I’m back from five wonderful days in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The scenery was spectacular, and the total eclipse inspiring. Maybe someday I’ll post on how perfectly right everything has to be to get a total eclipse, and the evidence for God in that. Today I’ll share another spiritual experience, breakfast with Mary Neal.
Mary is an orthopedic surgeon in Jackson. She died in 1999 while kayaking in South America. Yes, DIED! She was underwater for perhaps thirty minutes, was with Jesus, and experienced Heaven. Many find that hard to accept. I assure you, if you were sitting across from Mary at breakfast, you would know it was true.
Mary wrote a book about her experience: To Heaven and Back. It was published in 2012, and became a New York Times #1 Best Seller. It is fantastic (I recommended it in Counting To God). The book describes miraculous things in Mary’s life. For whatever reason, Mary has a special connection with God.
Our breakfast was a blur, even though it lasted more than an hour and a half. Here’s what I remember:
- Mary says they’re “death experiences,” not “near-death experiences.” She did die, and she came back.
- Mary says God welcomes us at death in a personal way. She loves colors and flowers. Mary told me the colors and flowers God presented her in Heaven were beautiful beyond description. She thinks each of us will be greeted in a way we will find overwhelmingly wonderful.
- Mary thinks suffering often has a purpose. It can bring us back to God.
- Mary feels sorry for Judas. Somebody had to betray Jesus, to fulfill the prophecies, and Judas got the short straw.
- Mary is not a fan of overly “literal” interpretations of the Bible. We discussed John 14:6, where (English Standard Version) Jesus says “No one comes to the Father except through me.” Some interpret this to mean that only Christians can be saved. Mary disagrees, as do I. Just three verses later Jesus states: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” Jesus then asks, “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?” The point is Jesus is God, there is no separation, so if you get to God you get to Jesus.
- Like me, Mary isn’t sure what to believe about hell. We both think that God, being a perfect gentleman, will respect it if you absolutely refuse to let him into your life, although he will give you plenty of opportunities to change your mind. But if you always push him away, you will likely be by yourself after death, and that will be hell.
- We discussed the stresses of modern life, and the pressures people put on themselves. Mary suggested we forget about the past, we can’t change it; if we are upset we should ask God for peace, and if we feel guilty or inadequate we should ask God to forgive us. We should do our best for the future, but not worry, only God is in charge. Mary said she lives a life of joy.
- Mary compared our relationship with God to the relationship of a child with his/her parent. God created us, but in his image with the ability to choose, and knowing that, as we grow up, we will make mistakes. But God is a loving parent, and, no matter what we’ve done, still loves us. She says of course God knew Adam and Even would eat the apple. You can tell a child a thousand times not to touch the hot stove, but eventually they will want to see what happens.
- We spoke of the wonder of biologic design (OK, I admit I brought this up), and how most people are stuck in this neo-Darwinian nonsense, despite overwhelming evidence of design.
Mary has written a new book, Lessons From Heaven, which will be released September 19, 2017. She sent an early version to me about a month ago, and I loved it. It goes into more detail about her experience in Heaven, and how we can all use the lessons she learned to find joy and peace. She also documents death experiences going back millennia.
It was a privilege to have breakfast with Mary. I love hearing or reading about death experiences, experiences of Jesus and Heaven. Some Atheists deny God by saying that, even if the universe is perfectly designed (which it is), and even if all creatures were designed (which they were), it must have been aliens! They would rather believe in little green men than a loving God. As Mary’s new book documents, millions of people have had death experiences, or other direct experiences of God. God is real.
Thanks for reading. Please spread the good news of true science.