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on 20 January 2012
This e-book was provided to me for free courtesy of the BookSneeze programme.

I have to say that I wasn't sure whether I was going to like Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent. It's the story of Burpo's son's visions of heaven in the context of a life-threatening episode of appendicitis when he was only four years old. And I wasn't sure I was going to like it because unfortunately this genre tends to attract rather colourful stories of unlikely visions, many of which can't be substantiated in Scripture or which seem to have led to pride or even subtle twisting of faith in the writer.

So it was to my great delight to find that this book is, in some ways, different. Burpo, a pastor, tells how the story of his son's visions came out only over time and in small parts. As he and his wife began to realise that something had happened to their son, they began to ask him questions about the experience; and so it is that we have in this book the details of some of what Colton Burpo saw. Most importantly for me, Todd Burpo - as a pastor who loves his Bible - was keen to test how the things his son claimed to have seen measured up with Scripture and would even try to trick his son with questions to see whether his son would affirm things about his experience of heaven which the Scriptures expressly deny!

As someone who has a healthy - even extreme? - tendency towards cynicism regarding this genre, I found this book incredibly faith-enhancing in fact. There were a handful of things which Colton claims to have seen that I don't think can be substantiated from Scriptural accounts of heaven and which sound a little far-fetched. But then...nor does Scripture expressly deny those things either! It is because of this fact that I would not give this book to a new believer unless I was prepared to sit with them and do a detailed Bible study to help them test its content; I still maintain that believers are to test carefully against Scripture anything which purports to be revelation and worry that some new believers might get very excited about this book and not necessarily follow on to reading the Scriptural accounts of heaven.

Yet, truth be told, what this book did for me was to reignite an excitement. Excitement that heaven - this dimension of reality so wonderful that you'd think it could only belong in a fairytale - heaven is for real! Excitement that actually the life of faith is all about Jesus, how much he loves us and how he longs for us to enter into relationship with him. And, as I was brought to a place of childlike wonder and love for Jesus, I remembered his own words that the kingdom of heaven was open to those who would come as children. Todd Burpo's book invited me to come as a child and marvel at all the wonders which will be our inheritance. If you are longing to stand and stare at the joys of heaven, the face of Jesus, this book might just reignite your heart for Jesus, your longing for heaven and your passion for the Scriptures.
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on 28 April 2012
I have to say I was pretty sceptical about this book "heaven is for real" by Todd Burpo and I have read critiscm regarding this book before I opened the first page which probably did not help. When I started to read this book,I was overwhelmed by the accounts of this four year old's visit to heaven and by what he had encountered there in such a short space of time. This book answers questions regarding heaven, death and the after-life in short clear answers from a little boy who gives his account of his visit over a period of a few years.

I am a new Christian and I have found this book very difficult to put down and have read it over a couple of days and I just found it so enthralling and I have found it hard to put this book down. I would recommend this book to anyone and even to an unbelievers eyes, this book would be very difficult not to love let alone find it hard to question Jesus etc.

I am so looking forward to heaven and to seeing Jesus and God but I am so looking forward to experiencing a closer walk with Jesus in my own life whilst I am here on this earth.

This is a book through a child's eyes and an account that is so accurate and true that who could find this hard not to believe and yes, scripture backs up this little boy's experiences whilst in hospital. Whether this little boy actually died, we dont really know.

If you havent read this book, I would highly recommend it and trust me this will bring you close to Jesus, God and The Holy Spirit without a shadow of a doubt.
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on 28 June 2014
This is fantastic - the best bit - and what proves it's true, (and always brings tears to my eyes), is when he said 'mum, in heaven, this little girl would not stop hugging me saying 'I died in your mummy's tummy!'. The lad had no idea his mother had a stillbirth before he was born. The wonders of this, are that the girl recognised Colton without previously seeing him, and that it shows that stillbirth children go straight to heaven. It also implies that aborted children also go directly to heaven. What a wonderful 'silver lining'! To those of us, like myself, who have a genuine love for children, (children are one of God's richest blessings for all of us to enjoy), heaven will be wonderful, because it will be filled with millions of happy children! :-).
Another joyful thing, was when he met his dad's granddad, who'd died before he was born. His dad showed him a photo of his granddad shortly before he died, but Colton said 'dad, no-one's old in heaven'. When they showed him a picture of the granddad aged 29, Colton said, 'yes, that's him'. Presumably all adults will be about 33 years old for all time (the age of Jesus at His crucifixion). The granddad had spent most of his life not believing in Jesus, but had asked Jesus into His life in prayer, shortly before his death.
So my message to everyone is - believe, ask Jesus into your heart, then you'll live in heaven in 100% joy forever!
This book is now being shown as a film; look out for it, and take everyone with you to see it :-)
God Bless you
Geoff Franklin
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on 11 February 2012
Have you ever wondered about what happens when you die?
Is there/can there really be life after death?
What is heaven like?

These are not questions that are easy to answer.

So reading `Heaven is for REAL' (my emphasis) - was a long-held ambition. Ever since I had heard about Colton Burpo's near-death experience as a 4 year old boy, I wanted to hear the whole story. This book does what it says on the tin.

The story unfolds just as it happened to Colton and his family. After Colton didn't die - the medical records state so quite clearly - he started to talk about his experience in heaven. He didn't sit down and relate a wonderful, out-of-his-imagination typical four year old's story. Instead, far more convincingly, small pieces of information kept cropping up in conversation: in four year old language. Colton had met `Jesus' cousin' (he didn't remember his name). Jesus had told Colton to be `nice'. Jesus had `markers' on him - discussion showed these to be the marks on Jesus' hands and feet which, to a four year old, looked as if someone had drawn with felt tip marker pens. In heaven, Colton met his great-grandfather and unborn sister - who had died before Colton was born. Colton couldn't recognize the Jesus he had met in any pictorial representation of Jesus - until he saw a picture painted by another little girl who had had a similar experience. As his father Todd carefully examines Colton's experiences in the light of Biblical knowledge, he is amazed at the accuracy of everything Colton relates.

Sometimes there can be a degree of scepticism about accounts such as these. Yet Colton's experience rings true on every page. Read it. You will be drawn into Colton's world - and that's a wonderful place to be.

Life. `Death'. And some answers.
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on 24 May 2014
"Heaven is for Real" is a New York Times bestseller, with over 8 million copies sold. It's the 24th most sold book through Amazon as of this writing, and the Kindle edition is the second most popular work in the category Religion and Spiritality. It has a whopping 9,114 customer reviews. About a month ago, the motion picture version was released. And according to the author, Nebraska pastor Todd Burpo, it's all a true story!

"Heaven is for Real" revolves around Todd's son, three-year old Colton, who had a near-death experience (NDE) following an emergency operation. Colton was taken to Heaven, where he got to see Jesus, God and Gabriel, sit next to the Holy Spirit (the boy describes him as "something blue"), and meet both deceased relatives and an unknown sister. Colton saw animals in heaven, including a harmless lion. He also saw the Devil, swords in the hands of the angels, and says there will be a war in Heaven soon, during which most of Earth will perish... (These darker statements are somewhat downplayed, though.)

The heavily Christian character of Colton's NDE is hardly surprising, given his Christian upbringing in the "Bible Belt". More interesting to non-Christian NDE researchers are statements suggesting that the experience might in some sense be "objective". Thus, Colton saw what his parents were doing at the hospital ward while he was sedated (a classical out-of-body or OOB scenario). He knew that his mother had a miscarriage, something his parents hadn't told him. Colton's vision of Jesus is seemingly confirmed by a similar vision by Akiane Kramarik, a 19-year old (sic) Christian painter and mystic in Idaho.

People who believe in the reality of NDEs and OOB's will get struck by the book's Christian exclusivism. Todd Burpo attempts to prove his son's experiences by Biblical proof-texts, the term "near-death experience" is - as far as I can see - never used at all, and little Colton's experiences at one point convince an inclusivist-oriented person to become a more strict Christian (the babysitter Ali). Todd and Ali are innocently unaware of the fact that, of course, these kinds of miracles happen in other religious traditions, as well...

I admit that I found Howard Storm's "My Descent into Death" (another Christian NDE book) more interesting, but as cultural studies, I suppose I could give "Heaven is for Real" three stars.
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on 4 May 2015
I really enjoyed reading this book. I think it's very well and very cleverly written. The story is told from the father's angle, which in fact makes sense since Colton was too small at the time to have recorded the events himself. Todd Burpo also gives us a detailed account of the events that led up to his son's NDE. This type of book helps people all over the world to have faith in life after death and in the fact that there is indeed a supreme being out there who loves us deeply. I am a Catholic who happens to be open-minded and I respect other religious beliefs as well as my own. This book can easily be read by people who are not Christians, because it basically deals with an ordinary American family trying to cope with it's son's extraordinary experience. Thank heavens for the Internet ! It was while watching videos on the subject on You Tube that I first heard about Colton Burpo's voyage to heaven. I decided to order a copy of his book immediately. Finally people can share their NDE experiences with the world and give hope to millions. A big thanks to the Burpos !
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on 4 October 2011
This is MUST read!! I read it in two hours, so it's an easy read. It's a true story of a three year old boy who has an out of body experience and goes to heaven and back. Absolutely astounding, and essential reading for anyone who is curious about heaven. He's three so he says what he sees. Definitely recommend this book.
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on 29 November 2014
This book is beautiful and moving. Witten by the father of the boy, he shares the insights his son reveals about being in heaven. I'm British, and to be honest, the first chapter or two grip you, then you have to trawl through a good half of the book with some annoying American-isms, the drama and the long winded detail. But please get past all of this. I was so desperate to read what the boy saw, rather than what the dad experienced but it's worth the wait. Although I do appreciate what he went through, he is clearly painting a picture. However, the second half of the book is breath taking. I read the book in the space of 2-3 days (in between work). As a Christian, I found Colton (the boy's name) to talk about things I've never really considered (what does happen if you miscarry? Or relatives that he never knew? Or what heaven looks like). It's touching. I shed the odd tear and was reminded at the beautiful grace and love Jesus has for us. I thoroughly believe that regardless of your faith or lack of faith, this book with challenge your conceptions and ideas of the afterlife, whether one exists, and of God. If you get this book, please don't keep it to yourself. I think this is a fantastic opportunity for us to share Christ with others in a medium which is non threatening.
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on 29 January 2014
A very close friend of mine introduced this book to me for a few reasons. One being that my beautiful sister had a baby born sleeping.
This is a book that once you open it you cannot put it down. But I am a slow reader and glad of the fact as it was my treat to read every night before retiring to my bed. Such a joy to read. I have always believed in God Our Dear Lord but have to say that after reading up on Colton has to be the best book on the universe that I have read and ever likely to read.
It is a truly an amazing story which gave my and my sister an Insight into Heaven and gave my sister peace of mind to know that her baby waits there for her and is been taken care of until she enters Heaven one day. I have told many people regards this beautiful worth while reading book. Everyone should have one! I wouldn't part with mine to share I want to read it again so I sent one to my sister in the post.

kind regards

Patricia

IN A Word This Book Is Awesome.
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on 28 December 2014
I must admit for as long as I can remember I have been on the fence about the existence of God and Heaven and was deservedly skeptical about reading 'Heaven is for Real' which was given as a Christmas gift to my mother by her father. I was however curious and thought I'd give it a quick glance. I quick glance I did not give. I read the whole book cover to cover in a matter of hours. The love Todd feels for his wife and children is evident from the very first page. I felt truly connected to this man that I did not know from Adam. I lit up with joy over the unadulterated innocence of his young son, Colton, grieved when all hope seemed lost, and caught my breath at the sheer beauty of Colton's retelling of his brief journey to Heaven and the people that he encountered on the way.

I'm not going to say that the book has changed my views completely, but I will say that it has opened my eyes in a big way and has made me rethink what I have come to believe for so very long.
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