afterlife · Apologetics · book review · Five Star Review

Answering the Toughest Questions About Heaven and Hell

Answering tough questions about heaven and hell
Image courtesy of Bethany House

Answering the Toughest Questions About Heaven and Hell by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz

Published by Bethany House(2017)

ISBN:978-0-7-7642-1871-2(Print)

Grab your copy on Amazon!

*Book received for free from Bethany House Publishers*

Here’s a sobering fact: “More than 7,000 people die each day in the U.S. Nearly 11,000 are born each day.”(Answering the Toughest Questions, pg.28, 2017).

Bickel and Jantz began this book in the most logical way by asking: Is there an afterlife in general? The tone of the book is conversational, intellectual and made for very easy reading.

However, where the book excels in being  highly organized, the answers given may satisfy those who are deep in the religion and who never waver from the Word of God whilst “new school” believers like myself, believe in Christ but are not quite sure if everything the bible paints is 100% accurate or made clear.

The good part is that the authors actually save the biblical teachings for later. They offer information on the afterlife based off of sound research and used ingenious quotes from Peter Kreeft, Freeman Dyson, Alan Segal, and more.

The real question remains though: Were they able to give us what we want?

Well, the authors were humble enough throughout the book to mention that they do not have clear answers on everything. In fact, going with God, reading the bible and combing through research dealing with the afterlife is anyone’s best bet.

Another cool feature of this book are the reflection questions at the end of each chapter. The questions are tough too! Not something to take lightly. This is your afterlife we’re talking about here.

Below are a few teaser bits of what I learned from this book:

  • Before followers of Jesus were called Christians, they were called people of the way because Jesus said it first that he was/is the way to heaven.
  • C.S. Lewis said “we have an innate desire for immortality so immortality(in some form) must exist.
  • Death may not sting, but it still hurts(I love how they put that!)
  • Life after death can be explained through biology, consciousness, teleology, and physics- to some degree.
  • Our brains and minds are separate. Therefore, when the body dies our minds or spirits will live on.

I enjoyed this book completely. It sort of rekindled my faith. I love reading theology and Christian living books for this reason.

Do you have any thoughts or experiences you’d like to share here? If you have reviewed the book also, let me know!

-The Write Web 🙂

afterlife · Communicating with God · contemporary christian fiction · heaven · Romance · writing

Heaven, or Nah?(A short, fictional romance)

Image from unsplash.com/Designed by Ericajean using Canva

His hands crushed mine, not tenderly, but tender in love and fiercely. The honey brown orbs that were his eyes, pierced mine as he grabbed hold of me, already feeling me slip away.

I never seen my boyfriend cry before. But I am now. It hurts like no other pain.

Everything was growing blurry…two of him, twin tearing men. His white shirt, rumpled with a few paling brown coffee stains splattered on the front, probably from rushing into to see me in my final hour.

“NANINNNNNE! Don’t you dare leave ME!” He growled, his hands no longer felt tight on mine. Was I slipping from this world to the next so soon?

I said something, I think. My lips moved, a tear raced down my cheek as my truly handsome boyfriend stared in terror.

Did not matter how often we prepped for this moment.

All the prayers and all the research of my breast cancer. Late stage, lead us here. I guess, the Final Act cuts deep.

My grip suddenly felt ghost to me. Foreign. My hold loosened on it own as Eric leaned closer to me. My family were all crowded around me, their hands touching my legs, my stomach. Praying. Weeping.

A door slammed in the distance. Another reaction to my dying.

Adin’s warm breath reached my eyelids. My heart began a lub….DUB….lub…..so achingly slow. My lungs couldn’t catch up to any natural rhythm either. The pain meds wore off long ago.

“Nanine.” He slides his hand up the side of my arm. “Don’t. You. Leave. Me. I will chase you across worlds. Remember? I will-” My poor man choked up. I gather strength enough to look into his eyes.

What I saw shocked me.

Shocked me enough to make my heart hit a few beeps.

His eyes, pupils dilated, were deep pools of black. His full lips leaned down over me and my gaze stuck to his as his hot lips landed on mine sensuously in front of everyone.

Only Adin can make me feel this way. Even with my bald head, body nothing but bones from the chemo that ravaged my body, he made me feel sexy. Alive. Always have.

His hot gaze, fierce, determined, supremely angry, swallowed me whole. I believed for a full minute that he literally could chase my soaring soul to wherever.

Our connection have always been so strong.

After the kiss, he only moved an inch from my face and ran his hand down my cheek. “I will find you.”

Suddenly, I couldn’t chase air. My heart’s rhythm, a normal drum in my chest, ceased it’s beat.

I can’t! I can’t breathe! My heart won’t tick!

Oh!

The room, Adin, my family their echoes of pain sounded so far away. I mentally clawed for life. Clawed for it.

Adin’s face of anguish, his honey eyes were the last things I saw before complete darkness overtook me.

*

My lips were kissing something wet and very cool. Smooth.

My eyes were drawn so tight, they felt like lead at this point and I was afraid to open them. My memory slipped from me. Where am I ?

I risked opening my eyes slowly, shocked at the clarity without my glasses. In clear, HD panoramic view, there were lush trees and bushes everywhere, birds chirping.

Some cherry blossoms, floated by me and landed near my face. My face was hovering above clear, beautiful liquid, too amazing to just call water.

My body felt so…clean and lightweight.

Staring at my reflection, I was shocked my skin seemed to glow whereas it was usually pale. It had a hint of gold to it, but the ripples in the water from my movement caused my shimmery glow to vanish.

I finally pushed myself up and on the bank, startling a small squirrel prancing around, chasing its own tail.

The squirrel seemed more orange than brown.

Where am I?

“Nanine Bijou.”

A deeply male, familiar voice made my heart race. I look down at my slightly sun kissed skin and was terrified at how I could see through hands, as though through a veil.

The male approached me.

He was as naked as I am. Shimmering like me. Barely solid, barely ghost.

Oddly familiar too.

His eyes were large, his body designed and perfected in some lab probably and his lips had to be fashioned in supreme love by God himself. I felt nervous, giddy, confused.

He approached me but kept a safe enough distance. “Welcome home, Nanine.”

“Home?”

He reached out to me with his hand. Feeling lost and so utterly confused, even with all the beauty surrounding me, I take his large hand.

“I told you I would chase you from one world to the next.”

Familiar words. Familiar face and lips. Those eyes.

Why did they look so familiar?

Why do I feel…connected to him somehow?

___________________________________

Stay tuned this week for the short conclusion to this love story!

Please comment. Like. Subscribe and share if you like this post!

Thank you!

©2017Ericajean. All Rights Reserved.

 

afterlife · book review · Five Star Review · Romance · Youth/Young Adult

‘Dying to Remember’, Another 5 Star Review

portrait of a beautiful blonde on the beachDying to Remember (The Station Series, #2)*

Trish Marie Dawson

Copyright 2014

Read on Kindle App

*Click book title link above for more details!

5 Stars

**********

WARNING! Some Spoilers for those who have not read the first part. Thanks for your understanding!

The Backstory to The Station Series and Sloan

Dying to Remember picks up exactly where Dying to Forget left off.

At the end of Book 1, Piper finds Sloan in the Station with her. Sloan is the handsome young man whose mind she resided in for some time.

For those of you a little lost, let me help you out a bit. Piper Willow is dead. She now resides in the afterlife at a place called the Station, where it is her job to be the consciousness of teens about to commit suicide.

Sloan was one of her assignments.

She did great with him so why is he here at the station?

Being inside of Sloan’s head is one thing. But to have him appear at the station in all his deliciousness, having every female bat their eye at him and every man jealous of him, things have kicked up a notch at the station. But Piper learns that when she was pulled from him abruptly, he missed her Voice.

Image designed by Ericajean using Canva
Image designed by Ericajean using Canva

In other words, he heard her and when she left, he became depressed again.

Sloan killed himself because he learned a few surprising things and these things are enough to wrench your heart.

And yes. He and Piper get awfully close.

Then something amazing happens.

I will let that part be a secret. Just get the book already 😉

My Thoughts and Reaction to Dying to Remember

Now, what is this Beyond that is spoken of in the book?

As someone who likes reading about spiritual stuff and the afterlife, but within context of my own beliefs, The Station Series proves to be a bit challenging and exciting.

I say this because, there is mention of a Beyond and even of Hell, but hell is what a persona makes it.

This is not your ordinary Sunday school teaching here.

The Beyond is a mystery.

Second, the visual feast of words Trish Marie Dawson uses is worthy of a Steven Spielberg production. I believe this can be a film. Truly.

When I tell you this book has me itching to read Book 3, I am so serious. If you have not read the Free download of the first part, please head over to my Dying to Remember blog post, and grab the link quick!

Stay tuned for more reviews and remember to share these posts with your friends and your own teen at home.

I appreciate it! 🙂

afterlife · Angels · book review · Romance · Youth/Young Adult

Even the afterlife has its drama, four stars for ‘Level 2’

Level 2 (The Memory Chronicles, #1)Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Anytime a sci-fi novel mixes in with the supernatural and mythology, you can bet it will be something strange. In Applehans’ debut novel Level 2, Felicia Ward is in the afterlife and learns there has to be more to the afterlife than just the blinding white walls and being jammed into chambers of memories. What she does not know is that her memories are clues to where she is and that romance certainly never dies.

Felicia never made it to her eighteenth birthday and she now resides in Level 2- a holding place between our world and the next. She greatly misses Neil, her choir boy boyfriend and repeatedly “watches” memories of him. She does not know how long she has resided in Level 2, but think it has been an eternity.

Then there is Julian. Julian is the super hot looking boy who she knew in the land of the living. What is he doing there with her in the afterlife? He comes to her with this message: “I’ll be coming for you soon…I know where Neil is.”(Applehans, 2013, p.9: Level 2)

Felicia soon finds herself at the mercy of someone who betrayed her when she was alive. Should she trust Julian now? Does he really know where Neil is?

Level 2 has so many good things going for it. The imagery of a stark white afterlife where your body is numb and you can conjure up any weapon, tool, or dress just by thinking it- are fun to read about. Then throw in a handsome boy and some teen romance and the book is even more intriguing.

What was less intriguing are the memory stamps and the confusion as to why only Felicia’s energy is needed out all the billions of people on Earth? The memory stamps made the story sound or seem staccato to me because I wanted to stay in the present. Granted, those memory breaks are pertinent to the story and some were really cool to read. So I can’t complain too much.

I do, however, wish to read the sequel when it is available. I am plugged in to Level 2.

View all my reviews