Recently, I was in a local gift shop and as I was checking out, I noticed a stack of books. The title caught my eye as it said, My First Day In Heaven. I looked to see who the author was and it was written by, Rita Brown. I thought, “could that be the Rita Brown I know?” I went to the back of the book to see if there was an author page and there was her beautiful picture! I met Rita and her husband many years ago at a political event. Her husband Dale Brown,was a City Councilman at the time. Their family has always been an inspiration to the many people they know here and across the country. When I realized it was the Rita I knew that had written the book, I knew I had to buy it! I got chill bumps thinking how awesome that was for her to have her book published.
The next day, I set aside a special time to sit down and begin reading, My First Day In Heaven. I was intrigued from the first page! I read the entire book in less than an hour. I only stopped once and that was to go get a tissue to wipe away the tears.
My First Day in Heaven is a scripture-based fictional story. You will read all about Jenny and her first glimpse of Heaven and seeing all of her loved ones and of course the most special one of all, Jesus!
I hope you are inspired by Rita in this short interview about her adventure in writing, My First Day in Heaven.
Beverly: Hi Rita! I, so loved reading your book. Can you share a little bit about yourself?
Rita: My husband Dale and I are both from California originally. We served as missionaries in Brazil for 4 years, but we have lived in Midland for 43 years. We have 6 married children, 26 grandchildren, and 1 great grandbaby. We have been married 51 years. I spend most of my time attending grandkids’ events or keeping up with birthdays. I have served on the Midland Christian School Board for more than 20 years. I love football, baseball, collecting recipes, traveling with my husband, teaching Bible, attending grandkids’ events, and coaching young women in childbirth.:)
Beverly: I love the story of how you came to write your book. Can you tell the readers a bit of that story?
Rita: I originally wrote My First Day in Heaven about 20 years ago to read to a ladies’ class at church. I had so much fun writing it; it was from God straight to my heart as I put the words on paper.
Beverly: What was it that made you decide to seek publication?
Rita: After I read the story to my ladies’ class, a sweet older woman, Connie Tate, came up to me and told me I needed to publish it. I laughed to myself and told her it was a sweet thought. She would ask me about it every time I saw her until I finally decided to publish a paperback version of it. We distributed about 2500 copies of that version. After the death of our 13 year old grandson in a tragic car accident, I wanted to make some revisions and update the original story; I learned a lot about grief and the importance of the reality of Heaven in the years that followed. I revised it a bit, and we were able to publish a hardback gift book version about 2 years ago. Now it has been picked up by Leafwood Publishers for distribution nationwide in the major Christian bookstores and online–Amazon, etc. It will be released June 9 and I am so excited. I am also so excited that we were able to get an endorsement from Max Lucado for the cover.
Beverly: Do you intend to write more books?
Rita: Of course I think about it a lot. Several have suggested that I do a version of My First Day in Heaven for children. I have a heart for children, and that idea appeals to me. I would love to see an illustrated version.
Beverly: I think that would be wonderful! If you were to encourage someone to write a book, what 3 things would you tell them?
1. Find something you are passionate about and let it flow from your heart.
2. Make an outline. Just get something on paper. I actually started with thoughts that came to me as I was reading scriptures about Heaven one day. I began jotting ideas and scriptures on sticky notes and napkins and anything I could put my hands on as the thoughts came to me all that day. It was those sticky notes and napkins that were the basis for writing My First Day in Heaven.
We are often blocked by the need for the perfect words to come out on the paper immediately. The hardest sentence is the first one, but with computers you can revise and move and change over and over again. Put in on paper and then worry about perfecting it later.
3. Be patient with the process of publication. I believe God has led us in His perfect timing to the right path for the My First Day in Heaven, but it has taken 20 years.
Beverly: What has been the most exciting thing about seeing your words in book form?
Rita: The most exciting thing about seeing it in book form is being able to share the message with so many people. I believe the good news of Jesus and the truth and reality of Heaven is a message of encouragement and hope to all of us struggling with the stresses and challenges of life. It is a message of comfort for those who have lost someone close to them. It was the culmination of a dream to see the book in a hardback gift book. One of my favorite things is to be able to hand this beautiful little book to a clerk in a store or someone I meet who just happens to share their story with me. Yesterday as I checked into a hotel, I struck up a conversation with the clerk checking me in. I told her about My First Day in Heaven and promised to send her a copy. She was so excited.I could give you more details, but, I encourage you to get a copy as soon as you can and read it. You won’t be sorry. You will be inspired and encouraged of what we have to look forward to. I would think it would be a great encouragement for those that have lost a loved one. You may also know of someone that needs to hear about the saving grace of Jesus.
Beverly: Thank you so much, Rita! You are an inspiration and I pray great and mighty things will become of your book, My First Day in Heaven! I look forward to your children’s book!
I knew you would be inspired by Rita! I hope you will go out and purchase a copy of, My First Day in Heaven. After you read it, I’m sure there is someone that will come to your mind that you can share it with that may need some uplifting thoughts on a little glimpse of Heaven.
You can purchase your copy at Mardel, LifeWay, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Christian Books Distributors and on Amazon!
Let me know if you read it, I would love to hear your thoughts!
In the mean time, I just have to ask you a question!
Do you know without a doubt that you will go to Heaven when you die?
I was 14 when I heard Billy Graham preach on John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
I realized that God loved me! I had never heard that before.
Have you heard that before?
Have YOU asked Christ into your life?
If you are reading this right now, it is probably a given that the Holy Spirit has put you right where you are at this very second because He is calling you to let you know that He loves you so much and wants you to have that peace that you will have a home in Heaven.
Here are four things to think about:
*Face the fact that your sin has separated you from the God who loves you.
*Be willing to turn away from you sin and turn to God. This is called repentance.
*Place your trust in the fact that Jesus died for you, and He arose in victory over death.
*Invite Jesus to take control of your life, forgive your sin and make you a child of God.
You can pray this simple prayer right now:
I know I am a sinner. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Saviour and Lord. Forgive my sins and take control of my life and help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Amen!
Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you have put your faith and trust in Christ today or at another time, I WILL see you in Heaven someday! Isn’t that awesome?!
Thank you for stopping by!