About the Book

New Book

photo of the book cover of mark gardner's paperback and digital book



According to researcher George Barna (in Maximum Faith), only 1% of Americans experience the most fulfilling life God offers us! In this unique and comprehensive book, Master Life-Skills Coach Mark Gardner will concisely teach you God's New Testament, whole-person design for living in God's kingdom on earth.

You will learn the life-transforming principles and skills Mark has taught thousands of people in his 35-year career as a Christian personal life coach, psychotherapist, addictions counselor, and pastor.

To learn more about how this book can change your life, continue reading this page—free sample chapters included.

Driving Through Heaven is the most comprehensive how-to book available on Christian living (next to the bible).

P.S., makes a great Christmas gift that will transform lives. How many other gifts can do that?


This Book Can Change Your Life

Learn step-by-step the basic principles and skills of the New Testament

  • Overcome problems and obstacles to the Abundant Life Jesus offers
  • Maximize love, joy, peace, and rest into your life (the Fruit of the Holy Spirit)
  • Hear God's voice and deepen a real, loving, and practical relationship with him
  • Improve your relationships
  • Reduce or end depression, anxiety, fears, self-destructive habits, and addictions
  • Heal painful memories and wounded hearts
  • Reduce stress and improve coping with crises, pain, and life's challenges
  • Teach your children and friends how to live the Abundant Life
  • Increase your commitment to Jesus Christ and serving him
  • Clearly understand what God teaches in the New Testament

For Pastors and Disciplemakers

Use Driving Through Heaven in your ministry to:

  • Enhance your disciple making ministry with this comprehensive, foundational resource
  • Train people like Jesus did with both the biblical principles and skills for living as God designed us
  • Engage your entire congregation in whole-person growth though a church-wide campaign
  • Topically teach much of the New Testament (there are 475 biblical references supporting the book's content)
  • Provide topics or resources for your preaching and counseling
  • Encourage new members with a gift of the book to help them quickly learn Jesus' way of living

Find free resources for using this book in your church:

Free Resources for Pastors & Churches

Pastor Jim Chronister of Brookville, OH, said the book was exactly what his congregation needed, and ordered 10 copies for his Sunday School class, which is now studying it. He also asked the author to train him to do small-group disciplemaking.

Inside the Book


  • Includes every dimension of life: spiritual, intellectual, emotional, relational, and physical -- no other book does this
  • The paperback edition has 270 pages, with 60 brief, easy-to-read chapters that average 4 pages each
  • Questions for Meditation or Discussion and Suggestions for Further Study for every chapter
  • 500 biblical references grounding the teaching in God's written word
  • 475 endnotes
  • Free bonus resources available on this website. Click on the Videos and Bonuses tabs at the top of the page

Click on the adjoining images for a look at the complete Table of Contents, Introduction, and sample Chapters


  1. You can Live in Heaven on Earth has an overview of God's design for living and a description of life in heaven, so we can live that way on earth. Jesus brought God's Kingdom of Heaven to earth, and we can live in it, with all of its privileges and blessings.
  2. Having a Relationship with Your Creator is about spiritual health and will teach you how to actually hear God's voice, know his will, and deepen your relationship with him.
  3. Thinking Like God will teach you how to transform your thinking (based on Romans 12:2) to change your personality, emotional reactions, how you act, and your relationships. Learn to live more from your true God-given personality and identity, and let go of beliefs and behaviors that are false to God and your true self.
  4. God's Gift of Emotions will help you understand and use emotions in healthy and appropriate ways. Learn to transform anger, pain, and guilt into inner peace and personal growth. Overcome most depression, anxiety, and fears, plus self-destructive habits and addictions. Obtain God's healing for your heart and memories.
  5. Relationships in the Kingdom of Heaven teaches how God loves, including basic skills for having loving, fulfilling relationships with trust, intimacy, and oneness. Learn basic skills like communications, boundaries, resolving conflicts, and forgiveness. Learn how to rebuild broken relationships.
  6. Living as a Spirit in a Physical Universe is about physical health and well being. God could have made us as pure spirits right in his hometown in heaven. Discover why, instead, he gave us bodies and put us on earth, and learn the biblical principles for health. Learn that Jesus taught there is no marriage in heaven, and how that affects sex on earth. Discover freedom from worry about your physical possessions and finances.
  7. Experience the Best Possible Life by learning to integrate what you learn into all of your five life dimensions and to feel and act as a whole person. Maximize God's blessings in your life.

Read the Table of Contents, Introduction, and Sample Chapters by clicking on the adjoining images


Click on the image to read the actual Table of Contents

Contents image


Click on the image to read the book's Introduction

Introduction image


Click on the image to read sample chapters from the book

Sample Chapters

Lou Driggs, Director Of Equipping Ministries at his church, was so impressed with the book he immediately ordered 5 more copies and began using it in his own small group.


About the Author

Mark Gardner, M.Min., founder of Gardner Coaching in 2005, has done counseling and personal life skills coaching for over 35 years. He is an expert disciple maker who empowers people to experience the Abundant Life Jesus promised, and he trains pastors and churches to use Jesus' disciplemaking method to transform and grow their churches.

Mark has worked one-on-one with over 3,000 people and taught seminars and workshops on more than 100 topics related to Christian living and life in God's church family. He has served the Lord as a Christian personal life coach, psychotherapist, addictions counselor, pastor for 20 years, and spiritual director. He is also a former U.S. naval officer.

Mark has a B.A. in psychology and a Masters in ministry.  He has been married for over 40 years, has two adult daughters, and lives in a small town near Dayton, Ohio. 

Neal, from Springfield, Ohio, after reading only part of the book, gave a copy to his pastor and ordered 5 more copies to give to his family members for Christmas.


What's the book about?

Driving Through Heaven will teach you how to live the way God designed us to live in order to experience the Abundant Life that Jesus promised us. It is the most comprehensive how-to book on Christian Living available, next to the bible. It is based on the premise that if we could go to heaven and see how they live there, then we could live that way on earth.

The good news is that God teaches us in the New Testament how to live like they do in heaven. Because life here is not perfect like heaven, we still have stress and pain, but God has given us all of the spiritual blessings of heaven to enjoy now through a relationship with Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:3).

Driving Through Heaven will teach you to apply God's New Testament principles and skills to life that can greatly reduce earthly suffering, and increase your experience of the fruit of God's Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, rest, etc. (see Galatians 5:22-23 for the full list).

For more about the book read the sections above and click here to read the Table of Contents, What You Will Learn (Introduction), and Sample Chapters.

Why did Mark write it?

Mark's answer: "The original reason was that I was searching for a way to help my counseling clients quickly learn what they needed. But I couldn't find a book to give my clients that included all of God's New Testament principles and skills for living, which is what I was teaching them. So God told me to write it. Many excellent books on Christian living are based on just one area of God's design for living, like prayer, communications, or dealing with depression.  I've concisely included in one guidebook everything that you need to know to experience more of God and more of the fruit of his Holy Spirit."

"The second reason I wrote it is to provide local churches with a handbook for teaching Christian life and ministry skills. The lack of skills training in churches means that Christ followers do not have the skills to reach out to the unchurched, invite them to become part of God's family, and train them to follow Jesus.  This lack of skills training is the primary cause for the closing of 7,000 churches annually in the U.S. This book is a basic refresher for long-time Christians, and a primer for new believers."

What topics are included?

The actual Table of Contents from the book is included on the Sample Chapters page.

Can I read some sample chapters?

Sure. Seven sample chapters are included on the Sample Chapters page, plus the Introduction, titled What You Will Learn.

When was the book be published?

The book was released July 1, 2016 in paperback and eBook formats--including Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and PDF

How many pages does it have?

270 pages, including 475 endnotes, which are mostly scripture references.

Are there scripture references?

There are 500 references to the bible that support Mark's points, cite the location of scriptural quotations, and provide a place for you to begin your own study of a topic that interests you.

Does it include questions for discussion?

Each chapter ends with Questions for Meditation or Discussion.

How long did it take Mark to write it?

In December, 1996, God called Mark to write the book, and he began work shortly thereafter, but it wasn’t until 2000 that he produced the first three chapters of the first of three major drafts. He worked on-and-off on it after that until 2010, when he began the 2nd draft and completed it one year later.

Changes in the way people prefer to read books, led to a major revision as the 3rd draft, which was completed with the help of a couple of professional editors early in 2015. After a break of several months to create the book website, Mark began proofreading that summer, with the help of two proofreaders.

All together, he estimates he has devoted over 2,000 hours to the writing project, and many more to the website and a fundraising campaign to independently publish it as part of his Gardner Coaching brand.

Why isn't a hardcover edition available?

Hardcovers require a different printing process from paperbacks and expensive warehouse storage of copies, so hardcovers will not be available at this time because of the higher publishing costs associated with them.


Where can I buy copies?

Local bookstores everywhere can order paperback copies on request.

Online retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others carry both paperback and digital editions; other online stores have only the digital version.

How much does the book cost?

The 270-page paperback version has a retail price of $19.97 and digital, e-book editions are $9.97. Some retailers sell them for less.

Is the author working on any other books?

Mark is currently working on a book for marriages in crisis, What One Person Can Do to Fix Their Marriage (Or Any Other Relationship), to be published as a digital (PDF) book in 2018. Right now, prior to publishing, you can read each manuscript chapter as he finishes them at his blog, at www.GardnerCoaching.com.

A sequel to Driving Through Heaven, which will be a how-to book on Jesus' disciple-making method, will be released in 2019.

Is the author available to speak to my church or organization?

Yes. Mark has taught workshops and spoken at dozens of churches and public locations on over 100 different topics related to Christian living and life within God's church family. He also looks forward to meeting book clubs and small groups by phone or video call (e.g., Skype). Contact him to discuss appearing at your church or organization or meeting your group. Find his contact information on the Contact page, or use the form below.

Does the author offer personal life coaching?

Yes, Mark does Christian life-skills coaching by phone with people everywhere, and in his office for those that live near his Eaton, Ohio home. The first session is free, and more information can be found at his ministry website, www.GardnerCoaching.com. You may contact Mark Gardner at his email address Mark@GardnerCoaching.com or by using the form below.

Does Mark offer training in disciple making?

He provides training in Jesus' method of disciplemaking that the early Church used to grow from 120 on Pentecost to over 30 million active members by A.D. 310. Mark can train you or your church how to start small-group disciple making that can experience that same type of growth, including training on how to coach groups and mentor people, and how to plant new groups. He plans to write a book on this topic to be released in 2019.

Contact Mark Gardner

Ask a Question

photo of the book cover of mark gardner's paperback and digital book

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