I had read Not A Fan by this author; when I saw this book, I knew I needed to buy and read it. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and for the most part, it is easy to read and understand his message. I've seen the story of the Prodigal Son used in other books, but not like the author does. All of us have wandered away from our Father, into a 'far country' to waste themselves; I did it many times before being a christian (still do), but I learned to 'come to my senses' and go home to Him. I 'go home' much quicker than I used to. He is always there, to love me, embrace me with HIS love/grace/mercy back into fellowship. I recommend this book.
In my estimation, this is Kyle Idleman's best work to date. AHA is easy to read because of his humorous style and contemporary illustrations. And, even amid the humor, there is real Biblical content. AHA contains substantive Biblical material and numerous illustrations - from characters throughout the Bible - who experienced their own AHA moment.
I serve as the chaplain at our county jail and I will be giving away dozens of copies of AHA in the years to come. However, AHA isn't just for the down and out. The book's "surprise" ending, insures that every reader should be confronted with their own, ongoing need for AHA!
This is not a self-help book, Idleman says. It is a God-help book.
Using the parable of the prodigal son, he frames the elements necessary to the moment that changes everything.
A sudden awakening
When God's word and the Holy Spirit bring these three elements together, there is a God-given moment, AHA, that changes life.
We go to a distant country - any place in our lives where we have walked away from God. (He looks at why we do so.) An alarm sounds. We have a realization and we suddenly come to our senses. (He looks at how this might happen.) We take an honest look at ourselves. (He relates why this is so necessary and why and how we attempt to avoid it.) We realize it's time to do something. (He explains all the reasons we don't.)
Idleman tells lots of stories. Some are his own (like being told his right ear sticks out farther than his left). Many are of other people. Some are from the Bible. But there are lots of stories. And there's humor. It lightens up the serious nature of the topic, I suppose, but I found it detracted from the overall impact of the book. And one humorous story totally mystified me. It's a three sentence dialog in chapter 11 with a footnote. The footnote says he made up the dialog. How ironic, I thought. In a book where the second step is "brutal honesty" the author makes up a funny dialog (a lie) and identifies it as such only in a footnote.
This is a book for Christians who know they aren't where God wants them to be, whether it be in a relationship, habit, or another behavior. Idleman gives us all the right events that need to happen, but we still have to be willing. Reading this book won't change anything unless we decide to take action.
I requested and received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this independent and honest review. The galley I read had only 127 pages and I have no idea what was missing from the longer text.
This book is excellent. I read it in about a week, but I think that the truth taught in this book will last so much longer than that (at least I pray it does). Kyle Idleman is one of my all time favorite authors. He's very authentic, includes some humor in all his books, and yet that doesn't detract from the truth he writes. AHA is about that moment when everything kind of clicks and actions begin taking place and you realize you're in the place God wants you. Kyle uses the story of the prodigal son to illustrate the AHA moment and then encourages his readers in how to reach that moment themselves. Very great book from a very great author. Would recommend to anybody.