My double standard was eating me alive. Satan was having his way in my life and I’m sure laughing and secure that he had John Schuler. For the church people I wore my happy face and my life was good. For my family and me everything was falling apart. And Nancy continued to pray.
October 1977 I was in my bedroom and felt the presence of God. It was over powering and drove me to my knees alongside my bed, something I had not done since childhood. There I was one on one with the Lord Jesus Christ. I broke down. For the first time I acknowledged all my sins. I asked for forgiveness. I told Him I was sorry and asked Jesus to take over the life I messed up so badly. At that moment I surrendered my life to Jesus and gave everything to Him.
That night while on my knees my hunger for drugs was replaced by a hunger for God’s word.
It has been 40 years since Jesus Christ reached down to a broken man on his knees with redeeming grace. Since then I’ve not used meth or pot and another miracle was that there were absolutely no withdrawal pains after 14 years of usage. I’ve never touched meth or pot since.
Today Nancy and I have been married for 52 years. We have four children, 14 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. All our children and their spouses have a close walk with the Lord. Our Schuler Shoes family business now has more than 250 employees in nine locations. And the Lord continues to fulfill his promise made to Nancy all those many years ago.
Along this journey Nancy and I have learned that when we fill up our lives with Jesus there is no room for Satan and his minions to control us.
Life can be compared to a river and we choose where we want to enter the river.
If you choose to step in the river of drugs, alcohol and pornography it will take you to a destination of destruction. It’s just a matter of time. The longer you are submerged in the river the bigger and wider the river gets and the stronger the current becomes. The more difficult it becomes to escape. Jesus gives us choices — it’s never too late — the choice is up to you. Stay in the river or escape to the Word of God and live a life of victory in the Lord.
The news was overwhelming at first but soon family and friends through prayer brought peace, wisdom and guidance. We built a large prayer team who held us up daily. They stood behind us as we made choices about how to battle the cancer. And Nancy continued in prayer claiming her promise from Jesus.
January 2, 2007 I was pronounced cancer free — the tumor was gone. Jesus had healed me. The power of prayer is awesome! To God be all the Glory. Those two years of fighting cancer I was angry at God and downright ornery. Then Luke 12:25 spoke to me: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” NIV
Finally, after all these years I got it? I’m not in control. I gave it all to Jesus as I knelt by my bed and if He wanted to call me home that’s up to Him. And Nancy continued in prayer for me.
Then Romans 15:13 jumped off the page speaking just to me, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” NIV
There it was all the time — Joy verses happiness. Happiness is based on circumstances and can be taken away by others. Joy is based on my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And no one can take that away. Jesus loves us so much and he promises to never leave us or forsake us — and that you can take to the bank!
Joy returned to my life and two weeks later the tumor was gone. The revelation of God’s word, the healing power of Jesus Christ and an awesome prayer team — to God be all the Glory!
It’s not what you have in life that counts — But who you have. Jesus Christ is the best friend you could ever have. Accept Him today.
If you have any doubt look at the Cross and the price Jesus Christ paid for you. Accept Him today before that river of drugs, alcohol and pornography sucks you into the undertow with the result of life eternally in hell.
Nothing is too big for Jesus. No matter the size of the river in your life. No matter the hellish content. Jesus is your life preserver. Take hold and don’t ever let it go.
And when you accept Jesus as lord and Savior in your life this is what I’ve learned:
It will not happen as you expected.
It will take longer than you thought.
But Jesus will not disappoint you.
As my wife Nancy, my gift from God will attest: Jesus will keep all His promises.
Prayer: Father thank you that there is hope for the hopeless and through Jesus even the strongest addictions melt away. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Pastor Bill and John Schuler share the hole auger
Chris drives the Mustang loader
Securing the Cross with straps for lifting
Chris tenderly moving the Cross toward the hole
Pastor Bill and Chris discuss how to place the Cross
Terry, John and Dave look on during the action
John ties off and volunteers to remove straps from the Cross
Pastor Bill and John attaching plaque
The Cross planting crew from left to right:
Dave, Shawn, Phil, John, Pastor Bill, Dave, Terry, Chris, Dorothy — the puppy is Cocoa
Nancy and John Schuler sit surrounded by their
children and grandchildren
Plaque “Declaring God’s Glory”
over the entire Whitefish Chain of Lakes
in Northern Minnesota