Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Benefits of Counting Trials as a Blessing

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."  James 1:12

Being thankful for trials and hardships is one of the worst struggles for me and for many.  That got me thinking - "why should we count trials as a blessing?" - Let's take a look a God's Word.

I found four important reasons why we should consider trials a blessing from God:
1.  Lessons learned
As you see in James 1:12 - we will receive the crown of life when we have passed the tests that God sends our way.  He will always have a purpose for everything including hardships - we need to be thankful because a lesson learned will only help us in the future.

"Blessed is the man you discipline, O Lord, the man you teach from your law."  Psalm 94:12

2.  Repentance
Discipline will always be a part of being a child (a child of God that is) and often when we are going through difficult times, that situation might actually be God disciplining us.  Instead of denying that we did anything wrong admit it and repent.  Or, instead of having that lazy (& insulting) attitude of "Oh ya - Jesus died for my sins so it's ok" and continuing to sin the same thing over & over again - try to change & repent! 

"The Lord gives strength to his people;  the Lord blesses his people with peace."  Psalm 29:11

"Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, watching at my doorway."  Proverbs 8:34

3.  Seeking God
When life is easy and seems to be going just as we planned - most of us get lazy and stop seeking God.  Trials and tribulations require God's help and therefore we seek Him.  I know that when I'm going through a difficult situation I will pray constantly and study the Bible every chance I get in order to seek His guidance and answers.

"For there is no difference between Jew & Gentile - the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."  Romans 10:12-13

4.  No favoritism
We all go through rough patches.  When we call out to God for help, He will never pick & choose - there is no favoritism.  "For EVERYONE who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."  Now, this does NOT mean that by calling on our Lord He will take all of our troubles away - However, it does mean that He will be with us helping and guiding us every step of the way.
Count yourself blessed by God even during the difficult times.

Prayer Warriors United

"Prayer Warriors United" is a google+ Community where Christians come together in prayer.
Click HERE to view or join this community
If you need prayer please fill out this
Prayer Request form

Saturday, November 22, 2014

NOVEMBER 2014 Great Blog Train RESULTS with Features & Giveaway Winners

G   R   E   A   T   ANNOUNCEMENT!!

We have some news!!
The Great Blog Train has 3 new Engineers (a.k.a. Hosts)

Please welcome:
Cathy from "A Peek Into My Paradise"
Lisa from "Feathers in the Woods"
Heidi from "Heidi's Wanderings"

We also have some sad news -
Angel from "Sew Crafty Angel"
will no longer be Hosting The Great Blog Train but we have loved the Engineering work that she has done for us over the past year & we certainly hope that she will travel with us as a passenger in the future.
Thank you Angel!

 Great Blog Train
The 23rd GREAT BLOG TRAIN was a blast! - We all safely reached our destination: ALASKA. It was a wonderful trip with 37 boxcars!! We (the Engineers) would like to thank all of you for travelling with us and we hope that you all had a wonderful time!
The Giveaway Winners are: M.L.
& D.M. (I have contacted the winners by email)

W   A   N   T   E   D  :

The Great Blog Train by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo BlogTrainDestination_zps2925d251.jpg

(Being a "Destination Cohost" means that you get to pick our next destination!!  It also means that you will post The Great Blog Train on your blog on the first Wednesday of whatever month you will be cohosting (1 different cohost per month).  We (the engineers or hosts) will provide you with the html code for the blog hop & for the Giveaway - all you will have to do is add into that post some information on the destination that you picked (like population, known for, location etc - basic family friendly facts) and add a few pictures.  Also, if you cohost we ask that you promote it on your social media sites) (We are now scheduling for 2015).

If you are interested in being a Co-host for the Great Blog Train then please click HERE and fill out the form (THANK YOU!!)

We are now featuring the top 3 Boxcars!  (These are the links that received the most clicks)
Pumpkin Bundt by The Tumbleweed Contessa
Slice of Pumpkin Bundt with ApplePumpkin Sauce Streusel

Classic Chicken Pot Pie by Turnips 2 Tangerines

My Two Little Princesses by This Day I Love.....

Please join us for the DECEMBER Great Blog Train
on December 3rd, 2014!

Great Blog Train, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for


Revive those old blog posts with the "Post Swap Program"  - I will place a blog post of your choosing on my blog & then in return you will place one of my blog posts on your blog!

God’s Growing Garden
Please fill out this form if you are interested:  click HERE to view form 

Introducing Week#4 Cohosts for the November 2014 #ChainLinkyCLIMB

God’s Growing Garden
 photo 2toclimb_zps515fa21c.jpg
Please welcome The November 2014 Chain "Linky" CLIMB 

week#4 co-hosts: 

April from "100lb Countdown"

(Click on the blog button below)

100 lb Countdown
April is our permanent week#4 co-host.  Checkout what's been happening on 100lb Countdown lately:
How To Make Blogging A Profession with..
Holidays with my Blogging Buddies
Bear on the Chair - Good Behavior Buddy for Every Child


Priyam from "SimpleJoys"
(Click on the blog button below)

Simple Joys

Priyam's blog is so cool! - She has so many original ideas! This is how she describes herself & her blog: "I started this blog sometime back to document things I love. My interests are varied, I love decorating, baking and crafting among other things. Crafting for me is like a stress-reliever. After the kids sleep at night, I love to spend my time crafting and that's when most of my  work gets done anyways.."


We are looking for wonderful Bloggers like YOU to cohost the December CLIMB (also scheduling for 2015)!!
(please sign up in the "linky" at the very end where it says "sign up to cohost HERE")

It's the month long Networking Blog Hop 
With our 13th CLIMB GIVEAWAY!
Networking means helping each other grow!! 
If you want to promote a CLIMB link, then use #ChainLinkyCLIMB on Twitter or Google+ so that we can all help each other grow!

Here's how the Giveaway & Co-hosting works - the co-hosts from the previous month's CLIMB will have the opportunity to participate in a Giveaway during the next CLIMB - that gives co-hosts 2 months in a row of blog growing fun!!  (If you would like to co-host please sign up at the end of this post using the last "Linky") 
Please enter below -one person will win:
- $10 Target Gift Card from Sew Crafty Angel
- $5 Starbucks Coffee Gift Card from Cuddlebug Cuties 
- 1 Ad Space on A Peek Into My Paradise for 30 days - $30 value
- Turbo Sponsor Spot on 100lb Countdown - $10 value
- 1 Ad Space on Butterfly in the Attic - $15 value
- $10 Gift Certificate to PostcardsInTheAttic
- 1 Monthly Ad Space on God's Growing Garden - $15 value
- A beautiful Heart Shaped Gemstone Necklace with a raw Unakite/granite gemstone from Lake Michigan by ShorelineDesigned - $15 value
- "My Cookie Creation Countdown" ebook - $3 value
- "Making Your Own Cedar Roping or Pine Garland" ebook - $2 value
- "G.K.C.C. Gourdon Kringle Christmas Company" Children's Picture ebook - $4 value
- a beautiful handmade "Coffee Cozy"($5 value)  by Kaitlyn from Three Sisters & Us
- 1 Sidebar Ad Space on "Heartbeats~Soul Stains" - $10 value
 photo CoffeeCozyphotoWEQS6WVS_zps729d5009.jpg
Coffee Cozy by Kaitlyn from "Three Sisters & Us"
 photo CindyNovember_zps0d5d2756.jpg
Persimmon Splotch - Raw Unakite/Granite Gemstone, Lake Michigan Heart Shape Stone, 22 Carat Gold Grommets on Brass Bead Ball Chain Necklace
What a thrill it was to find this colorful and heart shaped persimmon splotched raw Unakite/granite combination gemstone in Lake Michigan!
I have 5 mm drilled a hole to fit two 22 Carat gold grommets which house two NuGold tarnish resistant large brass jumprings, and strung it onto a brass ball bead chain. The chain undone measures 25 inches, and as worn including stone will hang 14 inches. As seen in the last picture, the stone has a nice flat back which will rest nicely as worn.
 photo ButterfliesInTheAttic2_zps22e976e7.jpg photo ColleenGiveaway_zpsaead54b8.jpg
Gift Certificate to "PostcardsInTheAttic": "Travel back in time with Postcards In The Attic to a time when your purchases included fanciful detail and wholesome charm. Enjoy our beautiful vintage, antique and handmade postcards."

All 3 of these ebooks by Angie Ouellette-Tower

Total prize value is $134!!
CLIMB Giveaway Rules & Conditions:
- this is open worldwide (void where prohibited)
- You must be 18 years or older to enter 
- You MUST have a blog to win the Ad spaces (otherwise these will become a second place prizes)
- You must live in the lower 48 of the United States to win the Necklace & the Cozy (otherwise these will become  second place prizes)
- Any tax or shipping costs going above the amount of any gift certificate will be the winner's responsibility
- This Giveaway is open from October 31st, 2014 until November 30th, 2014
- Winner must respond to email within 48 hours or a different winner will be chosen
- Giveaway Hosts & Co-hosts can NOT enter this Giveaway!, however - NOVEMBER 2014 CLIMB blog hop co-hosts ARE allowed to enter this Giveaway (provided they are not also part of the Giveaway)
- correspondence is done through email and the winner's email addresses will only be used to deliver or set-up e-prizes.  Email addresses will NEVER be sold or shared.
- All prizes will be delivered by the contributing Bloggers/Shop Owners.
- if you have any questions or concerns about this Giveaway please email one of the hosts:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now onto the CLIMB (blog hop):
We have changed it up a bit - instead of linking your homepage you may now link up to 4 of your family friendly blog posts per month!!

CLIMB by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo ClimbIntro_zps6919dad8.jpg

CLIMB by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo ClimbRules_zps77e9b7a4.jpg
By participating in this blog hop your understand that your link might be promoted on social media.  Also, by participating in this blog hop your email address will be added to our CLIMB list & you will be sent an email reminder next month. 

CLIMB by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo ClimbLink_zpsf527c076.jpg

Remember - If you co-host you will receive a free Weekly Sidebar Ad and your blog button will appear on both Angie's blog & Angel's blog!!

(The Ad will run live a few weeks after you have co-hosted)

CLIMB by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo ClimbCo-host_zpseca2ac09.jpg

 photo ClimbSig_zpsdeb81227.jpg


Revive those old blog posts with the "Post Swap Program- I will place a blog post of your choosing on my blog & then in return you will place one of my blog posts on your blog!

God’s Growing Garden
Please fill out this form if you are interested:  click HERE to view form 

Friday, November 21, 2014

BLOGGER OPP - Romantic Cash Giveaway - Sign-Ups End 12/21/14

Another great Blogger Opportunity brought to you by Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise - check it out!

Romantic Cash Giveaway Blogger Opportunity | #giveaway #bloggeropportunity #valentinesday
What? Paypal Cash Cards valued at $500 each (number of cash cards/prizes depends on the amount gathered for the giveaway. If the amount sponsored does not divide into even amounts of $500 there will be multiple $500 cards with the remainder as a "booby prize". (Ex. $500, $500, $500, $350) I will be building the graphic and promoting the giveaway with a few of the popular items the winner(s) "could" buy for their valentine plus a romantic giveaway: iPad Mini, iPad, KitchenAid Mixer, an XBox 360, a WiiU, a Playstation 4.....etc. The more participants, the larger the giveaway. All monies collected go into the prize pot. When? Sign-ups to participate end Sunday December 21st at midnight. Links are $5 each and $25 to be a co-host. As a co-host, you will receive 5 links on the Rafflecopter, your photo on the giveaway collage, PLUS a 300 x 300 ad space on APIMP for the month of December. Links allowed in this giveaway: Facebook (Pages only for likes and not mandatory per Facebook guidelines), Pinterest, Bloglovin, RSS Feed, Follow by Email, Instagram, Stumbleupon, Twitter and Etsy shop. I would greatly appreciate it if you would share this blogger opportunity with your blogger friends! The giveaway itself will run Sunday January 3rd to Sunday January 31st, 2015. Who? We are accepting any types of blogs/shops to participate in this great giveaway. Why? It's a great way to engage your readers & followers, and gain some exposure for your blog/website and social media accounts. Plus it will be tons of fun!
Join the Romantic Cash Giveaway - Complete this form

Would You Like to Promote this Giveaway?

Paypal Cash
APIMP current followers - over 30,000 friends!
Please send payment through Paypal as gift to a friend or family. USD only

Would You Like to Promote this Giveaway?

1. Grab the Blogger Opp HTML and post the announcement on your blog.
2. Promote the giveaway opportunity on your social media accounts on a regular basis until December 21st.

Thanksgiving Signature, for

Click the button below to buy my
"Cookie Creation Countdown" ebook
for Christmas Baking:

Nordic Naturals #PawsForACause #Giveaway

Our Dog Gourdon by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 2006AnimalKids-001_zpsb5c9918a.jpg

Checkout this wonderful Giveaway for our furry friends!
Please enter below for your chances to win!
(Giveaway hosted by my blogging friend Debbie @ Heartbeats~Soul Stains)



Nordic Naturals #PawsForACause Giveaway

Prize: 1 winner will receive 1 bottle of Ultimate Omega & 1 bottle of Omega-3 Pet

ARV: $75

Sponsored by: Nordic Naturals

Hosted by: Heartbeats~ Soul Stains

Thank you to all the blogs for helping to promote this giveaway:

Here We Go Again...Ready?, God's Growing Garden, Michigan Saving and More, Tay's Two Cents, Manicures & Extra Sprinkles, SuperMomSurveys, Happy Green Baby, GlamourholicMom, Something to fill the time, Elitemama's Blog, Laurita Always & Hands Full of Life


Nordic Naturals is committed to providing the World's safest and most effective Omega Oils. They provide products meeting the needs from prenatal to adult as well as offering their Nordic Pet Collection. You can read Heartbeats~ Soul Stains full review here.

They are also committed to giving back to others. Nordic Naturals is making a huge contribution to Paws for Veterans; an organization that helps veterans and rescues shelter animals. Check out their campaign #PawsForACause and read more about Buy One Bottle, Help Two Heros here or here.

Giveaway will run from 11/21/14 - 12/12/14

Open to US residents


Nordic Naturals is responsible for fulfillment, shipping and all costs associated with this prize.

All information collected is completely confidential and will only be used for contacting the winner and prize fulfillment purposes only. Open to residents of the US, 18 and older. Ends at 11:59PM HST on 12/12/2014. At the conclusion of the giveaway, the winner will be randomly selected and notified via email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is NOT associated or endorsed by Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube or Twitter. 1 Entrant per Household

If you are a brand or company and would like to work with Heartbeats~ Soul Stains please contact us here

Thanksgiving Signature, for
Click the button below to enter the Great Giveaways going on now!!:
God’s Growing Garden Giveaways

Thursday, November 20, 2014

DAY#3 - Daily Meal Planning for the Holidays

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo HolidayMealTitle_zps43140abd.jpg

DAY#3 - Daily Meal Planning for the Holidays

Whether we're talking about Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years - the "Holidays" bring company and the opportunity to be creative in the kitchen!  I wanted to help take the stress out of daily meal planning by providing an entire day of recipes.  There will be 8 days total.  These "daily meals" are not the big celebration meals for Christmas, New Years or Thanksgiving, rather these are for the in-between days.
I will even include some beverage recipes on certain days.
Feel free to click on each title below to see more detailed instructions.


Click HERE to print up the entire day of Recipes
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo HolidayMealBreakfast_zpsec2f1e36.jpg
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 2013-02-09_zpsa8a0060e.jpg
Grandma Olson's Cardamom Braid
Canned Pears & Toast
Soft Boiled Egg

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo HolidayMealLunch_zpsf5262cad.jpg

Curried Sweet Potato Croquettes
(Gluten Free!!)


Click the button below to buy my
"Making Your Own Cedar Roping or Pine Garland" ebook
for Christmas Decorating:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ULTIMATE Cash Giveaway - $750 Paypal Cash!!

What would you do with $750 Paypal Cash?
Enter below for your chances to win!

Ultimate Cash - without names.jpg

My blogger friends and I have teamed up to bring you another fun giveaway! One lucky winner will win a $750 cash prize (via Paypal) and it just might be you!

If you want a chance to be the lucky winner, here’s what you need to do - bookmark this page and come back every day to enter and earn bonus entries by sharing the giveaway with your friends on social media. Good luck!


Prize: $750 cash (via Paypal)

Organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. All entries are optional. Giveaway ends 12/16 and is open worldwide.

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!
Image via Unsplash
Thanksgiving Signature, for
Click the button below to enter the Great Giveaways going on now!!:
God’s Growing Garden Giveaways
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