GOD GAVE US HEAVEN by Lisa Bergren

Little Cub awakens one morning with some important questions on her mind: What is heaven like? How do we get there? Will we eat in heaven? Will we be angels?

During a delightful day spent wandering their arctic world, Papa gently answers each question, assuring Little Cub that heaven is a wonderful place, “a million times better” than she can imagine. He explains how God has made a way for those who love him to enter their heavenly home forever after their lives on earth are over.

Reuniting the best-selling author-illustrator team from God Gave Us You, this gentle story provides satisfying answers for a young child’s most difficult questions about heaven. Parents, grandparents, childcare professionals, librarians, Sunday school teachers, and others will appreciate the gentle approach to a topic that’s on the minds of so many “little cubs.”

Through captivating, full-color illustrations and tender, biblically-sound storytelling, young readers and those who love them will find reasons to rejoice in knowing that God Gave Us Heaven.

Author Bio: Lisa Tawn Bergren

I was born in Kalispell, Montana and raised mostly in Southern California. Every summer and winter, my folks took my brother and me “home” to Montana, and I grew up feeling like it was as much home as California. I think that’s why it appears in so many of my books. I have a deep love for the mountains and lakes and fields of my years.

I graduated from high school in Mission Viejo, CA, and then college at U.C. Irvine, taking with me a degree in English Literature. I had some intern experience at a publisher, and thought it might be an interesting field. For a while after college, I fooled around, working temp and then going on to the high calling of “ski bum” in Park City, Utah. It was there that, through my old Christian music and novels, I was brought to my knees again. A whole new level of faith entered my life.

I went from Utah to Israel and Egypt for a month, staying with my cousin’s family in the Old City of Jerusalem. We spent a great deal of time in and around Jerusalem, the Galilee, the Dead Sea, and the Golan Heights. My cousin, Bob, even took me on a tour with a busload of priests and monks to explore the outreaches of Israel, focusing on archeological sites. He and I went on to Egypt—stopping to scuba dive in the Red Sea, and eventually to Mount Sinai and then Cairo. If you want to understand the impact of Christ in the world, go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Holy Week. We walked over the Mount of Olives on Palm Sunday, one of countless groups from around the world. We sang hymns, and ended up in the Church of All Nations, singing “Beautiful Savior” to the domes high overhead. Talk about acoustics…

I came home determined to work in an industry that had helped call me home. At first I worked for Frontline Music Group, a company that produced alternative Christian music, and then went to work for Questar/Multnomah Publishers, in marketing. In the midst of falling in love with an artist named Tim, I had written a book called Refuge. The same day I got my job at Multnomah, I received an offer on the novel. Refuge, a bestseller, was the forerunner of Palisades, and two years later I was the managing editor of my very own Christian romance line, and writing on weekends. Later I became the executive editor of fiction for WaterBrook/Random House for four years before I moved on to write some more and help develop various business ventures.

I took a few years off of writing because God called me to a “fallow season”—and I’m so glad I did. In that time, we went through a family tragedy when we lost our young niece, and then welcomed our baby son the following year. My time and energy had to be reserved more consistently for family and ushering through transitions…the biggest stuff of life in mourning and celebration. For a few years, my friend and I ran a company called Good Books & Company, through which we sold Christian books and gifts. Sadly, we could not get it over the last hurdles between us and success, and we had to shut it down last fall. It was a terrific learning experience—spiritually, and as a business woman.

Lately, we’ve begun to travel some more—once as a couple to Italy with dear friends, once to Venice with my eldest daughter, Olivia, and this spring with the whole clan, including my parents, back to Italy (and then I went on to France)! I needed to get some research done each time, for The Gifted, and each trip was a lovely escape.

Now it’s 2008, and I have twenty-eight books under my belt. My kids are settling into routines again and I have been given divine clearance to write again! The only challenge now is TIME! Tim and I live in Colorado Springs, CO, with our two beautiful daughters, Olivia and Emma, ages twelve and nine, and our preschooler, Jack. Tim is a liturgical artist, meaning he designs furniture and sculpture for churches—statuary, altars, lecterns, pulpits, crosses, baptismal fonts, etc.

My hobbies are: reading (I’m in a book group and love it!); writing; playing with my family; going to movies; cooking; eating out. I like to hike but have a hard time getting my lazy body psyched to just drive to the mountains I look at from my office window. I love to laugh, and look for ways to get my daily quota. I hope you do too!

Illistrator Bio: Laura J. Bryant studied painting, printmaking, and sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. She has illustrated numerous award-winning children’s books, including God Gave Us You, Smudge Bunny, and If You Were My Baby. Laura lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

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