5 Books that Made Me Love Heaven (Countdown pick #5)

Renee Ann Smith —  January 21, 2013 — 10 Comments

safely home with logo“Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” ~Colossians 3:1~

“If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.” ~C. S. Lewis~ (Click here to tweet this.)

“Soon you will read in the newspapers that I am dead. Don’t believe it for a moment. I will be more alive than ever before.” ~D. L. Moody~  (Click here to tweet this.)

As you spend time with God’s children—either through “real life” friendships, the bloggy world, or memoirs and stories—have you noticed that the godliest saints seem to share one all-encompassing focus?

The most vibrant Christians fix their eyes on Heaven, set out in pursuit of it, and never look back.
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Over the next few weeks, let’s learn to love Heaven with them!

In five posts, I’ll be sharing my top picks written by a few of these folks. Coming in at number 5 in my countdown is Randy Alcorn’s novel Safely Home. Safely Home tells the story of two college friends who reconnect after twenty years. American businessman Ben Fielding is living life apart from God in style and comfort. Chinese house pastor Li Quan is living for Christ under intense persecution.

The explosive happenings when they come together—though born in the imagination of author Randy Alcorn—altered my view of how life on earth figures into the eternal battle between God and Satan. And the beautiful portrayal of a modern-day martyr, the humble and delightful Li Quan, moved me deeply.

The novel begins with three heavenly warriors watching events that involve their earthly descendents. As the action plays out, these watchers give us perspective on and add poignancy to the story. In one scene, Li Quan shares with Ben a bit about his rebellious years and his regret that his father did not live to see him follow Christ.

“‘Baba’s favorite hymn was Heaven Is My Home. He used to sing it over and over again. When I got older, sometimes I would cover my ears because I did not want to heart it.’

Safely Home quote resizedLi Quan sang softly in Mandarin:

Heaven is my home.
Earth is a desert drear.

Heaven is my home.

Danger and sorrow stand

Round me on every hand.

Heaven is my fatherland.

Heaven is my home.

‘It’s beautiful,’ said Ben.

‘But my father’s foolish son would not sing it with him. And now it is too late.’

******Another voice, in another place, said, ‘Even now I sing it with you, my son. And we will sing it together again. Satan lies to you. It is not too late.'”

What a sweet reminder that the ones we love (if they are in Christ) are only gone from us for a time and remain fully alive and aware as they eagerly await our reunion!

The theme of the book might be found in another scene set in Heaven. After watching a martyr die, the archangel is chafing at the bit to rescue God’s children and set all wrongs right. He asks why they must wait so long. The King of Heaven shares this insight, “[My children] do not understand that I am not only at work here, preparing a place for them, but I am at work there, preparing them for that place.”

So have I convinced you this is a story worth reading? You can purchase Safely Home at this link. You can connect with author Randy Alcorn on his website or Facebook page.

What about you, friends?

  • Do you think about Heaven much?
  • Are you curious to know how our lives will be there?
  • Is there someone special you look forward to reuniting with one day?
  • What’s your favorite verse about Heaven?
  • What non-fiction book or novel changed your perspective on life in a big way?
Please know that, though I may not respond right away, I eventually visit the blogs of all who leave comments. And whenever I see your names here, I always, always pray for you! Blessings!

This week I’m linking up with Monday Musings, Hear It on Sunday, Soli Deo Gloria, The Better Mom, Covered in Grace, Rachelwojo, Modest Mondays, GraceLaced Mondays, Raising Arrows, A Mama’s Story, Teach Me Tuesdays, Gratituesdays, Just Write, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Tell Me About It Tuesday, Tuesdays Unwrapped, Teaching What Is Good, Mom’s Library, Tuesday Tips, What I Learned This Week, Heart and Home, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Raising Homemakers, Deep Roots at Home, God Bumps, Wednesday Walkabout, Think Outside the Blog, Word-filled Wednesday, Thankful Homemaker, Wisdom Wednesday, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays, Thursday Favorite Things,Thriving Thursday, Hearts for Home, Legacy Leaver, Thoughtful Thursday, Life in the Comments, Almost Friday Thursday Blog Hop, Favorite Things, Faith-filled Friday, Friday @Homemaker by Choice, Just for Fun Friday, Fellowship Friday, Womanhood with Purpose, Weekend Whatever, and Heart Reflected.

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

10 responses to 5 Books that Made Me Love Heaven (Countdown pick #5)

  1. Safely Home is my favorite novel. I cannot get past the dedication page without tears. Reading it impacted my life and made changes in my life and heart.

  2. Adding this to my to-read list- thank you!

  3. “Real gold fears no fire!”….What a poignant statement! So true! I want my mind & heart to be fixed on eternity! This is the 2nd post I have read about heaven! God must be speaking…

    Thanks for Linking with UNITE!
    Jen

  4. This looks like a worthy addition to my ever-growing to-read list.

    This post reminds me of a sign I saw this morning in front of a local pizza joint. It read, “Closed for vacation. Heaven or bust!”

    While I know the family of the owner is grieving, I loved how they view heaven as a vacation! It was a great reminder that we have so much to look forward to beyond this life.

  5. Hi Renee Ann,
    It’s been years since I read Safely Home, but it’s such a great read! Thanks for putting it back on my radar.
    Visiting from Mindy’s,
    Susan

  6. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop xo

  7. This looks excellent. Thanks for the tip! I am always on the search for new book. 🙂

    Gretchen 🙂

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. 5 Books to Make You Love Heaven (Countdown pick #4) | Doorkeeper - January 30, 2013

    […] Read about my number 5 pick, Safely Home here. […]

  2. 5 Books to Make You Love Heaven (Countdown pick #3) | Doorkeeper - February 10, 2013

    […] Read about my number 5 pick, Safely Home, here. […]

  3. 5 Books to Help You Love Heaven (Countdown pick #2) | Doorkeeper - February 17, 2013

    […] Read about my number 5 pick, Safely Home, here. […]

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