What role did Glenn play in the story behind the hit film Heaven is for Real?

Heaven Is for Real finished a remarkable third at the box office this weekend, raking in an estimated $21.5 million. In fact, since opening last Wednesday, the film, based on the 2010 best-selling book about then 4-year-old Colton Burpo’s near-death experience that resulted in him saying he met Jesus and deceased loved ones in heaven, has earned $28.5 million. That tally more than doubles the $12 million spent on the film’s production.

“I don't know if you have seen the movie Heaven Is for Real, but it came out this weekend, and I would imagine this is going to be one of these movies that will grow. Once you have seen it, you will want to tell your friend about it. It was Number 3 at the box office,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “If you like the book Heaven Is For Real, you will love the movie… Truly, a remarkable story.”

Glenn explained that he saw a screening of the film a couple of weeks ago – just days after his own father’s death – and the story had a profound impact on him.

“I saw it right after my father died, and it is exactly the same message that I got from my father's death. My father's last words a few weeks ago were, ‘Okay, I understand. I'm ready. Take me with you,’” Glenn explained. “And I saw just a couple days later Heaven Is for Real, and I thought: The Lord is sending us a message. He is telling people, ‘I am here. I am real. And I'm not going any place.’”

On radio this morning, Colton’s father Todd Burpo joined Glenn to discuss how his son’s experience a decade ago changed their family forever and how Glenn actually played a role in the family being able to make sense of Colton’s experience.

For anyone unfamiliar with the story, Heaven is for Real is the story of Colton Burpo, who awoke from an emergency surgery when he was four-years-old claiming to have visited heaven. Colton remembers being able to look down and see the doctor operating on him and his dad praying in the waiting room. Furthermore, Colton said he met his miscarried sister in heaven even though no one had ever told him about her and his great grandfather who had died 30 years before Colton was born. The boy also said he saw Jesus.

While the entire Burpo family struggled to understand what Colton had experienced, Todd faced an added pressure as a pastor. People in the community and parish were skeptical of the story, and the family faced an interesting conundrum.

“How true to the real life is the pushback from your own faithful and your own church,” Glenn asked.

“We have experienced all that,” Todd said. “It comes at us a little faster in the movie, just because they have to compress time more than real life… But we have gone through all those stages and all those people represented in the movie are composites of real issues we have dealt with in real life.”

One little known fact about the story is the round-about role Glenn and his CNN show played in shedding light on the situation for the family.

“You have a big part in the story,” Todd said. “[Your] CNN show is how we found the 'Prince of Peace'… When we were looking for pictures of Jesus Christ my son would always say nothing was right. You were the one that did the documentary that helped us find the 'Prince of Peace.'”

The family spent years trying to find an image that would reverberate with Colton but consistently came up empty handed. In 2006, however, Glenn featured a young painter and a poet, named Akiane Kramarik on his CNN show and the family found what they had been looking for.

As TheBlaze reported, Kramarik believes God began speaking to her through vivid visions when she was just four years old. She began drawing and painting complex images of Jesus and the heavens — renditions of what she apparently saw during first-hand, and one of those paintings, titled “Prince of Peace,” was included in a video package that aired on Glenn’s program.

Below is a photo of the painting:

prince-620x323Image Source: Akiane.com

Todd explained that when Colton saw the painting he was stopped dead in his tracks.

“He just froze. I remember pulling your documentary up on the screen. I said, ‘Colton, what do you think of this one?’ I was expecting him to say, ‘This is wrong,’” Todd explained. “He just kind of spaced out. It wasn't like he was even in the room anymore. I had to get his attention… He was like, ‘Dad, that's right. That's what he looks like.’ That's the only one that he's ever said is right.”

While many may have been apprehensive about turing over such a personal and faith-filled experience to Hollywood, Todd explained that his family is happy with the film and grateful for the opportunity to share the story with a wider audience.

“That was the very thing we focused on the from the beginning. We weren't going to agree to work with anyone if they didn't make a commitment to tell Colton's story his way,” Todd said. “This is a movie that if you read the book, you will like it. That was huge to us… They have kept their word and they are thrilled about that.”

Watch the Heaven is for Real trailer below:

Carter Page, a former advisor to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, found himself at the center of the Russia probe and had his reputation and career destroyed by what we now know were lies from our own intelligence system and the media.

On the TV show Thursday, Page joined Glenn Beck to speak out about how he became the subject of illegal electronic surveillance by the FBI for more than two years, and revealed the extent of the corruption that has infiltrated our legal systems and our country as a whole.

"To me, the bigger issue is how much damage this has done to our country," Page told Glenn. "I've been very patient in trying to ... find help with finding solutions and correcting this terrible thing which has happened to our country, our judicial system, DOJ, FBI -- these once-great institutions. And my bigger concern is the fact that, although we keep taking these steps forward in terms of these important findings, it really remains the tip of the iceberg."

Page was referencing the report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, which revealed that the FBI made "at least 17 significant errors or omissions" in its Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications for warrants to spy on Page, a U.S. citizen.

"I think this needs to be attacked from all angles," Glenn said. "The one angle I'm interested in from you is, please tell me you have the biggest badass attorneys that are hungry, starving, maybe are a little low to pay their Mercedes payments right now, and are just gearing up to come after the government and the media. Are they?"

I can confirm that that is the case," Page replied.

Watch the video clip below for a preview of the full-length interview:

The full interview will air on January 30th for Blaze TV subscribers, and February 1st on YouTube and wherever you get your podcast.

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On Wednesday's TV show, Glenn Beck sat down with radio show host, author, political commentator, and film critic, Michael Medved.

Michael had an interesting prediction for the 2020 election outcome: a brokered convention by the DNC will usher in former First Lady Michelle Obama to run against President Donald Trump.

Watch the video below to hear why he's making this surprising forecast:

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On Thursday's "Glenn Beck Radio Program," BlazeTV's White House correspondent Jon Miller described the current situation in Virginia after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and banned people carrying guns at Capitol Square just days before a pro-Second-Amendment rally scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jon told Glenn that Gov. Northam and the Virginia Legislature are "trying to deprive the people of their Second Amendment rights" but the citizens of Virginia are "rising up" to defend their constitutional rights.

"I do think this is the flashpoint," Jon said. "They [Virginia lawmakers] are saying, 'You cannot exercise your rights ... and instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, we are putting pressure. We're trying to escalate it and we're trying to enrage the citizenry even more'."

Glenn noted how Gov. Northam initially blamed the threat of violence from Antifa for his decision to ban weapons but quickly changed his narrative to blame "white supremacists" to vilify the people who are standing up for the Second Amendment and the Constitution.

"What he's doing is, he's making all all the law-abiding citizens of Virginia into white supremacists," Glenn said.

"Sadly, that's exactly right," Jon replied. "And I think he knows exactly what he's doing."

Watch the video to catch more of the conversation below:

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Ryan: Trump Louisiana Finale

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

At the end of Trump rallies, I would throw on my Carhartt jacket, sneak out of the press area, then blend in with everyone as they left, filing out through swinging doors.

Often, someone held the door open for me. Just 30 minutes earlier, the same person had most likely had most likely hissed at me for being a journalist. And now they were Sunday smiles and "Oh, yes, thank you, sir" like some redneck concierge.

People flooded out of the arena with the stupidity of a fire drill mishap, desperate to survive.

The air smacked you as soon as you crossed the threshold, back into Louisiana. And the lawn was a wasteland of camping chairs and coolers and shopping bags and to-go containers and soda cans and articles of clothing and even a few tents.

In Monroe, in the dark, the Trump supporters bobbled over mounds of waste like elephants trying to tiptoe. And the trash was as neutral to them as concrete or grass. They plodded over it because it, an object, had somehow gotten in their way.

It did not matter that they were responsible for this wreckage.Out in the sharp-edged moonlight, rally-goers hooted and yapped and boogied and danced, and the bbq food truck was all smoke and paper plates.

They were even more pumped than they had been before the rally, like 6,000 eight year olds who'd been chugging Mountain Dew for hours. Which made Donald Trump the father, the trooper, God of the Underworld, Mr. Elite, Sheriff on high horse, the AR-15 sticker of the family.

Ritualistic mayhem, all at once. And, there in Louisiana, Trump's supporters had gotten a taste of it. They were all so happy. It bordered on rage.

Still, I could not imagine their view of America. Worse, after a day of strange hostilities, I did not care.

My highest priority, my job as a reporter, was to care. To understand them and the world that they inhabit. But I did not give a damn and I never wanted to come back.

Worst of all, I would be back. In less than a week.

Was this how dogs felt on the 4th of July? Hunched in a corner while everyone else gets drunk and launches wailing light into the sky? configurations of blue and red and white.

It was 10:00 p.m. and we'd been traveling since 11:00 a.m., and we still had 5 hours to go and all I wanted was a home, my home, any home, just not here, in the cold sweat of this nowhere. Grey-mangled sky. No evidence of planes or satellites or any proof of modern-day. Just century-old bridges that trains shuffled over one clack at a time.

And casinos, all spangles and neon like the 1960s in Las Vegas. Kitchy and dumb, too tacky for lighthearted gambling. And only in the nicer cities, like Shreveport, which is not nice at all.

And swamp. Black water that rarely shimmered. Inhabited by gadflies and leeches and not one single fish that was pretty.

Full of alligators, and other killing types. The storks gnawing on frogs, the vultures never hungry. The coyotes with nobody to stop them and so much land to themselves. The roaches in the wild, like tiny wildebeests.

Then, the occasional deer carcass on the side of the road, eyes splayed as if distracted, tongue out, relaxed but empty. The diseased willows like skeletons in hairnets. The owls that never quit staring. A million facets of wilderness that would outlive us all.

Because Nature has poise. It thrives and is original.

Because silence is impossible. Even in an anechoic chamber, perfectly soundproofed, you can hear your own heartbeat, steady as a drum. A never-ending war.

I put "Headache" by Grouper on repeat as we glided west. We were deadlocked to asphalt, rubber over tarface.

And I thought about lines from a Rita Dove poem titled "I have been a stranger in a strange land"

He was off cataloging the universe, probably,
pretending he could organize
what was clearly someone else's chaos.

Wasn't that exactly what I was doing? Looking for an impossible answer, examining every single accident, eager for meaning? telling myself, "If it happens and matters the next year, in America, I want to be there, or to know what it means. I owe it to whoever cares to listen."

Humans are collectors and I had gone overboard.

Because maybe this wasn't even my home. These landmarks, what did they mean? Was I obvious here? When I smiled, did I trick them into believing that I felt some vague sense of approval? Or did my expressions betray me?

Out in all that garbage-streaked emptiness — despite the occasional burst of passing halogen — I couldn't tell if everything we encountered was haunted or just old, derelict, broken, useless. One never-ending landfill.

Around those parts, they'd made everything into junk. Homes. Roads. Glass. Nature. Life itself, they made into junk.

I cringed as we passed yet another deer carcass mounded on the side of the road.

As written in Job 35:11,

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?

Nobody. Look at nature and you feel something powerful. Look at an animal, in all of its untamable majesty, and you capture a deep love, all swept up in the power of creation. But, here, all I saw were poor creatures who people had slammed into and kept driving. Driving to where? For what reason? What exactly was so important that they left a trail of dead animals behind them?

So I crossed myself dolorously and said an "Our Father" and recited a stanza from Charles Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart"

you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.

Out here, nothing but darkness. Needing some light, by God. Give me something better than a Moon that hides like an underfed coward.

Jade told me about some of the more traumatic things she'd seen while working at the State Fair.

"Bro, they pull roaches out of the iced lemonade jugs and act like nothing happened."

"All right but what about the corn dogs?"

"You do not want to know, little bro."

She looked around in the quiet. "Back in the day, the Louisiana Congress refused to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21," she said. "They didn't want to lose all that drunk gambler money. So the federal government cut off funding to highways."

We glided through moon-pale landscape for an hour before I realized what she had meant. That there weren't any light poles or billboards along the road. Nothing to guide us or distract us. Just us, alone. And it felt like outer space had collapsed, swallowed us like jellybeans.

Like two teenagers playing a prank on the universe.

In the cozy Subaru Crosstrek, in the old wild night, brimming with the uncertainty of life and the nonchalance of failure, we paraded ourselves back to Dallas. Alive in the river silence that follows us everywhere.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Next, the Iowa caucuses. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com