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.

Hot Buttons: Bullying Edition and Image Edition By Nicole O’Dell Book Review

The Hot Buttons: Bullying Edition and Image Edition is number 5 and 6 in the Hot Button series. The Bullying Edition covered the different real aspects of bullying and what is classified as bullying. There is verbal, physical, social, and cyberbullying that is harming our children’s health and self-esteem. Kids with special needs or disabilities, race, religion practices, and sexuality tend to be bullied more frequently. Nicole looked at the critical reasons behind why cliques bully and one of the shocking reasons is many bullies bully in order to belong to a group and to become popular. She also offered advice if your child is a member of a clique and how to handle if your child is the bully.


Nicole O’Dell shared throughout both books with readers her personal experience with being bullied and the affects it had on her. Before she entered middle school, she was bit by a mosquito and she contracted encephalitis and it made her gain some weight. She was called butterball by a classmate and was teased and bullied because of it. She struggled with emotional damage and she began exercising and dieting to lose the weight. A few years later when she started high school, the same guy who picked on her began to hit on her. She began to believe the lie that body size and appearance makes you desirable and she chased popularity.


The Image Edition instructed parents on comprehending how much pressure is being put on our kids and the expectations to look a certain way. She also explained the concepts of “spark, flicker, flame, and blaze” and how this lead her to being concerned with her appearance and bullying. She was very real in discussing with parents on the importance of being the parent and not their best friend. Satan loves to entice and lie to our teens and he promises acceptance from peers if you lose weight, gain muscle, and look like this celebrity or model. Nicole advised parents to build their child’s confidence with positive compliments and to encourage our children to be genuine and kind to others.  


I would recommend these outstanding books on bullying and image to every single parents, future parents, pastors, youth group leaders, and counselors. This series is an enormous blessing to readers and they will greatly influence and guide parents to assisting their children in dealing with today’s issues. I immensely liked the features of the strategic scenarios and how parents are encouraged to describe the different scenarios and then the teens is supposed to choose the best answer they would do in that situation. I really believe this would be a thought- provoking activity for children. I don’t have children yet, but one day, I plan on having them and this will be a series that I reread whenever that time comes. It has reinforced the need to pay attention to the signs of bullying and signs of negative body image being instilled into our children’s minds. I was shocked most by the statistics presented in these chapters and it opened my eyes to the real essential of reaching out to our teenagers and connecting with them on a deeper level. I appreciated the overview she has even in these books and she has set up the foundation where countless beneficial conversations can occur between parents and teenagers. If you’re looking for a great parenting series, then I highly recommend you read these books!


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



If you would like to purchase a copy of Hot Buttons, then check it out on



By Grace Alone: Finding Freedom and Purging Legalism from Your Life By Derek Prince Book Review

In By Grace Alone, Derek Prince explored the law and legalism and following all of the religious rules to being a good Christian. He began the book by looking at the Law of Moses and how it was a closed system and you have to follow the commands perfectly. The good news, Derek revealed that Christ fulfilled the law when He died on the cross for our sins and we now have the concept of grace. Another strong point of the book is Derek discussing the true definition of love and how we need people in our lives who will stand beside us instead of the ones who only want to betray us with a kiss. He thoroughly went through the diverse benefits of grace in multiple chapters.


I would recommend this magnificent book on understanding the concepts of grace to all believers. I learned the importance of getting rid of our legalism and all of our rules that religion tries to put on us. I immensely loved how he portrayed how grace was introduced and how it has changed when Jesus died for our sins. The book is a little long to read because it’s written more formal and treacherous. But it’s effective at presenting the information of the slope of grace. If you’re pursuing a book on comprehending grace, then read this one!



“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 By Grace Alone, check it out on


Rules of Murder: A Drew Farthering Mystery By Julianna Deering Book Review

Drew Farthering and his best friend, Nick arrived home in England and finds his parents has house guests staying with them. The man staying in Drew’s room is rumored to be having an affair with his stepmother. She claims the rumors aren’t true. His stepfather’s niece, Madeline eventually arrived and there is a budding love interest being formed between her and Drew. The very next day, they both come across a dead person body on the estate property. Murders begin to occur regularly and they are throwing into solving a thrilling murder mystery.


I would recommend this wonderful murder mystery book to anyone who enjoys reading suspenseful novels. I was gripping onto the edge of my seat in turning the pages and I was stunned by what happened to the characters. I immensely liked how fast pace the plot moved along and the action kept me engaged and opened minded in the thrills of the adventure. This is one of the best mystery novels that I have read in a while and I highly suggest reading it if you enjoy lots of action, mystery, and mixed with a little romance! This is the first one in the series and I can’t wait to dive into the second one!


“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 Rules of Murder, check it out on


Unseen: Angels, Satan, Heaven, Hell, and Winning the Battle for Eternity By Jack Graham Book Review

In Unseen, Jack Graham opened the book by sharing a terrible personal story about his father when he was 56. His father owned a hardware store that was next to a grocery store. A robber stole some cigarettes and his father picked up a hammer and tried to stop him. He missed and the robber picked up the hammer and charged at him. His dad was trained in self-defense but he lost his balance and he hit the concrete and was knocked out cold. The robber hit his father’s skull repeatedly until he was badly wounded and later he died. He believed that this was a spiritual force at present. This book covered the real aspects of darkness and the evil forces around us. But he also deliberated the topic of angels in scripture and their missions.
I would recommend this life changing resource to every single believer who is ready to gear up on their knowledge of angels, evil forces, Heaven, and the full armor of God. It is also a wonderful book to new believers and it will guide them on learning more about the spiritual world. I immensely learned the prominence of following the advice found in Ephesians and standing against the schemes of satan and not giving into his lies. Jack Graham did an amazing job at connecting the chapter together and informing readers on the basic foundations of spiritual warfare and how to handle the attacks of satan. I especially appreciated the helpful suggestions of praying frequently and the benefits of having an active prayer life. If you’re seeking a book that has the power to change your life, read this one!
“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 Unseen, check it out on

What Your Dreams Are Telling You: Unlocking Solutions While You Sleep By Cindy McGill Book Review

In What Your Dreams Are Telling You, Cindy McGill is sharing with readers on how to learn how to interpret your dreams and discover the hidden meaning behind them. She revealed that she believed that dreams are personal and they assist us in being hopeful about our future. She also goes into prodigious detail about our dreams and their meanings. For instance, she covered flying or swimming underwater, falling, being chased, naked in public, vehicles, taking a test/ going back to school, and so many more common dreams. She even gives crucial questions to ask and suggested action to take in comprehending the dreams. Cindy also went into dreams that famous people experienced like Kristen Bell, Samuel L. Jackson, and more and she explained their meaning.


I would recommend this excellent book to every believer who is experiencing dreams that are complicated and they are pondering and troubled by their meaning. I immensely benefited from the dream symbol appendix because this one included dreams symbols about ants, airplanes, pregnant, school, driving your car, etc. This book brought to life the how to interpret dreams and how to discover their true significance. While I was reading this book, I actually had a dream that ants were crawling all over me and I was extremely stressed at the time and I had a lot of school work to finish. The ant means “hard worker”. I especially love how she included a section in the book where readers could write down what the dream was about and she asked helpful questions in order to figure out the overall message. This book is meant to be reread when readers are looking for guidance on their dreams interpretations and it will greatly impact your life. If you’re seeking a book on discovering your dreams meaning, then please read this one!


“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 What Your Dreams Are Telling You, check it out on


Finding God in the Bible: What Crazy Prophets, Fickle Followers and Dangerous Outlaws Reveal about Friendship with God By Darren Wilson Book Review

Finding God in the Bible was written to educate readers on numerous different Biblical stories that can be a little challenging to grasp the whole truth found in them. Darren Wilson also shared how he ran from God’s calling on His life like Moses and he avoided the stirring in his heart. Darren was a professor of writing and he knew God had declared that he was the one who needed to be a filmmaker and produce a movie entitled, Finger of God. He revealed how God opened supernatural doors in filming this amazing film that was very eye-opening. He explored the story of creation, Adam and Eve, Moses, Elisha, David, Saul, Joseph, and so many more.


One of my favorite chapters was the story of Joseph and how even though his brothers had evil motives in getting rid of their brother and selling him as a slave. God had an even bigger plan for his life and he wasn’t done with him just yet. Joseph’s destiny couldn’t have been fulfilled if his brother’s hadn’t committed such a horrible crime against him and the wrong accusations made by Potiphar’s wife lead him into helping his brother’s when a famine hit. God turned evil into good! This is only one example of what this book will teach you.


I would recommend this awe-inspiring book on the faithfulness of God and the miraculous leading God has had in people’s lives. This book taught me a great deal about how God wants an intimate relationship with His beloved children and it’s evident in the truths offered in scriptures. This book was astonishing in the overall content and I liked how Darren was very real about his avoidance of making a film about how much God loves us and how he wants a true friendship with us. I immensely realized in reading this book that I need to focus more on building my intimate friendship with my loving Creator. I highly recommend this book if you’re struggling in your relationship with God, this will get you back on the right track! I would also highly suggest this book for new believers because it will help educate them in the direction for their life!



“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 Finding God in the Bible, check it out on


The Sure Cure for Worry: Learning to Trust God No Matter What Happens By Kent Crockett Book Review

In The Sure Cure for Worry, Kent Crockett explored the hidden meaning behind overcoming and managing our fears and our worries. Many of us worry about never marrying, having children, our spouse leaving us for someone better, our children falling into temptations, our loved ones dying, losing our jobs, having financial problems, and so much more. Ken Crockett walked readers through God’s IQ and his promises for our lives and the importance of trusting God through it all. He also covered the topic of thoughts and where they come from. He discussed how to handle open doors and closed doors.


One of my favorite stories was a story about Pete and Robin and how they met and eventually married. Pete was engaged to Linda and was in love with her but they both felt uneasy and they called off the wedding. He felt in his heart that he was going to marry the girl on the girl in the choir but she was only sixteen at the time. A few years passed and he was still single and not married. Every girl he dated the very next person they dated they ended up marrying them. In God’s timing, he met the choir girl again and he ended up marrying her and Ken showed eight ways how God had His hand in the whole thing. This story is truly unbelievable and epic!


I would recommend this life changing book to anyone who struggles with worrying and is afraid that their life is going all wrong. This book showed me the importance of trusting God when I’m doubtful and fearful. I was reminded of the crucial need to not focus on man’s rejection. I especially liked how Ken went through six truths of how God views rejection.  Ken shared that all of the bad things that was done to Joseph, when people reject us, God can still use it for our benefit too and it could be a huge protection from danger. I immensely like how Ken covered a number of different things people go through, as such, a broken engagement, a divorce, a failed relationship, job troubles, etc. and he tried to connect with multiple audience members. If you’re looking for a book to assist you in overcoming your anxiety, then look no further and read this one!

“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 The Sure Cure for Worry, check it out on


Unforeseeable: Road to Kingdom- Book Three By Nancy Mehl Book Review

The main character, Callie Hoffman lives in Kingdom, Kanas and is engaged to the town’s new pastor, Levi Housler. A twist happens and the Kanas Bureau of Investigation is searching for a serial killer on the loose. The suspect has killed at least three in the past few months and they discovered he did the same thing twenty years ago and was never caught. The serial killer arrived in Kingdom and kills a woman and she has one of Levi’s book in her hand. More people are found murdered and it will surprise readers until the very end. The main suspect is Levi and Callie spends the majority of the book trying to prove her lover’s innocent.


I would recommend this awesome book to anyone who loves mystery novels and they love the thrill of living an adventure, page by page. I immensely enjoyed how Nancy Mehl tied up the end novel for the amazing series. It has been a true pleasure reading about the town of Kingdom even if I wouldn’t really want to live there and experience what these characters have went through. I loved how she kept the inspiring Christian theme and faith present throughout the books and I felt they taught me a great deal about having the strength to stand through the difficult seasons and to always grow in love and faith. In this book, I felt the action was a little more intense and it reminded me of a popular TV show, Criminal Minds. If you’re seeking an electrifying adventure and a great series, then read these books!


“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 Unforeseeable, check it out on


Stranded: Alaskan Courage Book Three By Dani Pettrey Book Review

Darcy St. James is an adventure journalist and she boarded the Destiny Cruise Line’s Bering in order to assist her investigative report friend, Abby. When Darcy arrived in Alaska, she discovered that Abby has disappeared and there was a man overboard warning and at first she believed Abby might have fell overboard. Darcy also run back into Gage McKenna. Darcy and Gage were very close until life struggles torn them apart. Gage lost his infant son and he is very bitter and heartbroken and he withdraws because of his terrible pain. He is also hurt by his ex-wife actions and he has lost his faith in God. By the end of the book, the truth will be revealed about where Abby is and if she is even alive?


I would recommend this amazing book to anyone who loves mystery mixed with a little romance. I strongly liked how the author conveyed the struggles that Darcy and Gage went through in their lives and these characters were very relatable. I especially adored the Christian interwoven into the pages of this suspense filled novel. Their journey back to faith will inspire readers to never give on God even when life goes unexpectedly. I immensely liked the vivid details portraying the Alaska theme and I felt like I was sailing on the cruise ship along with the characters. If you’re seeking a great mystery book with a Christian background, then read this one!


If you would like to purchase a copy of Stranded, check it out on




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

Shattered: Alaskan Courage Book Two By Dani Pettrey Book Review

Karli turns up murdered and eyewitnesses claim that Reef McKenna had the murder weapon in his hands. Reef stated he saw it and picked it up and then he saw Karli on the floor covered in blood. Reef and Karli were good friends and they were sexually involved with one another and she was also sleeping with a married man on the side. When he was getting interrogated, he vowed he didn’t do it. His sister, Piper comes to the rescue and is determined to prove her brother’s innocence. Deputy Landon Grainger is in a quandary on discovering the truth and the evidence points that Reef is guilty. But he also is close to the McKenna family. As the story continues, more action and twists occur, be prepare to be shocked.


I would recommend this wonderful novel to anyone who enjoy a suspenseful novel and the mystery will keep you longing to find out the truth for yourself. This book is also a series and I didn’t read the first novel and I was able to follow along. I immensely loved the Alaskan theme and Dani Pettrey did an excellent job at explaining the wintery scenery. I also liked how the friendship between Landon and Piper increased into romance. The book kept me engaged with the imagery and I was entertained until the truth finally was revealed and it took me as a surprise. If you’re looking for a great mystery novel, then read this one! 


“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 Shattered, check it out on


Revealing Jesus: A 365 Day Devotional By Darlene Zschech Book Review

Revealing Jesus is a 365 day devotional that is beautifully written in a style that encourages the reader daily in their walk with God. Each day has a scripture verse and a short story describing the ways and concepts presented in scripture. There is also a daily prayer that is meant to be prayed to assist you in your prayer life. The month’s chapters are built on the notion of some of Darlene’s song lyrics or classic hymns. Some of the day’s reading are included, “Press On”, “Alive and Active”, “Worship His Name”, “My Witness in Rome”, and many more. One month even comprised the different names of God and the meaning behind them. The last month of each day also contained classic devotions from Oswald Chambers, A.W. Tozer, Henry Van Dyke, and more.


I would recommend this life changing devotional to every single believer who is seeking a new devotional to enhance their relationship with their loving Creator. This book will draw you closer to Jesus and you will feel connected to the words written in this tender devotional. I immensely love how Darlene Zschech dove into the scripture context and had a short story that reinforced the meaning of the verse and how to apply it to your life. I also really enjoyed the colorful design of the book and it made it look friendly and inviting to open it. If you’re looking for a wonderful devotional to read, then read this one!



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




If you would like to purchase a copy of Revealing Jesus, check it out on



31 Days to Happiness: How to Find What Really Matters in Life By David Jeremiah Book Review

In 31 Days to Happiness, David Jeremiah explored the Biblical insights into Ecclesiastes and the life of King Solomon. He wrote this book in order to guide readers into learning the important concepts of being happy and finding contentment in everyday life. He looked into relationships, money, leadership, perils of the tongue, unfair justice, impressions of life’s meaning, governments, and wisdom.


In one of the chapters, he covered the truths found in Ecclesiastes 5:10-20 and how money impacts our quality of life. For example, the more money we currently have doesn’t make us everlasting happy because we are always striving for more financial success. At our core, a number of people still believe more money will make us happier. But Solomon warned us that a rich man will have difficulty sleeping because they are trying to save and protect what they have. David Jeremiah pointed out that money is a gift from God meant to be enjoyed but we have to remember that it’s from Him and money isn’t supposed to control us.


One of my favorite chapters was, “When 1 + 1 > 2”. David Jeremiah revealed the crucial need of investing in relationships and the dangers of walking alone. In Ecclesiastes 4:10, we are told that if someone walks alone and falls, who will be there to help him. He shared that we all need each other and we’re not called to be the lone ranger and we’re made for relationships. David Jeremiah made a wonderful observation about being a true friend, you must follow Solomon’s advice and be friendly.


I would recommend this magnificent book on discovering the Biblical truths found in Ecclesiastes on happiness from Solomon’s life. I immensely enjoyed how David Jeremiah included a number of real life stories to enrich the chapters overall contents. I appreciated how the author was very open with his battle with cancer and how people would ask him how a pastor could get the disease. He was very vulnerable in admitting that even godly people dealt with sickness. I also liked how he showed that God still had a great plan for his life. I strongly believe that if readers would follow the advice and scripture passages, we would recognize what isn’t making us happy and why it isn’t working. Then we would also see what will make us truly happy. If you’re seeking a book on finding happiness and contentment, then read this book for 31 days and watch your life be changed!


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



If you would like to purchase a copy of 31 Days to Happiness, check it out on


Heart of the Country: Sometimes to Go Forward, You Have to Go Back By Rene Gutteridge and John Ward Book Review

Heart of the Country is a novel about Faith and Luke Carraday, a young couple living in New York about to encounter trying times. Luke’s family is very wealthy and looks down on Faith because she isn’t wealthy and she hasn’t finished her college degree yet. Luke decided to set out from his dad and brother’s business, and he wanted to make a name for himself on his own. He bought into the Michov Brothers Company with his inheritance from his dad. Ultimately, Luke is arrested and charged with his connection in a Ponzi scheme. Faith fleets and returns back to her little hometown. She is warmly welcomed by her father but her sister is bitter and hurt by how Faith originally left. She is also torn and devastated by all of the lies Luke told her. She is debating throughout the novel if their marriage is worth saving and repairing. Luke and Faith is both considered prodigals who left their families to pursue their own ambitions. Will their marriage survive through the heartache and pain? Will the two prodigals return home before it’s too late?


I would recommend this delightful novel to anyone who enjoys reading books that contain romance, heartache, and trials. I immensely loved the plot and I loved how the author included a Christian spin on the content. I believed that the book was very relatable and believable. I liked the book’s message of moving forward, you have to deal with the past no matter how hard it is. My favorite character was Faith because she had to learn how to heal and forgive even when it was extremely difficult. I also liked how Luke had to recognize from his past mistakes and grow into a better man. I disliked how at times, it was sad but I understand why the author had to add that twist into the novel. I also liked how the book changed character perceptive throughout the novel and it enhanced the overall conspiracy. If you’re looking for a Faith filled book with an exciting plot, then read this one!


“Tyndale House Publishers/Tyndale Fiction has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.”



If you would like to purchase a copy of Heart of the Country, then check it out on


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