lora beth hernandez
Surviving the Loss of a Child
Our Lora Beth

My Glimpse of Eternity

Betty Malz, published by Spire Books.
About the book and her "near-death" experience, the inside cover reads: "We all wonder what life after death will be like. Upon occasion God breaks into human lives to give us a glimpse of what lies ahead for us. In My Glimpse of Eternity, Betty Malz describes her experiences on the other side of that dividing line we call 'death.' Her vivid account is good news for all of us haunted by our own mortality, for it provides an emphatic, 'Yes, there is life after death.' But it is also the story of how God worked through Betty Malz's life, 'death' and new life to bring her closer to Him."
It must have been sometime around 5:00 A.M. when my body functions apparently stopped, much as they had earlier in the day. Only this time there was no one at my bedside to call for the emergency equipment.

"The transition was serene and peaceful. I was walking up a beautiful green hill. It was steep, but my leg motion was effortless and a deep ecstasy flooded my body. Despite three incisions in my body from the operations, I stood erect without pain, enjoying my tallness, free from inhibitions about it. I looked down. I seemed to be barefoot, but the complete outer shape of my body was a blur and colorless. Yet I was walking on grass, the most vivid shade of green I had ever seen. Each blade was perhaps one inch long, the texture like fine velvet.; every blade was vibrant and moving. As the bottoms of my feet touched the grass, something alive in the grass was transmitted up through my whole body with each step I took.

"'Can this be death?' I wondered. If so, I certainly had nothing to fear. There was no darkness, no uncertainty, only a change in location and a total sense of well-being....

"...I saw no sun--but light was everywhere. Off to the left there were multicolored flowers blooming. Also trees, shrubs. On the right was a low stone wall...

"...We [she was traveling with an angel] came upon a magnificent, silver structure. It was like a palace except there were no towers. As we walked toward it, I heard voices. They were melodious, harmonious, blending in chorus and I heard the word, "Jesus." There were more than four parts to their harmony. I not only heard the singing and felt the singing but I joined the singing... After a while the music softened, then the unseen voices picked up a new chorus. The voices not only burst forth in more than four parts, but they were in different languages. I was awed by the richness and perfect blending of the words--and I could understand them! I do not know why this was possible except that I was part of a universal experience.

"While the angel and I walked together I sensed we could go wherever we willed ourselves to go and be there instantly. Communication between us was through the projection of thoughts. The words sung in all the different languages were understandable, but I don't know how or why. We all seemed to be on some universal wave length..

"The angel stepped forward and put the palm of his hand upon a gate which I had not noticed before. About twelve feet high, the gate was a solid sheet of pearl, with no handles and some lovely scroll work at the top of its Gothic structure. The pearl was translucent so that I could almost, but not quite, see inside. The atmosphere was somehow filtered through. My feeling was of ecstatic joy and anticipation at the thought of going inside.

"When the angel stepped forward, pressing his palm on the gate, an opening appeared in the center of the pearl panel and slowly widened and deepened as though the translucent material was dissolving. Inside I saw what appeared to be a street of golden color with an overlay of glass or water. The yellow light that appeared was dazzling. There was no way to describe it. I saw no figure, yet I was conscious of a Person. Suddenly I knew that the light was Jesus, the Person was Jesus... I felt bathed by the rays of a powerful, penetrating, loving energy.

"[As she began to return to her body]..I looked into Terre Haute (Indiana) as the worlds of spirit and time and space began to fuse back together. Ahead of me were many church steeples glistening in the morning sun. I was suddenly aware of God's love for all His churches. It was a sudden bit of knowledge, as if I were being told this on the inside by the Holy Spirit. At that moment I loved all His churches too; and as my prejudices dissolved, I loved all His people."

What is Heaven Really Like?

From: "Heaven: Close Encounters of the God Kind" by Jesse Duplantis, Harrison House Publishers.

On the back cover: "In this book, Jesse Duplantis shares several events that have happened to him in his relationship with God--events he calls close encounters of the God kind. One of these events is his trip to heaven in 1988. He tells of the wonderful things the Lord has in store for us, both in heaven and on earth... As you read this book, you will discover the depth of the compassion and love God has for you... It is God's desire that everyone spends eternity in heaven. So enjoy these close encounters of the God kind and join Jesse Duplantis in spreading the wonderful message that Jesus is coming again soon!"

Excerpts from Chapters 6 and 7

"Looking around me, I realized that God has with Him in heaven some of the things He created on the earth. I was surrounded by lush, gorgeous valleys, lots of mountains and streams of water. I even saw snow, yet it wasn't cold. I was amazed.

"There were flowers in heaven that I have never seen before in my life and fragrances I have never smelled. I have never seen colors quite like those I saw there, either. There were reds, greens, purples, blues, yellows. The gold looked gold, yet it was transparent like crystal...

"I had always thought that everybody who went to heaven was grown up. But I saw children too. I also noticed horses, dogs and large cats like lions.

"Everybody seemed headed towards God's Throne in the Holy City, which I could see way off in the distance. His Throne was high and lifted up, and it could be seen from every direction...

"All of a sudden, I heard kids singing and praising God. Then I saw them. They were carrying little harps.

"I thought, Now what are these kids doing here? As I mentioned earlier, theologically I had been taught that there were no kids in heaven. So I asked the angel, 'Where did all these children come from?'

"'These are children that the earth did not want,' he said. 'God brought them here.'

"'But I thought people went to heaven because they chose to go.'

"'No, Jesse, children must be taught the oracles of God.'

"I saw that many people were teaching those kids, so I realized that God was using people as well as angels to teach others in heaven about Him.

"Then I asked, 'Are you talking about abortions?'

"He said, 'Yes. These children can't wait to see their mothers.'

"The ages of the children I saw seemed to be from about three to ten years. Babies were off in another place...

"The people had been shouting joyfully and those little children were playing beautiful songs on their harps and singing. They were all excited. Then I heard a whispering. The people in gowns were looking toward the city. People around me began saying, 'He's coming! He's coming! He's coming!'

"I asked the angel, 'Who's coming?'

"'You shall see the Holy One,' he said.

"All of a sudden, I saw a Light coming out of the city, but it was far from me. The children ran toward the Light. I knew then that it was Jesus!

"I couldn't see His face because I was too far away. All I could see were His hands reaching out to the kids as they played and sang and hugged Him. Those kids adored Him. Then I heard Him say, 'Suffer the little children to come unto Me...for of such is the kingdom of God.' (Mark 10:14)

Chapter 10

"I saw people of many different races there. Then I noticed a group of Oriental children being taught the oracles of God by a lady. I asked, 'Are their parents here?'

"'Some are,' David said, 'but most of them are not. They come to an age when they have to accept or reject God. The parents may reject God and go the other way, but the great God is merciful; He doesn't reject their children. Sometimes children pass away at an early age, so we teach them and they grow.'

"I knew parents who had recently lost a baby would be happy to know that they would meet their child here. Their child will be taught the oracles of God."




Within Heaven's Gates

Rebecca Springer, Whitaker House Publishers.
From Author's Preface
"This volume is not a fancy sketch, written to while away the hours. Rather, it is the true, though greatly condensed, record of an experience when my life hung in the balance between time and eternity, with the scales leaning toward the eternity side...

"I must state that this glorious vision of heaven is not necessarily a definitive or exact revelation of what heaven will be like. As I learned, heaven partially consists of those things which make us happiest on earth--wonderfully glorified by the presence of the Master. In this respect, my vision is not everyone's vision...If any of the scenes depicted seem irreverent in view of our Christian training here, I can only say, 'I give it as it came to me.'... I submit this imperfect sketch of a most perfect vision with the hope that it may comfort and uplift those who read it."

From Chapter Two, My Celestial Home

[upon visiting her own celestial home with her brother-in-law, already deceased in the natural].. "..My first sensation upon entering the room was genuine surprise at the sight of books.

"'Why do we have books in heaven?' I asked.

"'Why not?' asked my brother-in-law. 'What strange ideas we mortals have of the pleasures and duties of this blessed life! We seem to think that death of the body means an entire change to the soul. But that is not the case, by any means. We bring to this life the same tastes, the same desires, and the same knowledge we had before death...

"'If only we all could understand, as I said before, that we are building for eternity during our earthly life! The purer the thoughts, the nobler the ambitions, the loftier the aspirations, the higher the rank we take among the hosts of heaven. The more earnestly we follow the studies and duties in our life of probation, the better prepared we will be to carry them forward, on and on to completion and perfection here.

From Chapter 15, The Celestial Sea

[with her vision projecting into the natural's future when her own husband has joined her in heaven]. "..Once I said to Frank [the brother-in-law], 'I have a strange desire to go to the sea, if you think it wise for us to do so.'

"'I am glad that it is your desire to go, as it is mine to have you. I was about to propose that you and my brother take this blessed journey'...

"So we started. We were filled with a holy joy that we could take this special journey together...Eventually we stood mute and motionless before the overwhelming glory of the scene before us.

"From our very feet a golden beach sloped downward toward the shore...This beach caught and radiated the light until it glittered and glimmered like the dust of diamonds and other precious stones.

The wave, as they came and went in ceaseless motion, caught up this sparkling sand and carried it on their crests. And the sea! It spread out before us in a radiance that exceeds description in any language I have ever known.

"Upon its shining bosom we saw, in every direction, boats representing all nations. But their beauty far surpassed anything earth has ever known. They were like great, open pleasure-barges, and they were filled with people looking eagerly toward the shore. Many, in their eagerness, were standing erect and gazing with wistful, expectant eyes into the faces of those on the shore.

"Ah, the people upon the shore! 'Numberless as the sands of the sea,' they stood, far as the eyes could reach, far as stretched the shore of that limitless sea, a great mass of beautiful souls clad in the spotless garments of the redeemed. Many of them had golden harps and various instruments of music. When a boat touched the shore, its passengers were welcomed by the glad voices and tender embraces of their loved ones. Then the harps would be held aloft, all of the golden instruments would sound, and the vast multitude would break forth into the triumphant song of victory over death and the grave.

"'Do these people always stand here, I wonder?' I said softly.

"'Not the same people,' said a radiant being near us who had heard my question. 'But there is always a crowd of people here--those who are expecting friends from the other life, and those who assemble to share in their joy. Some of the heavenly choristers are always here, but not always the same ones...

"He passed onward toward the shore and left us enveloped in awe and wonder...We soon became deeply interested in watching the reunions and found ourselves joining with rapture in the glad songs of rejoicing...

"As one boat of extraordinary strength and beauty came riding gracefully over the waves, we observed the tall figure of a man standing near the front with his arms around a graceful woman who stood by his side. Each shaded their dazzled eyes from the rare splendor and scanned, wistful and searchingly, the faces of the crowd as the boat neared the shore. Suddenly, with a great thrill of joy surging through my being, I cried out, 'It is our precious son and his dear wife! They have come together!'

"In an instant we were swiftly moving through the crowd which parted in ready sympathy to let us pass. And, as the boat touched the shore, they were both beside us--the dear daughter already embracing her happy parents, who were waiting near the water's edge, and our beloved son enfolding us. Soon we were all in each other's embrace. Oh, what a rapturous moment that was! Our life in heaven was complete--no partings forever! As we stood with encircling arms, scarcely realizing the unexpected bliss, the heavenly choir broke into song. With uplifted faces radiant with joy, eyes filled with happy tears, and voices trembling with emotion, we all joined in a glad anthem of praise."

"Glory be unto the Father, and unto the Son!
Glory be unto the ever-blessed Three in one!
No more sorrow, no more parting, no more grief or pain;
Christ has broken death's strong fetters,
And we are free again!
Alleluia! Amen!

To Heaven and Back: True Stories of Those Who Have Made the Journey

Rita Bennett, Zondervan Publishing House

On the back cover:"Some say they saw heaven. Others say they saw hell. Here are profound and detailed stories of men and women whose lives were forever changed by their journey to the other side of the grave and back. While many books on near-death experiences and heaven have swept the best-seller lists, few offer a solid biblical approach to death and the afterlife. To Heaven and Back tells the stories both of believing Christians whose near-death experiences deepened their faith and of non-Christians who were converted through such an experience... In addition to these personal accounts, Bennett probes the Scriptures and gives an intriguing Biblical view of heaven and the afterlife."

From Chapter 6: the experience of Carolyn McCormick

"The details are unimportant, but as a child I was very unhappy. I often wished I'd never been born. I remember one specific day when I was five years old. I was sitting on the swing talking to God, whom I knew personally, and I let him have it! If I died and went to heaven, I'd let you know there is a better way to run the universe. Living on earth is so painful; there can't be any meaning to it! That core of anger seemed to define my life even in my young adult years.

"In 1966 I was married in a church, which my husband and I rarely attended. My commitment to God had waned. God seemed far removed from our daily life. That was true until 1970 and the birth of our second child.

"I had been diagnosed with placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta is implanted low in the uterus, at the cervical opening. It can present a sudden, profuse bleeding. The doctor had induced labor, and on my first contraction I hemorrhaged badly and was rushed to surgery for a C-section. The last thing I remember before going under the anesthetic was two anesthesiologists hovering over my head, arguing. One wanted to put me under, and the other didn't. One felt surgery had to be done immediately; it couldn't wait. The other thought my blood pressure was too low; the surgery might kill me.

"The doctor who wanted to anesthetize me won the argument. I 'went under.' The next thing I recall is 'waking up' in a different place. I was no longer in my body, and yet I was myself. I had a body, but it wasn't my earthly body.

"Right in front of me stood a rather large angel. I perceived him to be male. He wore a full-length white garment of loose fabric, like a muumuu. No wings. I don't recall seeing his face. His head was covered with a hood, which fell forward, obscuring a face. A bright light seemed to radiate from him...

"I don't remember how or why, but nonverbal communication was happening between the 'main' angel and me. There were no words involved; it was more like a mind link, a comprehension beyond human language. I said to him through my thoughts, Okay, what's this about? You know this can't be right! I was referring to both my early life and this painful physical disaster.

In a realm in which time seemed nonexistent, I was allowed to start my life over. Events were chronological, but time didn't exist. I reexperienced my whole life. It wasn't as if I saw my life or was told about it; I was there. I 'relived' the same feelings and the same experiences, but this time I was in two places at once. I was a baby or a toddler and was also aware of myself as an adult 'looking on' with an angel.

"I'll give an example of how it was while reliving my life. When I was three years old, anything that might have happened to me when I was five didn't exist in my consciousness. And I wasn't aware of people I met when I was ten. The review of my childhood could be stopped--put on pause--any time I chose. Then I'd ask the angel--no words, just thoughts--Okay, why did that happen? Show me why that was necessary or right.

"With each instance, the angel would point out to me the benefits derived from that situation in my own or someone else's life. He showed how it formed my character or helped me grow, how God had used that painful time for something very positive.

Afterward I'd say, All right, I see. I agree. It's okay that this happened, and then my life would continue. As I went on, scene after scene, a feeling of extreme love and joy welled up. There was no way I wanted to go back to my body.

"But then the angel let me know that I would be returning to my body...

"Yes, I had to go back. But I still negotiated: I wouldn't return to earth unless I was allowed to remember this other-worldly healing experience. I wanted to remember the reasons why everything had happened as it had. I wanted to remember that there was joy at the end of the earthly process I was going through. Going back to my previous limited understanding of my experience was something I definitely did not want...

"The angel told me it was time for me to go, and I said, No. I won't go until you give me words! I will not go until you give me words!

"Then the angel gave me the words 'Moths turn into butterflies,' and boom, instantly I was back into my body! ...

"Sometimes I wonder if perhaps the angel said moths because our spiritual transformation at death is supernatural, not natural. It is an even more complete transformation than the natural caterpillar-to-butterfly progression. God's realm is something beyond our human vocabulary. It simply doesn't fit into words. There are no words to describe it.

"When I 'came back,' I was like a new person. As I said, I had been angry with God all my life. The anger was gone. I had inner healing... now I was able to forgive those who had injured me or who I thought had injured me...

"I would advise anybody who has had a near-death experience or any other supernatural experience to immediately check it out with God's Word and with knowledgeable believers..."

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