Book Review: AHA by Kyle Idleman

This post is a review of Kyle Idleman’s new book, AHA Awakening, Honesty, Action. You can find the book HERE.

There are moments in our lives that forever change who we are. Moments like this have the power to change the course of our lives FOREVER. Kyle Idleman calls these AHA moments. Let’s face it, left to our own devices we WILL get into trouble. It’s in our very nature, without the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we simply can’t help ourselves. This truth can lead us to greater and greater trouble. As we move further from God and closer to disaster God often sends us messages, trying to get our attention. For many of us it is not until disaster hits that we finally hear God calling us. This book talks about such moments and seeks to help us here the warning messages that God is sending us before we “hit rock bottom.” Let’s take a brief look at what this book has to offer.

What is AHA? Kyle defines AHA as, “a sudden recognition that leads to an honest moment that brings about lasting change.” (1) This week I spoke with a woman who is currently going through a divorce. She said that her ex-husband referred to the divorce as “being hit with a baseball bat.” For him the divorce was an AHA moment. In that moment he came to a “sudden recognition that leads to an honest moment.” Time will only tell if this leads to lasting change for him, but I think we can count on him being at least a little different from here out.

“That’s where the AHA journey begins. Not with a determined commitment to self-help but with a humble request for God’s help.” (2) People are desperate for HELP. If you don’t believe me go to your local book store and check out the self help section. A quick search on for “self help” returned over 450,000 results. This certainly looks like desperation to me. The problem is that people are looking to themselves and to other PEOPLE for help. But, the truth is that we need to humbly seek God to bring about REALLY, LASTING CHANGE in our lives.

God’s trying to get our attention. As I mentioned above, God uses many things to try to get our attention, before we hit rock bottom. Here are some of the ways that Kyle lists that God tries to get our attention:

  • His Word at just the right time: The Bible has a unique ability to speak to where you are and what is going on in your life. I can’t tell you the how many times I have read over a passage that I have read before and found something new.
  • The words of someone in your life: After David had an adulterous affair and then killed the woman’s husband a friend approached him and told him of his wrong doing. This was David’s AHA moment.
  • Future consequences: Sometimes God gives us a small taste of the consequences that await us if we keep on our current path. Kyle compares this to the TV show Scared Straight. In this show troubled kids spend a day in prison to get a glimpse of what their future can look like if they don’t change their ways. God does the same thing with us at times. (Want more examples? Read the book)
  • The example of others before us: If we learn from the mistakes of others, than we have chance to avoid making the same mistakes.

A moment of desperation is often what it takes to get us turned back to God.”Oftentimes, our desperate moments reveal our inherent dependance on the Father.” (3) Unfortunately, we often ignore all the messages that God is sending us until it is too late. When we finally become desperate, we turn to God. It may be painful, but if we are to turn away from our current path and turn to God, sometimes we have to get to the point of desperation.

Is this book for you? In this book Kyle does a great job of showing why we need these AHA moments. He shows how they can benefit us and how we can have them BEFORE we hit disaster, before we are desperate. If you are in a moment of desperation, this book can help you find your way out. If you are heading down a road that leads to disaster, this book can help you see how God  is calling you out of it and how to respond. Maybe you aren’t desperate and don’t think that you are on a road to disaster, still this book is for you.

If your interested in ordering the book you can use the link on the right side of the screen. Thanks and I hope that you found this post and this book helpful.

1.) AHA, Kyle Idleman, pg 14
2.) AHA, Kyle Idleman, pg 26
3.) AHA, Kyle Idleman, pg 62

Matt Norman

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What’s Your Story? Introduction

Recently a youth ministry leader that I am in a group with on Facebook shared his struggle over how seldom he hears the words “Thank You” from the kids he ministers to. Before I go any further let me acknowledge that this type of appreciation is not the reason that he, or most other ministry leaders, does what he does. However, it does help. I would dare say that nearly everyone in ministry has wondered if what we do matters or if anyone appreciates it. If you have never felt this then either you are very blessed or you haven’t been doing this very long.

What’s Your Story? is a new project that I have started to help those that minister to children and youth combat the discouragement that we often face. The truth is when we work with children and youth the impact that our efforts make often is not realized until many years later. This makes the discouragement we feel even harder to deal with.

So, What’s Your Story? I know that there are many people out there that have been impacted by an adult that poured into their life when they were younger. I want to hear those stories. I want to compile as many of these stories as I can in hopes of encouraging current children and youth workers.  You can share your story in a comment below or email me at I can’t wait to read your stories and share them with others. If you have a story that you would rather remain anonymously, just let me know and I will “change the names to protect the innocent.” In any case I will use first names only and will avoid other specifics. It’s the stories that matter, not the names or locations.

Matt Norman

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The Making of A Champion

I LOVE FOOTBALL. If I could I would watch it all day Saturday and all day Sunday. Oh, and of course Monday night. I like college football. I like NFL. I even like college football and little league football. Basically, I love football. These days the news is filled with stories of NFL players breaking the law. The stories of violence, drunk driving, drugs and other offenses can lead us to believe that every man in the NFL is in some sort of trouble. I realize that the reason we hear so much more about the bad stuff is because it just makes better TV. The media are seldom interested in reporting the good things that these men do, especially if this good is motivated by a relationship with Christ. Recently I saw a video that boldly went against this trend.

The Making of A Champion is a 15 minute video that was the brain child of Clint Gresham. Unless you are a hardcore Seattle Seahawks fan you probably will not have heard of Clint. He plays in a important, but not often talked about position of long snapper. But, the position he plays is not that important, the video he has made IS. This video features some of the players and coaches from the Seattle Seahawks as they talk about their lives, their love for football, and most importantly their relationship with Christ. In a high quality, professional video these men each talk about their life with football, their struggles in life and how they came to know Christ.

A repeating theme for each of these men is how they experience great success at different levels in football, yet still felt empty. They still felt that something was missing. Through this experience they realized that, while they continue to love football, their relationship with Christ is much greater.

The video ends with Clint Gresham sharing the gospel and inviting viewers to receive salvation through Jesus Christ.

If you are a youth pastor looking for a Super Bowl related lesson, this is it. If you are a pastor looking for a video to punctuate your Super Bowl or football themed sermon this Sunday, this is it. If you are a church hosting a Super Bowl party and looking for something to do during half time, this is it.

Check it out for yourself at

Matt Norman

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Greatest Parenting Struggles: Single Parenting

This entire series is based on me asking my Facebook friends that are parents about what their greatest struggles were in parenting. Here is the one for today:

It is hard raising them by myself. I make the rules and boundaries alone. Hard with no help.”

Before I get to far into this let me say that my parents are still married as am I. I did not grow up in a single parent nor amI a single parent. So, I do not have personal experience from WITHIN single parent family. However, I have many friends that are single parents. I have worked with a number of single parents within my church as well as friends from outside my church. So, whatever I say from here out consider through the filter of this experience.

The quote above is something that just about every single parent has experienced as some point. I am married to a great woman who is a great mother and parenting is still hard. I can’t imagine how much more difficult parenting without such a great partner would be. With that thought in mind I think that this is the key to surviving as a single parent, PARTNERSHIP. In a home where both parents are around and involved a partnership already exists. However, when there is only one parent, there is no partnership. Here are some thoughts on what the single parent can do about that.

Parents, go to church. I know that this may seem simplistic and you may even be wondering what this has to do with parenting, but let me explain. I don’t mean simply to start ATTENDING church. Rather I mean that you should get plugged in. Get involved in what is going on. Get to know some people. Make some friends. You may be wondering how this can help you parent your children alone. Let me explain. As I said above, one of the keys here is partnership. For me that partnership is easy because my wife has my back. For the single parent this partnership is not so easy. This is where the church comes in. The point of getting involved, getting to know people, and making friends is that you then have a basis for your partnership.

Simply attending, even getting involved is not enough. You must invite people to be your partners. You must be open and honest about your struggles. You must be willing to let people help you. Many of the single parents I know have a rough exterior. They block people out. Let people become a part of your life that can help you.

Church, step it up. Single parents need our help. There are children and youth all around us whose mother or father is not around. That’s where we can help. These boys need men who will stand in where their own fathers will not. They need men who will show them what it means to be a man of God. Likewise there are girls who need women to step up and show them how to be a woman of God. These girls need men who would show them how a REAL MAN treats a woman. Chances are, if their father is not around, then they have never seen a good example of this. Boys need to see the same thing.

In conclusion: Parenting is meant to be a partnership. It is never INTENDED to be done solo. For some of us this happens easier than for others. I have been fortunate to be pared with a mate that was willing to fight through the tough times and trust me there have been some. I have been fortunate to be pared with a mate that shared my desire to grow together and become better parents and better spouses. For those of us that have been so fortunate then having a partner in parenting it easy. For the rest they need some help. I think the people of the church can stand in this gap and become this partner.

Matt Norman

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Kidzmatter Magazine. New Name! New Look! Same Great Content!

Last week I got my first issue of Kidzmatter Magazine. Many of you may be familiar with it under it’s old name, K! Magazine. The wonderful folks at Kidzmatter have recently worked very hard to provide a fresh, new look to this familiar magazine. They also gave it a new name, Kidzmatter Magazine. With this new look and new name come the unending dedication to quality content aimed at equipping children’s ministry leaders for a greater impact in the lives of kids. The fine folks at Kidzmatter are well known for the dedication to providing tools for children’s ministry leaders. This new look is no different.

What can you expect?

  • High quality content written by people in the trenches of ministry to children.
  • Practical tools aimed at helping you do an even better job of reaching children with the Gospel.
  • A great new look. High quality pictures and lots of great color along with a convenient lay-out make for a magazine that is easy to read and a useful tool.
  • Advertising that is helpful without being intrusive. I have read magazines that seemed more about the ads than the content. This is not one of those.

These are just a few of the things that you will love about Kidzmatter magazine. But, my favorite thing in the January/February issue is the VBS guide. I have personally spent many hours researching all the different VBS options available and trying to determine which would be the best fit for my church. Even with the research that I have done I was never able to come up with a compilation of all the available VBS resources that is as complete as this one. Not to mention how difficult it is to compare these many different VBS options side-by-side. Well, the Kidzmatter team has done the hard work for you. They have compiled a listing of what has to be just about every VBS option out there short of writing your own. They have evaluated each one and placed there findings side-by-side so that you can compare them directly. In addition to the side-by-side comparison in the magazine, this issue comes with a giant poster listing all of the options that they covered. I’m a very visual person. Having all of these in one place, in a format that I can hang on the wall and see all of them at once is perfect. Every children’s ministry leader in the country needs this resource.

For more information on the new magazine, to order yours and for daily updates from other children’s ministry bloggers like me, check out their website at

Matt Norman

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