Xulon Press Successful Author Spotlight: Patti Miller Dunham

Filed in Successful Author Spotlight by on October 15, 2012 2 Comments

Our next installment of the Xulon Press Successful Author Spotlight shares the story of Patti Miller Dunham, author of I Saw Heaven! Life Changing Conversations with My Brother After His Near Death Experience! Patti has written a book depicting the personal account of her 18 phone conversations with her brother Richard, who counseled her through an extremely difficult time in her life. Patti states that he used “down to earth, truthful and heart probing” nuggets of advice during each conversation that she could apply to her life. All were based on his life changing experience of being in a coma for six days when he miraculously recovered and breathed those surprising words “I saw Heaven and it was beautiful!”

Xulon Press Author Patti Miller Dunham

Patti paints the picture of this recovering alcoholic older brother who was not a church attendee and didn’t speak in “church talk” when he recounted his vision of heaven. Richard used matter of fact, common words to remind her that God had sent him back because “it was not his time – Richard had work to do!” Little did Patti know, but she was part of the work Richard had been sent back for. Over the course of the next two years following Richard’s life changing event, she observed him evolve into someone who spoke intimately about his relationship with Christ and even led the prayer at family gatherings, something he would never have done prior to seeing his vision of heaven.

Over the course of several months, through 18 separate phone conversations, calling from their home state of Missouri to speak to Patti in her home in Texas, Richard taught Patti, who was an established public speaker at church conventions and conferences, that all of her sentences started with the word “I” instead of God. He spoke to her his “truth in love” — as this non church attending recovering alcoholic pointed out that Patti had not given God control over her life – she was in control of her life! Once she got this simple yet revolutionary concept – and repented for not giving God complete control over her life – Patti suddenly felt peace like never before.  She had always battled with anxiety and uncertainty prior to this, but now feels peace like never before. This “peace” has sustained her since that day.

In their 18th conversation, Patti was able to “thank” Richard for ministering that “truth in love” that revolutionized her relationship with Christ and gave her peace to respond to life’s unexpected challenges, no matter what they might be.

The very next day – Richard went to Heaven!

As I listened to Patti recount her conversations, the “parable-esque” way Richard spoke to her, using real life examples that she could apply to her personal struggles, I could attest—Patti’s life was dramatically and forever changed by these conversations with her older brother.

When asked what one experience changed the course of her life, Patti immediately, without hesitation, stated “My salvation experience. I call it “living right side up in the upside down world”- that’s the title of my next book. My salvation experience primarily but also, 8 years ago when my brother Richard reached out to me. He called me two years after his coma experience. He contacted me, much to my surprise. He had heard that I was going through a difficult time. We were not close and had never talked in depth about God before our phone conversations. I remember Richard asked me that day what was I going through, and I just opened up and told him. And he gave me these “one liners” at each conversation. He had 18 conversations with me and described Heaven to me with such clarity. He was a Christian but was not someone who attended church regularly. He didn’t use “christian-ese” buzz words. He didn’t use religious language. He talked in plan “down to earth” English. I was already a Christian speaker, going to conferences and conventions. I had done “everything right”, but, I was going through such a rough time. I was trying to deal with a painful divorce… and other devastating circumstances including my oldest grandson being attacked by a rare virus in his body. He had to have open heart surgery. Richard reminded me “When you are at the bottom, you are so low that you will listen”. He said, “You are in control of your life– but God is not!” I honestly thought He was. Richard said bluntly, “You don’t want God’s will—you want your will!” Until then, I thought I was submitting to God’s will, but… after these conversations, I heard God say that I had not completely submitted. This changed the course of my relationship with God!”

When questioned about her writing method, Patti responded “I had been a “journaler” for years. I always kept a journal.  It took some time for me to realize that God wanted me to write a book. He confirmed it through other people. Whenever I spoke about Richard’s experience, I was told “you have to write a book. This message is for others too, not just for you!” I would always say “thank you, but I don’t know how to write a book”.  I was a guest speaker at a convention, sharing what Richard taught me about Heaven. Everyone said “you have to write about this in a book”. The last man said, “Patti, every sentence starts with the word I—you are still in control!” That’s when I repented and surrendered. I prayed “If this is you Lord, please be the pen in my hand!”  So I took the journals, put them together, and I titled it “Conversations with my Brother”, printed it off, and said “Okay God, it’s finished and it’s done!” But I kept running across people who said – your printout is not a book. You need to turn this into a book. So I finally surrendered. I ended up talking to five different publishers. I chose Xulon Press because of their author rep Michael Carroll. He never pressured me. He really cared. He would just follow up with me. My background is sales and marketing. I recognized and appreciated how Michael would continue to follow up with encouragement. Michael gave me peace about making my decision. He really made me feel that it was all about what was best for me.”

I closed our conversation with my now signature question “what would you like written on your gravestone?”

Patti responded simply “Everything she experienced in this life was used for good in this world!”

And I know somewhere in Heaven, Richard is looking down and smiling!

His sister finally got it right!

Find Patti’s book I Saw Heaven! in the Xulon Press Bookstore.


About the Author ()

Alan P. Scaglione is a writer who reflects on the simple contradictions and complexities to living this ”gift from God” called life. He believes that Life is a journey that, with compassion, a little levity and perspective, we help each other get through. His greatest compliment was being told “you draw pictures with your words!” He has devoted his life to “drawing”...in his poetry, his songs, his weekly “Reflections of Life” blog entries, his monthly SAS articles, his short stories and now, his novels! Alan is an everyday guy who refuses to let circumstances dictate his view to life; he lives an attitude of gratitude and spreads his positive outlook everywhere he goes. His BEST day is a day shared making a memory that will last a lifetime! Please check out Alan's books "One Unexpected Event - How Would Your Life Change?" and its sequel “One Unexpected Event - Aftermath!” in the Xulon Press bookstore.

Comments (2)

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  1. avatar Joel Msimbe says:

    It’s amazing what God is doing through those who willingly take the task to convey what He has communicated to them in one way or another. It’s at this point in time that i realise that we are needed just as we need other people who provide other services for our betterment. My encouragement to fellow authors is, let’s write till we die.

  2. avatar Joel Msimbe says:

    It’s interesting that you call it this gift called life. It sounds like you’re saying it’s a gift all right but there’s a whole lot of unwrapping till you finally come to appreciate what’s before you. Looking forward to reading your book.

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