Sunday, July 10, 2011

2 Whole Books Read! and a review

I used to read all the time... But now I skim and look through, but rarely just sit and read a whole one from start to finish.  But after reading all day on the weekend of the 4th, including starting and finishing The Wedding Girl, I am determined to keep it up.  It took me a whole week to get around to it again, but I read a complete book again yesterday evening (and again on our wonderful back porch).  The Wedding Girl was "OK"... Not as funny as I'd hoped, and a bit convoluted at the end.  This week's read was much better.                                                                                                                                                           
Heaven is for Real is a dad's account of a young boy's description, as he gradually revealed it over months in innocent comments and conversation, of an apparent near death experience during an emergency operation to clean up the internal mess from a burst appendix left misdiagnosed for several days.                                                                                                                             
Heaven is for Real:
A Little Boy's Astounding Story
of his Trip to Heaven and Back
I was emotionally touched several times while reading through this real family's difficult, then joyous and amazing journey.  I had empathy for the parents as they feared for their son's life over a period of 2 weeks.  I can still cry when I think about the boy, who hadn't previously known about the heartbreaking miscarriage his mother had experienced before his birth, telling his parents of the sister who introduced herself during his time in Heaven.   I was in awe when the boy spoke of talking with, not only the sister, angels, and Jesus, but also his dad's deceased grandfather.  He pointed him out later in an old photo of the grandfather at a young age. -- A photo he'd never seen before.                                                              
The biggest thing I took from the book was a reminder about my own faith...about how much I can depend on God.  He listens, He answers prayers...In fact, He wants to do things for us, if we'd only ask.  Kids believe...Kids ask...Kids wait, without trying to solve everything on their own...And kids have faith in receiving a positive answer.  I should do the same.                                                                                      
“Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Mark 10: 14 - 15                                                                                                                                                       
I have struggled with balancing the costs of certain wedding related expenses with wanting to make my daughters' wedding days as special as I can.  I have also worried about the right, wrong, and expenses of building our new addition, mostly to provide an affordable home for one set of the newlyweds.  God understands our desire to do these nice things, and tells us so in the Bible.  Not only that, He's willing to help.  He gave me this scripture on Facebook a few days ago, via my Bible Verse of the Day, but it took this book to remind me (hit me over the head) again:                                                                        

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.                                                                                                                                                                
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"  Matthew 7: 7 - 1
God has exhibited this in my life, several times over, but I keep needing the reminders.                                                                                                                                                    
This book is a quick and easy read... I didn't want to put it down, and read it all in one sitting.  I have not done it justice here, and there are some great reviews and ensuing discussions on, including 1125+ 5-star reviews.                                                                                                                                            
In his 4-star review,  "Micah, The Heavy Revy," speaks mostly of the pleasant surprise he had after his skepticism about the book's subject, but mentions a couple things that he questioned.  After explaining, he said, "Those things might make you wonder, but I think you'll find they don't detract from what this book is meant to do, strengthen your faith, encourage you in your walk with Christ, and maybe just maybe long for Heaven just a little bit more."                                                                                                                                                                  
A 3-star review by "Pastor Matt," says "Don't use this book as a basis for theological discernment about either the afterlife or the end of time. Take this book for what it is: a sweet story of the love of parents for their child, the care of Christians for each other in times of crisis, and the surprising mystery of the grace of God."                                                                                                                                               
I feel it offered a bit more than that for me, but if that's all it is and does, it's enough to recommend it.  And I do...highly. 

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