Saturday, April 7, 2012

Heaven and the Afterlife?


Jo Kinchington, Guest Blogger 7 April 2012

Title:  Heaven and the Afterlife?

Any of you ever watch Ghost hunters or Paranormal State or any of those other popular shows that explore whether or not we have contact with others AFTER we are dead? I know, I know, a lot of you, and myself most of the time, figure it’s all just made up.  I have to agree, on the shows, anyway, there is no clear way to tell whether or not what is happening is genuine....

I recently read a book titled “Encountering Heaven and the Afterlife” written by James Garlow and Keith Wall.  I got the book at first because it was a free Kindle download, but also, because I, like some of you, have often wondered about the Afterlife.  The book is a compilation of experiences of people with the afterlife, those who have had Near Death Experiences and those who feel they were contacted by a close friend or family member after they had passed away.  Garlow also points out that although the Bible seems to confirm the ability of spirits to interact with the living after death, it also cautions us never to SUMMON a spirit, which can be dangerous.

 Now, I am of the Christian faith and I fully believe there IS an afterlife, in heaven, but I have often thought about being able to be contacted by family after they have died.  That being said, I have had a couple of experiences myself that I think about often. 

The first experience was about 20 years ago.  My (then) husband who was in the Army, had gone ahead of us to his next post, I had stayed behind to let the kids finish school.  I was sleeping on a twin mattress in our living room floor, so I could hear the kids in their bedrooms if they needed me in the night. One night I woke up to someone, or something, pushing my face down into the mattress.  It was very frightening, and I began to panic.  A couple seconds later the pressure was released and I felt someone stroking my face and telling me everything would be okay…I saw no one, but I knew in my heart the voice was that of my Grandmother, who had passed away years before.    The second experience followed closely on the first, again, I awoke to hear my grandmother whispering my name in my ear and saying all would be well…I remember even feeling the warmth of her breath. 


So, right, sounds crazy?  Maybe it is.  Or maybe I just miss her so much I imagine it all…  I have had a few experiences since then, the most recent being last week.  I was in the office and one of my volunteers was standing with her back to the door and talking to me as I faced the door.  I saw someone come in behind her and at the same time I saw this person, my volunteer was turning around as she felt someone behind her.  She looked back and me and said, “Did you see that”…and I had…

I know that we can easily explain away all of these experiences as dream states or shared hallucinations, just as Near Death Experiences can be explained away by the by products of a dying brain…however, it has always been odd to me that all Near Death Experiences seem to be pretty much the same despite different cultural, language and religious backgrounds.
So, that’s my thought for today.   I’d like to hear from all of you, have you ever had any experiences such as mine?  What do you think about the whole issue of life after death? 

Wow thank you so much for sharing this amazing post. Those are some most interesting experiences. I believe in unusual phenomenom myself. In fact we lived in a house that was haunted then burned when I was a child. It was of evil so I believe it could have been a demon or something along those lines. 

 






20 comments:

  1. I do believe in ghosts and afterlife. I've never seen a ghost, but I've had lucid dreams that I believe were messages from beyond. A friend passed from suicide and a few days later I dreamed she was singing "Amen, I'm Alive." To me, it meant she made it to the other side.

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    1. Wow, that's a pretty specific experience. Thanks for sharing. Those kinds of experiences are full of hope.

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  2. My name is Kayleigh. Sometimes I don't believe in ghosts and sometimes I do. But that's when my great grandmother talks to me and she says everything will be alright.

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  3. Wow.I have also had a few "experiences". The most important one to my mind being when I lost my first baby at 10 weeks into the pregnancy. I was given a D&C to "clear me out" and as I came round from the anaesthetic, I saw my late father walking away from me down the hospital corridor. I told the doctor, and he replied that my father must have been sent to take my baby home. Beautiful, and made dealing with my loss so much easier.
    This is a wonderful blog - thank you for sharing it with us.
    Carole in Scotland (UK)

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  4. I myself do believe in the afterlife. My mom passed away when I was 10 and I have had Some instances where there was no way I should have been ok while growing up.

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    1. my name is Chris by the way.

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  5. I sure enjoyed your topic today. I'm not sure I recall you ever sharing those particular experiences with me. Obviously, as a Christian, I believe there is an afterlife, however, I have never had a paranormal experience, not that I can recall. My sister-in-law, who passed away last year, did have an experience that was so very real to her and I can share that with you. My father-in-law passed away and she had been very close to him as a child and as an adult. She insisted on sleeping in his bed the night he passed away and told us the next morning that he came to her in the night, crawled in with her and told her everything would be okay. He also told her that he was okay as well. She experienced a feeling of peace and well being and was better able to handle his passing from that moment on. My sister-in-law actually had, what I would call, some psychic abilities and was VERY open to being contacted by a spirit. One thing I believe with all of my heart is that you have to be "open" to the idea of communicating with or being approached by a spirit. I am not "open" to it and this may be the reason why it has never happened to me. I know that the scriptures say we shouldn't "summon" spirits of people who have passed on. It never occurred to me to be willing to be contacted by the spirits. Dr. Charles Stanley, during one of his sermons, said that he didn't believe Christians who had passed on would have the ability to see us or contact us. He based this on a scripture that says in heaven there will be no tears and if our loved ones could see us and contact us, they would most likely see things that would make them sad. And, I can't help but wonder that if anyone could leave paradise, literally from being in the presence of God, and come back down to earth, even to visit some of their most precious loved ones, if they actually would do it. If I am ever contacted by something or someone I think it would terrify me since demons can be anyone or anything they want to be. I certainly wish I could talk to Grandma, especially now that I am an adult, but I suppose I am just willing to wait.

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  6. Are all near-death experiences pretty much the same? I haven't heard this before.

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    1. I guess I should clarify that in my readings the accounts of the people interviewed had many similarities...a feeling of great warmth peace and being met by relatives or in other cases a sense of fear and darkness. As I have never had a nde myself I dont have personal knowledge but these compilations of others experiences seem to share common threads or trends.

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  7. I've always believed in the afterlife. Living in the house I grew up in you had to as it was haunted by something evil (our Catholic priest refused to stay for long in our house - what does that tell you?) The best memory though is of my German grandmother who had died of cancer. I used to read to her and try to make sense of her screaming fits of pain. As a child seeing someone so strong reduced to what she was was very difficult. Anyway, she passed in the evening and the very next day I was in her living room sitting on her couch when suddenly she was sitting next to me. At first I sensed something and I could see the couch cushion go down as if a real person had just sat. Then she materialized. She had a beautiful smile on and told me she was alright again and that she loved me. Then she disappeared. Gives me hope that once we die and get into Heaven we'll be at true peace. Thanks Jo - very interesting subject/blog! -Michele

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    1. Holy Cow Michelle!!!! What a story! It is so similar to my own in many ways.. Its also similar to many of the stories in the book I read. I am so happy you shared this!

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  8. Excellent post Jo! Colby talks to angels in his room and I know we've definitely felt them at the children's hospital. I think it's a matter of being open to the opportunity and that it can be an amazing experience.

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  9. I totally agree. I have no doubt we have unseen helpers around us all the time...and especially sweet Colby.

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  10. Children are amazing in so many ways - one of those ways is how they see things we no longer can because we've chosen not be open to that sort of thing anymore. - Michele

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  11. My only ecperience of the spirit world is a instance with my Daughter Kayleigh. My wife was was expecting, but miscarried. However although she miscarried, to our suprise, there was another baby, that made it to full term, and is indeed now nearly 10 and very healthy. When she was 2, she was atkinmg away to an imaginary friend, and we asked who she was talking to. SHe replied "I am talking to my twin sister kayla". We had never told her that she was a twin, but somehow she knew she was, and was talking away to her in the spirit world.

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  12. My name is Anna and I do believe in the Spiritual world and afterlife. My fiance's mother past away when he was ten. About two years ago we were sleeping and his mother came to me in a dream telling me that we will be ok and to be nice to him (jokingly). I described how she was dressed and he started tearing up because she was wearing a dress that was her favorite color with her hair in her favorite style. The dream was weird because I was sitting on the edge of the bed like I was awake with my fiance asleep with her standing in front of me.

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  13. This is Chris gain and I'm Anna's fiance. There has been many times when we have just been talking and my mom has interjected. Once we were talking about finances and Anna was texting and she wrote something that had no relevance with her text but was really relevant to our conversation, and also she does not remember typing that.

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  14. Wow! I'm just heartbroken I missed this. But I was away at a conference and my primary job as a literary strategist kept me really busy this month. Anyway, I'm just tickled that each of you would go out there and share your experiences.

    I'd love to share more of mine. I do believe that children are more susceptible and you do have to be open. As a child at the age of 5 my house burned to the ground around us on Christmas Eve. My mother was a very young mother. I had always been a deeply strong and independent child until we moved to the old house. It was rental ona row of other older homes in Cumberland Furnance TN. An area that was close to a railroad at one time this area was very busy. Not so much anymore.

    After we moved in I began seeing ghosts and having feelings. My mother wouldn't listen. I insisted on sleeping with her. I wouldn't go in my room because I felt like I was being watched.

    The night of the fire there was a green light above the fire place then the place just went up in flames. Now decades later I still get the chill bumps when I talk about it. And noone ever rebuilt on that lot. It didn't even get cleaned up for over 10 years.

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  15. Wow Bri! I just read this, what an experience that had to be. It certainly does seem there was something really evil there. My daughter and her friends have purchased "ghost hunting" equipment, and use it from time to time at different locations that one would think would be haunted. I think we have to be careful about doing that stuff, but obviously there's something more out there. Just wondering, what kinds of ghosts did you see?

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