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.

Us Against the World: Our Secrets to Love, Marriage, and Family by David and Tamela Mann with Shaun Saunders



In Us Against the World, David and Tamela Mann discussed the secrets of how they have managed to stay married for over thirty years. The book begins by telling readers who they both grew up and how they met. One of Tamela friends, Nicole introduced her  by inviting her to meet the Humble Hearts. She knew Tamela could sing so she introduced her to the group. The group consisted of David Mann, Darrell Blair, and Kirk Franklin. They begun to sing together as a group and they went on tour together for many years. They both opened up throughout the chapters taking turns describing and sharing what was on their hearts. David was very open in being honest about how he had multiple girlfriends at the time when he met Tamela. He also shared about how he told Tamela how he was going to become a dad with one of his ex girlfriends. At this point, they were only friends but she was a close friend to him through this. Eventually they would become great friends and eventually fall in love. David also shared about how he proposed and how he randomly asked while driving on the freeway. They also opened up to how they ended up getting pregnant before marriage and how they dealt with the fears of what people were going to think. 




They book also went into detail about how they rose to fame and the struggles they experienced along the way. They shared how they met Tyler Perry and how they had their own tv show, Meet the Browns. Throughout the book, they revealed how they made their marriage work over the years and how they both enjoyed doing life together at work and at home. In one of the chapters, they went through their vows and what each one of them means for marriage couples. In the second part of the book, they added a prayer and an activity to help married couples to grow closer together. 




I would recommend this amazing book to anyone who wants to improve their marriage. I truly believed this book will encourage readers to work towards their marriage being the best it can be. I have always enjoyed David and Tamela Mann in their hit tv shows and they are always wonderful in the Madea movies. You can tell they both have a great personality and they get along great on screen and off. This book showed how they have to collaborate and work together as a team and how they have to decide to act like Christ every single day. I also liked how they both cut up throughout the book to do add a touch of their humor in their marriage. If you’re looking for a book to read about marriage, then I highly recommend reading this one! 





"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 Us Against the World, check it out on amazon.com:




This is the Day: Reclaim Your Dream. Ignite Your Passion. Live Your Purpose. By Tim Tebow Book Review



In This is the Day, Tim Tebow explored the topic of saying yes to your dreams and pursing our God given dreams. His book is based on the scripture verse Psalms 118:24, which talks about how today is the day the Lord has given us and we need to rejoice and be glad that we have today to make a difference. Tim believes that each of us was given a gift and we have a choice to choose to live out our God given dreams and do something meaningful to change someone else’s life. In this book, Tim shared about why he left his football career in 2015. He also shared about how he decided he wanted to try and follow his dream of being a baseball player. He eventually joined the New York Mets. Tebow shared about his struggles and how he he had a lot of naysayers saying that he was too old and that he wouldn’t be able to perform at his best. He admitted how he had to choose to listen to the right voices and how he had to speak truth into his life about what God said about his life. Tebow chooses daily to speak positive God thoughts into his life especially while he plays baseball. He included a few of scriptures to share with readers what God’s word declares about them. He also opened up about how important it is to live in the present and not to look back. He had to look forward and not dwell on the past. Throughout the book, he also shared heartwarming stories about people he encountered that changed his life and made a positive impact on his life. 




I would recommend this awesome book to anyone who enjoys sports and they are seeking a book to encourage them on their Christian walk. I have enjoyed reading about how positive Tim Tebow is and how he uses his own foundation to make a difference in the lives of people. It was immensely encouraging to read about how Tim Tebow stepped out of his comfort zone and went after his God given desire to play baseball professionally after his NFL football career. I liked how he included tips and scripture verses to encourage readers to pursue their God given purpose and to follow their passion. I also appreciated how real he was in his journey of being single and how he struggled with the what if’s questions and how he has learned to trust God through the process. This book was a great encouragement about following my passion and going after the dreams and desires that God has given me. 




"I received this book free from the publisher through the Waterbrook launch team book review bloggers program."





If you would like to purchase a copy of This is the Day, check it out on amazon.com:




Hillsong Kids: Can You Believe It? Songs of Truth DVD Review



Hillsong Kids has recently released a brand new DVD entitled, “Can You Believe It?”. The movie is geared towards ages seven to fifteen years old. The DVD features a few music videos to go along with Hillsong Kids brand new album. The movie contains Funny Man Dan which included two hosts who interviewed some of the special singers who are in the music videos. They also play a few fun games to help kids understand some of the concepts of Christ. They also included special lyrics videos to some of the songs where listeners can sing along with. The DVD also included live in studio of the different songs where listeners can experience the song live and actual see the singers behind the vocals. The movie is only about 30 minutes. 



I would recommend this DVD to anyone who enjoys Hillsong and they love their music. The vocals from the singers featured children and teenagers where kids can relate to them. The music videos included kids acting, singing, and dancing. I liked how the songs and music videos was all kid friendly and they displayed kids enjoying their life and they appeared happy and filled with Christ’s love. I also liked how clear the video was and how bright they made the set to help capture kids attention. They showed breathtaking nature scenes throughout the music videos to show God’s creation and to help listeners to worship God. I think this DVD movie would make a great gift for children and I could see it being used in a youth group setting to encourage our youth. 



If you would like to purchase a copy, check it out: http://hllsng.co/canyoubelieveit?IQid=blog



About the DVD:

“Can You Believe It!? - Songs of Truth” is both a question and a challenge... a statement of gratitude to a loving God and an invitation to explore the very foundations of faith. Classic songs like “My Best Friend”, “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” and “What A Beautiful Name” join brand new declarations of faith such as “As The World Shakes” & “Heaven Is Our Home”. We pray that this collection of fun and vibrant songs, help children around the world to declare biblical truths about God’s love and grace for them.

Bio:
Hillsong believes that teaching children to love God and others takes place in both the home and in the church. For this reason they seek to partner with parents (the greatest teachers of all!) and with church pastors and leaders, equipping them with great resources. Through fun experiences, meaningful music and ministry that encourages kids to participate, Hillsong Kids presents Jesus Christ and His Church in a relevant way, creating moments which children will never forget.



Racing to the Finish: My Story by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Book Review





In Racing to the Finish, Dale Earnhardt Jr. explored the important topic of concussions and he was very open about the stigma behind hiding the truth when you’re a race car driver. Race car drivers don’t want to have to sit on the sidelines while their cars drive away without them. This is why many drivers hide the fact that they suffered from a concussion. Dale Jr. begin racing when he was seventeen years old and throughout his career he won multiple races and he won the Nascar Busch Series Championships in 1998 and in 1999. He shared with readers how he received the name, “Hammerhead” from his dad, Dale Earnhardt who was called “Ironhead”. Dale Jr. was known for being hardheaded. This book covered some of his life story but mostly this book was written to reach people who are experiencing the conditions of a concussions and many might have no idea. He kept it a secret at first from everyone and eventually the truth was revealed. Dale Jr. kept an iPhone journal about what he felt everyday in case someone later found it and wondered what happened to him. 



The first crash occurred in August at Kanas Speedway during a tire test when he hit the tire blown and he hit the wall going 185 mph. His black box said he registered at 40 Gs. People described it as they thought a plane crashed because it was so loud. He was later diagnosed as having a concussion. One of his crew described him as having a glass look after the crash. He went out with his friends later that night and he struggled with understanding the words people were speaking afterwards. He felt nausea and confused and he admitted he wanted to just lay down in the restaurant. 



A few days later, he felt a little better and he kept racing. He eventually had another concussion in October at Talladega and this time he yelled at a camera about how he wanted to quit racing if people couldn’t race right. He was experiencing mood swings now. He finally craved and told his girlfriend at the time, Amy. They met with Dr. Jerry Perry and he ran an ImPACT test and other tests and it was discovered Dale Jr. did have a concussion and he was forced to seek help and was took out of a few races. He also received help from Dr. Michael Collins, who is a Sports Doctor and has a concussion program. Dale Jr. also goes into the different types of concussions to help readers who might be experiencing the symptoms of a concussion. Dale Jr. also shared the fog he went through in 2015 and his lost season in 2016. He also revealed his decision to retire in 2017. 



I would recommend this book to anyone who is especially experiencing from a concussion. I would also recommend to anyone who is a Nascar fan. I remember growing up watching Dale Jr. and even his father racing. I liked how brave Dale Jr. was in opening up about what all he felt being his different concussions and how he bounced back and how he struggled with confusion, balancing, eye movements, anxiety, and much more. I enjoyed reading about his experience and his personal notes on his iPhone and how they were real and how they explained what he felt every day after a crash. I do believe this book will immensely help people who are wanting to see that they aren’t alone in their journey with dealing with a concussion. If you’re looking for an excellent book on concussion and racing, then read Dale Jr. story! 




"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 Racing to the Finish, check it out on Amazon.com:




Once Upon a Farm: Lessons on Growing Love, Life, and Hope on a New Frontier by Rory Feek Book Review





In Once Upon a Farm, Rory Feek has written a second book about his music journey and also his new journey about being a single dad to Indiana. He already raised two adult children from a previous marriage, Hopie and Heidi. Rory and Joey had a career of being a country music group who also happened to be married to each other. The book picks up where the last book ended. This book begins by explaining to readers the final moments of his wife Joey dying from cancer. She battled cancer twice and eventually lost her battle. He describes to readers how difficult it is to live without Joey and how he has questions for God. He shared personal stories about how she loved farming and how he hopes to continue that dream for her. After her death, he was left with his four year old daughter who has Down syndrome. He was very open with the challenges of raising a daughter after being out of the game for a few years. The book contains lessons and stories about how Rory learned about growing up and building a farm and what Joey taught him through her love. He also revealed how his older daughter Hopie came out to him and how she eventually got engaged. Rory shared how he choose to love her unconditionally and how he realized that Hopie’s faith is between her and God. 




I would recommend this awesome book to anyone who enjoy country music and their artists and who loves to read an inspiring story. I have heard of their story before and I can only imagine what heartache Rory went through when he lost his wife and being forced to raise a child alone. I have watched their TV show before and heard them perform before and was amazed with their harmony and their love story. I haven’t read the first book yet. I own the first one and it’s on my list to read. I still felt I was able to understand some parts of their story without having read the first one. This one is really a continuation of the first one and what Rory went through when his wife died. I also love how he shared some stories about his songwriting and how he wrote a few hit songs for a few artist, such as “Some Beach” for Blake Shelton and “A Little More Country Than That” for Easton Corbin. If you’re looking for a new book to read, then read this one! 





"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 Once Upon a Farm, check it out on Amazon.com:




Tori Kelly - Hiding Place CD Album Review





Tori Kelly is back with her second album entitled, “Hiding Places”. This album has R&B mixed in with some Gospel. The album kicks off with a track called, “Masterpiece” featuring Lecrae. This song talks about how people think of her when she is off key and her life isn’t always going good. This song is a declaration of wanting God to make us a masterpiece and use the good and the bad and make us whole again. Lecrae joins in later in the song and he discussed how we are masterpieces and we don’t need to compare ourselves to others. I really loved how the song begins with a chorus singing and how Tori Kelly voice just joins in and takes the song to another level. It had a heavenly feeling to it and it makes you want to get up and celebrate yourself and give your life to Christ. 



Another favorite song was a song called, “Questions”. This song has a piano playing throughout the song and this song she questions God and how she struggles with the death season of life. It covers topics about bombs, AIDS, and fighting around the world. It also asks the question of what happens when the healing does ever come. This is a very powerful song and it was much needed in the mist of all the chaos of the world. 



One of the singles off the album was called, “Never Alone”. This song discussed about how we all go through pain and storms of life and how we have all fallen. It also explored how we all compare ourselves to one another and how God loves us for whose we are. This song reminds that God is always there for us and how He is always calling us His child. I love how this song included a choir and Kirk Franklin joins in on the song to add a powerful gospel feeling to the song. This is another track that had a get up and move vibe to the song.



Another favorite song was the soulful song entitled, “Soul’s Anthem (It is Well)”. It contains some of the classic song of “It is Well” but it’s also mixed with personal lyrics. This song talked about how we need to reply on God when we are depressed and fear from the enemy is trying to control us and trying to prevent us from living our lives. I loved how Tori’s vocals shine through this track and this could be an anthem declaring that no matter what happens it is well with our souls. 



I would recommend this album to anyone who loves R&B and Christian music. Tori Kelly has an amazing voice that shines through each track. The lyrics are well written in a time where Christians and non-Christians need hope and joy to come into their lives. I loved how the album had songs you could move to and how it also had slow song where you could peacefully worship the Lord. If you’re looking for a new album, then check this one out! 



·  Check out some of Tori Kelly's video clips: https://umusic.box.com/s/ujff0t5td0mwrh5ru693pmhjgyc6tqg1
·  Video embed: Never Alone https://torikelly.lnk.to/NeverAlone/youtube



"I received this book free from the publisher through the Flyby Promotions book review bloggers program."