Monday, October 31, 2016

The November 2016 "You're the STAR" Blog Hop Starts Today on Halloween!

Can you believe that tomorrow is already November?  I know this sounds old fogy  but time is really flying!
November is all about being thankful - but shouldn't we be thankful every day of the year?
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.

THANKFULNESS Challenge


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

WELCOME!  The November 2016
"You're the STAR" blog hop starts today on Halloween!
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" only occurs during our weekly features:
WEEK#1 GARDEN - gardening, homesteading, recycling &/or preserving (this can include any type of green living,  while remaining family friendly),
WEEK#2 CREATIVE - arts & crafts, music, writing &/or dramatic arts (this can include sewing, dance, art history, handmade jewelry, computer art, fashion etc - anything creative while remaining family friendly)
WEEK#3 FAMILY - parenting, fitness, finances & inspirational (this can include anything about children like: education ideas for children, also self help etc -  anything family friendly)
WEEK#4 HOME - recipes, home décor, antique/DIY &/or travel (this can include anything about your home - even history posts - all while remaining family friendly)
Below is a graphic showing our weekly feature categories:




by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStar_zpsd14bf9ky.jpg



Since today is still October, the first "Feature" day for this month will be the first Monday in November (11/7/16)
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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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(Checkout this month's wonderful Sponsor!) 
Cynthia from "ShorelineDesigned"
Handmade one-of-a-kind jewelry & beads made from beautiful beach stones from the Great Lakes Shoreline.
Travel along the shoreline with Cynthia
(click HERE to view her blog)

Shoreline Designed
(Please click on the ad above to view her shop)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Be Gentle & Kind To ALL

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


Be Gentle & Kind To ALL


I used to think that "kindness" and "gentleness" were the same thing.  There is a difference:

Gentleness - is meek, humble, mild and calm.  The opposite of gentle is harsh 

Kindness - is compassion, sympathy, thoughtfulness, consideration, helpfulness and charity.   The opposite of kind is cruel.



As we see by both featured verses above - we are to be kind and gentle to all!  Let's study each one in more detail.



GENTLENESS
"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29

Our example for being gentle and kind both come from Jesus.  In this verse in Matthew we see that not only are we to strive to be like Jesus and learn from His gentleness but we will also find rest for ourselves.   

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."  Proverbs 15:1

I struggle with gentleness - There have been  times in my life when unbeknownst to me my words offended someone (I DON'T swear - that's not what I mean).  Without even realizing it I can be very harsh - I'm the firstborn child in my family & with that comes bossiness but I also try to rush through things and in so doing I lose the gentleness that is necessary to live a Christian life. I have been floored when others have confronted me with things that I have said because I never meant them that way (and then I of course apologize) - in my haste the message of what I say is often the opposite of what I mean.  The verse below explains that patience is part of being gentle.

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."  Ephesians 4:2

"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.  But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted."  Galatians 6:1

I am amazed how many of my Christian friends/family are able to confront someone of their wrongdoing without putting that person on the defensive - it's gentleness.  Confrontation with gentleness can be the difference between repentance and continued sin.

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of that slander."  1 Peter 3:15 & 16

We need to be prepared to respond to everyone with gentleness - strangers, family members, friends and enemies.  I love the last part of the verse above - "with our good behavior and clear conscience" - others will be ashamed when they mock us or gossip about us.  This is a stereotype (a positive stereotype) but I am reminded of the British people - they always seem to respond to anyone in a reserved and polite manner.  They are able to stay calm (without yelling) and respectfully put offenders in their place - that is gentleness.



KINDNESS
"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus."  Ephesians 2:6 & 7
Just as I stated above, our example for being kind and gentle both come from Jesus' example.
"He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done." Proverbs 19:17

"A kindhearted woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth.  A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings himself harm."  Proverbs 11: 16 & 17

How interesting that being kind to someone else actually benefits us personally.  Have you ever volunteered for anything? - maybe at a homeless shelter or at the YMCA?  I have and it really did feel like I had received a healthy, "down-to-the-bone" blessing - it was a soothing feeling that I had received (an outpouring of the Holy Spirit).  Isn't there a saying something like: help yourself by helping others?

"An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up."  Proverbs 12:25

This verse is so relevant today -  with so many people dealing with anxiety and panic disorders.  Just think about words "positive" and "negative"; both having such an extreme affect on the intended.  There have been many times in my  life when my heart has been weighed down with life's struggles and hardships.  Just one encouraging word from a friend can lift me up out of the darkness and get me back on track to thinking of others instead of myself. 

"But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.  Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Luke 6:35

There are 2 important points here: 
1. When we are kindhearted we can't expect anything in return - kindness is selfless.  Our motives have to be correct otherwise our so-called "acts of kindness" will come across as very fake.  Kindness has to be sincere.
2. Enemies - be kind to each other & EVERYONE ELSE.  God is kind to everyone, including the "ungrateful and wicked"; our enemies.  There is no getting even here - revenge only hurts both parties involved.  So, we must be kind to both the nice and nasty alike.



"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."  Colossians 3:12



Show God's Love to everyone by clothing yourself with kindness & gentleness. 


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Linked to:
You're the STAR
Tuesdays with a Twist
Wake Up Wednesday
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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



Friday, October 28, 2016

Caramel (in the middle) Apple Muffins

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo DSCF8291_zpsbszehhbm.jpg


Caramel Apple Muffins


My husband is a huge fan of caramel apples - I, however am not fond of the caramel flavor and I loath what it does to my dental work and TMJ.  With that being said - I did enjoy my caramel (in the middle) apple muffin recipe creation.


These are best just out of the oven and warm while the caramel is still oozy good!
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo DSCF8285_zpsnapplofg.jpg



Printable Recipe


3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter (melted & cooled to lukewarm)
1 egg
1 3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large McIntosh apple (peeled & chopped)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 soft caramels (cut in half) (If you really like caramel then you may use a whole caramel per muffin)
1/4 cup ground flax meal

Prepare the ingredients as listed above (melting butter, peeling apple & cutting caramels).  In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, egg & milk - lightly whisk until combined.  Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, flax meal & salt - stir with a wooden spoon just until combined.  Stir in the cut apples (see bottom left picture)


 photo DSCF8286_zps6fevfhbp.jpg by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo DSCF8287_zpsim5uprap.jpg
 Spray a 12 count muffin tin an even amount of dough into each space.  Gently push a caramel into the middle of each dough blob (see picture below) (one caramel half per muffin).
 photo DSCF8288_zpsvyb5hkop.jpg


Streusel Topping
1/3 cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
dash of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
In a medium bowl - combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt - stir.  Cut the butter into this flour/sugar mixture with a pastry cutter until it is crumbly.  Finally stir in the walnuts.  Cover an even amount of this streusel on top of each caramel filled muffin dough in the muffin tin (see picture below).


by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo DSCF8289_zpsoi6uyuwa.jpg
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 Bake in a 400 degree (Fahrenheit) oven for 18 to 20 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean - Do NOT insert the toothpick into the caramel - it will NOT come out clean).


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If desired - cool on a wire rack or serve warm for a gooey caramel filling.



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ENJOY!



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(Checkout this month's wonderful Sponsor!) 
Cynthia from "ShorelineDesigned"
Handmade one-of-a-kind jewelry & beads made from beautiful beach stones from the Great Lakes Shoreline.
Travel along the shoreline with Cynthia
(click HERE to view her blog)

Shoreline Designed
(Please click on the ad above to view her shop)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Weekly Thankfulness & Growth Report #37

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo WeeklyTitle_zps5l1xvjx6.jpg


#37 - 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 back in November, 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 a wonderful visit with my parents, sister and nieces.  I am especially thankful for God's perfect timing which allowed me to help when & where help was needed.

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


"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you."  Philippians 4:8
It is becoming extremely difficult to control our thoughts in a world where numerous devices are at our fingertips and different digital stimuli is constantly bombarding our minds.  It is imperative to guard our thoughts. 
Read: Think Good Thoughts

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo WeekG_zpsvjqyntdx.jpg
It has been unusually warm this Fall and the leaves are late falling.  November will be a busy month finally raking all of the late fallen leaves.

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo WeekGB_zpsfzke6lhk.jpg
- Here are my Follower stats:
GFC (Google Friends Connect) - 2,275
Bloglovin - 4,184
Twitter - 6,244
Pinterest - 5,592
Google+ - 2,300
Facebook - 4,399

Linky Followers - 108
Networked Blog - 1,229

Activate - 574
That's a grand total of 26,905 followers in some form or another (that's up 48 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)
Four years ago I created this smoothie - it's perfect for an Autumn breakfast:
Apple Cider Smoothie Recipe






by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo WeekHOP_zpsnq0aipep.jpg
This week is HOME feature week - click HERE to LINK UP & to see who was featured!

STAR Giveaway
Copyright, Permissions & Disclaimer
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Linked to:
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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.

THANKFULNESS Challenge


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

$150 Amazon Gift Card GIVEAWAY

$150 Amazon Gift Card GIVEAWAY! 
Enter for your chances to win!

but first - read this great post:
Cranberry & Sweet Potato Bran Muffins

click HERE to view the entire post

(the following post was written by Laura from Michigan Saving and More )
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Dropprice $150 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Ends 11/7

Welcome to the Dropprice $150 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Dropprice is an innovative startup that rewards moms for being social. Essentially, they empower moms to drop prices of kids & baby products with a click. The price continues dropping as more moms click “Drop the price”. Every week new promotions are launched and moms drop prices by sharing them on social media. See the chart below to understand the power moms have and how important it is to share with other moms.
  Dropprice $150 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Ends 11/7 In today’s promotion for the FuzziBunz Cloth Diapers, it started out at $39.90 and for each mom that clicks, the price drops a bit. The price will continue to drop for each mom that participates. Dropprice $150 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Ends 11/7 You can choose to share on social media to get more moms to click “Drop the price”, or you can “Buy Now” at the current price. Keep in mind that when the price gets low, they usually sell out and you will no longer have the chance to buy that item. As an added bonus every item on Dropprice ships for free!   Do you want to give it a try? This is such a fun and exciting way for moms to save lots of money by collaborating with each other. If you would like to have a chance to win a $150 Amazon gift card, you can experience dropping the price by following the instructions below.   Giveaway: Win a $150 Amazon Gift Card All you have to do is help moms drop the price of the Diapers and you will be entered to win a $150 Amazon gift card. Just click “Drop the price” on the entry form below for a chance to win. For even more entries, share it on your social media networks via the entry form — every time one of your friends also clicks to drop the price, you’ll automatically receive additional giveaway entries!   This giveaway ends on 11/7/2016; you must be a US Resident and be 18 years or older to enter. Winners are randomly selected and contacted via email; the winners will be listed at the top of the entry form when the giveaway ends. Click here if you don’t see the entry form below.

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Welcome! Wake Up Wednesday Linky #143

Welcome to another Wonderful #WakeUpWednesdayLinky! #143
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Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party

@ Sew Crafty Angel

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We are so excited to have so many amazing bloggers party with us.
Check out this weeks Featured linkups.


Thank you so much to all those who share your blog in our party. 

 Wake Up and be happy, get excited and have fun with us! 
We want to be inspired, entertained, laugh and have a good time!


Your link will appear on the blogs of

Please take time to visit your hostesses.




            


               

                    


               

          

                  

                  

This weeks 
Featured Bloggers



DIY Reversible 2x4 Craft
Sunshine and a Summer breeze

I feel like when it comes to seasonal decor, I'm kind of a minimalist.
I honestly think I don't like a lot of knick-knacks and stuff because my boys already leave so much crap everywhere they go that it just looks like it's adding to the clutter...
Does anyone else have this problem??


CARAMEL APPLE BREAD PUDDING
Somewhat Simple

There’s just something so comforting about bread pudding. Apart from it being a great way to use bread that’s a little past its best AND super easy to make, you can go wild with flavor combinations and it just fills you with warmth as soon as you bite into a bit.



Candy Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Joy.Food.Sunshine

Do you realize there are only two weeks until Halloween? Honestly, I could totally live without this holiday.  I could go on and on about why I don’t love it…but I’ll spare you {you’re welcome! 😂}, and instead, I choose to make the most of it…with this recipe for Candy Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars! Need a way to use all that extra Halloween candy? Want dessert and don’t want to decide between cookies or a Reese’s {or snickers or twix}? Then today is your lucky day.



Pumpkin Nut Roll Recipe
Ann's Entitled Life

Bake a pumpkin nut roll for the holidays, special occasion or anytime. Your friends and family will love this beautiful and delicious pumpkin dessert – a fantastic alternative to pumpkin pie.



Painted Pumpkins: Fun Fall Crafts for Kids
Garden Therapy

Painting pumpkins is an easy project that will last a lot longer than a carved pumpkin, especially in climates that are still toasty warm in the fall. Sketch some silly faces or favourite things and get crafty! This DIY shows you how to prep, paint, and seal painted pumpkins so they will weather the, well, weather.



FALL DRINK: PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE RECIPE
Stagetecture

Pumpkin Spice Latte hot drinks are the best during the fall and winter seasons. Don’t you just enjoy the fall season and making pumpkin recipes? From the warm colors, to the spiced scents and the cool air that gives us a break from the summer heat. It can all be so wonderful, however, I believe that the number one area we tend to fall for this season are the recipes, and this one definitely does not fall short. Pumpkin spiced lattes have warmed our bodies and taste buds with their warm rich sweet pumpkin and cinnamon flavors, that taste like autumn in a cup.




This apple cheesecake recipe is a new twist on an old favorite or actually, an entirely new way to enjoy both a caramel apple and an apple pie, right? We love the single serving sizes and also the fact that you can make individual portions to serve as many or as few as needed. These are darling desserts for parties too and they will definitely make a fun statement on your party table.

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Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, crafts, decorating, fashion, makeup, health & fitness, recipes, mommy moments -- anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly.  Please visit some other bloggers and make some new friends and say hello to old friends..
  • Please leave me a comment , I love to hear from you.
  • Please Link to your family friendly post 
  • I'd love for you to grab my party button for your blog party site but it's totally optional
  • Please No adult content blogs
  • Please do not add links to shops or selling websites (they will be deleted from the party)
  • Giveaways are always welcome.. Add your giveaways to Sew Crafty Angel's Pinterest Community Giveaway Board too.  
Adding your link to this blog hop gives Sew Crafty Angel permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts.  Note- All features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts will be linked back to the original source .Social media features are linked back to the linky party.




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Sparkle & Shine because "You're the STAR" blog hop! 
Link up today!
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsncuylahd.jpg

Click HERE to share your amazing posts



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