God Works in Mysterious Ways

“You have no idea the numbers of people that God may want to influence through you.” Andy Stanley

One of my favorite Bible verses is, “Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.”  (Matthew 7:7 NRSV)   But what does it mean exactly?  Does it mean God will give us whatever we ask for no matter what?  No, of course not.

In Matthew, Jesus goes on to explain that God will only answer to what is good.  Our requests and prayers must also not interfere with the lessons we came here to learn. I once had a deep conversation with a Catholic priest about this verse.  Why is it that some prayers are answered and others aren’t?  Why are some cured while others aren’t?  Why do bad things happen?  His response was, “God doesn’t cause bad things to happen, He only allows them to happen.”

Growing up, I was raised Roman Catholic and always believed in the power of prayer.  My Godmother Lucy was extremely religious and I loved going to Sunday mass with her.  Despite so many hardships in her own life, her faith never wavered.  Lucy was one of the first to teach me how to pray but as I grew older my prayers have become more conversational than formal.

birdEach night before I go to sleep, I always ask God to help me do what I am meant to be doing.  I ask that He guide me in everything that I do.  As an author and motivational speaker, things are sometimes so overwhelming.  I feel a tremendous obligation to my readers and to the members of my Facebook groups, etc. but I also need to put my family first.

Last month, I was having a tough week and asked God if my work was really making a difference.  I felt like I wasn’t giving my work the attention it deserved and asked for a sign that I needed continue writing my books.

That same day I had to make an appointment with my daughter’s pediatrician in order for her to get her required immunizations for college admission.  When I called I was told that my doctor could not see me but since my daughter was only getting two vaccinations they would give me the nurse practitioner.   I did not recognize the name of the nurse practitioner and had never taken either of my daughters to her before.

When we arrived for my daughter’s appointment we waited in the office for the nurse practitioner to join us.  After about 10 minutes, she walked into the room and introduced herself and I told her why we were there.  I noticed her looking at me but didn’t think much of it until she said, “Varga?  Are you the author, the one who writes about near-death experiences?”

You have to understand that this doesn’t happen often and when it does I am always thrown off.  Yes, I am an author but it is always odd when people recognize me.  I looked over at her and said, “Yes.  How did you know that?”

“Because I read your book,” she responded.  Remembering my request for a sign, I looked at her dumbfounded.  She told me how much she believed in the afterlife and how much she admired my work.  I thanked her for her kind words.  But she gave me much more than kind words, she gave me the encouragement I so desperately needed.

Recently, I asked for another sign.  In September, I will have two daughters in college and have been worried about how we are going to make ends meet. One night I was again feeling very conflicted.  I know if I take another full-time job it will take away from my afterlife research.  It will certainly impact my work as an author and motivational speaker.  So on this night I asked for another sign.  “Tell me Lord if I am meant to stay on this path.”

The next morning I sat at the kitchen table drinking my coffee when a bird suddenly appeared.  I watched it as it sat on my patio chair for several minutes.  (Actual photo is above.) I was amazed by how long it remained in front of my window seemingly staring straight at me.  I wondered if this could possibly be a sign and grabbed my phone to capture a picture just as it took off.

Our loved ones in heaven are in spirit form and are pure energy.  This means that they can direct their energy into animals when they want to bring us a sign.  When this happens the bird or animal will act in a way it typically would not act.

Later that day I went on to my computer and found a private Facebook message from a woman named Anabel.  Her message read, “I recently bought your book and I was listening to your podcast and I just wanted to thank you.  You opened a part of my heart and I am so grateful.  I recently lost both of my parents and I have felt so lost without them but your books have helped me.  You gave me the biggest gift.”

Unbeknownst to Anabel, she had given me the biggest gift.  She went on to tell me how she had followed my advice in one of my podcasts and started talking to her mother asking for a sign.  That night she had a dream visit from her mother.  Her dream proved to her that her mother did, in fact, hear her.

At one point in the dream she asked her mother if it was really her.  In response, her mother replied, “Of course, it is.  Who else would it be?”  Anabel’s letter truly warmed my heart and literally brought happy tears to my eyes.

Anabel, thank you for allowing me to share part of your story.  You wrote, “You have opened a part of my heart that was so lost.”  Thank you sincerely for your immensely kind words.  But I hope you can now see that you opened my heart as well.  God works in mysterious ways.  It is up to us to listen.

Get Ready for a Heavenly Deposit

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2 (KJV)

Angels, those wonderful spiritual beings who perform God’s will, appear everywhere in the Bible.  Sometimes these angels have taken human form.  So if it was possible for angels to walk among us then wouldn’t it seem fair to assume that they can still walk among us today?

This month I had the honor of attending the East Coast Premiere of Heavenly Deposit starring George Vincent and Kristina Denton.   The film tells the heartwarming story of a struggling, jobless actor named Peter Ranos who loses all faith until a divine encounter turns his life around.  The film is based on real events involving Vincent and his wife Christina Svoronos.

An actor for more than 20 years, he started out working in theater before landing a recurring role on the popular Soap Opera, One Life to Live.  I was first introduced to him by a mutual friend who called and told me that I had to meet him because we had something in common.  I never realized then how true that statement would be or just how much I would be able to relate to him and his spiritual experience.

As a young boy, he had denied the existence of God after his father’s untimely death.  And as an adult, he lived with the belief that everything was up to him, never wanting to ask for help.  But everything changes when he and his wife Ellie (Kristina Denton) are about to lose their home.  On the verge of complete despair, he finally cries out to God for the first time since his father’s death.

I’m going to out on a limb here and say he probably didn’t think anyone was listening.  But, as they say, God works in mysterious ways.

Speaking of his spiritual beliefs prior to his experience, he admits, “I was lukewarm about my faith.  I knew God was there, but I just felt like he was too busy for me.  But as the film shows, accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior turned my life around. I went from being hopeless to being hopeful.”

His joblessness and stubborn pride also created many marital problems yet his wife Christina said she never let go of her faith.    “I never gave up hope,” she explained.  “I was always hopeful that things would work out.  I have always believed in God but I feel my walk with him has gotten stronger and more pronounced.  These days, I find myself praying daily and being more grateful for his guidance.”

Reflecting on her past struggles, Christina said she believes everything happens for a reason and we are meant to hopefully learn and grow from them.  “Our issues are so relatable yet many think they are the only ones struggling. I believe God uses people to help others.  We went through this experience to be able to make a film and help others who may be experiencing similar things.”

Soon after his spiritual awakening, Vincent began to share his story with anyone who would listen and was humbled by the overwhelming support he received.  One day while talking to a man who happened to be a minister Vincent was encouraged to make a film and share his story with the world.  Needless to say, making a movie is not an easy task and he had never before even written a screenplay.

(Left to Right) Rick Irvin, Kristina Denton, George Vincent and Christina Svoronos

Yet time and again the universe seemed to be pulling him toward making this film a reality.  In fact, he noted, many coincidences or what I prefer to call “Godincidences” occurred throughout the whole process. When he shared his story with fellow actor and producer Rick Irvin he found the encouragement he needed.  The two met in 2013 while working on another film project in which Vincent was the lead actor and Irvin was the producer.  Irvin recalled, “We met for coffee one day and I told him that I only wanted to produce faith based content from that point on.  That’s when George decided to share his amazing story with me.”  Irvin was immediately drawn to the story and told his friend, “Time to write the script.”

From then on, Vincent went to work on writing the screenplay and the pair joined forces producing and directing.  Both will tell you that securing the funds to make the movie was by far the most challenging part.  However, with a little trust in the divine, things started to fall into place and they found some investors who wanted to help bring the story to film.

When meeting Irvin, I was struck by his genuine and kind demeanor.  I felt a connection to him that I could not immediately explain but perhaps it’s because we both share a kindred desire to help others and make a difference. “George’s story is very relatable and I knew the audience would be able to go on this emotional journey with him while watching the film. I wanted to be involved because I wanted to make a film that uplifts the Lord. Sharing a personal testimony has much more power behind it than anything I could make up.”

As the author of several books highlighting personal spiritual accounts, I certainly couldn’t agree more.  Heavenly Deposit is truly a heartfelt film that shows just how far our faith can take us.  We need only trust.

Kristina Denton gives a brilliant performance as Peter’s wife, Ellie Ranos.  “The story really captivated me,” she said.  “It’s so universal and relatable.  I loved the writing, too.  It’s refreshing to have material so well written to work with. When I learned that this was based on George and Christina’s real experience, I was so moved that they were courageous enough to share it.

“I connected with their story so much.  I felt like I really understood where they were coming from, having been through my own financial struggles.  I was so honored to be selected to portray Christina and share her journey through this film.”

Fortunately for Denton, her life has given her many reasons to believe in a higher power.  She has been blessed, she explained, with many signs and her role serves as a validation of her own spiritual beliefs.

In one pivotal scene, Peter (George Vincent) hears a voice telling him to go to the bank.  Once there, he is greeted by a man who gives him a life-changing message.  Who was this man?  Although this was my favorite scene and I would love to share more details, I won’t give it away.  Vincent, however, did share that this stranger knew things about him he couldn’t possibly have known. “I had never seen him before and haven’t since.  It was so surreal.  One moment he was there and then the next moment he was gone.”

Having known Vincent before he began to make this movie a reality, I watched the film not only with pride in his impressive accomplishment but also with a certainty I know all too well.  For more than 15 years I have explored a variety of metaphysical phenomena including afterlife communication, near-death experiences, divine interventions and deathbed phenomena.  For me, watching the film was a knowing beyond knowing and a heavenly reminder that I am on the right path.  Like Vincent, I too listened to my inner voice.

Denton explained this well when she said God sends us lessons in many forms but we need to be open to receiving them.  “Once Peter surrendered, he was finally able to receive the help he so desperately needed.  The moments when we are most vulnerable in life seem to be when we’re the most open to receiving the messages we need to hear.”

Vincent was born and raised in New York and comes from a loving, Greek household.  His parents, he said, instilled in him the core values of family, working hard and living a life of integrity.  Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the word angel is derived from the word angelos which means messenger in Greek.  For George Vincent is truly a messenger and his message is called Heavenly Deposit.

Soon to be released on May 28, Heavenly Deposit will be available on digital download on platforms like FandangoNow, Red Box, On Demand, VUDU, Christian Cinema.com and others.  It’s also available on DVD for pre-order at Walmart, Amazon and Best Buy.  For more information or to see the official trailer, please visit www.heavenlydeposit.com.

Connecting with Your Loved Ones

Unable are the loved to die.  For love is immortality.”  Emily Dickinson

People have been communicating with their deceased loved ones since ancient times.  The Ancient Egyptians, for example, believed that the world between the living and the deceased was actually very much connected.  And what’s more they believed their loved ones on the other side could intervene with the land of the living.  In fact, they even wrote letters to their loved ones with specific requests.

backyardskyIn modern times, inventors Guglielmo Marconi and Thomas Edison were both known to have attempted to create an apparatus which would allow for communication with those on the other side.   People are always asking me if it’s possible to communicate with their loved ones or how to initiate communication. And if it is possible, then why haven’t they received any signs.

First off, yes, it is very much possible.  They communicate in a variety of ways.  You don’t have to be a medium to communicate with your loved one.  Going to a reputable medium can certainly make it easier but it is not necessary.  Just yesterday, I was facing the mirror in my bathroom when I suddenly saw an image of my Godmother Lucy in my mind.  In my mind, I could see her standing behind me.  I turned around to look in that direction and could sense her presence.  I spoke to Lucy out loud and then proceeded to go down the stairs to my kitchen.

Suddenly, my home alarm began to chime for no reason.  In fact, it did so three times in a row.  My alarm was not on so the motion sensor would not have been activated.  However, the alarm does sound when someone either opens the door or certain windows regardless of whether it is on or not.  At first, I panicked thinking someone entered the house.  But when I checked my doors and windows, they were all closed.  I realized then that this was a sign from my Godmother Lucy acknowledging her presence.

However, signs from our loved ones are usually subtle and it is unrealistic to expect communications such as these all the time.  Since they no longer have the benefit of a physical body, they will communicate by using their energy.  When this happens, they will most often make their presence known through thoughts.

I don’t mean thoughts that you would expect.  For example, you are looking at a photo of your loved one and your mind is full of thoughts of them.  When our loved ones communicate, the thoughts seemingly appear out of nowhere.

Unfortunately, many people tend to ignore these thoughts and when they do they often miss the message.  At my godmother’s funeral, I clearly heard her (by thought) tell me to put a picture of my two daughters in her casket.  I was so sure of what I heard that I did what I was told.  A few years later, a medium told me that my godmother wanted to thank me for the pictures.

If you want a sign, just ask.  Talk to your loved ones.  You may even choose to ask for something specific.  Obviously, you won’t always get a response but our loved ones on the other side can and do hear us.  Once you ask, pay attention and try not to expect too much.  I was once given a reading by a friend who is medium.  I was given a message for someone else.  I was told that this person wanted to acknowledge the Lazy Boy. When I relayed the message, I was told very cynically that while there was indeed a recliner, it was not a Lazy Boy.

I mention this because while it’s important to be skeptical, it is also equally important to be open minded.  If you are too closed-minded, you will frequently miss the signs when they do occur.

As I’ve said many times, dreams are the easiest place for our loved ones to visit us.  Our subconscious is relaxed and open and we are not overwhelmed by the everyday distractions of our conscious mind.  Before going to bed, talk to your loved one or hold an object of theirs in your hand.  This can often help you to connect with their energy or even receive messages by thought.

There is a beautiful Eskimo proverb that states, “Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy.”  And perhaps those stars are always within reach.  We need only wish upon them.

‘Twas the Week Before Christmas when I Asked for a Visit from Heaven

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year but, for those who have lost loved ones, it is also the most painful.  For many it is a difficult reminder of the missing present under the tree or the empty chair at the table.

In the spirit of the holiday season, I wanted to do something a little different and share a poem I wrote as a reminder that our loved ones are always with us.  I hope this in some way will help to ease your pain and lift your spirit in the knowledge that love never dies.  Happy Holidays! HolidayPhoto2018

T’was a week before Christmas, when memories of you occupied my mind,

Tears filled my eyes for all you left behind.

Not a creature was stirring as I got down on my knees,

In hopes for a visit from heaven to fill my heart with glee.

 

Finding it hard to partake in all the holiday cheer,

My heart so empty, everything so unclear.

Trying so hard to cope but everything is so different,

Without you, life just feels so empty and insignificant.

 

So on my knees I prayed for a visit from heaven,

The clock read just passed 11:00.

Please let me know that you are still near,

That your love for me is still dear.

 

When all of a sudden, I heard your sweet voice,

My heart raced as I rejoiced.

“I am happy and with the angels,

Sometimes I even sing with the archangels.

 

 

“Someday we will be together again,

Until then. . . 

Please try not to be so blue,

Be happy and live your life anew.

Know that I will always love you and

Have never really left you.”

 

The moment seemed so surreal,

Yet I sprang to my feet knowing it was so real.

I felt the warmth of your spiritual embrace,

The room now full of your undying love and beautiful grace.

 

Grateful for your heavenly sign,

I gave thanks to the divine.

With new-found strength to cope,

My heart so full of faith and hope.

 

I now have a reason,

To rejoice this holiday season.

No longer do I walk in solitude,

Those precious memories of you fill me with such gratitude.

 

When suddenly as before,

I heard your sweet voice so clearly once more.

Reaching down on me from above,  

“Merry Christmas with all my love.”  

With this gift, your comforting voice,

I shall rejoice. . . 

Until we meet again. 

Hello from Heaven: Ask and You Shall Receive

Smile… heaven is watching.”  

 African Proverb

You are watching television but all of a sudden you could swear that you saw someone from the corner of your eye.  How many times has this happened to you?  Seeing a glimpse of a person in spirit or even seeing a shadowy figure are actually very common.  Our loved ones do not want to scare us by appearing full on so this is their way of being subtle and non-aggressive.

angelcardAlthough our loved ones will most often appear to us in our dreams, they do appear to us when we are awake.  Clairvoyance means clear seeing or the ability to see beyond our ordinary perception.  There are different ways that this can happen.  For example, you may see an ethereal figure or mist.  You may even see an orb.  Often times, these orbs will present themselves in photos.

It is easier to receive messages from spirit clairvoyantly or in other ways when you are relaxed and not distracted.  Recently, I was in California visiting a good friend of mine.  My husband and two daughters decided to spend the day at Universal Studios while I spent the day with my friend.  That morning as we waited at the hotel for our rented vehicle, a dragonfly kept flying back and forth in front of my face.

As I watched it, I told my husband that I felt this was a sign that my friend’s deceased sister was going to be there with us.  Later in the day in my friend’s apartment, we decided to take out a deck of angel cards that had belonged to her sister.  I shuffled the cards and asked her to focus as she randomly reached for a card.

She handed me her chosen card and I read it aloud.  The card mentioned that she needed to pay more attention to signs from her loved ones and trust in the signs that she was receiving.  As I continued to read, I suddenly saw a glimpse of someone walk passed me on my left side.  Shocked, I stopped reading and asked my friend if she had just seen what I saw.  She had no idea what I was talking about.

I told her that I could sense her sister’s long hair and felt she was there with us.  Still stunned, it was my turn to pick a card.  In my mind before picking the card, I asked her sister to tell me if that was really her and, if so, asked her what was the message she wanted to share.  I then randomly reached for a card picking the “Hello from Heaven” card. It was a message from Archangel Azrael.  It read:

“Your loved ones in Heaven are doing fine.  Let go of worries, and feel their loving blessings.

“Your loved ones aren’t far away; in fact, they’re quite near.  In your quiet moments, you can feel their presence.  These really are true visitations, and I ask you to trust your intuition.  You may notice dream visits from deceased loved ones.  Know that your loved ones are happy, free of all suffering, and want the same for you.  Your loved ones want to work with your guardian angels to help you be peaceful, so watch for other signs from Heaven.”

I told my friend that I wanted to pick another card.  Again, I randomly reached for a card.  In my mind, I then asked what the angels would like me to know.  This time, I picked the clairvoyance card with a message from Archangel Raziel.  It read:

“I’m helping your spiritual sight to awaken fully so you can clearly see Heavenly love.

“Your clairvoyance may come in different forms: as fleeting mental images in your mind’s eye; as dreams; as recurring sights in the physical world; as auras and energy; or as apparition experiences.  All of the facets of clairvoyance are beautiful and varied.  Enjoy and trust them.  Hold the intention of seeing only love, and that is what you’ll see.”

We both sat there looking at each other both stunned and amazed.  Is everything a sign from a loved one?  No, absolutely not.  Do I believe her sister was really with us that day?  Yes, I do.  Do I believe her sister and the angels were communicating with us?  Yes, again!

What is important to note here is that the signs were both timely and specific.    That morning, I encountered the dragonfly outside of my hotel.  Dragonflies are known to symbolize the afterlife. Later the first card drawn by my friend encouraged her to trust in the signs that she was receiving.

At that same time, I saw a quick glimpse of her sister on my left side.  However, I was questioning whether or not what I saw was really her.  So I drew a card asking her sister if she had a message to share.  I then randomly choose the “Hello from Heaven” card.

Stunned and wanting more proof, I then choose another card asking the angels if they have a message for me.  This time I randomly choose the “Clairvoyance” card. This card encouraged me to trust what I was seeing.   Again, these signs were both timely and specific.

One of my favorite Bible passages is “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (KJV)  Our loved ones are much closer than most of us realize.  They want us to know that they are OK and they want to help us in any way that they can.  All we have to do is ask.

Where are the Miracles?

“Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy to your dreams as you do to your fears.” Richard Wilkins

The Bible mentions countless examples of miracles. There are hundreds of them, for example: Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, Jesus turns water into wine, Jesus walks on water, Jesus cures a blind man, etc. So if these miracles were possible then and if there truly is a God or a higher power, why wouldn’t miracles and divine interventions be possible today?

Miracles are typically supernatural, statistically impossible events that nonetheless occur. But what one may consider a miracle may not be so incredible to someone else. This week I had the opportunity to see Tony Melendez perform a concert for the parishioners of my church. His music filled the church as he beautifully strummed his guitar. Song after song, I found myself mesmerized by him lost in his tonymwords.

Tony was born with no arms after his mother was prescribed thalidomide for morning sickness while pregnant. His confidence in his music made me forget about his disability yet his inspiring faith in God and humanity often filled my eyes with grateful tears. What a gift it was to be able to witness his presence and feel his faith.

He told the parishioners that he felt normal growing up. Yes, he had no arms. But it wasn’t like he lost them and now misses them. He never had them.

Fitted with prosthetics at the age of 6, Tony soon realized that he could do just as much without them. He learned how to live his life to the fullest with what he did have. “Please don’t tell me that you can’t,” he said. “Because you can.”

In 1987, his life changed forever after he performed “Never Be the Same” for Pope John Paul II in Los Angeles. The Pope told him to keep playing and bringing hope to others. Tony became an overnight sensation and has since never stopped playing.

There was one thing that he said, however, that really struck a chord in me. Tony mentioned how people sometimes ask him, “Where are the miracles?” In answer to that seemingly difficult question, Tony effortlessly responds that he sees miracles in the very fact that people have arms. My eyes welled up with tears as I thought about his profound words.

We take so many things for granted in life. To a man like Tony just having arms is a miracle. Think about that for a moment. We don’t realize how blessed we truly are until something is taken away from us.

I, too, was born with a disability. Luckily, my cerebral palsy is mild but I still have my challenges. My muscles are numb and weak in some areas of my leg, and I suffer from bilateral hearing loss. I understand wholeheartedly what Tony means when he says he sees miracles in arms.

Growing up, I saw the kids playing and running in the street. Today, as an adult, I see people talking or listening to music. I have never heard an entire song. There are always words that escape my ears. So, to me, the very act of listening to music is miraculous. To me, each day that I can stand up and put one foot in front of the other is miraculous.

I was once told that I had no idea what I was missing because there are so many sounds I cannot hear. I remember standing in front of the audiologist somewhat stunned and confused. How could I even begin to comprehend what she was talking about if I’ve never had the opportunity to hear those sounds? Like Tony, this is my normal.

As the saying goes, it’s all relative. Most people don’t even give the fact that they have arms a second thought. Neither do people who are not hard of hearing. So, likewise, what you may perceive to be a miracle is dependent upon your view of certain things and situations. Everything is measured by individual perception.

Albert Einstein once said, “There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” I don’t want to speak for Tony but, like me, I’d be willing to bet he’d say the latter.

Tony continues to travel around the world inspiring others through his gift of music. For more information, visit his website at www.tonymelendez.com.

******************************

My youngest daughter Lia was there with me as we all watched Tony. Seeing him left quite an impression on her and she wrote the following poem.

LOOK AT YOUR HANDS

Do you really believe that you’ve never seen a miracle?

Look at your hands

A maze of crevices creating a path to your fingers

Opposable and capable

With these you can do anything

Your mind thinks but these hands can execute

They write stories, hold hands, catch Frisbees

Look at your hands

Do you really think that you’ve never seen a miracle?

Look at your hands

 

Tony sings for Pope John Paul II.

 

IS HEAVEN REAL? WHAT IS HEAVEN LIKE?

“Your kingdom come.  Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

(Matthew 6:10 NRSV)

The first time, I had a reading with a psychic medium, I was understandably nervous and had no idea what to expect. I was put almost immediately at ease, however, when my deceased cousin Lina came through.  The medium gave me several validations which indicated that it was indeed my cousin including mimicking her personality.  But one thing he said has always stayed with me, “She said to tell you, ‘Boy, wait until you see how beautiful the afterlife is. Heaven is beautiful.’”

The day was December 28, 2007. I have never forgotten about that reading and, truthfully, so much has changed.  For one, I believe in the afterlife and the existence of heaven more than ever before.

At the time of the reading, I was in the midst of doing research for my book, Visits from Heaven. Since then, I have continued my afterlife research and have written several books.  One of the main and most difficult questions that I consistently get is what is heaven like? It’s difficult not because I’m not sure of its existence but rather because it has proven to be indescribable in so many ways.

Fortunately, I’ve interviewed many who say they have been to heaven and back over the years. And who better to answer this question than someone who’s been there?  There was something about Steven Musick’s story that really struck a chord in me.

After having a severe reaction to the swine flu vaccine while he was in the Navy, Musick died, went to heaven and even had a conversation with Jesus. As remarkable as that is, it’s not what drew me to his story.  Truthfully, I’ve heard it all before when speaking to NDErs.  What intrigued me was his claim that heaven is much closer than we think.

Steve-MusickWhen asked what heaven is like, Musick admits it is extremely difficult to describe the vitality of “That Place” but equates it to super high-definition TV on steroids. In his book, Life After Heaven, he describes seeing green meadows, rolling hills, billowy clouds and bright sunshine.

“The light is brilliant, beyond description,” he writes. I can see no roads or other construction. I am surrounded by a profound sense of abundance. Of completeness. Of perfect being.”  He goes on to describe heaven as a place of “explosive peace” and pure joy.

Heaven is a very real, physical place. In fact, he writes, it is more real than this world.  It’s a beautiful place that commands you to be present in the magnificence of the moment. Although I’ve never had a near-death experience, I understand full well what Musick is saying.  I’ve seen the vibrant colors in the visits from heaven that I’ve received.  I’ve felt that peace and the magnificence of the moment.

I couldn’t help but wonder what it was like, however, to actually be in the presence of Jesus. While walking with Jesus, Musick said he was given a life review. At that time, he understood that nothing in life is without purpose—both the good and the bad.  “He made everything that happened to me make sense,” said Musick.  “There is no real vacancy.  God was and is always there.”

Although he wanted to stay in heaven, he was told that he had to go back. When he did, he found that he had been in a coma for five weeks and his body was now weakened with 60 percent damage in both lungs along with a heart murmur.  His body once fit to join the ranks of the prestigious Navy SEALs went from 195 to 126 pounds.

He explains that his recovery was painful and the very act of breathing became an inconvenience. All that changed when he was allowed to visit heaven again. He experienced a miraculous healing while attending a church service.  He passed out on the floor of the Denver Vineyard church and found himself in the presence of Jesus once again.  This time, Jesus tells him, “Things will be different now.”

When he came through, he was able to take a full breath of air for the first time in 10 years. He felt whole once again.  Things were different; very different.

“When Jesus said, ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven,’ he wants us to experience heaven here on earth. We should all experience more of the kingdom of heaven than we do,’” he explained.  We do this, he points out, by taking advantage of what he calls bubbles of heaven. These bubbles of heaven are, according to Musick, indicators of God’s profound reality in our lives.  They are opportunities to feel God’s presence in the here and now.  They are opportunities for us to spread joy and good in this world, love others and share God’s message.  They are profound moments when we can make a difference and heaven literally shines through us.

Musick shares examples of his own bubbles of heaven in his book. In one case, he confronts a stranger who was physically abusive to his wife.  The encounter ended with the man shedding tears of repentance.

Love, he says, is the language of heaven. “The economics of the kingdom of heaven are upside down: giving is better than getting, death can be life, life as the world sees it can be death, loss can be gain, gain can be loss,” he writes.  “God’s kingdom often flips the way we do little things upside down.”

The kingdom of heaven he notes is closer than we are led to believe but in order to notice it we have to allow it into our lives. When these bubbles of heaven arise, he notes, they need not be miraculous or paranormal. Sometimes they are seemingly ordinary events with the power to transform everyday lives.

His mission, he pointed out, is to share his experience and help people take full advantage of these moments. “My mission in life is to bring the message that the kingdom of heaven is closer than we think,” he said, “and everyone should experience it.”

For more information about Steven Musick or his book, please visit www.stevenmusick.com.