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.

Deeply Loved: 40 Ways in 40 Days to Experience the Heart of Jesus By Keri Wyatt Kent Book Review

In Deeply Loved, Keri Wyatt Kent has written a 40 days devotional type book to encourage readers to get closer to God and to experience His complete never ending love. God loves each of us like we’re an only child. God desires to connect intimately with each one of us and you’re supposed to enjoy being in His Holy presence. Each day contains a scripture verse and a “Presence Practice” to guide readers into studying the love of Christ in more depth.


Keri Wyatt Kent made a great point about setting a part quiet time for God and being intentional about seeking God’s face. Solitude benefits us because you’re more inclined to listen to God so that we can hear the things He’s wanting to convey to us. Some of us are wanting to be closer to God and have a stronger relationship with Him. But building a relationship always requires sacrifice of time on our part. An important quote was, “What advice would you give this spouse, longing to feel the love of her husband? Hopefully it’s obvious: in order to feel more connected, this person needs to spend time with her spouse. It’s that simple. Sit down on the couch and talk about your day. Go for a walk and talk about your dreams. Go golfing or sailing or enjoy some other activity together. Make love. Just be together!” (Page 43). It’s the same way with God, we have to spend time studying His word, praying, and enjoying being in His presence.


Day 28 entitled, “Trust” was very life changing for me and vastly revealed to me the things I worry about. Keri Wyatt Kent shared a personal story about trusting God with all of her worries, fears, and concerns. Her son injured his hand in volleyball practice and he had a sprained finger. Like any parent, her mind was going through all the worst possible outcomes. Her problems began to overwhelm her and she was stressing. Her husband is self-insured and his insurance policy doesn’t cover an orthopedic specialist. She had to trust that God had it all figured out and she didn’t have to worry. Her son’s hand thankfully healed and no trip to the doctor was needed. One important thing Keri did was write down and list what she was worried about. And she replaced her worries with things she had to be graceful for. I decided to do this as well.


Some of my worries are: Losing my parents, never going on a date, never marrying, never having children, not having good friendships that last through the seasons and changes of life, not being good enough, being alone, and never seeing my dreams and desires come true.


Things I am thankful for: Jesus dying on the cross for my sins, my salvation, a place to live, parents that love me and care for me, a family that would always be there for me, pets to love, food to eat, the ability to cook meals, music to listen to, and books to read.


I would recommend this wonderful book to anyone who needs a reminder that God loves you completely. God’s love is unfathomable and on this side, we won’t ever realize how much He truly does love us. This book will help readers to experience a life changing relationship with the person who created you. I immensely love how Keri Wyatt Kent related to the readers and shared personal stories and ways she became confident in the truth of God’s love. The book will reveal to you His caring loving touch in your life. If you’re longing to enhance your relationship with God and take it to a whole another level, then this book will substantially impact your life!



“I received this copy of Deeply Loved for free from Abingdon Press for this review”.


If you would like to purchase a copy of Deeply Loved, check it out on



Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking By Susan Cain Book Review

In Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain discovered that, “one third to one half of Americans are introverts” (Page 3). Susan Cain admits that she is an introvert. Most of the world tends to look down on people who are quiet and we call them shy. Quiet individuals are also many times compared to extroverts and they wonder why we can’t be more outgoing like them. The book is well researched and is backed up with tons of statistics and studies to support her points. Susan Cain has found that people who are quiet enjoy working alone instead of with a group. Introverts can be highly sensitive. Introverts dislikes small talk and would prefer to be in more depth in conversations and topics that inspire them and they connect with. Introverts are more incline to pause and think before they speak because they don’t like to cause conflict. Extroverts are the opposite they sometimes don’t think before they speak and they don’t always listen to what introverts have to share. The book will prove that the world needs both types of people to contribute to the wellbeing of the world.


Some of the introverted people displayed in the book were, Rosa Parks, Albert Einstein, J.K. Rowling, Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Eleanor Roosevelt, Al Gore, Warren Buffett, Gandhi, Moses, Charles Darwin, and many more. Some of the extroverts were: Martin Luther King, Jr., Oprah, Dale Carnegie, President George W. Bush, Tony Robbins, Bill Clinton, and many more. The book will describe some of these famous people stories in vast details.


One of my favorite quotes was an overview of the differences between introverts and extroverts:


“Human extroverts have more sex partners than introverts do- a boon to any species wanting to reproduce itself-but they commit more adultery and divorce more frequently, which is not a good thing for the children of all the couplings. Extroverts exercise more, but introverts suffer fewer accidents and traumatic injuries. Extroverts enjoy wider networks of social support, but commit more crimes (Page 148).


Susan Cain explored and travelled to public and private schools in Georgia, New York, and Michigan to see how teachers are conducting their classroom settings. A great number of teachers are believing that having group work prepares students for the business world and it teaches them to work together for a common goal. One classroom Susan visited had a sign on the wall that said, “You Can’t Ask a Teacher for Help Unless Everyone in Your Group has the Same Question” (Page 77). Another teacher made a quiet student become the safety patrol for a day where he would have an opportunity to become a leader too. But does everyone need to be a leader, don’t we need followers too.


A gigantic thing that I enjoyed was the section at the end of the book entitled, “Resources for Readers”. Susan Cain communal tips for parents with introverted children, educators, and public speaking for introverts. One of the tips that I thought was really helpful was encouraging your child when they seek out new activities, interactions, and friendships. Let them know you saw the courage they demonstrated and you’re proud of them. If they are frightened to try new things make sure to start small and don’t push your child too quickly. Another big tip was don’t call your child shy because most of the time our children take it as criticism and it will damage their self-esteem.


I would recommend this brilliant well researched book to anyone who feels ashamed of being introverted or they feel bad that they are called shy. Extroverts would greatly benefit from reading this book to better understand the importance of having introverts in the business field. I immensely loved the contrast shown between being introverted and extroverted and the reminder that one isn’t better than the other. I loved how Susan Cain actually travelled to different events and places to understand how different locations handle people who are introverted in an extroverted world. The book deeply inspired me to love my personality type. I’m an introvert and I realized that I think and work better alone than when I’m in a group sharing ideas. I have also noticed that if I’m passionate about a topic I will talk more and be willing to share my opinions and concerns. If you’re looking for a book that will change your perspective on the importance of needing both introverts and extroverts, then book will inspire and encourage you to accept each other completely.


“I received this copy of Quiet for free from Random House/ WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.


If you would like to purchase a copy of Quiet, check it out on




Here is a Q&A featuring Susan Cain:

What would be your advice for living with a spouse who is an introvert? Particularly ways to solve disputes when only one side is willing to do any talking!


This is such an important question (and I address it at length in the chapter in QUIET on introvert-extrovert relationships). Introverts and extroverts are often attracted to each other as marriage partners (for good reason), but they have dramatically different approaches to conflict. Extroverts are what psychologists call “confrontive copers,” while introverts tend to seek to defuse conflict. The problem is that the more extroverts confront their introverted partners, the more aggressed the introverts feel – and the more they withdraw, leaving their extroverted partners feeling shut out in the cold. On the other hand, the more that introverts try to defuse conflict with quiet talk, the more vehement their extroverted partners grow in response – causing introverts to feel insulted or attacked.


The only way out of this impasse is for each partner to truly understand where the other is coming from, and to borrow the other’s coping style. For an extrovert, this means airing grievances as quietly, mildly, and respectfully as you can. And for introverts, this means engaging head on with problems, even when this feels threatening and unpleasant. Good luck, it’s worth it!


How do you classify someone who prefers their own company and activities they can do by themselves, but has forced themselves to act in a more extroverted way?

I enjoy being alone and love reading and creative writing. However, in order to promote and build my dental practice, I have made myself participate in community activities, and in order to be a more active part of my childrens' lives I am part of a group of parents that work and play together. I even enjoy these activities, all the while thinking that I'd rather be home alone with my husband and kids, curled up by a toasty fire with a good book or sharing a movie with them. Have I remade myself into an extrovert or just putting on an act?


It sounds like you’re an introvert who’s gotten really good at acting like a pseduo-extrovert – and nothing wrong with that, if it serves goals that matter to you (your dental practice, your kids’ social life.) Just make sure to get the quiet time you need – and that your family probably needs, too.


What do extraverts need to understand most about introverts?


When they don’t engage animatedly with you, this doesn’t mean that they don’t like or love you! They just need to recharge their batteries frequently, and might be less demonstrative than you are. Look for signs of quiet passion!


As an extrovert married to an introvert, how can I make his social experiences more satisfying and less stressful?


What a great and caring question. Well, for one thing, make sure there aren’t too many of them. No introvert enjoys going out night after night…but they might really enjoy the right social events in measured doses. The best experiences tend to be with close friends, or based on events that are of intrinsic interest – eg a movie, a concert, etc.


How do you see introverts having any type of an impact on our predominately extrovert society?


They already do! Many of our finest leaders and artists have been introverts. It’s usually a matter of making your own natural strengths work for you (for example, the Campbell Soup CEO Doug Conant was famous for writing 30,000 personal notes of thanks to high-performing employees) while gaining the skills you need to fake extroversion when you need to.


Also, social media is an introvert’s friend – it’s a way of connecting with tens, hundreds, thousands of people from the comfort of your own home or office.


Ted Talk – Video:


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Read Chapter One:


Author Bio:


Check out the reading guide:

Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Process By Lysa Terkeurst Book Review

Unglued Devotional is a companion devotional to the bestselling book, Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions. The book is written primarily to the target audience for women. The devotional has 60 days’ worth of life lessons and stories that Lysa Terkeurst has encountered. The topics range from emotions being out of control, honesty, lack of self-control, envying and comparing ourselves to others, condemnation, being afraid, and many other themes. Lysa Terkeurst shared very honest stories to help readers to control their emotions and not to be led by their feelings. She admits there are times when she has yelled at her kids and had trouble forgiving her husband when he does something that offends her. She described a time when one of her daughters decided to have a drawing party on her freshly painted walls. And she had to practice self-control with the help of the Holy Spirit and this is an everyday process. She also explained losing her baby sister and struggling with the why questions.


The devotional for each day incorporated a thought for the day, a scripture verse, and a prayer for you to pray. The book also encompassed in the appendix a section to “determine your reaction type”. It will ask personal questions to figure what how you handle difficult situations. The reaction types are “internal processor”, “external processer”, “external expresser”, and “internal suppressor”.


I immensely benefited from day 55, “Advice to Unglued Wives: Stop Praying”. This particular day discussed how many women pray about fixing their husband and not praying on how to love them more. Even though it’s written in the format of praying about your husband, I strongly believe husbands can also take the advice and make sure they are praying to God about how to love our wife more like Christ. One of my favorite quotes was, “Praying for him means digging into God’s Word and praying Scriptures specific to his struggles. That’s powerful! When we pray the Word of God, we pray the will of God” (Page 178). What man wouldn’t want his wife to be bold enough to pray that over their life? And vice versa. Lysa Terkeurst made a great point to remind readers that they can’t change and control anybody but themselves.


Another supportive and helpful day was day 42 entitled, “My Creative Best”. This day revealed the hidden dangerous cycle of comparison and envying what others have that we truly want or we’re praying for. Many of us have a longing for something to fill that void into our empty soul. We want a spouse, we want kids, deeper friendships, a talent someone else has, to be skinnier or more toned, a bigger house, or a better paying job. Lysa Turkeust stated that we’re not supposed to be trying to carry someone else’s load. Galatians 6:4-5 warns against that very thing. I struggle with comparing myself with others so this day truly spoke to me on the importance of running my own race and following the dreams God has put in me. I have always wanted to be skinnier or have more muscle but I’m not the other person that I’m comparing myself with. I also have a problematic time with not being envious and jealous when someone gets what I have been praying for. For example, a wife and having children. But it’s viral to remember that God has a good plan and purpose for each of our lives.


I would recommend this wonderful book to any women who are having a hard time not living by how they feel. It’s written for women who are single, married, and women who have children. And if you’re a man, and you want to read it to better understand what are women are facing and you’re wanting to know how we can help them by being a better husband, then this will assist you on connecting with your wife. Note to the men: you will have to just change the words to say man when she says girl throughout the book. I personally loved how Lysa Terkeurst was real and honest about the triumphs, sadness, the questions unanswered, losing her emotions, and her struggle with comparison. This book will help anyone get closer to God and he handle our honesty and emotions.


“I received this book for free from Zondervan for an honest review”.


If you would like to purchase a copy of Unglued Devotional, then check it out on




The Connecting Church 2.0: Beyond Small Groups to Authentic Community By Randy Frazee

In The Connecting Church 2.0, Randy Frazee explored the configuration of the church in today’s times and how over the years it has changed dramatically. This version of the book is a revised edition. Randy Frazee begins the book by introducing characters Bob and Karen. They have two children and both spouses work busy filled jobs. Like most Americans, they struggling with having enough time during the day to get everything completed. Most nights they fix frozen meals because they don’t have the time to cook and prepare proper meals. Sometimes they even are bringing home work. They attend a small group that meets every other week. They are wanting to have deeper friendships and more meaningful relationships. But the small group setting just isn’t enough connection to make lasting relationships. They are longing and looking for more but they don’t know how to obtain it.


Randy Frazee pointed out that God has created us for community and connection with other people. He backed this up with research on the importance of community. One study at the Ohio State University Medical Center revealed that marriage improves your health, boosts immune systems, and you heal faster from sickness. Having intimacy in our marriages is more important than we may realize. Another study conducted has shown that males that provide and take care of their children have attachment hormones and they bond to them. Positive relationship is what all of us long for but many of us struggle to find people we can be real with, hang out with, and share our deepest secrets.


The book stated that God is consisted of three persons known as the Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He desires to know each person He created intimately. Adam was created from the dust of the earth and God knew that it wasn’t good for man to be alone. Some of us like to be independent and we believe that we can survive in this life without letting anyone know the real us. Connecting with others require risk that not everyone is willing to take. God has written the book of Acts to prove that we need others and community.


The book covered “Five Characteristics of Community Around a Common Place”. Some of these included frequency, sharing meals, availably, and more. The book also included ways and suggestions on how to create an authentic community and reach out to your fellow neighbors.


I would recommend this helpful resource to anyone who are longing to find noteworthy relationship with your neighbors and community. Time have changed and most of us don’t even know our neighbors names. I can honestly say this was talking about me because I don’t know many of them. I live on my own land so it’s a little bit more challenging to find people to start a friendship with. But really I haven’t tried. The biggest concept that I found myself agreeing with was the author’s findings on how important uniting with others truly is. I thought the suggestion of inviting people over to share a meal, pray, read the word, pray together, and serve our neighbors was immensely beneficial. I believe that Randy Frazee is living what the book preaches and I would love to be able to experience the deep connection among my neighbors that he has. This book will change churches and communities for the better if we apply the principles presented. Authentic communities are something most of us are looking for and it’s been around us the whole time and it’s still possible to have deep friendships! This book will inspire you to reach out to others, get to know more people, and develop a community. If everyone would form a friendship and create a community of believers with their neighbors imagine, how much the world would be happier and fulfilled.



If you would like to purchase a copy of The Connecting Church 2.0, then check it out on



“I received this book for free from Cross Focused Reviews / Zondervan for this review”.

Preorder Lead Your Family Like Jesus: Powerful Parenting Principles from the Creator of Families

Lead Your Family Like Jesus: Powerful Parenting Principles from the Creator of Families is a new book from Focus on the Family. Ken Blanchard, Tricia Goyer, Phil Hodges has coauthored this brand new book together. It is written to guide parents on teaching your children humility, the importance of focusing on God and letting Him remain at the center of your family, discovering your family values, helping your kids succeed in their God given dreams and talents, teaching your kids obedience, and forgiving our children when they make mistakes, and teaching our kids how to forgive others.
The book is being released on April 1, 2013 online and in most bookstores. There is an amazing offer happening right now. If you preorder the book before March 20, you can get $60+ value worth of extras downloads from Focus on the Family.
The extra downloads consist of:
 - Focus on the Family broadcast with the Lead Your Family Like Jesus authors (audio)
 - Family Faith broadcast bundle (audio)
 - Passing on Your Faith to Your Kids broadcast bundle (audio)
 - Raising Kids with a Faith that Lasts (video)
Check out the link below with all the information on the Preorder Extras:
To order the book, check out the links below:
Christian Books:
Barnes & Noble:
Check out a helpful booklet on dealing with the EGO:

The Briarpatch Gospel : Fearlessly Following Jesus into the Thorny Places By Shayne Wheeler


In The Briarpatch Gospel, Shayne Wheeler exposed the challenges and trials of travelling in the thick briarpatch. Living in a complicated world is anything but an easy task. The briarpatch is consisted of people out of our typical circle of Christian friends. Some people try to avoid the gays, lesbians, and bi sexual orientation, the drunks, the loners, people with tattoos, piercings, ex-criminals, people who practice other religions, or anyone who doesn’t fit in our group of friends. As Christians, we’re called to love one another as Christ would. It’s important to remember that we’re not called to judge others. Who are we to say who Christ loves more and accepts, because we have all have sinned and fallen short at some time or another. Christ is the ultimate judge and he died on the cross for all of humanity sins.


Shayne Wheeler’s story started when he and his wife decided to move to Decatur, Georgia. He had a vision and a calling from God to reach out to a community and build a church. He decided that they needed to be a church that accepted everyone for who they are. Shayne pointed out that the world views Christians as being judgment and condemning rather than accepting and loving like Christ. Non-believers are watching how some professing Christians picket military funerals and loudly and boldly say, “God hates fags”. Reading scripture and we know that nowhere is that saying in the Bible. Shayne Wheeler shared on page 189, “In Romans 1, homosexuality is mentioned alongside such issues as envy, strife, gossip and slander, lack of love and mercy, even disobedience to parents (Romans 1:29-31). It’s important to love them and not say they are going to hell or that God hates them. Shayne Wheeler continued with, “I don’t think the Bible supports same-sex relationships, but that does not mean I think you love Jesus less than I do in my own struggles with things the Bible clearly speaks against-greed, unforgiveness, or even lust. It just means we are all sinners in need of the grace God provides for us in the cross of Jesus. Brokenness is in all of us. We are all in this together. We are family” (Page 195).


One of the chapters covered the topic of the hidden icebergs in our lives. Everyone knows that the dangerous part of the iceberg is beneath the surface.  It’s the part that we hide from others that damage our lives. Shayne Wheeler discovered that the two most problem areas people pursue is greed and sex. He stated that, “Yet Americans-whether Christian or no-give away less than 2 percent of their income to charitable organizations or to the poor” (Page 68). Many times we let our sole identity become how much stuff we have and how much is in the bank account. Sex is more of an intimacy longing and we want to be close to someone else but isn’t just about sex. It’s a sense of wanting to be connected and we want to be able to be ourselves with someone else. Many people turn to pornography for a temporary relief and they believe it will make you feel complete. But it never satisfies us for very long.  Walking with Jesus through this life and beyond means being honest with yourself and others about your weaknesses, no matter how problematic and uncomfortable you may be.


I would recommend this magnificent book to anyone who is looking to be shaken up and wants to be pulled out of your comfort zone. This book is for people who are seeking a resource on dealing with the critical needs in the world we’re living in today. If you’re aren’t willing to overcome your own judgment and pride and befriend gays, bi, and lesbians, the drunks,  people struggling with addictions, drugs, ex-criminals, and anyone who doesn’t seem like you, then this book might not be for you. It’s written for the radical people who are desperately trying to become like Christ. Christians, it’s time to reach out and show the love of Christ to all people especially people who we wouldn’t choose to be our friend. Shayne Wheeler had excellence points presented in the book that I know will offend most people. But loving others is a risk that we must take in order to become like Christ! This book will transform your life if you let it!



Tyndale House Publishers/Tyndale Momentum has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.



If you would like to purchase a copy of The Briarpatch Gospel check it out on 



Check out the book trailer: