I love to read. Love to. I got a Nook for Christmas, and it was probably one of the most awesome, practical gifts I've ever been given. I have two favorite authors right now - Nora Roberts and Karen Kingsbury. Nora Roberts writes suspenseful, mysterious, frightening romance novels. Karen Kingsbury is a fabulous Christian fiction author whose books I can never put down and force me to think about my life and my faith in brand new ways... every time I open one of her novels. I recently tried to branch out and read a book by an author I had never tried before -- so I tried "Something Borrowed" by Emily Giffin. It had received awesome reviews and been publicized quite a bit. To me... it was okay. I finished it... barely. I never got to the point where I truly cared about the main characters. Maybe it was because not one of the three main characters seemed to possess a single moral fiber in their body. So... back to Karen Kingsbury, I go. But... first...
I am not a fan of non-fiction books. I have tried several times to read non-fiction books about parenting, relationships, etc. etc. etc. I have succeeded just a few times in actually finishing one of these books that I start. But I found the exception to my own rule. Cody's mom recommended I read "Heaven is for Real" by Todd Burpo. Here is the description that Amazon gives for this book:
"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."
*I bolded this last part of the above description because this part of the book brought me to chills... Armageddon is actually described in the book!
This book is all that the above description says it is -- and more. I could not put my Nook down once I downloaded this book to it. I started reading it when Brandon was napping after his surgery on Friday. I read it in bed Friday night... even though I had been up since 3 a.m. Friday morning. I read a little on Sunday... and finished during my lunch break on Monday. There are quotes out there from people who said that this book brought them to believe in Heaven and God for the first time. It didn't do that for me - I already believed. But this book made really really excited to be there someday. (Someday!)
Do you want to know what Jesus looks like - and how beautiful his eyes are? Want to know if there are animals in Heaven? Want to know if you will get to meet Mother Mary and the angel Gabriel? Want to know if you will actually see Satan himself trying to knock on Heaven's door? Do you want to know if little Colton is the only child who has been given a glimpse of Heaven and lived to tell about? (Hint hint -- he's not!)
Cody and I talked about it for quite a while last night... I was telling him as much as I could about how this little boy described Heaven... how so much of what his little mind could portray... was how scripture in the Bible says it is. I keep typing descriptions about this book right into this blog post -- and then deleting it. Because there's no way I could put my excitement -- and all of the information I read -- into this blog entry. So I urge you to grab this book somewhere and read it for yourselves. It's a pretty short read - about 160 pages... and so very worth it!