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Showing posts with label JohnEldredge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label JohnEldredge. Show all posts

Friday, 7 June 2019

Abba's Heart - Neal Lozano and Matthew Lozano - Finding Our Way Back to the Father's Delight

Abba's Heart:
Finding Our Way Back to the Father's Delight
Neal Lozano
Matthew Lozano
John Eldredge (Foreword)
John Horn (Foreword)
Chosen Books
ISBN 9780800796846
eISBN 9781441228963
ASIN B0112WVVDO



I picked up this book for a few reasons. First, I had been hearing about Neal Lozano and specifically his book Unbound for a while now. Second, My manager at work was given a copy of this book by an aunt who is a nun, who had highly recommended it. My manager knows I read and review a lot of Catholic books and he wanted to know if I had read this one. After I shared I had not but had heard good things about the author. Then I looked up the book, and it looked really intriguing. The book has a few endorsements by authors I respect. Many years ago, I had read several books, and lead several group studies based on the works of John Eldredge. In fact, there was a period between 2003 and 2006 that if I was to mention a book it was like one by Eldredge. So, seeing that he had written one of the two forwards intrigued me even more. Rather than waiting for my manager to finish the book and then read it I picked up the eBook and started reading it that night. So my third reason was the introduction by Eldredge, which was able to be read in an online preview ‘look inside’ of the book. Eldredge in his forward states:

“I tell you the truth—I began to experience the Holy Spirit using it in my own heart as I read the manuscript on a recent flight. Right there, on an airplane, in the midst of a very hectic week, I suddenly found myself drawn into a sort of sanctuary of truth. The Spirit was so present in these pages, ever so gently drawing me back to my Father’s heart in the moment. Like a drowning man coming up for air, I found myself coming to realize God’s love for me, and just what it means to be His son. Neal is right—coming home to the Father’s heart is our deepest and most desperate need.”

And reading the book in some ways feels like Reading Eldredge’s own works, but with a slightly more Catholic perspective. Father John Horn in the second forward states:

“If I will surrender each day to receiving my spiritual inheritance in and with Jesus, all will be well. He reveals the Father’s desire to strengthen and console me. This is especially true in any suffering that I am being permitted to endure. The artful prayers that are supplied with each chapter are keys that open the heart to receive more of the gift of all gifts, Abba’s affectionate embrace. As I prayed through these prayers I was very mindful that Mary was the first to respond in intimacy to the Father as she received Jesus into her womb. Her yes echoes down through history in our yes to the Father.

I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ bless you now with an increase of faith, and that you will permit yourself to receive new revelation about the Father’s affectionate care.”


And it does do a wonderful job of that. In fact one of the great strengths of this book is the prayers at the end of each chapter. The sections in this book are:

Endorsements
Epigraph
Dedication
Contents
Foreword by John Eldredge
Foreword by Fr. John Horn
Preface
Introduction
Section 1: The Way Home
Section 2: The Father’s Heart
Section 3: Coming Home
Section 4: Life in the Father’s House
Appendix: Unbound: Five Keys to Greater Freedom in Christ
Notes

Each chapter begins with a biblical verse, then contains the teaching section. And finishes with a prayer. A sample prayer from Chapter 13, ‘Empowered to Server’, is:

“Father, I am Your child, and You have given me Your Son and Your Holy Spirit. I no longer need to live under shame, believing that something is wrong with me, that I am weak or fatherless. I am Your son/daughter, and I represent You wherever I go. Show me how to stand in Your authority over sin, to live in truth and to love with Your love. I want to carry Your presence into every situation. I want to serve others with Your compassion, in the name of Jesus.”

For any Christian this book would be a wonderful read. For Christian men, especially, it is an important read. And for Catholics to have a book written with a sensitivity to our tradition along these lines is a rare find and this is an excellent volume. But I will warn you, once you finish this volume you might want to immediately plunge into Unbound.

This is a great read no matter where you are in your spiritual journey!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Neal Lozano:
Unbound: A Practical Guide to Deliverance from Evil Spirits
Unbound: Freedom in Christ Companion Guide
Resisting the Devil: A Catholic Perspective on Deliverance
The Older Brother Returns
Abba's Heart Study Guide

...

Books with Matthew Lozano:
Unbound Ministry Guidebook
Abba's Heart: Finding Our Way Back to the Father's Delight

...

Books with Ben Hatke:
Will You Bless Me?
Can God See Me in the Dark?
What Can I Give God?

...


Saturday, 3 February 2007

Waking the Dead by: John Eldredge

Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive
John Eldredge
Thomas Nelson
ISBN 0785265538

This book begins with a quote from Saint Irenaeus: "The Glory of God is Man Fully Alive." And that is really the key message of this book. God wants us to be fully alive - to live from our renewed hearts, to live from his plan for our lives. Eldredge always impresses me by the breadth and variety of sources he quotes to support his arguments and prove his points. He draws from the writings of the saints, church fathers, and from much material throughout Christian traditions. These varied sources help make the book appealing to a wider audience. Eldredge draws from such authors as: G.K. Chesterton, A.W. Tozer, William Gurnall, George Herbert, George MacDonald and many more.

The Chapters in this volume are:

Part 1: Seeing Our Way Clearly
1. Arm Yourself
2. The Eyes of the Heart
3. The Heart of all Things


Part 2: The Ransomed Heart
4. Ransomed And restored
5. The Glory Hidden in Your Heart


Part 3: The Four Streams
6. Walking with God
7. Receiving God's Intimate Counsel
8. Deep Restoration
9. Spiritual Warfare: Fighting for Your Heart
10. Setting Hearts Free: Integrating the Four Streams


Part 4: The Way of The Heart
11. Fellowships of the Heart
12. Like the Treasures of the Kingdom


I wore out a paperback edition of this book and now have the hard cover. I have read it at least 5 times and every time I read it I get more out of it.

Near the beginning, Eldredge, states: "There are few things more crucial to us than our own lives. And there are few things we are less clear about." p.1, then he goes on to say, "We're not fully convinced that God's offer to us is life. We have forgotten that the heart is central. And we had no idea that we were born into a world at war." p.2 The book only gets better from there.

Eldredge takes us on a tour through our life as it is, and as it could be with Jesus as both our Lord and Savior, with Jesus as our friend. The book will take you through your past to see your heart and how it got the way it is, and how to heal it and move forward and grow in Christ.


This book is an excellent read, and the Guidebook will only help you get more out of it. Eldredge declares: "Friends, we are now in the midst of an epic battle, a brutal and vicious war against an Enemy who knows his time is short. Open war is upon you, whether you would risk it or not." p.181. After reading this book, I spent months praying a new Jesus Prayer: 'Lord Jesus Christ, bring me fully alive, Lord Jesus Christ, restore me to glory!' It has transformed how I see the world. There are still times when I do not catch on right away that something is spiritual warfare, but I do so quicker and pray more for my family, my friends and myself. This book really deepened and widened my prayer life.


Eldredge ends this book with a sample chapter of his earlier book Journey of Desire, and much like Celtic spirituality, his writings seem to be taking a cyclical nature. Wild at Heart shows us what a Man's heart can be, Waking the Dead shows us how to come fully alive and live in community, and leads back to Journey of Desire. Now that we have learned to live in this battle we need to know what our heart really desires.

Many people do not like Eldredge's writings; he is accused of open theology, and of not being Christian and many other things. Yet from my reading of his writings and knowing many of the sources he draws from, I would disagree, and say, give his words a try. You can find the gem in any book even if you don't agree with it all. And I say there are more gems in Eldredge's writings than chaff.

Review of Waking the Dead
Review of A Guidebook to Waking the Dead

Friday, 2 February 2007

Waking the Dead: Guidebook by: John Eldredge

Waking the Dead: Guidebook
John Eldredge
Thomas Nelson
ISBN 0785263098

This book is co-written with Craig McConnell. It is a good book that will help you take Waking the Dead to a whole new level. It follows the book chapter by chapter and is in a nice easy format to use. Each chapter begins and ends with a check on 'Where is your heart now?' Kind of checking in on where you are. When I worked through this with my buddy Pastor Bob, this was our check in where we were. While working through this, we both went through hard times; I lost a job I loved and his wife was let go and spent a long time off of work, right after they bought a new house. This book helped us process those events and many others in our presents and our pasts.

This workbook has fewer subsections than the Wild At Heart Field Manual, The areas
are the:

  • Heart Monitor
  • A First Reaction
  • The Big Ideas
It used pillows/clouds for Big Ideas to outline where the chapter will go and then has sections for each. To Clarify goes deeper than the book on specific points or outlines them in a deeper level.

As a workbook there is lots of space for answers, even going back and writing answers again and again, each time you work through it. Bob liked a n
ew feature and I did not, for some of the tougher questions have examples from members of the Ransomed Heart team. Bob liked those because they gave you more food-for-thought when you were unsure how to answer. I found them annoying because I often took the question a different direction they did, and if I read them first, it often limited how I perceived the questions.

Overall this book is an excellent resource for working with the book Waking the Dead and for growing into a deeper understanding of your life in Christ.


Review of Waking the Dead
Review of A Guidebook to Waking the Dead

Monday, 29 January 2007

Wild At Heart by: John Eldredge

Wild At Heart
John Eldredge
Thomas Nelson
ISBN 0785268839

This book was my first introduction to John Eldredge's thoughts. I have read it four times since starting the first time in 2003. It is considered by some the new classic on how to be a man, and more specifically, how to be a Christian man.

Eldredge's main premise is that men and women were created differently, and that we were created with specific roles, or character traits that we need to nourish if we are to be who God wants us to be. His main 4 areas are that a man needs:

  1. A Wound to Heal
  2. A Battle to Fight
  3. An Adventure to Live
  4. A Beauty to Rescue
He unpacks each of these in a variety of ways. I have read this book, worked through the Field Manual and the DVD curriculum series by myself, with one close friend, and then facilitated it in a group setting. Most men were hesitant to embrace all the ideas yet many came around by the time we were half way through the book.

"Deep in a man's heart are some fundamental questions that simply cannot be answered at a kitchen table. Who am I? What am I made of? What am I destined for?" p. 5

"The plan from the beginning of time was that his father would lay the foundation for a young boy's heart, and pass on to him that essential knowledge and confidence in his strength." p.62

"He created Adam for adventure, battle and beauty; he created us for a unique place in his story and he is committed to bringing us back to the original design." p.103

"You are a new creation in Christ. The New Testament calls you a saint, a holy one, a son of God. In the core of your being you are a good man. Yes, there is a war within us, but it is a civil war." p.145

These are but a few samples of the writing from the book. The one draw- back of the
DVD curriculum is that it does not follow the book exactly, and with 12 chapters in the book and field manual that follow each other exactly and 8 in the DVD, it doesn't seem weighted evenly.

Check it out; it will be worth it.

Review of Wild At Heart
Review of Wild At Heart Field Manual
Review of Wild At Heart Multi-Media Facilitators Kit

Sunday, 28 January 2007

Wild At Heart Field Manual by: John Eldredge

Wild At Heart Field Manual
John Eldredge
Thomas Nelson
ISBN 0785265740

This is the field manual for the book Wild At Heart. Mine is very worn from having been worked through 4 times. This is a great resource if you are working through Wild At Heart, either by yourself or in a group. It will help you really examine and work through the book.


This workbook is well laid out with lots of room for answers, and a number of little sections to help you on your journey as you work through it. Some of these supplemental sections are:

  • A Break in the Clouds
  • From the Map
  • Warning!
  • Dispatch
  • Getting Your Bearings
Each chapter which parallels the book, begins with a 'Gut Reaction' - what is your first take on that chapter in the book? This helps set the bearings for where you will go in that chapter. As you work through it you will be drawn deeper and deeper into the masculine journey.

Eldredge begins each chapter with quotes that span church history and denominations. He must be one of the most widely read men I have encountered. He draws from that breadth of knowledge to show a variety of views on topics and tries to help you see where God is wanting to work in your life.

The one drawback, if you use it in conjunction with the DVD curriculum, is that the DVD does not follow the book exactly, and with 12 chapters in the book and field manual that follow each other exactly, and 8 in the DVD, it doesn't seem weighted evenly.

The Field Manual is indispensable if you are going to work through the DVDs and is a great supplement to the original book. For you, or other men in your life, this book will be a great tool on your journey to authentic Christian manhood.

Review of Wild At Heart
Review of Wild At Heart Field Manual
Review of Wild At Heart Multi-Media Facilitators Kit

Saturday, 27 January 2007

Wild At Heart Multi-Media Facilitator's Kit by: John Eldredge


Wild At Heart Multi-Media Facilitator's Kit:
A Band of Brothers (DVD)
John Eldredge
Thomas Nelson
ISBN-10: 1400200865
ISBN-13: 9781400200863

This is an excellent study series for a group of men. The one drawback of the DVD curriculum is that it does not follow the book exactly, and with 12 chapters in the book and field manual that follow each other exactly, and 8 in the DVD, is doesn't seem weighted evenly. Yet even with that against it, this is an awesome series.

I first worked through this series by myself, then with one close friend - a pastor I know. Then both he and I led different groups through it: I a small group at my home, and he with the men in his church on Sunday evenings. Later he and I jointly did a weekend retreat to refresh the material for his men before they launched into some other material.

These DVDs will show you a group of men, John Eldredge and the Ransomed Heart Ministry Team, working through each of the issues raised in the book and having some frank discussions on camera, and some fun in the wilderness, as they work through these issues.

This facilitator's kit comes with the DVDs, posters to promote your event, invitations to use in smaller settings, and a manual. The manual goes through each week and suggests movie clips to start with, or music to use while gathering. It is a great resource and will help you get the most out of the book and field manual.

I would advise you not to try to use this without the men having the book and field manual, because it will be frustrating and will severely limit how much you can get out of the material. It is really designed for, and functions best as, a group study.

The DVDs are well done and very professional, the gag reel is hilarious, and some of the outtakes will have you on the floor laughing. It is not all super serious; there is a lot of fun as these men bonded further while filming this. Watch them launch their cell phones with a skeet shooter and shoot them out of the sky.

This tool will help you become a better man, husband, father, and son. Worth the time, effort, and money.

Review of Wild At Heart
Review of Wild At Heart Field Manual
Review of Wild At Heart Multi-Media Facilitators Kit

Friday, 14 October 2005

The Ransomed Heart by: John Eldredge

The Ransomed Heart
John Eldredge
Thomas Nelson Books
October 2005


John is currently one of the controversial voices in Christianity. Yet not in the way most are; those on the left and those on the right dislike him equally. If you do a Google search on John Eldredge and Wild at Heart, you will get sites praising him as a new voice for Christianity and for men, and just as many condemning him and his writings as heretical. John is best known for his book Wild at Heart, which has been sweeping through churches across North America and the world. On the community forum on his ministry’s website, http://www.ransomedheart.com/forum/ there are members from around the world.

What is this book about? It is a devotional reader, it has 365 meditations or excerpts from his other writings, The Sacred Romance, Wild At Heart, Waking the Dead, Journey of Desire, Epic and Captivating. This book would be a great primer on John’s thought or as a reminder for a fan who has read his works. It’s like borrowing a book from a friend who has underlined the best passages and you skim those to get the guts of the book. This is “the guts” of his full progression of thought.

You might ask what is the basic idea of his works? I would say that it is three-fold; first that our hearts are good, second that we need to learn to listen to our hearts, and finally we need to be living from our true hearts or our truest self. Waking The Dead begins with a quote “The Glory of God is man fully alive,” Saint Irenaeus. One of the things I like about this book, and all of John’s writings, is that he draws from such varied sources; he loves to quote from movies and use movie illustrations, and he draws from a wide range of Christian sources- the desert fathers, Thomas Merton, C.S. Lewis, Chesterton and many, many more.

This book would be great to get a feel for what the controversy is all about, or to keep beside your bed and randomly open each night for a little reminder that your heart is good and that it matters to God.

(First Published in Imprint 2005-10-14 as 'Small Reminders of Faith')