Last fall I had the opportunity to make a new friend in my life. Pastor Steve Sjogren was the guest speaker at our pastors conference. When I first started listening to Steve I was immediately struck with the fact that this man was not your normal guest speaker you would find at a pastors conference. Although he at one time pastored one of the largest Vineyard churches in our fellowship, the man I saw was what he himself would call an "irregular" person.
You see, a while back, while Steve was still pastoring the Cincinnati Ohio Vineyard church, he had a near death experience. That N.D.E. forever changed his life.
Recently Steve asked me to read his new book published by Thomas Nelson and review it. I told him that I am not a book reviewer but because we had become friends, I would share with all of you what I thought about the book. What I did not expect was to be so touched and transfixed by the book. I honestly could not put it down and I am not a big book reader.
Steve takes the lessons he learned while being clinically dead on the operating table for one hour and fifteen minutes and shares them with all of us in an unique and transparent way that goes beyond a list of lessons and makes them an experience shared and principles to be applied.
WHAT THINGS DID I LEARN ABOUT GOD?
Some of the lessons, I could connect with. Having gone through a couple of instances in my life where my life was in ruins and having saw God work on me and restore me, I knew those lessons. In other areas, I heard the voice of my savior speaking to me in new ways, including opening myself up to irregular people and facing my fears.
I came away after reading Heaven's Lessons with a deep sense of the true purpose of life. Money, success, and fame are so fleeting but the lives we touch, the people we open ourselves up to, and the things we focus our lives on are much more important.
God is real. He wants to prove Himself to each and every person. The trick is to understand that we actually live in not just a physical world but a spiritual one as well and most of us are not very good at connecting to that spiritual world. We must change our focus from the physical to the spiritual and when we do, we will see God. He has been right there all the time.
So I would seriously recommend that you get Steve's book Heaven's Lessons. It is not a "to do" list or a theological treatise. It is just the journey of a man who saw beyond what we normally see.
You can find more about Steve at