Heaven Is For Real

Heaven is for real I just finished up the book “Heaven is for Real.’ Normally I don’t enjoy books like this that sensationalize someone’s experience of the “afterlife” and coming back, but this one pulled me in #1, because it was a child, and #2 because it has been on the New York Times best sellers list for awhile, and I wanted to read what all the fuss was about.

The synopsis of the story is this: A little boy suffers for a week or more with acute appendicitis that is untreated because of a doctor’s misdiagnosis. By the time the parents get him out of that hospital, the boy is near death. He is immediately operated on within minutes of arriving at a new hospital that actually did a CAT scan and diagnosed the burst appendix. During the surgery, the boy has a near death experience and visits Heaven. I won’t give any more details of the actual book away  in case you want to read it, but I will tell you what I thought about it.

  • At first I was skeptical. The boy is a pastor’s son, and certainly had lots of images of Jesus and Heaven read to him and spoken to him over his little 3 year old life. It could have been a freak of his imagination, or a very vivid dream
  • The more I read, the more I believed that this little boy probably did have a vision of the real Heaven and the real Jesus. When I say “real”, I mean “real” in a way that a 3 year old boy could understand without completely getting his mind blown
  • He came away from his experience with a very strong message from Jesus. “Jesus Loves The Little Children”.

My job isn’t to convince anyone that this book was real or a total fraud, but the thing that convinced me personally and made my neck hairs stand on end was this:

The father of this little boy was given the name of a little girl who had also seen visions of heaven. Akiane Kramarik began to have visions of Heaven and Jesus when she was four years old, never knowing about Jesus because her mother was an atheist. When I did a Google search for Akiane, and clicked on the first video that popped up, that’s when the neck hairs stood up.  About 15 years ago, I had a dream where Jesus was sitting with me in my childhood home. He said five simple words to me that I will never forget and have clung to ever since, “I am serving your family”. His eyes shone and sparkled and held the whole universe. His look was unlike any I had seen in paintings previously. He was burly, masculine, had short curly hair and a very bushy beard. The picture that Akiane painted was the picture of Jesus from my dream, only very slight differences. When Colton, the boy who had visited Heaven saw the picture, he said there was nothing “off” about it. It was Jesus to him.

Needless to say, this book made me love  Jesus more. I believe Jesus loves the little children. I believe He speaks to children in ways that they will understand. I believe He reaches the children no one else can, in ways no one else can. He reached out to me in this special way, and I am amazed by His love every single day.

I’d be curious to hear the stories of how Jesus reached out to you. He’s real. He’s alive, and at work in our world every day. Where have you seen Him?

10 thoughts on “Heaven Is For Real

  1. Jack Schull says:

    Michelle, thanks for the review. I’m a pastor and someone literally just sent me this book yesterday in the mail. It’s certainly intriguing and I’ll look forward to reading it. btw – tell Rob hello for me. blessings on your fam and all your family in India too.

  2. Dan Clark says:

    Michelle, I have not read this book, but I have read “90 Minutes in Heaven” by Don Piper and listened to his testimony. There is no doubt in my mind that he was in Heaven. Very powerful book and testimony.

  3. Millions of such experiences have been recorded over the past 6,000 years. Even Jesus met the Devil and angels. The real dilemma is what closed the veil between the spirit world (e.g. Heaven) and the world we presently inhabit.

    I wonder why the family waited so long to write of their son’s vision.

    Anyway. Check out Blood Quantum and you will definitely receive a broader view of the world that awaits and supports us every moment of our existence.


  4. Jan Magness says:

    I just finished reading the book and it helped renew my faith in Jesus. I found myself praying mostly to our Heavenly Father and ignoring Jesus. I was trying to find a way to ‘fall in love with Jesus’ all over again and this book really helped!
    I lost my sister to cancer a long time ago, when she was just 4. She kept telling my mom not to worry, that she was going to go see God and He would make her well. Her simple faith was this: God is good, He made everything that is good and beautiful. He loved her and she loved Him.
    She had no fear of dying and actually looked forward to being with Him. I always believed she was with Jesus and God, now I really know. My sister’s simple faith inspired me to a strong faith, but not much in the rest of my family. I pray for them.

  5. Brad Bordelon says:

    I was trying to search for the name of this book and found this link. I am very interested in reading this book. It is defininitely beleiveable. When I was 3 years old, the very first dream I remember having was one of me and the carebears riding in a rowboat. It looked like in Italy where those little boats go under the little bridges I see in the movies. On top of one of these bridges was a man standing in the middle looking down at us. He was wearing a hooded purple cloak. I remember being scared. The man said, My name is Jesus. Then I woke up and ran scared to my parents, which told me he wasn’t scary at all. The thing was I had never known the word Jesus before that day. Just thought it was interesting.

  6. Aaron says:

    I have a few concerns:

    1. Where is the money going that’s made from book sales
    2. Why are there no other witness accounts. According to the father, the child said stuff in the hospital during one of their interviews. So someone had to of overheard.
    3. Why do descriptions change of what happened in his visit to heaven?
    4. What is the purpose of writing the book and then promoting it? This goes back to question 1. Is it being promoted for financial gain and popularity, or truly to make others feel their faith is confirmed?

    I’ve also done some research in the area of near death experiences. Those who are Christian or are exposed to Christianity usually have these sort of experiences. I have found that people who are Hindu have different experiences. So does this suggest that it is just the brain reacting and using memories, or is heaven dependent on the individual?

    I do find some near death experience stories to be true to a point, but this one just gives me that bad feeling in my stomach that the father is using the son in some way. Akiane has records of where the money goes, but I have not found where the money goes for Todd Burpo.

    Also Akiane’s story is way different from Todd Burpo’s story.

    Those are just my concerns as to why I think this story is fabricated and would not be surprised if someone opens the doors to what the actual truth is.

    • Michelle Wegner says:

      Aaron, I don’t know the answers to your questions, but I do agree that time will tell the truth. There is no solid way to prove one’s own “experience”, but even if this story is made up and completely fabricated, it gave me pause and caused me to reflect on Jesus a bit more, which is a good thing. 🙂 You’re asking good questions. Nothing wrong with that!

  7. Aaron says:

    I also want people to know I am not in any way saying people are “idiotic” for believing this story. I am also not saying that near death experiences are fake. Just this particular case has me a bit uneasy because of how it’s being advertised by the father.

    Hopefully my gut feeling on this one is wrong. It saddens me when anyone of any faith uses their religion to gain for themselves. Of course gaining a closer relationship to their God/s is acceptable, but not when it’s used to become popular and make money for personal use.

  8. Pete says:

    Only the family know whether this boys account is true. It in no way strengthens my faith in Christ, as then I would be putting my faith in an eight year old boy telling me of his visions…I am sure Jesus wants my faith strengthened by his word and not the words of a child, this serves little purpose. I honestly think a child brought up in a religious house hold could certainly be influenced with a father telling him many stories of Christ, and such like, children have brains like sponges especially at an early age. I don’t like the cashing in Side, by writing a Book, Jesus doesn’t want you to Read Books to influence you, to convince you of his existence, believing in heaven because this boy says so? How does that serve any purpose? It’s a complete by pass of Jesus. The fact is we only have the word of this boys family, no other witnesses to what he said, or the information that was given, so it comes down really to whether we believe them? Was the boy told to say what he did? This is easily possible, why would they do it? Maybe to be recognized as being Holy by others, or for financial gain? Or the son said something about a dream he had, and the family elaborated on it? Led him to believe he had a Devine vision? Groomed him what to say? All of these are plausible I think, but maybe he was telling the truth? Again it comes down to whether you believe the family…I will not be buying the book, I will stick with my free Bible.

  9. steve says:

    The simple mystery for me is the eyes. The young girl paints her image of Jesus with beautiful greenish blu eyes. And the boy says he saw Jesus with the same eye color. Yet in no way could he have seen her painting nor could she have heard his story.

    The truth is, as we become older and mortality looms larger, so does the fear. Is this all? Is there a heaven? A child, bearing no such fear and no such complexities can believe with honest simple faith. Adults like myself have a hard time because we have complicated this world and lost our simple faith. So we fear. And in fear is when we lose our faith. Somehow in this story we want to be shown for sure just as we want to believe this child was shown for sure. But we are not shown. We are again asked to have faith.

    I choose to believe. I believe he did see heaven. And I believe that the young girl painted an image of what Jesus does indeed look like.

    And most importantly, I believe that he can forgive me too. In the end, that is what we all want. To be forgiven. We are separated from God here on earth. That separation is what worries us; what hurts. It’s what we don’t want after this life because in living separated from God we are living in hell. That is what I believe hell is: not fire but the loneliness we feel when we can’t see or hear God.
    So we want only to be forgiven, and feel his arm around us too, his smile at us, his love. We want only to be as loved and worthy as those children.

    So I choose to believe.

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