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.

North of Hope: A Daughter’s Arctic Journey By Shannon Huffman Polson Book Review

In North of Hope, Shannon Huffman Polson shared her journey in grieving for her father and stepmother’s death. One day, she was with her brother and his wife at an open air market and she received the dreaded phone call that nobody ever wants to hear. There has been a terrible tragedy that forever changed her life. Her stepmother and her father lived in Alaska. They were travelling and exploring the wilderness when a bear came upon their campsite and the bear brutally killed them. Shannon Huffman Polson found their notebooks and journals which in details described their actual whereabouts and which route they took. A year later, she gather up her adopted brother, Ned and his work colleague, Sally and they travelled the exact route. She discovered that the bear that killed her father and stepmother was a barren-ground grizzly and they are very aggressive creatures. The book described in full descriptions what Shannon experienced and saw along the way. The book also covered the relationship and memories of her father and stepmother.

She revealed her disappointments and her feelings of always trying to please her father. All she wanted was her father to be proud of her and she struggled with living for herself. For example, she shared that she went to Airborne School and when she came home for a visit. Her stepmother removed all of the pictures of the children and had a random friend’s child photo on the kitchen counter. Her dad reassured her that he remembered each of his children being born and he has the memories. I can definably understand how that would make anybody feel unwanted or unloved. I would have most likely reacted the same precise way. That pointed out to me that children see everything that you do and they look to their parents for their value and worth. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who is undergoing grief and they are looking for encourage from someone who has been there. Shannon Huffman Polson story will inspire you to enjoy every moment with the ones you love deeply. Her journey in Alaska wasn’t an easy ride, at times it was extremely painful. I loved how Shannon Huffman Polson was very real and transparent about the grief she experienced along the journey. She elucidated that she hated getting asked, “Are you over it yet?”and “Have you moved on?” These questions are the type of questions people shouldn’t ask when you lose a loved one. How are you supposed to answer that? Does that bring you any comfort? You don’t ever get over people you care about and love. The memories you shared together still lives inside you. If you’re looking for a book from an author that has suffered tremendous lost and is willingly to help others through the pain, then read this one!


"I received this book for free from Handlebar Marketing/ Zondervan for this review".


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



Book Trailer:

The Christian Parenting Handbook By Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller Launch Week April 29-May 5 and Giveaways

When the opportunity came up to join the official launch team for The Christian Parenting Handbook. I gladly applied and I was accepted. I have been reading a review copy of the book and it’s has taught me a lot of new concepts of parenting. The book will guide parents into being a better parent. The Christian Parenting Handbook is a new exciting resources for parents to use to connect and make a lasting impression on the hearts of their children. This is an excellent life changing book for any people who would like to have children, expecting parents, and people who are already parents. There are 50 principles presented in this book.

Some of the chapters are:


Consistency is Overrated, Build Internal Motivation, Consequences Aren’t the Only Answer, Envision a Positive Future, Teamwork….Individual at Their Best, It Takes Two to Argue, but Only One to Stop, Discipline Kid Separately for Siblings Conflict, To Spank or Not to Spank, The Value of Grandparents, and much more.



Please check back for a review later this week.


Make sure you join in on the celebration of the book being released during the launch week, April 29- May 5.


Buy The Christian Parenting Handbook between April 29 and May 5 and get a package of free resources valued at more than $400.00. You can learn more on our website about the 8 items contained in the Bonus Parenting Package. In addition, you can get The Christian Parenting Handbook Companion Guide (This is a workbook with audio clips that will help you apply the material in The Christian Parenting Handbook.) for free if you purchase 5 copies or more of the book. Simply make your purchase from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM (Books A Million), CBD or Parable.



The book is currently sold out and on backorder on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM (Books A Million), CBD, Parable, and Family Christian. Backorders won’t count for the free gifts. If you want to get in on the $400 special gifts you have to order the book during the week of April 29-May 5.


The book is still available on Biblical Parenting website and they have decided to offer the book at a 25% discount. The book is only $12.74 during this week only.



To purchase a copy of the book, check it below:



To claim your premium, simply forward your purchase confirmation
to and we will email you your special product code for the $400.00 package. If you purchased 5 or more copies of the book, we'll send you the PDF version of the Companion Guide as well as the audio package.


Here is the 8 awesome things you will receive:

The Christian Parenting Handbook electronic versions for iPad, Kindle, Nook or any mobile device ($29.97)

Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, in You and Your Kids Lesson #1 Complete Package including Lesson 1 on Video, MP3, Study Guide, and Children's Lesson. ($59.95)

Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, in You and Your Kids Lesson #2 Complete Package including Lesson 2 on Video, MP3, Study Guide, and Children's Lesson. ($59.95)

Teach Kids to Listen and Follow Instructions on Video, Workbook, MP3, Study Guide, and Children's Lesson. ($59.95)

Correction Ideas that Touch the Heart on Video, Workbook, MP3, Study Guide, and Children's Lesson. ($59.95)

Addressing Bad Attitudes in Kids on Video, Workbook, MP3, Study Guide, and Children’s Lesson. ($59.95)

Everyday Parents CAN Raise Extraordinary Kids Session #1 on Video, MP3, Study Guide, and Children's Lesson. ($59.95)

How to Use The Christian Parenting Handbook 30-minute Video ($24.95)


For more information check out:





To purchase a copy of the book check it out below:



Check out these cool events to celebrate the launch of The Christian Parenting Handbook:



Google Hangout April 30 at 7:30 pm EST


Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller will be hosting a Google Hangout on Tuesday evening April 30 starting at 7:30 pm EDT. This will be an on-air hangout where anyone can listen in. You can watch the video by going to the Biblical Parenting Facebook Group. You can also comment there and ask questions of Scott and Joanne.



Twitter Party – Wednesday May 1, 8:00-9:00 pm EDT



Plan on joining us and start spreading the word. You’ll want to use the cool banner below. There will be lots of good interaction about parenting and about the book. We’ll also be giving away prizes. The Twitter Party will be hosted by @biblicalparent. You’ll want to follow this handle so that you get the latest updates. The hashtag is #heartparenting.

The prizes will be:
4 Amazon Gift cards ($25.00 each)
2 Biblical Parenting Store Gift Cards ($25.00 each)
2 copies of The Christian Parenting Handbook ($16.99 each)

The authors is generously letting me give away 5 individuals prizes to celebrate and help parents grow into the parents God has intended them to be. Contest open to United States Residents only.


Here are the details of the prizes:

Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, in You and Your Kids Lesson 1 Complete Package: Includes Lesson 1 on Video, as an MP3, includes Study Guide pages, and the Kids Honor Club Children’s Program.  Honor is a biblical concept that changes the way people think and the way they treat others. Honor is a relationship term and teaching honor in the family equips children with the relational tools they'll need for the rest of their lives. This package gives you instructions for both parents and children so that honor can transform the culture in your home.

Set of 5 Parenting Shifts ebooks  ($49.95 value)

The Parenting Shifts Series gives specific parenting advice for that particular age group. A team of experts, working together with Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN, have collaborated to bring you the best in a heart-based approach to parenting at any age. Wherever you are in your parenting journey these books will help you move forward with confidence and effectiveness.
Set includes:
            • The Baby Adventure (Birth to 12 Months)
            • Toddlers on the Move (Ages 12-36 Months)
            • Preschool Explorers (Ages 3-5)
            • Elementary Foundations (Ages 5-8)
            • Cultivating Responsibility (Ages 9-12)  
 Biblical Parenting University Online Parenting Course  
($99.95 value)

This online class will give you the practical tools to develop more responsibility and cooperation in your home.  Parents often comment that giving instructions to their children is the greatest source of conflict in family life.  Nagging and angry episodes on the part of parents and kids result when children don't cooperate.  In this class you'll learn how to adjust your own action point to teach your kids when you mean business.  You'll also learn a five step instruction routine that teaches children the skills they'll need to follow instructions for the rest of their lives.  This class is excellent for teachers as well as parents.  You'll learn how to use rules in your family to teach convictions and values.  If you're looking for a place to start, this is a great class that will help you change significant dynamics in your family using positive strategies. 

Access to this class allows you to come and go at your convenience.  It's resident on the Internet so you can view segments whenever you're online.  The 4-hour class is broken into 4 lessons, each with 10-12 five-minute segments.  View one segment at a time, or any number of them as you have time.

Disciplemaking at Home ebook

($16.99 value)

Parents have a job to do - pass the faith on to their kids.  This book will show you how.  Parents are the primary spiritual and moral trainers of their children and much of the everyday work of family life is the classroom where children learn.


The Christian Parenting Companion Guide (includes print copy of The Christian Parenting Handbook)
($49.95 value)

The Companion Guide is a workbook of 50 lessons along with 50 audio tips to take you through The Christian Parenting Handbook step by step.  Each lesson contains advice from Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller in a 5 minute audio tip and then offers teaching, an assignment, a Bible verse, and a prayer to help you apply each idea or strategy in your family.  

Enter the 5 prize giveaway on the Rafflecopter Widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There is also a Mega Multi-Blogger Giveaway:


Mega Multi-Blogger Giveaway Prizes:

We will be giving away the following prizes:
- iPad mini
- $200.00 Amazon gift card
- $100.00 Amazon gift card
- Wii with Sports game included ($199.99)
- # 9 Kodak EasyShare Digital Frame with Music ($89.99)


Make sure you enter both giveaways for a chance to win amazing prizes.  

Book Trailer:


Bound Together: How We Are Tied to Others in Good and Bad Choices By Chris Brauns Book Review


In Bound Together, Chris Brauns explored the concept of how everyone is connected together and we’re bound together. What one of us does, affects everyone else. We’re not lone rangers and we’re created for community. Adam was commanded by God to be fruitful and multiply and to have dominion over all creatures. They could have any fruit they wanted expect from one tree. Satan tempted Eve into eating from the forbidden tree of knowledge of good and evil and she talked Adam into it. Everything changed! Chris Brauns used the principle of the rope to elucidate that Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden has profoundly impacted all generations. Since then, sin has consumed every generation and we’re all guilty of sinning. Because we’re all a part of Adam’s descendants. He used the term “solidary” to describe the principle of the rope. Solidary, denotes “a union of interests, purposes, or sympathies among members of a group. It speaks to the ties that bind a group together” Page 26). The book also goes on to say that Christ has died for our sins and when we received salvation we become a portion of His body. Christ is the ultimate head of the Church and the body. His death allows us a chance at repentance and forgiveness from our numerous sins. 


Chris Brauns shared the example that if he leaves his wife and children it will negatively hurt everyone not just himself. We can’t assume that our choices that we make only effect ourselves. Chris Brauns also stated that divorce is like an amputation and it should only be done when it’s the last choice. Divorce brings deep emotional pain to everyone involved. He also discussed the significance of marriage and how God compared marriage to our union with Christ. Marriage bonds and ties us emotional, physically, and spiritually to another forever. Scriptures remind us that wives are supposed to submit to their husbands. And the man is the head of the wife like Christ is the head of the church. This doesn’t mean that if the husband is abusing the wife then you should submit. The scriptures also tell husbands to love their wife like Christ loves us. Basically this means we’re both called to love each other when we made the vow before the Lord to care for another person until the everlasting.

I would recommend this splendid book to anyone who has ever wondered why we have to pay for Adam’s and Eve’s sin and to people who feel believe their choices doesn’t harm anyone but themselves. This book goes into vast detail on the how each person’s life affects another whether we realize it or not. I loved the story of Rehab that Chris Brauns clarified. Rehab was a prostitute in Jericho and she hide the spies of Israel in her home. She asked the spies if God could spare her and her family from the destruction of Jericho. God answered her and they were the only family freed from the annihilation of Jericho. The grace of God forgave her for her sinful past and she became a huge follower of Jesus Christ. I cherished how Chris Brauns used this point to remind readers that the grace of God can cover them and He can forgive you for your sins. Even if your family has a history of generational sins, it can be broken completely with Christ’s assistance. I immeasurably loved the chapter devoted entirely to marriage and it helped me to see the importance of marriage in God’s eyes. Even though I haven’t met my wife yet, it gave me a much needed reminder on what my roles of a husband are intended to be. The book was an enormous reminder that our actions and behaviors doesn’t just impact us, they influence the next generations for good or for bad! It’s up to us to make a wise decision on which one we will ultimately choose. If you’re looking for a book that you reveal to the truth about why people suffer and how our choices affects others, then this book is for you!

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

If you would like to purchase a copy of Bound Together, then check it out on, Barnes and, or Christian

Stress Test By Richard L. Mabry, M.D. Book Review

Stress Test is a fiction novel that contains loads of suspense for the reader to enjoy. This is the first book that I have read by Richard L. Mabry. I can truly declare that he knows how to write an intricate plot that will engage readers into the very last page. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to read medical, mystery, suspense, romance, and adventure filled novels. I deeply connected to Matt’s, who is a likeable doctor and he is exceedingly determined to save the patients’ lives. He has a dilemma and is being framed for a murder that he didn’t commit. I extremely don’t like when the innocent are being set up and injustice is taking place. Sandra is a lawyer that is struggling to find love and she prays to God one day to guide her in finding her husband if he even exists. God heard her prayer and throughout the book you will see if God does indeed have a husband for her. She also represents Matt and she tries to prove that he truly is innocent of the murders.
I immensely loved the Faith aspect of the novel, Matt wasn’t trusting God and didn’t really understand God’s love for him. But when circumstances began occurring and he has no one else but God to turn to. He starts praying again for the first time in years to be set free from the murder charge. Sandra on the other hand was a professing believer and has trouble dating doctors because of her last bad relationship with a doctor. Both of these characters have a lot they must overcome and deal with. The novel gave me encouragement that I should continue seeking God in finding my wife and the book displays that God can turn anything around. The book also had massive amount of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. If you’re looking for a new exciting fiction novel to read, then this one will definably influence that God is in ultimate control and he can turn everything bad to good. The novel left me with a sense that God is directing our paths if we don’t see how everything is going to work out.  


“I received this book for free from Litfuse Publicity Group/ Thomas Nelson for this review”.
About Stress Test:
They may not have enough evidence to convict him, but they have enough to ruin his life.

Dr. Matt Newman thought he was leaving his life in private practice for a better one in academic medicine. But the kidnappers who attacked him as he left his last shift in the ER have no such plans-they just want him dead. Bound and in the trunk of his car, Matt's only thought is escape. He does so, but at a price: a head injury that lands him in the ICU . . . where he awakens to discover he's being charged with murder.

Sandra Murray is a fiery, redheaded lawyer who swore she was done with doctors. But when Matt calls, she knows she can't walk away from defending someone who is truly innocent.

Matt's career is going down the drain. His freedom and perhaps his life may be next. But with the police convinced he's a murderer and the kidnappers still trying to finish what they started, finding the truth-and the faith to keep going-will be the toughest stress test Matt has ever endured.
Purchase a copy: 

Meet Richard:  
A retired physician, Dr. Richard Mabry is the author of four critically acclaimed novels of medical suspense. His previous works have been finalists for the Carol Award and Romantic Times Reader's Choice Award, and have won the Selah Award. He is a past Vice-President of American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of the International Thriller Writers. He and his wife live in North Texas.

Learn more about Richard at:


Read what others are saying:

Richard Mabry is celebrating the release of Stress Test with a Nook HD Giveaway! Enter today.

One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Nook HD
  • A $15 gift certificate to
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 27th. Winner will be announced on 4/29/13 at Richard's blog.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.