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.

I Am Redeemed: Learning to Live in Grace by Mike Weaver and Jim Scherer Book Review

In I Am Redeemed, Lead singer of Big Daddy Weave, Mike Weaver opens up about how he became a Christian singer and how he struggled with his true identity. He begins the book by opening up about being nominated at the K-Love awards for Song of the Year. Their song, “Redeemed” won and Mike was very surprised that he didn’t even plan a speech. The song was a huge success for them and the song connected and changed countless people lives. Afterwards though, he felt that he failed and he struggled with self-hatred. He admitted that he felt stupid and he didn’t ever why to get up and perform in front of anyone again. He shared how he was listening to the lies of the enemy. Throughout the book, he opens up about where all of these feelings began and insecurities. Most of his insecurities began in his early childhood. He grew up mostly in Gulf Breeze, Florida. One of his earliest memories was being laughed at because of how he drew Pac-Man as a letter e on the board. He felt so ashamed and stupid afterwards and he didn’t ever volunteer for another thing again. He also shared how he desperately wanted to fit in and he would do anything his so called friends wanted to do. 

The next part of the book covered how he became a Christian and how he started into music and how loved to play the guitar. He shared how he would play guitar with his brother Jay. Mike also shared how he went to college and how he struggled with anxiety and how he sometimes skipped class. He admits to leaving the classroom sometimes to avoid being called on by the teacher. During his college years, he revealed how he led worship and how he eventually started Big Daddy Weave and they were an indie band. He also shared how they eventually signed with Fervent despite the band telling them no the first time. He also shared how he met his future wife Kandice who was a marketing director at the label. 

I would recommend this awesome book to anyone who enjoys the music of Big Daddy Weave. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time! I have always liked them since their first single, “In Christ” and met then band once at an event. I connected with Mike’s story about struggling with anxiety and insecurity. I felt not good enough most of my life too and it was a great encouragement to see how Mike dealt with his own struggles. I loved how he revealed how he was able to overcome and push through the challenges he faced and many times others helped him along the way. I really liked the story of Operation Restored Warrior and I immensely believe this will greatly help readers to deal with their own painful past. If you’re looking for an inspiration book, then read this book! 

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

Beauty in the Breakdown: Choosing to Overcome by Julie Roberts Book Review

In Beauty in the Breakdown, Julie Roberts opened up about her music career and how she dealt with the highs and the lows she faced. Julie grew up in Lancaster, South Carolina with her two other sisters, Marie and Lorie. Julie was the middle child. Her dad was an nuclear engineer and he was a strong man who believed his money was his money. Julie shared countless stories about them having to escape and run to her granny’s house when her dad become violent from his drunkenness. Her mother was abused and had bruises and black eyes many times. He was also cheating on his wife but her mom stayed with him for years because of the stigma of divorce. Julie shared how she started singing in her childhood and how one of her biggest influences was the style of Barbara Mandrell. Her mother would spend her own money on her daughters and she would buy music tracks for Julie where she could perform at different events. She even played at nursing homes where she met Carol a young girl who was in there because she had MS. She opened up about how this girl changed her life and influenced her. Julie shared some stories about going to college and how she eventually landed a job at Mercury Records in Nashville as a receptionist. She was promoted to Luke Lewis’s assistant. Luke was very vocal about how he would fire anyone who wanted to be a singer so Julie vowed to keep her singing a secret. During this time, she mother finally divorced her father and she made the move to Nashville. Julie revealed how she met a producer named Brent Rowen. They recorded one of Julie’s hit songs, “Break Down Here” together. Eventually, he took it to Lewis and a few other top label makers listened to it and Julie was signed to Mercury Records and had a deal for 7 albums. She opened up about touring with Rascal Flatts and Chris Cagle. Julie also shared the highs and lows of eventually being dropped after two albums. She shared the struggles of trying to make a comeback in her music career and what she learnt along the way. She also opened up about how she found out she has MS and legions on her brain and how she has chosen to use her voice to raise awareness on the disease. 

I would recommend this awesome book about Julie Robert’s life story. I haven’t heard most of her story before reading this book. I wasn’t aware of all of her hardships and challenges. I was shocked about some of the secrets she shared about touring and the music industry. I didn’t realize that many opening acts don’t get paid by the labels that many times they have to paid the headliner to allow them to join the tour. And I personally think there should be some changes to that. She also shared how hard it is for a female to get radio time which, I agree they should play them more. I remember in the 90’s growing up listening to Shania Twain, Jo Dee Messina, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Dixie Chicks, and SheDaisy. I do feel like they have stopped playing females as much as they used too. One of my favorite songs, that she sings is called, “Somebody Does” and this one talks about when we are at our lowest point and we feel like we aren’t love and nobody cares it reminds us that somebody does. I immensely connected with Julie Robert’s story and I believe many readers will enjoy reading this book. I highly recommend this book if you’re feeling lost and need some encouragement in your own life! 

If you would like to purchase a copy of Beauty in the Breakdown, then check it out on 

Point of View: A Fresh Look at Work, Faith, and Freedom by Elisabeth Hasselback Book Review

In Point of View, Elisabeth Hasselback opened up about being a contestation on Survivor, and a co-host on The View, and Fox News. She started the book by sharing how when she was a fourth grader she struggled with reading because she couldn’t see clearly. She shared how at the time she didn’t realize how bad she couldn’t see. This lesson taught her that not everyone sees the same and we all have different points of views. Elisabeth revealed how God’s lens are different than our own and we can choose which lens we choose to see with. Later in the book, she shared how she worked as a shoe designer for Puma and how she was good at sports and art. One of her coworkers encouraged her to compete on Survivor. She opened up about how she was picked. She shared a crazy story about attending a jump school and what this taught her. She eventually made the cut and was on the second season of Survivor and she went into great details about her time on Survivor and the challenges she faced. Later, she was chosen for a hosting spot on the Look for Lesson the E! network. She eventually was let go and she wound up being selected for a cohosting spot on The View. As many people who has seen the show, Elisabeth had some extra challenges on the show because of her beliefs in Christ and her political view points and sometimes she clashed with different cohosts on the View. In the book, she also shared how she met her husband Tim, who was a player in the NFL and she shared some of her tips on her marriage and the challenges she has learned in raising their three children. 

I would recommend this awesome book to anyone who enjoyed watching Elisabeth Hasselback on Survivor, the View, and Fox News. I used to watch the View every day when Elisabeth Hasselback and Sherri Shephard was on the panel and I loved their personality and I connected with a lot of their view points. I stopped watching when they were removed and I haven’t really ever watched the show again regularly since then. I loved the debates and loved how Elisabeth and Sherri shined a life for Christ. I immensely was excited to read about Elizabeth story and I loved how she shared Christ’s message throughout the book. I didn’t know much about her personal life before the View or really after the View. It was really nice to see how bold Elisabeth was in front of the camara and off. I highly recommend readers and fans to read this book and may it all remind us to always try and look at life through God’s point of view. 

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

Aly's Fight: Beating Cancer, Battling Infertility, and Believing in Miracles by Aly and Josh Taylor Book Review

In Aly’s Fight, Aly and Josh Taylor opened up about everything they have experienced in their lives together as a couple. She met Josh when she was 14 years old and he was 17. Her father had just died in a terrible car accident and her family moved to West Monroe, Louisiana. They shared how they eventually fell in love, got married, and how they had big plans to start trying to have a baby and following the all American dream. After two months of trying to get pregnant, Aly thought she was experiencing the pregnancy symptoms, and then she noticed a lump in her breast. She made an appointment with her doctor. Aly was diagnosed with breast cancer on October 17, 2011 at the young age of 24. It was classified as stage III and they had to travel to Houston for her treatments. The doctors warned Aly that they might not be able to have children. At first, the doctor suggested they meet with an infertility doctor but the cancer was too aggressive that they couldn’t wait. Aly shared what she went through in chemo, mastectomy, radiation, and breast reconstruction. Aly and Josh switch voices throughout parts of the book about what each felt. She shared about becoming cancer free. They also shared about their journey with trying to get pregnant and their battle with infertility. They opened up about their experiences with adoption and the high and lows of what they went through and how they still experienced an unexpected miracle. Josh also created a blog for them to share with followers about what they were going daily. They also shared about how they ended up with being casted in a reality tv show on TLC, called Rattled. 

I would recommend this life changing book to any cancer patient, anyone battling infertility, anyone who is looking to adopt, and they need some inspiration about someone who has been through difficult times. I immensely connected with their story and was reminded that God is still able to heal and He can still perform miracles if it’s in His will for their lives. I love how they both shared their experiences about what they were feeling during everything and how they were transparent with their readers. The book will be a blessing to anyone who is going through tough times and it will encourage them by reading how God is always there. 

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

In Stepping Up!: Discover the Power of Your Position by Johnny McGowan Book Review

In Stepping Up, Johnny McGowan explored how we can all step up and service and volunteer right where we are today. His parents taught him the importance of being faithful in the small things where he would be prepared when bigger opportunities came his way. Johnny shared how we serviced at Lakewood Church and how he would run the behind the scenes tasks, such as doing some filming, editing, and programing. Eventually, this led to Johnny leaving his father’s construction job and taking a job with Lakewood. Joel Osteen recognized his positive attitude and thought he would be a good fit for a position at the church. Johnny described how he had to listen to God’s voice. Throughout the book, he explained how critical it is do sow seeds of service and doing so not because we are wanting to clap for us and show us appreciate for doing so. We must be more concern for pleasing God and he shared the scripture of working like we are working for God. Johnny opened up about how we are all a part of the body of Christ and how we each can service and make a difference for the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom. 

I would recommend this awesome book for anyone who is ready to serve in whatever role God has them in right now. We can all serve and be a blessing and we can all work together for the body of Christ. I liked how Johnny McGowan shared personal stories about how he served and what he learned from God. I also liked how he included new steps questions at the end of each chapter and he also included a prayer. I also liked how he looked at Biblical stories and one of my favorites was the one about Parables of the Talents and how two servants invested their gold and made more. And one servant buried his gold and earned nothing. I loved how Johnny pointed out that they both did what came instinctively and they didn’t ask what they were expected to do. Johnny shared many more insights about being a faithful servant for Christ’s Kingdom. If you’re ready to step up and make a difference, 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 Stepping Up, check it out on

Crushing: God Turns Pressure into Power by T.D. Jakes Book Review

InCrushing, T.D. Jakes explored what believers need to do when they experience heartache and pain and they feel like they are being crushed and unable to get back up. He starts the book out by revealing the big news of when his world fell apart. His teenaged daughter became pregnant at the age of thirteen. A few months prior he watched his own mother die from Alzheimer’s. Jakes was very real in sharing all of his questions and statement he said to himself during this time. He wondered how he failed as a father and what he could have done differently. He shared with readers on how experiencing a crushing we are forced to choose to reply on God as our guidance. Years later, Jakes shared how now his daughter is married and how his grandson has turned into a great man. The crushing feeling his daughter had to feel when her life changed now, she able to see how God turned into something good. Throughout the book, Jakes describes the process of fermentation from grapes into wine. He also went into detail about how he was thrown another curveball a few years later when his son had a heart attack and Jakes was preaching in another country. This led Jakes into looking at why we suffer and the sadness and fear Mary must have felt when Jesus died on the cross for our sins. 

I would recommend this excellent book on crushing and how God can change and turn anything around for good. We all experience pressure and pain in our lives no can escape it. When we go through bad things, we can decide to rise above it or be crushed from the pain. I liked how Jakes compared to crushed to how grapes are crushed and how they are left to ferment and then they are made into great wine. Many of us like to rush the process of moving forward through whatever painful event we are facing. But often times the bad times immensely help us to grow into the person God wants us to become. I also liked how Jakes explored the story of how Jesus turned water into wine and how Jesus can turn our lives around. The book contained many Biblical stories to illustrate how others in the Bible handled pressure. If you’re looking for inspiration 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 Crushing, check it out on