Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo
OK, so I just read this super little book that wasn't even on my stack of "going to reads". My sister-in-law gave it to me to read and pass on to my mother-in-law the next time I see her, But THEN, my twelve year old daughter swiped it off the counter and read it before I could even get it to my bedside table stack.
My daughter and I had a really neat conversation about this book. It reminded me of when I was twelve and read a then very popular book about life after death experiences. With great excitement my daughter told me the basic story of how a four year old boy, the son of a pastor, has a critical health emergency and during it visits heaven and then returns. After the boy recovers, he makes very matter of fact statements about being in heaven, sitting on Jesus' lap and coming back to his father because Jesus was answering his Dad's prayers. Once my daughter told me that much and I enjoyed the enthusiasm of her telling, I knew I had to read it right away so I could be part of the fun too.
The stories that Colton tells his Dad are amazingly biblical and not in the experience of typical or even exceptional four year olds. For a pastor who believes, as in....he's a Wesleyan PASTOR who believes in Christianity.....there are moments of new knowledge and understanding that occur in talking to his son that are astounding. Despite the fact that Todd Burpo never set out to become an author, the sermons that result from all his talks with his son become a beautiful testimony that he is encouraged to write out.
I won't ruin the fantastic details of the story by giving anything away....but it's kind of like Junie B. Jones likes to say, "wowee wow wow!" And, if heaven really is like this little boy describes, I need to just calm down, live in the love and quit worrying so much about all the things I find to worry about in a day...including what heaven means for me. Heaven is for Real has a similar in feel to Kent Gilges' message of hope. I'm glad I got to read the two books close together.
The book costs less than $10 in paperback from Wal-Mart, is a great two hour read for summer time, lay by the pool reading and just a cool book that can be shared with a friend.
If you can't get ahold of the book, there is a great Youtube telephone interview of Todd Burpo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnCuKD0-xyM
Heaven is for Real is a book with a definite religious point of view. I'm more than comfortable with the Christian perspective presented. A few minutes of listening to the Youtube video will let you know if the book is for you or not.
I'd love to know what my friends think about this book. If you read it, let me know!
Burpo, T. Heaven is For Real. Nashville: Tommy Nelson, 2010. Print.