Thursday, October 27, 2011

1st review for

"Heaven Is For Real" by Todd Burpo
I originally read this book when I borrowed it from my now ex-fiance. 
His mom past it down to him and I heard all the buzz so I checked it out.
It's a story about a 4 year old boy who has a near death experience and through it comes a supernatural encounter with God.
The first time around, I was literally a few days into really accepting Christ so reading this book was mind-blowing. My jaw was literally dropping on some parts and I felt very encouraged that I had made the right choice in getting closer to God (especially the part when Colton knows about his other sister). I just could not believe that a little boy knew so many things and not understand the magnitude of his experience and how this family could manage to overcome all of the turmoil. I especially liked the generosity of the community and when Colton finally identified the right picture of Jesus.
Now a few months later, I re-read this book with a much more critical perspective (both because now I'm further in my walk in faith and because I now blog about books to help people). 
I gotta say, it's different when you've done your research. It didn't give me the "wow" it did the first time around.
I still breezed through it but I had a lot of question marks now.
I read a lot of reviews before I pick out a book to read now and will go out of my way to make sure I'm not reading anything from false prophets.
One person said a very insightful comment by noting that the marketing trick behind this was what's made it such a success. Everyone wants to believe it's from the child's point of view because of the cover (since children are less likely to manipulate because there's innocent).  I know that's what I thought initially. I thought it was Colton writing with adults helping him out with the proper grammar but it's pretty much the dad narrating. That's also pretty much how it goes in interviews and Colton seems to have more of a personality in the book than on camera. Here's a link:
According to this interview, he doesn't even remember it vividly because of time and I'm sorry but if I felt I met our Lord & Savior, I don't think I'd ever forget that. 
Do I feel that this book does its job? Yes. It definitely encourages us and reminds us of why we all follow God. It's also great for new believers who aren't familiar with Scripture (like it was for me then).
Do I think it's being done in the most accurate way? No. I think that the Burpos are genuine but I'm not exactly sure the experience was genuine. God provides us with all the information we need to know in His word and we should get as excited with that as we do with heartwarming tales like this. 
This book is tremendously popular because it paints the picture we all imagine but people forget about what has to happen in order for that to be a reality..the Burpos didn't have this experience when everything was picture was a hard road. We must remember that part of the story as much as the heaven part. 
The only difference between this version and the regular version is there's more pictures, which is kinda cool. I remember thinking the original version was a treat with just a few pages but this one almost has a mini scrapbook going. Overall, a great story with the right intentions.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

'til next time, stay classy!♥

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Firstly, I figured out how to put ads on this thing. Yay!
Secondly, the ad I put up (under my "about me") is about this cool website I found. 
As I mentioned before, I was already going to start my own book reviews here. Well now on this website, I can write reviews for myself and them simultaneously...and they give me the books for free.
How awesome is that? Yay!
The only downside is you have to pick from the limited selection they have but they update all the time...and you can't really complain when you get free books in exchange for your opinion.
Book 1 is already on its way! :)
I found it while reading reviews and trying to pick my next buys from I'm almost done with the one I originally needed to finish. A few days later that I wanted to but whatever.
A new hobby brewing maybe?
Sounds like it and as lame as it sounds, I'm excited...which is something I rarely experience as of late.

this made me wanna cry cuz it's soooo cute.

'til next time, stay classy!♥

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

i laugh every time.

still can't get over it..

Sunday, October 2, 2011

finally 21.

So today I was watching this guy at work play some really beautiful chords on the guitar (don't ask me which ones though haha) and I started thinking," Man, I've been putting off buying my guitar forever." 
I wanted to buy myself one for my birthday and start learning but because I had to pay some bills, I decided I would wait a little more. When I heard the guy play though, I was tired of hearing and wanted to make the music so I just bought this beauty. I think I'll name her Stela, lol.
My 21st wasn't at all what I imagined it to be. It was full of emotions and conflict and definitely not your average coming of age. However, I have some good people for friends so at the end of the evening, it turned out to a pretty fun time dining and drinking a few with some friends at a new restaurant that recently opened up. I did a lot of reflecting on how much had happened from one year to the next and how much my situation and my opinions have changed. For example, what I think about this link:

The article talks about Mexico considering temporary licenses. Basically people get married and at the two year mark, they renew their contract if it's going good or opt out to call it quits, supposedly to spare the stress of divorce. Now, while I understand the good intention of this I really am quite offended (which is something I haven't experienced before about topics like this). This is destroying the entire concept of marriage. Marriage is the biggest decision you can make and people are significantly reducing the importance by giving them a way out. It's degrading and sad. It makes me think of points from a lot of the books I have been reading recently. You don't get fat overnight. You get fat because slowly but surely, you eat more than you should and exercise less. It's a gradual process. Normally, you don't blow out your back in one injury. It's just years of stress that finally wear it down.Our economy's financial situation is a bunch of small, bad decisions that are now surfacing and biting us in the butt. This principle is what can also explain society. People ask why today's culture is as bad as it is right now and this "temporary marriage" idea is exactly why we keep digging ourselves into a deeper hole. It's choices like these that gear us in a direction where we shouldn't be going. I bought a journal in Memphis that had a lot of quotes I agreed with and I think this one applies:

"The more humanity advances, the more it is degraded." 

I've changed a lot of my ideas lately, not because I'm any less empathetic but because I'm learning that being objective doesn't mean being heartless. I used to let emotions control me and a lot of the times, that's why I failed. Living a life based on what you feel can be very, very up and down and I just want stability. I came across some interesting stats that made me think.

40 years ago…

  • The average house was 1000 sq feet, now it’s 2422 sq feet
  • A McDonald’s cheeseburger cost 30 min of wages, now it costs 3 min
  • There was 1 car for every 2 households, now there are 2 for every 1 household
  • Life expectancy has since gone up by an average of 8 years
  • GDP has since tripled or gone up 8.9 trillion dollars
So we live in bigger homes, make more money, and have longer lives. 
If that is the case, how can we explain that in the last 40 years:
  • The divorce rate has doubled
  • Teen suicide has tripled
  • Recorded violent crime has quadrupled
  • And depression has increased 10x – that’s right ten times.
These stats get me thinking..a lot.
I know what it feels like to be chronically depressed and don't want my children to feel what I did. 
The type of family I want has had me change opinions on a lot of things.
I used to be indifferent about this whole Toddlers & Tiaras controversy but now I think it's absurd. We are stripping innocence away from children. If we start drilling them about image at such a young age, how can we not expect them to have a complex growing up? I think kids have enough to worry about growing up in a decent household and parents who love them. Once they go out into the world, they are influenced by teachers, TV, and countless other sources and I can't honestly believe some parents subject their kids to such scrutiny. I don't want gay marriage to be legalized and I'm sorry if that offends.We are blurring too many lines. I get silver lining can be good but we need to have black and white. Structure is what keeps us grounded. If we don't stand for something, we fall for everything. People who are making legitimate steps to legalize gay marriage understand that they have a voice and use it. Others don't take advantage of it due to fear of being seen as too narrow-minded. I used to have an extreme phobia with that myself but lately, I'm having a change of heart. Seriously, too many people are band wagon followers. I don't want my kids questioning their sexual orientation at age 4 when they ask why I have a husband and why other girls have wives. I'm not trying to sound like I hate gays. I don't. I was also heartbroken about the recent suicide of that 14-year old boy who was bullied for being gay. I have a best friend who is gay and would never want him feeling like that. However, I respect that from a Biblical and scientific point of view, we were designed for a man and a woman. A man cannot impregnate another man and two women will never produce a baby. It's just simple anatomy. As much as people roll their eyes when they hear the Bible being brought up, no one can deny the fact that once you take a look at it, it answers pretty much any question life can throw at you. No other book can do that. Some people frowned upon what this guy said:

I respect this guy for being so firm in his beliefs despite the criticism. I aim to be that strong someday. For now, I'm working on it. I'm reading a book that I'll elaborate on later. I used to think I was really liberal but this year, I'm discovering I have a lot of opinions I've just been suppressing and these are just a few of the many. Can you imagine how long of an entry it would be to document them ALL? You would never come back to this blog again, lol.

'til next time, stay classy! ♥