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.

Acres of Diamonds: Discovering God’s Best Right Where You Are by Jentezen Franklin Book Review



In Acres of Diamonds, Jentezen Franklin has written a book to help readers to unlock their hidden potentials right where they currently are. He encouraged readers to not quit and to stay right where you are. Most of us are always wanting something more and we believe the grass is green elsewhere. He explained the importance of learning to stay when the going gets tough. We are willing to look for another spouse, church, job anything that will make our lives easier and possible have less conflicts and happiness. He wants believers to learn that they have diamonds inside them and that we all will face disappointments, setbacks, and trials. He explains how a diamond is made and how it takes pressure, heat, and time. And like a diamond our trials and setbacks and God can use everything to help us achieve our purpose in Christ. He shared how he had to wait for God’s perfect timing. Free Chapel had just moved into a new building and they were working to pay off the debt. Unexpectedly he received a phone call from in 1993 from evangelist, R.W. Schambach and he wanted to come preach at Free Chapel. They haven’t ever met prior to this and he shared with everyone on stage about how God told him that Franklin was supposed to be on TV. In 10 minutes, the church raised more than $138,000. He learned through this to trust God’s timing and he had to learn to be obedient. Throughout the book, he looked at different Biblical stories such as King David, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Abraham, Jesus, and much more and how they discovered their diamonds and how they overcame their own setbacks and fulfilled their purposes. 




One of my favorite stories, he shared was about thanking God for doors that didn’t open up in our lives. He shared a personal story about how his daughter rear ended a guy at a red light. The man purposely accelerated and then slammed on his brakes. She hit him and he told her it would all be okay as long as she would have sex with him in the back seat. She screamed and eventually he ran away. When the police showed up, they explained this was a new way that sexual predators were using to get victims. They later learned the dent was caused from another accident and this man has done this scheme before. Franklin opened up about how the enemy tried to use this for harm and God closed the door. 




I would recommend this life changing book to anyone who is read to discover their purpose right where they are. I immensely enjoyed this book and it’s probably one of the best books that I have read. I connected with how Jentezen explained the full power of staying in your marriage, staying in your job, and church. Most of us tend to run away from conflicts and we think it will be better off somewhere else and sometimes God wants us to stay put and to see the diamonds in wherever we currently are. I liked how he explored the passage of King David and how he would pray to God to open his eyes to the wonderful things around him. Franklin encouraged everyone to pause and ask God to open our own eyes to see His power and to see His vision for our lives and to witness the diamonds that already around us. If you’re looking for an inspiration book on unlocking your full potential, then read this excellent book! 




“I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House Publishers/ Chosen book review bloggers program.”     





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



Get in the Game: Nothing Missing: You Have Everything Needed to Succeed by Kevin Atlas Book Review




In Get in the Game, Kevin Atlas has written a book about how he dealt with living with a disability and how he made a decision to get in the game of life and to keep playing on. He was born without a left or forearm on Friday, April 13, 1990. The umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and as a baby, Kevin used his left arm to try and get it to stop. As a result, he lost his left arm and instead of his mother looking at the unlucky, Friday the 13th. She chose to instill in her son that this day meant a special Bible verse Philippians 4:13. She wanted to remind her son that through Christ he could do all things. He shared with readers how he struggled with fitting in with his red hair, tall height, ADHD, dyslexia, speech impediment, and his missing limb. Kevin opened up about how he dealt with his parents’ divorce, losing his dad, depression, bullying, self-pity, blaming, and excuses. He also discussed how he began playing basketball and how he eventually was the first player to be in the NCAA D-I with a missing limb and he got a full scholarship to Manhattan College. Throughout the book, he shared about how he was able to get in the game and what he has learned about following his true purpose. 




I would recommend this great book to anyone who is looking for an inspirational book. I immensely believe teenagers will especially benefit from reading this book. I liked how he was very transparent about his challenges and how he dealt with being made fun of and how he was able to turn it around. I connected with how Kevin Atlas explored the stories of Abraham Lincoln, Helen Keller, David and Goliath, and many more in this book. He encouraged readers to dig deep into what is their own personal nub in life and what’s the thing that is holding them back. He encouraged readers to capitalize on their own personal strengths and to also look back on what your nub has taught you. I liked how he shared how he became a motivational speaker and how he is able to reach teenagers and connect with them and one of the ways is by showing them how he is able to tie his shoes. I also liked how he included questions at the end of the chapters to help readers dig deeper into pondering some of the important topics of this book. If you’re seeking a new inspirational book, then read this book! 




"I received this book free from the publisher, Faithwords for my honest review.” 





If you would like to purchase a copy of Get in the Game, check it out on Amazon.com:


Fight Your Fears: Trusting God’s Character and Promises When You are Afraid by Kristen Wetherell Book Review





In Fight Your Fears, Kristen Wetherell has written a book about how to fight our fears and she shared that our goal isn’t to become fearless. We must rely on God and to fear him alone. She looks at Proverbs 9:10 which discussed how the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. But since the fall of our sins and the forbidden fruit we fear anything else instead of fearing God. We battle with worldly fears and what if this happens moments. Many of fear losing loved ones, being alone, getting fired, losing our money, houses, our health, afraid we’re not good enough, and many different things. Throughout the book, she explored ten different promises in scriptures about how to overcome and handle your fears. Some of the topics she covered was fear of failure, not being in control, fearing the worst, loneliness, man, death, and evil to name just a few.




One of my favorite chapters talked about fear of failure. She looked at some of her failures she experienced in life and what she learnt from it. She made a CD of a song she wrote and burned a number of discs where the children could practice for Easter Sunday. Some of the parents ended up calling her and letting her know she had a problem with the disc. The software changed the songs titles into expletives and she was really embarrassed. She also looked about Eve, Abraham, Aaron, Peter, and Paul. She explored Eve and how one of her sons ended up killing his own brother and this caused the first murder in history. We can only imagine the horror and blame she must have felt as when she caused sin to enter the world. The good news is Christ died for our sins where we can enter his Kingdom when we accept Him as our Savior. 



I would recommend this excellent book to anyone who is battling fear in their lives and they need some guidance on how to overcome and deal with fear. I liked how Kristen took a little different approach and explained how we are supposed to fear God and him alone. Our goal isn’t to be fearless and to think we won’t ever experience fear ever again in our lives. This book contained ten powerful promised scriptures to encourage readers. She had the scriptures on colorful pages at the end of each chapter. She also had small notecards readers can cut out to post them around the house, carry in your wallet, place in the car, or use them however they choose to. Each chapter also had a section called, “Learning to Trust”, which had a thought to ponder, questions to think about, and also a prayer to pray. If you’re ready to overcome your fears, then read this book! 




“I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House Publishers/ Chosen book review bloggers program.”     





If you would like to purchase a copy of Fight Your Fears, check it out on Amazon.com: 



The Power of Favor: The Force That Will Take You Where You Can't Go on Your Own by Joel Osteen Book Review




In the Power of Favor, Joel Osteen has written a brand-new book discussing the favor of God on your life. He shares that God had things in the future for us to accomplish and God will give us favor to help us find our purpose. Joel encourages believers to believe that God has good things in store for us. He explains that favor can be a job promotion that we weren’t qualified for that we end up getting, finding our spouse in an unexpected way, eventually conceiving and having a baby we have been praying and believing God for, receiving a scholarship out of the blue, having our debts taken care of, business taking off, or receiving God’s healing. Joel shared countless stories from scriptures and how they experienced the favor of God. Some of these included Noah, David, Moses, Elijah, Joseph, Hannah just to name a few. In the book, Joel also shared how Lakewood was able to get the Compaq Center. He was disappointed when two properties that his church was looking at was sold. Then God opened up a new door and one of his friends called him and told him the Rockets basketball team was looking to sell the Compaq Center. He explains we need only the right people for us. We don’t have to worry or stress over trying to win the critics God can cause the right people to be for us and that will make all of the difference. He encouraged readers by sharing how just one touch of God’s favor can put us years down the road even if we feel like our dreams are running behind our timeframe. 




I would recommend this awesome book to anyone who is ready to experience God’s favor and they are seeking some encouragement. Readers will get to connect with stories Joel shares throughout the book. One of my favorite Biblical stories he shared was about Hannah in 1 Samuel. She was barren and unable to have a baby and her husband’s other wife had many children and joked around and tried to shame her. One day, she prayed to God and Eli overheard her and told her that God would give her a son, named Samuel. God eventually went on and blessed her and let her have five more children after him. Joel explained how she asked God for 1 son and God fulfilled her dream and she received much more. God was able to exceed expectations for Hannah. I liked how Joel Osteen opened up about getting the Compaq Center. I enjoyed reading about how he met Victoria and how he encourages singles to believe that God can also do that for them. I connected with how Joel explained the power of favor and how God is able to open doors, bring healing, promotion, and help us to fulfill our purpose. If you’re ready to believe for God’s favor in your life, then read this brand-new book! 


"I received this book free from the publisher, Faithwords for my honest review.” 





If you would like to purchase a copy of The Power of Favor, check it out on Amazon.com:


Confessions of a Happily Married Man: Finding God in the Messiness of Marriage by Joshua L. Rogers Book Review



In Confessions of a Happily Married Man, Joshua L. Rogers shared real stories and confessions that he has encountered in his marriage. He is an attorney and a writer. He starts the book by sharing a personal story of a baby monitor and how this story changed their marriage and helped them both to eventually become a stronger couple. Throughout the book, he shared about how they both met and went into details about both of their family’s background’s with marriage and divorce. He also revealed his struggles with woman and dating. He was very transparent about how they were opened right at the beginning of their relationship about their pasts. He also explored some of the first arguments they had in their marriage and how at first, he was so determined to win the case. Eventually on their second year of marriage a friend pointed out during a Bible study by Henry Cloud about how he didn’t like how he talked to his wife. This study encouraged them to do interview questions and Joshua decided to try it with his wife and got feedback from her and a few other friends. He admits in the book that this was difficult to hear the positive and negative but this helped him to work on his own character weaknesses. In the back of the book, he also included them in here where readers could also enlist one of their own personal friends and spouse in order to improve their own life. He also suggested going over the feedback with your pastor to help you interpret all the feedback. The book also into detail about prayer, sex, dealing with the in-laws, losing loved ones, and health changes. 



I would recommend this excellent book on marriage to every engaged and married couple. This book contained many stories about their marriage and how they dealt with arguments and conflicts. I liked how real Joshua was in revealing what he struggled with. I was surprised about how open they were about their marriage and he wasn’t afraid to be honest and real. This is probably one of the better marriage books I have read. I appreciated how honest he was with talking about their sex life and how he struggled at a time with sexual dysfunction. I can tell in the book he truly wanted to help readers to become vulnerable with their spouse and for them both to become one like Christ intended. I also liked how the last chapter his wife wrote her experiences on their marriage. I connected with the two appendix’s chapters that he included at the back of the book to help guide readers into fixing and improve their own marriage for the better. If you’re looking for a great marriage book, then read this one! 



"I received this book free from the publisher, Faithwords/Worthy Publishing for my honest review.” 





If you would like to purchase a copy of Confessions of a Happily Married Man, check it out on Amazon.com:



Take the Day Off: Receiving God’s Gift of Rest by Robert Morris Book Review



In Take the Day Off, Robert Morris opens up about how we need to take a sabbath day where we can truly rest and become refreshed to carry out our God given assignment. He begins the book by revealing how stress is negatively affecting every one of us. He shared some shocking truths from studies about how stress is now the fifth leading cause of death. Next, Morris dives into the ten commands and looks at one of the forgotten ones which discusses that the sabbath day is the Lord’s holy day. He also reveals how God explained to Moses that His people were not to supposed to work. God created the Heavens and Earth in six days and God rested on the seven day. Morris opens up about how he struggled with resting and having a sabbath day. In the book, he discusses how he had to choose and fight for a sabbath day and he explains the different things he does on his rest day. He goes into vast detail about our four tanks, spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental that need to refilled. He explained that it didn’t have to all overly spiritually that we just need to find things that refresh us. Some of the examples he included was, read a book that you enjoy, solve jigsaw puzzles, hang out with good friends, enjoy being in nature, take a walk, and do anything that refreshes your life. Morris shared that we need to unplug and avoid social media and work-related tasks on our sabbath day.




I would recommend this awesome book to anyone who is tired of being overworked and they feel burned out on life and their purpose. Life is only getting busier and the sabbath mindset is going away. We’re conditioned to work and work harder to stay ahead. I liked how Morris shared that his own personal sabbath isn’t on a Sunday. It also doesn’t have to be overly spiritually some people just do things that help them to refocus their lives and help them to be refreshed. I will admit I don’t have a day which I call just my sabbath day. I recognized now how important it is to do this to help honor God’s commandments and also how to destress our lives. I appreciated some of the stories and examples he shared about how others spend their sabbath days. I’m willing to try and have a sabbath day as a regularly day of the week in order to help me to refocus and refresh my mind, soul, spirit, and body. 


"I received this book free from the publisher, Faithwords for my honest review.” 





If you would like to purchase a copy of Take the Day Off, check it out on Amazon.com:




https://www.amazon.com/Take-Day-Off-Receiving-Gods/dp/1546010165/