Andrew Smith's Blog

My name is Andrew. Come and have a look inside my life and watch me share what is on my heart.

Expectant Parents: Preparing Together for the Journey of Parenthood By Suzanne Hadley Gosselin Book Review

My Review:


I would recommend this amazing book to every single couple that is expecting a baby and to all parents in general. Let me just share that, I’m not in the target audience yet, I’m not married and I don’t have kids yet. I requested to review this book because I enjoy gathering as much knowledge as I can about being an effective parent ahead of time. I plan to reread this book in the future whenever we’re expecting our first child or child(s). I appreciated the advice she gave to first time parents concerning the importance of communicating with your spouse and making sure you talk about other things besides just focusing on always taking about the baby. It’s critical to still take time to listen to what’s on your spouse heart and mind. I also liked her guidance on staying connected during the pregnancy with some helpful suggestions such as having a getaway to add some romance before the baby arrives and it doesn’t have to be an expensive trip. I really loved how she guided readers through the many different pregnancy stages and how to handle them. This book is an immense benefit to parents and this will teach them all about how their lives will change once they have a baby!  


“I received a review copy of Expectant Parents from Litfuse for this review.”


About the book: 
Many books focus on prenatal development and the health of a mom-to-be. While Expectant Parents does touch on important issues of pregnancy, its core purpose is help expectant parents understand key issues related to the arrival of a new child in the home, offering practical assistance as they prepare themselves for long-term family success.
It's often said that babies don't come with an instruction manual. This book actually provides parents with information and practical steps for writing their own---as they work to create the kind of home and family they choose to build. This includes strengthening their own marriage relationship, setting plans and expectations for parenthood, increasing communication, and preparing for the new stage of their family life that is just ahead. Ideal for first-time parents, this book would also be helpful for couples wanting to explore and prepare for the emotional, physical, and spiritual life changes that come with the arrival of any new child into the family.
Purchase a copy:
About the author: 

Suzanne Hadley Gosselin is the former editor of Clubhouse Jr. magazine for Focus on the Family. She is now a regular contributor to Thriving Family magazine and, and the recipient of several Evangelical Press Association awards for her writing and editorial work. Gosselin writes children's resources for David C Cook, Zondervan and Harvest House. She is also the author of Faithgirlz Handbook: Let Your Light Shine Through and is currently working on the God's Got an Answer for That children's devotional and activity books to be released in January 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and biblical theology from Multnomah University. Suzanne and her husband, Kevin, who is a children's pastor, have three children and make their home in Colorado.
Find Suzanne online: website, Facebook, Twitter

Read what others are saying:

While many books for new parents focus on prenatal development and the health of a mom-to-be, Suzanne Hadley Gosselin's Expectant Parents' core purpose is to help new parents understand key issues related to the arrival of a new child in the home, offering practical assistance as they prepare themselves for long-term family success.
Learn ways to strengthen your marriage relationship, set plans and expectations for parenthood, increase communication, and prepare for the new stage of your family life. Pick up a copy for yourself or for expectant friends and enter for a chance to win an iPad Mini!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • Expectant Parents from Suzanne Hadley Gosselin and Focus on the Family
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 2nd. Winner will be announced November 3rd on Suzanne's website here.

Citizens: Your Role in the Alternative Kingdom by Rob Peabody Book Review

My Review:


I would recommend this amazing book to readers who are longing to live the abundant life God has created for them to live. Rob Peabody encouraged readers to join the awaking and to repossess their Jerusalem. I liked how he reminded readers that we can live an extraordinary life and doing what God has called us to do. I felt exhilarated when he shared about how he made the challenging move to London from the United States. He showed breathtaking courage in stepping out of his comfort zone. I really enjoyed how he used the term “citizens” as being a part of His Kingdom. He went in great detail about how Caleb and Joshua wasn’t afraid to overcome the Nephilim and how the Israelites were scared of the giants. They knew their role in the Kingdom and they knew God’s astonishing power! I appreciated how he included tons of scriptures verses throughout the book to guide readers. If you’re looking for a book to help you in your walk with God, then read this book!


About the book: 
For Rob Peabody, the young pastor at a mega-church in southern USA, the realization that his faith had little real connection with the world around him meant that something had to change. He redirected his church towards the poor on their doorstep and then took the larger step of moving to the UK to establish the missional fellowship 'Awaken'.
In Citizen he outlines the Kingdom-centered identity that is given to followers of Jesus. It's a wake-up call to the church in the West. Jesus' death and resurrection initiates and invites people into a life of so much more than the status quo. God is re-building, re-newing, and re-creating that which is broken and marred by sin, and he is doing this --- setting things right in the world --- through Jesus. As citizens of the Kingdom, we have been saved and set apart for this work. We have a new allegiance, a changed identity, and a new mission as we seek to establish the rule of God on earth as it is in Heaven.
Purchase a copy at the Awaken website and get a FREE study guide. Bundle discounts also available:
About the author: 

Previously the lead campus pastor at an American mega-church, Rob Peabody is now director of the Awaken Movement who left his church in the Texan Bible-belt to start and lead a Fresh Expression of church seeking to engage unreached 20's and 30's in northeast London.
Find Rob online: website, Facebook, Twitter


What others are saying:


The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard By Kara Tippetts Book Review

My Review:

I would recommend this life changing book especially to anyone who has cancer and they are looking for some guidance during this difficult time. Even if you don’t have cancer, this book covered the important topics of having peace during life’s challenges. If you feel like you’re spinning in a hurricane that’s completely out of your control, then this book is written for you. Peace is obtainable and God can give you His incredible peace. I appreciated how Kara Tippetts was very honest and real about her feelings on having cancer. She called cancer as a gift which was an enormous surprise to me. Cancer isn’t something that I would declare a gift and she had a great perspective. She learned to enjoy life to the fullest and to cherish every single moment with her husband and her children.


I liked how she enclosed her testimony about how she came to know Jesus as her personal Savior. She also wasn’t afraid to share about how her father influenced her life in a negative way by spanking his children and she choose to extend forgiveness to him. Forgiveness and holding on to grudges is something I struggle with and this book helped me to learn to let go of the hurts and choose to forgive even though it’s tough.


The book also covered her marriage and how she met her husband. She revealed that marriage has a way of unveiling each other’s personal quirks. A pastor taught her the importance of 1 Cor. 13:4 and how critical kindness is in love. Being kind to your spouse, when you’re angry, and you’re both fighting and, you would rather not see that person at the moment almost seems impossible. But choosing to respond with kindness and displaying love could dramatically change your marriage and relationships.


“I received a review copy of The Hardest Peace from Litfuse for this review.”



About the book: 
A young mother battling cancer invites readers to embrace grace in every season of life.
Kara Tippetts knows the mundane but rich days of mothering four kids, the joy of watching her children grow.and the devastating reality of stage-four cancer.
In The Hardest Peace, she invites readers to see the grace of the everyday in all seasons of life and to live well even when the living is hard. As the thousands of readers of her blog know, Tippetts explores the hardest questions of life with rare beauty and honesty. Most of all, she draws them back to the God who is present, in the ordinary and the suffering, and shapes every life into the best story of all.
Purchase a copy:
About the Author: 

Kara Tippetts and her husband, Jason, have four children and lead a church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Cancer is only part of Kara's story. Her real fight is to truly live while facing a crushing reality. 
Find Kara online: website, Facebook, Twitter

Read what others are saying:

Kara Tippetts' brave and touching book, The Hardest Peace is launching with a blogger challenge. Celebrate with Kara by joining the #HardestPeace conversation and share how you are finding grace in the midst of the everyday and in life's hard moments.
The Hardest Peace, Kara Tippetts

Share your stories of everyday grace in the midst of life’s difficulties and enter to win a #HardestPeace prize pack:

  • A book club pack (10 copies of The Hardest Peace for you and your small group!)
  • A handcrafted candle
  • Journal
  • Custom Etsy The Hardest Peace print and coffee mug
To enter to win, simply blog about your #HardestPeace story and then submit the link to your post via the link-up (or see link in the Rafflecopter below). Plus stop by others’ stories to leave encouragement and offer prayers as we all travel the journey of life together and discover that the hardest peace is often the most fulfilling peace. Then follow Kara online (via the Rafflcopter) for additional entries into the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado Book Review

My Thoughts:

I would recommend this amazing book to anyone who is struggling in their prayer life and they are wanting to become closer to their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I liked how Max Lucado wrote in a way that was very practical and easy for readers to comprehend. I liked how he illustrated that when children talk to their father, they use simple language and they don’t have to use the most vocabulary words. I learned that prayer can be simple and it doesn’t have to be dramatic and I don’t have to pray to impress God or anyone else. He wants me to pray what’s in my heart and in my mind. Max reminded readers to come to God like a little child and I think this is critical. This book personally couldn’t have been written in a better time because we all know the world is in chaos, fear is trying to overwhelm us, and trials are trying to overtake us. Prayer is the key to communicating with God and this book can be a huge benefit to you, if you take its message to heart! If you’re looking a book to help you in your prayer life, then read this one!

“I received a review copy of Before Amen from Litfuse for this review.”



About the book: 
We all pray . . . some.
We pray to stay sober, centered, or solvent. When the lump is deemed malignant. When the money runs out before the month does. When the marriage is falling apart. We pray.
But wouldn't we like to pray more? Better? Stronger? With more fire, faith, and fervency?
Yet we have kids to feed, bills to pay, deadlines to meet. The calendar pounces on our good intentions like a tiger on a rabbit. And what about our checkered history with prayer? Uncertain words. Unmet expectations. Unanswered requests.
We aren't the first to struggle with prayer. The first followers of Jesus needed prayer guidance too. In fact, prayer is the only tutorial they ever requested.
And Jesus gave them a prayer. Not a lecture on prayer. Not the doctrine of prayer. He gave them a quotable, repeatable, portable prayer. Couldn't we use the same?
In Before Amen best-selling author Max Lucado joins readers on a journey to the very heart of biblical prayer, offering hope for doubts and confidence even for prayer wimps. Distilling prayers in the Bible down to one pocket-sized prayer, Max reminds readers that prayer is not a privilege for the pious nor the art of a chosen few. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child. Let the conversation begin.

Pre-order a copy of Before Amen by 9/29 and receive a FREE ebook copy of Max's best-selling Second Chances: More Stories of Grace.
Purchase a copy:
About the author: More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.

Find Max online: website, Twitter,

What Others Are Saying:

Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child. In Before Amen, best-selling author Max Lucado joins readers on a journey to the very heart of biblical prayer, offering hope for doubts, and confidence even for prayer wimps. Let the conversation begin.

Be sure to enter the Before Amen iPad Mini giveaway. AND if you pre-order a copy of Before Amen by 9/29, you'll receive a FREE ebook copy of Max’s best-selling Second Chances: More Stories of Grace.
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • Before Amen by Max Lucado
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 29th. Winner will be announced September 30th on the Litfuse blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit the Litfuse blog on the 30th to see if you won! (Or better yet, subscribe to their blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

7 Ways to Be Her Hero: The One Your Wife Has Been Waiting For By Doug Fields

In 7 Ways to Be Her Hero, Doug Fields discussed how men can improve their marriage and they can become their wife’s personal hero. This book is primary written towards men but women could still benefit from reading this book. Doug Fields opened up about his own personal failures and frustrations in loving his wife completely like Christ loves her. The first chapter, he looked into what is breaking and hurting our marriages. He also explored the meaning behind Ecclesiastes 2:11 and this verse basically means Solomon was pursuing after everything he wanted to do and he realized, he was chasing things like the wind. And in the second chapter he revealed what scripture verses relate to marriage and how God is strongly for marriage. The rest of the book was divided into the actual seven ways to be your wife’s hero and they had a part A and a part B. Part B of the seven chapters was designed to address if your wife had a big problem in that category. Some of the chapters included: “Don’t Say Everything You Think”, “Say What is Powerful”, “Go Big with Small Things”, “Be Liberal with Touch… but Not That Way!”, “Shepherd Your Wife’s Heart”, and much more.
I would recommend this life changing book to all men. This book is especially helpful to all of the husbands that are striving to become the best husband that they can be. I will admit that I’m not married yet and I read this book in order to prepare for my future marriage whenever that may occur. Doug Fields did an excellent job in describing how men are born to chase after something and most of us have a problem with chasing after work too much. I liked how he stressed that it is important to work but we also must make time for our wife and kids. I really enjoyed the “One Heart Principle” that Doug discussed and how it is critical to remember that we must live as one with our spouse. I appreciated that Doug Fields wrote in a way that men could connect with the content and it was very relatable. If you’re looking for a book to help you to improve your marriage, then read this one!
"I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program."  
If you would like to purchase a copy of 7 Ways to Be Her Hero, check it out on

A Christian Survival Guide: A Lifetime to Faith and Growth By Ed Cyzewski Book Review

A Christian Survival Guide was written to instill principles in our daily walk with Christ and to help us not just to survive until we meet Jesus face to face but to also grow deeper in their relationship with Him. The first part of the book covered Christian beliefs for example: prayer, the Bible, hell, Apocalypse, and so much more. The second part of the book also enclosed Christian practices for instance: sin addiction, money, community, and more.


One of my favorite chapters was the chapter on prayer. I liked how Ed Cyzewski shared Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplications (also referred to as ACTS) method to praying to our loving Creator. This way of praying is a wonderful reminder that we can pray for our own needs but we also pray for others. I connected with how Ed revealed he struggled with always feeling like he never could pray enough and when he did it would be many times repetitious. As a child, I would also constantly restate the same prayer over and over again. It took me countless years to realize my prayers doesn’t always to be said the precise same way. I also enjoyed the story he shared about Bill Graham and his dramatic big bold praying in regard to his radio show. This was the first time I heard that story and this will inspire readers.


I would recommend this life changing book to anyone who is sick and tired of barely surviving and they are ready to thrive and to run their race and to grow more in their faith. After reading this book, I have begun to pray more and to pray to God like a true friend and to study the Bible and try to become more like Christ. Ed Cyzewski did an excellent job at presenting the topics in this book and I liked how he didn’t sugarcoat the message. If you’re looking for a book to help you in your walk with Christ, then read this one!


"I received this book free from the publisher from Kregel Publications book review bloggers program."   


If you would like to purchase a copy of A Christian Survival Guide, then check it out on