While some of the Bible study questions and "extra" supplemental information were nice, it was really the exact same as the regular book. If you are planning on doing a Bible Study on the book, the Deluxe Edition is nice. Otherwise, the original is just the fine, and you aren't missing anything too important.
So to revisit my review ...
I ... loved ... this ... book.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to my old Rochester friend Tara for sending it to me. You were right Tara. It was fantastic.
This book is written by a father, a pastor, who nearly lost his four-year-old son. When his son Colton got out of the hospital, he starts telling his parents about what he saw while he was in ... heaven! As Colton's father writes, “...when I was angry at God because I couldn't go to my son, hold him, and comfort him, God's son was holding my son in his lap.”
Here's the thing, even if you don't believe the story, what the pages of this book present are incredibly powerful. It gives you so much to think of. It paints heaven as a real place -- which I think we often forget about.
I was especially moved by two incidents in the book that I wanted to briefly share.
The first is the fact that, not knowing his parents had suffered a miscarriage before he was born, Colton recounts meeting his unborn sister in heaven. When his father asks Colton if the little girl said anything, Colton replies, "Yeah, she said she just can't wait for you and Daddy to get to heaven ..." And Burpo writes that, "From that moment on, the wound from one of the most painful episodes in our lives, losing a child we had wanted very much, began to heal.”
I believe that anyone who has lost a child will be blessed greatly by the words of the book -- words that remind you that your child is very much real. Very much alive. Very much with Jesus.
Colton meets his grandfather, who had died decades before Colton was born. And he provides details that he could only know if his story of heaven was true.
And then, there's the part about Jesus. When Colton shares that he met Jesus, his parents begin showing him pictures, over many months, of Jesus. Did he look like this Jesus? Did he look like that Jesus? Colton keeps telling them it isn't right. That the pictures they are showing him aren't quite the Jesus he saw.
Until his parents show him a photo drawn by a young girl. Child prodigy, Akiane Kramarik. I am sure many of you have heard of Akiane's story. A homeschool child who didn't watch TV and had never participated in any discussions about God, starts sharing with her atheistic family about her belief in him. (You can read more on Akiane's story by clicking here.)
When Colton saw Akiane's photo of Jesus, his eyes grew wide. He said the picture was perfect. That it perfectly mirrored the Jesus he met.
I truly believe your life will be better after reading this book.
Mine definitely is.