Who would have ever believed or expected that God could use a lowly man to write a book with such a
grand subject. It is truly God’s grace that moved me, a man with no desire or ability for writing, to complete this
book. God had to work the clay and move his hands over the pottery of my life to enable me to begin and finish
Chapter one is not where the story began. It started near the end of the year in 2007 at Dwight Chapel in
Belchertown, MA on a Sunday morning. I was at church listening to a sermon on the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the dead. One point that stood out to me, was that Jesus appeared to his disciples after the resurrection.
These appearances showed that he knew them, loved them and wanted to be with them. One of the main points
I drew from the sermon was that Jesus was showing us that our relationships continue on into eternity.
In the middle of the sermon, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. I cannot say I heard a verbal command, but deep
within with my being I heard the words, “I want you to write a book about this subject; I want you to write about
heaven.” All through the sermon the voice spoke deep within me. I tried to suppress the voice and said, “This is
all in my head; it’s me talking, not God.” The voice continued on and on saying, “I want you to write a book
It did not stop there, but continued throughout the day and through the days after and into the weeks to
come. I had no desire to write a book, and I did not even like writing of any type. I prefer talking on the phone
or in person. I have never heard a study or sermon about heaven, but I had some ideas what heaven was like
from studying the scriptures. However, I had never immersed myself deeply into the subject. But the voice
continued telling me to write, write and write.
The voice continued for the next month or two. I tried to suppress the voice because I did not know if it
was coming from me or if it was truly the Lord’s calling. One day I was at work and during lunch I wanted to
settle the matter once and for all. I decided to write one page. I spent about forty minutes writing the first page
with no thought or direction. After this, I showed it to a couple of co-workers, including my brother, Brian
Duprey, and Dave Matusiec, and asked their opinion. After reading it, they said it was really good and wanted
to hear what would happen next in the story. This was a surprise, so I wrote the next page and showed it to
them. They both agreed that I should continue.
At this point I decided to commit to write one chapter, which was two and a half pages long. I decided to
email it to my pastor to get another opinion. Here is the original email, dated Sunday January 20, 2008. I kept
the email as originally sent, so the reader will get an idea of where I was in my writing.
This is what I got so far, email me back if you have any suggestions or comments. I have no real direction I am
going in just tyoing as stuff comes in my mind. Don't worry about grammer etc, context only
Email me back at work
After he read the first chapter, I met with him. He basically said, “Alan, this is surprising. I never would
have expected this would come from you.” (He can say that, because he knows me). He continued, “The Lord
may be bringing forward a gift of writing in you; I think you should continue with the book.”
So the book began with a little wind behind the sails. One of the problems I had was that I had no idea or
direction on what to write. I never knew what the next paragraph was going to be, never mind the next chapter.
Someone said, write an outline of the book and then begin to write it. Another person said to create a tension in
heaven and write about that. None of these things were pursued because I am not organized in any way.
Each chapter came into being by hearing a sermon or reading something in the scriptures and that same voice,
which inspired me to begin writing, would say, “I want you to write about this.”
I looked for help and direction, but God seemed to continually close every door. I tried to get help from
various people, but they all fell through because of other commitments and possibly because I did not pursue
them persistently enough. I was looking for someone who would allow me to write and breathe life into the story
while they would correct it grammatically. I did not find anyone who was able walk alongside of me for the entire
process. So I continued writing on my own with no direction.
I wanted the book to be about 220 pages, but my progress was very slow. Over the years, I got most of the
book done and decided I needed help getting the story out to people. I started pursuing publishers or someone
who could take my idea to the next level. I tried contacting a few people and companies but everything seemed
to fall to the wayside.
God began pushing me again to finish the book, to bring it to completion, but I would work on it for a week
or two and then it would take a back seat to my other priorities. Then, finally, God moved me to approach
another man in my church named Rusty. Rusty agreed to follow behind me, clean up my grammar and make
He was willing to read the first chapter and show me my grammatical mistakes. When I received the first chapter
back from him, it was covered with red ink and with lots of changes in sentence structure. He also said I was
missing something called descriptive writing. (That’s how much I know about writing; don’t even ask me what a
verb, adjective or a compound sentence is.) When I asked what descriptive writing was, he gave me a few
examples and suggested I read a few books that showed what it looks like. One book was Piercing the
Darkness by Frank Peretti, which I had read years ago.
After I learned what descriptive writing was, I started rewriting my book. I finished chapter one and two,
and then I got irritated because I just wanted it to be done. At the same time, I was listening to The Pilgrim’s
Progress by John Bunyan on CD. As I was listening to it, I noticed it was mostly dialog and not descriptive
writing, so I decided I must have gotten sidetracked with Rusty’s direction. I decided to call my pastor on the
way to work and discuss how I thought I had been sidetracked by Rusty’s suggestions. He let me ramble for a
while, and finally I made it to work. The conversation had been one-sided, my side.
A funny thing happened after that conversation. Four hours after I got to work, I noticed my brother Brian
was sitting in the lunch room, and I decided to ask him if he wanted to read chapter one because he had not read
any of it since I had written the beginning pages.
He read the first chapter, came over and said, “This is awesome; it was like I was there.” I immediately
gave him chapter two and three, and he came over to me after he read them. I asked what he thought. He said,
‘Chapter one and two were great, but chapter three is missing something. It could be me because I need to get
back to work, but it seems it was missing descriptive writing.”
I could not believe it. There were those words again, “Descriptive Writing”. He had used those exact
words. At that point I laughed and said, “Okay, Okay Lord, I will continue.” With renewed passion, I got the
book three-quarters of the way finished when the wind in my sails died.
Then, God gave me another push to complete the book during a men’s retreat at Camp Spofford, in New
Hampshire. There at the men’s retreat during a break I showed the first couple of chapters to a fellow brother
named Andreas. He said the book was good and asked how much was left till it was completed. I said. “The
Lord is pushing me to finish it, but I keep dying. It is hard to stay motivated.”
His reply is what helped me to finish the book he said, “If God told you to write a book and if he is telling
you to finish it now, you have a choice. You can make time and get it done, or he can allow your leg to break
then you will have plenty of time to get it done.”
After hearing that, I decided I needed to finish the book quickly because, if I can, I prefer to avoid pain. I
would rather follow the Lord with him whispering to me saying, “go that way” than be brought to the woodshed
in order for Him to get my attention.
After that conversation, I found a publisher and finished the book within two months.
In closing, this also came across my path when there was no wind in my sails,
[It has not] entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. — 1
A college professor at a Christian school perceived that his students held a distorted view of heaven; they
considered it to be static and boring. So, to stir their imaginations, he asked them these questions:
“Do you wish you would wake up tomorrow morning to discover that the person you loved most
passionately loved you even more? Wake up hearing music you have always loved but had never heard with such
infinite joy before? Rise to the new day as if you were just discovering the Pacific Ocean? Wake up without
feeling guilty about anything at all? See to the very core of yourself, and like everything you see? Wake up
breathing God as if He were air? Loving to love Him? And loving everybody else in the bargain?”
In response to that professor’s intriguing questions, the students all lifted their hands. If that’s what heaven
will be like, and even infinitely more so, they certainly wanted to be there.
“I go to prepare a place for you,” Jesus told His disciples (John 14:2). We all share the desire — really a
deep-down yearning — to be in that glorious home forever. It is a place of indescribable bliss. And the supreme
blessing will be the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself! —
When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the
victory. — Hewitt
The Story Behind The Story
and The Kingdom