Sunday, February 18, 2018

PARABLE of the Sower - SEEDS ON ROCKY PLACES

 photo SundaySowRock_zpsfyqzefte.jpg


PARABLE of the Sower - SEEDS ON ROCKY PLACES

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo SundayPARABLE_zpskg749l78.jpg 


"The Parable of the Sower" is about faith & unbelief.  It's about sharing our faith with others and dealing with the trials and tribulations that come along with witnessing.  We are all part of God's Growing Garden and the types of seeds that we are planting in His garden are:  grace, mercy and forgiveness.


In this Parable there are 4 different ways to receive the gospel or 4 different sorts of people who come in contact with the gospel.  Today we will be focusing on the seeds sown on rocky places.

The seed is always the same:  the gospel is the seed, which is the saving grace and mercy of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  The soil types are different.  I was going to say that we are the soil but I think that the environment that we live in is the soil.  Once this seed sprouts and a plant appears - this symbolizes our birth as a Christian.  How that plant continues to grow is the type of believer that we become.  Together we are all part of the garden which is the family of God.




by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo SundaySowRock2_zpsrz9taecb.jpg


Explanation


ROCKY PLACES:  When you are planting any kind of seed you must first consider 3 things:
    -the soil type (sandy or clay)
    -the soil location (part shade or full sun) 
    -the moisture content or water availability
In these Bible verses, the soil was good enough for the seed to germinate but as soon as the day started to heat up with the sun beating down - this little plant was scorched.  Also, this new tender plant had no access to water and withered away.
This is like the type of person who hears God's Word and believes but when times get tough, this person withers back into their old life.  When hardships happen, this type of person will turn their back on Jesus instead of enduring bad times by digging deep into God's Word and being refreshed by the Water of Life.

If you are in a rocky place - dig down deep into the Bible (God's living Word). 

Through prayer - be refreshed daily.


Previous PARABLE posts:PARABLE OF THE VINE - "The True Vine & the Father Gardener"
PARABLE OF THE VINE - "Be a Fruitful Branch Instead of a Withering Branch"
PARABLE OF THE VINE - "Producing Joyful Fruit - God's Love Remains Forever"
PARABLE OF THE VINE - "Everlasting Fruit & Everlasting Friends"
The Prodigal Son PARABLE - The Son Who Ran Away
The Prodigal Son PARABLE - The Son Who Stayed Home
PARABLE of The Good Samaritan - Love God First

PARABLE of the Good Samaritan - Love Others
PARABLE of the Sower - Along the Pathway




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Friday, February 16, 2018

Weekly Thankfulness & Growth Report #104

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#104 - Weekly Thankfulness & Growth Report

If you were following this blog in 2015 then you will be familiar with my "365 Days of Being Thankful" challenge.  I have missed reporting on my thankfulness since I finished my challenge 2 years ago, so I decided to at least give a weekly Thankfulness Report & include a Growth Report also.  Growth in our Christian walk, growth in the garden & growth on this blog.  Finally, I am also including a "Posts From the Past" feature - ENJOY!

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo WeeklyT_zpstrtwftz3.jpg
This week I have been thankful for family doctors, ultrasound technology and for family.  I am most thankful that I am able to go to my Lord God Almighty in prayer.  Also, that His family (the church) can come together in prayer.

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo WeeklyCW_zps0mxvvxni.jpg


"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind"  Matthew 22:37
This post was part of the series - "Christian Camp Songs & Chorus Hymns":
Read: I Love You Lord

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo WeekG_zpsvjqyntdx.jpg
Last week we had huge snowfall and as of today (almost 55 degrees today) - most of the snow has melted!

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo WeekGB_zpsfzke6lhk.jpg
- Here are my Follower stats:
GFC (Google Friends Connect) - 2,250
Bloglovin - 4,427
Twitter - 6,947
Pinterest - 6,290
Google+ - 2,280
Facebook - 4,489

Instagram - 872
Linky Followers - 108
Networked Blog - 1,242

Activate - 574
That's a grand total of 29,479 followers in some form or another (which is up 105 from last week).

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo WeeklyPFP_zpsqkg3jhiu.jpg
(click on the title to view the entire post)
This is comfort food to me - it's so simple but oh so delicious:
The Basics - Canned Pears & Toast
Canned Pears & Toast by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 008_zps1da8329a.jpg

 by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo WeekHOP_zpsnq0aipep.jpg
This week is FAMILY feature week - click HERE to LINK UP & you might just be featured next month!


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Take Up The THANKFULNESS Challenge!
I challenge you to thank God for something everyday for one year!  Either write it down in a diary OR share with us on a blog.  If you have a blog & would like to share your THANKFULNESS posts with us, then please fill out this form: 365 Days of Being THANKFUL form - click HERE and you will be added to the THANKFULNESS page.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

True LOVE is.........

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True LOVE is....
The most beautiful explanation of true love is found in the Bible - 1 Corinthians, chapter 13.  I have listed verses 1 through verse 7 below
(feel free to click on each VERSE to view a previous Bible study on each verse).


VERSE#1
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo Sunday13V1_zpsailr4hf8.jpg


VERSE#2
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo Sunday13V2_zpsg55llj4l.jpg


VERSE#3
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo Sunday13V3_zpslh1uxizu.jpg


VERSE#4
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo SundayLovePatient_zpsv1ts1v9z.jpg


VERSE#5
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo Sunday13V5_zpsty041bco.jpg


VERSE#6
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo Sunday13V6_zpsoppkgajb.jpg


VERSE#7
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo Sunday13V7_zpst84dndbt.jpg





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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tuesdays with a Twist Blog Hop #251

Welcome to Tuesdays with a Twist #251!
Checkout the many great giveaways going on right now!
Click the button below to enter each Giveaway!!:
God’s Growing Garden Giveaways
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Good Morning and Welcome to another No Rules Party!


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We're your hosts & co-hosts 

Mary @ Back to the Basics and Mary's Kitchen
Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures
Angie @ God's Growing Garden
Checkout my amazing "Featured" Pinterest Board

(click HERE to view & follow)
Features!
Each co-host will be sharing her own picks for Features. This gives everyone a better chance of being featured. Be sure to check all of our blogs to see if you were featured! 
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My Features this Week are:


1. "Garden Orbs" by Master "Pieces" of My Life
2. "3D Origami Paper Heart" by SimpleJoys
3. "The Life of Abraham: God's Covenant Ceremony" by A Narrow-Minded Woman




If you've been featured we'd love for you to grab a button.

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The party starts every Tuesday at 7am EST and will continue until Saturday at 11:59pm.  Feel free to stop back any time and "like" your favorites.  Please visit other blogs if you have a moment. 

Share older posts as well as new ones.  No limit on links!

*Pictures should be your own* 

By linking up you give us permission to use these photos

 (with proper link backs) in our features.   And now for the party!





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Monday, February 12, 2018

You're the STAR - Week#2 FAMILY (February 2018)

We received many inches of beautiful snow over the past 3 days.  It has put us in the Winter Olympic mood - I hope that you are enjoying this season!  Also, have a lovely Valentine's Day this week.
Thank you again for joining us!
There are many ways to follow me:
blog  |  facebook  |  pinterest  |  twitter  |  bloglovin  |  google+  |  instagram

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Welcome to week#3 of the February "You're the Star" Blog Hop!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share this post from my blog:

Grandma Vi's Fridge Cookies by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo OldPhotosTowerFam_zps549d9112.jpg
Grandma Vi's Refrigerator Cookie RECIPE
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WELCOME to FAMILY feature week of the
February "You're the STAR" blog hop!
Meet your FAMILY week Host & Cohost 
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarFamily_zpsmife1ehc.jpg
This week is FAMILY feature week
Swing by the Family hosting team's blogs:
Miranda @ The Myrabev Life
Linda @ Country Loving Mom
Elizabeth @ Family Farm School
This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!
There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear - this is NOT a themed party - you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The "theme" occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#3 FAMILY - parenting, fitness, health, finances & inspirational (this can include anything about children like: education ideas for children, also self help, beauty etc -  anything family friendly)

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg

(These features were chosen from the January "You're the STAR" blog hop)
 Inexpensive Self Care Ideas for 2018 by Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Beautiful spa table settings
6 Morning Habits That Make Me a Better Mom by Mama Finds Her Way

Morning Routine


Considering Homeschooling? 5 Things to Think About by The Usual Mayhem

Should I homeschool



Old Fashioned Cheese Soup by Mrs. Kringle's Kitchen

If you've been featured then please grab a STAR button below:


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We are in need of more Cohosts (click HERE to view a list of our current hosts/cohosts). 
If you are interested in joining us as a Cohost then please click HERE & fill out the form.


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All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn't be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post - rest assured - we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES - other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )


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God’s Growing Garden Giveaways



Sunday, February 11, 2018

PARABLE of the Sower - SEEDS ALONG THE PATHWAY

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo SundaySowPath_zpstvwepj25.jpg


PARABLE of the Sower - SEEDS ALONG THE PATHWAY

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo SundayPARABLE_zpskg749l78.jpg 


"The Parable of the Sower" is about faith & unbelief.  It's about sharing our faith with others and dealing with the trials and tribulations that come along with witnessing.  We are all part of God's Growing Garden and the types of seeds that we are planting in His garden are:  grace, mercy and forgiveness.


In this Parable there are 4 different ways to receive the gospel or 4 different sorts of people who come in contact with the gospel.  Today we will be focusing on the seeds sown along the pathway. 

The seed is always the same:  the gospel is the seed, which is the saving grace and mercy of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  The soil types are different.  I was going to say that we are the soil but I think that the environment that we live in is the soil.  Once this seed sprouts and a plant appears symbolizes our birth as a Christian.  How that plant continues to grow is the type of believer that we become.  Together we are all part of the garden which is the family of God.




by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo SundaySowPath2_zpskwsvtapc.jpg


Explanation


THE PATHWAY:  The seed scattered in this type of soil is uncovered & unprotected.  There is movement along the pathway and any seed is swept away.  This is the modern way - we are always moving on to next new thing - the newest diet, the newest gadget, the newest phone, the newest supplement ......etc.  We never develop a deep understanding in one area because we are swept away by so called "progress."  This seed doesn't even get a chance to germinate because it is snatched away & eaten by the birds (symbolizing Satan snatching away).

If you notice that you are sowing seeds along the pathway - make sure to protect them from the birds.


Previous PARABLE posts:PARABLE OF THE VINE - "The True Vine & the Father Gardener"
PARABLE OF THE VINE - "Be a Fruitful Branch Instead of a Withering Branch"
PARABLE OF THE VINE - "Producing Joyful Fruit - God's Love Remains Forever"
PARABLE OF THE VINE - "Everlasting Fruit & Everlasting Friends"
The Prodigal Son PARABLE - The Son Who Ran Away
The Prodigal Son PARABLE - The Son Who Stayed Home
PARABLE of The Good Samaritan - Love God First

PARABLE of the Good Samaritan - Love Others




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Happiness is Homemade
LouLou Girls Party #202
Tuesdays with a Twist
Oh My Heartsie Girls Wonderful Wednesday
Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop
Thursday Favorite Things
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"Prayer Warriors United" is a google+ Community where Christians come together in prayer. 

Click HERE to view or join this community



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Friday, February 9, 2018

15 Tips - When A Loved One Is In the Hospital

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo BlogHospital_zps9pd0a3f1.jpg


15 Tips/Reminders: When a Loved One is in the Hospital


I have visited many loved ones while in the hospital over the years.  It started as a child when we lived with my grandfather for a year to help take care of him.  Little did I know that God was actually training me for future caregiving.  My husband and I have lived with his parents (my in-laws) for the past 8 years in order to care for them.  I am not bragging but consider it a privilege to care for my family
(please click HERE to read: "Taking Care of Your Family).
If you have not ever had a loved one in the hospital then this next statement is going to sound ridiculous:  "going to the hospital day after day to visit a loved one is exhausting."  It's true.  I have learned many important lessons the hard way - below is a list of tips that will help you through this difficult type of situation (by "situation" I mean having a hospitalized loved one).



by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo BlogHospital2_zpssloklsiv.jpg
During the first lengthy hospital stay (by lengthy I mean that my loved one remained in the hospital for 3 days or more), I was noticing that by the end of each day I had the most excruciating headache (we spent hours each day visiting).  It wasn't until days later that I realized that I was barely drinking any water.  Now I make sure that I pack plenty of drinking water and almost never go home with a headache.

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo BlogHospital3_zpsedoig6dl.jpg
Of course this will vary by patient but start with the basics: hair brush, tooth brush, underwear, makeup etc.  Then move on to items that will help pass the time like: daily devotion book, other books, portable DVD player, crossword booklet etc.  You might also want to bring items that will help you pass the time while visiting (book, games etc)

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo BlogHospital5_zpsuh3rabk7.jpg
While you are visiting your loved one you will need to eat.  I know that many times (depending on the severity of your loved one's illness), you will simply not feel like eating but you must!  What happens when you become too weak to care for your loved one?  Keep yourself nourished for the sake of your loved one.

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo BlogHospital9_zpsqc5h9bbf.jpg
Here again, every situation is different but you never know who you might need to call.  Bring extended family member's phone numbers.  Bring previous doctors numbers.  Bring your boss's contact information because you never know how long you might have to stay or how many days you might have to be gone from the office.
Just as important is remember to write down the nurses station number in case you need to call to receive updates during the night or on days when you are unable to visit.  Also, if there is a phone by your loved one's bed, then always remember to write down that extension so that you will be able to call them once you are home.

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo BlogHospital12_zpsvfwn6xiy.jpg
This is a difficult subject that almost no one ever wants to think about let alone put down on paper.  For those of you who are not familiar with a "Living Will" it is: "a written statement detailing a person's desires regarding their medical treatment in circumstances in which they are no longer able to express informed consent, especially an advance directive."  It's a difficult topic but a necessary one in these types of situations.

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo BlogHospital6_zpsg4u28cgy.jpg
You might think that this would be a "no brainer", but you will become so consumed with trying to remember everything else that checking your gas tank before you go to the hospital will be the last thing to cross your mind.  Remember to fill up or bring enough money for a taxi or whatever other forms of transportation that you might rely on in your area.

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo BlogHospital11_zpspwylajwe.jpg
Most hospitals today have a hand sanitizer at every patient's doorway but you can never be too careful.  With super bugs/ infections like "MRSA" or "Staph", you must protect your loved one in the hospital as well as yourself and the other loved ones at home.  Bring disinfectant hand wipes or a travel size sanitizer lotion just in case.

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo BlogHospital8_zpsu1inb0qe.jpg
This is another tip that will sound strange - "relax and breath."  On one of the many situations visiting a loved one I noticed that I was so stressed that I was taking shallow breaths, almost holding my breath and tensing my shoulders!  This eventually threw my neck out (I have that type of a back where this can happen often).  Now I remind myself to relax my muscles and breath slowly and deeply.

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo BlogHospital10_zpsri5n7uqs.jpg
It is very likely that your loved one will be seeing many different doctors/specialists during his/her time as an inpatient.  If you are able to be there when that doctor is examining your loved one then great!  However, usually these doctors do their rounds before public visiting hours.  That's why you need to make a list of questions and the most important part is to write these questions down WHEN YOU THINK OF THEM.  I can't tell you how many times I have said: "we forgot to ask that doctor this or that!!" after they have seen the patient.  So, write down your questions and give that list to the nurse on duty (if you are unable to be present during the doctor visit).  Sometimes the nurse will be able to answer a few of your questions.

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo BlogHospital7_zpssrggypic.jpg
This also should be obvious but I suggest always having a backup plan.  You might not know exactly how long you will be required to stay at the hospital (especially if there is some urgent occurrence with your inpatient loved one).  Maybe you have a friend or distant relative who lives close and they could always be on standby for these types of situations.
Also, expect messes.  We have not been blessed with children but we usually have one dog and one cat at a time.  Our animal family members can sense when something is wrong.  Our animal children might be nervous and have accidents - try to stay calm and just clean up these messes.

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo BlogHospital4_zpsw06n2gk9.jpg
I have to admit that I had forgotten about my bills during the first time that I had a loved one in the hospital for an extended period of time.  Late fees had to be paid (which was a first for me - I always pay my bills on time).  You don't want to come home from the hospital one day to find out that the electricity has been turned off! (this might not even affect you if you pay your bills online - I'm still old school and pay through snail mail)

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo BlogHospital1_zps4yplfpic.jpg
Many people are so proud that they refuse to accept help from others - this attitude is stupid.  Your situation is just too much to bear alone!  Accept help from neighbors or family members - whether it's bringing a meal over or offering to stay with your children.  Accept advice and counseling from your pastor &/or hospital chaplain.  Accept aid from the hospital social workers.  Don't be an island!

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo BlogHospital13_zpsvxk2ggs4.jpg
One instance stands out in my memory.  Just last year my mom was in the hospital for major surgery and during her stay they had put an "infectious" status on her room.  We had to put gloves, a gown and a mask on whenever we visited her.  The reason for this "costume" was because they said that she had had a history of MRSA infection.  We all said "no - she has NEVER had MRSA!"  They kept responding with "yes, it's here in her file."  This continued until finally one nurse noticed that there was one misplaced page in my mom's file - this page was from a different patient who happened to have the same surname!!!  If we had not spoken up persistently, then that misplaced infection might still be following her through the medical files.  So speak up when something doesn't seem right, but be patient while doing so. 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo BlogHospital15_zps1ky7ljez.jpg
Your home life will most likely change once your loved one returns home (this of course depends on the type and severity of their illness).  There will be many times when you will have to make changes at home.  Maybe there will be mobility issues and you might have to have a walk-in tub installed in your bathroom or maybe a stair lift.  There might be dietary changes.  And most likely there will be many new specialists that you will have to see on a regular basis which requires a permanent schedule change.  Be prepared to make changes.

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo BlogHospital14_zpswhammcok.jpg
Finally, please make sure to thank the staff.  "Staff" includes everyone from doctors, nurses, office workers, cafeteria employees and custodial staff.  Many of these jobs are very difficult and most of the time family members are so distraught about their loved one's situation that they are impatient and even mean towards the hospital staff.  Instead, be thankful.  
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