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.

Thrive Student Edition: Digging Deep, Reaching Out By Mark Hall Book Review

Thrive is a book about thriving in this world and not living in survival mode and going through the motions of everyday living. It is written by Mark Hall lead singer of popular recording group Casting Crowns. Mark Hall strongly believes too many Christians are just trying to survive through this life when in fact Jesus came where we could live our life and live it abundantly. In part one of the book, he compared our lives to a tree and we need to have roots that run deep and that is only possible by digging into the word of God regularly. The next part is reaching out to others like branches on a tree.


I would recommend this life changing book especially to every single high school and college aged student. I liked how Mark Hall revealed personally details about how he struggled with negative thinking and seeing himself the way God saw him. He also openly admitted that after a long-term relationship ended he held a gun to his head and tried to take his own life. What helped him was digging into the word of God and listening to His voice instead of the enemy. Mark Hall also failed the entrance exam for music majors and he struggled to know what to do with his life. In this book, he is actively trying to assist students into discovering their gifts that God has given them and how to use it for His kingdom.


One of my favorite chapters was, “The Eagle and The Yardbird”. This story was basically about a lost eagle that was living with a bunch of chickens. The chickens believed he was just an ugly yardbird who wasn’t like the other chickens. He was chastised for shrieking instead of clucking. He was told to follow everyone else and act like them. He never knew he was an eagle and he had so much more in store for his life. I really connected with this story because so many people struggle to believe what God has declared over their lives and they struggle with accepting and loving themselves like God does. We get caught up in believing what other people say about us and we believe their lies. Mark Hall pointed out the one way to fix this is having our roots into the word of God. This book helped me to realize that I have to work on making sure my roots are planted on solid ground. If you’re looking for a book on thriving and living an abundant life, then read this book!



 "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 Thrive, check it out on


Killing Lions: A Guide Through the Trials Young Men Face by John Eldredge and Sam Eldredge Book Review

I’m a member of the Family Christian Bloggers and they provided me with a free copy of Killing Lions for this review.


Killing Lions is a book written by John Eldredge and his son, Sam Eldredge. This is Sam’s first book that he has written. The book is constructed as conversations between father and son. It is written as a critical guide to assisting young boys transforming into grown men. The book covered topics such as career changes, financial, love, changing our inner beliefs about ourselves and discovering our new identity, fighting like a warrior against the true enemy, and standing strong in our personal relationship with Jesus Christ.


I would recommend this amazing book to anyone who is yearning to learn how to be an effective man. This book is more geared towards young men but adults could still benefit from reading this book. I especially enjoyed that the book was written from a father and son perceptive and I believe this greatly will assist young men. The book was very relatable and I liked how John reinforced the importance of why isn’t good for man to be alone and he shared that God created women to be a mystery. John also strongly suggested learning about the femininity heart. I think this is great advice for young men and older men and this could help improve our relationships. Another big thing the book taught me was changing the inner scripts that are running wild in my brain. Sam revealed throughout the book he struggled with fear and he didn’t believe that he was a good enough writer. John talked about how men seek validation from God and the man in us gets our identity from Him. I immensely love how the authors included a prayer for guidance in the back of the book, a daily prayer, and a prayer for sexual healing. If you’re looking an excellent book that could change men lives, then read this book!


If you would like to purchase a copy of Killing Lions, then check it out on Family Christian:

Christmas in the Country CD Review and Giveaway

I’m a member of the Family Christian Bloggers and they provided me with a free copy of Christmas in the Country.


Christmas in the Country is a collection of songs from popular country artists featuring, Randy Travis, Travis Tritt, LeAnn Rimes, Little Texas, Steve Holy, Kenny Rogers and Wynonna, John Michael Montgomery, Clay Walker, Bryan White, Holly Dunn, Kathy Mattea, The Bellamy Brothers, Neal McCory, Big & Rich, and Glen Campbell.


The album starts off with Randy Travis – Meet Me under the Mistletoe. This song has the vibe of classic country. The song is about falling in love and meeting your lover under the mistletoe and who doesn’t want to receive a romantic kiss as a first gift! I know, I do!!

The second is a classic radio hit featuring vocals from Travis Tritt called Santa Looked a lot like Daddy. It’s a humorous Christmas song and this one is about a boy witnessing his mommy kissing Santa and he is confused as to why.

The third song is one by LeAnn Rimes and it’s the classic White Christmas. This one makes me recall watching out the window and seeing snow falling and everyone is getting ready to go out after they unwrap their gifts. LeAnn Rimes does an excellent job hitting all of the high notes in this song and her voice is simplify stunning.

Track number four is Here Comes Santa Claus by Little Texas. This one has a country rock feeling to the track and it makes you want to rock out waiting for Santa to deliver presents. I also like how this one talked about how peace would come to all if we would follow the light and giving thanks to God for our many blessings and how we all God’s children.

The five song is one by Steve Holy and Jingle Bell Rock reminded me of an oldies tune mixed with today’s music. The guitar licks in this song is amazing and it makes you to want to get up and dance.

Track six is a duet by Kenny Rogers and Wynonna called Mary Did You Know and this song gives me chills. This one asks the question to Mary if she knew the child, Jesus she was carrying was going to change the world.

Track seven is a classic song called Santa Claus is Coming to Town by John Michael Montgomery. I especially miss hearing John Michael Montgomery on the radio. I liked how this version had a wonderful piano solo part and kids will love his voice.
Track eight is a soulful song called Please Come Home for Christmas by Clay Walker. This one is about begging your lover to return home by Christmas or at least by New Years. Clay Walker sings this one with such passion like he’s lived this song! It also has magnificent guitar riffs towards the end of the song that really bring the song alive.
Track nine is a classic song recorded by many artists called I’ll Be Home for Christmas. I really enjoyed the violin parts that added a sad ambiance and longing to get home to be with your family and friends.
Track ten is a Latino song called Feliz Navidad by Holly Dunn. It had a nice drumbeat in the middle of the song. It makes listeners to want to dance along to the track.
Track eleven is a song called the Christmas Song by Kathy Mattea. I love the instruments in this track and it sounds like a classic country Christmas song.
Track twelve is by the Bellamy Brothers – Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. There isn’t a song that the Bellamy Brothers can’t cover. This one has a rocky edge to it that country lovers will love!
Track thirteen is one called Merry Christmas Darling by Neal McCoy. This was the first time that I have ever heard this Christmas song and I like how it described the perfect Christmas scene of being by the cozy fire.
Track fourteen is by Big & Rich – Blue Christmas and it has such a rock feeling throughout the entire song and it’s different than the typical version of Blue Christmas. I like this version way better and the guitar parts blew me away with how epic they sounded.
Track fifteen is called Brightest And Best by Glen Campbell and this one is about shepherds travelling to meet our Savior. It gives me the Heavenly in awe feeling!
I would recommend this amazing country Christmas album especially to any country music fans who are fans of classic country and today’s country. It has the perfect mix of both styles of artists. Even if you’re not a huge country music lover the album is still enjoyable. I really like how this album had classic Christmas tunes and some new songs that I haven’t heard before. The songs are all family friendly and everyone will adore listening to these by the fire. My top five songs are Santa Looked a lot like Daddy, Here Comes Santa Claus, Mary Did You Know, Please Come Home for Christmas, and Blue Christmas. If you’re looking for a wonderful produced album featuring great country artists, then check out this CD!
Family Christian has graciously provided me with a Family Christian $10 appreciation certificate to giveaway to a luck reader!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jesus Daily: 365 Interactive Devotions by Aaron Tabor, MD Book Review and Giveaway

My Review:


Jesus Daily is an excellent new interactive devotional written by Aaron Tabor, founder of popular Facebook page, Jesus Daily. Each month covers a different theme and some of these themes are “Jesus is the answer, Jesus Heals, Jesus Changed My Life”, and much more. The book contains beautiful illustrations to draw readers into God’s Holy presence. It also has a nice ribbon bookmark in it to help you find the next day easier. Each day has a main scripture verse and a wonderful lesson to encourage readers through this difficult walk of life. It also enclosed a connect feature which is designed to ignite readers into reaching out and interacting with others and showing them the love of Christ.


I was selected to post my review today, December 3.


Today’s teaching told the story of the angel appearing to Mary telling her that a child was going to be born to her. Mary was told she would conceive and have a son and to name him Jesus. The angel assured her to not be afraid because she found favor from God. Imagine for a minute that an angel just appeared to you declaring you’re carrying God’s chosen child who would forever change the entire world. If you can’t imagine an angel appearing before you, then picture waiting for the results of an EPT test. Like most people who have ever taken a pregnancy test, you have mixed emotions: excitement, fear, and maybe even a little scared to death waiting for those long results to see if one’s on the way or more than one. Not to mention, Mary was engaged to be married and it wasn’t Joseph’s child. As we all know people would gossip and pass judgment and believe they had premarital sex even when it wasn’t the truth. But when God gave Mary favor it changed her life and everyone around her for generations to come.


It’s always tough when our circumstances don’t look good in the natural and we don’t understand His plan for our life in this present moment. In the bigger scope of looking at life, we will eventually see that His plan is far better than we will realize. But one touch of God’s favor changed her life instantly and one touch of His favor can also change yours! That dry season and drought in your life dramatically can be changed with one touch of His favor! That couple who is having infertility problems one touch of God’s favor and boom you’re expecting. The adoption process that is taking forever and suddenly you receive an unexpected call that you’re approved for adoption and everything works out. The married couple who is angry and bitter at their spouse and can’t even stand sleeping next to their spouse anymore and one touch of His favor and hearts are soften and love is rekindled. The breakup that has almost killed you’re self-worth and you’re thinking you will never find love again and one touch of God’s favor and boom you fall in love again and this time it’s with a way better person. You lost your job and you’re struggling to find another one and boom with God’s favor you find a way better job. That person who has an addiction and is struggling to be set free, one touch of God’s favor and you’re craving is gone. Sickness and disease is causing you to have immense fear in your life and one touch of His power and your body is healed.


Today’s devotional reminded me to always remember to notice the favor of God in small and big things. Favor can be simple things such as someone giving you a good parking space to bigger things such as receiving an unexpected financial blessing. It’s viral to take the time and pay attention to God’s favor in your life.


I would highly recommend checking this devotional out and seriously letting it help you to refocus on enjoying God’s presence.



I was asked by FaithWords to review a copy of this amazing new resource.


Thanks so very much to FaithWords for graciously providing me with an extra copy of Jesus Daily and a t-shirt to giveaway to a lucky reader during their 12 Days of Christmas promotion! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway