Only after your loved one's heart stops beating does the real work begin. Pennies from Heaven is the true account of Christopher Stillar's remarkable story of transformation from skeptic to acclaimed psychic medium.
Pennies from Heaven takes readers on an emotional journey of inspiration, hope, and love through authentic glimpses of family members reuniting following shocking deaths. Learn how a mother copes with the unbelievable news from her murdered son that she is dying. Discover how his words of comfort bring her solace in knowing she will not die alone.
Stillar shares candid and personal experiences with spirit and what it has taught him about the secrets of life.
Self-empowerment is the overriding theme of this powerful book. Changing lives for the better is the mandate of Stillar's work, and thanks to his inaugural book, Pennies from Heaven, many more will learn that true love never dies.
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Read an Excerpt
PENNIES FROM HeavenA Medium's Two Cents on Life and Death
By CHRISTOPHER STILLAR
BALBOA PRESSCopyright © 2011 Christopher Stillar
All right reserved.
Nowhere to turn. A feeling of hopelessness surrounds me, and my days of wandering in a cloud of uncertainty are about to end. Self-destruction is all that runs through my head. The pain—oh, the pain—it must be stopped. I walk through the kitchen and into the living room, unsure of my next step. Turning to my left, I begin to climb the stairs. Step after step, I take what will be my final walk. I clutch the railing for support as I struggle to make my way to the top. Pausing but for a second, I reconsider what I know will come next.
I'm in a dark tunnel, and all I can see is straight ahead of me. Life has stopped; my actions are not happening in real time. What is real time? I know that I am not myself. Everything is surreal and dreamlike. I turn left and enter my bedroom. I close the door behind me. The house is so quiet. There are no sounds except those in my head. I walk over to my bed and sit down on the edge. Sunlight is streaming through the window to my left; the warmth encompasses me. Dust particles dance across the beams of light, but all I see is darkness. The rays of the sun fall on my tired body, but nothing can save me. I am consumed with only myself.
As I sit there, I think about those who have accused me of this awful crime. I know in my heart that I did not hurt that little girl. I loved her and could never hurt her.
This is my only option because no one will ever believe the truth. I reach down, and from under the bed I pull up my rifle. I sit for what seems an eternity, and then my decision is made. I raise the rifle, turning the barrel toward my head. I bring it closer and closer to my face. Finally it rests against my skin. The sharp, cold metal of the barrel feels cool as it brushes against my flesh. The echoing in my head becomes louder, and then all goes still.
I pull the trigger***!
Suddenly I see a body slumped forward on the bed. It's no longer me that I'm viewing. Instead, I sense myself standing in the corner closest to the door that I walked through just moments before, and I am watching this poor man bleeding, but he is absent from all physical pain. One moment I was this man struggling for answers—I felt his pain and sensed his total despair—and the next moment I am watching the aftermath of his choice play out in front of me, a silent observer.
Everything goes quiet, and I find myself back in my office. Never before has anyone from spirit walked me through his or her actual death. The clarity and the reality of this are so overwhelming that it takes me a few moments before I can comprehend the magnitude of what has taken place. I witnessed this man's final act, but more than that, I was this man for a few brief moments in time. I felt what he felt; I thought what he thought. I am confused. Moments pass as I attempt to gather my composure. My client, Sam, who sits across from me, is filled with emotions; she desperately fights to hold back her tears. Finally, she speaks.
"That was my uncle. You accurately described the way he was found. You even described the house. How is that possible?" "I'm not completely sure how it works, but I know your uncle found it important enough to come through to explain to you what was happening to him at that time. He makes reference to a woman and a young girl. The reason for his suicide is based around these two people. What I can't tell you is why he needs you to know these things," I answered. "I do," she said, in relief. "There have always been rumours within our family that it was not suicide. There has been talk that someone besides my uncle was involved in his death." "Sam, you can rest assured that his death was a result of his own actions." "Thank you."
Sam's family story is just one of many I have been privy to. You see, I am a medium. I have an ability that enables me to help people. We all have talents and the ability to help others; the question is whether we choose to use them or not. As a medium, I use my ability to help those here in the physical realm as well as those who live in spirit.
I have discovered, without question, that we continue on after physical death. Death is nothing more than a change in energy; we shed our heavy earthly bodies. At the time of death, we consciously live from our souls. We reside in our souls, even while in the physical world before death, but we are simply unaware of this. If you believe that your body only defines who you are, you are mistaken. I do not have all the answers, and I realize that this is only my truth. It rings of beauty, love and peace for me. What is your truth? No matter what one's truth is, if it is authentic, it will bring you comfort.
The Change ...
When I discovered my gift of mediumship, I was twenty-nine years old, at least ninety pounds overweight and unhappy with my life. Nothing I did or achieved had made me truly happy. But from March 4, 1996, to August 16, 1996, my life's path had been vastly altered by a series of personal and financial events. The timing of these events caused me to take a good look at how I was living my life. I could no longer skip from job to job or crisis to crisis; my days of running away were over. It wasn't until sufficient time had passed and the dust had settled that I could look back and see how these incidents were actual blessings and not God playing a cruel game with my life. I had turned a corner, and there was no going back.
Once I began to look honestly at life, God and how I had merely been sleepwalking in the past, I was able to make better choices to help create the "me" I wanted to be. I looked closer at past choices and the repetitious habits that I played out over and over. I developed the desire to read, devouring one book after another. Until this point, I had read only three books: one I chose to read and two others were required for school. Reading was a torture I did not want to experience; it was easier to turn on the television than to pick up a book.
Once my enthusiasm for spirit communication, God and spirituality had been unleashed, I could not read enough. Not only was I reading, but I was beginning to understand how the books helped me see myself honestly. I could see how the truth in the pages spilled over into my life. Books served as a mirror that enabled me to view my life head-on. Even though I remained extremely skeptical about a lot of things, much of what I read resonated deep within me. I made a conscious decision to change various aspects of my life.
The first change involved my eating habits. I had always known that a thinner person inside was trying to get out, although for the most part I was not unhappy about being obese. I had been heavy all my life, and it was all I knew. One day, following a personal tragedy, I decided I had had enough. I wanted to make a change—I needed to make a change—and the transition began, not just physically but psychologically and spiritually as well. I was changing completely. Those series of events in 1996 were the catalysts I needed in order to see clearly. Although they didn't actually change my essence, I remained the same "me," the same soul, and these circumstances helped to show me that the "who" I was portraying myself as was not the "who" I wanted to be any longer. I finally realized that the ball had always been in my court. I always had the ability to change who I was to who I wanted to be, and I took charge of my life for the first time.
My physical image changed, and my beliefs became clearer and stronger. I could now look back on my life and past events and see beauty and perfection where once I saw nothing but ugliness, regret and self-pity.
As the excess weight started to come off, I left behind some aspects of myself that were no longer required. People around me noticed the changes, and some realized it was more than just physical change. Not everyone was comfortable with how I now presented myself. Family members worried about me. Those that knew me always thought I had a great sense of humour, but suddenly they could no longer sense it.
People often tell me that I am a lucky person. Everything I want seems to come easily for me. Although I believe I am blessed, not everything has been easy. Life has held many events and surprises for me, and some are still to come. The difference now is how I choose to view these events. Instead of being a passive recipient and believing that the good and bad just occur beyond my control, I now know that I bring everything to me. Everything that we would deem good, bad and mundane is a result of our own actions and choices. I understand that there are no coincidences, luck (good or bad) or lives destined to fate. All we have is life based on personal choice. Every action, thought and deed has a reaction.
Unlike Sam's uncle, I felt I had many avenues to explore, new worlds to discover and a sense of purpose to guide me into the next chapter of my life. I can't help but see the change in my life, my metamorphosis if you will, as a comparison to a caterpillar transitioning into a butterfly. For far too many years, I had cocooned myself and my life, only to feel like I had broken free of a binding and restrictive existence to take flight like a grand monarch discovering a whole new world for the first time.
Chapter TwoMY JOURNEY BEGINS
Although I am often asked how and when I became a medium, I'm not certain there is a simple answer. In June 1994, I was just starting my day at the newspaper office where I worked. Earlier that morning the regulars had met for coffee at the local coffee shop. I left feeling somewhat lightheaded and unable to focus my thoughts on any one area. I tried to start my daily agenda but felt lost. I got up and walked next door to a client's store to talk to her, hoping that this strange feeling would pass. It did not. During that short visit I could not hold a conversation, and at one point I could not even remember the person's name, even though I had worked with her for the last five years. I was not the least bit worried about what was happening to me, but I was irritated that I could not remember the names of my friends and co-workers.
When my editor came back from coffee, I asked him to drive me to the hospital, where I went to my wife's office to tell her something was very wrong. I remember being taken to the emergency department. I know I took off my shirt, and the last thing I remember is leaning over the sink, sick to my stomach. I woke up approximately fifteen hours later, at about two in the morning, to see my mother and my Aunt Elaine standing at the foot of my bed. Mom seemed relieved I was conscious and started asking me what I considered to be extremely stupid questions. "Do you know who we are? Do you know where you are?" I answered her questions appropriately, although I had no idea what had transpired.
I soon found out I had completely faded from reality the day before and didn't recognize my wife nor any of my family. The doctors did test after test to find out what was wrong. They did drug screens, sent me to a bigger city hospital in an ambulance for a CAT scan and performed a lumbar puncture. They didn't detect any aneurysms, no drugs showed up and nothing was produced from the spinal tap. The doctors were baffled, and my family was extremely worried. As strangely as it began, I started to come out of it. I was in the hospital for two days and then was permitted to go home for a few days of bed rest. Anyone who has ever been through a spinal tap knows that it is best to lie flat on your back for about three days afterward. I do not remember if those instructions had been spelled out to me, but if they were, I didn't listen. I was up and down too much and paid the price for it. The headaches came on fast and furious, more severe than anything I had ever experienced before. The worst one caused me to grab hold of the vanity with one hand and the back of my head with the other while a horrendous pain ripped through my head. I felt as if the back portion of my skull had exploded. I remember reaching back expecting to feel a gaping hole. I screamed for my wife, and she came running. I still do not know what took place in my brain stem that evening, but I believe whatever happened was the beginning of a physical change in my brain that now enables me to make contact with those in spirit.
The attending physician who was working the emergency department that day had done all the appropriate tests and could not determine what had happened. This did not sit well with my father, so he managed to get me in to see a specialist at Wellesley Hospital in Toronto. The doctor looked at the records, examined me and hooked me up to more wires. Lastly an EEG was done. When the doctor consulted with me, he could not explain the cause; the best he could say was that it may or may not happen again. I felt the whole episode was stress related, so about one month later I quit my stressful job without having another to go to.
I cannot say with certainty whether the illness had anything to do with my ability to communicate with those in the spirit world, but two years later I had another turning point. The events of August 1996 had a very profound effect on me.
My grandmother, Bessie, had been suffering from breathing problems that seemed to come and go. At times it was hard for us to detect because Grandma never complained, but now it happened more frequently and was taking its toll on this vital lady. My family and I were with her and my aunt on the long weekend in August when she asked to visit the cemetery. I took her as we stood over Grandpa's grave looking at the headstone. Grandma turned to me, pointed and said, "I guess I will be laid on this side."
I looked at her and said, "Not in the near future; I know you'll be here for a long time yet." The rest of the visit was incredible, and I remember as we backed out of her driveway and waved good-bye, that even though I could not consciously admit it, I was visiting her for the last time.
Within days she was rushed to the hospital with an attack of angina. Her heart surgery was scheduled three days later. The evening before the surgery, I called Grandma to tell her that everything would be fine. I said I loved her and would see her the following weekend. Her last words to me were, "I love you and will see you sometime."
A lump formed in my throat as I said good-bye. Her surgery started at 7:45 a.m. and was scheduled to last until 1:00 p.m. I was on the phone back and forth all day with my aunt, and there was no word. At 3:30 p.m. my father called me on his way home from work and told me they had run into complications, and it didn't look good for her. He was leaving for Sudbury immediately. I hung up the phone, made the necessary arrangements and set off with my wife, our eight month old baby and my sister for Sudbury.
It was the longest drive I have ever made; the four hours seemed much longer. I prayed all the way up even though I knew the outcome. We reached the hospital at 8:45 p.m. and were met by my father, my aunt and my uncle. Dad had just arrived and had not been up to the surgical floor yet. Just then my uncle's wife came running down crying, saying it didn't look good and that we should go up and speak with the nurse. The elevator doors opened. and there were my two aunts. Because both were crying, I was certain Grandma had died. We were told about an hour later that the doctor wanted to speak to us, so the floor nurse led us to the hospital chapel. Now we knew. Only half of our family was there when the doctor came in. "It was tough," the doctor said. Before he could say anything else, my father stood up shook his hand and thanked him for all that he had done for his mother. The doctor said, "She's still with us, but we thought we had lost her around supper time."
Excerpted from PENNIES FROM Heaven by CHRISTOPHER STILLAR Copyright © 2011 by Christopher Stillar. Excerpted by permission of BALBOA PRESS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Metamorphosis....................3
Chapter 2: My Journey Begins....................9
Chapter 3: My Life the Mosaic....................19
Chapter 4: Visitations....................33
Chapter 5: Going Public....................39
Chapter 6: Delivering on a Promise....................45
Chapter 7: How Spirits Communicate....................53
Chapter 8: Prayers, Miracles and Healing....................61
Chapter 9: Suicides....................69
Chapter 10: Mother and Son Reunite in Heaven....................83
Chapter 11: A Lesson Learned....................97
Chapter 12: Science and Challenges....................103
Chapter 13: Healing Messages from Beyond....................111
Chapter 14: When Our Children Leave Us....................135
Chapter 15: Expect the Unexpected....................171
Chapter 16: Grey Owl and Gabriel Speak....................181