My Journey: From an Iowa Farm to a Cathedral of Dreamsby Robert H. Schuller
Dr. Robert H. Schuller's career has spanned more than five decades, and his ministry of hope has touched the hearts and souls of millions around the world. From one great story to the next, this disarmingly honest autobiography shows us a side of the great preacher that we haven't seen before. Here are stories of the events, people, and encounters that shaped his inspiring life and made him the ultimate possibility thinker.
- Gale Group
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- Large Print
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- 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.46(d)
Read an Excerpt
You can go anywhere from nowhere.
My life is witness to that.
I was born at the dead-end of a dirt road that had no name and no number -- in a flood.
It's September 16, 1926, and it's raining hard enough in Sioux County, Iowa, to flood the Floyd River, that usually meanders lazily through the back pastureland of our family farm.
It's raining so hard in this northwest corner of Iowa (near the South Dakota and Minnesota borders) that just eight miles west, a father and a son drown in what would come to be known as the "Sioux County Flood of 1926."
But it isn't raining hard enough to keep Anthony Schuller (pronounced "Skuller") from his Model T Ford. In the downpour he ushers his four children -- a girl age twelve, a boy age eleven, a girl age nine, and a girl age seven -- out of the house and into his black automobile,
Lovingly, Tony settles his labor-intense Jennie onto the seat beside him. It's been seven years since Jennie's last childbirth, and everyone had assumed she'd passed that season of life. Jennie's four brothers and three sisters were shocked, then seriously concerned, when they learned the news. "She's too old to bear another child," the sisters would confide to one another after church services. They would meet and whisper and fear the day of delivery. These seven younger siblings had been raised in large part by Jennie, looking up to her and listening to her as a second mother. Jennie was well past the prime of youth, and everyone knew it, and everyone knew the risks.
Thismile-long dirt road is the only way out, if it is a way out. If the road has turned to deep mud, Tony worries, will this Model T Ford make it to Jennie's mother's house in town? Then, after they drop off the children there, will it make it back to the farmhouse before Jennie delivers?
Anthony pulls away from the small, white clapboard house. The land is flat beneath a canopy of dangerous and darkened skies. Sioux County, Iowa, knows almost all the natural drama a county could know: windstorms, thunderstorms, and twisters; snowstorms, duststorms, and lightning. The farmers are often held hostage by nature's fury, but Jennie, as usual, gets her way. Even the roads must succumb to her insistence. And so they drive slipping, sliding, but not sinking in the mud, with sheets of water slamming from the dark skies down onto the metal roof of their car. They slush and plough that first long mile, then all the way to the town of Alton, Iowa, and the home of Jennie's Dutch-born "Moeder" and "Vader."
Alton was a town the census bureau could easily overlook. After all, between the years of 1920 and 1930, its population grew by a total of only four. But these Dutch, reputed for their vocal views and their staunch judgments on many of the day's moral and religious issues, were hard to ignore.
The rough ride delivers them to the front of the porch-encircled house. With open arms, Grandma and Grandpa Beltman welcome their oldest daughter's four children out of the pouring rain.
The reason for their visit is never mentioned. It's the cultural belief of that time and place that children should know nothing of human birth. If a cow were calving...yes, the children participated. If a litter of piglets were being birthed...yes. But a baby brother or sister...absolutely not. The boy and three girls would remain uninformed and unknowing -- until morning came, when they would be surprised by a new baby. Did they not harbor suspicions about their mother's enlarging belly? Probably not, for most farm wives had bellies large enough to camouflage such a change. To innocent eyes, Jennie looked no different. Little did the children know that very soon now they would need to make room for a new arrival at their dinner table, in their bed, beside their fire, and in the affections of their mother and father.
So, shrouded in secrecy and battered by the storm, Tony and Jennie retrace the route, back through the town of Alton, across the bridge over the emboldened Floyd, down the muddy dirt road that causes the wheels and motor of their little car to moan with a labor that echoes Jennie's own cries.
They make it back to the dead-end farm with no name and no number. The downpour continues as Tony stops the car, covers his heavy wife with a raincoat, then holds her tightly to keep her from stumbling along the short, uneven path to the house.
The house is cold in an autumn chill, but at least they're dry and safe. That is, of course, provided that the doctor who's been called shows up. The question now is, Can his car make it through the mud?
Jennie gives a shrill cry, out of character for this strong farm wife.
Tony nervously clicks the tip of his finger on the white sill of the window. He isn't trying to ignore her. It's just that he's used up all of his comforting words. He can't honestly say with any conviction that Dr. Gleysteen will be coming. Could the doctor really make it through the muddy trenches? Tony can hardly see through the rain-flooded window. Still, he gazes out through the pane.
Jennie cries out again. She's beginning to sound desperate. Anthony feels desperate too. He's confident as can be helping an animal give birth, but terribly intimidated with this woman. After seven years, will he remember what to do?
He should return to her side, but he doesn't want to leave the window. He wants to bring her good news.
Then -- oh, sweet relief! -- he hears the doctor's car. Now...My Journey. Copyright © by Robert H. Schuller. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Meet the Author
Dr. Robert H. Schuller is the founder of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, a congregation he started fifty years ago from a drive-in movie theater. He is the host of Hour of Power, a weekly television show that, with over ten million viewers, has grown into the most watched religious program in the country. Dr. Schuller has written more than thirty books, including My Journey; If It's Going to Be, It's Up to Me; Prayer: My Soul's Adventure with God; Power Thoughts: Achieve Your True Potential Through Power Thinking; Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do!; The Be-Happy Attitudes; and Hours of Power.
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