Heaven Is for Real Book Review

9 September 2016

The Title of this literature is “Heaven is for real” and the author is Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent. II) The Brupo family lives in Imperial, Nebraska. Sonja and Todd Burpo are the parents of four wonderful children. Cassie, Colton, Colby, and one daughter that passed away due to maternal complications, are the children of Sonja and Todd Burpo. While on vacation during 2003, The Burpos family visited Denver Butterfly Pavilion. It was to celebrate Todd’s recovery from a shattered leg, kidney stones, and hyperplasia (a lump in his chest).

Colton falls ill to feverish symptoms and what appeared to be a “stomach virus” (uncontrollable vomiting), so the fun ended early for the Burpo family. When he is transferred to Nebraska’s Great Plains Regional Medical Center, Dr. Timothy O’Holleran diagnosed him with a ruptured appendix. He had been living with toxins in his body for five days straight as a result of the ruptured appendix.

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After undergoing an appendectomy (removal of the appendix), Colton once again developed another sickness.

He developed three abscesses (a swollen area of the body that has accumulated pus) and had to undergo another operation (a celiotomy) to remove the abscesses. After the various operations, Colton made a remarkable recovery. The events that follow shock Colton’s parents when he reveals that he took a trip to Heaven while he was in surgery. III) “Heaven is for real” focuses on Christian faith and belief. The book addresses that Heaven is real, God is real, Jesus is real, and even Satan is real. This is done through Colton’s experience in Heaven while undergoing his surgery. The book addresses people to be strong in Christian faith and in Jesus.

The Burpos family has been deeply affected by their son’s visit to Heaven. Colton’s experience gave his mother the strength to move on from her maternal complication with her daughter. Colton reassured his great grandmother that she will find Pop (Lawrence Barber, her husband) in Heaven because he did. Colton’s experience made Todd Burpo realize that he could be real with God, even through anger and God would listen, he didn’t need a religious prayer to make God listen. “We are bolder” (Todd Burpo, 153), this experience has made the Burpos family stronger; it gives them faith every day to believe in God.IV) Todd Burpo is the pastor of Crossroads Wesleyan Church in Imperial, Nebraska. His sermons are broadcasted every Sunday on the local radio. He is very much qualified to share his son’s experience because he relates Colton’s experiences to what sacred texts say about Heaven and God. Throughout the story Todd Burpo provides citations from sacred texts and holy books to support what Colton claims is Heaven, what is in Heaven, who is in Heaven, what the people in Heaven look like, what Jesus looks like, what god looks like, and etc.

Todd Burpo however is not a publisher or writer so he needed the help of Lynn Vincent. Lyn Vincent is the New York Times best-selling writer of Same Kind of Different as Me. Lynn is the author or coauthor of nine books, worked for eleven years as a senior writer, then worked as features editor (covering politics, culture, and current events). Todd Burpo wrote this book to share his son’s experience with the world. He believes that Colton experienced something special and it should not be kept a secret, it can help people hold onto their Christian Faith and have a stronger belief in God.

In his own words he says, “We live in a day and time when people question the existence of God. As a pastor, I was always comfortable talking about my faith, but now, in addition, I talk about what happened to my son. It’s the truth and I talk about it, no apologies. ” (Burpo, 153). V) When the Burpos family returns home from the tragedy, they faced huge depression after seeing the medical bills and overdue monthlies. The bills left them $23,000 of debt buried deep under the ground. However, with the help of family and people who had prayed for Colton, they had been able to pay out the debt.

The next event that follows is visiting Colton’s cousin (Bennett). During the way, Todd jokingly scolds Colton and asks him “Do you want to go back to the hospital? ” but Colton said he did not want to go, he instead insisted them to send Cassie. When Colton’s mom had asked him if he remembered the hospital, he responded by saying “Yes, Mommy, I remember… That’s where the angels sang to me. ” Not taking it seriously, they thought maybe he had a dream. But Colton then goes on to say that he “went up out” of his body, “spoken with angels” (Burpo, 61), and “sat in Jesus’ lap” (Burpo, 61).

Colton was even able to say where his parents were and what they were doing while the doctor was “fixing” him up. His father was in a room praying, and his mother was on the phone with family members and also praying. This definitely shocked the Burpos and it was then that they realized that something extraordinary happened to their son. This is when the Burpos itched to get more details out of him about Heaven and what he experienced. The first description about Heaven he mentioned was “rainbows. ” “There’s lots of colors…in Heaven.. That’s where all the rainbow colors are.

Todd eventually asked Colton what Jesus looked like and amazingly Colton responded by saying exactly what the question had asked. “ And he has brown hair and he has hair on his face.. and his eyes… oh, Dad, his eyes are so pretty! ” In addition, having no knowledge about the Crucifixion of Jesus, Colton tells his father that “Jesus has markers. ” He states that the markers are red and that they are located in Jesus’ palms and the tops of his feet. Colton shows this to his Daddy through physical demonstration. Colton also explains to his Dad that “Everybody has wings” in Heaven.

Everybody but Jesus has wings, so when the angels are flying, Jesus is ascending. Another one of Colton’s experiences is when he met Pop, his Great Grandfather. His father finds this out because Colton asked whether if Pop was his mom’s father or his dad’s father. However, when Todd showed Colton a picture of Pop when he was old Colton had responded by being unfamiliar with the picture. He told his father that “nobody is old in heaven…and nobody wears glasses. ” When Todd showed him a picture of Pop when he was younger and without glasses though Colton recognized him.

When Colton went to Heaven, he also met his baby sister. Colton described her as being small and having dark hair like her mom. Colton said that his sister wanted everyone to know that she was okay and she was doing well, “Jesus adopted her. ” This was significant for Colton’s mother because it helped her defeat her guilt for having a miscarriage and it helped her to start healing. VI) Jesus said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. ” I agree with this quote because it describes children as being pure.

Children are honest, humble, and they live life happily doing the things they love. These attributes are “hard-wired” into children; you can’t get them to change. Children are able to accept reality and to accept things the way they are even when it is hard or strange. Think about it! From my personal experience, my brothers were the last ones to become affected by my parents’ divorce. Even though Daddy does not live with them, they understand that Daddy and Mommy cannot be together. Being the middle child I accepted it also, but it was harder for my older sister to accept it, it hurt her more than it hurt us.

Up to today I believe my little brothers are unaffected by my parents’ separation and divorce. Even after Colton’s experience in Heaven, he was able to continue to do what he does best, crash superhero action figures into evil villain action figures. Though his experience shocked his parents, he thinks of it as “normal. ” This quote is important to the book because it shows how Colton was able to go to Heaven and it shows that if we have the same attributes that Colton has, maybe we will go to Heaven also.

Men of Galilee’ – “The same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven. ” After Jesus died on the cross, it is said that his spirit ascended upwards into Heaven. This supports Colton’s claim that Jesus has no wings. Colton specifically mentioned to his father that Jesus would move up and down and the Angels would fly. This quote directly supports that God has no wings, he ascends and descends. This quote is significant because it supports Colton’s claims and shows that he is not lying about what he saw in Heaven.

Todd Burpo- “You might as well tell God what you think, He already knows it anyways. ” This quote is saying that you should be true to God. No matter what he will respond to your call. Even if you are angry at him, let out your anger. When Todd was angry at God and questioned his faith, he let out his anger; even then his prayer was heard. If something is bothering you, then tell God. You deserve to tell God what you think because “God loves the children. ” God loves all of his children. VII) “Heaven is for real” raises numerous issues dealing with religion, raises numerous questions, and even challenges other religions.

This book specifically mentions that you have to be a Christian and you have to give Jesus your soul in order to go to Heaven. So this means that Devout Christians are the only ones going to Heaven? What about other religions? What happens to the people who believe in God, but who do not have a “Christ” in their religion? “Heaven is for real” raises questions about which religion to truly follow. If this book is true, then does this mean that people should change their religion and faith to Christianity? What does this mean for me, a born Hindu follower?

Even though there are a lot of questions, there also are a lot of answers. The book gives a general to detailed description of what heaven looks like. “Heaven is for real” also supports the afterlife. Countless, numerous people often wonder if there is or there is not an afterlife. Well for a person like that, this book answers your question. As for the whole story, are people ready to believe Colton? The story has touched my heart and I believe Colton. I just don’t know if I should change my faith. It looks like there are more questions than answers. VIII) VOCABULARY Paraphernalia (noun)- Personal items that belong to you.

Guile (noun)- Deceitful, cunning, full of tricks. Appendix (noun)- A tube-shaped sac attached to and opening into the lower end of the large intestine in humans and some other mammals. Appendectomy (noun)- A surgical operation to remove the appendix. Celiotomy (noun)- A surgical operation used to make a small incision in the stomach. Zinged (verb)- To move swiftly. “Spiral Break” (noun)- A type of bone fracture that is caused by a twisting force. Tailgate (noun)- A hinged flap at the back of a truck that can be lowered or removed when loading or unloading the vehicle.

Hyperplasia (noun)- The enlargement of a tissue or organ due to multiply of reproduction cells. Precursor (noun)- A substance that forms before, pre-stage. Lumpectomy (noun)- A surgical operation that is used to remove enlarge tissue or cells. Upchuck (verb)- To eject the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Appendicitis (noun)- A serious medical condition in which the Appendix has become enflamed or painful. Threshold (noun)- A strip of wood, metal, or stone forming the bottom of a doorway and crossed in entering a house or room. Paralytic (noun)- A people affected by paralysis.

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