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.

‘Til Heaven Invades Earth: Power Principles for Intercessory Prayer By Cindy Trimm Book Review

In ‘Til Heaven Invades Earth, Cindy Trimm has written this book to guide readers into praying and interceding on the behalf of others. Throughout the book, she explored the way Esther displayed incredible faith and courage in facing King, Ahasuerus. Before she enter his presence, she fasted for three days and she prayed for strength and favor. There was a really danger in entering the king’s presence uninvited. He could decide to eliminate the person or he could permit their passage. He granted her favor and he met with his bride. Esther explained the terrible genocide that was planned for the Jews. Cindy Trimm used Esther as her example in understanding intercessory. Like most of us, we have noticed that the world is in troubling times, but how often are we really praying for the issues that are bothering us on a global view. Cindy Trimm identified that it’s time for the prayer warriors to arise and to be dynamic and forceful in our prayers, and to pray for the needs and burdens of the world.


Cindy Trimm goes into great detail on putting on the full armor of God found in Ephesians 6:10-18. She also reminded readers that Jesus himself practiced intercession and we’re commanded to follow in Christ’s example. She revealed the three different works of grace. The new one that I learnt was the grace in pursuing the plans and works, God has preordained for us uniquely to complete for His kingdom. Following God’s will for our lives begins in praying regularly and asking for His wisdom and strength daily. The book also covered the judiciary of Heaven and what to pray in intercession prayers.


One of my favorite quotes was, “Things are the way they are because no one is standing before the throne of heaven to ask that it be otherwise” (Page xvi).


I would recommend this magnificent book on intercession and praying for other people needs and the world issues at large. I immensely love how Cindy Trimm crafted the book and encouraged believers to pray for our president, Senate, Congress, world leaders, and their spouses. I like how she included the crucial importance of praying for worldwide issues like human trafficking, hunger, child abuse, religious persecution, etc. This book made me realize that the majority of us pray during election year, then after they are in office we tend to quit praying for them. Now more than ever, believers must began to pray that our nations will turn back to God, and repent for our sins, and declare that we will serve the Kingdom of God! I enjoyed her helpful suggest in writing down a prayer list on paper, notecard, or smartphone in order to make it easier to pray during your prayer times. I loved the “Appendix B: An Example of a Prayer Guide for Praying the Disciple’s Prayer” section, because it served its purpose as being an effective resource in emphasizing to readers on how to intercede on behalf of our world leaders. If you’re seeking a life changing, powerful book on intercession and praying over world leaders and issues concerning the world, then read this book!



“I received this book for free from The Booketeria/ Charisma House for this review”.

If you would like to purchase a copy of ‘Til Heaven Invades Earth, then check it out on or Christian



Boot Camp: Equipping Men with Integrity for Spiritual Warfare By Jason Hardin Book Review

In Boot Camp, Jason Hardin has written this book to prepare men in resisting the adversity and the schemes that the devil uses against believers. He began the book by providing readers with an overview of wonderful Biblical stories including Moses, Gideon, David, Elijah, and many others. In every chapter, he introduced a Biblical story to help readers obtain victory in the battlefield. He encouraged believers to follow the advice found in Matthew 7:14 and we’re called to enter through the narrow gate that leads to life. God has commanded us to live a live filled with integrity and to do just that, we have to put to death certain destructive things like selfishness, sexual immorality, idolatry, jealousy, and a few other harmful compounds. Near the end of the book, Jason Hardin revealed the strategies in engaging in spiritual warfare and putting on the full armor of God.


One of my favorite chapters was, “Sexual Immorality: Learning When to Fight and When to Run”. Jason Hardin shared about a discussion he had with six other married guys. They all admitted that they have been hit on by other women while they were married. He strongly suggested that men must be proactive, and decide ahead of time, and have their mind set firmly in setting boundaries, and saying no when temptations present themselves. Jason Hardin illustrated the story of Joseph and his enticement with Potiphar’s wife and Joseph displayed great veracity. He turned down her sexual advances every single time, she made a move and asked him to lie with her. Jason made a superb point that numerous people uses excuses as to why it’s okay and they compromise their integrity. They buy into the lie, this small act won’t lead to intercourse. I also liked how he was very real in stating that older men may be shocked and uncomfortable in reading parts of this chapter. He exposed oral sex is not considered that big of a deal amongst the younger generation. But a compromise is still a compromise.


I would recommend this incredible book every single men where they can be strengthen in the battlefield against the devil fiery attacks and schemes. I immensely loved how the book was written to assist readers in preparing for boot camp and it warned readers of the vicious tactics satan uses to entice believers. I have experienced firsthand an engaged woman hitting on me and trying to tempt me by making advances towards me. And I walked away and kept my distance from this person. I personally benefited with the reminder of the dangers of sexual immortality and the crucial importance of fleeing from sexual temptations. I liked the inclusive assessment of putting on the full armor of God and fighting against the attacks of the enemy. If you’re looking for a book that will equip you in preparing for the final battle against the devil, then read this book!


“I received this book for free from Cross Focused Reviews / DeWard Publishing Company for this review”. 


If you would like to purchase a copy of Boot Camp, then check it out on 


Ephesians Bible Study Lesson Six: Talk Your Walk By Sue Edwards

Ephesians Lesson 6:


Theme: Talk Your Walk!


In this week’s Bible study, we learn the importance of taming and controlling our tongue. Ephesians 4:17 -24 begins by urging believers to stop living like the Gentiles used to. Their minds used to contain dark thoughts, their hearts were coldhearted towards God, and they lived freely in their lustful thoughts. Paul declared that we must renew our minds and attitudes like Christ. We have to throw off our old sinful ways and be transformed into righteous like Christ.


In Ephesians 4:25, Paul advised believers to stop telling lies about one another and we’re supposed to speak the truth in love. A runaway tongue that isn’t tamed by the living Word of God can do a lot of destruction to our homes, churches, friendships, and our work place. How many marriages have been destroyed alone with the words we choose to speak? How many children that have been bullied, have committed suicide because of negative words spoken? How many people have left the church because of harmful words spoken about them? Being truthful and speaking encouraging words in love is critical!


Anger is another key aspect in Ephesians 26 and we’re told not to sin when we are angry. Paul stated that we shouldn’t let the sun go down on our anger. Most people when they are angry tend to not regulate their emotions and words, and they let destructive words come out, before they even realize it, and they harm their love ones. How many times have we lost our cold and it cost us? But choosing our words wisely, we can influence and change people’s lives.

I have personally have struggled with low self-esteem due to negative words spoken against me. I understand the power that words can hold you back and for years. Unwholesome talk would be: “You’re not smart, pretty, handsome, and not skinny enough, you’re a mistake, you’re an idiot, you should have never been born, you’re a failure.” Helpful talk would be: “You did a great job, I’m proud of you, and you’re really good at ___.” The power of using positive words, encouraging words could immensely change someone’s life! Speaking life enhancing into someone’s life would radically boost and build their self-esteem and help undo some of the poisonous words spoken to them. We would also becoming more like Christ.


I intensely hope that you will be joining us in this wonderful study of Ephesians by Sue Edwards! Together, we can learn more about Christ and God’s written Word. And also please check back each Friday on my blog through November 18 for more insights into the amazing study!


Check out Discover Together Series:


Join the discussion on Facebook:


If you would like to purchase a copy of Ephesians Bible Study, check it out on or



“Open Book Promotion/ Kregel Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for this study.”


Check out Ephesians Lesson 6 Video:


A Hope Deferred: Adoption and the Fatherhood of God By J. Stephen Yuille Book Review

In A Hope Deferred, J. Stephen Yuille opened up about their infertility issues and their problematic time going through the adoption process and the long waiting period. Their story started when after being married a year, they both decided it was time to start a family. They longed to have two biological children and two adopted children. They tried countless times to conceive but they couldn’t. There was no medical reason as to why they couldn’t conceive and they ached for a positive pregnancy test. Like most people, they witnessed numerous of their friends getting pregnant and some without even trying. They began to experience excruciating pain and heartbreak when their attempts were unsuccessful. They realized that they were being tested in their faith. During their seven year of marriage, they began the adoption process and they had to endure the lengthy time consuming interview procedure. They had to wait some more months because the Social Services were already booked up. A few weeks, the unexpected happened his wife was pregnant. They ended up having a healthy daughter. Understanding God’s timing and His definite ways was something that is difficult to comprehend and it’s something we won’t ever truly fathom. The book goes through the agony of their miscarriage and later their extensive process with their adoption.


In the even chapters, he discussed their personal journey in adoption. In the odd chapters, he explained the doctrine of Biblical adoption and he explored the concepts presented in scripture. God in his vast love for us has prepared ahead of time to adopt us into His family. We don’t have to beg and pled for Him to love us, He just does because He wants to. Paul stated that God preordained and chose us to be His children. Stephen Yuille reiterated the Biblical truth found in Abraham’s story and how he had to persevere and believe God would fulfill His promise that he would be a father with numerous descendants. In the natural, he was old and Sarah’s womb was closed up. But he was commanded to believe, despite what he saw in the natural. This required faith in the impossible and a determination to trust in the declaration that God promised. Stephen and his wife believed and prayed for children for seventeen years and eventually God blessed them with children.


I would recommend this remarkable book especially to anyone who is longing for children and is considering adoption and is seeking encouragement from someone who has been there. I would also recommend this book to readers who are desiring to discover the Biblical truths in God adopting us as His children. I immensely connected with Stephen Yuille’s story and was inspired by his faithfulness in believing that God was able to provide them with children. I’m also believing that God will bless me with meeting my wife, having children, and adopting children in a few years. I learnt a great deal about the entire adoption process and this book will be one that I will reread when we’re entering the adoption process. This story was such a reassurance in persevering through uncertainty and pressing on through the trials and setbacks in life. Even if in the natural it looks like it’s impossible, God is still able to achieve His perfect will in your life. If you’re looking for a book on adoption and holding onto hope through challenging seasons and setbacks, then read this book for encouragement!



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



If you would like to purchase a copy of A Hope Deferred, then check it out on 


Praying for Your Addicted Loved One: 90 in 90 By Sharron K. Cosby Book Review

Sharron K. Cosby's new book is a helpful resource in praying for an addicted loved one. It is written in the form of 90 prayers meant to be prayed each day. Each day includes a personal story, a scripture verse, and a reflection space with a few questions. Sharron Cosby opened up about her son, Josh struggle with drugs and his difficult relapses. She felt in her heart that God will bring restoration and her son would be set free from his addiction. She began to insert her son’s name into key Bible verses and she prayed out loud Jeremiah 30 and 31 over his life. She prayed for the yoke of his drug addiction would be broken. This book outlines how she prayed for her own son and it will assist others in praying for their own loved ones.


I would highly recommend this life changing and lifesaving book to anyone who knows someone that is struggling with an addiction to drugs, sex, alcoholism, anorexia, and etc. I immensely appreciated Sharron Cosby’s genuine approach in praying for an addicted loved one. She was very transparent in sharing about her pains and heartbreak in witnessing her son’s addiction that was controlling his life. I have a cousin that has an addiction and I connected with her story. I liked the way the book was designed and the content was presented in her life. The prayers and the reflection questions were beneficial and will help people pray for their loved ones. If you’re looking for a book that will assist you in praying for your addicted loved one, then read this book!


“I received the books for free from Litfuse Publicity Group/ Recovery Church for this review”.


About the book: Watching someone you love self-destruct hurts.

Praying for Your Addicted Loved One: 90 in 90 tugs at the reader's heart in 90 days of candid devotions aimed at offering strength, hope, and encouragement to families in the throes of living with an addicted family member. Families get left behind in the recovery process, but their support is crucial. Realizing you are not alone in your family's struggles brings comfort and confidence to face day-by-day challenges. Reflection prompts and spaces for journaling encourage the reader to pen their thoughts on the verses and devotions. Each day's entry ends with a prayer.

The Cosby's, a middle-class family, lived the nightmare of addiction with their son for 18 years. Their lives were turned inside out and upside down as his dependence on painkillers escalated. The descent into a living hell challenged their faith as the addiction claimed more and more control. Sharron's middle-of-the-night reading of Jeremiah 30 and 31 changed the course of their lives and restoration became a reality.

The overall message of Praying for Your Addicted Loved One conveys hope to families caught in the addiction cycle. The various stages of the disease: abuse, recovery, and relapse, take their toll. Hopelessness grabs a family's heart and wrings it out with each slip of clean or sober time. The verses in Jeremiah 30 and 31, the foundation of the book, offer the promise of restoration and redemption.

90 in 90 reflects the 12 Step model of an addict attending 90 meetings in 90 days. While your loved one attends meetings, you will read a daily devotional to lend spiritual support to your addict.

"Today I pray for other lost addicts to find the hope of recovery. I pray the families reading this book will continue to have hope that an addict---any addict---can stop using drugs and find a new way to live. If there is one thing I can say to family members it is, never quit fighting. There is always hope. With hope, I---a once hopeless dope addict---am now a dope-less hope addict." ~Josh Cosby

Purchase a copy:

About the author: Sharron Cosby is married to Dan, a Certified Addiction Professional, and together they have three adult children and five grandchildren. She works for an international charity by day and writes by night. Her passion is to share God's message of hope, strength, and encouragement with families living in the shadow of addiction.

Learn more about Sharron here:

Read what others are saying:

Watching someone you love self-destruct hurts. Sharron Cosby's Praying for Your Addicted Loved One: 90 in 90 provides ninety devotions of strength, hope, and encouragement to families coping with addiction. Realizing you’re not alone in your struggles brings comfort and confidence to face day-to-day challenges.

Sharron is celebrating the release of her book with a Kindle Fire giveaway.
Enter today. One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Praying for Your Addicted Loved One by Sharron Cosby
Enter today by using the widget below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 31st. Winner will be announced at the Litfuse blog on November 1st. Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by the Litfuse blog on the 1st to see if you won. (Or, better yet, subscribe to their blog {enter your email in the blog sidebar} and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox)! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ephesians Bible Study Lesson Five: Sit Down to Walk By Sue Edwards

Ephesians Lesson 5:

Theme: Sit Down to Walk 

Lesson 5 covered material found in Ephesians 4:1-16. Paul writes to believers in Ephesus and tells them that a Christian walk should be comprised of being humble, gentle, patience, and forgiving others for their mistakes and loving them. I struggle with forgiving others quickly when they hurt me. Sometimes it takes much more time than it really should. I tend to hold on to anger and get offended when I need to turn it over to God and let him handle it.


Next, Paul reminded believers that Christ has given every single believer an extraordinary gift because of his bigheartedness and kindness. In 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 and Romans 12:6-8, we see a list of spiritual gifts that is given to us in order to help others. They are special knowledge, great Faith, gift of healing, power to perform miracles, prophesy, discernment about different spirits, speaking in tongues, interpretation of speaking in tongues, serving others, encouragement, giving, leadership, and kindness. We all have different spiritual gifts and our responsibility is to use our gifts to build up the church. We are also one body in Christ and we’re called to unity.


Some of my spiritual gifts that God has blessed me with is wisdom and giving Godly advice and discernment in what people are saying and the truth. This is the reason why I’m majoring in Psychology and I want to be equipped to help children and adults, who struggle with low self-esteem, eating disorders, love and relationship issues, red flags in dating, how to end bullying, preventing suicide, parenting children, marriage problems, overcoming addictions, grief, handling stress in the workplace, how to monitor technology usage with children, how to protect our children from predators, how to help foster children to deal with the trauma experiences of losing or being abandoned by their birth parents, and people who were abused. My goal right now is to become a counselor and to assist people with their concerns.


In Ephesians 4:14, Paul stated that mature Christians aren’t tricked with lies that sound like the truth. A key characteristic of a mature believer is speaking the truth in love. This way we will be more like Christ. When each part of the body uses their special gifts, the Kingdom of God is functioning the way God intended it to.


What are some of your spiritual gifts?


I intensely hope that you will be joining us in this wonderful study of Ephesians by Sue Edwards! Together, we can learn more about Christ and God’s written Word. And also please check back each Friday on my blog through November 18 for more insights into the amazing study!


Check out Discover Together Series:


Join the discussion on Facebook:


If you would like to purchase a copy of Ephesians Bible Study, check it out on or



“Open Book Promotion/ Kregel Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for this study.”
Check out Ephesians Lesson 5 Video:

Daybreak: A Guide to Overcoming Temptations By Nathan Ward Book Review

In Daybreak, Nathan Ward observed that many people are wavering when it comes to viewing their own sin and they tend to overlook their sins. They might not really believe their sin is such a big deal. Self-denial is the biggest failure of why we struggle against overcoming temptation. Nathan Ward stated God views sin way different than we currently do. It’s crucial to remember sin is extremely insulting to God and we’re called to live a life of holiness. He breaks down the key truths found in 1 Peter 1:13-19 and shared “how to be holy” and “why to be holy”. We are commanded to be obedience to God and to be holy like Him. When Jesus shed His blood on the cross for our sins we were bought with a Heavenly sacrifice and this leads to salvation being possible. Nathan Ward looked at three main aspects in resisting and fleeting from temptations: “The Call”, “The Enemy”, and “Temptation”.


Nathan Ward explored the strategies of our adversary and enemy, satan. The devil certainly loves to continue deceiving us and the majority of the time, he uses the same tactics since the beginning of time. Satan condemned Eve by asking her a question and making her doubt what God had declared about the forbidden tree. He manipulated and confused her thinking and she began to wonder about the tree. Satan told Eve that she wouldn’t die if she ate from the tree and they she would be like God. Nathan pointed out Adam and Eve was already like God and they were freely walking and talking with Him. But satan deceived her and she began to long and crave for something tasty from the tree. Many of us are still falling for his terrible schemes and deteriorating into temptations.


One of my favorite chapters was “Temptation: In the Fray”. When we are facing a temptation, Nathan Ward encouraged readers to follow how Jesus endured being tempted by satan in the wilderness and practice these same principles to obtain victory in their own battles. Jesus was fasting from food for 40 days and nights and Satan demanded Jesus to turn stones in bread. Jesus answered back that man should live out of the written Word of God. A significant statement Nathan pointed out was believers must realize that telling satan no one time isn’t going to make him run and hide forever. As long as we are on Earth, we will have to combat and repel temptation. Jesus used scripture to defend and conquer against the schemes of the enemy.


I would recommend this astounding book on overpowering temptations to anyone who is struggling with any type of temptations and they are seeking to discover freedom from satan’s power. I believe, Nathan’s stance on actually deciding ahead of time that you will display integrity before you are in the battle of temptation will ultimately assist readers in obtaining liberty. I also liked how he included numerous scripture references and stories to back up the critical essential in fighting against temptations. I immensely enjoyed the inevitably feature of using scripture to attack satan and to weaken his effect and control over our lives. I felt Nathan Ward did a prodigious job in clarifying satan’s schemes and enlightening his intentional strategies in harming believers. I commend Nathan Ward in writing such a life enhancing guide in overcoming temptations. If you’re struggling with temptations, then read this book!


“I received this book for free from Cross Focused Reviews / DeWard Publishing Company for this review”.


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


Ephesians Bible Study Lesson Four: Sit Down Together By Sue Edwards

Ephesians Lesson 4:


Theme: Sit Down Together


In Lesson 4, we read and studied Ephesians 2:11-22. Paul reminded the Gentiles that they used to be referred to as, “uncircumcised heathen” by the Jews. The Jews was circumcised and they overlooked the fact that being circumcised affect only their bodies. Their hearts remained the same. He told the Gentiles that they used to not know the covenant promise God had given to the Jews. The Gentiles were lost and they have no hope. Christ came where Gentile and Jew could be united as one body of Christ. The hostility felt between the groups were supposed to be broken and destroyed. The sacrifice on the cross ended the separation between the two groups. Jesus finished the system of the law with the commandments and all the rules.


It is important to have unity in Christ because failure to do so prevents believers from establishing the family, Christ has envisioned for His people. Everyone longs for a loving connection and a safe haven where they feel included and accepted by people that truly love them. But being united peacefully in a family or a church is exceedingly difficult and it rarely happens. Some of the barriers in families and churches is different doctrines, values, principles, and an immeasurable of other minor things. I have personally seen churches divided over issues in the grand schemes of things doesn’t matter. For example, the type of clothing church members are required to wear in some churches. We need to focus more on the message of Christ and His teachings! Imagine what would happen if harmony was a key standard in every single church and we represented the body of Christ.


In Ephesians 2:19-22, we learnt the Gentiles aren’t strangers and outsiders anymore and they are now included in God’s forever family along with the Jews. Paul stated that Gentiles and Jews together are like a house built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. The cornerstone is Jesus and we are a holy temple for the Lord. These verses displayed the truth that we are no longer alienated by what group, race, and culture we belong to. Christ died on the cross for everyone sins, and it doesn’t matter what your background is. If we let go of our prejudice and stereotypes, unity in the body of Christ could come to pass and the light would be shown in every dark place.   


I intensely hope that you will be joining us in this wonderful study of Ephesians by Sue Edwards! Together, we can learn more about Christ and God’s written Word. And also please check back each Friday on my blog through November 18 for more insights into the amazing study!


Check out Discover Together Series:


Join the discussion on Facebook:


If you would like to purchase a copy of Ephesians Bible Study, check it out on or



“Open Book Promotion/ Kregel Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for this study.”
Check out Ephesians Lesson 4 Video:

40 Days of Grace: Discovering God’s Liberating Love By Rich Miller Book Review

In 40 Days of Grace, Rich Miller explored the fundamental concept of grace given by a loving Creator. Rich Miller described that when Jesus died on the cross for our sins and we repented and asked for forgiveness. This very act of sacrifice lead to grace being introduced into the world. The book is written in the form of a 40 day devotional and divided into six weeks. The weekly topics include “Amazing Grace”, “Canceling the Guilt Trip”, “From Disgrace to Grace”, “From Fear to Faith”, “The Power of Humility”, “The Grace-Rest Life”. Each day has a personal story demonstrating an aspect of grace, “a thought to chew on” – a sentence to think about, “a truth to remember” – a scripture verse to mediate on, “a question to mull over”, and “talking it over with God” – a prayer to pray.


In one of the day’s devotional, Rich Miller revealed a personal story about struggling with guilt over his sins. About a year after he began a follower of Christ and was saved, he was in college drinking with his friends. When his brother surprising arrived and handled him a Christian book for his birthday. Rich felt guilty for his actions but soon turned back to drinking to numb his emotions. His so called friends wrapped him in a bed sheet and threw him in an elevator and pressed all the buttons where every floor could witness his drunken state. A few hours later, he managed to make it back to his room and his buddies took the notation to pick him up off his bed and shove his head into the wall. Then his roommate also stated, “Do you really think this is glorifying God?” (Page 71). Overall, he later learnt that God adopted him and chose him (See Ephesians 1:5-8) and God already has provided us grace and forgiveness of our innumerable sins. The blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross has declared that we are forgiven for our sins by his unmerited grace.


My favorite story that Rich Miller shared was day 6, “Grace Works”. Rich Miller noticed that his son, Brian was having trouble sharing a room with his younger adopted brother, Luke. Luke struggled with understanding boundaries and he would constantly invaded Brian’s space. When Rich’s three other children were playing a game, Luke would destroy the game and they eventually begin to shut the door where Luke couldn’t mess up the game. As parents, they had to address the issue and they told their kids that they couldn’t treat their brother that way. Brian still struggled with sharing a room with him. Rich came up with an idea and he told Brian to imagine Luke sitting there listening to him. He told him to get out the anger and the hurt and then proceed to forgiveness. Afterwards, Brian took the initiative and went and played with his brother for 45 minutes for the first time ever. This gave me great hope and I wonder if we did that as adults and forgave quickly what would happen. Grace could rapidly change our relationships with others!


I would recommend this magnificent book to anyone who is needing a refresher course on grace. This devotional was very entertaining to read and each day was only about three pages each. I immensely loved the prayer that was at the end of each day and they were simple and consistent with the message content. I love the way Rich Miller connected all of the stories back to undeserved grace and forgiveness. One of my favorite day devotions was entitled, “A Return to Dignity”. This one Rich Miller encouraged readers who feel ashamed to proclaim out loud these helpful paragraphs regarding sexual abuse or rape, and emotional abuse. These statements relinquishes the lies that they may have believed about themselves. I also love how he used scriptures to assist in readers finding freedom from the lies of satan. If you’re looking for a book that will convey to you the importance of grace, then this book is the one you need to read!



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


If you would like to purchase a copy of 40 Days of Grace, then check it out on


Behind the Shades: Hope Beyond the Darkness By Shelia Raye Charles Book Review

Behind the Shades is an autobiography of Shelia Raye Charles, one of the daughters of the best-selling musical artist Ray Charles. Throughout the book, she opened up candidly about her estranged relationship with her father. She didn’t meet her father until she was fourteen years old. Her father was always driven by success and maintaining his business career. He was continually busy and he didn’t take the time to connect with his children enough. Shelia Charles resented her father and was very bitter for his lack of caring about his children. She distinguished that her father felt guilty for his brother’s death. Ray Charles’ mother repetitively berated him and stated that she was making him stronger because he was blind. She also tried to get a foot in the recording business and her father would make empty promises to help but wouldn’t follow through.

To say the very least, the book publicized the dramatic truth of Shelia’s dark past. She took readers through the journey of being arrested for the third time. She struggled with being addicted to drugs. She admitted to having low self-esteem and she would put up with a man who cheated on her. They also had a few children together. She shared a heartbreaking story about how he was gone for two days and he came back demanding for some money. At first, she refused to give him any. But she began to have labor pains and she eventually had to give him some where he would take her to the hospital. After, she arrived at the hospital and they check on the baby’s health, the doctors discovered that she had cocaine in her system. She knew she was losing another child to the state again. The baby girl was thankfully born fine. Ultimately in prison, Sheila Charles became closer to God and she let Him slowly begin to heal her father wounds.

I would recommend this remarkable book to anyone who enjoys an exceptional book about how God can take and use our past mistakes and turn it into something good. I appreciated how Sheila Raye Charles was transparent and she didn’t hold back in revealing excruciating details about her struggles and her dilemma with her father. The book did contain a great deal of personal information and some readers may at times be uncomfortable. I immensely loved the intricate depletion of her experiences and treatments of being in prison. I felt it could tremendously encourage people who are struggling with drugs that freedom is possible. If you’re looking for an inspiration book, with a message engrained of triumph, and overcoming a drug addiction, then this book is for you!


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

If you would like to purchase a copy of Behind the Shades, then check it out on


Ephesians Bible Study Lesson Three: Sit Down to Work By Sue Edwards

Ephesians Lesson 3:


Theme: Sit Down to Work

This week's lesson covered content found in Ephesians 2:1-10. If you are a believer, before you accepted Jesus Christ into your life and received His forgiveness for your countless sins, you were dead in your sins. The world and unbelievers still finds great pleasure in obeying the leading and the teachings of satan. At one time, every believer has lived for their own personal happiness and we let our sinful desires run rampant. God hates sin and because of His holiness our sin has separated us from Him. He still choose to provide a sacrifice for the world and He sent his only Son, Jesus to die for our sins. In Ephesians 2:5, we realize that He gave us life when He raised Jesus for the grave. He also gave us grace and mercy for our many sins. We are now seated in Heavenly realms next to Christ because of this act of extreme love and grace. This allowed God to display this love for all generations so everyone can witness grace. 


My life looks different now from before I was a believer. When I was an early teenager, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. (I'm going to save my whole salvation story until November 21 because that's the day I was actually saved years ago and it's also the day that this Bible study is ending) I remember when I was lost and the fear arose in my heart and a felt a tugging. I wondered what would happened if I died that day. "Would I go to Heaven or Hell?" I realized that I was and still am a sinner in need of a grace and a Savior. 


In this study, Sue Edwards encouraged readers to read Galatians 5:13-26. Reading through these passages they were very eye opening and convincing. Especially these verses, "When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:19-21 NLT) Looking through this list, I have struggled with envy, jealousy, hostility, had quarrels, outbursts of anger, lusted, selfish ambition, dissension, and idolatry (putting something or someone before God). And that is just to name a few of my sins. But thank and praise God that He forgives and gives us unmerited grace! 


Another critical key note, Sue Edwards reminded readers to watch out for was our sinful nature and its evil desires. In Galatians 5:16-19, we read that there are two forces at work in our lives, and they are always at a spiritual war with each other. The two forces are the Holy Spirit and our sinful nature. The Holy Spirit lives inside of you when you accept Jesus as your Savior and we have fruit. "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!" (Galatians 5:19-23 NLT) This is why it's important to display the fruit of the Holy Spirit and let our lives demonstrate evidence that we truly believe in a loving Creator!  

I intensely hope that you will be joining us in this wonderful study of Ephesians by Sue Edwards! Together, we can learn more about Christ and God’s written Word. And also please check back each Friday on my blog through November 18 for more insights into the amazing study!


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“Open Book Promotion/ Kregel Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for this study.”

Check out Ephesians Lesson 3 Video: