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Touching Heaven: Real Stories of Children, Life, and Eternity

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Children have always been close to the heart of God. It is when children are sick, even dying, that they can suddenly bring us closer to God ourselves. Children's minister and former children's hospital chaplain Leanne Hadley has been ministering to hurting children for years. In "Touching Heaven," she recounts the poignant stories and simple faith of the remarkable childr Children have always been close to the heart of God. It is when children are sick, even dying, that they can suddenly bring us closer to God ourselves. Children's minister and former children's hospital chaplain Leanne Hadley has been ministering to hurting children for years. In "Touching Heaven," she recounts the poignant stories and simple faith of the remarkable children she has been privileged to serve. She shares their encounters with God, Jesus, and angels. And with humor and tenderness, she offers their inspiring testimonies to the presence of God in our lives--even as earthly life is ending. Anyone who has lost a child or another loved one, or anyone who is currently supporting a dying person along the journey, will find in these stories comfort, inspiration, and hope of everlasting life.


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Children have always been close to the heart of God. It is when children are sick, even dying, that they can suddenly bring us closer to God ourselves. Children's minister and former children's hospital chaplain Leanne Hadley has been ministering to hurting children for years. In "Touching Heaven," she recounts the poignant stories and simple faith of the remarkable childr Children have always been close to the heart of God. It is when children are sick, even dying, that they can suddenly bring us closer to God ourselves. Children's minister and former children's hospital chaplain Leanne Hadley has been ministering to hurting children for years. In "Touching Heaven," she recounts the poignant stories and simple faith of the remarkable children she has been privileged to serve. She shares their encounters with God, Jesus, and angels. And with humor and tenderness, she offers their inspiring testimonies to the presence of God in our lives--even as earthly life is ending. Anyone who has lost a child or another loved one, or anyone who is currently supporting a dying person along the journey, will find in these stories comfort, inspiration, and hope of everlasting life.

30 review for Touching Heaven: Real Stories of Children, Life, and Eternity

  1. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Rodriguez

    SOOOO many good stories

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Williams

    This review is given in exchange for receiving the book from Revell publishing. If there were a way to give it more then 5 stars I would! I thoroughly enjoyed this book, though it bought me to tears in nearly every chapter. The author is a chaplain who is involved with terminally ill children. Each chapter in the book is about a different child she met and the courage and bravery shown by each child as they faced the eventuality of their death. You would think it would be a book of mourning, but i This review is given in exchange for receiving the book from Revell publishing. If there were a way to give it more then 5 stars I would! I thoroughly enjoyed this book, though it bought me to tears in nearly every chapter. The author is a chaplain who is involved with terminally ill children. Each chapter in the book is about a different child she met and the courage and bravery shown by each child as they faced the eventuality of their death. You would think it would be a book of mourning, but it is far from that. It is a book of their faith, their dreams, their hopes and their spirituality. As the odds stack against these children, they tell Leanne some amazing stories about heaven, and God. How they will have an escort. How God is so beautiful that words cant describe Him. One child even tried to explain that the love we have from earthly people is only a mere fraction of the love that is waiting for us in heaven! I loved the way each child's story played. The fact that 'they' know heaven is waiting for them, as soon as they've finished what they've needed to do here. And also my heart wells up at the fact that they listened to God and were able to relay messages to their families that God wanted them and they were ready to go. Grab your tissues and get ready to read with your heart. Leanne has penned a wonderful inspiring book that you will not want to miss.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina Rutter

    This little book really surprised me! I did not want to put it down! Although having a belief in God and Heaven makes the book more pleasurable I feel that even without those beliefs one could still enjoy the stories within these pages. I have to admit that I cried a few times, I mean how can you read about children passing and not shed some tears right, but I'm so grateful to the author for sharing these stories with us.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Robert C. Rogers

    This is an inspiring collection of true stories by a United Methodist minister, primarily telling the stories of dying children she met as a young chaplain in a children's hospital. Her stories of faith are deeply moving. Some of the stories of children's faith and encounters with angelic visions are amazing, and even startling, yet there is little reason to think that she is embellishing them. This book is encouraging to anybody facing a terminal illness, especially the terminal illness of a chi This is an inspiring collection of true stories by a United Methodist minister, primarily telling the stories of dying children she met as a young chaplain in a children's hospital. Her stories of faith are deeply moving. Some of the stories of children's faith and encounters with angelic visions are amazing, and even startling, yet there is little reason to think that she is embellishing them. This book is encouraging to anybody facing a terminal illness, especially the terminal illness of a child. It is also a great resource for those who do hospital ministry, as Hadley models good practices, and is honestly self-effacing about her feelings of inadequacy at times to do this ministry. This short book concludes with a summary of lessons learned that ties together the stories well.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Dickerson

    I loved these true stories of people, mostly children, getting a heavenly glimpse toward the end of their lives. Beautifully told by Leanne Hadley. I only wish there were more of them! Nicely done.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cassie Kiser

    This book is amazing! I personally know Leanne and the stories she tell are real! If you ask Leanne about Heaven, she will confidently tell you it’s a place we go to see our loved ones. This book helped me heal after the death of my grandma. I loved it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Heather bishop

    Woah Heartbreaking, Heartwarming, Funny yet sad. So many emotions come with reading this book. The one we all have in common is death..... wether it’s a parent, spouse, child or our own. Better to understand it then to fear it because we certainly can’t outrun it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Anne Morrow

    What a wonderful book! Such a tearjerker!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I chose to read this book because I enjoy learning about the special moments that can make a positive memory from something that may be difficult. This book does exactly that. Touching Heaven, by Leanne Hadley, is an amazing collection of true stories of her experiences with children crossing over from this life to Heaven. While it's incredibly difficult to imagine anything happening to an innocent child, knowing that God is with them each step of the way can provide comfort in a situation where I chose to read this book because I enjoy learning about the special moments that can make a positive memory from something that may be difficult. This book does exactly that. Touching Heaven, by Leanne Hadley, is an amazing collection of true stories of her experiences with children crossing over from this life to Heaven. While it's incredibly difficult to imagine anything happening to an innocent child, knowing that God is with them each step of the way can provide comfort in a situation where comfort is hard to find. The stories in this book are incredible and inspiring and are so perfectly captured that you feel a sense of peace knowing that these children were not suffering in their last moments. While some of the stories carry strong emotional subjects, the innocence of the children and amazing miracles of God, angels, and Heaven is conveyed so beautifully throughout; the stories are sure to touch your heart in a very special way. Hadley's professional experience as a chaplain to dying children has taught her many valuable lessons that she shares with her readers at the end of the book about Heaven, dying, and God's grace. I loved this book-5 stars! Although there were sad parts, it definitely touched my heart in a special way. I was reminded of a few experiences I've had in my own life with loved ones I have lost. It helped me to find a renewed sense of comfort in knowing they are in Heaven now. I highly recommend this book to anyone who can relate to losing a loved one or those experiencing child terminal illness in their family, or simply interested in a glimpse of Heaven through the eyes of a child. I also absolutely LOVE the cover of this book. It goes so perfectly with the concept. Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Full review at LindsayTampaBay.com

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey Silvestrini

    Touching Heaven was so beautiful and touching and left me feeling I had touched a little bit of heaven by the time I finished reading it. Leanne Hadley really has a way with words and speaking to the heart of the matter without holding back emotion. This is a collection of Hadley’s real life experiences with children near death in her time serving as a Chaplain for children. I was amazed by these stories and by the compassion and love she had for these children, who started out as strangers and e Touching Heaven was so beautiful and touching and left me feeling I had touched a little bit of heaven by the time I finished reading it. Leanne Hadley really has a way with words and speaking to the heart of the matter without holding back emotion. This is a collection of Hadley’s real life experiences with children near death in her time serving as a Chaplain for children. I was amazed by these stories and by the compassion and love she had for these children, who started out as strangers and ended up changing her life. Most Christians at one time or another have questioned their faith and beliefs. Hadley is no exception but these children helped to show her the face of God and his presence all through their sickness and journey to eternity. These stories erase any possible doubt of heaven as the children recount their stories of heaven, God and angels to Leanne as they near death. This book would be such a comfort to anyone who has lost a child or faces losing one because it gives such real life accounts of God’s undeniable presence. He never left these children and took such care in erasing their fear and showing them heaven as a beautiful place to look forward to. In doing so, the adults in their lives were comforted and given peace in their darkest hours in life. I was truly blown away by the faith of these children and touched by each and every one of their stories that leave no room for doubt and only offer comfort and peace and assurance of our eternal home. Touching Heaven had me in tears by the end of each chapter but in a beautifully touching way and instead of being left feeling sad, I was filled with hope.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Veronica

    This is a very touching book about a chaplain's real experiences with children who were dying. Each chapter is the story of a child who touched her life and taught her a lesson along the way. Leanne was a chaplain in a children's hospital and many of the kids she spent time with were sick for a long time and were in and out of the hospital. Some of the children saw angels or had dreams of heaven, but all were comforted and died peacefully. She points out that she doesn't know why children die, b This is a very touching book about a chaplain's real experiences with children who were dying. Each chapter is the story of a child who touched her life and taught her a lesson along the way. Leanne was a chaplain in a children's hospital and many of the kids she spent time with were sick for a long time and were in and out of the hospital. Some of the children saw angels or had dreams of heaven, but all were comforted and died peacefully. She points out that she doesn't know why children die, but that God was with each one loving them. I cried many times while reading these stories and while they were sad, they were also comforting and full of hope. A few of the stories really amazed me of how wise and forgiving these children were. There's a line at the end of the book that did make me question whether Leanne believes everyone goes to heaven, but I could have misinterpreted that; the book doesn't deal with theology or doctrine. I recommend this book, especially if you're interested in true stories about death and the life after. I received this book free from Revell in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    This touching book made me laugh, cry, and smile. There aren't detailed accounts of Heaven here, but each story features a dying child who experienced some type of supernatural aspect of Heaven or its constituents. Stories are very faith-building and in line with stories by adults I've read. I originally passed on buying this book, but I'm glad I retuned to Target and made the purchase. A must read. 2018 review: This collection of stories about children and their experiences is a keeper still. Ton This touching book made me laugh, cry, and smile. There aren't detailed accounts of Heaven here, but each story features a dying child who experienced some type of supernatural aspect of Heaven or its constituents. Stories are very faith-building and in line with stories by adults I've read. I originally passed on buying this book, but I'm glad I retuned to Target and made the purchase. A must read. 2018 review: This collection of stories about children and their experiences is a keeper still. Tony, or maybe it's James, is a little boy-man with deep faith that shares this wisdom: why pray for ourselves? God takes care of us already. Pray for others who need God. Each of these children accepted fate and surrendered to God. One little girl got to play in Heaven as if she were on Earth. There were even kittens. The author is a chaplain at a children's hospital. The last chapter of the book is about her mother dying. For some reason, it made me the saddest. She died of Lou Gherig's Disease at 53. She said God has a song for each and every one of us that only we can hear. This touching book is full of faith. It's very inspirational and a must-keep.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mary Kenyon

    Despite the sad subject matter (dying children) this beautiful book was inspiring and uplifting. Yes, I was crying as I read it, but the true stories of hope and yes, beauty in these children's short lives and eye-opening experiences could give real comfort to those who have lost a child. I lost my grandson two years ago this month, and intimately know the faith struggle to see any meaning in the death of a child, but it doesn't take a leap of faith to find meaning in his life. Jacob was a gift Despite the sad subject matter (dying children) this beautiful book was inspiring and uplifting. Yes, I was crying as I read it, but the true stories of hope and yes, beauty in these children's short lives and eye-opening experiences could give real comfort to those who have lost a child. I lost my grandson two years ago this month, and intimately know the faith struggle to see any meaning in the death of a child, but it doesn't take a leap of faith to find meaning in his life. Jacob was a gift to us; a beautiful gift in our lives. I never lose sight of that. While Leanne Hadley's book brought back a lot of sorrow regarding our loss, it also reminded me of where Jacob is. What a loving companion Hadley is in her work with dying children, for the children themselves, but also for their families. Thank you to her for sharing these beautiful stories with readers.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    This book contains twelve true stories of children facing slim odds at life, highlighting their remarkable bravery and unwavering faith. Very enlightening, and one that will tear at your heart and will bring a sense of hightened spirituality to the readers life as a journey of reading each story. A work of excellent writing and description I felt as if I connected with each child. Well written and hard to put down book that although I felt sad when reading I also felt joy from their journey of a This book contains twelve true stories of children facing slim odds at life, highlighting their remarkable bravery and unwavering faith. Very enlightening, and one that will tear at your heart and will bring a sense of hightened spirituality to the readers life as a journey of reading each story. A work of excellent writing and description I felt as if I connected with each child. Well written and hard to put down book that although I felt sad when reading I also felt joy from their journey of acceptance. I will recommend this spiritually filled read to others. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishers for this blog tour for my review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    This book was too short, I think considering how interesting it was. Leanne begins to tell her own history of how she became a chaplain. She talks about her experiences as an intern at a children's hospital trying to comfort children and families who have sickly children on the brink of death. She tells stories of those who have died that hold fond memories of her and seem to have been at great peace or had interesting situations surrounding their deaths. It was beautiful even if death is so tra This book was too short, I think considering how interesting it was. Leanne begins to tell her own history of how she became a chaplain. She talks about her experiences as an intern at a children's hospital trying to comfort children and families who have sickly children on the brink of death. She tells stories of those who have died that hold fond memories of her and seem to have been at great peace or had interesting situations surrounding their deaths. It was beautiful even if death is so tragically sad.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    This book was very sad...I cried at the end of each chapter as special children died. What makes this book worth reading is the descriptions of how these children were visited by angels and given advance notice about what heaven was going to be like. Each child was in their own way given the opportunity to complete their unfinished business and that is where I see the hand of a loving God. Thank you Leanne for sharing your stories.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Lawrence-Brown

    Written by a minister, originally I thought this might be a bit "too Preachy" for me but I loved how it really was about her experience interning at a children's hospital, and was told in a down to earth way. It is really fitting too because that is the way children really are. Their stories help make the concept/place of heaven seem more real to me. I'd highly recommend anyone read this who has experienced loss, whether it be a child or an adult.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    A book about a lady who ministered hope and comfort to children who were seriously ill or dying. Separate individual stories for each child. As each story is told information about their illnesses were explained. My favorite ones where the little boy who had 5 sisters, and the little girl who was funny and always tied her hair in little pony tails with colorful ribbons . How they see dying and how they deal with the ending. These children are amazing. You gotta read this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Stuller

    BEAUTIFUL COMFORTING DISPLAYS OF GOD'S LOVE As a Mother who has experienced the sudden loss of a child, this book grabs your attention and appeals to your insecurities as it answers many questions. The complete reassurance of these encounters are powerful. Mind changing.....I would had added a few prayers at the end.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Small yochum

    Having known this author and working with her as she continues to serve children with her incredible gift, this book captures her desire to understand and love children wherever they are in life. She holds an extraordinary ability to 'hear' children unlike anyone I've known, and this is evidenced in this beautiful book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    Uplifting, touching each story was unique and touching in its own way. I feel my faith renewed by the words of the children in this book. beautiful stories that I hope to keep stored in memory for a long time

  22. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    Ever since my mother died I've been wondering about what it means to be with God. This book was touching. To read about dying child, to hear their stories, and to learn about the spiritual experiences they had, was very comforting.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Meowzette

    It will definitely touch your heartstrings Sweet vignettes of the courage and innocence of children as they face crossing over. Their descriptions of God encounters will have you in tears.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    An excellent book and a quick read. I had a hard time putting it down!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gwen Hardin

    Inspirational stories from the hearts of children. We can learn many lessons from these testimonies.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    A sweet reminder that we never die!

  27. 4 out of 5

    C

    Beautiful stories of faith, forgiveness, and God's love.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Bugg

    Touching story.Wish had option of 4 and half stars cause deserving of.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mangold

    When children die This doesn't answer the question, "Why do children die?" but it certainly illustrates God's presence and comfort when they do.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Geraldine Robinson

    Amazing I chose five stars because I couldn't put this book down. I wish everyone could read it. I have ordered a hard copy to share

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