Monday, June 2, 2014

Book Review: Heaven Changes Everything by Todd and Sonja Burpo (no spoilers)

Book: Heaven Changes Everything
Authors: Todd and Sonja Burpo
Publication: October 9th, 2012
Source: Audiobook from Local Library
Read: April 20-26th, 2014
Summary (From Goodreads):
How does a visit to heaven change your life?

 Todd and Sonja Burpo's almost-four-year-old son Colton made an unforgettable trip to heaven and back during the darkest, most stressed-out days of their lives. Times were tough, money was scarce, and the bills, frustrations, and fears were piled high.

 How did Colton's visit to heaven change things for them individually and as a family? And what does any of this mean for you and your life?

 Todd, and for the first time ever Sonja and Colton, from their perspectives, share what has happened since the release of their "New York Times" bestseller, "Heaven Is for Real." Through their own experiences, and after hearing from thousands of the more than eight million readers who have shared how the story has affected them, they show you how believing heaven is for real will help you survive hardships here on earth, including the death of a loved one or the loss of a child through tragedy, miscarriage, or even abortion.

 Todd, Sonja, and Colton answer questions such as: - Is it really okay to struggle with and question God? "Really?" - What hope is there for me if I've lost a child or a loved one to death? Will I ever see them again? - What does heaven feel like? - Can I know for sure that I'm going to heaven? - Does God really hear me when I pray? They also explain how their story can help you keep thoughts of eternity in mind in the midst of your own overly busy, stressed-out lives. Heaven truly "is "for real, and believing it changes everything

My Thoughts

I enjoyed Heaven Changes Everything almost just as much as I enjoyed Heaven is for Real. I knew after I finished Heaven is for Real I wanted more of Colton's story. I found it in Heaven Changes Everything. I have to say I still don't believe in everything that was said in this novel or Heaven is for Real. As I mentioned in my review I do believe Colton had an amazing experience so that he could share his faith with the people on Earth. 

The thing I liked about this novel is that it emphasized that people are not perfect, but God loves them anyways. You have to have a relationship with God to get to Heaven, but nobody is perfect except Jesus so when we sin we are forgiven. Jesus died so that we could be forgiven and go to Heaven. Even pastors and their families are not perfect. 

Keeping Heaven in mind changes everything. Todd and Sonja talked about how they can't wait to go to heaven and see all the love ones that they missed. I'm excited to reunited in eternity with my loved ones also. I think the christian faith just makes end of life so much easier because we don't have to worry about our life here on earth being the end. We have heaven. I think it going to be exciting to finally meet my savior and be in heaven. Of course I'm not ready now, but like Todd and Sonja I do look forward to heaven. I think this book gave me a better perspective of how to anticipate heaven without wishing life here on Earth away. Jesus is praying for us to join him up in heaven and honestly I want to meet him at the end of my life here on Earth. 

Todd talked about his struggle with faith. After all he is a pastor and pastor's should never question God, but like normal people Todd is not perfect. I myself have questioned God. Why he makes bad things happen to good people I still can't explain? I have been mad at God for long periods of time because I don't understand. Let's take my dad losing his job for example. After 14 years of employment my dad was let go. This was a very hard time in our family. My dad was working on his 2nd masters at the time and had to drop at school because we couldn't afford it. My dad losing his job was a blessing in disguise. He got a new job that wasn't as stressful and allows him to spend more time at home with us meanwhile he was able to finish his master, but at a better more interactive online setting. Almost the same thing happened to my mom 2 years later. She is now home more and not as stressed at work. Although I blamed God for both of their hardships I now see that he was trying to give our family more time together. I do believe everything happens for a reason and although there are still some things I will never be able to see the bright side on I do believe it is normal to be angry with God. 

The last point I want to highlight is when Sonja talks about Child- Like Faith. I loved this in the last novel that Child-Like faith is such a pure form of faith. Their third child Colby has begun to pray to the lord to help people and has become a comforter much like Colton. A point that stuck out to me last book is when Colton told the man in the hospital that "the first person he would meet in heaven is Jesus." Now Colby is displaying that same type of faith in Jesus. Sonja talks about her passion for children and her love for youth ministry. Colton keeps telling Todd that "Jesus really loves the children." Sonja wants church to be a welcoming place for children just as the Sunday School rooms are. I think this highlights on the point that we can learn something from the Child-Like Faith Colton and Colby share. We can learn that God doesn't want us to pray using flashy terms, but to pray like we mean it. 

I have highlighted some points in the book that stuck out to me. Overall I believe this was a great book and gave me a lot of think about. I think this would be a great book for people to read. There are so many places in the books where I remember places in my faith I can improve on. It stregnthen my faith and my walk with God. 

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