Excerpts from a conversation with Douglas Schaedel on September 9, 2004


“But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.” Psalm 13:5


The first thing I thought of when I was diagnosed with cancer was one of our memory verses that we were learning in church, Job 23:14. “He performeth the thing that is appointed for me.” That was the first thing that came to my mind. You know, it almost seems nonsensical to say, but this is the best thing for me and my family. It seems to fly in the face of reason, and maybe it does. But is that not true? If God is giving me cancer and taking my life now, is that not the best thing for me and my family? Yes! If we believe, we’ve got to say, “Yes, God is going to work in someway to enable my wife to be a widow and to trust Him – and my children to not have a dad for part of their life.


I have given my life to God, and I want God to use my life – and all those things that Christians say – but it’s really true. I want Him to use my life. Now I…. I never would have thought that He would use my life by taking my life.


But I have a broader ministry right now with this cancer than I have ever had in my life. There are so many people looking at me and listening to me and watching what’s happening. All over the place, all kinds of people are affected by my cancer. It’s not just me. It’s not just my family. There are lessons here for lots of people. And if this is what God wants to do with my life who am I to say, “Oooh, no, I don’t want to do that. Lets do something else.” That’s ridiculous. He’s not making any mistakes. He’s doing what he wants to do. If He wanted to heal me, He could heal me. I have absolute faith and belief that He’s able to cure me if He wants to.


Or maybe He’s going to take me right down to the very end, and I’m going to die. I pray that I’ll have a good end and that I’ll be able to be a testimony for the Lord to and through that. It’s not easy to face that a lot of times. I’m faulty and I’m human and I’m fearful. But I’ve got to trust that, if that’s His path for me, “Yea , though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for He is with me.” I’ve got to say, “Okay, if this is where we’re going, then hold my hand , and let’s go.


I didn’t plan to step out on this platform and be the poster child for cancer death. I’m nothing special. Anything that is good that’s happening is the Lord’s enabling, the Lord giving me grace. Someone said to me, “You’re handling this so well. Your responding just right to this.” Well I can’t handle it in my flesh. There is no way I know how to go forward without trusting the Lord, without casting it all on Him. I can’t do it any other way.


Before you have cancer, death is a distant cousin. But when you have cancer you become married to death. It becomes a close relative. Until you’re facing it yourself, you don’t have as much realization about anything of death or heaven or any of that.


You know what, you think about heaven, you learn about these things, but we don’t really think it’s going to happen to us. Really. And even as I’ve progressed down this road, since my diagnosis, as my body fails more, some days I think I really could die. I’m so tired. I’m so weak. I’m so “eaaugh.” My life is ebbing out sometimes, and I think I really could die.


And there’s not as much about heaven in the Bible as you think. I have looked. That’s probably because we just couldn’t process it. It’s going to be so transcending of anything we’re understanding. There’s no sorrow. There’s no tears. There’s no more dying, no more pain. That’s all in Revelation. And right now it’s great to know there’s going to be no more pain and no more tears. That’s a wonderful thing to think of.


There are at least two places the Lord mentions in Scripture that if you’re absent from the body, your present with the Lord. That’s an encouragement.


And Jesus promises to go ahead and prepare mansions for us. That’s an encouragement too. But you still just have to trust a lot about what it’s going to be like. I don’t know.


I know that sometime I will slip out of consciousness here, and I’m going to wake up there, and it’s going to be great. But I can’t tell you exactly what it’s going to be like. I think Wow! I’m going to be there. It’s going to be SOON.


You’ve heard the expression “someone’s so heavenly minded, he’s of no earthly good.” I don’t think anyone can be too heavenly minded. That’s the reality. This life is going to be gone, and I’m going to cross over into seamless eternity that will go on forever. And this life will be a blip on the screen. It’s everything to us now, but it’s almost nothing in light of all eternity. Why can’t we get that view and live that way? I don’t know if it’s possible, but I think we should try.


Maybe when somebody dies of cancer, it makes everybody stop and think a little bit- for a few days. “Be a little nicer to people and take a little more time with folks.” But, you know , even when somebody dies, life just goes on. We pause for a second. We go to service for a short time, and then we just go back into the rat race. But we’ve got to stop at least and think for a minute. That’s part of the purpose for people dying and us knowing they die. “It’s better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart.”Ecclesiastes 7:2 You consider the true end of man, and it makes you serious, and perhaps you put things in proper perspective – which is heavenly perspective.


I am thinking more and more about what my life will be like after I pass away. Sometimes it seems so close, and other times it still seems unrealistic that I will actually be passing over to the other side. It is a thrilling thought. The passing is still a bit frightening. The thought of being there is thrilling. Thank God I do not have to worry if I will measure up to the standard for admittance. Jesus paid it all! I am certainly not worthy to be there, but He has made me worthy through His work on the cross. Praise His name… “But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13:5-6


Where Doug mentions as part of his testimony ” I have given my life to God, and I want God to use my life – and all those things that Christians say – but it’s really true. I want Him to use my life. Now I…. I never would have thought that He would use my life by taking my life. Doug could not have expressed such tender thoughts unless he had Peace with God through His only begotten Son Jesus Christ where there is the only True Peace of God.


If there would be one thing Doug would like every individual to know, before they die, it would be God’s simple plan of salvation:


My friend: I am asking you the most important question of life. Your joy or your sorrow for all eternity depends upon your answer. The question is: Are you saved?


It is not a question of how good you are, nor if you are a church member, but are you saved? Are you sure you will go to Heaven when you die?


God says in order to go to Heaven, you must be born again. In John 3:7 Jesus said to Nicodemus, Ye must be born again.”


In the Bible God gives us a plan of how to be born again which means to be saved. His plan is simple! You can be saved today. How?


First, my friend , you must realize you are a sinner. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23


Because you are a sinner , you are condemned to death. “For the wages [ payment ] of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 This includes eternal separation from God in Hell


“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” Hebrews 9:27


But God loved you so much He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to bear your sin and die in your place. “For he hath made him [ Jesus, Who knew no sin ] to be sin for us… that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” II Corinthians 5:21


Jesus had to shed His blood and die. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood.”


“For the life of the flesh is in the blood…” Leviticus 17:11 ” And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission…” Hebrews 9:22


“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”


Romans 5:8


Although we can not understand how, God said that my sins and your sins were laid upon Jesus and that He died in our place. He became our substitute. It is true God cannot lie.


My friend, ” God… commandeth all men every where to repent:” Acts 17:30


This repentance is a change of mind that agrees with God that one is a sinner and agrees what Jesus did for us on the Cross.


In Acts 16:30-31, the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, ….”


Simply believe on Him as the one who bore your sin, died in your place, was buried, and whom God resurrected. His resurrection powerfully assures that the believer can claim everlasting life when Jesus is received as Savior.


“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” John 1:12


“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13


“Whosoever” includes you. “Shall be saved” means not “maybe,” nor “can,” but “shall be” saved.


Surely you realize that you’re a sinner. Right now, wherever you are, repenting, lift your heart to God in prayer.


In Luke 18:13, the sinner prayed: “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Just pray: “Oh, God I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus was my substitute when He died on the cross. I believe that His shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection were for me. I now receive Him as my Savior. I thank you for the forgiveness of my sins, the gift of salvation and everlasting life, because of your merciful grace. Amen


On Tuesday, February 8th- 2005 James Douglas Shaedel went home to be with the Lord.   The complete testimony of James Douglas Shaedel is available in soft bound cover. For more information on how to secure a personal copy of this wonderful God centered work or for someone you love please write to Mrs. Pam Schaedel 9 Yorkshire Drive, Greenville SC 29615 or e-mail:


“Trophies” ,as presented on No Tears In Heaven, is from the softbound book written by Mrs. Pam Shaedel and used with permission.


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