Those of you interested in further exploring Imagining Heaven,
When the Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd: “When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the spirit laughs for what it has found,” a Sufi proverb, is just one of the gems in this tale subtitled “Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions.” The author of The Secret Life of Bees and other bestselling novels has faced her own journey through uncertainty and shares her thoughts in this early work.
A Travel Guide to Heaven by Anthony DeStefano: Almost all the efforts to describe heaven through the centuries have, according to the author, been missing a key ingredient ~ fun! DeStefano uses the Bible as his guide to look for clues about heaven. Packing his carryon with logic, fun, and adventure, he takes us on wonderful journey in search of what awaits us when we arrive at our final destination.
Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert: “To see is to experience the world as it is, to remember is to experience the world as it was, but to imagine—ah, to imagine is to experience the world as it isn’t and has never been, but as it might be.” Gilbert discusses philosopher D. Dennett who says the human brain is an “anticipation machine,” and “making future” is the most important thing it does.
Life After Life by Dr. Raymond A. Moody, Jr.: This book is “an investigation into the remarkable similarity of experience among Those Who Have Returned from the End of this Life.”
The Nevertheless Principle by Marion Bond West: A discussion of and tools for overcoming…”whether you are in the midst of a severe crisis or you want to overcome small, everyday anxieties…” relinquishing fear, discovering that nevertheless is used in the Bible more than ninety times, enabled Marion to live courageously in a fearful world. Marion Bond West has written for Guideposts for over twenty years.
50 Days of Heaven by Randy Alcorn: “To catch a glimpse of Heaven… We need only to take a closer look at Earth and imagine what it once was—and therefore what it will one day be again. … If the underside of Heaven, the back of the tapestry, so to speak, can be so beautiful, what does the front side look like?” In this excerpt from Day 29, the author of the best-selling book Heaven gives us a view of The New Earth: A Greater Eden, one of 50 daily meditations on his exciting and Biblical view of Heaven.
When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner: “If the bad things that happen to us are the results of bad luck, and not the will of God…what makes bad luck happen?” Rabbi Kushner’s response to the death of his son led him to write this book which brings a new premise to the question of how we seek comfort from God if we believe he caused the pain we are suffering. The premise that there is random evil in the universe, that “…nothing makes bad luck happen; it just happens” is the philosophical key to everything Rabbi Kushner suggests.
Sandy, A Heart for God by Leighton Ford: A father’s love, heartbreak, joy and grief shine through this moving story. Sandy is a scholar, athlete and leader beset by a rare heart problem. Intent on following God no matter the obstacles, Sandy’s life ends far too soon. Leighton Ford tells an inspiring, even uplifting, story that offers comfort to those whose walk has been shadowed.
I Will Never Forget You, A Ritual of Grief and Celebration by Maureen Ryan Griffin: As she works through what remains after a peaceful and peace-filled parting, Maureen finds that all the writing to express emotions and all beauty of last words weren’t enough. She had more to tell her mother; more to understand and to experience. This ritual provided the peace, acceptance, and closure that she needed, and she shares it with us in hopes that it will aid us in ways that bring us comfort and grace.
Spinning Words into Gold, A Hands-On Guide to the Craft of Writing by Maureen Ryan Griffin: A book filled with information, examples, and exercises regarding the Whos, Whys, Whens, Wheres, Whats, and Hows of writing—from personal concerns, like creating time and motivation to write, to craft concerns, like choosing a subject and developing a setting. Use it to glean ideas for shaping, polishing, and publishing your work—fiction, nonfiction,, memoir, or poetry. Use it to weave your life stories into a legacy to share with loved ones. Use it for your own healing, self-discovery, and growth.
Writing to Heal: A Guided Journal for Recovering from Trauma and Emotional Upheaval by James W. Pennebaker, PH.D.: “The simple act of expressing your thoughts and feelings about emotionally challenging experiences on paper is proven to speed your recovery and improve your mental and physical health. This book, written by one of America’s most distinguished research psychologists, guides you through a brief, powerful series of directed writing exercises you can do right in the book. Each will leave you with a stronger sense of value in the world and the ability to accept that life can be good—even when it is sometimes bad.” Pennebaker covers, among other subjects, the value of stream of consciousness writing, constructing and editing your story, broaching forgiveness, and the powerful role that fiction, poetry, dance, and art can play in healing.
Praying for My Life by Marion Bond West: When life’s “facts” (twin 35-year-old sons both in the hospital fighting serious health issues) challenge her faith, Marion finds herself praying for her life—a desperate prayer for reassurance of God’s promised faithfulness. Her honesty and uncompromising faith, coupled with a wry wit join to create a heartwarming and sometimes even funny collection of stories. Marion has written for Guideposts for over twenty years.