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"Heaven is for Real" Colton's NDE at Age 4 (Read 9737 times)
Berserk2
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"Heaven is for Real" Colton's NDE at Age 4
Jun 15th, 2012 at 7:20pm
 
If you haven't read this book, google Colton's Dad, Todd Burpo, and watch some of the impressive interviews on Youtube.  Todd is a Wesleyan Methodist pastor in a small town in Imperial, Nebraska.  He also serves on the local school board, serves as a wrestling coach for the local high and junior high schools, and also serves as a volunteer fireman.  Todd is a loving guy who is down to earth and very credible.  Little Colton's NDE at age 4 occurred during an emergency appendectomy in a North Platte hospital.  Colton's appendix ruptured and a massive infection set in after the surgery that required a second surgery.  The doctors and nurses serving Colton gave him no chance to survive, but of course he came through as good as new. 

The first hint that something unusual had happened was Colton's observation, "Dad, I almost died...God used Dr. Holleran to fix me.  You need to pay him."  This claim puzzled Todd because Colton seemed to scream every time Dr. Hollaran poked and probed him. and had no sense that this was for a healing purpose.  The reason for the comment became clear when Colton later reported watching the doctor operate on him from an OBE perspective.  When I find the time, I will survey Colton's NDE and put its most striking details in the perspective of other evidential NDEs.

Don
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Re: "Heaven is for Real" Colton's NDE at Age 4
Reply #1 - Jun 16th, 2012 at 11:17pm
 
Later, when the Burpos were driving near the hospital, Todd jokingly asked Colton whether he wanted to return to the hospital.  His young son unexpectedly replied, "That's where the angels sang to me."  Asked what songs they sang, he replied, "Jesus Loves Me" and "Joshua at the Battle of Jericho (a lively Gospel song appropriate for a 4-year-old)."  Colton asked if they could sing, "We Will, We Will Rock You," but they replied that that would not be the right song to sing in heaven.  Colton said Jesus asked them to sing because he was so scared, but their singing calmed his fears.  When asked where Jesus was at the time, Colton replied, "Dad, I was sitting in His lap!" 

I have shared my cousin E's experience as a 3-year-old.  His pastor Dad, George, was asked to perform an exorcism on a lady in her home.  Meanwhile, E was waiting outside in the car with his mother, my Aunt Ruth.  When the exorcism succeeded, E's eyes rolled up in his sockets so that only the whites were visible and E began screaming relentlessly.  His parents realized that the expelled entity was now trying to possess E.  It took several minutes before E was freed from this danger and calmed down.  E is now a psychiatrist and says that all he now recalls of the incident is bieng lovingly cradled in Jesus' arms. I've mentioned this expeirence before, but mention it again because of the parallel with Colton's experience of being cradled on Jesus' lap. 

Don
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Re: "Heaven is for Real" Colton's NDE at Age 4
Reply #2 - Jun 16th, 2012 at 11:36pm
 
I think that is a very good story. It reminds me of the book 'The boy who saw true' by Cyril Scott. That is the diary of a six year old boy in the Victorian age in England who finds it difficult to accept that his parents and sister cannot see aura's and ghosts like him. He decided not to talk about it anymore and write a diary about it.

The book was published after his death and because of the funny writing errors this original diary feels fresh and spontanuous.
It's not Cyril Scott's own diary but from someone else.
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Re: "Heaven is for Real" Colton's NDE at Age 4
Reply #3 - Jun 17th, 2012 at 2:49pm
 
Hi Don-

NDEs as related by children have credibility mainly because a child has no agenda of any kind or preconceptions that could affect an adult's interpretation.  Also they don't hold anything back as an adult might for fear of ridicule.  They "tell it like it is."

Btw I'm looking forward to your posts on the Religion thread.  I was brought up in the Methodist church but fell away many years ago.  Not because I disbelieve the Bible or what Jesus taught, but marriage and children became my main interest along with my career.

I believe it's past time that I reconnect with Christianity and hope I can do so with the impetus of your posts.  No matter how successful I've become and regardless of my material wealth, there is a spiritual emptiness that needs to be filled. 

R

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Re: "Heaven is for Real" Colton's NDE at Age 4
Reply #4 - Jun 18th, 2012 at 1:01am
 
Rondele,

I prefer not to establish the agenda in serious spiritual conversations.  Would you consider creating a list of questions that are important to you in the Religion section that might form the basis of a series of responses?  If not, I'll start a thread about basic questions about Christianity when I return from Buffalo to perform the wedding for a young man who was a small boy when I was there.  I'll be gone from this site for two weeks, the first week of which is our annual denominational conference. 

Back to Colton's NDE, I'm fascinated by a 4-year-old's efforts to describe scenes beyond his vocabulary and prior experience.  For example, Todd asks his son what Jesus looked like and Colton replied, "Jeus had markers."  He goes on to explain that Jesus had red marks on top of His feet and on his hands.  Colton has no idea that these symbolize Jesus blood wounds form his crucifixion.  Colton claims that Jesus had hair on his face and wore white and also "purple from here to here." The boy makes motions to depict Jesus' sash, a concept beyond Colton's experience.  He adds that Jesus  "wore a gold thing on his head," an obvious reference to a symbolic crown.  Colton makes the same motion to depict the yellow sashes worn by the children in heaven.  Purple, of course, is the symbol of royality, but Colton would hardly know that at age 4.  Then he observes, "everybody's got a light over their heads."  I doubt that a 4-year old would have the concept of halos; so this too is impressive.  Finally, he says that Jesus introduced him to His cousin, but Colton could not recall his name.  I doubt that a 4-year-old would rightly identify John  the Baptist as Jesus' cousin. 

I found one detail of Colton's interaction with Jesus particularly poignant: "Daddy, remember when I was yelling at you in the hospital when I waked up?"  "Jesus said I had to come back because He was answering your prayer.  That's why I was yelling."  NDErs are routinely told they must now return, but what makes this element special here is that Todd's praying included a series of rude and bitter complaints to God for allowing this fate to victimize his son.   Obviously, Todd's despair did not prevent God from discerning the love beneath the raving. 

My next planned posts will focus on the various verifications that Colton provides for his NDE.
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Re: "Heaven is for Real" Colton's NDE at Age 4
Reply #5 - Jun 18th, 2012 at 11:08am
 
Don-

When will you be in Buffalo?  We're just a short drive here in Canada.  Also what is the last day you'll be on ak?

I'll post two basic questions on Religion board that will start the conversation.

R
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Re: "Heaven is for Real" Colton's NDE at Age 4
Reply #6 - Jun 18th, 2012 at 1:50pm
 
Don,

I am always heartened by these NDE accounts.  I think the strongest verifications for me came not from the description of Jesus, but from the messages communicated from the child.

I believe that if the child were raised in the home of a pastor, it is quite possible that he may have seen images of Jesus, or seen books (I used to read Bible stories to my kids when they were 3 and 4 and show them books with pictures at that time).  From what I have read, Jesus was a humble man, a carpenter, and he is seen by different people in different ways in NDEs.  The purple sash and the like strike me as unnecessary, and an invention of man, painters, etc.  The person experiencing the NDE sees/hears what he/she needs to see. 

But for me, the most striking part of it all is the more direct awareness and messages that youngster had of God, having to go back and the rest.  I will be interested to read more about it. 

M
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Re: "Heaven is for Real" Colton's NDE at Age 4
Reply #7 - Jun 18th, 2012 at 2:24pm
 
VERIFICATION #! (Not the strongest, but interesting)
While in surgery, Colton watches Dr. Holloran operate on him from above.  He would later insist that his Dad pay the doctor for "fixing" him. Previously, Colton had only experienced the doctor as hurting him with his probes and jabs.  More impressively, Colton sees his Dad praying for him in a small room and his mother praying for him in a different hospital room and then making a phone call in that room.  Both details proved correct. 
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Re: "Heaven is for Real" Colton's NDE at Age 4
Reply #8 - Jun 18th, 2012 at 2:53pm
 
The next two verifications impress me the most:

VERIFICATION#2:
A few days later, Colton asks Todd: "Dad, you had a grandpa named Pop, ddin't you?" Colton had never met or even heard of his great grandfather, who had died in a car accident. Todd confirms this. Colton: "Yeah, I got to stay with him in heaven.  You were really close to him, huh, Dad?”  Todd's Dad was bipolar; so Todd spent a lot of time on Pop's farm. 
Todd tells him that he and Pop used to take the dog out to hunt rabbits.  Colton replies, “Yeah, he told me.”  I wish Todd had not volunteered this detail and instead elicited it from Colton by asking about Pop's recounting of life with young Todd. 

Todd's wife, Sonja then asks Colton: “Did Jesus say anything about Dad becoming a pastor.”  Colton: “Oh yes, Jesus said he went to Daddy and told Daddy he wanted him to become a pastor, and Daddy said Yes, and Jesus was really  happy.”  When Todd was a boy (age 13) he was attending a youtn service in which the  pastor challenged the youth to consider being pastors. Todd says he then heard an inner voice say: “That's you, Todd.  That's what I want you to do.” 

Later, Colton says, “I've seen power shot down to Daddy...Jesus shoots down power for Daddy when he's talking.”  Similarly, in Betty Eadie's NDE, she reports seeing prays rising like lasers towards heaven.

fTodd was disappointed when he later showed Colton his favorite photo of Pop, but the boy didn't recognize him.  Colton: “Dad, nobody's old in heaven and nobody wears glasses.”  Several weeks later, Todd got his Mom to mail a copy of an old black and white photo of  4 people, including Grandma Ellen in her 20s (now in her 80s) and Pop at age 29.  “Hey, Colton, come here and take a look at this, Colton.  What do you think.” “Hey!  How did you get a picture of Pop?”  “Colton, don't you recognize anyone else in the picture?”  “No.”  I leaned over and pointed to my grandma (Ellen):  Colton had seen Grandma Ellen just a couple of months ago.  I leaned over and pointed to my grandma: “Who do you think that is?”  “I  don't know.”  “That's grandma Ellen.”  Colton, with a skeptical expression: “That doesn't look like Gramdma Ellen.”  Todd: “Well, she used to look like that.”

Todd later asked the 4-year-old a trick question about heaven: “So when it got dark and you went home with Pop, what did you two do?”  Colton: “God and Jesus light up heaven.  It never gets dark.  It's always bright.”  That claim is made in the Book of Revelation about which Colton knew nothing.

VERIFICATION #3:
h. Colton later claims: “I have 2 sisters.”  His mother, Sonja, replies: “No, you have one, Cassie—and, do you mean your cousin Traci?”  Colton: “No, I have 2 sisters.  You had a baby die in your tummy, didn't you?”  Colton had never been told about this miscarriage.  Colton: “It's OK, God adopted her.”  Sonja: “You mean Jesus?”  No,  Mommy, His Dad did.”  Colton describes this heavenly sister as hving dark hair and being smaller than Cassie, adding:   
“In heaven, this little girl ran up to me and she wouldn't stop hugging me.”  Todd: “What was the little girl's name?”  “She doesn't have a name.  You guys didn't name her.”  True.  Later, an 8th grade girl was babysitting for Todd's children and burst into tears after seeing Colton cry because he missed his sister.  Ali thought he meant Cassie, but he meant the sister who had died in childbirth before Colton was born.
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Re: "Heaven is for Real" Colton's NDE at Age 4
Reply #9 - Jun 22nd, 2012 at 1:47am
 
Hi Don,

A very heart warming account of a true happening, not a story but a testimony of a little child about heaven.

Thanks

God Bless

Alan

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Re: "Heaven is for Real" Colton's NDE at Age 4
Reply #10 - Jun 24th, 2012 at 2:22pm
 
Don (Berserk):

I checked Colton’s book out of the library and decided to not read all of it because it seemed as if what Colton has to share is for a target audience that has trouble thinking out of the box. For example, people who have the mentality that causes them to insist that God looks like a man. I forget the precise description Colton used when he described Satan—he basically said that Satan is a creature that has several monster heads.  It seems to me that he found out about a lead evil being in a symbolic way that a little boy (and eventually his intended audience) could understand.

I stopped reading the book when Colton told his dad that he is concerned about whether or not a man who had recently died had accepted Jesus into his heart.  Colton believed that if the man hadn’t, the man would go to hell. Such a way of thinking matches what fundamentalist Christians say.

I have a big place for Jesus in my heart; nevertheless, the above troubles me because there is too much of a fear element attached.  A “you better accept Jesus or else” sentiment. I do not believe this is what Jesus is about.  Rather, I believe this possibility exists—I’ll start with a metaphor. Say there are a bunch of people who live in an area where they are forced to be slaves. A man finds the way out and shows it to others.  Jesus is like this man.  He is perhaps the first soul with a human connection who found his way back to spiritual perfection.  Therefore, when souls with a human history find their way back to spiritual perfection, they find the way that Jesus found.  There isn’t anything repressive or dictator-like about accepting the route that Jesus found. It is a matter of knowing a good thing when you see it.

Going by my experiences with Jesus, even though he is spiritually evolved, he is a very humble and down to Earth being who wouldn’t expect people to treat him in a worshipful simply because he was the first person to find his way out of a slave area. Finding his way isn’t about being submissive to another because you are afraid to not be submissive to such a being.  Rather, his way is about opening up to the most wonderful and love-based way of being there is.  I doubt that Jesus is rigid about how people open up to such an approach.

I suppose there are some people that to some degree need a fear-based approach because they find it difficult to think out of the box. As human history shows such an approach has its shortcomings.  A person won’t be able to open up to divine truth completely until fear is no longer a driving force on how he chooses. Therefore, it troubles me when a book that has some fundamentalist sentiment has been so widely accepted. When will the day come where a large number of people will be open to hearing what Jesus had to say and what he is about without having to include limited and repressive mumbo jumbo? 

Considering Colton's father's background, how would he have responded if Colton shared viewpoints that were less fundamentalist? If Colton told his father that reincarnation exists, would his father conclude that he was misled by a demon?



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Re: "Heaven is for Real" Colton's NDE at Age 4
Reply #11 - Jun 24th, 2012 at 2:51pm
 
Well said, Recoverer.
Your metaphor is very nice.
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Re: "Heaven is for Real" Colton's NDE at Age 4
Reply #12 - Jun 24th, 2012 at 3:15pm
 
Thank you Mogenblue. I figured that you see the matter in a similar way as I wrote above.

Mogenblue wrote on Jun 24th, 2012 at 2:51pm:
Well said, Recoverer.
Your metaphor is very nice.

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Re: "Heaven is for Real" Colton's NDE at Age 4
Reply #13 - Jun 24th, 2012 at 3:19pm
 
recoverer wrote on Jun 24th, 2012 at 3:15pm:
Thank you Mogenblue. I figured that you see the matter in a similar way as I wrote above.


Grin Aren't we gonna fight anymore?  Wink
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Re: "Heaven is for Real" Colton's NDE at Age 4
Reply #14 - Jun 24th, 2012 at 3:46pm
 
I have a friend I have extensive conversations with and sometimes we disagree, but we don't fight. Smiley



Mogenblue wrote on Jun 24th, 2012 at 3:19pm:
recoverer wrote on Jun 24th, 2012 at 3:15pm:
Thank you Mogenblue. I figured that you see the matter in a similar way as I wrote above.


Grin Aren't we gonna fight anymore?  Wink

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