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’ve Got Your Back: A Leadership Parable Biblical Principles for Leading and Following Well By James C. Galvin Book Review

In I’ve Got Your Back, James C. Galvin has written a parable about leadership and how to be an effective follower and leader. This book has taken ten years to write and it was original written in the form of a textbook. He asked his fellow experts to offer feedback on what they thought of the book and then he asked younger leaders on how he could improve it. He eventually realized that the book had to be torn up and rewritten for today’s generations of young leaders. The first part of the book was written in a parable. The parable covered the lives of four people who are experiencing problems with following their leaders and some are struggling in serving in their church roles. Randall Johnson worked at Natural Foods and his boss called him dipstick repeatedly when he doesn’t do what he expected of him. He also breaks down the chairs and sets up the church. His pastor doesn’t really care how things are run. Valerie Martinez worked at Synthetic Software Solutions as a marketing assistant and she dreamed of moving up and she is stuck in her life. She also wanted to help and serve in her church but they are a small church and they don’t have many outreaches. Brad Davis worked with the Suburban Life in the youth ministry and the executive director just recently resigned and they asked him to take over the position but he has refused. He wanted to also help in his church but he is already working in full time ministry. Lynette Chiang worked at the Primary Care Medical Clinic as a billing specialist and her boss hardly comes out of the office and she has trouble asking him for assistance. Her pastor asked her to start and lead the single ministry and he pulled the, “I’m the leader of your spiritual authority”.  All four of them have different things that they need help on leadership and following. They seek assist from Jack Hendrickson, a former Delta Force recruitment and a Bible translator on how to handle people in authority.


The second part of the book was written as a textbook style on the theology of leadership and followership. James C. Galvin began by explaining the origin of leadership in the bible. Adam was under the authority of God and God commanded him to name the creations of the Earth and he had to perform work. God decided to give Adam a help mate named Eve and Adam led her like God was leading him. Then the fall happened and Adam didn’t lead Eve when she choose to consume the fruit. Ever since then sin has entered the world and leadership has been messed up and we struggle with people in authority. A significant concept that he pointed out was that leadership and followership are two sides to the same coin and you have to be a good follower to be a great leader. This book will convey to you on how to do that.


I would recommend this splendid book to anyone is wanting to be a better effective leader. This is a great book to anyone who is suffering from bad leadership and authority. James C. Galvin has written a timely book that has the potential to guide youth and older leaders to become better followers where they can lead others better. I enjoyed the parable and I believe that since the author changed the book, it will encourage and help our young generations of leaders. I really loved the REAL (Responsible, Ethical, Authentic, and Loving) concepts that he used. The one that hit home to me was loving people who have authority over you and being a good follower. I liked how the book also contained brilliant charts to aid in the presentation of the material of the three types of followership and the five levels of followership. The book had a number of life changing scriptures discussed and displayed in the book to teach readers what God says about leadership. If you’re looking for an astonishing book on leadership and followership, then this one is the one you need to read!


"I received this book for free from Handlebar Marketing/ Tenth Power Publishing for this review".


If you would like to purchase a copy of I’ve Got Your Back, check it out on or Tenth Power Publishing Website:


Days Like These: Even in the Darkest Moment, Light Can Shine Through By Kristian and Rachel Anderson Book Review

In Days Like These, Kristian and Rachel Anderson has written this book to display that even when the circumstances of life throw us off course and we can’t see the light from the darkness that surrounds us, God is still there in the mist of the storms. The book began as blog posts from Kristian’s website until it grew to a fan base of billions of users reading about his journey and challenges. Later his wife decided to turn the blog post into a book where he could leave behind a legacy to his two young boys. Kristian married Rachel and they had two boys under the age of three and they lived in Australia. At the age of thirty-four, Kristian Anderson started to get a little stich in his side and he noticed that he had a little blood in his bowel movements. He eventually went to the doctor and they discovered that he had a blood clot on his lungs. But it turned out that the used a voice recognition software to file the reports and it misheard the doctor said no blood clot present. The doctors did notice that he had something on the bottom of his lung and they ran more tests and found out that he had cancer. The cancer was located in his bowel and it was wrapped around 75 percent of his colon and it already was spreading to the liver. When he found out he had cancer, they had to make a decision together. Rachel desperately wanted to have four children and the chemo had a risk factor of damaging his sperm and they might not be able to swim. He went to the In Vitro Fertilization to save some healthy samples. Kristian underwent chemo and many different medicines to try and kill the cancer cells. He shared all of the details and his emotions throughout the book in his brave battle for his life. At the end of each chapter, Rachel also expressed her thoughts and concerns about the battle against cancer alongside her husband. Unfortunately, Kristian lost his battle with cancer on January 2, 2012.


Kristian also made a very personal memorable birthday video for Rachel’s birthday. He was holding up signs with his two young boys to show his wife how much he truly loved her. He also got Huge Jackman to appear in the YouTube video. The video finally went viral and was seen all over the world and it even reached the eyes of Oprah Winfrey. This video is one that will have you in tears! Oprah also had Kristian and Rachel appear on her show when she was in Australia and Microsoft donated an enormous amount of money to assist them with their medical bills.


One of the private stories that he conversed was about a conversation he had with his youngest son, Jakob while putting him to bed. Kristian told him that he would always love him and would be in his heart forever, no matter what occurs. He kept reinforcing to his son that he would live in his heart and he was explaining that sometimes when you’re very sick you have to go away and you can’t return. His oldest son, Cody overheard the conversation and screamed with tears running down his creeks and declared, “YOU CAN’T LEAVE! Why are you going, and why can’t you come back? There’s only one daddy for a family, and you’re our daddy…and… and… you can’t go!” (Page 182). This like any parent caused Kristian to break down and cry. This was the most exquisite piece of the book that touched me emotionally. I can’t even began to imagine having to say goodbye to your spouse or children.


I would recommend this marvelous book to anyone who is looking for some hope in their life and it is a great book for someone battling cancer. This is the first book that I have read that I will admit to having cried and have gotten teary eyed while reading it. It was a heartbreaking book to read about Kristian’s journey through having cancer and he still managed to trust God. I immensely appreciated how he revealed the details of his roller-coaster ride of getting a little better to getting worst to getting better, and so on. I haven’t had cancer but I lost an aunt to cancer and a few other people that I know to the horrible disease. I specially loved the numerous scripture verses Kristian included and the positive confidence that Christ wouldn’t fail him or his family.


I love how transparent Kristian was and he shared his feelings about the pain of having to battle cancer. He was very expressive and he described the terrible symptoms he dealt with each and every day. Kristian’s love story about loving his wife and sons was evident throughout the book, and it made me want to be the kind of brave and courageous man, husband, and father that he was. I’m not even married yet and I don’t have kids yet but it presented me with an example of an extraordinary man to look up to. In reading his book, I felt the love he had for his beautiful wife and his handsome two boys and he tried to cherish them with each passing moment. I liked how Rachel was candid about how she felt when she saw the person that she loved struggling and in extreme agony. She was very genuine about describing her dreams to have more children and how she begged him to try to get her pregnant before he underwent chemo. He refused to try because he feared if something happened to him he didn’t want her to have to take care of three children alone. I liked how the book showed how it affected her through his sickness and that she had a difficult time too. If you’re looking for an inspiration book that will give you hope even when we don’t understand, why pain and sickness must exist, then this book will impact you and point you to the light and hope of Jesus Christ!  


"I received this book free from the publisher through the Book Sneeze/ Zondervan book review bloggers program.” 


If you would like to purchase a copy of Days Like These, check it out on

Check out the video, Kristian made for Rachel’s Memorable Birthday: 

The Anxious Christian: Can God Use Your Anxiety for Good? By Rhett Smith Book Review

The Anxious Christian is written to assist readers in dealing with their anxious instead of hiding it and suppressing it. Rhett Smith begins the book on a personal note about the tragic events in his childhood that he encountered. When he was six years old, his mother felt a lump on her breast and it turned out to be breast cancer. The doctors said, “If she lives more than six more weeks, it would be a miracle”. She ended up living until Rhett was eleven years old. She fought long and hard for five years in trying to beat breast cancer. After she died, Rhett constantly lived with anxiety and panic and he desperately tried to remain in control. He struggled from compulsive habits and he was convinced that he had to touch door handles a number of times and count the number of tiles in a room. He also lost a grandmother and an aunt to breast cancer. He felt abandoned as a child and he began to withdraw and shut down where he could cope with his emotions and the pain he endure. He went to the extreme in order to manage his stress levels and he believed that if he did this no one else would die in his life. Before his mother died, he had no trouble in reading aloud in class. But after he lost his mother, he became fearful that when he was called upon he refused to read and his name was written down on the board for punishment. He also admitted that he had trouble with stuttering and he didn’t want others to see him as weak, inadequacy, and not good enough. These feelings continued to be an enormous deciding factor in his life.


Rhett Smith revealed his fears about public speaking and his stuttering. He prayed to God for guidance and courage and an opportunity to speak. God heard his prayers and God initiated and opened doors where he could move forward. He was tempted to run back and hide but his anxiety became the catalyst for change. God has used his anxiety to remind Rhett to remain connected and depend on Christ for strength. We can’t always stay comfortable and play safe and stuck in life, many times we have to take a risk and move where God is leading us.   


This book has immensely helped me realize and exposed the fears and anxiety that I struggle with in my own life. Some of my fears and concerns are: What will I major in college? What state do I want to live in? Will I ever maintain a long term relationship? Will I get married? Will I have children? What if I don’t get married and I still want kids? Can I overcome the odds and adopt as a single man? What if I’m not a virtuous husband and father? What if we can’t conceive a child? What if I lose my wife or we lose a child? What if my wife cheats on me and becomes pregnant by another man? Will our marriage make it through the storms of life? What if I compromise on my morals and core values and I marry the wrong person? What if I fall into temptation and I don’t continue to save myself for marriage? What if I’m clueless and nervous the first time together on our wedding night? As, we can all see with my extensive list this book was written for people like me!


One of my favorite chapters was, “Getting Intentional”. This chapter taught me a lot about how married couples tend to blame each other for their own problems instead of working with God to change them and taking responsibility for their own actions. The chapter main verse was, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 10:27). He breaks down the meaning of heart, soul, strength, mind, and loving yourself where you can love others. This conveyed to me the area where I have been struggling with the hardest in my many fears. I haven’t been loving myself the way Christ has intended me to. You can’t give away love to others if you don’t love yourself completely like Christ does.


I would recommend this magnificent book on handling your anxiety to anyone who has countless things they worry about and the fear is hindering them from becoming the man or woman God has designed them to be. This book is prodigious for teenagers, young college students, and adults and it will help them in whatever transition they are in. I especially loved how vulnerable Rhett Smith was in revealing his own personal fears. He feared public speaking, stuttering, being a good father, what jobs positions to take, and some other fears. This is a superb resource to help readers during their numerous transitions throughout their life stages. I wish this book would have been released when I struggled with sleeping when I first began college. It would have dramatically benefited me during my biggest anxiety. The book was still a gigantic blessing in my current fears and worries. It has many practical questions and activities to be completed at the end of each chapter and it has a very obliging prayer to pray to our loving Creator. It has personally imparted me with the wisdom to overcome my what if questions and my several worries and concerns. I must depend on God fully and completely whenever I struggle with having anxiety. If you’re longing to get unstuck in your fears and worries, and wanting freedom that is found in Christ, then this book will vastly benefit you in your journey!


"I received this book free from the publisher through the Moody Publishers book review bloggers program."


If you would like to purchase a copy of The Anxious Christian check it out on or



Red Dawn Rising: A Novel (Red Returning Trilogy) By Sue Duffy Book Review

My Thoughts:

Sue Duffy is back with the second book, entitled Red Dawn Rising in the Red Returning Series. Cass is the main character in the second novel, whereas Liesl was in the first novel. Cass Rodino is a young set designer who designed sets in the Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked on Broadway. She is about to see her very life change before her eyes. Her mother begged Cass to investigation and follow Cass’s step-father, Hans Kluen. He always claimed he was meeting business clients late at night and they believed that he was having an affair. Hans Kluen arrived at an apartment building and she saw a man close the drapes on the third floor and there were another man and woman behind him. When Hans Kluen left again in a cab, she was determined to get to the bottom of the secrets. She enlisted her friend, Jordan Winslow into helping her.

Meanwhile, Evgeny Kozlov, a former Soviet intelligence is back and he realized that he was serving and working for the wrong person. This time he is desperate to stop the Architect who has evil intents to destroy American’s people trust in their leaders and to reform the Soviet Union. The Architect is also wanting to kill Liesl, a famous pianist. Cass, Jordan, and Evgeny must team up in order to admit to rescue Liesl. Will the Soviet Union success in gaining control? Will Liesl and America survive? Can they handle the secrets that will be revealed? 

I would recommend this splendid novel to anyone who enjoys reading overflowing suspenseful novels and teenager and adults would infinitely be entertained. I read the first book in the series and Sue Duffy has amplified the action and readers will be longing to get to the bottom of the truth. The series keeps getting better with every book! I can’t wait to read the third and final book the series! I immensely liked the overall mystery feeling and the plot covering the Soviet Union. I especially loved the enormous secret that was exposed about Cass and her past and how she struggled to accept it. I completely didn’t see this one coming and most readers won’t. The book also enclosed a potential romance between Cass and Jordan and sparks being to fly. Throughout the novel, I actually believed that the gigantic terrorist attack could occur and the Soviet Union might be revived. If you’re seeking a vivid summer mystery book filled with a little romance, then this one is for you!

"I received this book free from the publisher from Kregel Publications book review bloggers program."


Book Info:


Twenty-seven-year-old Cass Rodino is a hardworking, dedicated set designer on Broadway. But, like the actors who take the stage every night, she is masking a different reality. Her secrets lie deep within past wounds too severe to expose to anyone.


Evgeny Kozlov has secrets of his own. A former KGB assassin, he is trying to outrun the underground revolution he once served. Trying to right his wrongs, he's in a race against time and against a former colleague, Ivan, who has sinister plans to bring down the United States, including an assassination attempt on famed pianist Liesl Bower.


As Cass and Evgeny separately set out to save Liesl from an impending doom, both are hurled into a fierce CIA/FBI dragnet, not knowing that their formidable opponent-a most unlikely predator-is already closing in on them.


Book 2 of the Red Returning Trilogy, Red Dawn Rising mixes suspense, action, and romance in a tale of personal tragedy and triumph that will keep readers pivoting between the evil desires of world powers and the redeeming powers of personal faith, life, and love.


The Kindle version of Red Dawn Rising will be free June 20 and 21.


Download it here: 

Mission of Mercy: Allowing God to Use You to Make a Difference in Others By Nancy Alcorn Book Review

In Mission of Mercy, Nancy Alcorn was very transparent in sharing the details of her rough childhood and what lead her to founding Mercy Ministries. Nancy Alcorn minored in social services, psychology, and criminal justice in college. At the time, she didn’t know that she would be using all of these background skills in helping young women in an organization that she began. Mercy Ministries helps thirteen to twenty-eight years old women that struggle with eating disorders, cutting, sexual abuse, drug addiction, suicidal victims, and pregnant teenagers. They take in young women for a period of six months in their homes around the United States and they have a few homes overseas. They guide them in learning about God, and they assist them in healing from their past, and they instill hope back into these young women’s lives. An enormous point Nancy reminds readers of there is a story behind every single person and we’re not called to be the judge over their life. Instead we’re supposed to love them and display compassion. The book included many personal transformation stories that Mercy has contributed to in the journey of freedom of these women.
Nancy Alcorn has to endure pain in her own life. One day at school, she remembered being called out of class by the principal assistant. She noticed that her one brother and her three sisters were all heading down the hallway to the office. They were all waiting to be picked up from school by their aunt. She recalled that thirty minutes early, she heard sirens and it was very rare for their small town. She felt that something terrible has happened and she worried it was her parents or her little sister, Beverly. While she waited for her aunt to arrive, she kept replaying in her mind how she treated her little sister the night before. She was practicing basketball and didn’t want to be bothered and she called her sister a brat and told her to get lost. She heard Beverly crying herself to sleep. Little did, Nancy know the horrible events that would unfold the next day. When they finally got home, her mom’s sister explained to the children what happened. Her dad was on the tractor and it got stuck and her mom helped pull the tractor with the truck. Her dad had Beverly on the tractor with him. The tractor and the truck jackknifed and her body was crushed between the steering wheel and his chest. Beverly was killed instantly and her dad broke all of his ribs due to the dramatic force. Nancy Alcorn revealed her struggle with her fears of losing more people that she truly cared about. During the next few years, she also lost her pastor and his wife in a car accident, then her boyfriend was killed because he was drinking drunk. Lost was following her around and she had trouble coping and she didn’t understand why God was allowing all these bad things to happen to the people she loved. Her past gave her the building blocks to where she is today. She also admitted to receiving Christian counseling to help her process her emotions and feelings.
The book also had an additional appendix in the book that contained more stories from Mercy Ministries graduates. Throughout the stories, the readers get to read and experience in their own words what these girls have been through. The stories are very real and eye opening in the healing process and the hope they found in Christ.
I would recommend this magnificent life captivating book to anyone who is needing some inspiration and encouragement from others people’s stories. This book will help readers to understand that judging others in their struggles and challenges they have encountered in their life isn’t supportive. There were countless stories about women who struggled with depression, had suicidal thoughts, were bulimic or anorexic, some were raped, others grieving, drug addictions, and some were pregnant and alone. The stories the young women presented in this book has been through is truly heartbreaking and appalling. I immensely enjoyed reading about how Mercy Ministries is serving our teenage women in discovering the freedom that Christ offers and they show them the love of Christ. I also believe that they should be a ministry like Mercy Ministries for young men as well that is needing extra help in obtaining liberty. Nancy Alcorn is an astonishing writer and I loved how she described her own personal pain especially when it was difficult. If you’re looking for an excellent book written to help teenagers and adults, then this is a great one on showing mercy to others in dealing with their pain from their past!
“I received this book for free from The Booketeria/ Charisma House for this review”.
If you would like to purchase a copy of Mission of Mercy, then check it out on or Christian
Book Trailer:

Adventures in Odyssey A.C.T.S. Unleashing Imagination Post # 2 with Giveaway

Theme: Imagine creative and fun ways to serve using your unique gifts!

Unleashing Imagination

Children are spending more and more time in front of TVs, iPads, computers, and video games. That doesn’t leave much room for kids to dream up their own visual images—like the ones that fill their minds when they hear a great story! Rather than passively receiving images, kids actively engage in making images themselves when they hear a good story. Their imaginations are enriched and stimulated, and the material becomes more personal and memorable.

Adventures in Odyssey is all about great stories—and the power of the imagination. The beloved audio dramas are heard on over 700 radio stations, and AIO has recently expanded to books and devotionals—including The Imagination Station series, a fast-growing line of early chapter readers. You can check them out by downloading a FREE e-book of Imagination Station #1: Voyage with the Vikings!

This summer, Adventures in Odyssey encourages kids to write their OWN stories, as they join in ACTS: A Call to Serve! AIO is helping children use their imaginations to serve their family, community, and world this summer—maybe by sending a care package to a missionary or baking cookies for the local fire department. Check out  for details and a chance to win fabulous prizes, including a mission trip with a parent to Costa Rica!

More important than prizes are the stories your child will tell about the creative ways they served others, and how they grew as a result. And what they come up with really might change the world!

A Creative Story of Service

Fourteen-year-old Matthew, a dedicated Adventures in Odyssey fan and natural tech whiz, was inspired by a trip to the Apple store to create a smartphone app for his church. Since then, he has created 21 apps for different ministries, including his local pregnancy resource center, Joni and Friends (an international ministry for people with disabilities), and even an “Adventures in Odyssey Fan News” app! Matthew used his God-given talents and imagination to bless others through technology. Which of your kid’s unique gifts are waiting to be unleashed for God’s use?


FREE e-book of Imagination Station #1, Voyage with the Vikings:


An ACTS “Summer of Service” kit, available for download here:


To celebrate the Summer of Service challenge, Tyndale has generously offered to let me giveaway Adventures in Odyssey Imagination Station books #1-3 to a lucky winner.


Enter to Adventures in Odyssey Imagination Station books #1-3:
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Making Good Habits, Breaking Bad Habits: 14 New Behaviors that Will Energize Your Life By Joyce Meyer Book Review

Making Good Habits, Breaking Bad Habits is written to guide readers into replacing bad habits with good God filled habits. A habit is something we do regularly and many times we aren’t aware that we have formed a habit. Repetition helps us to form the good habits. Some of the bad habits that people struggle with is procrastination, passivity, laziness, overeating, sleeping in and hitting the alarm clock, shopping and spending too much, cluttering, watching too much TV, spending too much time online, nail biting, eavesdropping, speeding when driving, self-criticizing, cell phone addiction, smoking, and pornography, etc. The book stated that experts claimed that a bad habit can be broken in about thirty days of repetition. If you replace the bad habit with a good habit, then the bad habit will lose its effect on your life.

Joyce Meyer is very genuine about some of the bad habits she has had to break in her own life. For example, she used to throw her makeup brushes into the drawer after she was down applying her makeup. She eventually realized that she couldn’t ever find the brush she was wanting. She began to form a new habit of taking the extra few seconds to put it back in their proper place. This saved her time in having to search the whole drawer for a makeup brush and she has more peace in the mornings now. Another habit she had to make was starting an exercise program and getting a trainer and a nutritionist to help her feel better and to have more energy. She admitted that she was sore a lot at the beginning and she didn’t always like having to eat healthy food choices. She formed a good habit of exercising a few days a week and her body benefited from the excellent choice. She also noticed that she was friendlier and she had more patience with people because she felt better.

The book contains a number of life changing principles for replacing bad habits with good habits. The first good behavior is forming a God habit. Without seeking first the kingdom of God we won’t be able to successfully break our bad habits. We can’t overcome our habits if we don’t acquire the strength from our loving Heavenly Father. Joyce Meyer encouraged readers to read and meditate on the written Word daily and keep a journal of what God is teaching you. Studying God’s Word will give you wisdom in order to handle the struggles and challenges of this life. Some of the other good behaviors are, “being decisive, happy habit, habit of excellence, being responsible, habit of generosity, hurry habit, emotional habits”, and many more.

I would recommend this life changing book to anyone who needs to break the bad habits in their life. If you’re struggling with gaining freedom from addiction, perfectionism, self-criticizing, or anything else you know God is prompting you to change, then this book will be a catalyst for a full transformation. This book has taught me that I have some bad habits that I need to break. My first bad habit I choose to break was to stop biting my nails. I have realized that I tend to bite my nails whenever I am nervous or bored and impatience. I have to say this is still an ongoing process for me, but so far, I am growing some nails finally. But I will overcome this bad habit! I replaced this negative habit with a positive habit. I began reflecting on scriptures verses that provide me with peace instead of focusing on my worries and fears. Some bigger bad habits that I will be breaking next is self-criticizing and perfectionism. The book is not a book to be just read, it will require readers putting action behind breaking their bad habits. Breaking bad habits isn’t going to be easy. They will take a great of effort with working with God on breaking them, but good habits can be created. If you’re looking for a magnificent resource on breaking bad habits and establishing good habits, then this one is for you! 

“I received this book free from Hachette Book Group/Faith Works.”

For more info about the book check it out on Hachette Book


If you would like to purchase a copy of Making Good Habits, Breaking Bad Habits, then check it out on


Book Trailer: