Heaven is for Real

I bought Heaven is for Real two weeks ago, but it's no secret that I have a hard time actually committing to starting the books I get. Last night, I just couldn't sleep. I don't have any regular sleep issues; but last night, I was wide awake. I got up at midnight, came out to the couch, and opened the book. I read it in ONE SITTING in LESS THAN 3 HOURS. This is a HUGE DEAL, if you know how slowly I read. I devoured it. I loved it. I felt God's love pouring off the pages.

I actually never read books about faith; I don't know why I am completely uninterested. But this book kept popping up all over in my life - on the radio, on TV, the day a hometown friend of mine's 5-week-old son died. I felt drawn to it, most of all to get in on the sense of "shared experience" I felt swirling around it. It does seem to be a very "trendy" topic these days, with books like Don Piper's 90 Minutes in Heaven. Maybe if you've read any of those other books on this same topic, this one will seem blah; but since I hadn't, I found it encouraging, & it just filled me up with love! I don't believe any *more* sincerely now than I did before I read it - not just b/c of a toddler's testimony of "proof" - but I personally don't have a very vivid imagination for abstract things, so it was neat for me to mull over some of the ideas Colton "came back" with. I think it would be easy to dismiss this book as trendy, banal, & even possibly a total sham; but honestly - if so many people are getting encouragement & hope out of it, who cares? I think God can use ANYTHING (even if this is a book of lies, which - BTW - I do not think is the case) as something that works for His purpose & His good. I think the key is, with ANYTHING on faith that isn't purely Biblical, take it with a grain of salt; pray about it, and ask God to show you what He wants you to get out of it. It's totally not the Gospel, so as long as no one "worships" it as such, I say enjoy! Even though the writing was very 9th grade English class, (this man is so not a professional writer,) I still loved reading it as a parent - I could totally put myself in the parents' places. (And I actually *could* imagine some of this coming out of Will.) Fabricated or not, I cried openly several times after reading some of what Colton said and actually paused to pray about the words. It just truly spoke to me. I personally don't care whether he really went to Heaven or not; I'd get just as much out of this book if it were classified as fiction. I've heard tons of inspirational stories & watched fictional movies with inspirational messages which have also touched my heart and got me praying & talking to God about them, so how would this be different? In the end, I am all about being open to God speaking to us and believing that He is so amazing, He COULD do this & grant comfort this way, if He wants. I don't think this family wrote Heaven is for Real as any kind of scam or gimmick. (I don't sense "Balloon Boy" from them. :-P ;-)) I'm pretty sure they whole-heartedly believe in what they've written, but either way, the point is EXACTLY what Paul said in Phillipians 1:18 - "But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached." :-)


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