“Do you remember the hospital, Colton?” Sonja said. “Yes, mommy, I remember,” he said. “That’s where the angels sang to me.”
When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren’t expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the months that followed—a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy’s trip to heaven and back.
Colton, not yet four years old, told his parents he left his body during the surgery–and authenticated that claim by describing exactly what his parents were doing in another part of the hospital while he was being operated on. He talked of visiting heaven and relayed stories told to him by people he met there whom he had never met in life, sharing events that happened even before he was born. He also astonished his parents with descriptions and obscure details about heaven that matched the Bible exactly, though he had not yet learned to read.
With disarming innocence and the plainspoken boldness of a child, Colton tells of meeting long-departed family members. He describes Jesus, the angels, how “really, really big” God is, and how much God loves us. Retold by his father, but using Colton’s uniquely simple words, Heaven Is for Real offers a glimpse of the world that awaits us, where as Colton says, “Nobody is old and nobody wears glasses.”
Heaven Is for Real will forever change the way you think of eternity, offering the chance to see, and believe, like a child.
Continue the Burpos story in Heaven Changes Everything: The Rest of Our Story. Heaven Is for Real also is available in Spanish, El cielo es real.
A kayak accident during a South American adventure takes one woman to heaven—where she experienced God’s peace, joy, and angels—and back to life again.
In 1999 in the Los Rios region of southern Chile, orthopedic surgeon, devoted wife, and loving mother Dr. Mary Neal drowned in a kayak accident. While cascading down a waterfall, her kayak became pinned at the bottom and she was immediately and completely submerged. Despite the rescue efforts of her companions, Mary was underwater for too long, and as a result, died.
To Heaven and Back is Mary’s remarkable story of her life’s spiritual journey and what happened as she moved from life to death to eternal life, and back again. Detailing her feelings and surroundings in heaven, her communication with angels, and her deep sense of sadness when she realized it wasn’t her time, Mary shares the captivating experience of her modern-day miracle.
Mary’s life has been forever changed by her newfound understanding of her purpose on earth, her awareness of God, her closer relationship with Jesus, and her personal spiritual journey suddenly enhanced by a first-hand experience in heaven. To Heaven and Back will reacquaint you with the hope, wonder, and promise of heaven, while enriching you own faith and walk with God.
“Belongs on the shelf alongside other terrific books about this difficult subject, like Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air and Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal.”—Bill Gates
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY REAL SIMPLE
Kate Bowler is a professor at Duke Divinity School with a modest Christian upbringing, but she specializes in the study of the prosperity gospel, a creed that sees fortune as a blessing from God and misfortune as a mark of God’s disapproval. At thirty-five, everything in her life seems to point toward “blessing.” She is thriving in her job, married to her high school sweetheart, and loves life with her newborn son.
Then she is diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer.
The prospect of her own mortality forces Kate to realize that she has been tacitly subscribing to the prosperity gospel, living with the conviction that she can control the shape of her life with “a surge of determination.” Even as this type of Christianity celebrates the American can-do spirit, it implies that if you “can’t do” and succumb to illness or misfortune, you are a failure. Kate is very sick, and no amount of positive thinking will shrink her tumors. What does it mean to die, she wonders, in a society that insists everything happens for a reason? Kate is stripped of this certainty only to discover that without it, life is hard but beautiful in a way it never has been before.
Frank and funny, dark and wise, Kate Bowler pulls the reader deeply into her life in an account she populates affectionately with a colorful, often hilarious retinue of friends, mega-church preachers, relatives, and doctors. Everything Happens for a Reason tells her story, offering up her irreverent, hard-won observations on dying and the ways it has taught her to live.
Praise for Everything Happens for a Reason
“I fell hard and fast for Kate Bowler. Her writing is naked, elegant, and gripping—she’s like a Christian Joan Didion. I left Kate’s story feeling more present, more grateful, and a hell of a lot less alone. And what else is art for?”—Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love Warrior and president of Together Rising
Tender, heartbreaking, and eye-opening, this expanded edition of the New York Times bestseller offers more incredible windows into the world beyond and life after death.
In such difficult times, suffering and evil beg questions about God--Why would an all-good and all-powerful God create a world full of evil and suffering? And then, how can there be a God if suffering and evil exist?
These are ancient questions, but also modern ones as well. Atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and even former believers like Bart Ehrman answer the question simply: The existence of suffering and evil proves there is no God.
In this captivating new book, best-selling author Randy Alcorn challenges the logic of disbelief, and brings a fresh, realistic, and thoroughly biblical insight to the issues these important questions raise.
Alcorn offers insights from his conversations with men and women whose lives have been torn apart by suffering, and yet whose faith in God burns brighter than ever. He reveals the big picture of who God is and what God is doing in the world–now and forever. And he equips you to share your faith more clearly and genuinely in this world of pain and fear.
"As he did in his best-selling book, Heaven, Randy Alcorn delves deep into a profound subject, and through compelling stories, provocative questions and answers, and keen biblical understanding, he brings assurance and hope to all."
This book deals unflinchingly with life’s most troubling question—“Why?” Drawing on his long experience as a Christian psychologist and family counselor, Dr. Dobson brings hope to those who have almost given up. When God Doesn’t Make Sense also helps believers avoid the “betrayal barrier”—the sense that God is abandoning them amid the storms of life. Now with a new foreword by R. T. Kendall.
What does it look like?
What will we do all day?
Will there be angels there?
We all have questions about what heaven will be like. Fortunately, Scripture is filled with helpful information about our future home—we just have to know where to look.
Dr. David Jeremiah has spent a lifetime studying what the Bible has to say about heaven, and now in Answers to Your Questions about Heaven, he has done just that—provided answers to your most pressing questions about heaven, angels, and eternity in a straightforward, easy-to-understand, biblically based book. A perfect gift for friends and family and a handy resource to keep on your own shelf, this handsome little book will ignite your imagination and whet your appetite for all the amazing experiences that await!
Where there is the possibility of love, there has to be the reality of freedom, and therefore the possibility of pain. Wishing God had made a different world is to wish yourself out of existence. The cross is the key to a compelling and rational explanation for trusting in God in the face of suffering. In comparison with other world religions, the Christian response is highly distinctive. The reality of evil only makes sense in light of the reality of divine goodness. Relational knowledge about God takes the argument beyond reason to the presence of God amidst suffering. God's decision to allow temporal suffering is understandable when viewed from an eternal perspective. Divine goodness shows how to conquer not in spite of, but even through suffering. Here is a book written with great respect for the complexity of the issue, recognizing that some who read it will be in the trenches of deep suffering themselves and others questioning the very existence of a loving God. WHY SUFFERING? provides an answer to the problem of pain and suffering with emotional sensitivity and intellectual integrity.
We are a people who deeply fear death. While humans are biologically wired to evade death for as long as possible, we have become too adept at hiding from it, vilifying it, and—when it can be avoided no longer—letting the professionals take over.
Sixth-generation funeral director Caleb Wilde understands this reticence and fear. He had planned to get as far away from the family business as possible. He wanted to make a difference in the world, and how could he do that if all the people he worked with were . . . dead? Slowly, he discovered that caring for the deceased and their loved ones was making a difference—in other people’s lives to be sure, but it also seemed to be saving his own. A spirituality of death began to emerge as he observed:The family who lovingly dressed their deceased father for his burialThe act of embalming a little girl that offered a gift back to her grieving familyThe nursing home that honored a woman’s life by standing in procession as her body was taken awayThe funeral that united a conflicted community
Through stories like these, told with equal parts humor and poignancy, Wilde offers an intimate look into the business and a new perspective on living and dying
Upon receiving the original diagnosis, Angie started a blog (Bring the Rain) to keep family and friends informed of their journey. Soon, the site exploded in popularity, connecting with thousands who were either experiencing their own heartbreaking situations or simply curious about how God could carry someone through something so tragic. I Will Carry You tells the powerful story of a parent losing her child, interwoven with the biblical story of Lazarus to help those who mourn to still have hope—to find grace and peace in the sacred dance of grief and joy.
Endorsement"This is a beautiful and tender book that would touch any woman's heart, no matter her age or realm of experience. It is about a relationship so intimate with God that it carves a safe place for crises of faith, for faith proved genuine and for divine callings willed, sealed and fulfilled. Yes, this is one mother's moving story. This one mother also happens to be a true writer. We will hear more from her. Angie, I am so proud of you. May Christ continue to tip the ink jar toward your gifted quill." - Beth Moore
Best-selling author and speaker
The death of your beloved pet can be one of the most heartbreaking losses you'll ever endure. But recovery isn't only about closure. You also want to know where your best friend has gone.
After the intense, unexpected grief he experienced following the loss of his own companions, animal lover and biblical scholar Gary Kurz set out to prove that there are indeed pets in Paradise. After devoting countless hours of research, he now shares his inspiring insights to bring you a richer understanding of animals and their souls. You'll finally find answers to common questions about animals and the afterlife--and you'll also get a 30-day devotional to help you work through your grief.
If you've ever loved and lost a pet, or if you know someone who has shared a special bond with a furry face and a cold, wet nose, you'll welcome this amazing book's reassurance that love and loyalty are truly eternal, and that someday, you and your pets will be together again.
"For those of us who love our pets so passionately, Gary Kunz thoughtfully and thoroughly gives hope that death is not the end for our furry, scaled, and feathered friends." --Francine Hornberger, co-author of So You Think You Know about Cats?
Drawing her characteristically keen insights from the familiar story of Lazarus in the ninth and eleventh chapters of the Gospel of John, Anne offers Jesus' reassuring answers to our heartfelt cries for understanding:Why doesn't God care? Why does He let these things happen? Why me? Why doesn't God answer my prayers? Why didn't He protect me? Why doesn't He perform a miracle?
Why? helps us understand and deal with suffering while guiding us to the ultimate answer-the Savior who shares our grief and our tears.
At some point in life, every one of us will face the dark pain of heartache and despair, a hurt that pierces so deep we’re left gasping with questions:
Why me? Why now?
What have I done to deserve this?
Will the pain ever go away?
How can God just stand by and let this happen?
What do I have left to hope for?
Writing from insights she has gained, not only through her own valleys of deep hurt but also from years of study and counseling others through their pain, Kay Arthur points the way toward genuine healing. With candor, grace, and vulnerability, she invites you to join her on a journey toward wholeness as you exchange your fears and frustrations, hurts and disappointments for a hope that will never disappoint.
Growing up as a preacher's kid, Gifford had been submerged in Christian culture for decades when she uncovered the truth--that there were broken parts of her heart that weren't on friendly terms with the God who lived inside. Through disappointments and traumas, she had learned to guard her heart from God, keeping her angry, entrapped, and disconnected. As struggles and hardships continued, she finally learned to run towards her relationship with God when things got hard, instead of running away from Him like she had in the past. The more that she did this--building her heart's capacity for intimacy and deep relationship--the more her heart began to heal from the inside-out. She teaches the reader to access the solution that's already living inside of them--the God who forever made their heart a home.
When trials and tragedy hit our lives in a fallen world, our hearts can get smashed to bits, and we end up putting God on trial and blaming Him for the mess. But Christa helps readers understand that they don’t have to live controlled by their circumstances – or angry with God. Instead, she provides powerful insight and practical steps to turn the painful fire that comes to destroy us into an unexpected friend that can produce our greatest healing.
The condition of the heart determines the condition of life—and the heart can be bound up and healed, producing freedom and abundant life. With personal workbook sections for each chapter Christa helps readers experience steps to turn their pain into the healing and wholeness available to every believer.
This paradigm-shattering book will free you from the forces that would turn you into a victim. It will lead you step-by-step through a simple process that will free you from the pain of the past and protect you from the pain of the future.Discover the emotional freedom that everyone wants but few experienceBreak the secret link to the pain of the pastIdentify the number one source of sufferingNever be hurt by another insultLearn the only biblical way to prevent painFree yourself from the need to judge othersExperience freedom from criticism
Will I ever see my baby again--and will I recognize him?
What happens if I've had an abortion?
Does God have a reason for letting my child die?
How can I help a friend who's experiencing grief?
With compassionate answers for your troubling questions, God's Word shines with hope in the dark night of human pain. God showed His tenderness when David lost a child he had with Bathsheba. In his pain and grief, David spoke the word of revelation--the reassuring word of God's truth--saying, "I will go to [my child] but he will not return to me" (2 Samuel 12:19-23).
As Pastor Jack Hayford says, "This isn't myth, fable, legend or a selection of poetic thoughts for the sorrowful. This is truth to set us free. Here we are specifically freed to expect to meet children in heaven, to recognize them and to be with them."
Let Jack Hayford show you the freeing truth of the Word of God and its promise that one day, like David, you will hold your child in heaven.
"Filled with the raw pain, beauty, mystery, and grace that our hearts were meant for." —Matt Chandler
Prepare yourself for an unvarnished look at the Christian life, told now for the first time. A powerful memoir of finding beauty and friendship through the pain of loss, tragedy, and brokenness, Even in Our Darkness explores what it means to know God and be known by him.
Jack Deere tells the true story of his life growing up near Fort Worth, Texas in the 1950’s and the disintegration of his family following his father’s suicide. In his mid-twenties, Jack would rise to fame and success as a leading scholar, popular speaker, and bestselling author.
But despite being rescued and exalted, Jack would ultimately be crushed in the years that followed. He would lose his son to suicide and his wife to alcoholism. Only then would Jack wrestle with his own addictions, surrender control, and experience true healing.
An authentic story of the Christian life, Even in Our Darkness will serve as your own guide in overcoming life’s disappointments and learning to hear God speak in unbelievable ways.
"Jack Deere speaks on a vulnerable, raw, and honest level about his own narrative and the darkness he has encountered, both around him and within his own soul. He ultimately points the reader to the God who is always there and who always sustains." —Dr. John Townsend
"Written beautifully and harrowingly—and so grippingly that you won’t want to stop reading—this story is everyone’s story." —Eric Metaxas
"Raw, gritty, and transparent, Jack’s writing rings with effervescent joy and searing pain. I read the last seventy-five pages with my heart in my throat and tears in my eyes. If I could, I’d send every person reading this a copy myself. It’s that good. —Lynn Vincent
Features: 18 easy-to-understand questions and answers adapted from the best-selling Heaven Perfect gift for non-believers Great evangelism piece Convenient pocket-size, easy to fit in purses, backpacks, and briefcases Affordably priced
Filled with heartfelt true stories written by regular people, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stories of Faith will amaze, inspire, and amuse readers. Its stories of prayers answered miraculously, amazing coincidences, rediscovered faith, and the serenity that comes from believing in a greater power will touch and resonate with Christians and other faiths.
The meditations in this book are presented from the perspective of the greatest disciple of our Lord: His own dear Mother. Mother Mary was one who faced the Cross of her Son with perfect openness, faith, love and devotion. Her fidelity to her Son throughout His life was unwavering. As she stood before the Cross during those long three hours, that fidelity never ceased.
This devotional attempts to ponder that which our Blessed Mother would have pondered during those three hours. What was she thinking as she stood there gazing at her own Child dying? What memories went through her mind? What filled her heart, emotions and feelings as she watched this final act of love?
The Scriptures do not reveal much about the interior ponderings of our Blessed Mother during those three hours, but the Scriptures do reveal to us many encounters between this Mother and Son. Since the Cross was the culmination of the life of both Mother and Son, it’s beautiful to bring to this moment of the Cross all the many experiences that these two shared throughout their earthly lives. It’s inspiring to unite all that they did and said to this moment, since all was a preparation for this moment.
This book is helpful any time of year, especially if you find yourself facing a difficult cross in your own life. It is also perfect for Lent in that it offers 40 reflections as well as prayers that can be used throughout Lent and for Holy Week.
Out of the deepest hurts of the human condition, Randy Alcorn brings into clear focus our most pressing questions about evil and suffering—including those that wrench our souls when we or someone we love is victimized by evil or assaulted by disease.
He faces these questions with seasoned sensitivity, skillful insight, and a heart of compassion. He dodges none of the difficulties, and never lapses into platitudes, hand-wringing, or oversimplification.
On this troubling but inescapable topic, you’ll find frank acknowledgment of the inherent limitations that set humanity apart from the God who has none. There’s also generous, real encouragement that brings God nearer in our understanding when we need His comfort the most. And amid our heavy doubts and swirling confusion on this topic, Randy Alcorn points us ultimately toward Jesus as “the only answer bigger than the questions.”
“Where is God when you need Him most? Doesn’t He care?”
In times of heartache, the questions can seem unending. You‘ve poured your heart out to God, but when the difficulties just don’t stop, you wonder if He is listening.
You’ll find encouragement and comfort from the life example of Hannah, a woman in the Bible who knew deep pain and seemingly unanswered prayer. Through her you’ll discover you can know with certainty that...your tears are seenyour prayers are heardthe comfort God offers is real
Yes, you are precious to God. He knows the longings of your heart even more than you do. Place your trust in Him and rest...as you await the unfolding of His plan for your life.
We can never plan for the unexpected turns of this life that sometimes lead to great personal suffering. Sometimes that suffering can overshadow everything and threaten to pull us under. Nancy Guthrie knows what it is to be plunged into life’s abyss. Framing her own story of staggering loss and soaring hope with the biblical story of Job, she takes you by the hand and guides you on a pathway through pain—straight to the heart of God. Holding On to Hope offers an uplifting perspective, not only for those experiencing monumental loss, but for anyone going through difficulty and failure. (Includes an 8-week study on the book of Job for readers who want to dig deeper into what the Bible says about dealing with suffering and grief.)
This book is packed with short, biblically based, gospel-centered, topical chapters addressing the issues grieving people face but are often hesitant to mention to others. It helps readers accurately interpret the message their emotions are sending them and gently guides them to determine whether they're grieving in a way that leads to hope and ultimate healing. Developed from interviews with over 30 well-respected Christian counselors, teachers, and authors, as well as numerous personal testimonies, Grieving with Hope helps the bereaved discover how hope and peace are available amidst their heartache and pain.
For years Steve Musick kept his amazing story to himself, afraid no one would believe or understand it. A major allergic reaction had stopped his heart, hurling him into a five-week coma and a powerful experience of heaven. After returning to life, he couldn’t forget the memory of that vibrant place—and, most of all, the loving words and touch of Jesus.
But that was only the beginning. An amazing series of miracles, dreams, and other supernatural events had been set in motion, showing Steve that heaven was close, even in this life. God was calling him to discover echoes of heaven in the here and now—echoes that can happen at any moment, to anyone—that bring overwhelming joy.
At last Steve is ready to tell the story of his journey of a lifetime—two lifetimes. In it you’ll learn the secret of bringing heaven to earth in your everyday world, and how to nurture a relationship with God so real and intimate that you’ll feel his nearness as strongly as Steven did.
Experience one man’s incredible vision of heaven—and learn how you can live in God’s presence and power today.
In his classic book Where Is God When It Hurts, Philip Yancey gave us permission to doubt, reasons not to abandon faith, and practical ways to reach out to hurting people.
And now, thirty years after writing his first book, Yancey revisits our cry of “Why, God” in three places stunned into silence by the calamities that have devastated them. At some point all of us will face the challenges to faith Yancey writes about and look for the comfort and hope he describes.
There are reasons to ask, once again, the question that never goes away: Where is God when we suffer? And Yancey, once again, leads us to find faith when it is most severely put to the test.
Weeks and months go by with no visible improvement. We might even wonder if God has forsaken us. Then one day it happens: We laugh. We feel connnected, restless, maybe even hopeful. We're no longer consumed by our loss, and our thoughts turn outward. These are the first signs of healing.
Though the tendency in our fast-paced society is to suppress our grief or ignore it all together, Grieving God's Way inspires a different course of action. In this 90-day devotional Margaret Brownley provides the framework for a methodical grieving process that follows God's plan.
Grieving God's way requires us to trust that He will lead us through the darkness, heal our pain, take away our weariness, and fill our hearts with hope, peace, and new purpose. From defining what grief is to validating its importance, Brownley gives us the components necessary to find God within our sorrow and grieve with Him.
Divided into four sections, Grieving God's Way offers insight into healing our grieving body, soul, heart, and spirit. Infused with scriptures and inspirational haiku by Diantha Ain, this book motivates us to shift our grieving from man's way to God's way. . . slow and often invisible but with truly amazing results.
So how long does it take to grieve? As long as it takes God to heal.
Mother Angelica provides consolation and advice that only a spiritual mother can provide, helping you to understand the purpose of suffering, how it can be redemptive, and when to know you’re allowing your suffering to go to waste.
You’ll also learn about dryness in prayer and how it can be a gift, as well as how to respond to what she calls “spiritual hangovers.”
You’ll learn how Christ is closest to you when He is silent, and how His silence can be one of the most powerful and purifying elements of the spiritual life.
Finally, Mother Angelica shows you that what Jesus needs most from you is gratitude, trust, and, indeed, weakness. Follow the advice Mother Angelica offers in these pages, and you’ll soon find yourself consoled and reawakened to the generous grace God is daily offering to you.
In Just Show Up, Kara and her close friend, Jill Lynn Buteyn, write about what friendship looks like in the midst of changing life seasons, loads of laundry, and even cancer. Whether you are eager to be present to someone going through a difficult time or simply want inspiration for pursuing friends in a new way, this eloquent and practical book explores the gift of silence, the art of receiving, and what it means to just show up.