Mar 4, 2009

90 Minutes in Heaven - Book Review

I posted this picture in one of my Project 365 posts a few weeks ago. Some of you said you had read this book, 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper. Some of you wanted to know what I thought. So here are my thoughts. If you have already read this book let me know what you thought.

I think about eternity a lot so I was interested in seeing what someone who had some experience there had to say. This book isn't as much about heaven as it is about the author's road to recovery, the lessons God taught him, and how God is using his experience to help others.

I won't give away a lot of details in case you want to read it, but it tells of the horrific accident that crushes him and kills him, how no one even tried to get him out of the crushed car for 90 minutes because he was dead, and how a preacher driving the same road was prompted to pray for him while he was dead.

What was interesting was that the preacher was not prompted to pray him back to life but instead to pray that there would be no internal injuries. All the while Don was at heaven's gate being greeted by people who had gone before him. People who had played a part in his salvation, and those who he had helped lead to Christ. His descriptions of heaven definitely give you something to reflect on and look forward to.

I loved the way he described the people but he did say that it was not really possible to give an accurate description of anything because it was all beyond anything we could imagine. Everyone looked as he remembered them but they were all beautiful and overflowing with love, and happiness. He said that there was singing that was like nothing he had ever experienced. That seemed to be what stuck with him the most.

One of the lessons he learned after he came back resonated with me. While he was in the hospital people would come to see him and would always ask if there was something they could do for him. He always answered no. He said he didn't even sound too appreciative either and these people who loved him, would end up looking quite dejected when they left.

Don was a preacher and now it was time for everyone to be able to give back to him some of what he had given to them over the years. God showed him that these people wanted to minister to him. That this was their ministry and that he was depriving them of it.

When he realized that, he forced himself to start saying yes when people would ask if he needed anything or if there was anything they could do for him. One man asked and so he said sure he could use a magazine. That guy went from dejected to excited, hurried out of the room and came back with an arm load of magazines. He was thrilled to be able to minister to Don.

I can really relate to this from both perspectives. I have been in a number of situations where I really wanted to help a friend who was facing a trial but wasn't sure what to do. When I would ask, the answer would come back nothing. I have had that happen just recently with a couple of good friends. It really frustrates me that they won't let me help. As Don learned, saying no all the time prevents others from the privilege of doing the ministry God made them to do.

By the same token, I have been on the side that says no a time or two also. It's very easy to let pride get in the way or to think I can handle it without help sometimes. But God is teaching me too, that saying no to people who want to help deprives them of their blessing. So when someone does something for me I try to say thank you and remember that God will bless them for their kindness.

Overall I think this was a pretty good book even though it didn't make my favorites list in my sidebar. God is clearly using this book to touch hearts so I do recommend it, especially to those who are dealing with or facing death. The unknown can be frightening but for those of us whose salvation is secure in Christ, we are simply stepping from this life into the next. The better life that is filled with unfathomable peace, contentment, and happiness with our Wonderful God. I do look forward to it.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind ~ Luke 10:27


Tammy said...

A great review,I'm adding to my LIST of books to read.

I never thought that by saying "no,but thank you for asking" that I would be stopping someone from be blessed.

love and hugs~Tammy

Chatty Kelly said...

Cecil Murphey (the writer of the book) is the one who is editing the book I'm in, Christmas Miracles, due out in October. He was wonderful to work with!

I loved this book, and actually read some parts of it out loud to my husband, as he doesn't pleasure read. I thought the imagery was so vivid. The story was compelling and I too was moved by the part about saying "no," as I have a history of always saying NO to help. Working on it. :-)

Great review.

B His Girl said...

I think the first part of your review about the road to recovery of an individual is how I saw it. I was expecting something different in the book, but I still enjoyed the story. b

Sue J. said...

Chatty Kelly lent me her copy....

Having worked alongside medical personnel for 9 years (in a PR capacity), I found myself most interested in following his medical recovery. And, even in that, I have no idea how much pain he experienced. My father-in-law actually had the bone-stretching procedure they talked about when he broke a bone in his lower leg.

Spiritually, I decided that what Don experienced was truly something that only he could grasp. It was almost as if I didn't want to know "the ending." I'm quite comfortable with understanding that Heaven is my home, but I'm not as comfortable with seeing someone else's picture of it right now--if that makes sense.

And, I would agree totally that his emphasis on "saying yes" was well worth the read and a good thinking about. As our church is on Rick Warren's 40 Days of Love journey, we are learning that love is all about being spontaneous with those in need. We all need to say yes more!

Thanks for sharing, Edie. And for those who don't know about the hope of Heaven, I'm sure Don has opened the door there....

BECKY said...

Hi Edie!! I enjoyed this book review!! You do a good job of reviewing without giving it all away!!

Maybe you could make this a regular post?? ;o)

Have a joyful day, friend!!

Beverlydru said...

I think I will read this book- enjoyed your thoughts on it. I try not to wait for someone to tell me what I can do to help... people are generally unwilling to be specific. If possible, I do what comes to mind and trust the Lord to use it.

Deanna said...

I just recently read read this book too... although it didn't make my favorite list, I still say it was a wonderful story! (ironic, huh?)

I believe his acount of heaven, I didn't have any discernment that what he admitted was unbiblical. I love how he was very humble about telling of his visit. I too agree with you that it was a book more about his recovery and life lessons learned and because of his pain he was able to touch lives of others for eternity had he not experienced the aftermath of the accident.

I don't like to get hung up in other's experience of heaven but I do look forward to it!!! Somehow even though I find his description of heaven very comforting and true, when I close my eyes and dream of heaven and meeeting Jesus with what the Bible tells us about I find myself even more comforted and exciting!!

hhmmm.......... now that I wrote a long post here in your comment box, maybe I should copy & paste and add it to my blog, LOL!

Hugs & Luv, Deanna
~sorry for being so long here~

Greg C said...

Great book review. A number of years ago someone I knew was boasting about dying for 7 minutes and not seeing any light. He said that those stories about God being a beautiful light weren't true. Now this guy was quite the character and very often ungodly so I told him that perhaps he was looking the wrong way and there wasn't a lot of light down that way.

Jody said...

I've seen this book but haven't read it yet. Thanks for the review and reminding us that if we are secure in Christ, there is nothing to fear for he is with us always.

Melanie Dorsey said...

This comment is not so much about the review but concerns letting people help.
As the recent recipient of some help due to my husband's accident, this is advice I would give when people ask how they can help.
#1 help for me was meal preparation. I was overwhelmed with all the changes we had to make for his care, dr.'s appts. and also continuing with school schedules, etc. So a dish or complete meal was VERY HELPFUL because not only did I not have to prepare it but I didn't have to clean up too much afterwards. But I found it much easier if a person simply told me they were bringing a meal or a dish over rather than asking if I needed help with food. If someone asked, my natural tendency was to say, "NO, but thanks for the offer."

#2 help was a friend who offered to pick my son up from school which simplified my schedule b/c of so many dr.'s appointments.

The whole thing has made me more sensitive to helping others when they are going through something even if it is not a major event or doesn't appear to be a major event to others.

Susan said...

This is one that I've had on my "want to read" list for a while. I'll have to get it and add it to my very large pile!

:-) Susan

From the Heart said...

A good review of the book. I think I still need to re-read it.

One of my recommendations on my sidebar is a DVD by Jesse Duplantis (given to me by a friend). He was into heavy metal rock and making a lot of money until the Lord got hold of him. He is on TV and travels as an evangelist and speaking engagements with his wife Kathy who is also an accomplished writer and speaker. On the DVD he tells about a time that he spent in Heaven. He had been telling Jesus he really wanted to see Him. He knelt to pray one weekend before a service and then he realized someone was in the room with him, it was Jesus and Dr. Duplantis said Jesus took him to Heaven. He was on his knees for 5 hours. He has a very graphic view of what he saw. You can order the DVD from his ministry by clicking on his name on my blog. He did say that when he walked into the service that night everyone fell to their feet. I assume they felt like the Israelites felt when Moses came down from the mountain after a meeting with God. I can't tell you whether this story of Heaven is true or not but I would like to think it is. The Bible does tell us that we would have a mansion. I know that my life was spared about 5 times but I never had a "near death experience". Someone actually ask me if I did. lol I do know that because of what God did for me has brought me closer to God and given me the desire to one day stand before Him and thank Him for what He did. It has made me realize that I have the right to ask Him for anything and take authority over the enemy. The enemy has no authority over a born again Christian because we are covered by the blood of Jesus and he cannot cross that bloodline.

I think the book 90 minutes in Heaven was to teach us to give more to others and also accept what others offer because God will bless them for what they are doing.

I'm rambling I know but I just get so excited when I think about Heaven and I truly believe it won't be long until our Savior returns to this earth.
Thank you for the review.
Luv u,


Great review of the book Edie. I too read this sometime last year - actually well after my husband had already gone on to glory. Several people asked me to read it sooner - but God's timing was later. I too, like your friends who commented, thought it was going to be quite different.

I think that our ideas of 'heaven' are quite limited in our finite minds and I believe that this man experienced what he said he did. I was sad to see how long his depression lasted [years] but was encouraged to see him admit how he came through it and allowed others to participate in his healing.

Heaven will be ALL ABOUT GOD - in His Triune nature - and NOT about US. That's the main thing we just can't grasp. I think we just think [sometimes] that it's going to be an all time 'vacation land' [if you will] and we forget that it's a place where God's Presence is the KEY - and there will be nothing like it -that can describe it here on earth or in our human finite minds. It was not on my 'favorites list' either - but I still encourage others to read it at face value. I believe that God is using it for His glory too!

Looking UPward and Choosing JOY,
[Time to FLY]

Debra said...

Hi Edie,
A few of my friends from church went to see Don speak at a local city. One of my friends had just lost her mother. She said hearing Don talk about heaven comforted her. I've stared this book, and put it aside-but I think now I'll finish it.
I have a friend in the hosital that is shy about letting me do anything for her. So I've sat by her bed and just spoke words that I hope would be encouraging. And I've prayed a lot.
Love, Debra

Dorothy Champagne said...

I was looking forward to hearing your review on this book - I hadn't read it for fear of my own anxiety of the unknown - letting God handle it is good enough for me - but I thought it was so wonderful to read the comments that your post invoked. Great job.

God's girl said...

Sounds like a great book:)

I figured I hadn't stopped by to say hi for awhile, so "hi"!

Thanks for the kind comment on my post about the pictures. I might just have to hire you down the road:)

Praying you are blessed today!

Ashley Vincent said...

I have seen this book on the shelf when I go to CVS to pick up my prescriptions and I thumb through it thinking I ought to read it. I have yet to buy iy and would love to read it- oh, I wish I had money to get a copy! haha.

Well your post was very insightful.
Thanks for the review.


Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

I absolutely LOVED reading this book and it helped me immensely after I lost my angel Mother. I believe with all my heart that what Don Piper shared in this book, is TRUE.
If anyone's interested, go to Youtube and watch the video about Akiane. She's an incredible painter and God showed her that in heaven there are colors we don't even know yet. Don Piper says the same thing. ~ Heaven is going to be incredible, and I can't wait to see it for myself!
Holykisses Edie,

Stephanie said...

Hi Edie, I haven't read this book, mostly because I get nervous when I hear people sharing revelations about the things of God that God hasn't already revealed in the Word. Seems srange to me that God would choose not to include some details about heaven in the Bible but then allow a man two thousand years or so after Jesus to "die, experience heaven, and come back to earth to share the details." And to be honest, I find it a little scary that so many people fully accept his experience, almost taking it as Biblical truth. If doctrine is built from "experiences", it becomes a very shaky thing!

Sorry if my comments sound too negative!! Love you.

Dennie said...

hi eddie, thanks for posting your insights on the book. Im not quite sure though if we have that book published here in Manila, Philippines but I will certainly find a way to grab it in no time.

blessings to you my friend.


Irritable Mother said...

There aren't words adequate to describe what he saw...Yes, I bet not!
What a great lesson he learned about saying Yes, too. I know for me, it is a lot easier (and more comfortable) to give than to receive. But when we allow others to minister to us in our time of need, I think we find that both parties are blessed!

Stephanie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your comments Edie! I know what you mean about having to cut back on some blog visiting - it can get very time consuming. :)
I haven't posted as much in the past while since I've been house/pet sitting here and there for people on top of my regular work but I'm working on some posts and hope to get back to it soon! Blessings!

Kathie said...

Someone bought this book for me a while back and I have never read it yet. Thanks for your thoughts on it. During my "down" time of healing I will read it!
Love you,

Yolanda said...

My Husband and I have been encouraged to read this book as well.


God's girl said...

By the way! Incredible job on the makeover at you-know-who's place. You did an OUTSTANDING job! I loved the cracked wall with eyes peering through! You are a gifted woman!


Debbie said...

A friend of mine loaned me this book so I read it. I was a bit skeptical before reading it but curious. He certainly went through so much in his recovery. I agreed with you about offering and accepting help. I'm usually more comfortable offering help and don't like receiving it much. I guess it really is a pride issue. But I remember in the book how many people wanted to give back to this pastor. It really is depriving them when we say no.

This was a good summary of the book. I enjoyed reading it.

a corgi said...

a friend sent me the book to read and after I read the author's account of heaven, I didn't read any more of the book. to me heaven is Jesus and he alluded to (if I remember this correctly) that he felt a presence that he felt was Jesus but WHEN I GET TO HEAVEN, I WANT TO SEE JESUS, I want Jesus at the welcoming door or however it works. To be 90 minutes in heaven and not having seen Jesus in that time doesn't seem like heaven to me. I did pray about it at the time for the Lord to help me to understand if the book was correct or not and I know he gave me a scripture or two that helped me to discern better about it; I'd have to dig up my prayer journal at that time and see if I can find it. I also don't know if the author ever said in the book how one gets to heaven. I would hope that he would have mentioned the saving grace of Jesus. sorry, I know this is really negative and I know I haven't visited you in a bit and then I leave not a positive uplifting comment, sorry.......(feel free to delete my comment after you read it)


natalie said...

Hi Edie,
Good job on the book review! I read the book shortly after our 13 yr. old went to Heaven. At the time I was reading all I could get my hands on to find out about Malorie's new home.

You are right, it talks a lot about how to help others but even more on letting others be a blessing to us. I hadn't thought of it that way before so thank you for that. That is sometimes difficult to let others in to help us.

Like the Bible says, Piper was in "awe" at his short visit to Heaven. He said that much of what he saw and heard was indescribalbe, like nothing we have ever imagined! I loved the part though about how those who had gone before him were at the gate to welcome him, and the fact that he recognized them!

Lately I have been missing Malorie so much and just longing for Heaven. Oh what a day that will be!!

Grace 2 U,

Sheila said...

This is my first visit to your blog. It is great.
The book review was done well. I read the book quite a while ago. Enjoyed it. Vivid images and very descriptive.

Aspiemom said...

I just located your beautiful blog through Becoming Me.

We read this book several years ago and I thought it was good. Not on my favorites list, either, but it was wonderful to read his description of what it was like at heaven's gates. I think we are so used to viewing things through our earthly bodies and experience, we have a hard time understanding what Heaven will be and feel like.

Marla said...

I have not read this book but it sounds interesting. I bet I would enjoy the read.