Thursday, June 2, 2011

Book Review: Heaven Is For Real

Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back 
A young boy emerges from life-saving surgery with remarkable stories of his visit to heaven.
Heaven is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn't know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear.

Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how "reaaally big" God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit "shoots down power" from heaven to help us.

Told by the father, but often in Colton's own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and be ready, there is a coming last battle.

My Thoughts

I waited to review this book until I had a chance to host this book in my book club. I wanted to wait because I wanted to gain a sense of the book from a variety of people who come together with a variety of different life experiences and religious levels(for a lack of a better term).

Upon completing the book I was pleased that I took time to read it. It is not a book I would have ever read on my own. Truth be told I never even heard of the book until the previous book club meeting when someone suggested we read it. We decided to read it based on the amount of pages. Being a short read of under 200 pages, we were reading during the last month of school(the club is primarily all people who work in a middle school) we went with the shortest read. Despite being a short read, the book has a massive amount of layers to it. What I liked about the book is that it has something for everyone. For me, I am not an overly religious person so at first I was hesitant because I did not want to be preached to. This book does not do that nor does it force any ideas upon the reader. It simply was the story of Colton and his experiences. The book did not make me want to go to church nor did have any uplifting of my spirits, but I really took away some great reminders and thoughts. I did highlight quite a few passages on my Kindle to remember certain things.

After hosting the book club, I was even more impressed with the book. It was amazing how everyone in the meeting related to the book in some personal way. Everyone has had something happen to them or loved ones that this book touched upon. Whether it was the death of a family member, death of child, family tragedies, family viewpoints on religion, personal triumphs, or just day to day living, this book created a connection with everyone. This is what makes it a great book. Not one person doubted Colton and his story. Yes, certain things make you stop and question, but nobody denied what he experienced.

With this being a book review I know I should not continue with the book club, but I think the club really captures why this book is so powerful. It is not the writing style of the book, but the life experiences we all bring with us when we open these pages. I found myself sharing my personal thoughts on heaven and a story of seeing Joseph in the clouds one day while playing as a little kid. We walked away from the meeting with smiles and almost a sense of relief that we are not alone in what we experience in life. This is once again why this book is so good. It is a book that should be passed around and talked about. Not all books are this way.

I don't rate books, but this book has to be up there towards the top of 5/5 stars. Not so much because the book was so well written, but the essence of the book and how it brings people together and just gives the reader a reason to stop and pause to appreciate why things happens the way they do. Life cannot always be explained and this book helps to make you think that maybe there really is a reason for things to happen the way they do. 
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