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on March 26, 2014
I'm generally pretty skeptical of "I went to heaven but came back and now I'm going to tell you all about it" kinds of books. I just think there are some things... ok, a lot of things, that God leaves as mysteries for us. I have to say, though, that Heaven is for Real is very compelling- it feels true. I read it cover to cover in less than 24 hours.

I know we can't base everything on feelings, especially with our faith, but let me tell you a few reasons why Heaven is for Real made me a believer-

1. The experience happened to an innocent, untainted child and his admissions seem to have come about very naturally, not coerced.
2. From what I can tell (except for MAYBE where he said the nail holes were on Jesus' hands instead of his wrists) everything lines up with scripture.
3. The reserve his parents had for many years in even sharing Colton's story and the way they went about it causes me to believe that they genuinely wanted to share something life changing that happened in their family with others to offer hope and ultimately to point people back to Jesus as the only way.

Beyond the cold, hard reasons why I feel this book is most likely not fabricated, I also have some gut reactions to the words in its pages. Just like Colton's mother, I too have lost a child to miscarriage and the thought of him being up there, with my great grandmother no less, and being adopted by God, it strikes a big cord with me. When I lost my Micah I very distinctly had the feeling that he went to be with Jesus when I released him to go be well. I had the overwhelming impression in my soul that he would be "raised" by God himself and even his name, which came to me out of the blue late one night, means "Resembles God" which I figured he would if he was being raised by the almighty Himself. So, the stories in this book lined up with and confirmed for me some very personal experiences and standpoints, to top it all off.

To go beyond just the original book, though, I have the movie version that contains interviews and pictures from the set as well as an updated interview with Colton. I always prefer to read a book before I see a movie anyway, but I liked that this version gave me a little more insight into the movie as well, which I appreciated. I must say that I had hoped to hear more life changing testimonies out of the actors and others involved, but I'm glad that at least seeds have been planted in them through their participation in the making of this film.

I enjoyed this book immensely, highly recommend it and also believe that it will probably cause you to want to see the movie as much as I now do. More than seeing a feature film, however, this book strikes a new excitement and anticipation for heaven and that is always a good thing.
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on March 29, 2014
Amazing!! This book is simply wonderful. I read this book in less than a day!! I could not put it down. I have been a believer for years and this book still made Heaven a concept that was so much more understandable. I loved the way the story was told, and realness of their reactions to this event. I loved when Todd shared that he was angry with God and yelling at him - it was nice to see a pastor being real about those feelings.

I also loved the interviews with the cast and the family at the end of this book!

I have recommended this book to everyone I know since reading it. My 11 year old son is even reading it!!
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As I sit here, I’m trying to figure out how to start this review, I feel stuck.

I’m not sure how to start. How to express how much I REALLY enjoyed this book and how I’ve already marked April 16th on my calendar to go see the movie.

I’ve seen the original book Heaven is for Real quite a few times on the local book shelves, but never really paid much attention to it. It wasn’t until I saw the trailer for the movie that I decided I really wanted to read the book first.

It took me all of maybe 2 days to read this book. Reading about the Burpo family, all that they went through, what Colton experienced, and the days after, had me reading for hours.

At times I felt like I was sitting down next to Mr. Burpo and listening to him tell me the story in person. Heaven is for Real is written in such a way that you feel like you could be the Burpo’s neighbor. You feel close to them, and if you’re a Christian, you can probably relate to some of their questions, worries, and struggles with everything that happened.

I was encouraged by Todd’s love not only for the Lord, but also for his family. His honesty about how this whole ordeal shook his faith,even as a pastor. It’s not fake. It’s not mushy. It’s a real story, and a real family.

Todd lets you in on his struggles - Being made at God and asking others to pray over his family. At the darkest time of their lives, Todd realizes he needs to let go and ask for help.

Than there’s the beautiful innocence of Colton. Just a little boy telling his family, in small doses, that he went to Heaven and sat in Jesus’ lap, that he got to meet his sister (his mother had a miscarriage), and his Pop (grandfather), and saw so many wonderful things about heaven.

The way Colton speaks about what happens to him is just simply beautiful. So very simple, so packed with comfort, peace, and love. When asked why Jesus died on the cross, Colton simply replies “Well, Jesus told me he died on the cross so we could go see His Dad.” WOW!

I loved how the Burpo family lets us in on this amazing happening and shares some of the most personal and intimate moments with us the reader.

My copy of Heaven is for Real is all dog eared with things I thought I would share to you, but there’s just so many wonderful things in this book.. I can’t share them all. You’ll just have to get the book yourself.

I also enjoyed that this book was the Special Movie Edition. Not only do you read the original story, but there are updates from the Burpo family, interviews with the producers, actors, and writers of the movie.

I HIGHLY recommend getting a copy of this book. It’s a beautiful read. Something you can share with someone too that may have lost someone and is wondering if there really is a Heaven..
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on March 29, 2014
Heaven is for Real is an amazing story about four year old Colton's journey to heaven and back as told by his dad, Todd Burpo. This book gives you an inside look at the roller coaster ride the Burpo family went on as they discover that their son literally paid a visit to heaven.

My favorite part was the simplistic way Colton nonchalantly shared different facts about heaven. They were conveyed naturally and didn't seem at all coerced. I was also greatly challenged by the urgency Colton had in regards to salvation. He lived as if heaven IS real and wanted to share that with others to make sure they ended up there.

I had read the original Heaven is for Real book published back in 2010. With the movie coming out on April 16th, this new book version adds almost 50 pages dedicated specifically to the movie. There are interviews with Colton Burpo, Producer Joe Roth, Screenwriter Randall Wallace, and all the actors - including Greg Kinear, who plays Todd Burpo. The added pages definitely enhance this new book version, especially if you plan on seeing the movie.

I can't say enough about this book! I highly recommend it for all ages and I guarantee that you will never look at heaven the same way again.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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on March 31, 2014
This amazing believe able because it is told incorporating a child's recounting of heavenly events.

Highly recommend to anyone.
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on January 18, 2015
Some people will believe anything.
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on March 8, 2014
It's easy to be super critical of a story like that of the Burpo family presented in the book Heaven is for Real, now a movie. And I am a tad bit critical. But my problem with the book isn't what it presents. The young boy's story of going to heaven while coming near death in the hospital matches up with Scripture as far as I can tell. And I did kind of find myself believing the story and being encouraged by it. It was definitely a very quick and easy read.

I actually just found the book fairly boring. The father, Todd Burpo, tends to go off on tangents in his writing, assisted by professional author Lynn Vincent. And they tell the WHOLE story, even the details that really don't seem all that relevant to me.

This is a good book for beginners looking for an intro to heaven. It also provides a lot of hope for parents who have lost young children or mothers who have had miscarriages.

The behind the scenes looks at the movie at the end of the book are fairly interesting. They include interviews with actors and other crew members. I would have enjoyed a longer interview with the original Colton Burpo, now in his teenage years.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.
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on April 17, 2014
Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent is an emotional, spiritual one of a kind true story that will make you second guess all that you believe.

They say bad luck strikes in three, so when Pastor Todd Burpo breaks his leg, has a cancer scare and kidney stones all at once; you would think his luck would suddenly turn for the better.

When Todd's 3 year old son, Colton Burpo, suddenly gets sick, soon afterwards, his wife and him pass it off as a simple stomach bug. So, when Colton does not seem to be getting any better and can't stop throwing up, his family decides to take him to the ER. Upon arriving, Colton is weak and has the look of death upon him, doctors can't find what is wrong after many test. Fed up and at their end's, the Burpos decide to make the long drive to the Great Plains Regional Medical Center. Upon arrival, doctors order a CT scan, which shows what the Burpos had been suspecting all along, Colton's appendix had burst and was infecting his entire body. Knowing emergency surgery is all that can possibly save their son, the doctors cannot guarantee they can save Colton's young life.

Colton spends 15 days in the ER and has 2 surgeries and soon leaves the hospital with a clean bill of health. Weeks pass and Colton begins to do strange things; yelling out at funerals, talking about Jesus and describing John the Baptist, talking about his grandfather and miscarried sister. The only logical explanation for Colton's strange behavior is that he went to heaven during those 15 days at the ER.

This book was an absolute amazing book, that I could not seem to put down. This is the movie edition book and I have not seen the new movie, yet, but am even more excited to see it now after reading the book. This book came with pictures of the real Burpo family and special interviews with Colton Burpo.

I highly recommend reading this book, if you have ever had a doubt that Heaven is real, this book will make you second guess yourself. This is a book good for all ages.

Heaven is for Real movie comes to theaters - April 16th

*Disclosure: I received this book free of charge on behalf of BookLook Bloggers. All opinions are solely my own and completely honest.
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on May 6, 2014
This book tells the story of Colton Burpo and his supposed trip to Heaven. He gets sick and after a round of doctors, needs an emergency appendectomy. After his surgery he begins telling various things that happened while he was visiting Heaven.

There are many other similar stories that tell of near-death experiences and this one is not very different other than it was a young child telling the story. My major concern is how many times he says something and Todd Burpo, Colton’s father says he could have never heard that before unless he had been in heaven. The problem is that Todd is a minister in the Methodist Church. The child of a minister hears far more lessons and Biblical discussions than the average person. Even if he is only four years old, it is very likely that he had heard many of the things that his dad said he had not heard. This may not seem like that much of a concern, but was a red flag for me.

Another concern is that there are certain things in this story that don’t align with what the Bible says. If it comes down to believing what this book says or what the Bible says, I will stick with the Bible every time.

As far as the story, it is a very inspirational and perhaps motivational story. This family overcame many obstacles and was able to maintain their faith in God. If you like stories of hope then this might be a good book for you, but I would recommend getting your theology from the Bible and not this book.

I received a free copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for this review.
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on September 7, 2014
What if there were something else other than our earthly existence? What if many of the ideas and reports of heaven are real?

Can anyone really imagine such a place?

I found Todd Burpo's retelling of his son's journey both inspiring and somewhat frustrating. Inspiration comes from the unwavering belief expressed by young Colton Burpo that heaven is real. His recollections are beautiful and lead to hundreds of questions that may never be adequately answered.

My frustration comes from the "preachy" nature of pastor Burpo. I understand he is a pastor and is trying to connect with a wider audience. At the same time, it is often best to let the story tell itself without too much interpretation. Especially when skeptics – both religious and secular – will go out of their to punch holes into the story.
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