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.

#Struggles: Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centered World By Craig Groeschel Book Review

#Struggles is a book written to assist readers in regaining control of their lives and their use of social media. Craig Groeschel knows that we are becoming more addictive to all kinds of social media and we’re losing the connection of intimate relationships and friendships. Throughout this book, Craig explored eight Biblical values: contentment, intimacy, authenticity, integrity, encouragement, and many more to help us learn to balance our access in using social media. 

The book begins discussing the topic of contentment and how many of us are looking at our friend’s Facebook’s, Pinterest, Instagram’s, and how we’re not content with what we have. We are constantly comparing what our friends are doing and what new items they have that we secretly want. Craig also shared an insightful survey about how students revealed how dissatisfied they were while looking at Facebook and how critical they felt towards themselves afterwards. The results of this survey wasn’t that all surprising to me because I could see how people could easily become so consumed with looking at what their friends are doing and becoming unhappy with their own lives.

Craig Groeschel categorized people’s envy into three categories: material and financial, relational, and circumstantial. This part of the book really hit home to me. I will admit that I have felt depressed while looking at what others are doing and how much farther along they appear to be in life. It is so easy to just get online and know everything that my friends are doing and being up to date. I realized that I struggle with relational envy and when I’m looking on Facebook or Instagram I always see a post about how someone else is getting into a new relationship and it’s going really well, someone got engaged, someone posting about their happy marriage, and someone expecting their first child. And I’m still single and can’t see to find the bliss and happiness in a relationship that other person appears to have. I know looking at my friends Facebook’s continuously only leaves me with the feeling of being jealous and envying what they have that I want. At the end of the day, I feel empty and wanting something more than I currently have. Craig shared that, “You will battle with discontent until you let Christ be all that you need” (Page 31). I really loved how Craig stated the importance of thanking God for blessing the other person’s life and praying that He would continue to do so. This is something I’m willing to do because I struggle with comparing and envying others. 

I would recommend this life changing book to anyone who struggles with balancing their usage on social media sites. Social media is harming our relationships and friendships. This book will assist readers into recapturing control of their access to social media. I loved how Craig Groeschel shared tons of scriptures throughout the book. I liked how he presented how social media is affecting our Christian walk and how we can fix it. We don’t have to completely cut off social media, we just need to limit our usage and have safeguards in place. This book will guide readers into following Christ and not being distracted by social media. If you’re looking for an excellent book about social media and you’re wondering how to combat all of the dangers of being too obsessed with what others are doing, 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 #Struggles, check it out on


Captive Movie Review

In Captive, Brian Nichols is in prison awaiting trial for a rape charge. He decides to escape from prison. He shoots and kills an officer, an agent, court reporter, and the judge overseeing his case. He recently found out that he has a newborn son and he is in search of tracking him down. He arrives at Ashley Smith’s apartment and he is able to capture her. He holds her hostage and ties her up. She is able to influence Brian Nichols and she reads the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren to him. The film also shows the backstory of willowed, Ashley Smith and her struggle with drugs and losing custody of her daughter. 

I live North of Atlanta and I remember the events surrounding the story of Brian Nichols and how he escape and killed four people and was on the loose from the police. I recall everyone being concerned about dangerous he was. I read the book a couple of months ago and I felt like the movie helped to bring the scenes even more to life. At times, I could feel how petrified Ashley felt in not knowing if she would get to see her daughter again. I loved watching this movie and I liked how it contained such a strong message about living in your God given purpose. I also liked how it showed the importance of breaking free from any addictions and strongholds you have in your life. If you’re looking for a new movie to check out, then read this one! 

About the movie:
Based on a miraculous story about the power of faith, Captive is an "amazing, inspiring" drama about the spiritual collision of two lost souls, Brian Nichols (Golden Globe Nominee David Oyelowo), on the run from police and desperate to make contact with his newborn son, takes recently widowed mother Ashley Smith (Kata Mara) hostage in her own apartment.  Fearing for her life and desperately hoping to see her daughter again, she turns to Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life for guidance.  Ashley and her captor face a crossroads where they discover hope and light in the midst of despair in the moving film that Dick Rolfe, CEO, Dove Foundation hailed as "powerful." 

DVD Release Date: January 5, 2016
Runtime: 96 minutes
Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic elements involving violence and substance abuse) 

There are over 30 minutes of bonus content on this DVD including Journey Through Darkness: Filming Captive and Faith and The Purpose Driven Life.  Also included with this DVD is a Digital HD copy that can be instantly streamed and downloaded.  



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Salvation’s Tide Is Rising Album Review

My Review:

Salvation’s Tide Is Rising is a brand new album featuring popular Christian artists Christ Tomlin, Matt Redman, Kristian Stanfill, Crowder, Brett Younker, Christy Nockels, Jimi Cravity, and Melodie Malone. 

One of my favorite tracks was, “Salvation’s Tide Is Rising”. This song talks about walls falling down, lost being saved, churches arising and shining the light and message of Christ. I liked how the track described how good it feels to accept Jesus’ forgiveness for our countless sins and how free and clean we feel afterward. I can see this song as being an anthem for churches and worship leaders in encouraging believers to reach as many for Christ’s Kingdom. 

Another favorite song on the album was, “Remember” because this one discusses remembering the empty grave Jesus was released from. It also talks about the hope that is found in our darkest valleys and struggles of this life. Jesus has incredible power and He has already overcome everything and we can have hope that He will prevail! I really enjoyed the vocals from Brett Younker and Melodie Malone. I felt they were truly singing everything they felt in their hearts.

Another favorite track was, “God and God Alone” because this one talked about how there is one God and He is alone is the one that saved us from our sins. This is an amazing praise song and it a declaration about how God will be forever seated on the throne and how every knee will bow in honor. Chris Tomlin is one of the best Christian worship leaders and he does a great job in leading believers into worshiping their loving Creator. 

Overall I have always enjoyed listening to Passion’s artists throughout the many years. I believe they keep getting better and better with their writing and their vocals. Passion also has that Heavenly choir feeling to their songs and I can only imagine this is also what Heaven will truly sound like. This album is a wonderful worship album that needs to be added to your collection!

About Salvation's Tide Is Rising:

This brand new Passion album contains new studio recordings from best-selling artists Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Matt Redman, and Kristian Stanfill.  It features new songs written specifically for Passion 2016.  Release Date is January 29, 2016.  

Track List:
1.  Salvation's Tide is Rising - Passion featuring Kristian Stanfill
2.  My Victory - Passion featuring Crowder
3.  Remember - Passion featuring Brett Younker & Melodie Malone
4.  God & God Alone - Passion featuring Chris Tomlin
5.  Simple Pursuit - Passion featuring Melodie Malone
6.  I Turn to Christ - Passion featuring Matt Redman
7.  Your Grace Amazes Me - Passion featuring Christy Nockels
8.  All We Sinners - Passion featuring Crowder
9.  Surrender - Passion featuring Jimi Cravity
10. Good Good Father - Passion featuring Kristian Stanfill 

About Passion albums:

Since the first release in 1998, Passion albums have sold over 1.3 million units while introducing the church to worship songs like "Our God", "Holy Is The Lord", "How Great Is Our God", and "God Of This City".  Passion is coming off its best charting radio success in 5 years with the single "Even So Come", which went Top 5. 

About The Passion Movement:

The Passion Movement and the messages of founder Louis Giglio have marked the lives of millions of people around the globe, calling people everywhere to live for the glory of God.  From its inception, the movement of Passion has birthed new anthems of worship, influencing countless churches and helping to define the current worship climate and establish artists Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill and others.  Louie Giglio is the pastor and founder of Passion City Church in Atlanta, GA. 

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

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