My Journey to Heaven: What I Saw and How It Changed My Life Info

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On April 28, 2006, as he lay in his hospital bed in Ann Arbor,
Michigan, visions of celestial beauty were the last thing on Marv
Besteman's mind. He had just had surgery to remove a rare pancreatic
tumor. It was after visiting hours and his family had left for the day.
Alone and racked with pain, Marv tossed and turned, wanting more than
anything else to simply sleep and escape the misery and discomfort for a
while. The retired banker, father, and grandfather had no idea he was
about to get a short reprieve in the form of an experience he never
could have imagined.
In My Journey to Heaven, Marv
Bestman shares the story of his experience of heaven with astounding
detail. Readers will hear of his encounters with angels who accompanied
him to the gate, his conversation (argument, really) with St. Peter, and
his recognition of friends and family members who touched his life. His
story offers peace, comfort, and encouragement to those who have lost
loved ones and gives security and solace to those who are grieving,
dying, or wonder about the afterlife. Marv believed God sent him back to
earth to fulfill this mission of comfort and reminds readers that God
has work for each of us to do before he calls us to be with him in
heaven. Secure in his belief that his book was the fulfillment of his
own mission, Marv returned to heaven in January 2012.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for My Journey to Heaven: What I Saw and How It Changed My Life:

5

Dec 21, 2018

4.75
I loved his experience in Heaven the most out of all the journey to heaven stories.
He described the angels coming to get him and flying over the clouds. Then Peter, like The Peter came and greeted him at the gates. It was just really interesting to see how everyone experiences Heaven differently.

I think one thing they all have in common is that none of them are scared. They all fell at peace and ready to leave when its their time. It gives me hope that when my times comes I will feel that 4.75⭐️
I loved his experience in Heaven the most out of all the journey to heaven stories.
He described the angels coming to get him and flying over the clouds. Then Peter, like The Peter came and greeted him at the gates. It was just really interesting to see how everyone experiences Heaven differently.

I think one thing they all have in common is that none of them are scared. They all fell at peace and ready to leave when its their time. It gives me hope that when my times comes I will feel that peace as well.
...more
4

Sep 29, 2012

Though I consider myself a woman of deep faith, even I was skeptical of Marvin Besteman’s celestial journey to heaven and back…before I read his memoir, that is. Having already read several memoirs within the last few years of people who had had a near-death heavenly experience, I probably would not have bothered to pick this one up at all had not my neighbor co-authored it with him, and spoken to me during the process of Marv’s inspirational story. I’m so glad I did. Not only am I reminded of Though I consider myself a woman of deep faith, even I was skeptical of Marvin Besteman’s celestial journey to heaven and back…before I read his memoir, that is. Having already read several memoirs within the last few years of people who had had a near-death heavenly experience, I probably would not have bothered to pick this one up at all had not my neighbor co-authored it with him, and spoken to me during the process of Marv’s inspirational story. I’m so glad I did. Not only am I reminded of my future forever home, but I also feel that I’ve met a new friend through Lorilee Craker’s faithful representation of the voice and mannerisms of this “hardheaded Hollander,” whose stoic Dutch personality and career as a banker never prepared him for such a literary pursuit, nor the limelight such attention might engender. Here’s this regular old guy, not given to the least bunk (his term), telling us about meeting Peter at the gate and even having a little argument with him. Angels, check. Colors, lights, check. Lost loved ones, the Book(s) of Life, an ocean, etc., he confirms many things about heaven that are familiar, and answers many pressing questions as well, with odd curiosities added along the way. Though Marv never intended to spend his days in the arduous writing of this book (“I’d rather be golfing”), he felt an “urgency to tell people about my experience, because who knows how long I’ve got until I go back?” A question facing all of us, ultimately.
Just as Lorilee captures Marv’s voice and experience beautifully, I am reminded just how our Heavenly Father’s voice is captured so beautifully for us through His Word, the Bible. It is our very own text message from heaven, if you will, with so much love and hope pouring from its pages: we are not “alone in the universe,” as so many skeptics fear. Though Marv’s message is a reminder, we have already heard from Heaven, and can continue to as we read and reread the pages of Scripture. It is all there in black and white, if we dare to believe. ...more
5

October 28, 2016

Marvin Besteman was a graduate of Calvin College, a veteran of the US Army, and a retired bank president. He passed away in January 2012 after completing the final manuscript for his book, MY JOURNEY TO HEAVEN. Besteman's coauthor, Lorilee Craker, is a speaker, entertainment writer, and author of se...Full Review
5

November 27, 2017

Extremely inspirational and encouraging...gives me the desire to Praise God and share the powerful love od God through Jesus Christ...hallelujah!!!
5

Oct 10, 2012

I was a bit skeptical with this book in the beginning, but the level of detail the author was able to bring to the sights and sounds of being at Heavens door was very compelling. he did a good job of relating directly to scipture to substantiate the prophesy of what Heaven is to be like when we arrive at our due time. It was also emphasized that he didn't experience every single thing we read in scripture and that all of his experiences could not even be described with the knowledge we have here I was a bit skeptical with this book in the beginning, but the level of detail the author was able to bring to the sights and sounds of being at Heavens door was very compelling. he did a good job of relating directly to scipture to substantiate the prophesy of what Heaven is to be like when we arrive at our due time. It was also emphasized that he didn't experience every single thing we read in scripture and that all of his experiences could not even be described with the knowledge we have here on earth.

Also, the deciption of St Peter with all the positive and negative moments in his life that made him inot the "Rock" often mentioned in the New Testament was very compelling. Peter felt the unbelievable pain of denying his Savior three times. I haven't had the exact same situation, but I've denied Christ in different ways through my actions in my life. Personally, I find it easier to relate to apostles than Christ because they obviously didn't do everything perfect either, but we still have the same promise of salvation when we accept Christ in our hearts.

One of the take aways from this book for me was "Who will be there to greet you at Heaven's Gate"? It is a very thought provoking question and one I will be thinking and praying about for as long as I am still here.

Overall rating is that I would definitely recommend this book to others that are interested on what to expect when we get to Heaven and finally see our HOME! ...more
5

May 10, 2016

Marvin Besteman was a graduate of Calvin College, a veteran of the US Army, and a retired bank president. He passed away in January 2012 after completing the final manuscript for his book, MY JOURNEY TO HEAVEN. Besteman's coauthor, Lorilee Craker, is a speaker, entertainment writer, and author of several books on parenting and relationships. Together, they tell the story of Marvin's dramatic and ...
2

Aug 02, 2019

2.5 stars. I’ve always had a morbid fascination with near death experiences. I love hearing about them, reading about them, thinking about them—what have you—which is why I picked this up in the first place.

Stylistically, it’s not my favorite. It’s rather generic and cliché as far as description goes, but that’s okay. It makes up for it in its light, conversational tone. Makes you feel like you’re a kid sitting cross-legged before your grandfather, half distracted, half riveted, while he’s 2.5 stars. I’ve always had a morbid fascination with near death experiences. I love hearing about them, reading about them, thinking about them—what have you—which is why I picked this up in the first place.

Stylistically, it’s not my favorite. It’s rather generic and cliché as far as description goes, but that’s okay. It makes up for it in its light, conversational tone. Makes you feel like you’re a kid sitting cross-legged before your grandfather, half distracted, half riveted, while he’s describing heaven in a simplistic way you’ll understand.

I liked it for that. ...more
5

Sep 07, 2012

Inspiring, humorous, and thought-provoking, My Journey to Heaven should definitely be on your "must read" list this year! Marvin's trip to heaven is recounted in wonderful detail, and I greatly enjoyed the style in which this book is written. Besteman is not a man who takes himself too seriously, and the result is a lighthearted book that deals with a deep subject matter - the reality of heaven, and the fantastic experience that awaits us at the end of our lives. I loved how he incorporated so Inspiring, humorous, and thought-provoking, My Journey to Heaven should definitely be on your "must read" list this year! Marvin's trip to heaven is recounted in wonderful detail, and I greatly enjoyed the style in which this book is written. Besteman is not a man who takes himself too seriously, and the result is a lighthearted book that deals with a deep subject matter - the reality of heaven, and the fantastic experience that awaits us at the end of our lives. I loved how he incorporated so much scripture into his story, and the fact that God chose a more conservative type of individual to have the experience Marvin had seems to lend even greater credibility to what happened. I also loved how he pointed people back to Jesus, offering the assurance of salvation through faith in Christ, an assurance that we too can enjoy heaven and the wonder that it holds.

This book is one that I will be recommending to family, friends, and anyone searching for answers to what happens when we die. Marvin's story would be an especially important one to share with people grieving the loss of a loved one, a reminder that this world is not the end of our journey, but that it is continued in Heaven, a place of peace and healing and a reunification with those we love! I highly recommend this book and award it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. ...more
1

Dec 21, 2015

Just Read the Introduction to Save Yourself from Disappointment

In My Journey to Heaven, Marvin Besteman (and Lorilee Craker) achieves a balance in mood that weighs the best of generosity in presentation and matter-of-fact, which is probably what makes this book engaging. It’s like reading one’s grandfather—he writes with a confidence that almost urges you to suspend disbelief while also extending kindness to his readers and his “competition” in the heavenly-tourism genre. One could see how the Just Read the Introduction to Save Yourself from Disappointment

In My Journey to Heaven, Marvin Besteman (and Lorilee Craker) achieves a balance in mood that weighs the best of generosity in presentation and matter-of-fact, which is probably what makes this book engaging. It’s like reading one’s grandfather—he writes with a confidence that almost urges you to suspend disbelief while also extending kindness to his readers and his “competition” in the heavenly-tourism genre. One could see how the author achieves his goal of extending comfort to his readers, the stated purpose of all of these books. Yet, similar issues plague this book as do the others in this growing cloud of supposed witnesses—along with unique issues here.

The first word that comes to mind when reading this book is “unbiblical.” The author claims to be Christian and tries to back up his experience with Scripture, but he even admits that he cannot reconcile everything, trying to find alternative explanations. (Why is Peter guarding the gate? Why is the gate not made from a pearl?) He can’t explain why the angels took the time to unhook him from the machines and needles before taking him, why the nurse records record no death, or why God wanted him to report what he saw when He told the Apostle Paul not to do so (2 Corinthians 12:2–4). The book doesn’t even line up with other written accounts, such as Todd and Colon Burpo’s, which the author also admits. Either these people have their own experiences and are being sent back from God to provide us with contradictory proofs about heaven that also contradict His Word, or one or more of these accounts are false.

The next word that comes to mind when reading this book is “filler.” This relatively small book should have half its size. For example, while veering from his own improbable story to give an acceptable description of what the Bible says about angels, he then moves further off course to relay several stories he’s heard from other people about possible angelic encounters in a Guideposts-like manner—stories he presents with his own degree of doubt, leaving the reader to wonder why he included them in the first place. Then there were the innumerable babies he saw in Heaven who he describes no less than four times throughout the book with little-to-no variance in each instance (in two separate descriptions, he says, “the tiniest fetus as small as my little finger” and “the tiniest unborn baby, about the size of my pinkie”). The reader gets the content of the whole book in the introduction—the rest is repetition and fluff.

The final word that comes to mind is “disappointing.” Those caring what the Bible says about the afterlife and how authors write books will be disappointed, to be sure. But so will those who are less discerning, those who simply want another story about a near-death experience and Heaven. Everything else aside, there is one thing My Journey to Heaven lacks—a tour of Heaven. His visit to Heaven consists of him standing in line. He talks about those waiting in line with him, the sky above him, and lake on the horizon, the gate and St. Peter the gate-keeper. We definitely get the sense of looking around while he waits. He does peek through the open gate to see the babies and loved ones inside when Peter “accidentally” leaves it open to ask God a question (yes, really). And then he goes back to the hospital room. You will read about family, vacations, sickness, and the author’s enjoyment of the TV show, Touched by an Angel, but not so much about heaven. Ironically, most negative reviews on Amazon describes this book as having too much Bible rather than describing a celestial visit.

So, in sum, we have a book from someone who seems to be a nice and likeable guy. Even so, the book for all of its Scripture referencing, does not describe a biblical experience. It’s plump with stories but not content. It’s a letdown. ...more
4

Sep 21, 2012

My Journey To Heaven
By Marvin J. Bestman with Lorilee Craker

What I Saw and How It Changed My Life....


Following surgery for a rare pancreatic condition Marvin Bestman was given a gift from God - a glimpse of Heaven. But more than a gift God gave Marvin a task to complete before he would be called home to stay. God wanted Marvin to tell us about his experience and My Journey To Heaven is a recounting of Marvin's journey and he's invited you along.

Escorted by angels Marvin was left at Heaven's My Journey To Heaven
By Marvin J. Bestman with Lorilee Craker

What I Saw and How It Changed My Life....


Following surgery for a rare pancreatic condition Marvin Bestman was given a gift from God - a glimpse of Heaven. But more than a gift God gave Marvin a task to complete before he would be called home to stay. God wanted Marvin to tell us about his experience and My Journey To Heaven is a recounting of Marvin's journey and he's invited you along.

Escorted by angels Marvin was left at Heaven's door through which he got a glimpse of Heaven's wonders. Light and color more vibrant and brilliant than anything ever seen on Earth. And he saw angels, babies, friends and family.

But Marvin was told that he wasn't to enter Heaven yet, he still had work to do for the Lord. Marvin's experiences have provided comfort for others in the six years since his experience occurred.

My Journey To Heaven is Marvin's final accounting of his journey as he has completed the task God gave him before his final homecoming. Won't you take a glimpse at what Marvin is now experiencing in fullness?

I was provided a copy of this title for the purpose of this review and all opinions expressed are my own.

Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. ...more
5

Aug 18, 2016

Wow - the reason Marvin was sent back? To write this book. Amazing story. As someone who traveled the tunnel 39 years ago, there are elements I look for when I read these books and I usually start out skeptical - the elements are all there. I loved Marv's biblical correlations and especially enjoyed his delving into Peter's character, as well as the emphasis on the people he saw beyond the barrier - especially the babies Wow - the reason Marvin was sent back? To write this book. Amazing story. As someone who traveled the tunnel 39 years ago, there are elements I look for when I read these books and I usually start out skeptical - the elements are all there. I loved Marv's biblical correlations and especially enjoyed his delving into Peter's character, as well as the emphasis on the people he saw beyond the barrier - especially the babies ❤️ ...more
5

Nov 18, 2014

Actually I listened to the audio book and it was awesome! Very encouraging and believable! This book is definitely 5 stars! It actually jumpstarted me to listen to many more books. I thank Ashton T. for bring back to my love of books!
4

Mar 10, 2018

I really enjoyed this book. He was very descriptive and that added to the enjoyment of it all. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to get a glimpse of the afterlife. There is a small part of me that wonders if any of it was fabricated but I prefer to take it at face value. it was good reading!
5

Nov 12, 2018

I loved this book over much. It gives me hope and a major peace of the ones I loved that are now gone. Thank you...

What an incredible hope and encouragement this book has been. Heaven is in my mind everyday and i have peace of those that I loved that are gone.
5

Jul 23, 2018

What a Spiritual Journey this is!

This is a deeply moving sharing of a man’s journey to heaven’s gates...and his returning to assure us as believers that there is indeed “A place for us” with our God’
5

Dec 27, 2018

Marvelous book!

After reading this book, tears rolled down my face as Heaven is being described. Each chapter depicts passion and comfort that is heartfelt. The humor was also a plus making it relatable to readers that their is a joy about Heaven. May those who purchase the book be blessed beyond measure.
4

Oct 05, 2017

This was a very interesting and thought-provoking read. Whether you believe it or not this book is very well written and loaded with details. It held my interest throughout right to the end. The descriptions of the angels and people seen while waiting at the gate to heaven are quite believable. I would recommend this book to everyone.
4

May 03, 2018

I've read quite a few other books of this sort and that is why I only gave this one four stars. It's inspiring but others have gone deeper. My favorite is still Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife.
4

Apr 30, 2018

Enjoyable

Enjoyable book...slightly frustrating at how often he would say "I'll get to that later". I'm guessing he got back to everything he said he would. But that's my one and only gripe...honestly not that big of an issue! I liked the story and description of his experience. Really makes you think about what's next after this life.
4

Jun 02, 2019

Just the way I imagined it to be

He description of heaven is just the way I have always imagined it to be. I lost my husband to a sudden heart attack at his workplace & then my father six months later & have always envisioned them together & our families happy together as friends & neighbors. I'm certain now that my COWBOY has gotten my daddy to fish with him now. It really eased my mind & soul.
5

Nov 11, 2019

I was admittedly skeptical at first when I started reading this, but Marv is a very charming writer, and I felt comforted by his words. There’s just something about the way he wrote this that made me feel like I could trust him... that made me believe he wasn’t just making this up. I’m thankful I came across this book. It was a very intriguing and comforting read. I also love how straight to the point he was too. He didn’t make this book unnecessarily long; he simply did what God asked him to I was admittedly skeptical at first when I started reading this, but Marv is a very charming writer, and I felt comforted by his words. There’s just something about the way he wrote this that made me feel like I could trust him... that made me believe he wasn’t just making this up. I’m thankful I came across this book. It was a very intriguing and comforting read. I also love how straight to the point he was too. He didn’t make this book unnecessarily long; he simply did what God asked him to do. He shared his heavenly experience for those willing to listen. ...more
2

May 15, 2017

This book is a man's account of his alleged trip to heaven while heavily drugged with pain medications, interspersed with his biographical notes. It is most interesting for the incredible amounts of detail about heaven that the author reports, details that are in some ways unexpected considering Christian tradition. But those details are rather superficial, reflecting a pretty literal reading of scripture (i.e., the book of life is an actual book, etc.). As an inspirational work it may leave This book is a man's account of his alleged trip to heaven while heavily drugged with pain medications, interspersed with his biographical notes. It is most interesting for the incredible amounts of detail about heaven that the author reports, details that are in some ways unexpected considering Christian tradition. But those details are rather superficial, reflecting a pretty literal reading of scripture (i.e., the book of life is an actual book, etc.). As an inspirational work it may leave readers underwhelmed. ...more
3

Apr 18, 2018

Interesting tale of a man who "died" after pancreatic surgery but returned to tell his story. I like to read these books because I find them to be comforting. The promise of Heaven and an afterlife is something I am looking forward to (hopefully not anytime soon though!) This story, while compelling, was not anything special or different than other experiences I have read about. I was hoping for more detail. Although I trust the author shared as much information as he could, it sounds like he Interesting tale of a man who "died" after pancreatic surgery but returned to tell his story. I like to read these books because I find them to be comforting. The promise of Heaven and an afterlife is something I am looking forward to (hopefully not anytime soon though!) This story, while compelling, was not anything special or different than other experiences I have read about. I was hoping for more detail. Although I trust the author shared as much information as he could, it sounds like he did not get a chance to have a very long visit. A very quick read if you need something uplifting. ...more
2

Jul 01, 2017

It is difficult to rate a book as heartfelt and sincere as this, its like putting a value on a child or a friend. Still there are certain strengths and weaknesses to its messages and audiences who will find it more meaningful than others. The author is coming from a protestant Calvanist point of view so he does put a lot of emphasis on being saved and has a very solid matter of fact attitude. In fact in the first few chapters this attitude repelled me somewhat, and it wasn't until his chapter on It is difficult to rate a book as heartfelt and sincere as this, its like putting a value on a child or a friend. Still there are certain strengths and weaknesses to its messages and audiences who will find it more meaningful than others. The author is coming from a protestant Calvanist point of view so he does put a lot of emphasis on being saved and has a very solid matter of fact attitude. In fact in the first few chapters this attitude repelled me somewhat, and it wasn't until his chapter on seeing children that I could feel the heart in this story. He really connects with anyone who has lost children early or miscarried as he has a vision of many of those children. Also has a cool insight and vision of Peter at heaven's gate. ...more
3

Jan 26, 2019

I've read a few books now on NDE's (near death experiences) and other heaven related matters and this was my least favourite.

While I'm very hesitant to be judgemental to an author who claims to have such an experience, I struggled with the way that some of the messages were conveyed. I grew increasingly weary of the constant reference to him being a hard-headed Dutchman. I can understand his pride in being a Dutchman (especially considering my surname literally being Hollands), but there must've I've read a few books now on NDE's (near death experiences) and other heaven related matters and this was my least favourite.

While I'm very hesitant to be judgemental to an author who claims to have such an experience, I struggled with the way that some of the messages were conveyed. I grew increasingly weary of the constant reference to him being a hard-headed Dutchman. I can understand his pride in being a Dutchman (especially considering my surname literally being Hollands), but there must've been about 10 references to it in the book. Once was funny, twice was definitely enough, but it kept going on and on.

I also don't know why you would almost brag about being hard-headed if you are trying to convince others of your (literally) heavenly experience. If I had such an experience, I'd probably make the book a lot less about me and more about the experience.

Perhaps it was the writing style that didn't do it for me, but I didn't get as much out of it as I anticipated. Imagine Heaven by John Burke and Heaven by Randy Alcorn, in my opinion, is vastly superior to this book. For some though, this may just be the book to inspire them to investigate these mysteries further. ...more

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