The Five People You Meet In Heaven

Posted by: Dotsie

The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 01/05/04 07:16 PM

This is the new book for the book club. I'll be sending emails to the members this week.

I chose to read the book ahead of time so I would be sure I didn't make a bad choice this time around. [Wink]

I only have about twenty pages left. I think everyone is going to like it. [Big Grin]

More later!
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 01/08/04 11:43 PM

The email has been sent about our next read. If you haven't received it, but would like to be included, just let me know and I'll send it to you. Thanks! [Big Grin]
Posted by: DonnaJ

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 01/13/04 07:02 AM

My daughter just read this and loved it. I'll see if the copy is still around. (She'd borrowed it from a friend.)

Posted by: Dotsie

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 01/18/04 06:44 PM

Time to start posting.

Without giving too much away, I especially liked the thought on the first page about every ending being a beginning, though we don't know it at the time.

Whether it's a dilemma in life, or life's end, it doesn't matter. There is always a new beginning and that's refreshing. It gives hope. [Big Grin]

Whose hands do you think were in his at the end of the first chapter?

What do you think happens to the little girl?

What do you think of the explanation about afterlife in the chapter titled, "The Journey"?
Posted by: smilinize

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 01/19/04 08:53 AM

I was just ambling through the active topics and thought the topic was "The five POUNDS you meet in Heaven". I was thinking maybe I just wouldn't go!!

Gave me a start.

Maybe I need glasses.

Posted by: Dotsie

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 01/19/04 08:58 AM

Guess we know what's been on your mind lately! [Razz]
Posted by: smilingthrulife

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 01/30/04 01:50 PM

Yes...a girlfriend of mine gave me this book for Christmas...A wonderful book. It makes you think about what how you affect a person lifeor death (beginning and end) and not even realizing it. I couldn't put the book down and had it read in 3 days. Its an easy read and very thought provoking.
Posted by: Thistle Cove Farm

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 03/23/04 05:18 PM

I've not read "The 5..." but ran across an interesting commentary about it.

BreakPoint with Charles Colson
Commentary #040323 - 03/23/2004

An Everlasting Playground
Understanding the Nature of Heaven

Many people worry that Mel Gibson's brutal film about the crucifixion of Christ will bring out the worst in all of us. But New York Times columnist David Brooks is much more worried about Mitch Albom, the author whose sentimental story The Five People You Meet in Heaven has spent months on the bestseller lists. Albom, you may remember, wrote the runaway bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie.

"While religious dogmatism is always a danger," Brooks writes, "it is less of a problem for us today than the soft-core spirituality that is its opposite. … We've got more to fear from the easygoing narcissism that is so much part of the atmosphere nobody even thinks to protest or get angry about it." He's right.

Perhaps the biggest indication of this religious narcissism, as Albom's book demonstrates, shows up in our ideas about heaven. For the most part, rather than being a place where God is worshiped and glorified, Albom's heaven, according to Brooks, is "an excellent therapy session"—a place where people from our past chat with us about the significance of our lives.

The therapeutic heaven isn't the only vision of the afterlife that we find tempting. As a book review in points out, we also love the idea of a heaven where we'll experience unbridled luxury. Writer Adam Kirsch explains that this idea has been around for centuries, but a number of new books take it to unprecedented levels. For instance, according to the inspirational book A Travel Guide to Heaven, heaven is all about "having fun" in "the ultimate playground, created purely for our enjoyment."

What the therapeutic heaven and the luxurious heaven have in common, Kirsch writes, is "their refusal of transcendence." We tend to think of heaven as being all about us—the answer to all our questions, the end of all our sufferings, the beginning of endless fun and excitement, with what Kirsch calls a "cruise-director God" catering to our every whim.

It's true that God has promised that heaven will be a place of joy, where our tears will be wiped away forever. But in concentrating completely on these aspects, we've lost sight of what heaven is ultimately about. As Kirsch speculates, "Instead of angelic choirs, it now seems," according to the present theories, that "we will be greeted in heaven by the sound of a billion voices, all talking about themselves." When you think about that, our self-centered visions of heaven start to look pretty awful.

Compare this idea with C. S. Lewis's vision of heaven in his book The Great Divorce, in which new arrivals must learn to want God more than they want their own sins, their own desires, or even their own beloved family members. Only then can they experience the joy that God has prepared for them.

As Lewis wrote elsewhere, "a ruthless, sleepless, unsmiling concentration upon self … is the mark of Hell," not of heaven, which is why the hellish violence of The Passion of the Christ paints a clearer picture of heaven—that is, what it cost to bring us there and whom we should look forward to meeting when we get there—than all the syrupy therapeutic or luxury visions we can ever make up for ourselves.
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 03/23/04 07:18 PM

That's interesting. When I read the book it made me think more about heaven. Fortunately, I already have my very own perception of what heaven will be like.

I guess for some people who read that book, it's the only thoughts they've had. Do you thnk that's possible?
Posted by: Lynn

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 03/24/04 04:10 AM


I'm not real sure what your position is. I know what the critics you quoted feel about 5 people but what are your viewpoints?

I think everyone's heaven is very private to themselves. We all worship together in one church but God is very personal to each of us. Who should care what God appears like to me or my reltionship with Him. And my or anyone's perception of Heaven is jsut that...a perception. If I think I will sit at God's hand and learn some lessons about my good and poor judgements in this life then that should be Ok. If Dotsie wants something else that is OK, too.

Sorry, but I find it difficult to gather what you think from these critics' viewpoints. Could you clarify?
Posted by: Thistle Cove Farm

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 03/26/04 06:20 AM

Hi Dotsie & Lynn - I'm not on the computer much this time of year, mainly in spurts or dribs and drabs. I haven't a clue what's going on in the other forums and it's already past my bedtime so won't play catch up tonight either. <g>

Like I said, I haven't read the book; imo, Colson wrote an interesting commentary and I thought those boomer women that had read the book might enjoy the commentary. I don't have an opinion on the book because I haven't read the book. Lynn, I'm not really sure what it is you're asking me to clarify...? I'm not offended by your "probing"; it's just I have no clue what it is you're really asking of me.

I think there is a lot of pop psychology around these days; not a lot of deep thinkers. C. S. Lewis was definately a deep thinker as were most of his ilk and Lewis is both a better writer and theologian than Abrams. My opinion is based upon my reading of Tuesdays w/Morrie; I thought it was a good book but not a great book. There are few books Lewis has written that cannot be called great...not by me per se but by world class writers and thinkers.

My views on heaven ain't about us. It's about God but puny human minds want to believe it's about us. I feel quite sure the God who created dirt so He could create life from dirt can dream up something even more fabulous in heaven...and it ain't gonna be about what I think or what conversation I had or anything about me. And I'm good with that. I'm looking forward to heaven where the agenda is on God...finally! I'm fully prepared for whatever mind I have then to be totally blown by what God does next.

I let God out of His box a long time ago and it changed my life forever.
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 03/31/04 09:22 PM

Sandra and any other soul who feels like answering:

For some reason, and I'm not sure why, your post made me thing of having free will in heaven. I never thought about that before. I'm guessing our free will is gone when we hit the pearly gates. Any thoughts?

[ March 31, 2004, 01:23 PM: Message edited by: Dotsie ]
Posted by: Thistle Cove Farm

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/03/04 07:09 AM

Free will in heaven...hmmmmm...don't know but will think on it for the next while. There are a lot of people who act like they have no free will here on earth <remember "the devil made me do it"?>

Off hand I'd say yes, because of the choice we made to go to heaven, we will have free will in heaven. But we will also be on the same page, so to speak as God, so there won't be sin or sinners. Isn't that why Christ was the sacrificial lamb? So sin c/wouldn't enter heaven?

Interesting question...
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/03/04 04:06 PM

Originally posted by Thistle Cove Farm:

Off hand I'd say yes, because of the choice we made to go to heaven, we will have free will in heaven. But we will also be on the same page, so to speak as God, so there won't be sin or sinners. Isn't that why Christ was the sacrificial lamb? So sin c/wouldn't enter heaven?

Interesting question...

Okay, gotcha. I agree. My thought was that we would be on the same page as God so we wouldn't have self will, but your thought is similar...We will have free will it will just be aligned with His.

Good answer Thistle! Thanks for your thoughts.

One of my daily prayers is:
Align my will with your's.

[ April 03, 2004, 08:10 AM: Message edited by: Dotsie ]
Posted by: DJ

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/04/04 08:19 AM

If you're interested, here's something that the Baha'i Faith says about the next world (heaven): first, our soul begins on earth and continues _progressing_ forever. In existence (in all God's worlds), there's only progression (growth) or decay, there's no standing still (stagnation is decay).
The purpose of life on the material plane (earth) is to know and to love God. Here we develop spiritual qualities that we'll need in the next world(s). It's like the fetus in the womb before it's born -- it's developing what it will need in this world. The fetus doesn't need arms and legs, etc., but is developing them for later. A baby born without limbs or eyes or ears can exist, but its life will be more difficult than a healthy baby.
Similarly, we're developing qualities that we'll need in the next world. For example, many people on earth exist without faith and love and can get by. But in the next world, faith and love will be necessary for a "healthy" existence.
Also, the next world is as close to us as the fetus is close to this world. The beings in the next world are somehow connected to and involved with us.
Once you leave the material world, God will be obvious. It will be no great act of faith to recognize God there as it is here.
Aligning our will with God's will is a process. We can often assume we know what God wills for us individually, but also may not be absolutely certain. We will experience existence,including freedom, in the next world also according to the efforts we exert in this one and the spiritual qualities we take with us.
Finally, you can't take negative qualities (greed, envy, hate, etc.) with you. For example, hate is the absence of love, but in itself is not a spiritual quality, just as the shadow of a thing has no substance in itself. People develop greater or lesser capacities for love, faith, trust, mercy, and all the spiritual qualities, which is what we take with us into the next world. So, even though for Baha'is there is no concept of hell, there is a notion that we will be closer to or farther away from God and from aligning ourselves with God's will.
Posted by: Thistle Cove Farm

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/04/04 04:31 AM

Dotsie - Satan had free will in heaven and look where it got him <g>. I've studied other religions and, while I find them interesting, for me, Christianity is still the answer. There's a verse in Deut. that says each shall be judged by the way in which they have lived their lives or religion <can't remember the exact word>. Of course, that's the Old Test. law and we're under New Test. Christ love and sacrifice so does it still apply? I dunno.

In Sunday School one time, the people wanted to study the major religions of the world. One of the keenest proponents was getting ready to go on a trip to California. I told her I had a state map of South Caroline I'd loan her for her trip. I was sure she would find it interesting and useful. She looked at me blankly and said, but I'm going to California not South Caroline.

I point exactly. Sometimes people are so caught up in the "words" of a religion they forget it's not about the "words", it's about the life the words give. "I am the way, the truth and the light and no man shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven except by me." I believe my path to heaven is only through Jesus Christ and His grace. It's not about how good a Christian I am <because I'm usually not>; it's not about how often I attend church <because often I don't>; it's not about my good works <because a lot of the time I'm selfish>. It's simply not about me. It's about Jesus and His sacrifice, His mercy, His grace, His love. And for whatever crazy reason, He chose me. I can do no less than to say yes to His amazing love.
Posted by: meredithbead

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/06/04 12:09 PM

If everyone went to South Carolina, it would get pretty crowded, so crowded that no one could even see where they are.
Posted by: Thistle Cove Farm

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/06/04 06:06 PM

Myrtle Beach in July!

been there, done that, wouldn't stand in line for the tee-shirt!
Posted by: DJ

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/07/04 07:26 AM

Meredith, are you implying that people need to think for themselves?
Posted by: meredithbead

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/08/04 10:12 AM

DJ, that's one way of interpreting it. I'm saying that we're not all supposed to be in the same place, period, whether geographically, spiritually or any other -ly. There are different paths for different people (and the same people, in different times of their life).

I, for one, keep a full set of maps.
Posted by: Julie

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/08/04 12:19 PM

A full set of maps!

Love it.

As for heaven:
"God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away behold, I make all things new" (Rev. 21:4).
Posted by: Lynn

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/09/04 02:50 AM

Meredith you are inspiring and refreshing.

The simplicity in which you state your belief is hearteneing.

I feel i have "many maps" and many journeys. Would love to hear more from you.

Posted by: meredithbead

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/09/04 10:51 AM

Thanks Lynn. As I explained in the posts on Sight, I see many things simply and clearly, with no confusion. That doesn't mean, however, that my answers are the same answers you should arrive at. It just means that we should all open our hearts to where the universe takes us. The more we question, the better odds we'll get the information we need, although there are of course no guarantees. We can never have too much knowledge. If we're afraid (which includes an unwillingness to question), then our sight stops at the fear.

If you're familiar with my poetry, there's a recurring iconography: I'm the woman who jumps off mountains, and fully expects to fly. I can't imagine living any other way.

I'd be happy to answer anything more specific, whether in the posts or in private email.
Posted by: smilinize

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/09/04 06:02 PM

I don't have a map though the Bible gives general directions. Mostly I try to look up and take one step at a time trusting in faith that I am not stepping into the abyss.

I liked the Five People book, but I believe I am already in heaven and will be for all eternity. I believe on Him so I will not perish, but have everlasting life.

Meredith and all I love reading everyone's insight insight as inspired by Five People. It makes you think.
Posted by: meredithbead

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/10/04 03:58 AM

Heaven sounds nice but I'm not interested in staying anywhere that permanent. There's a lot of good work that needs to be done on earth, and I'd just as soon turn around after this death and come back to help where I can.
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/10/04 11:53 PM

meredith, I know our beliefs are a little different. I'm surious to know if you believe you were here before this life, and if so, who were you?

Maybe you don't believe this, but I just thought I'd ask.

One of the reasons I appreciate these boards is the variety of belief systems represented. I'm always interested in learning more about other religions and I'd much rather learn from people than reading text books.
Posted by: Lynn

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/11/04 02:34 AM


I hope you like this. I have folowed it for all of my adult life and it sums me up concisly.

Come to the Cliff, he said.
They said, We are afraid.
Come to the Cliff, he said.
They came
He pushed them
And they flew

I have cross stichted this and it has always hung near our dinner table.

Dotsie, I am a little unconventional myself and agree with Meredith, probably for different reasons, that I will return and I have been here before.

Posted by: meredithbead

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/11/04 06:04 AM

Lynn, I LOVE IT!!! It gave me goosebumps, partly because it sounds much like me. And you seem to know more than I do on this one, because you said our reasons are probably different -- which means that you have a good idea about mine. How do you know about past/future?

Dotsie, until a few years ago I had no recollection of prior lives, although I had a vague feeling that I had been here before and the last whole bunch of times I was male. Five years ago I met a psychic who said that my husband and I had been together several times previously but our genders were usually reversed. It sounded right to me.

About three years ago I started to see snippets of what I believe were past lives. I don't exactly know "who" I was but I have vivid pictures of my surroundings. One of my friends is sometimes there. I've tried to write some of these episodes down but I don't have enough information to say much.

Of course, in my major fantasies I was some kind of local Goddess 3000 years ago in the Mideast, but probably everybody has those fantasies.
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/12/04 04:41 PM

Lynn, I love that saying. I think you were following it when you were a teen and young adult living on the sea too. Don't you?

This reminds me of the sermon on Easter Sunday. He preached about having moments in life when you receive news, either good, or bad. At that moment you have to have faith and hope in order to move forward with belief in all things that are good. It's like the moment you jump off the cliff. You have to believe you're going to fly. If you don't have faith, then you'll never fly.

Meredith, since I don't beleive I was here before, or that I'm coming back, I find your thoughts interesting. It's hard for me to fathom a past life since I've never grasped those beliefs. Another question...

When you return, will you carry your knowledge from this life with you? Do you become wiser with each visit?

Hope you don't mind my questions? [Wink]

I tend to socialize with people who share similar belief systems. I like having the opportunity to ask questions of others who believe differently.

On Tuesdays I attend this eccumenical Bible/book study. All of us are Christians, but from different denominations. The conversations always stimulate my thoughts and a desire to know more about other beliefs and disciplines. I like thinking outside the box.
Posted by: Lynn

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/13/04 01:54 AM


I think you know more about your past lives than you are recognizing. If you had a trusted friend who would be with you when you had "your glimpses" into past lives it would help. Your friend could ask simple questions like, "What is on your feet", "Are you wearing pants?", "Is it cold", What is to your left" etc.

All of this will help you "see" more of your expereience. You are VERY talented to be able to slide into a past life expereince without any guidance. I wish I could sit with you and ask the questions! What fun.

Dotsie, I do not believe that you carry the knowledge from a previous life to your next life and hold it for more than a few years. But the wisdom of your past life is to help build on the lessons of this life. I believe God and I worked out a "lesson plan" so to speak for this lifetime and there are specific lessons I am to work through and enjoy.

I agree with Meredith in that I have way too much to do and learn here on earth. I can't possibly get His work done in one lifetime. Maybe I am a slow learner and it takes me longer?

Meredith, I have had the fortune of knowing someone personally who could guide me into past life recurrences. We actually did it for entertainment at sea. (no TV). There have been many occassions in my life that follow this rather untraditional approach to spirituallity. I realy can't go into all of them here.

I really wish that I had some spiritual guidance regarding my husband's cancer. I don't have a resource and feel at a loss. Could really use some clarvoyance here and I am too close to the situation to rely on. Any thoughts?

Posted by: meredithbead

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/13/04 04:24 AM

Dotsie, I consider myself an absolute neophyte in all of this, because it really came on so recently. I still have a very long way to go. I do believe that I finally learned enough in this life to come back and do some major good. Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but I try to be positive. I believe that we as people exist on earth for the good we can do on earth. If I was supposed to be in heaven, I'd already be there.

I've read the source books (in English) for many of the world's religions and have informally studied both theology and religious etymology. I'm fascinated by the differences but am more interested in the similarities.

Lynn, it took me four brushes with "there but for the grace of God go I" before I learned anything of my purpose in this life. Who knows how many times I didn't learn before this?


I think you may be asking the wrong questions, or at least not asking these:

1. If John were to die within the next six months, how would it affect the way you're living now?

2. If he was going to die between 6 and 12 months, how would it affect what you do now?

3. If you knew he'd survive the cancer, would it affect what is NOW?

If the answer to all of the above is "not really" (and I suspect it is) then the question of WHEN is not as germane. What's important is NOW.

I use positive visualization. I imagine the person and where they're sick. I get as centered and as clear as possible, and send forth healing energy. I say, "John, you WILL beat the cancer" (not "I hope that...) I concentrate for several moments and keep repeating.

I have no idea if this works but I figure it can't hurt.
Posted by: Lynn

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/13/04 02:23 PM

Bless you Meredith-
Your questioning is very on the mark. But yes, if I knew John would survive the cancer I would be different now. I would relax more.

Admittedly, I am afraid of that big black emotional hole that I will go through if I lose the human part of the man that I have shared so much with. No one wants that.

I understand that it is NOW that is most important and that is correct because either one of us could have a tragic accident instead but I find myself waiting. I am thinking that, with time, this will change and evolve.

You are a survivor so you must have had some of the same types of feelings with the "waiting game".

I also believe your focus on the person who needs help and the area in which he needs it is right on the money. I think Dotsie does the same thing only with prayer. The method is similiar.

You are right, there are many similiarities in religions. My sister-in-law is a Christian Buddhist. Hard to get the two together in your mind but with a little effort, I saw where she was coming from.

Posted by: smilinize

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/13/04 03:24 PM

I'm certainly no expert on this, but it seems as if you are struggling with what you fear rather than relaxing into what you love.
I'm pretty sure that is what I would be doing also. However, in the past when I have faced difficult things, if I could stop struggling long enough to force myself to thank God even for the bad things and understand that scripture that says, "all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and keep his commands," I have been able to find peace.
You are creating joy, and making memories every day. Those memories, like being on the boat and Nathan's stories, will bring joy to you no matter what happens with John. Maybe you can focus on that.
I'm sure much of your time is spent in doctor's offices and such, but there is joy to be found even there if you look. Nathan, who sounds like a commedian in training, must bring great joy to both of you. And even the doctors are sometimes hilarious in their attempts to help.
Maybe you already are or maybe there is simply not enough time, but maybe you could keep a pad with you to make blessing notes just to remind yourself and John of the blessings that are in each day. Even on the bad days, try to remember that God is beside you and will work it all out to your good.
You are surrounded by prayers every day.
Posted by: chatty lady

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/14/04 12:35 AM

Lynn, I have added John to my nightly prayers as well as the other two ladies fathers. I also pray for a 5 year od little girl here in Vegas. Kelsey has brain tumors and has been in one hospital after another since age 3. I pray really hard for her. But back to you, its hard I know to concentrate on the good things in our lives while someone we love, a part of us suffers. I had a new baby son and his every smile and gurgle, even spueezing my finger gave me such joy. I was afraid and felt guilty feeling that joy but now I know, years later it was God helping me cope. God Bless you both.
Posted by: smilinize

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/14/04 01:31 AM

I just re-read my previous post. I hope I didn't sound cavalier. I can only imagine what you are going through. It must literally be like the loss of one half of yourself.

I just hoped that some of the wonderful memories you have made and continue to make might be a comfort to you.
John must be strengthened every day by your love and the way you care for him and Nathan. When he recovers, John will be comforted by the memories of that loving care. And those same memories can bring comfort to you.

Please know that you are always surrounded by prayer.
Posted by: Lynn

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/15/04 01:31 AM

Smile- I know your thoughts are never cavalier. And yes there are great times for all of us now. But it does not take away the scary part-the loss, if it should come.

I also know that we all live with this everyday. But actions happen in our lives and we are faced with mortality.

Thank you all for your prayers and positive thoughts. Each of your words inpire me and allow me to reflect. You are all a comfort.

Posted by: meredithbead

Re: The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 04/15/04 10:46 AM

On my very worst days, I'd tell myself, "This too shall pass."

I understand that it's impossible to NOT worry about the future, but if you only think of the future, then you've lost today.

I still think you need more physical help with chores, errands and the like. There's a wonderful community of cancer survivors and surviving friends and family who do things like that. Call your local hospital. There are also caregivers support groups.