About Mattie’s Biography

Posted on: January 5th, 2013 by jeni No Comments

 

Your Messages… 

About Mattie’s Biography (Messenger)

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2015

Hi Jeni: The turkey story in Messenger has always been more than rather funny. It is hysterical & puts a smile on so many faces.  I remember being at an MDA lockup & talking with others about your book Messenger. You sure do have a way with words.  My grandson, Gavin, & I had talked about it every Thanksgiving & laugh.  Then we pray for you.
Gavin has been impacted by other events with police officers, because his mom is one.  His words to her each time he leaves her or speaks by phone are “Stay Safe!” We always include our protectors in prayers.
We have learned about Mattie aware of our world, at a very young age & picked up on everything.  He was so special & caring.  I just love the Messenger cover picture of you leaning towards him with a kiss.  There are so many wonderful pictures you have shared.  Whenever a smile is needed, MattieOnline.com is just a click away!
Thank you for Mattie’s message more than you could ever know. You bring peace & smiles to the world! — Marrianne Maurice, Sharon PA via e-mail
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2013

 

I’m really enjoying your book “Messenger.” Just read the part about Mattie finding the nickel and buying a book about Oprah with it. Oprah has been an inspiration to me for many years. I first saw Mattie on her show. I have a visual impairment. You, Oprah and Mattie help give me hope. – Jennifer Jupp via Facebook

I am listening to the audio book MESSENGER. It is such a blessing to my life. Early on, I came to love Mattie’s poetry; I’m glad that much of his poetry, read by him, is included in the book. I will pass the book on to many people, that Mattie’s heartsong will reverberate far and wide. Jeni, you are also a gift! – Barbara Coolman via Facebook

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I read the book, Messenger. I love it so much.. people all over the world get to know what kind of life he lived while he was here on earth.. Mattie is my hero and he inspired me to go for my dreams too… – Laura Decamara (via Facebook)

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I highly reccomend everyone reading Jeni’s autobiography about her son, Mattie. It was the most amazing book I have ever read. First saw this anazing young man on Oprah. Wish I could have met him. He changed how I view life…. I read Mattie’s book a couple of years ago and it, t0o, changed my life. Now I see the peace sign in a different light than I did the first time around. I wish I could have met Mattie. I loved watching him on Oprah. I became disabled in 2003 after a work related injury while working towards becoming a Marriage Family Therapist. I’ve had 10 spinal surgeries and 2 hip replacements. Mattie helped me to learn how to deal with the daily pain. I wish there was something I could do for you. I wish you peace and love.. – Carolyn Cohen (via Facebook)

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2012

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I’m half-way through the book his mother wrote… “MESSENGER”. I doubt I’ll sleep till I finsh it. WOW! I’m speechless…. What an incredibly perfect soul Mattie was. I’m sorry I never had the blessing to meet him. But, his lessons will reverberate through me till my end.. Thank you. – Gina Hart (via Facebook)

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I finally finished Messenger, what an amazing and inspiring testimony. I pray for a faith like Mattie’s. What a special young man. Proof that there are angels among us.– Misti Landry Bryant (via Facebook)

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Mattie has changed my life. i read the book his mom wrote and it affected the way i think and feel and react to everything in my life! i can’t wait to read the books Mattie wrote and continue the journey of my life with his influence on it! – Judith Carpenter (via Facebook) 

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While on vacation at the Jersey Shore this July (Stone Harbor) I purposely was up before 6 am to make sure I didn’t miss the sunrise, ala Mattie. You were on my mind and inspired my prayers as I watched the day peacefully come to life! – Robert Coon (via Facebook)

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I finished ’Messenger’ in just 2 days. Great to read the backgrounds on all we have seen around Mattie, the moments he shared the stage with Oprah, when he was on Larry King etc. I didn’t know about all the speeches he gave for such huge crowds. I can really recommend reading ‘Messenger’, it puts your own problems in a totally new perspective. Thanks for writing it, Jeni, and with doing so, giving us an intimate and personal view into your and Mattie’s life. – Jo Tummers, the Netherlands (via e-mail)

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My sister gave me the book, Messenger, about Mattie. I have a nephew that was recently diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and I just wanted to say thank you to Mattie and his mother for opening our eyes to what life really means. I wish I had had the chance to meet him. God Bless. – Kristee Ocheltree, Spokane Valley, VA (Member, Mattie’s Peace Network via e-mail)

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This morning I read the prologue of “Messenger,” authored by your mother, Jeni. Your promise of hope and legacy of peace continues to inspire me. May your Heartsongs sing among the Angels. ♥ – Jackie Charpentier La Berg (via Facebook)

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My copy of Messenger: The Legacy of Mattie J T Stepanek & Heartsongs arrived, and I’ve spent the last 4 hours reading , Ive laughed and Ive cried and Im sure as I continue to read this inspiring story of Mattie’s life and of yours… I first saw Mattie on Oprah , like so many around the world , and have felt a connection to your son as my Matthew was born 2 weeks after yours, and I chose his name because of its meaning ”a Gift from God ” too. My son has lost his way spiritually speaking and I plan to give your book to my son Matt when he leaves to join the Australian Airforce, I have prayed that this is the path to lead him back to God and I believe that reading Mattie’s story will have a profound effect on him, this is my hope… I have not been able to put your book down since it arrived today, and I look forward to reading the rest of it, Mattie truely is a Gift from God thankyou for sharing his life with the world. – Lyn Wade, Australia (via Facebook)

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I never heard about your son before until i was given homework for my salesmanship class, to find anyone that was a great salesperson and make a presentation about that person in front of class. I then took a trip to the bookstore and went straight to the biography section and spent probably half an hour or more looking through most of the books and I came across your book call the Messenger and after reading the beginning from Maya Angelou i knew i found my person. First i was kinda hesitant because he wasnt really a salesman but i looked at it after reading the book that Mattie was the greatest salesman in the world. In our first chapter of our salesman textbook we use for class said ”The purpose of business is to increase the general well being of humankind through the sale of goods and services”. You see Mattie has definitely increased the well being of humankind with his service of wisdom and insight that deeply touched my soul. I did my presentation and everyone was so moved that they all wanted to borrow my book and asked alot of questions about Mattie, to which i cheerfully shared from what i have learned about Mattie. I ended my presentation with sharing Mattie’s poem “On Being a Champion” because thats the part of the book I cried so much in, because he captured the true essence of what a salesman should be but he wasn’t even talking about sales. That’s the beauty of sharing your own unique Heartsong from God — that it touches every other subject in the world because thats what your Heartsong is for, not for own enjoyment or fulfillment but its for the whole world as well. And in a way, that’s a perfect picture of God’s love, isn’t it? I even wrote a 5 page essay about your son for my same class. I am so blessed by your son’s Heartsong and I thank God for you and your son in this world, thank you thank you thank you, Thank you Jesus….God bless you Jeni and thank you again… – Jonah Tui (via www.matteonline.com Contact Us page)

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My name is Melanie, I am 22 years old and was born just a few months before Mattie. I wanted to let you know that today Mattie gave me hope. For the past few years now I have struggled with intense knee pain which has kept me from University…. I have had Cerebral Palsy all my life… I spend long hours alone while my family is off at school or work and Mattie’s story helps to inspire me when I need it…. I bought your book in my local book store the other day. In less then a day I have nearly finished it. I had always wondered what Mattie’s life was like beyond that of his poems and was thrilled to get the oppertunity to read about someone I consider to be a role model for my own life. I think of Mattie and you often and wish you the best in all things. I hope one day that our paths will cross. Peace, Melanie. – Melanie M. (via Facebook)

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Jeni: Your book, Messenger, along with Mattie’s sit on my nightstand to remind me that “we are all family” and to “listen to our Heartsongs”. Recently I mentioned Mattie to my grandson… he had mentioned something about what his heart felt about the creatures of the sea. He’s very in to sharks and whales… I told him those were his “Heartsongs” and told him about the young man who wanted Peace in the world. My little man, 9 years old, told me “Gramma, we should all love our world and our ocean because that’s where the sharks and whales live”…. it was so innocent but so HUGE for him to say! Thank you again for all you do. It is a labor of Love and I will forever honor Mattie’s vision and yours. – Dorothy Dimick (via Facebook)

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2011

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If you haven’t ‘met’ Mattie Stepanek, you are in for a treat. What a neat young man! Although he just missed celebrating his 14th birthday, he was wise far beyond those few years. I enjoyed every story his mother, Jeni, the author, shared in this autobiographical narrative about her life with this incredible child. Although poignant, Messenger was told with admiral restraint. I tried picturing myself in Jeni’s place writing about my own son and I couldn’t do it. The title refers to the fact that Mattie’s short life was entirely lived ‘on purpose’ and his purpose was to be a messenger for world peace. One of the first duties associated with the Heavenly Angels is also to be messengers and in fact, Mattie ‘died’ several times in his short life. His near death experiences, plus his constant awareness of his mortality (he suffered from a rare incurable neurological condition which had already taken the life of three older siblings) gave him an insatiable desire for an end to violence and total credibility in that mission.  A not-to-be-missed book, recommended for everyone!  – Comments from “BookLady”

2010

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I don’t mind tear-soaked sleeves, but tissue / handkerchief users — you’ll need a large supply of one or the other if you read MESSENGER: THE LEGACY OF MATTIE J.T. STEPANEK AND HEARTSONGS.  As many times as I’ve read my favorite Mattie Stepanek poems, I still suspect that I will read them more times than I have already read them. Mattie’s books should head a list of “Books to Read Before I Live,” so if you are unfamiliar with his work. . . .

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MESSENGER, the work of Mattie’s mother, Jeni Stepanek, is a book for those who want to believe in a power that is greater than anything on earth — but can’t quite get “there” because the voice calling for proof won’t stop dialing their numbers. This book is for those who cling to the possibility that the body inhabited now is only one of countless bodies that each soul has inhabited and will inhabit. This book is for those who are grateful for whatever suggests that, in some mysterious way, we are all connected to what is, what was, and what will be. This book is for those who lack the drive to achieve what they know is important. This book is for those who forget that “A time to mourn” is followed by “a time to dance.” And this book is for those who see the end before “the fat lady sings.”

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My copy of MESSENGER was a Mother’s Day gift from one of the “messengers” in my life, my son, who knows that this is a book for me.  – Comments from Reese

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I saw Mattie Stepanek on Oprah a few times over the years and was sad when he died. For me, he came across as a sweet and joyful boy who tragically died very young. I picked up this book at Costco and didn’t read it right away. I was much more excited about reading other books on my shelf. I finally picked it up and it bowled me over. For me, it seems that Mattie is an old soul come to teach all of us, not just with his desire for peace but also with his admonition to play after every storm. I said to someone that he didn’t in the end have much effect on the world (was most famous at the time that the Iraq war started), but my friend responded that we don’t know the ways that he might have affected ordinary people who listened to him in person or on television.  – Comments from Margaret

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When referring to Mattie J.T. Stepanek Larry King named him “my special guest and friend.”  Oprah Winfrey termed him “my guy.” Jimmy Carter said he was “the most extraordinary person whom I have ever known in my life.” Maya Angelou observed “he did not come from the ground like grass, he grew like a tree. He had roots.” Jerry Lewis named him “a national goodwill ambassador.”  But Jennifer Smith Stepanek simply called him “my son.” Her stunning account of Mattie’s life and legacy in her new book “Messenger” is the remarkable and gripping story only a mother can tell, and one this mom was compelled to tell. It’s an inspiring read. On a scale of 1 to 5, it’s a 7. Jeni Stepanek is a vibrant affirmation of Aristotle’s assertion that “those who train children are worthy of double the honor of those who merely bear them.”  – J. Stanley Schmidt

 

 

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- Mattie J.T. Stepanek