James!

I am so excited that Beth Moore’s newest study has FINALLY hit the stands. I had the pleasure of sitting in on one of her teaching sessions while she was filming for the study and I can tell you this…she is ON FIRE. We are all in for a HUGE blessing with her newest study. It’s called James, Mercy Triumphs. I love the book of James, and as soon as I heard she was going to be doing it as a study I was over the moon. Her daughter (and as some of you recall, my Compassion Intl. trip to India buddy) Melissa played a pivotal role in the writing of it, and as I looked through her notes in the workbook I was sure that this was going to impact me in a new, powerful way. There is so much depth, and yet it is accessible in the way that only Beth can manage. Can you tell I am PUMPED?!?!?! OK. I’ll stop before I get creepy. Too late? Oh well. You’ll understand once you see it :)

And in order to celebrate the launch in a fun and creative way, Lifeway is having a little shindig that we would love for you to come to. You don’t need to travel anywhere, just log on here to the live Facebook launch party on 11/1/11 at 11:00 a.m C.S.T.. and join the fun!

There are going to be amazing prizes (see button below!) as well as several appearances and interviews (I’ll be there!) including…drumroll…BETH!!! You know you don’t want to miss that :)

I haven’t said anything publicly, but a few of you know why this study in particular is really special to me…I’ll be sharing all about it during the live chat and I have a feeling that if you have followed my blog for any length of time, you’ll understand why it’s such an incredible blessing.

So go ahead and get yourself all registered for prizes and meet us here on Monday. Can’t wait!!!!


Love to all,
A

The Story!!!

Words cannot begin to describe how excited I am to be on this side of a project I believe in SO deeply.

I have been hearing bits and pieces of it for months, and have been blown away as I have seen it come together. There was a vision for what it would be, and when the CD finally came in the mail I got all emotional because I sincerely believe that this project will change our experience of the Bible in a dramatic and beautiful way.

If you’re going to start with a book, you might call Max Lucado to write it (done) or maybe Randy Frazee (check).

Then, you’re going to want to get the best producer on the planet (Bernie Herms…check). And how about some killer music…let’s see if we can think up a couple artists…see if any of these ring a bell.

Mac Powell (Third Day), Leigh Nash, Natalie Grant, Mark Hall (Casting Crowns), Todd Smith, Amy Grant, Francesca Battistelli, Michael Tait, Lecrae, Steven Curtis Chapman, Chris Tomlin, Michael W. Smith, Darlene Zschech, Jeremy Camp, Brandon Heath, Matthew West, Mandisa…to name a few :) .

And if you could pick the best Christian songwriter you know…(come on, say NICHOLE NORDEMAN!!! that was the correct answer :) ) to write the lyrics to the stories that make up the Bible, wouldn’t that be amazing? well, CHECK that one too.

The Story Project is finally out in stores and is absolutely AMAZING. The London symphony plays as well, in case you wanted some great strings and stuff.

Seriously, y’all. I’m speechless over it. The idea behind the CD is that different people sing different character’s stories (Todd is Job) and the CD tells the story of Scripture from beginning to end.

This will also be a tour, where people who come can experience video (amazing video) telling the story as each artist sings.

There is so much more, and I would love for you to click here to be re-directed to their website. There are interviews with artists, tour dates and cities, and all kinds of cool things…I think you’re going to fall in love the way I have.

You can purchase the CD from iTunes by clicking here. You will NOT be disappointed!!!!

Tell everyone!!! The Story is here!!!!

Ang

Lost For Words Card Line

With today being the National Day of Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness day, I wanted to bring your attention to a new card line that I think is incredible, and such a needed resource. Sweet Franchesca was the one who redesigned my blog, and when I got the chance to meet her a few months ago for coffee, she shared details of this amazing new resource. I am so proud of her, and really hope you will spend a few minutes looking around this new site.

There are 26+ categories of cards specializing in infant loss, pregnancy loss and infertility, and they are also designing two 2012 calendars with quotes from bereaved parents including their photography, one by Franchesca and one by CarlyMarie (her partner for this project) that go on sale TODAY!

So many people express the fact that they just don’t know what to say to friends/family who have lost a baby, and I truly believe these cards will be just the thing to say when you’re lost for words.

So proud of you, Franchesca!!! You are going to bless so many people through this amazing resource!

With love,
Angie

Speaking of Shallow…

If you wandered over here today looking for Biblical insights and/or anything else that really matters, you may want to take a detour right about now.

But then again, maybe this is just the conversation you have been looking for.

A few minutes ago I posted a simple tweet that started what felt like a tweet revolution. The response was unprecedented. I felt something in me weep with relief as suggestions poured in. I sensed that everything was going to change.

It reminded me of another innocent twitter comment that led to life-changing insights regarding nail color. I have been on a lifelong hunt for the perfect nude shade (currently I’m stuck on Essie’s “It’s in the bag” but I welcome suggestions).

It seems like just yesterday I could use St Ives apricot goo like it was going out of style, but today? No longer. I need new skin care.

I have tried a bunch of well-known lines and haven’t found one I love yet, so I am sending out a facial SOS. I made the mistake of wandering into a Saks Fifth Avenue (that wasn’t the mistake), asking for a bunch of samples (still not to the mistake yet), and then falling in love with La Mer (hello, mistake).

Turns out it’s more likely that I will right the Titanic than spend that kind of money on a facial product, but I don’t deny that the fling we have had has changed me.

I can’t go back. It’s all a mess now.

I mean, I’m positively GLOWING. What we have is REAL.

Alas. It wasn’t meant to be…

SO.

I need some suggestions here. And based on my twitter feed, I’m not the only one. I have dry skin, rosacea, and occasional breakouts. And please don’t mention any products that smell like penguin exhibits. I don’t care what it does to my skin.

People are listening. People who care about important things like small pores and glowing cheeks. And in the event that you have ever emailed me asking what kind of blush I wear, know that I LOVE getting these kinds of questions. So easy and fun to answer!!! Well, that last one? Not so much. Nars makes amazing blush but opens the door to awkward internet conversations with their name choices.

Alright, topic of conversation is skin care products you love…and…

GO!

xoxo

A

My Book on Bloom!

Well friends, today is the day! So exciting to have some of my girlfriends join me for the videos over at (in)courage. Today’s is the intro video with Brandi, and you will LOVE her.

Click here to watch it:)

And since I’ve already been asked a few times about my shirt in the video (I love the easy questions!), I thought it was from the Limited but it’s actually from Ross I believe. It is precious and was cheap…the best combo ever.

There’s actually a ton of great conversation already happening and we would hate for you to miss it, so please stop by and make yourself welcome. One of the things a bunch of people are mentioning is that they really like the analogy I used about the tightrope. That made me smile because for weeks I was convinced that the cover of the book should be an old fashioned looking photo of a woman on a tightrope from behind while she balanced with a long pole…kind of like a vintage”Water for Elephants” vibe. I searched and searched online and could never find what I was looking for. But somewhere in the searching I ran across the photo that turned out to be the cover and I loved the feeling of trying to balance. So, we tracked down the rights (a random man in Germany) and voila! But I got the biggest kick out of that being something that barely made a dent in the actual writing but was so pivotal in my thinking, so it was cool that others liked it :)

There are a lot of behind the scenes things that I’ll be sharing as well as we go through the book, including photos from many of the stories I tell…and some of them (6th grade school photo, IF I get the nerve) will certainly, umm, enhance my stories. I’m loving the opportunity to share this side of things with you all and I really hope you’ll pop in and say hey.

Much love,

Ang

Higher

It seems like the deepest moments of my life happen in the most unexpected places.

I love that about God.

I can be watching a T.V. show about singers (this one was the X-Factor…that last guy who had been on meth and turned his life around?!?!?! BAWLING) or just taking clothes out of the dryer and I see the Gospel.

Not the little words on paper, but the real Gospel.

It’s so easy to read, mark, and move on without letting it penetrate your heart.

But to see it in the flesh? Totally different.

I asked the Lord several months (maybe years?) ago to show me Himself in little things, and to make Himself real to me in them. You might want to do the same, but you should know that your life will never be the same. People will say the sweetest things to me about how I see God in my children’s conversations or my wedding dress or something silly, but the truth is this.

I see because I asked to see.

I love that He honored this request in ways I could never try to spin into beautiful word-webs, because they aren’t always meant to be shared. Some are just His way of reminding me that He’s still in it all.

This last weekend, I spoke in Milwaukee at a Women of Faith event (BTW, I love this city. So fun!) and if you have been to one recently you’ll know that on the last day we each stand and give a little 3 minute take-away of our main message and we bring a prop up to help cement the idea. We didn’t choose our props.

Mine is a life preserver. A giant, red, puffy lifejacket, actually. I remember they handed Natalie Grant (whom I love, love, love, love) this dainty gold mirror. I looked at her and mouthed, “How nice for you.” We burst out laughing, which has become a bit of a ritual with all the girls on this tour. We laugh like our lives depend on it. It’s definitely one of the best things I’ve gotten to do ever, despite the fact that this lifejacket thing is going on.

I don’t wear it anymore because it was hard to take anyone seriously when they are talking about Jesus in a giant red vest on a giant round stage.

But the bottom line is that this weekend I was standing out there and I could hear Him whispering, “Just tell them.”

So I made it simple. I did a little of my closing thing and then I just said, “He is everything. None of the rest of this matters if we don’t know that.It doesn’t matter that I just walked up those seven stairs, or that I’ve faced some of my fears. Nothing matters if we don’t know this. He is everything.”

I don’t think I said it articulately, but as I walked off the platform, I felt incredible peace.

I looked ridiculous out there. To be honest, I was also having a seriously mediocre hair day. I had decided to throw it in a ponytail but hadn’t had a chance to look in the mirror (oops) and I had this huge lifejacket hanging off my arm. I mean, really.

But those three words.

I walked off the stage and Sheila leaned over to me and said, “That was it. I mean, if they didn’t hear another thing all weekend, that’s all they needed.”

This isn’t a pat on the back.

I didn’t do anything but show up.

Not just that day, but for all of it. It’s why I used the same three words when my book was released. Because it was never about the staircase itself. It was about Him.

I went through something terrible that many people go through, and I loved the Lord through it. Because of circumstances I didn’t create or ask for, He chose to use me.

And if that doesn’t humble me, I don’t know what will.

I used to cry after I spoke because I felt like I messed up.

Now I cry because I know He loves me in spite of it, and it’s too much.

It’s grace at work, and I get to report to duty every day.

When I came home, my three big girls came running through the backyard screaming because they were so happy. I hugged them and hugged them and told them how much I loved them and that I was grateful I got to go talk to the ladies.

They always tell people that their dad “sings to people about Jesus” and their mom “writes about Him and tells the ladies.”

Later last night I asked Ellie to read to me out of my favorite children’s Bible (The Jesus Storybook Bible), and she started. She randomly picked a page and the rest of us sat still while she read.

It was about the tower of Babel, and this one is written in a funny way so she was giggling while she went. She got to the end and we all hushed, though, because it says this:

You see. God knew, however high they reached, however hard they tried, people could bever get back to heaven by themselves. People didn’t need a staircase; they needed a Rescuer. Because the way back to heaven wasn’t a staircase; it was a Person.

People could never reach up to Heaven, so Heaven would have to come down to them.

And, one day, it would.

(pg. 54)

I felt my breathing slow down and I let my eyes close for a second. And He whispered to me then, because I asked Him to. I begged Him to.

Are you busy building staircases, or are you telling them that I’m everything? Because your answer matters. Ask yourself a thousand times a day if you have to, until you are sure of it.

Ellie looked at me and asked if I was okay. I told her I was. Abby tried to say something funny and I did a fake smile that meant I wasn’t all the way back from my thoughts yet.

Then she got serious, and she looked me dead in the eye.

“Mommy, didn’t they know?”

“Know what, honey?”

“That if they kept going up, He would just go higher?”

I shook my head no. But I smiled.

Because I will continue to walk up every staircase I am invited to walk up in order to share those words. I will never consider it anything less than a privilege.

And when dusk turns to dark, I will bend my knees to the One who allowed me to build.

Not a monument to myself, but a pile of stones that spoke of God’s glory.

May He be glorified through me.

And may He always, always be made higher.

Lord, bless those who read here. Bless them with Your presence and show them Your love in little things. Maybe something only they would understand. Give them a discerning mind for what You have called them to do,and allow them to feel the kind of joy that comes from building something that directs others to You. Keep us on our faces in prayer, and make us humble in spirit as we seek You. Inspire us to search Your word for truth and to be diligent in chasing after You. For Your glory, Lord…