Thursday, June 21, 2012

Heaven is for Real

Okay, I feel like it's been years since I posted!  Oh well.  Anyway, I have recently read a real life story about a four-year-old boy named Colton Burpo who went to heaven and came back, all during his surgery at the hospital.  Then Colton legitimized his experience by describing people he had never even met and by portraying heaven with biblical accuracy.  His father Todd Burpo recounted Colton's near death experience and how his son's trip to heaven changed his family's perspective about life and God.  Here's a quote from the book:

"'Do you remember the hospital, Colton?' Sonja said.
'Yes, Mommy, I remember,' he said.  'That's where the angels sang to me.'"
Now, what really stood out to me in this book was the account of Colton meeting his unborn sister in heaven.  I mean, I never thought too much about meeting a person who was never born. It's kind of awesome, and I can't imagine how much joy it will bring to the mothers who have lost their children.  Another thing that intrigued me was that the book showed that even a pastor or a respected teacher can lose it sometimes (*cough cough, Dad! ;) *).  Colton's father was shocked to realize that his son had seen his temper tantrum with God from heaven, since he had thought he was alone.  It was a reminder to me that no one is perfect and we ultimately can only depend on God's grace to make up for our inconsistencies.

It's a relatively short book, but it's filled with heartfelt family moments, glimpses of the hope of heaven, and adorable quirks of an innocent child.  Heaven is for Real will strengthen your hope of the eternity we have through Jesus Christ and will be a joy for your library and your family for a long time.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

White Lion Chronicles

So, I finally finished the White Lion Chronicles.  I think I spent months just trying to get through the first book.  Now this isn't because I disliked the series, it was just the sheer business of my daily life.  However, I am proud to say that I have read it at last.  Now for my review.

Of the Christian-themed books I have read thus far, I find that this series most honestly evokes the necessary, Biblically founded truth that all Christians should know.  There is so much reality in it, which is ironic considering that the whole story is set in an imaginary realm called Dionia with practically unreal beings and occurrences.  The warriors fight with swords that burst into flames and that are able to slice through stone columns with ease.  The monsters known as the Dairne-Reih are hideous, loathsome creatures with inhuman strength and bloodlust.  The very foundations of the land and sea are literally shaken as Dionians encounter the greatest enemy of them all: Morgui.  All of these fantastic adventures and people seem beyond the humdrum normalcy of real life.  Amazingly enough, all of this does happen, just not in a physical realm.  The flames of the sword are only summoned through the Sacred Tongues of the Holy Spirit, the Dairne-Reih are physical embodiments of demons, and Morgui represents the real life enemy, Satan.  Chris Hopper perfectly captures the essence of our ultimate need of a Savior, regardless of the alternate universe that could have been if Adam and Eve had never sinned.  In the end, we are human and we will always fail to meet God's standards by our own efforts.  That is why Jesus is needed so badly.  There are plenty of other themes in this trilogy (including the kind of love that only marriage can complete and the power of redemption), but I would say that that is the overarching concept.

Admittedly this book series is not meant for younger readers, as violence, bloodshed, and suffering plague the characters until the epic finale of the last book.  Still, if you need to be reminded of why it's so important that you persist in your walk of faith, even when God supposedly cannot hear your cries, the White Lion Chronicles is a must-read.