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.

The Pact: A UFC Champion, a Boy with Cancer, and Their Promise to Win the Ultimate Battle By Cody Garbrandt with Mark Dagostino Book Review





In The Pact, Cody Garbrandt opened up about his journey to join Team Alpha Male and to become a fighter in the UFC. Cody grew up in Uhrichsville, Ohio in an area nicknamed “922”. This area was known for trouble. He learned to fight with his big brother, Zach and they would always be wrestling and fighting. He had his first concussion at age six. Both brothers wrestled in school and they got into trouble along the way. But their mother was the grounding force in their life. She would always provide for them since their dad was rarely around growing up and was in an out of jail. Uncle Bob was also a strong mentor in Cody’s life and he was a strong boxer. He found God in prison and changed his life around. Eventually, Cody found God too and changed his life and he came to know Christ as His Savior. 



He also shared how he tried college twice and quit both times. He didn’t have a passion and a drive for it, all he wanted to do was fight. He made a deal with his mother finally and declared that if he didn’t make it as a fighter in five years, he would find him a real steady job. Cody had a way of getting into trouble and fights and he was hanging out with his friends at a tavern. Some guy started a fight with him and Cody was stabbed in his calf muscle and it went to his bone. Cody hit a low point in his life after that and he reached out to God and asked him what He wanted him to do with his life. A short time afterwards, Zach told him he needed to check out this awesome five year old kid, Maddux Maple. He had cancer and Zach told him that Cody should donate his next fight proceeds to him. Cody was touched by his story and reached out to his parents and started trying to get to know them. It took a while for Maddux to be well enough for Cody to meet him. Cody kept telling Maddux that he wanted him to be healthy and strong enough to walk with him out to one of his fights. Throughout the book, Cody will take readers through the journey of how he became a UFC Championship belt winner and how Maddux changed his life around.



I would recommend this remarkable book to anyone who enjoys a book that contains an inspiration story about how a fighter found his purpose in unlikely places. I haven’t heard of Cody’s or Maddux’s story prior to reading this book. I was amazed how Maddux and Cody both helped each other in overcoming and achieving their dreams. Both seemed to be such an unlikely pair of friends and their stories collided into a beautiful masterpiece. I liked how Cody was tough in the ring and how he wasn’t afraid to show his vulnerable side. Cody took the time to make sure Maddux felt included in his journey to win the championship belt. Maddux eventually did win his battle against cancer and now he lives a normal. I also liked how he shared how God was always with them both through their journeys. Cody also shared about how he met his wife in the mist of all of the fights and how everything worked out the way it was supposed to. This was an awesome read, and readers will definably enjoy it! 




"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 The Pact, check it out on Amazon.com:



Hope of Nations: Standing Strong in a Post-Truth Post-Christian World by John S. Dickerson Book Review






In Hope of Nations, John S. Dickerson is a research journalist and a pastor. He has written this book to explore what’s going on in the world and what is our hope for the future. He shared that the Post-Truth movement is rising and ideologies are changing and the millennial's will be more than the baby boomers. In the next election, they will have the most votes for the first time ever. He also shared that in thirty he believes China and India will be above the United States economies. He stated that that Christianity will be the second fastest ideology in the next thirty years. He opens in the book by sharing a story about The Folsom Street Fair in California. This event shows openly bondage sex that include public masturbation along with whips and chains. There is even minors that attend the event. There was even a two year old seen at the event and the parents said it was their decision to allow their child to attend the event. He also explored the Five Forces and nine Christian trends that is coming our way and how we can still survive in the future.



I would recommend this awesome book on the future to anyone who is a Christian and they want to be prepared for where the world is heading and what we can do about it. I was shocked to learn about this openly sexual acts festival. I haven’t ever heard about such an event and I was surprised to read about it. It’s heartbreaking to see how some parents aren’t even concerned about the message it’s sending to their children. I think one of the most important Christian trends was the first one about being rooted and grounded in Christian scriptures and this will help us to thrive in the mist of the chaos and confusion. This book shows that this book is important and we need to be a witness for Christ now more than ever. If you’re looking a new book on finding hope for the future, then read this book!




"I received this book free from the publisher through the Handlebar Marketing book review bloggers program."




If you would like to purchase a copy of Hope of Nations, check it out on Amazon.com: 




Walk on: From Pee Wee Dropout to the NFL Sidelines--My Unlikely Story of Football, Purpose, and Following an Amazing God by Ben Malcolmsom Book Review





In Walk On, Ben Malcolmsom opens up about how he discovered his purpose and how God used him in unexpected ways. Ben was a journalist for the USC school newspaper, The Daily Trojan. He decided to secretly join the walk on try out for the Southern California Trojans football team to get a firsthand story about the experience of trying out. He hasn’t played football since he was ten years old. He was determined to never to play football again because he hated it. He also weighed only about 165 pounds at the time and wasn’t a big guy. He was only going to be trying out just for the story. But God had other plans. He was picked to be on the team partly because he was a fast runner and he believed that Coach Peter Carroll was playing a prank on him by selecting him to be a walk on player. It wasn’t a prank he did make the team and he made the roster for wide receiver. He was picked on and laughed at by a few of his teammates when they discovered he was a reporter. Throughout the book, he shared about how he loved to be a counselor at Deerfoot which was a wilderness camp for boys. He opened up about how his faith became real for him when he was a freshman. His faith helped him to be a witness for Christ on the football team even while encountering setbacks and challenges. He injured his shoulder again and was kicked off of the team. He had to choose to preserve and fight for his spot back on the team. Readers will strongly be encouraged and their faith will be strength by reading about how Ben found his purpose and how God used him. 



I would recommend this amazing book to anyone who enjoys reading a story about adversity and overcoming the odds despite the fact that the odds are against you. I haven’t ever heard of Ben’s story prior to reading this book. I connected with the fact that he was a new reporter and was considered to be unqualified to be a football player. But he found his way amazing placed on a football team. I loved how he included special thoughts and scriptures at the end of all the chapters. He had great takeaways about being on the sidelines and still believing that God has a hope and a future for you. I really enjoyed reading this book about his journey through his news writing career and how everything lined up the way it was supposed to. If you’re a looking for a great summer read, then read this book!





“I received an advance book copy free from the Waterbrook Multnomah and was a member of the Walk on Launch team.”         




If you would like to purchase a copy of Walk On, check it out on Amazon.com: