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:

On Monday's episode of "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn opened up about the tragic death of his brother-in-law, Vincent Colonna Jr., who passed away unexpectedly on April 5. He also shared some of the important thoughts and insights he's learned through the grieving process.

"Last Monday, I was sitting in this chair ... the two-minute warning comes and Stu said to me, 'You ready for the show?'' ... And that's when my wife [Tania] came to the door of the studio here at our house and said, 'I...' and she held the phone up. And then she collapsed on the floor in tears," Glenn began. "Tania's brother had passed. To say this was a shock, is an understatement."

Glenn described his brother-in-law as having "a servant's spirit."

"He was always the guy who lit up the room. He was always the guy helping others. He would never stop, because he was always helping others," Glenn said of Vincent. "He was on the school board. He was a little league coach. He was the soccer coach. He helped build the church. He took care of the lawn of the church. He was constantly doing things, raising money for charity, working over here, helping to organize this. But he was never the guy in the spotlight. He was just the guy doing it, and you had no idea how much he had done because he never talked about it.

"We also didn't know how much mental anguish he was in because he never talked about it. And last Monday morning, after spending Easter with the family ... he killed himself. This is now the third family member of mine that has gone through this. And I keep seeing it play out over and over and over again, in exactly the same way."

Glenn described his thoughts as he, Tania, and her family struggled to come to grips with the devastating loss.

"I learned some really important things as I was watching this wake. I'm seeing these people from all walks of life ... the people that were there, were there because [Vince] made a difference in their life. He was a true servant. As I'm watching this, all that kept going through my mind was, 'by their fruits, ye shall know them.' The fruits of his labor were on display. He was a servant all the time. All the time ... he found a way to love everybody.

"There are two great commandments: Love God with all your heart and mind and soul. And love your neighbor. So those two great commandments boil down to: Love truth. Because that's what God is," Glenn said.

"Love thy neighbor. That's where joy comes from. The opposite of joy is despair, and that is the complete absence of hope ... and how do you find joy? You find joy by rooting yourself in the truth. Even if that's a truth you don't want to accept. Accept the truth," he added. "But we have to stop saying that there's nothing we can do. What are we going to do? Well, here's the first thing: stop living a lie."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:


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After imprisoning a pastor for refusing to follow COVID-19 restrictions, Canadian officials barricaded his church. And when some church members retaliated by tearing down part of the fence, Canadian Mounties arrived in riot gear.

Rebel News Founder Ezra Levant joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to give his insight on the crazy situation. He described the new, armed police presence surrounding GraceLife Church in Edmonton, Alberta, and how it not only encouraged hundreds of protesters to stand with the church in support but forced congregation members underground to worship as well.

What's happening is eerily similar to what occurs everyday in China, Levant says, and it must stop. Who would have thought this type of tyranny would be so close to home?

Watch the video below to hear Ezra describe the religious persecution taking place in Canada.


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Enough prayers? Why is supposed Catholic Joe Biden suggesting that Congress ought to stop praying for after someone commits acts of gun violence?

On Friday, Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray filled in for Glenn and discussed President Joe Biden's remarks during his speech on gun control. "Enough prayers. Time for some action," Biden said. Stu and Pat were surprised how dismissive Biden appeared to be on the idea of prayer.

Watch the clip to hear more. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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Just days after Canadian pastor James Coates was released from prison for refusing to bow to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, several police officers showed up at another church to ensure restrictions were being followed. But Polish pastor Artur Pawlowski of the Cave of Adullam Church in Alberta, Canada, knew his rights, telling the cops not to come back until they had a warrant in hand.

Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program this week, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere played a video of the interaction.

"Please get out. Please get out of this property immediately. Get out!" Pawlowski can be heard yelling at the six officers who entered his church.

"Out! Out! Out! Get out of this property immediately until you come back with a warrant," he continued. "Go out and don't come back. I don't want to talk to you. You Nazis, Gestapo is not allowed here! ... Nazis are not welcome here! Do not come back you Nazi psychopaths. Unbelievable sick, evil people. Intimidating people in a church during the Passover! You Gestapo, Nazi, communist fascists! Don't you dare come back here!"

Watch this clip to see the heated exchange:

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