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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

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

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

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