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1001 Mansions in Heaven, From a Different Kind of Writer
Inspirational Writing is Best
Inspirational writing is best in a troubled world such as ours.
The year 2016 left many inhabitants of Earth slack-jawed and glassy eyed, waiting for another surreal episode of The End of Days, the ultimate reality show.
Garrison Keillor regularly compiles volumes of what he calls "pretty good poetry" from effective authors. He finds that helps us digest what is happening in the world, with an eye to overcoming and coming through the other side. They help.
Another author and publisher, Mike Friedman, compiles volumes of stories about people achieving their final reward after long (or short and intense) journeys on Earth. They also help.
Everybody's Looking for Something
What are We Looking For?
People look for cosmic answers, money and fame, power, a legacy, God, or alien lifeforms. Everyday, someone is looking for something new. William Shatner says he has questions ready to ask God when he dies.
The Carriage Driver books may have some of those answers for Mr. Shatner and for us. Bill still feels that he will always be Leonard Nimoy's friend. Perhaps they will see each other again and Leonard will speak and offer an embrace.
I don't know why he (Leonard Nimoy) stopped talking to me...— William Shatner, 2015
Bill Shatner's "You're Gonna Die"/You'll Have Time"
Telephone in Heaven: Can We Call Up Lost Loved Ones?
Those who go to Heaven ride on a pass and enter into blessings that they never earned, but all who go to hell pay their own way.— John R. Rice
What is Heaven?
Not everyone believes in Heaven, so those who do believe often wonder what keeps the non-believer going in life. Believers sometimes wonder what is in Heaven, no matter how many times they read the descriptive passages in the Book of Revelation.
Still others take on the view provided in Robin Williams's What Things May Come. I'm still aghast at his recent death. His film depicted Heaven as the choice of each individual - interesting, since his Bicentennial Man examined what it means to live as a human being.
Mick Friedman's Carriage Driver book series brings us into the backgrounds and final hours of individual people who matter. They all matter and they all have a choice of afterlife destination.
We Have Questions
At age five, I was taken to a funeral for the first time, without explanation. A woman lay in a box in a living room, unmoving and people were sad. I watched her being buried in the ground later and shuddered. After a few more such events without explanations, I suffered nightmares of being buried alive.
I had no church upbringing. I heard about God in first grade from my public school teacher as we prepared for the Christmas Pageant (those aren't allowed anymore). However, I always thought I'd seen an angel at age five. These few blessings were enough to get me through high school to the chance of attending churches and learning about life and death and afterlife.
Life, if properly viewed in any aspect, is great, but mainly great when viewed in its relation to the world to come.— Albert Barnes
Carriage to the Beyond
In Carriage Driver2, we see dozens of people enter into an afterlife that is rewarding in a different way to each one of them.
We may hold to the Revelation description of Heaven and rely on God to get us their through our faith in His son Jesus of Nazareth, but we can still benefit from the stories of the carriage driver and his white horse as they deliver people there. Perhaps he delivers some into still another dimension of the universe.
No matter our belief or unbelief, these stories can prod us into thinking more about life, how to live it, and what comes beyond it. Fiction is sometimes a better teacher than accurate history and I hope that readers of all opinions will give these books and stories a try. Fiction writing can give us hope.
The Carriage Driver was a captain in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
The white carriage horse Nuelle was the captain's horse during battle. Sometimes she is the one with the information needed for a journey into the hereafter.
Joy is the serious business of Heaven.— C.S. Lewis
Those of us who have read and appreciated the second Carriage Driver book have chosen our favorite entries.
For me, "Naming Names" is a favorite, because it provides the back story for the carriage driver with his faithful horse and partner Nuelle. Both of them are war heroes.
Another favorite is "8mm Life." The story presents life as a movie playing on a screen, filled with visions of a desert, it caravans leading to a grand oasis filled with beauty. This story won the 2016 "Best Hub on LetterPile.com Award."
A perennial fan of aerospace projects and aeronautics, I love the story called "Fly Me to the Moon." It includes an old garage in which someone is building an airplane from a kit. Where will he fly in his next life? In the upcoming Carriage Driver3 is a story about astronaut Col./Senator John Glenn (1921 - 2016) called "Appointment with Annie." You will not want to miss that one, either.
The entry named "Forever '51" includes a yellow car from 1951, an important vehicle and year to someone who is ready to drive into the afterlife. The story is much like a happy episode of The Twilight Zone.
Many intriguing titles populate this short story anthology. You will likely find one to resonate with your soul.
What do you think about Heaven?
Is Heaven for real?
Books About the Afterlife
If you are willing to be convinced of the reality of Heaven, then select one of these books to read along with The Carriage Driver2:
- Heaven is for Real, by Lynn Vincent and Todd Burpo. Also a movie, this true story is about a church whose members did not want to talk about Heaven, because they thought it a fairy tale. Then the pastor's young son dies and is revived, bringing back with him visions of the place. Then supernatural occurrences begin and the evidence is clear.
- Waking Up in Heaven, by Alex Tresniowski and Crystal McVea. This is also a true story, of a woman with a history of abuse who was so ill that she died for nine minutes, but was revived. An unbeliever before she died, she came back believing.
- Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander. This Harvard scientist had a near-death experience resulting from a severe brain infection (E. coli meningitis) and a week-long coma. He reports that he experienced consciousness after death, but no bright light at the end of a tunnel. He saw heavenly beings.
© 2017 Patty Inglish