Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Jesus is No Joke

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been spending a lot more time reading and concentrating on the spiritual side of my life.  On a regular basis, I peruse the Religion & Spirituality section of the Kindle store on  One of the books that I downloaded and finished reading recently was a book written by Heidi Hollis entitled "Jesus is No Joke."

Actually, the full title of the book is "Jesus Is No Joke: A True Story Of An Unlikely Witness Who Saw Jesus."  From the Amazon website, here is a description of the book:
Once a skeptic of “Holy Encounters,” Heidi Hollis shares her true story of four unexpected journeys with Jesus, which led her deep into the reality of His Presence among us today. Hollis shares how Jesus and His angels revealed glimpses of Heaven and Hell, even healing her physically of an incurable disease, leaving her with the utmost passion to share His inspiration with the world!
As humanly as possible and lacking a religious tongue, Hollis pours out her raw emotions with all of the errors, yet new understandings, which came with meeting someone she highly misunderstood when she heard claims of Jesus appearing to people around the world today.
Hollis once thought that Jesus had traversed these lands long ago, never to be seen or heard from again—now, in admitting her error, she encourages others to hold their “J” for Jesus up in the air for all to see: Jesus Is No Joke!
I have to say that this was a difficult book for me to stick with at times.  Not because the subject matter was above my mental capabilities or because the writing was bad.  Quite to the contrary.  Hollis does a nice job of writing as if she were sitting in the room talking with you about the subject matter.  She injects her own brand of humor into the conversation and is very open and honest.

The reason the book was sometimes difficult to get through was that Hollis' experience in meeting Jesus was unlike anything that I have ever experienced before.  You see, prior to meeting Jesus, Hollis had an extensive background in exploring the paranormal realm.  So, when she says she met Jesus on four separate occasions, she literally means she saw him.

In addition to describing her encounters with Jesus, which also includes an encounter in which Jesus heals her  of an incurable disease, she describes some darker experiences.  After the first time she met Jesus, she had an encounter that would be safe to attribute to demonic forces trying to instill doubt in her mind about her Jesus encounter.  She also describes in detail an experience in which she saw the literal Hell.

My background tends to be more in the mainstream protestant church so you can probably understand why I saw her encounters as unlike anything that I have ever experienced before.  Shoot, in the churches that I belonged too, we even express doubt that the gift of tongues is active in the church today.

The closest that I can say I have come towards any experience like Hollis occurred 20 some odd years ago while in prayer.  At that time, it was my practice to lay quietly in my bed at night and pray.  During one nightly prayer session I experienced a presence that I can only describe as Holy.  It was unlike anything that I had ever experienced before.

If, as a Christian, I say that I believe that God the Father and Jesus the Son are both omnipotent and omnipresent, then I would have to say that anything is possible.  Just because I have never experienced anything like the visions that Hollis has experienced, does not mean that They couldn't reveal Themselves to Hollis in the manner she describes.

I do believe that there is a spiritual realm out there that most humans do not experience knowingly.  I also believe that there are people who are able to experience that realm.  In Biblical times, God spoke to the prophets through dreams and visions.  Prophesies of the last days say that God will pour out his Spirit and there will be those that will have dreams and visions.

It is not my place to try to determine if Heidi Hollis did see Jesus.  The main thing is that she believes she did and it has caused her to seek to follow Him.  If Jesus did decide to reveal Himself to Heidi Hollis in this way, then she is truly blessed.  Again, just because I haven't had these types of visions, doesn't mean that I should outright dismiss the possibility of them occurring.  The desire of my heart is to experience the presence I felt during my prayer session I described.

As difficult as it was at times to cast aside my preconceived notions while reading the book, it was enjoyable to read.  Putting aside the difficulties, there were things that I was able to take from the book like the idea of picture prayers and even a bit of an informality to praying.  If you decide to pick up the book, read it with an open mind and decide for yourself.  One thing that I am in 100% agreement with Hollis is that Jesus is No Joke.
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  1. Thank you for publishing a very honest and fair review. I will try to read it when I can.

  2. I'm not particularly religious but I never thought Jesus was a joke, just tragically misunderstood. This sounds like an interesting read.

  3. Sounds like it would be worth a read. Sometimes the really difficult encounters make us think really hard.



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