Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Boy back from Heaven by Celeste and Matthew Goodwin (Review, Giveaway)

"Mommy, are you sure you’re not mad that I didn’t want to come back?" 
Celeste and Billy Goodwin sighed in deep relief when their four-year-old son Matthew finally came to consciousness after critical surgery. But just when they seemed to be in the clear, Matthew’s eyes rolled back in his head and he became unresponsive for several harrowing minutes. 

Doctors called the episode a medical anomaly, but what really happened can only be described as a miracle. When Matthew returned it was with a perspective and wisdom about life and love that was far beyond his years. Experience the serenity of heaven through a child’s eyes as you read Matthew’s true account of his walk with angels and his shocking revelation months later about the angels’ identities."
Celeste Goodwin: (From Goodreads) As much as we plan and prepare, there are times when our lives simply don't turn out as we anticipate. If someone would have asked me at 20 where I saw myself at 40, I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams the mountains and turns that were ahead for me. 

In 2007 my little boy, Matthew, nearly lost his life to hypertension. In the spring of that same year, Matthew shared a very real and life altering experience with our family. On the day his little body almost lost it's battle to live, he took an amazing walk with four angels. It was an experience filled with peace, calm, and healing. He visited a place he said he never wanted to leave. My book, A Boy Back From Heaven, shares Matthew's insightful journey.

I discovered much about myself and the strength that can be pulled from places I never knew existed deep within my soul. My faith was tested, but Matthew's health crisis brought me closer to God and gave me a deeper understanding and perspective of the importance of Christ in our lives and the unending love He shows to us all. I find healing through sharing with others just how powerful and life affirming prayer can be.

Now I find myself as a Christian speaker, patient advocacy presenter and educator in healthcare forums, mom, wife, activist, author, and motivator.
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My Review:
One afternoon following his visit to school, we were playing on the floor with Conner when Matthew had an unusual request. He asked for me to read from the Bible. He had always liked story books, but it was different for him to ask for a reading from the Bible...I went to his room and grabbed his children's Bible from his bookshelf...Mathew said, 'No , Mom, I want you to read from your Bible.'...'Where do you want me to start?' I honestly had no idea which scripture or book to read from. I wasn't sure what was troubling his heart at that moment, but thought that maybe text regarding healing and God's power to make the sick well would be something appropriate...Matthew took the book, opened it, and pointed firmly at what he wanted me to read. It was from the book of John. John 3:16 to be exact. 'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' He looked completely content after I finished the sentence. I was puzzled, surprised, and amazed all at once.
I asked, 'Matthew, do you understand what those words mean?' He looked at me like I had completely lost my mind and said, 'Of course, Mom! Do you know what they mean?' I giggled and said, 'Well, I'm not sure. Can you help me out and explain it?' He proudly sat up with his little Hot Wheels car in his hand and gave me an explanation that God loves each of us so much that He sent his very own Son to die on the cross for all of the bad things we have done. He asked, 'Mommy, do you know what sin is?'
'Yes, it is when we do something wrong or bad that God would not like,' I replied. He smiled again and, with the amusement of a teacher whose student just answered the most difficult of questions, gave me a huge hug.
The story isn’t long, one hundred forty-four pages, but it packs a wallop. There is a saying, ‘Out of the mouths of babes.’ God says we need to have a child’s faith. This book provides a value lesson in just that way.
The book is written by mom, Celeste Goodwin, as she takes us back several years to a tumultuous time in their lives as little Matthew, after a battery of illnesses and tests, is finally diagnosed with childhood high blood pressure and kidney failure that threatens his very existence. Family photos scattered throughout the book bring the book alive.
Celeste writes of her family’s journey as they nurse Matthew through sicknesses and non-diagnostic tests, until finally Matthew is diagnosed. Where a diagnosis should have brought relief, it instead brought more questions. Just as Matthew was being prepped to make the trip from one hospital to another, he slips into unconsciousness. It will be months later before his parents learn of his journey during those precious moments of trying to bring him back.
When Matthew does open up, it is with a story of walking with angels and glowing white lights. Upon exiting his mother’s office one afternoon, he is drawn to a photo and identifies the people in the photo as the angels. It is a picture of his mother’s grandparents whom he has never met. Through many telling’s of the story, Matthew’s words have been consistent, and his family believes he was one of only a few whom God has chosen to show a glimpse of eternity.
Matthew’s story is a powerful one, and he is not afraid to talk about it. His faith runs deep and his words show maturity far beyond his age. It is a story that will show a test of faith and a parent’s will to put her child and trust in God. A Boy back from Heaven will inspire your own journey on this earth.
On another note, while the book has a powerful message to tell, I thought the writing was redundant at times. I had no problems with the grammar, but I thought parts of the book could have benefited from further editing. Having said that, I am giving A Boy back from Heaven four stars.
Purchase A BOY BACK FROM HEAVEN in Kindleor Paperback

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My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book was provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 
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