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Heaven Is For Real August 24, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies.
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We watched Heaven Is For Real this week and enjoyed Colton’s story:

Colton Burpo survived an emergency appendectomy.  After recovering, he told his parents he left his body during the surgery and detailed what they’d been doing in other parts of the hospital.  He talked of visiting heaven, meeting Jesus, and shared stories about people he met there ~ including a sister who had died in vitro and his great-grandfather whom he’d never met.

It’s an intriguing glimpse at what may lie beyond the veil:

I’ve requested the book of the same name from the Island Library:

Maybe the best is yet to come.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Is There REALLY Proof of Heaven or Life After Death? (SMART Living 365) * How Do You Live If Heaven Is Real? (SMART Living 365)

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1. Val Boyko - August 24, 2014

Great story Nancy! I’ll check out the movie. I love stories of possibilities and goodness 🙂
Who knows what is outside of our knowledge …
Val x

nrhatch - August 24, 2014

Assuming that Colton’s experience has been accurately conveyed, I view that experience as his individual consciousness merging with the vaster state of consciousness that is normally closed to us ~ he got a peek behind the veil.

Because of his religious upbringing and his young age, that experience was tailored to him ~ Jesus, Heaven etc.

While in that altered/merged state, his spirit absorbed information from the collective consciousness which allowed him to know the unknowable ~ about his unborn sister and his great-grandfather and about what his parents were doing during the operation.

While it didn’t convince me that Heaven is a place, I am convinced that life is more than what we see around us while locked into our individual state of consciousness. The more awake and aware we are, the more often we see glints and glimmers from beyond the veil.

Val Boyko - August 24, 2014

I agree that using the language of Christianity is expected in this culture. The same story may be described in different ways around the world. I like the idea of behind the veil.
I was contemplating this was his return to Source before birth. But you say he knew about his sister yet to come? Now that would be moving in and out of time … pretty quantum!
It does peak the curiosity. I’d like to see it!
Val x

nrhatch - August 24, 2014

Todd Burpo (the dad and author) is pastor of Crossroads Wesleyan Church and his wife is a children’s minster. So Colton had Christian ideology shared with him from birth.

His unborn sister wasn’t “yet to come” ~ she had died in vitro several years earlier.

2. GodGirl - August 24, 2014

A great book – I recommend it.

nrhatch - August 24, 2014

Thanks, GG. It’s in my library queue. Last night, I read the companion book ~ Heaven Is For Real For Kids. I didn’t care for it ~ it seemed like an advertisement for the Christian Church.

3. katecrimmins - August 24, 2014

My mother was very ill during the last 6 months of her life and she had one of those near death experiences people talk about. While she didn’t see old relatives (at least not that I remember) she talked about white lights and peace and beauty. The best thing was that from that point on she had no fear of death as she look at it as just another phase of life.

nrhatch - August 24, 2014

I expect that death is a transition, not an end ~ like a snake shedding its skin, we pass out of our body and merge with the collective consciousness into light, peace, beauty, joy.

I’m glad that your mom had a glimpse of the beyond before she died so that she had no fear of death.

katecrimmins - August 24, 2014

Well, they better have chocolate in that collective consciousness!

nrhatch - August 24, 2014

Agreed! If not the real thing then virtual chocolate that you need only imagine to taste on the tip of your tongue.

4. Pix Under the Oaks - August 24, 2014

okay it is going on the list now! Thanks Nancy! Been hot here and we have been staying in trying to find good movies! I really want to believe there is a heaven but I have been having a hard time with that concept since 1987 when my Mom died. The Catholic upbringing in me keeps it going.

nrhatch - August 24, 2014

It’s an interesting movie, Pix. If accurately recounted, Colton got a glimpse of things ordinarily blocked from view.

While I am persuaded that THIS is not all that there is, Colton’s story didn’t persuade me that God sits on a throne in heaven.

5. granny1947 - August 24, 2014

This is gooseflesh stuff.

nrhatch - August 24, 2014

It’s a fascinating movie, Kathy. Colton’s dad (as portrayed in the film) had a hard time accepting his son’s visit to heaven as “real” even when Colton mentioned meeting “Pop” and his unborn sister there.

In her SMART Living posts (linked at the bottom), Kathy raises some terrific questions designed to get us thinking.

6. ericjbaker - August 24, 2014

I’m taking “based on a true story” as a pretty loose interpretation of the word “true.”

I like Greg Kinnear. He doesn’t get enough recognition.

nrhatch - August 24, 2014

To me, “based on a true story” means that it’s not a documentary filmed as the events unfolded. It allows filmmakers some literary license in the telling. For example, they might condense dialogue from several conversations into a single conversation to keep the story moving forward.

Having watched the film, I expect that Colton experienced a glimpse of reality normally blocked from view ~ and that state of consciousness allowed him to know things he didn’t know.

That said, it didn’t persuade me that Heaven is a place or that God is seated on a throne.

ericjbaker - August 24, 2014

It’s just that the crux of this entire story is a kid barely out of toddlerhood claiming to have glimpsed the great beyond. The details of what he saw are related by his parents, who had existing knowledge about everything the kid supposedly witnessed. The major event of the film is unverifiable, which is why I question the use of “true.”

I also take issue with “power of prayer” messages. I want those same people to pray for a kid in a burn ward or a soldier who lost a limb. I 100% guarantee you will get no miracle. Why can’t prayer grow limbs back or repair burnt flesh? Ever? Once? God doesn’t do burns and amputations?

Don’t mind my hardcore skepticism! It’s wired into my personality. In your professional opinion, do you think I could have made a good prosecutor?

nrhatch - August 24, 2014

I hear you. I watched the movie with an open mind without buying into the events portrayed as “the absolute truth.”

That said, my overall impression is that Colton had a glimpse of something more than “meets the eye.” And I say that because of the resistance portrayed by his parents to the message Colton was conveying.

Could it all be “snake oil” and “smoke and mirrors” . . . sure.

The most effective attorneys see both sides of an issue, allowing them to anticipate juror reactions, see what’s coming, and make the best counter-arguments given the facts/arguments presented.

nrhatch - August 24, 2014

BTW: The movie shared the artwork of an eight-year-old prodigy, Akiane: http://akiane.com/

This is a brief summary of Akiane’s visions:

http://graceomalley.hubpages.com/hub/Reviews-Of-4-Books-About-Heaven

7. Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com - August 24, 2014

Hi NR….glad to see the movie AND my posts got you thinking! As I mentioned in my post I think it is extremely healthy of us individually to be thinking about and asking ourselves what it is we really DO believe because as a culture we are all pretty scared of death. We like to pretend it isn’t happening (to us all) or that we can somehow escape it. Instead, there is so much evidence–spiritual AND scientific that life continually regenerates..so why would we be any different? Of course the story we tell about that regeneration is what gets things even more complicated. I actually prefer the story told my John Travolta’s character in Phenomenon when he says, “Everything is just on it’s way to somewhere else.”

nrhatch - August 24, 2014

Love that end quote, Kathy. I know what I believe, but I try not to allow those beliefs to blind me to other possibilities. We learn more when we’re open-minded.

The questions you shared at the end of your post are great fodder for thought-provoking discussions.

8. Silver in the Barn - August 24, 2014

Eager to learn what you think of this book. My opinions aren’t well-formulated enough to comment beyond this, but I’ll be curious whether you will recommend the book or not.

nrhatch - August 24, 2014

If it’s similar to the junior version I read last night (Heaven is for Real ~ For Kids), it is not going to get my stamp of approval.

The movie was open-ended enough to work without making me feel I’d been smacked in the head with a Bible. I can’t say the same about the “For Kids” book which offered a heavy-handed proselytizing message designed to brainwash little children before they’re old enough to read, write, or think for themselves.

Silver in the Barn - August 24, 2014

That’s sort of what I was afraid of, to be frank.

nrhatch - August 24, 2014

I’m still interested in reading it since movies paint books with a broad brush leaving out many interesting details.

Here’s hoping I’ll be able to skim past the proselytizing to focus on Colton’s actual/claimed experience.

9. Jill Weatherholt - August 24, 2014

I read a book years ago called “90 Minutes in Heaven” it was the same subject matter.
I’m all for movies that make one think and aren’t full of blood and gore. I’d like to read the “Heaven is for Real” since I find these type of accounts very interesting.

nrhatch - August 24, 2014

That’s exactly how I feel, Jill ~ it’s interesting to read about “out of body” experiences, even if I find parts of the story no more compelling that a good Sci-Fi novel.

And it’s unlikely to contain any graphic violence or explicit sex. :mrgreen:

10. In the Stillness of Willow Hill - August 24, 2014

I read the book, and found hope in the fact that there is “more” beyond this consciousness. I have read several other stories, which had similarities as far as the joy, peace, love, and beauty that the authors found “beyond”. What particularly strikes my interest is that the three near-death books I have read all came from vastly different religious and non-religious backgrounds. What I took away from the collective genre was that death isn’t something to be afraid of, and LOVE is more powerful than anything else. Love the conversations here today.

nrhatch - August 24, 2014

I agree with your take-away ~> death isn’t something to fear (it isn’t “The End”) and love is the most potent energy of all.

I also find stories of reincarnation fascinating:

https://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/shanti-devi/

https://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/rebirth-renewal-reincarnation/

There is more to life than meets the eye.

11. Val Boyko - August 24, 2014

Just back from a day of yoga and catching up with this great conversation. I believe the spirit never dies and we are absorbed back into the ever changing universe. Re-joining the Source we came from. Reincarnation is fascinating to me. There’s a part of me (ego) that wants to believe that I will be reborn as a separate being again.
Val x

nrhatch - August 24, 2014

Perhaps it’s not an either/or proposition. Maybe we get to choose whether to come back here or “just hang out” and chill.

12. I am J - August 24, 2014

I, too, enjoyed the movie and found it interesting and enjoyable. I haven’t read the book yet.

Fifteen months before I was born, my mother had a near-death experience and had been pronounced “clinically dead.” Even her fingers and hands had begun to turn blue.

She saw a beautiful light and a beautiful lady who was holding a red-haired baby girl. The lady told my mom to “choose.” Mom knew somehow that that meant she could choose to have the baby or she could move into the light and the profound peace she was experiencing with no pain. Mom instantly fell in love with the baby girl and told the lady that she wanted the baby. Suddenly, she felt an enormous “blow” to her body and awoke surrounded by doctors and medical personnel.

When my mom became pregnant with me six months later, both she and my dad knew they were having a red-haired baby girl.

Mom’s medical case was written-up by her doctor and published in the medical literature of the day. Mom told me this story from the time I was very little and often through the years. Consequently, I have always believed that there is much more to “life” than meets the eye and death is not at all what it seems.

nrhatch - August 25, 2014

Wow! Very cool, J. Thanks for sharing your telling tale.

I love hearing about what’s hidden beyond the veil from most of us, most of the time. Glimpses, like this, have persuaded me that there is more to life than meets the eye and that death is not “the end.”

To choices!

13. Behind the Story - August 25, 2014

I am J, your story is so touching! Hearing through the years that your mother chose you must have made you feel cherished. I agree with you that there’s more to life than meets the eye.

nrhatch - August 25, 2014

J’s tale resonates ~> we exist before we are born and we exist after we die. Another state of consciousness awaits.

Very cool that her mom had a choice whether to stay there or come back here. I expect that’s a choice we all make at one time or another.

14. jannatwrites - August 25, 2014

I think this kind of story is fascinating. I had downloaded this book on my Kindle quite a while ago, but haven’t had the chance to read it yet. I’d like to see the movie as well. Not enough hours in the day!

nrhatch - August 25, 2014

Based on the reviews, both positive and negative, I’m not expecting it to be in my Top Ten Reads this year, but I’d like to see what other phenomenon Colton claimed to experience that didn’t make it into the movie.

15. NancyTex - August 25, 2014

I’m curious as to your feedback on the book, NH. I haven’t read it or seen the movie – but I happened to be home during the day, and flipping channels, several years ago when I came across Colton (and dad) on a talk show. Can’t remember if it was Oprah or not. But I do remember that it felt like this little boy was coached to say what he was saying. I realize that makes me sound very cynical. 🙂 Okay, so perhaps rather than being coached, maybe he had a subconscious experience that was fed by his upbringing; stories he’d been told his whole (short) life by his pastor dad and minister mom…

It’s not that I don’t believe there is more for us on ‘the other side’, I guess what I choke on is the description of things EXACTLY as they are laid out in one particular religion’s doctrine. That’s where it all starts to sound a little fishy to me…

nrhatch - August 25, 2014

Yes! You and I are on the same page, NT.

In the book, Heaven Is For Real ~ For Kids, I almost gagged at the messages being force fed to young children by Colton’s dad before they’re able to think for themselves:

* Heaven is Real
* Heaven is Wonderful
* And you can only get there by believing in Jesus and worshiping God and doing what God wants you to do and by going to church on Sunday and by being brainwashed into believing what we tell you to believe without ever thinking for yourself.
* Amen!

Compare that message with what “I Am J” shared at Comment #12 about her existence BEFORE birth. Very cool.

16. William D'Andrea - August 25, 2014

There are more things in Heaven and on Earth than are dreamed of in all our theologies. Personally, I accepted Christ as Savior when I was 19, after much very well informed, and highly critical thinking. I’m not sure what awaits. I’m certain it will be far beyond our greatest imaginings, but I’m in no hurry to find out. I can wait.

nrhatch - August 25, 2014

“For my part I know nothing with certainty but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

17. Grannymar - August 25, 2014

I am a member of the cynical society when it comes to this one. My formative years were at the brainwashing hands of RC nuns and priests. I questioned it then and still do, as I said in a blog post a couple of years ago: http://grannymar.com/2012/08/31/what-does-heaven-look-like/

nrhatch - August 25, 2014

I agree with the vast majority of your sentiments ~ I don’t think that Heaven is a place.

And, if it is, I don’t think it is populated solely by Christians.

Grannymar - August 25, 2014

Phew! I thought I would be shot down for my views on heaven.

nrhatch - August 25, 2014

Not a chance. We only feed proselytizing Christians to the lions around here! 😎

18. bluebee - August 25, 2014

Intriguing, but I admit to being a bit skeptical.

nrhatch - August 25, 2014

And I didn’t even tell you about Jesus’s pony . . . with a rainbow colored mane! 😛

bluebee - August 25, 2014

😀

19. livelytwist - August 26, 2014

Intriguing. I believe in Heaven, I’d stake my life on it. I haven’t seen the movie though.

nrhatch - August 26, 2014

At the bottom of her post, How Do We Live If Heaven Is Real, Kathy asked poignant questions designed to go beyond naked statements like, “I believe in Heaven.”

2) Do we believe that heaven is a destination we go to, or just one of many ways of describing the mystery of what happens after we pass from our human form?

3) Does our version of heaven sound a bit like an exclusive, gated-country club where only the elites get to enter? What makes us so special?

7) Does our version of God make him the ultimate judge, jury and executioner? Do we say we believe in a God of love and then envision him in ways that aren’t so loving?

In Colton’s heaven, Jesus has a pony with a rainbow colored mane. I expect his experience was tailored to his young age.

livelytwist - August 26, 2014

Good questions.

nrhatch - August 26, 2014

I found each of her questions worthy of thought for anyone who wants to dig a bit deeper into the subject matter.

Either way, here’s to life everlasting!

20. diannegray - August 26, 2014

My in-laws are born-again Christians who strongly profess the existence of heaven and hell. Father-in-law told me a story when I first met him (one of the many conversion attempts) about his mother who ‘died’ on the operating table and then came back saying she had ‘met the Lord’. She was a non-christian before the operation and converted after that. He truly believes those who are not Christians will go directly to hell. My question to him was, ‘if his mother was a non-Christian when she ‘died’ why did she get to ‘meet the Lord’? No answer to that one.

Having said that, a few things have happened to my hubby over the years (he’s been officially dead twice) where he has had the out-of-body experience and seen and heard things he had no way of seeing and hearing. In this sense I totally believe in the collective consciousness. We are energy and science tell us that energy can be neither created nor destroyed, it just changes form 🙂

nrhatch - August 26, 2014

Thanks, Dianne. The question you poised to your FIL is perfect.

From my perspective, spending eternity in a Heaven populated solely by born-again Christians would be rather Hellish ~ I prefer a bit more diversity in my landscape. 😛

Your hubby’s experience mirrors my beliefs ~ there is more to life than meets the eye and death is a transformative event not “The End.”

21. Three Well Beings - August 27, 2014

I am so glad you reminded me about this movie, Nancy. I read the book not long after it came out and really enjoyed it and had every intention of seeing the movie…then forgot about it. I watched a CNN special report that told stories from three men and women who shared experiences that mirrored Colton’s story. One was a female doctor who was declared dead for several minutes and “returned” with equally vivid recollections. It was a very compelling story! I’m looking forward to this movie, so thank you!

nrhatch - August 27, 2014

We enjoyed the movie (despite its shortcomings) ~ and it gave us something interesting to think about.

I love hearing stories from “the great beyond.” Even if I don’t believe them lock, stock, and barrel. Our beliefs probably impact the interpretation we place on out of body experiences.


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