Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Last video for the book "Sabbath." We hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have!!!

consecration from angie smith on Vimeo.

We will be back soon with a very exciting update about Bloom :)

In the meantime, I would LOVE to hear anything you want to share about implementing something you learned from this book. I know it will inspire me and I'm sure it will bless others as well. I know one thing I have been more mindful of is the idea that "stuff" will never bring peace, and even as my mind says, "that will be the thing..." I am reminded of my mistaken image of the perfect life. Something else that really spoke to me was the idea that I often feel useless or lazy when I am having Sabbath time, because I believe we live in a time of go, go, go and it's hard for me to wrap my brain around the greater purpose of being a good steward of my time and allowing the Lord to restore me.

What I have found is that when I force myself to do this, I end up so blessed and truthfully, I get a lot more done because I am focused instead of all over the place. It's still a struggle for me to be as disciplined as I want to be, so I think I might just start the book over again until I do it :)

How about you?

Blessings and love to you all, and a very happy turkey day!

Angie and Jess

Monday, November 22, 2010

last video is coming soon!

well poor jess is feeling a little under the weather thanks to the saying its a girl!!!

i am in charge of the last video and had some unexpected things come up, so i will do my best to put it up tomorrow. if you haven't already seen it, the post following this one includes the video on wisdom.

i'll be back soon!

pray for jess' nausea!!!


Sunday, November 21, 2010


well, brilliant me...i posted the video to vimeo and forgot to link it over here.

oops! sorry :(

Untitled from angie smith on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Join us for the next chapters of Sabbath.

There's some great stuff in here and I can't wait to discuss it with you all. Please feel free to comment! We love when you do :)

Time and Happiness from angie smith on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A FREE Devotional

Happy Veteran's Day!

I find that devotionals can be just the inspiration I need to have a mini-quiet time/Sabbath moment.

Angie and I are excited to share this free Strength for Service devotional with you. Strength for Service is an ecumenical devotional specifically geared toward the military and those in the service of others. I have had the pleasure of working with Strength for Service for four years and have read and heard of countless lives being impacted by this book.

You can download Strength for Service to God and Country for FREE on Amazon until November 21.

While the book certainly has a service/military slant, this book really is inspirational for anyone.

Check it out. After all, it's free!

Peace be with you today.

Jess and Ang

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Here's the latest video!
Can't wait to hear your thoughts :)

Sabbath Rhythm from angie smith on Vimeo.

Much love,

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sabbath Introduction and Rest

so sorry about the delay, but here's the first video for "sabbath." hope you enjoy it and that you will jump in on the conversations with your own thoughts and experiences with the book so far. we are LOVING it...

make sure and leave your comments so we know if there's anything you want us to spend time on in the next post. we appreciate you all so much and most of you should have gotten your free books...if not, in the next few days :)

so let's jump in!!!!

Untitled from angie smith on Vimeo.

Here are Wayne Muller's Practice recommendations from Rest:

* Set aside some time to light a candle and say a prayer for yourself or someone you love. (pg 22)
* Choose at least one heavily used appliance or device - the television, phone, computer - and let them rest for a Sabbath period. Surrender to the quality time where that device will not disturb and notice how you respond in its absence. (pg 27)
* Prepare a Sabbath meal (pg 33)
* Choose one common act during your day to serve as a Sabbath pause. (pg 39)
* Bless strangers quietly, secretly ("guerrilla compassion") (pg 47)
* Choose a period of time or an activity - such as a walk or hike, alone or with someone you love - when you refrain from speech. (pg 55)
* Make a Sabbath box. (pg 60)

Ang and Jess

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Coming Soon

Okay, so we PROMISE the Sabbath video on Rest is coming soon. We filmed it Friday and Ang has been having trouble with the uploading.

But, here is a schedule update. After both of us re-reading the book, we decided to combine Time and Happiness. This will also still allow us to finish the book before Thanksgiving.

Sunday, October 31 - Rest

Sunday, November 7: Rhythm

Sunday, November 14: Time and Happiness

Wednesday, November 17: Wisdom

November 21: Consecration and A Sabbath Day

We are so grateful to be reading this book with you all. Thank you for your patience as our schedules have (ironically) been wild and we desperately need to heed Wayne's words about Sabbath.

Jessica (and Ang)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sabbath Update

Angie and Jessica at Relevant
So this weekend at Relevant we spent time hanging out with friends, celebrating baby news, laughing, crying and praying.

Needless to say, we just plain ran out of time/energy to shoot our Sabbath video.

You understand and forgive us, right?

But we are getting together this week to shoot one, and then will post two next week.

Many people came up to us this weekend (including several pastors' wives) and said how much they have loved the book. We hope you are enjoying it too.

Much love and grace,
Ang and Jess

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Delayed One Week

Hello sweet friends.

We are so sorry to have to do this, but we are delaying the start of the book club one week. Our lives have been crazy and filled with lots of deadlines and travel, and we just couldn't get the video filmed and the donated books out. (Today we needed some Sabbath...)

We are going to start next week Monday since we both will be at The Relevant Conference through Sunday. We will do Rest AND Rhythm next week to then get us back on track.

Those of you that are getting one of the 100 books donated to us by the publisher should get them by the end of next week. They are going in the mail on Tuesday. The reading is quick though and you should be able to catch up. :)

Here is the revised schedule
October 25: Rest

October 28: Rhythm

October 31: Time

November 7: Happiness

November 14: Wisdom

November 21: Consecration and A Sabbath Day

Thank you in advance for your patience and grace.

Jess and Angie

Monday, October 4, 2010

Encouragement from Author Wayne Muller

Dear Friends,

I am deeply grateful that Jessica and Angie have given me this chance to be part of your family as you read and listen together, being challenged, comforted and nourished by uncovering what you may find – and what may also find you – in Sabbath.

Wayne Muller
It has been ten years since Sabbath was first published. I wrote it because I simply had to. I had created a life built on seemingly good ideas: ever-expanding acts of service, overcommitted, overworked care for anyone and everyone but myself, fueled by delusions of invincibility and flavored with a dose of grandiosity. It was as if I believed I could always call on some source of limitless energy and vitality to do, fix, or heal, anything, anywhere, anytime. But I slowly became bone weary, trying to save the world as I knew it. Still, surely God would support and protect his (rarely) humble Servant with a little extra insurance?

As it happened, God did provide me that insurance – just enough to cover an
extended hospital stay in intensive-care. My saintly frenzy had so corroded my immune system that I contracted a case of case streptococcal pneumonia, a disease as rare to get as it is to survive. The real insurance is my being alive to tell my story, which I do, in the book – but as a cautionary, not an example to follow.

We all, myself included, thirst for this Sabbath promise of rest, ease and delight. But we will also uncover our own particular challenges in creating Sabbath time in our increasingly busy, complex, and overwhelming world.

As we begin, I have the unique opportunity to share with you a few potent, valuable teachings I could only have learned from speaking with, and listening to, thousands of people who have already read Sabbath. Because they have lived with its message, and tried to make real its invitation into Sabbath time, I can now offer a few guideposts along the way that I could not possibly have known before the book was published. So I offer here the gifts unearthed by those many who have come before, in hopes they may offer some guidance and mercy as you plant these Sabbath seeds in the garden of your own life.

I have, for the past two years, been accumulating many of these lessons in a new book, A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough. I continue to learn from, and share with, many people who call me for mentoring. But for now, let me share a few insights I describe in the new book.

The first lesson I have learned, and would like to share, is this:

1) Regardless how beautiful its invitation, and no matter how clear our need for it, Sabbath time is fiercely elusive. Yet without Sabbath, many good- hearted people feel more exhausted, overwhelmed, and discouraged.

Wherever I go, I am privileged to meet with parents and teachers, business people and community volunteers, doctors, clergy, nurses, and civil servants. Each describes some relentless assault of increasing expectations and demands. They confess they feel bone-weary, spent, used-up. What is required of them feels impossible. Nothing they do ever feels like enough.

How many of us take on increasingly impossible pressures and responsibilities? Most good, ordinary people ache simply to do what they can, to help their families, communities, and their world become more beautiful and more loving. Yet each in their own way feels some corrosive pressure to go faster, produce, perform, more and more perfectly, every day.

The second lesson:

2) We rarely, if ever, feel any permission from anywhere or anyone that it is all right for us to stop, to rest, to take Sabbath time.

Even if we believe in taking Sabbath, we rarely know if whatever we have done is enough. We cannot feel when we have accomplished enough, given enough,loved enough - we are drowning in an inner maelstrom of heart-shredding self-judgment, and a shameful sense of insufficiency.

It is as if our soul’s inner thermostat is broken, incapable of sending or receiving reliable information that signals us to stop. We seem to have lost the deep exhale of knowing in our gut that now we can rest, without worry or regret. Without that permission from our own soul’s wisdom, we will never stop mindlessly shoveling more and more coal into the fierce and unbearable furnace of our overheated lives.

The third lesson I have learned:

3) There is a reason that Sabbath is a commandment, and not merely a lifestyle suggestion. Because, left to our own judgment, we may never make the choice, nor feel the permission to stop.

Only when we finish everything on our desk, to- do list, calendar, deadline, perfectly, every time, then (we say), we will have earned our rest.

But this ridiculously impossible moment never arrives. How can we feel safely comfortable enough to put it down, walk away, let it be, and call it a day?

Here’s the problem: We won’t. We can’t. We never will. Knowing this, God takes it out of our hands. Makes it a commandment…Do not kill, Do not steal, Take a day off. Leviticus makes it clear: at sundown, we stop. No excuses, no special circumstances, one more meeting, email, phone call, report. Nothing. Done. Stop. Now. God can take it from here.

This gets us to lesson four:

4) We need to find some deep, inner permission to take Sabbath time.

As silly as this sounds, even though Sabbath rest is a Biblical commandment, most of us never feel we can let ourselves take it. Nearly everyone I have spoken with feels guilty for taking time off; can’t justify it if others are still working; worries things will fall apart if they are not watching over everything; feel unworthy when they are not contributing; worry about being seen as lazy; worry if they stop, their latent, inner sloth will take over and they might never work again, eat ice cream on the couch and watch Oprah until they die; are afraid of what they may find in the stillness and quiet; and finally, we are actually worried that, in the end, God can’t really handle the universe very well without our help and, well…supervision.

Not surprisingly, this last one is most popular among church-goers and clergy.

I could go on, but I won’t. Let me end with a few observations, and offer a blessing on your own adventure.

We cannot do this alone. This is extremely important.

What we need instead is what you are doing together here, now. We must have honest and honorable conversations with our family, our work, our congregation about how we wish to live and work together in time. All things precious and sacred need Sabbath time. Children need unhurried, undistracted Sabbath time. Love can only flourish in time. Marriages and families can only work peacefully and compassionately together with sufficient time. Friendship needs time; trust needs time; community, prayer, worship, all need time. If we refuse to set aside sufficient time for what is sacred and undervalued by worldly time, everything we claim to hold as precious will get dropped, will break, will get lost forever.

We can only do this together. We need to remind one another that Jesus said to all who would toil, heavy laden, that he would give us “REST.” He didn’t offer Seven Spiritual Tools for Inner Success, or Time Management for Busy Christians, or anything like that. Just rest. Stop.

We need to remind one another that Jesus said “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”

He actually says it twice, for emphasis. As often as we embrace the suffering servant, Jesus offers mercy and rest. Without the love of good, honest friends to remind us, we will forget.

May your journey be gentle, easy, nourishing, and filled with the grace of a loving community listening together for the innumerable sounds of the divine creator blowing through us as wind through a flute, as we are used to make the music that may heal the world.


Wayne Muller

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Just So You Know :)

I'm going to do my best to write the following in an objective, peaceful way. Know that before I even begin, I mean absolutely no ill will towards anyone and deeply appreciate the few of you who have taken the time to address your concerns about the book we chose. I'm not really the kind of girl who likes to ignore and blow past these thoughts because I believe they come from legitimate desire to be a holy, God-honoring person. With that in mind, please hear my heart on this (*please*).

This is more emotional than I can begin to post, and for fear of a complete nervous breakdown, I am going to give the very short version.

Girl is raised in a home without Christ.
Girl meets people who tell her about Christ.
Girl feels judged, condemned, and like she could never be one of them.
God tells girl she is wrong.
Girl becomes a Christian.
Other Christians tell her she isn't a good "Christian" and makes her feel like a failure.
Girl starts to run from church in fear and shame.
Girl loves God too much to get very far.
But the girl still hurts from the sting of judgment, and it shapes every decision she makes about her faith.
Girl realizes she must speak, and again, she fears.

It's a pattern I have struggled with for many years, always worrying if I'm good enough, too "liberal," too "open," too "accepting." The truth is that my beliefs in Jesus Christ would line up with the most conservative Believer on the planet, but I LOVE people deeply, and even in spite of our differences. I'm going to be completely honest (and it will probably bite me in the booty!) and tell you that when we received a few comments on our post, I called Jess and told her we needed to change the book, send money to people who ordered it, beg for forgiveness and call it a day. I just don't like conflict. Like, at all.

And then I got on a long plane ride and I opened the book again. I read it nearly cover to cover as I traveled, and cried the entire time. Not only did I mark pretty much EVERY single page of text, I felt very deeply (and Jess agrees) that this book is life-changing. It is one of the most powerful books I have ever read, and I don't say that lightly. Even as I have put some of it into practice since I have been home, I have been BLOWN AWAY by the difference it has made.

With that said, I want to address some concerns that have come up in the event that this isn't a good book choice for you.

Wayne Muller is an ordained minister, and a *truly* amazing soul. I have spoken to him by phone and through email and I will tell you that we have (sadly) put him through the ringer in these past few days trying to figure out how to handle all of this. I'm not going to share all of the details of our conversations, but I will assure you that he is a gentle, kind, precious man who has lived his life in a way that would make most of us blush with embarrassment at how we haven't served the Lord.

And here's the deal.

He quotes Buddha.

And he quotes other religions.

And he makes statements that describe the way these different religions view Sabbath. I don't believe a Buddhist or even an atheist would be offended by the text (and I am sure that was not a mistake), despite the fact that it is fundamentally and overwhelmingly based on Christian beliefs.  In my conversations with Wayne, I have seen his heart on the matter, and his goal (and frankly, my goal) is to love others well. Like Jesus would.

There are sentences that I have underlined where people might have issue-it is common for him to cite what Buddhists call something (or whomever) for the sake of demonstrating the role of Sabbath for everyone ("When Hindis worship..." or "Buddhist believe..." or "Rabbi's interpret this to mean..."etc.)

Here is a direct quote from a page I have marked..."The Buddhists call this driving force tanha-literally thirsting, craving, or longing. Tanha includes not only desire for, and attachment to, material wealth and power, but also desire for, at attachment to, people, experiences, ideas, opinions, and even spiritual accomplishments. (pg 126)"

In this sense, there are areas where one might take believe that Mr. Muller sees all religions as equal, whereas I have found him to be, instead, tolerant and able to be inspired by other faiths.

There is most certainly a line between what we can learn from others and what we need to stay away from as Christians. But we can learn from people who aren't Christians. We don't conform to their beliefs. We don't back down from ours. We don't waver in a world where our goal is to preach the Gospel, but in my (humble) opinion, this doesn't mean that we have to shy away from things because they aren't our beliefs.

We will NEVER choose a book that we feel like would lead anyone astray. Our entire purpose is to make Jesus famous in a group of women who are seeking His face.

With that said, if you feel that you are at a place in your walk where these kinds of things concern you, please feel free to sit it out. I would be lying if I didn't say I think you are going to miss something amazing, but at the same time I completely respect that. If you are one of the people who has requested a book and these things bother you, go ahead and shoot us an email and we won't send it your problem :)

We aren't going to be discussing these other faiths in our videos, but I did want to address the concerns here. Know that we love and appreciate you, and as always, want to support and walk with you in your faith.

With love,
Angie (and Jess)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Request a Copy of Sabbath

All books that were donated have been assigned.

If you need a book, check your local library.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Introducing Book #4

We are so excited to introduce the fall book selection for Bloom.

You can find Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives on Amazon. As we mentioned in the video, your purchases from Amazon will help fund the shipping expenses for books to those not able to purchase a copy.

Also, remember that quantities may be limited, so order soon! You should also be able to find the book at local book stores, used book stores, and at the library.

Update: The publisher has informed us that if they sell out, they can print more in a matter of days. HOORAY! :)

We will post a video discussing one section of the book each Sunday starting on October 17. That should give you enough time to get the book and read the first section.
The schedule is as follows:
October 17: Rest
October 24: Rhythm
October 31: Time
November 7: Happiness
November 14: Wisdom
November 21: Consecration and A Sabbath Day

We are excited to have started a BlogFrog community so that we can easily get to know one another and discuss the book. Just click here to join!

Please also "like" The Bloom Book Club on Facebook so you are alerted when we post new content on this blog.

Books for Those in Need
Part of the ministry of Bloom is to provide books to people who are unable to purchase one for themselves. We do this in two ways:
  1. Bantam Books donated 100 copies of Sabbath for us to give to people in need (Thank you Bantam)
  2. Other Bloom participants volunteer to buy an extra book and send one (or two or 10!) to others
Tomorrow (Monday) we will post a form for people to fill out IF YOU CAN SEND A BOOK TO SOMEONE IN NEED. This form will be up for two days. Update: Click here to fill out the form.

On Wednesday, we will post a form for people to fill out IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD A BOOK. This will be up until all books available are requested. We will then send donors the addresses of the people who need books.

We are soooooo excited to read Sabbath together. It has been a life changing book for us both.

Be sure to check in next Sunday because we will have a special post up from Sabbath author, Wayne Muller!

Now go buy Sabbath!

Angie and Jess

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Facebook: Do You Like Us?

Do you like Bloom?

If so, will you please "like" us on Facebook? We are transitioning Ning to Facebook and want to be sure we don't lose you.

Click here to join our Facebook page.

Love to all!
Ang and Jess

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Encourage a Bloom Member

Angie and I were so touched by this email we received from a fellow Bloom member. Would you consider blessing her with a card of encouragement?

I'm writing with a prayer request. I'm 22 years old, a nanny, and finishing up nursing school. I had a beautiful life, got back from a fabulous vacation after last semester (in May) and 2 days later I found out I had a tumor on my liver and would need chemo and a liver transplant. This is uncharted territory for me, and I'm so scared. I was wondering if it would be too much to ask all the Bloom girls for words of encouragement. I've already begun the chemo, and right now I'm on the organ waiting list, which is miserable.  The doctors had me quit school and my nannying, so I wait day in and day out.

Any day I will undergo surgery for a new liver, spending an average of a month in the hospital. I just got over a rough breakup with my fiance of nearly 3 years (it was what God wanted) and I'm just still in shock over how my life has gotten here, and why.

I'm just devastated and feel so alone in this.

My birthday is August 2nd and odds are, I'll still be waiting or in the hospital. I didn't plan on this - no one does - and I just don't know what God's plan in this is.

My blog of this journey is if you'd like to stop by

Thank you and may God bless you.

Amanda Goodwin

If you would like to send Amanda a card, please send it to:
Amanda Goodwin
281 Cheltenham Ln
Munroe Falls, OH 44262

We are praying for you Amanda!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Send a Card to Sara

As many of you know, Sara/Gitz's dad passed away very unexpectedly this past Friday. Because of Sara's chronic illness, she is homebound and can't attend the funeral.

We wish we could drive to her house and hug her, but we can't.

Thankfully, DaySpring is giving us all the opportunity to love on Sara through a card basket they are planning on sending. Each one of us can send her a card - for FREE!

Will you include a card in it and let her know your prayers are with her? 
It will mean so much to her.

Here are the instructions for making the free card: 

• Pick a Design &; personalize it. (Feel free to start from scratch or pick a pre-designed card. Add a photo of you, and/or write out your message.) These two links are great places to start: Sympathy or Hope & Encouragement

• Add to Cart & Proceed to Checkout

• Use GCSARAJULY21 promo code in the Checkout Details. This will ensure that your card is included in the card basket.

• For the Shipping Address, enter YOUR shipping address. This will NOT BE CAPTURED, since all of the cards will be gathered up and sent to Sara.

• Your order total should be $0.00.

• You have until Wednesday the 21st to make your card to be included in Sara’s card basket.

Thank you for loving on Sara.

To read an update on how she is doing, click here.

Peace be with you today.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Chapters 10-12

Well, we did it. We made the last video for Strong Women, Soft Hearts. It is worth watching the whole thing - not only is Charlotte in it the whole time, but we end it well. :)

Strong Women, Soft Hearts - Chapters 10-12 from angie smith on Vimeo.

Like we mentioned on the video, we are going to be transitioning from using ning for our discussions to Facebook. The "like" page is VERY bare bones right now, but we would be grateful if you would go ahead and "like" us now! :)

We will be taking a break for the summer, but have big plans for the fall, so keep in touch!

We love you and are thankful for you.

Jess and Ang

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chapters 6, 7, & 8

A lot to discuss here...hope you all are loving the book as much as we are!

Bloom Chapters 6, 7, & 8 from angie smith on Vimeo.

Jess and Ang

Monday, June 7, 2010

Strong Women, Soft Hearts, Chapter 5

We are SO happy we filmed what we did before Charlotte came! Oh the irony that today we are talking about being overwhelmed...

Here is our discussion of chapter 5.

Strong Women, Soft Hearts Chapter 5 from angie smith on Vimeo.

Check out the Shattered Dreams series that we mentioned here.

Here are our questions:

Are you like Angie and I - do you have a problem with control?

What happens when you get overwhelmed?

Do you equate waiting with control? Why or why not?

Waiting is a time to let go of our God. When you are waiting, what do you do to spend time with God? What verses do you meditate on?

What is the biggest dream you have ever had to surrender?

What do you struggle with controlling that you need to hand over to God?

Quick update: We will be filming the last two sections next weekend and wrapping up this study by the end of June. We apologize for the delays in video and discussion, but we pray that God is using this extra time for more of you to read and join us in this book. It is so rich!

Peace be with you today.

Jessica and Angie

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

And We're Back!!

Okay, Blossoms - we are back. We are so sorry for the delay in posting these videos. We shot the first five more than a month ago, and since then life has been wild, particularly with Angie's pregnancy - and the birth of sweet Charlotte!

So this is our plan.

We are going post chapter four today.

We will post chapter five next week (week of June 1)

And the week after we will post one video for 6-9 (week of June 6)

And the week after that we will post the last video for 10-12 (week of June 13)

We are so sorry that this has not gone as anticipated, but we trust that everything happens for a reason. We hope you are loving the book and getting a lot out of it, even if our conversation leading hasn't been as stellar as we hoped.

But, you must admit, this sweet girl is a pretty good excuse. :)

Okay, on with chapter four!

Strong Women, Soft Hearts Ch 4 Discussion from angie smith on Vimeo.

With love and grace,

Angie and Jessica

Sunday, May 16, 2010

SWSH: Chapter Three Discussion

So sorry for the delay in chapter three, but it turned out to be a good thing because we are a bit behind in our filming, so hopefully this will help get us back on track. :)

Thanks for your patience.

Here is our discussion of chapter 3.

Strong Women, Soft Hearts: Chapter 3 from angie smith on Vimeo.

A few questions for us to discuss.
Share a time when you experienced sudden pain. How did you go on from it?

Share a time when you experience subtle pain. When did you recognize it?

What was a dream you had that you had to let die? When did you acknowledge it?

Did the concept of amplified pain resonate with you? How so?

Share a time that you were transparent. What did you learn in that moment?

See you Tuesday!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chapter 3 - Stay Tuned

I have had some technical difficulties tonight, so chapter 3 will go up tomorrow! Stay tuned.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chapter 2 Discussion

Are you loving this book as much as we are? We hope so. Join us for chapter two.

Strong Women, Soft Hearts Chapter 2 Discussion from angie smith on Vimeo.

Here are a few questions for us to discuss on Ning!

Do you ever think that your desires are wrong?

Desire is something that is biblical. Have you ever thought about this? In what ways?

What in your life sometimes overtakes your desire to pursue God?

Have you ever deadened a desire in an effort to be more "godly"? (Take a look at the list on the bottom of page 27.) Why did you do this?

What are your desires and how can you use them to know God better?

Jessica (and Angie)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Strong Women, Soft Hearts - Chapter One

Angie and I are so excited to kick off our discussion of Strong Women, Soft Hearts today. We have had a very crazy week - Angie was really impacted by the Nashville flood, and I spent the week in the Dominican Republic with World Vision. Thankfully we filmed this video a couple weeks ago! :)

Please take 10 minutes and join us in Angie's kitchen as we talk about chapter one.

Strong Women, Soft Hearts: Chapter 1 Discussion from angie smith on Vimeo.

Here are a few questions we would like to discuss on ning. As special thanks to Sara who will be helping guide conversation in our Bloom community.

What is a dream you had at one time in your life that didn't play out as you hoped? How has God still used that dream?

How do you approach relationships? Do you choose to not have relationship or dive in 110%?

Sometimes do you pull yourself back emotionally for fear of what could result if you gave 110%?

How does your personality impact your relationships with others?

Have you ever built a monument to woundedness in your life? How has this impacted you?

May you feel the spirit chasing you this week.

Peace be with you. See you Tuesday!

Angie and Jess

Friday, April 23, 2010

Important Update: Books, Schedule and More

This update pertains to EVERYONE, so please read the whole post

When we chose Strong Women, Soft Hearts, we immediately approached Thomas Nelson to be sure that enough copies were in the marketplace, and they assured us there were.

Well, you all blew our expectations out of the water.

And apparently, there is shortage.

Such a shortage in fact that Thomas Nelson is unable to provide the 100 books that they thought they would be able to until the first week of May (they are doing another print run because of Bloom!!)

We are so very sorry about the delay. If you were part of that group of people, we will be getting you an email confirming this.

Because of this book not being available hiccup we have decided to push back our schedule two weeks. But, this is a good thing because
  1. The book is really meaty and you will want to take your time with it;
  2. An extra couple weeks will hopefully give the people that still need books a way to find it and receive it;
  3. Angie's book's official release is in less than two weeks, so she is swamped with that; and
  4. Jessica is leaving for the Dominican Republic in less than two weeks with World Vision, so she is swamped preparing for that. 
We have also decided that since the chapters are so rich, we are going to do a mini 6-8 minute video for each chapter and post them on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. That will hopefully keep you motivated to keep going and keep the discussion rich in the forums. This book has so much to discuss! We are very excited. Hopefully you don't get sick of us. :)

The new schedule is as follows:

Sunday, May 9: Chapter 1: Awakening
Tuesday, May 11: Chapter 2: Desire
Thursday: May 13: Chapter 3: Pain
Sunday, May 16: Chapter 4: Losing Heart
Tuesday, May 18: Chapter 5: Control
Thursday, May 20: Chapter 6: Trust
Sunday, May 23: Chapter 7: Vulnerbility
Tuesday, May 25: Chapter 8: Forgiveness
Thursday, May 27: Chapter 9: Sexuality
Sunday, May 31: Chapter 10: Loving Beyond Reason
Tuesday, June 1: Chapter 11: Living Beyond Fear
Thursday, June 3: Chapter 12: Longing for Resolution

Where Can I Find the Book?
If you haven't purchased your book yet, we have put together a list of online retailers that currently have the book. We also encourage you to check your local library, used bookstore, bargain bookstore or favorite local bookstore. You may have even better luck there.  You can also download the Kindle version of the book on Amazon - even if you don't have the Kindle, you can read it on your computer or your phone. If you know of somewhere that isn't listed, please leave a comment! It is on backorder at Borders,, etc.  IT IS CHEAP here right now!!!!
Barnes and 

Literally, as we have written this, the status on a few other sites has changed. It's selling pretty fast so if it's something you want to join us on, we recommend grabbing it where you find it!

If you are not able to purchase a book, we encourage you to still watch our video posts and participate in the discussion on ning. This book is so rich in content, we are confident you will still glean something from the conversations.  

Well, that's all for now. Thanks for joining us on this wild ride. We are just two women who want to love God and love people well. We hope you know that each of you are a blessing. We are humbled by this group and are honored to serve you as best as we are able.

Angie and Jessica

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Note from Author Paula Rinehart

So… I hear you are reading Strong Women, Soft Hearts for your online book club.

I’m writing you from Raleigh, North Carolina where I live a wild mix of counseling and writing and speaking to women’s groups…and entertaining small grandchildren. I’m hoping we can have a bit of a ‘chat’ as you begin to read.

First off, Strong Women, Soft Hearts changed my life. I know that’s a strange thing to hear an author say. But, really, the content you are reading represents a huge swing on the inside or me, one that took place over a decade where I could (almost literally) sense God reworking my framework of what strength…and softness, as a woman, actually is.

Now that didn’t happen easily, as you can read between the lines of this book and figure out! I had barreled through my twenties and most of my thirties like someone training for a race. Being a strong woman, for me, was like being the Everready bunny battery—only powered by Jesus. Somehow you just kept going. And softness…why softness was suspect because softness could get you hurt.

Toward the end of my thirties, I ran into a couple of huge, blindsiding losses. I couldn’t keep going and going—at least not in the same way. And God, in his mercy, began to do some deeper reconstruction inside my heart. Which, then, reshaped dramatically my notions of strength and softness as a woman.

My favorite parts of this book (and indeed, the parts that women email me most about) are the chapters on vulnerability, control and trust. It takes some real courage to put your heart out there with people and sometimes, even with God. There is a true sense of letting go of control, a deep invitation to trust him with the uncertainties of life and relationships.

Since I’ve written Strong Women, Soft Hearts, both our children have gotten married, three grandchildren have been born, my aging mother is slipping away by the day. I’ve had even more practice in this delicate art of trusting God. As I wrote in the book, he’s not predictable, but he is utterly faithful. I believe that even more than when I wrote this book.

You might enjoy knowing how the title for this book came about. I sent the proposal off to a couple of publishers and the consistent feedback was, “Hey, you are on to something here, but can you be a little clearer, more concrete?” It was so frustrating. One day in the shower I thought, Okay, how hard can this be? I just want to write about what it means to be a strong woman… with a soft heart. The title, Strong Women, Soft Hearts, came like a flashbulb going off.

I don’t say this glibly, but scads of women have written me about this book. Mostly what they say is they don’t understand how I could climb inside their mind and read the thoughts they were having. What that really means is that we are all telling the same story.

Truly, it’s no easy feat to make it through what life can throw your way and come out with a genuine strength rooted in God with the beauty preserved on the inside. In reality, my deep conviction is that the gospel of Christ uniquely makes this possible. Not guaranteed, but possible. I hope—so much I hope—that as you read, you will sense God stirring in the longings and losses you’ve experienced, and the dreams he’s placed in you.

If you enjoy Strong Women, Soft Hearts you might also like Better Than My Dreams, a follow-up book that looks at how the gap between our dreams and reality becomes the actual place where we experience real relationship with God. Or Sex and the Soul of a Woman, updated and due to be republished by Zondervan this coming fall. Feel free to stop by my website where I do try to blog what might be considered something vaguely insightful twice a month.

May Strong Women, Soft Hearts lead you to a solid sort of strength that grows out of really knowing Christ, with an even greater capacity to give your heart to others in his name.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Many Books Still Needed

The extraordinary Sara Frankl has spent hours sending emails and matching people up on our behalf. After all the emails have been sent, 116 requests have not been fulfilled. That's right.

116 people have submitted a request saying, I cannot afford to buy a book at this time, will you help?

And right now, we can't help them. 

But you can.

Please consider filling out the form below if you can send a book to someone. Sara will get you the name of a fellow sister in Christ in need. 

Our prayer is that we don't have to turn anyone away. We will close this request on Saturday to allow time for people to order and send the books. 

Thank you for your generosity. 

Friday, April 9, 2010

Amazon Sold Out, But Books Can Be Found!

Though Amazon seems to be sold out of of Strong Women, Soft Hearts, you can get it on

Click here to order it for only $5.49.

Where have you gotten your book from?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bloom Book Selection for Spring 2010

The wait is over! Please watch our video announcement for some details about our spring book selection. 

Bloom Book Announcement- Spring 2010 from angie smith on Vimeo.

Okay, so here are the details written out. :)

We are pleased to announce that we will be reading Strong Women, Soft Hearts: A Woman's Guide to Cultivating a Wise Heart and a Passionate Life this spring.

Every Sunday night Angie and I will post a video of us discussing the book, as well as some questions in Ning for everyone to discuss. This book has A LOT of great material and we will only be able to scratch the surface. We are hoping that many of you will go deep into this and that a lot of great conversations will be had. The book includes an excellent study guide for those of you that are type A like me. :)

We are also working on details to do a live (maybe video) chat at some point during this study.

March 31: Book announcement
April 9: All book requests and offers to provide books must be submitted
April 25: Chapters 1-3
May 2: Chapters 4-6
May 9: Chapters 7-9
May 16: Chapters 10-12

The book is only $10 on Amazon. It has been out for a while, so you may be able to find it cheaper at used book stores or borrow it for free at the library.

Ensuring Everyone Can Read
Part of the ministry of Bloom is that we want everyone to be able to participate. If you cannot swing the $10 to purchase a book and can't find the book at your local library, please fill out the form below to submit your contact information. Thanks to the generosity of the book's publisher, Thomas Nelson, as well as advertising/affiliate dollars from this site, we will be able to provide books to the first 125 people who request them. (If you purchase the book through the Amazon link in this post, a portion of the cost goes toward postage and books for people now and in the future!)
UPDATE: 12:20 pm on April 6: The 125 books are all spoken for! 
UPDATE: April 10: We have closed requests for books, but are leaving the offer to provide books open, as the need is greater than the supply

After that 125 books, we will be depending on other Bloomies! :) If you are willing to provide a book or two or more, please fill out the Book Provider form with how many books you can provide. After the first 125 people, we will begin matching people - person who needs book with person who can give books.

This is an incredible part of this community. Last time, more than 300 books were requested and thanks to many of you, everyone was able to read Same Kind of Different as Me.

We hope you are as excited about this book as we are. Check back during the next month - we have some other surprises up our sleeve.

Request for Strong Women Soft Hearts

We have closed requests for Strong Women, Soft Hearts.

Thank you for your interest. If you are unable to purchase a book, please check your local library or used book store.

Can You Help?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Coming Soon

Angie and I finalizing details about our next book, which will hopefully kick-off at the end of April.

Stay tuned!

Jess and Ang

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Where We Are

I want to start by telling you that Jessica and I have been in prayer for all of you as we close this amazing book and see what the Lord is asking of us from here. Our brains has been full of inspiration, searching in every bit of the ordinary and trying to see where we can, well, *bloom.*

One of the things I have been meditating on is the idea that no act of love is too small, and no service is inadequate. We can't all hop on planes to go change the world but we can certainly go through our days praying to see the world through lenses that identify needs all around us. We can pray for discernment in figuring out what our roles are supposed to be, and we can pray for conviction to follow through and be obedient. These are the things I pray for you all as well as myself.

Several years ago I wrote the following...

On a beautiful fall day just shy of my twin daughters’ third birthday, we decided to go to the park and feed the ducks. A few minutes into our adventure, a homeless man wandered through the grass around us and eventually began to dig through the garbage nearby. Several mothers turned their children’s heads in disgust and whispered comforting (and, I’m sure, inaccurate) words about the man, while gathering up their picnics and brusquely clicking their car remotes.

I made a bold move in that moment, and decided to tell Abby and Ellie the hard truth in a version suited for two blue-eyed girls who thought that Strawberry Shortcake’s botched birthday cake was a tragedy of epic proportion. I delicately explained that the man didn’t have a home, and that we should pray to Jesus about him. As he discarded old bread pieces and empty soda cans, I explained that he was going through the garbage for food because he was very hungry in his tummy. They were mesmerized, and their first brush with the other side of life ended with us sitting, 30 toes in the lake, praying for the man we called “Mr. No House.” Ellie, my mother hen, made the suggestion that we bring him a sandwich the next day, which I wholeheartedly supported.

Unfortunately, we never did get to see Mr. No House again, but the imprint of who he was and what he stood for was enough to evoke nightly prayers and many conversations about what he might like to eat if ever we were to run into him or any of his friends again. We decided that Mr. No House would like chocolate candy bars and ham sandwiches (hold the mayo, please), and that he preferred strawberry jelly over grape. Fried chicken was out, and he should, under no conditions, smoke a cigarette. We also prayed that he would find a new pair of pants and someone to talk to during the day. There was a great lesson in this story for me as well, one that has revolutionized my parenting style: we miss opportunities with our children when we shy away from difficult teaching moments.

This was actually part of a book proposal that I hope to work on at some point because the Lord really stirred me to realize the impact of the "everyday." I had felt useless, thinking I wasn't showing my kids things unless we were doing it in an extreme way, like a mission trip or something like that. I will tell you that to this day, when we drive by that park, they ask if he's there and whether we can go see him. They remember him. They recognize now that people they see on the road who also need homes are more than strangers and people we shy away from. The Gospel tells us to concern ourselves with those in need, and I pray they will use this lens for years and years to come.

Jess was telling me the other day about how on a day when it was snowing in Nashville, she stopped to buy one of the newspapers a homeless woman was selling - and she gave her $20 instead of the $1 cost of the newspaper. She said, "I saw her standing there as I turned into the intersection and felt compelled to turn around to give to that woman. It was cold. I was going pick up Elias, so I couldn't do anything more than give the $20 that was in my wallet. I never have cash, so it seemed logical and perfect to just give it to her. I prayed for that woman the whole way home and continue to pray for her every time I see the spot she was standing in that day. I hope that the money I gave her simply reminded her that people care."

While we might be tempted to say, "Well I could do that. That's not so out there, you know?" I might disagree. The percentage of people who actually do extend a hand in one way or another are few and far between. As Scripture tells us, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few." (Matthew 9:37).

So this week, we are going to put up our little MckLinky and we want to hear from you. So many of you read and sometimes post, or the two of us get to connect through email or twitter or something, but we would ALL love to hear your stories. Since we've just finished this book, let's focus on homelessness and what we can do to represent the body of Christ in a way that honors the Lord. Feel free to leave a link to something you have done in the past, or something you want to do. You are welcome to share what the Lord has begun to stir in you after reading this book, or even the ways your thinking was challenged as far as the homeless are concerned. Don't limit yourselves too much, just go ahead and write something sharing your thoughts. Please link using the actual post link (vs. your blog link), and consider posting the Bloom button on your blog too so your readers will be able to easily read other posts! Lastly please make sure to spend some time hopping through others' links and being inspired.

We look forward to reading what has been on your heart regarding the things we have been discussing the last several weeks.

So, that's all for now. Link us to your site and tell us some of your story.

May we continue to grow in dialogue, in spirit, and in faith as we move ahead together.

We love you ladies,


Ang and Jess

Book Suggestions

Angie and I are close to deciding on the next book. However, if you can think of any great Christian books or authors that we should consider for the spring - and in the future - please leave a comment in this post. There are so many good books out there and we definitely haven't made a final decision yet.

What would encourage and inspire YOU? 

Thank you in advance for your help!

We will also be posting our wrap-up to Same Kind of Different As Me later today, so be sure to check back tonight.

Jessica and Angie

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Yard Sale - Give Away

Hi ladies,

I can't quite put into words how the books Same Kind of Different As Me and Crazy Love have impacted my life. This quote has haunted me for months...Live more simply so that others may simply live. I am one of those impulsive people who would love to sell it all and move to Africa, however, my husband hasn't felt that calling...ha. So, I began praying months ago that God would bring things HERE to me, where I'm at, that I can do to show the outcast His love. And He has delivered! :)

I saw this idea on the blog called Christmas Change. We called it a Yard Sale - Give Away, and I wrote about it (with video from Christmas Change) on my blog.

On Jan. 30th, my house was filled to the BRIM, you could hardly walk through it...full of donations from friends, family and church members. I opened my house up for people to come and TAKE all they could or wanted for FREE!! :) It was a HUGE success...and I wrote more about here on my blog here and here.

God is still calling come out of my comfort zone, live more simply and simplify our busy schedules. God is teaching me so much. We have so very much in this country, yet there are people down the street who don't have a bed to sleep on. I just want to do my part. I struggle with wanting to do more and with the overwhelming need around the world, but slowly God is giving me peace to just rest in Him and allow Him to use me right where I'm at. All the glory to Him!

Thank you, ladies, for this amazing book club. I'm honored to be a part!!

~ Candace ~

Monday, February 22, 2010

Banana Pudding

We hope this Bloom reader's story inspires you as much as it inspired us!

Dear Angie and Jessica,

I’m sure I’m no different than the many women that read this book and felt called to service. I always felt like I was doing my part relatively well. I brought cookies to church for our prison ministry, taught Sunday school, went on almost all of the teen groups outings ( much to the dismay of my 16 year old daughter) and we also sponsor a child in Indonesia. But after reading this book and another awesome book titled “The Hole In Our Gospel” by Richard Stearns the president of World Vision, I have truly felt that the Lord was using that quiet, still voice of his to push me to real service. Something more than writing a check or jumping on the church van with the teens. I searched my brain for that “talent” that I know in my heart I have but couldn’t really think of anything. Until yesterday at work I heard that a group of teens was going to have a bake sale to raise money to send to Haiti. I remembered the last time these kids had a bake sale and the fact that they had done all the baking themselves and just didn’t have much merchandise to sell. So I volunteered to bake some cupcakes to donate and several of my co-workers said they would pay a pretty price for some of my cupcakes, ( I have a pretty good reputation for my goodies I bring to work). Then it hit me, I am a pretty amazing baker, if I do say so myself. That’s my talent. Now what can I do with it. So I called the local mission and asked if it would be ok to bring dessert maybe one night a month. The director was so nice and said that would be a wonderful thing that everyone would enjoy. So I had 4 days to find a good recipe and make dessert for 125 people. So I asked God to help me find a quick, easy recipe and so I Googled “dessert recipes for crowds” and there was banana pudding. Perfect, I have a pretty awesome banana pudding recipe! So off I went to the grocery store yesterday after work with my calculator to buy enough food to make 12 batches of pudding. So this Friday night I’m going to take my pudding and help serve at our mission. And then every second Friday of the month I’ll provide the dessert for the evening meal. I’m so excited! Praise God, I knew I had a talent that I could use I just needed to wait for God to tell me what it was! (I’m a little slow like that sometimes)!

Thank you guys for helping to inspire me to get up and do something, I just pray that this will bring glory to our Lord.

Serving a Mighty God,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sarah's Story

Hi Angie and Jessica -

I have a confession: when you first announced the new book, I was a bit disappointed. (There... I said it.) I don't make time for "fun reading" and really was looking for another more "Bible Study" type book written by another theologian. However, because I love the fellowship and friendships I've gained from the "Night Ladies" at the Ning site, I decided to dive in anyway.

Boy, I'm glad I did!

My husband runs a homeless center in Fayetteville, Arkansas. During the week after Christmas, he had to work, but I decided to work half days. The kids were at day care. I spent my mornings in my office and my afternoons in his office helping him with the data entry, clerical stuff that their skeleton staff really doesn't have time to do amidst meeting the needs of their guests. As I walked into his office, I saw, "Same Kind of Different As Me" sitting on his desk. He was on the phone, but I glared an accusing eye at him and said, as soon as he got off the phone, "Did you steal my book?" Ha! He didn't have a clue what I was talking about or that I had just ordered the book for myself for Bloom. One of his board of directors had loaned it to him thinking he'd love the book.

I don't know that he's had a chance to read it yet -- somehow I highly doubt it, when I recall his schedule and the hours he's worked during the cold snap during the past few weeks. However, I agree with her.

When we moved to Arkansas 2 years ago, it was for my job. His job history has had him working with troubled kids in various roles: counselor, group leader, assistant principal of a day school, principal of that same school, he ran a foster care program, he ran a family program to help the kids integrate back into their homes. His heart and his true calling are with troubled kids. However, NW Arkansas didn't have any programs whose philosophies aligned with his, or that had openings available at his level. I guarantee you, both of our opinion of homeless people largely matched Ron's at that point in our life. Working with the homeless was pretty much the LAST thing he had in mind when he went into an executive head hunter. That particular day they were working pro bono for Seven Hills Homeless Center in Fayetteville who was looking for a new executive director. Fast forward through interviews, one of the board members donating several $K of their own money to "afford him" and he's now changed his career focus. In the past 2 years he's taken Seven Hills from a Day Center that meets the homeless' needs during the day (showers, clothes, meals, job search, ID attainment, day labor, case management, prescriptions, etc), to also including a short term residential treatment (2 months - 2 years) where over 30 people and families have a permanent place as they continue to reestablish themselves in society, and most recently a brand new program called the FICASSO Project whose goal it is to catch near-homeless people and help them before they become homeless. As Mr. Mister told Ron -- it may be a couple missed paychecks and a spouse leaving, and YOU could be homeless. The number of stories identical to that which Jon has heard is staggering.

On Christmas Eve morning, I asked Jon how long he had to work and what time I could expect him home. My family was in town to celebrate Christmas, and he had already put in many long days. Selfishly, I just wanted him home. His response, "I'm not sure, there are 3 families I need to put in homes today." That floored me. Knowing that FICASSO was only a month old, I asked how many they had housed -- his response: 40 or so. Unbelievable.

I'm sorry for blabbering on and on.... I guess my point in all of this is THANK YOU for choosing this book. It hits SO dead on about the issues that surround homelessness, the history that can lead people to it, the hardness that comes from life on the streets, the needs that exist EVERY day, and not just at Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter. The fact that homeless people have a name.

I wanted to share with you my story about when I first realized that homeless people had names -- I blogged about it last summer.

I also wanted to share with you what a local organization (The Cobblestone Project) is doing in our area. My husband has been very involved with them, helping them get up and running, linking them with other charities in our area who have need etc. What's SO cool about this group -- they're just everyday people who work other jobs. But they see the need and meet the need in ways that are SO easy for all of us to do. One of the saddest sentences in the book thus far was Denver's account of sleeping in the doorway -- and the members of the church next door never glanced his way. It scares me that we all are "that church" many times. Anyway, please check out The Cobblestone Project (, specifically "Initiatives" -- to see the examples of easy things that any community can do to help those less fortunate.

Angie, I was blessed enough to meet you briefly at the Selah concert in Bentonville (my husband and I were sitting across the aisle from you) -- and to THANK YOU for Bloom there. Jessica, I'd hug and thank you in person, too, if given the chance. As I mentioned before, I so appreciate the friendship and fellowship that have come out of it -- and even more, the soul searching and the God-seeking that it has led me to personally.

In Him,

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Wrapping Up Same Kind of Different

Same Kind of Different as Me: Part Three from angie smith on Vimeo.

We are so excited about the next month. Please email us your stories at about how this book has impacted you. We will do our best to post 2-3 stories a week - and maybe more, so be checking back often. Include your blog address in your email so we can link to you!

Also, in the next month, we want to encourage you to serve the homeless, however you see fit and write about it.

On Sunday, March 7, we will write about our experiences serving and post a MckLinky for you to link your story. What an awesome testimony it will be!

We will also announce the next book in March.

Thank you for joining us in this journey!

Angie and Jessica

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Part Two Discussion of SKODAM

Same Kind of Different as Me: Part 2 from angie smith on Vimeo.

Questions to discuss on the ning site.
-Have you ever had a catch and release friendship? After reading this book, do you look at those relationships different?
-Have you ever thought of yourself as an "indulgent benefactor"?
-How do you think you miss "keys" in your life?
-How can you remind yourself to look for "key" opportunities?

We hope you are enjoying reading and discussing this book as much as we are. Next week we will discuss the rest of the book.

Peace be with you this week.

Jessica and Angie

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

An Evening with Ron and Denver

We found this talk that Ron and Denver did about a year ago. It is an hour long - and worth the time. It does have some spoilers, so if you haven't read the whole book, you may want to hold off.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Same Kind of Different - Part 1 Discussion

We are so excited to kick off our discussion of Same Kind of Different as Me today. Join Angie and me as we discuss the first 99 pages.

Same Kind of Different (1) from angie smith on Vimeo.

Join us on Ning to discuss the first 99 pages! Here are some questions we have for you:
  • How did Denver's story impact you? Did it shock you?
  • Do you ever have the urge to do something, but for some reason you don't, like Ron did on page 23? How does that make you feel when you think about that?
  • What stood out to you about Deborah?
  • How has someone forgiving you made an impact on your life? 
  • In what ways are we choosing to lead a radical, crazy love life like Deborah lived?
This week, we want to encourage you to pray for people by name like Deborah did for the people she served at the homeless shelter.

A few other things we mentioned in the video:
  • The Help - GREAT fiction book!  
  • Help Haiti! Many organizations are doing great things including World Vision, Compassion and Soles4Souls.
  • Matthew's Uganda trip - check out Matthew's posts about Uganda and his trip with World Vision here
Next week we are going to read 100-189.

See you Sunday!

Peace be with you this week. We are praying for each of you. Thank you for joining us.

Jessica and Angie

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Update: All Free Books Have Been Distributed

First off, I apologize...I was supposed to post this several days ago and the time has just slipped away from me. Please forgive me the delay!!!!

After sorting through all of the requests and needs for the book "Same Kind of Different as Me," we have approximately 100 books that you Bloomies have volunteered to give to people who can't afford them right now. If you are one of the people that can't quite swing it financially right now, PLEASE fill out the form on this post requesting one and it will be sent to you ASAP.

We will start on January 24th and at that point you should have read through page 99. It sounds like a lot, but trust me, you'll hardly be able to stop at that point! In fact, I have already received many emails saying that people finished it in a few days and couldn't stop at the stopping point :) It's a quick read, so even those of you who don't have it yet will be able to catch up quickly.

I can't wait to talk about this book with you all. I'm so encouraged by all the emails I have already received and am praying that you get as much out of it as I did.

Go ahead and request a book if you need to!!! We have a bunch!!! We will send them out on a first- come, first-serve basis.

Blessings to you!!!!
Angie (and Jess....the organized one...:))