Fast Lane to Heaven: Celestial Encounters that Changed My Life

ISBN 10: 157174200X / ISBN 13: 9781571742001
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Ned Dougherty lived a life that anyone searching for power and material wealth would deem successful - until the 1984 incident that caused his death. While medical personnel struggled to restart his silent heart, Dougherty left his body and experienced a series of events so vivid and unusual that they profoundly changed the rest of his life. The experience opened th door to encounters with various aspects of the divine spirit, including the "Lady of Light," a being Dougherty later clearly identifies as the Virgin Mary. To Dougherty and others who have experienced her presence, the Lady is both guide and teacher, fostering spiritual advancement and sharing the Creator's plan for humankind.

- From a featured speaker, former director, and media spokesperson for the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS), and founder of the non-profit oragnization Mission of Angels

- Describes the experience that made a wealthy businessman abandon power, drug addiction, and dangerous moneymaking schemes for a life of spiritual purpose

- A vivid look at the "Other Side" - firthand knowledge for anyone who plans on dying

- A powerful lesson in overcoming personal obstacles such as addiction, apathy, and fear

- Describes a series of life-changing encounters with the Virgin Mary - a complement to the surprising number of Marian expericences occuring in recent years

Review: Ned Dougherty, author of Fast Lane to Heaven, almost died at the age of 37--an experience that ultimately saved his life. Before he collapsed on the cement outside of his nightclub in the Hamptons of New York, he was leading a hedonistic lifestyle of heavy drinking and short-term relationships with women half his age. Then, one day after fighting with his business partner, Dougherty felt his chest tighten and suddenly he was unable to breathe. "My sense of hearing turned inward, and I was listening for sounds from my now silent lungs, which seemed to have collapsed," he recalls in his characteristic gripping narration. "For a long, pregnant moment, everything before me stood still. I was dying and I knew it. In a split second, I thought: This is it! This is how it all ends! Suddenly, I felt what seemed like an electrical explosion in my head, and my body collapsed to the sidewalk." As an ambulance crew valiantly tried to resuscitate him, Dougherty shifted in and out of his body. Finally, he felt his spirit lift out of the ambulance and he was left standing before a tunnel that curled like an ocean wave and "stretched directly in the heavens." From there he entered a "life review process" in Heaven that forced him to reckon with his past as well as the life he created in the present. Nothing was the same after that.

Readers can't help but like Dougherty. He's brutally honest about his character flaws and alcoholism, so when redemption comes, it's all the sweeter. (And it isn't instant--he has to return to a few years of hard lessons before the benefits of the near-death experience truly take hold.) Count on an exceptionally smooth read with an endearing narrator who offers classic, yet unique encounters with life and death. --Gail Hudson

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