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JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #4--April 2003)


Hello, and welcome again to JEM's monthly E-zine!

On the darkest day of human history, man rose up and killed God--and yet, God had mercy on us all, and turned that day around! Satan sought to destroy Christ by having Him beaten, bound, whipped, and crucified—but God raised His Son up—defeating satan completely and forever!

Satan's pride had been saying "I will..." since the beginning of human history, but, with one act, God said, once and for all, "No you won't!"

Jesus has risen! Our hope of salvation is sure! Our debt is paid! Our sins are covered! Our Savior has conquered death hell, and the grave! Our Lord reigns forever! Join us as we celebrate His victory!

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR APRIL
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
POINTS TO PONDER
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
AS HE SAID
A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'
CHALLENGE OF THE MONTH
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
QUICK TIP OF THE MONTH
CRAFT OF THE MONTH
SKIPPING STONES
BIBLE QUIZ
CHECK IT OUT!
JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH



ACROSTIC FOR APRIL
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

Almighty God sent the
Prince of Peace to die and
Rise again;
In dying and then in
Living, He frees us from the burden of sin.

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BIRTHDAY GREETING

Dear Lord, Be near to our friends who celebrate a birthday this month. May You richly bless them on their special day—and every day! In Jesus' Name, Amen!

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INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
Submitted by: Denise Imbody

In Luke 24:13-32 we read about the 2 men who are walking along the road, on their way to Emmaus. As they continue on their journey, discussing all that had happened, Jesus is there with them, but they do not know it. As we read in verses 15 and 16...

15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

As I read this story in its entirety, I got to thinking—how often are we like those 2 men? How much do we miss, or not see Jesus, there with us throughout our day?

After Jesus began walking with them, He noticed they were sad, and asked what was wrong. They were shocked that He didn’t seem to know what was going on, and figured He must be a stranger from a different country. When they told Him why they were sad, He began to share the Scriptures with them, from the prophets—beginning with Moses, and continuing on—and even at this, they still did not know who He was.

It wasn’t until they reached their destination, and invited Him in to eat with them, that their eyes were opened, and they saw Jesus. As we read in verses 30-32...

30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

We need to remember that Jesus is with us each and everyday—through every problem—every circumstance—every trial—every happiness—walking with us, talking with us, teaching us His Word. The 2 men did not know it was Jesus, until He broke the bread, and disappeared. Let’s take our lesson from these 2 men, and not wait to realize that Jesus is right here with us!

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POINTS TO PONDER
Submitted by: Matthew Imbody

In this section we will look at the scriptures closely, and see if what we have come to know as the truth is found in God's Holy Word.

Mark 14
22. And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.
23. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
24. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

During the Passover ceremony, three pieces of unleavened bread, or matzah are brought out in a special covering. This is known as a Unity. The middle piece of matzah is removed, broken, and hidden away. This hidden piece of bread is known as the Afikmen.

Later on, during the meal, the Afikmen is brought forth from it's hiding place, is blessed, and is broken and eaten. This is the piece of bread that Jesus broke and distributed to his disciples, saying, "Take it; this is my body."

This bread was the middle piece of three, as in, Father, Son, Holy Ghost! This bread was broken and hidden away, just as Jesus' body was broken and hidden in a tomb! This bread is known as the Afikmen, which means, "I have come"!

In the order of the Passover ceremony, a cup of wine known as "The Cup Of Redemption" is blessed and passed around for all to drink. This is the cup that Jesus offered to his disciples, saying, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,"

For 3500 years, the Jews have unknowingly foreshadowed Christ's death in their Passover ceremony, and for 2000 years we have continued as Christians to do this in remembrance of our Lord and Savior. What a beautiful ceremony Passover is! What a beautiful ceremony Communion is! What a beautiful thing our Lord has done in connecting them forever, through Jesus Christ!

If you are interested in learning more about this majestic ceremony called Passover, Zola Levitt has a wonderful teaching that will enlighten and amaze you! Take some time this month to familiarize yourself with this piece of fulfilled prophesy! The truths found within will literally knock your socks off!

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QUOTE OF THE MONTH


"The glory of each morning is that it offers us a chance to begin again."
--Barbara Johnson

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AS HE SAID
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Matthew 28
6. "He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."

I love the Resurrection story -- I mean what Christian doesn't? Without it we would be lost...doomed to eternal hell. But Christ came and died on the cross in atonement for our sins and then on the third day He rose -- AS HE SAID!

He had told the disciples ahead of time what was going to happen and how, so there would have been no reason for them to be unsure or doubtful. After all, He had told them other things that had happened just as He said. He sent them into Jerusalem and told them they would find a colt, which had never been ridden, waiting for Him. And they went into Jerusalem and found the colt -- AS HE SAID!

He told them to go into Jerusalem and they would see a man carrying a water jar and he would take them to an Upper Room that they were to prepare for the Passover Meal. And they went into Jerusalem and found the man and the room -- AS HE SAID!

He told them that one of them would betray Him -- and it happened -- AS HE SAID!

So why were they so scared when He was taken away to be tried and executed? And why did they not believe the women who came from the tomb bearing the news that Jesus had risen? Because at that point their faith was still young and unsure. Doubt and unbelief slipped in and quietly took root.

It is so easy for us to read this and think "What was with them!? It was so obvious!" But aren't we just like them?

Things don't go our way and we wonder where God is and why He is not acting on our behalf. He tells us that His ways are not our ways and yet we don't seem to believe that.

We go through trials and suffering in our life and we cry out "WHY!?", forgetting that He told us we would have trials and suffering.

The Bible is God's word and, therefore, Jesus' word also. And we can believe that everything He said is true and every promise He made will be fulfilled -- AS HE SAID!

Jesus tells us He will never leave us nor forsake us -- and He won't! He has given us many details of the last days -- the wars and rumors of wars have come -- AS HE SAID! He also tells us that He has gone to make a place for us and He will return soon to take us to be with Him. You can bank on it! It will happen AS HE SAID!

"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:2-3

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A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'

As income tax season approaches, did you ever notice:

When you put the two words "The" and "IRS" together it spells "THEIRS"
--Author Unknown

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CHALLENGE OF THE MONTH

We really should be getting into God’s word, as much as we possibly can. We would like to encourage you with a challenge each month, to memorize a portion of Scripture. So, we will provide a passage, and hope that you will take the time to study it daily. If you are already doing this on your own, that is great--we just thought with prayer, and making it a bit easier for some folks, that we could help those who may not be doing this yet. All passages will be from the King James Version of the Bible. We do not mind other versions, and you can study it in whichever version you like. We have chosen KJV, because it is public domain. We pray that you will hide His word in your heart.

Galatians 2
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
from The Southern Living Cookbook

Carrot Cake

3 cups grated carrots
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 eggs, well beaten
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the carrots, flour, baking powder, soda, salt, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in to the dry mixture, the eggs, oil and vanilla. Mix well. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350-degrees for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and let cool completely on wire racks. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below) between the layers and on top of the cake.

Variation- This recipe can also be made into a large rectangle cake by using a jelly roll pan. Check for doneness after 20 minutes of baking. Also, this same recipe makes 3 dozen cupcakes. Baking time for the cupcakes is 15 - 20 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, whipped
1 16-ounce package powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Combine cream cheese and butter. Beat until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in nuts, if desired. Yields 3 cups of frosting.

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QUICK TIP OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Need Buttermilk?

If a recipe calls for buttermilk and you have none on hand, make your own. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Let sit for 5 minutes, then use in recipe. Not as strong a flavor as buttermilk, but it works just as well!

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CRAFT OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Resurrection Eggs

This is a fun thing to do with your children to count down the days to Easter and keep the focus on Jesus. These eggs can be purchased, but it is easy and fun to make your own -- and less costly! There are a number of websites that tell how to do this (URLs listed at the end of instructions). Here is what you need:

1 dozen plastic Easter Eggs
an egg carton
construction paper etc. to decorate the carton (if so desired)
Items to go in the eggs
Permanent marker

Label the eggs 1 through 12. Then add the eggs and Scripture reference to the assigned egg. You could also type up and print out the scripture to go in the egg. (Some of the sights below have the scripture ready to print out)

When an item is perishable, like bread, you could use a picture in its place.

Once done -- start opening an egg each night starting 12 days before Easter. Open the eggs in order and read the scripture that goes with item. Such a fun way to focus on the Truth of Easter.

1. (Bread) Matthew 26:26
2. (Coins) Matthew 26: 14-15
3. (Purple cloth, representing a purple robe) Mark 15:17
4. (Thorns) Matthew 27:29
5. (Scourge-a small piece of rope or thick string) Mark 15:15
6. (Cross) John 19: 17-18a
7. (Nails) John 20:25b
8. (Sign) Luke 23:38
9. (Sponge) Matthew 27:48
10. (Spear) John 19:34
11. (Rock) Matthew 27:59-60
12. (Empty) Matthew 28:6

Resurrection Eggs Online:

http://www.just4kidsmagazine.com/resurrectioneggs.html
http://www.gospelcom.net/growingtogether/1999/03/index-03-10-1999.html
http://www.eho.org/features/resurrectioneggs.htm


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SKIPPING STONES
(A word of encouragement)
By: Matthew Imbody

Matthew 27
66. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

It wasn't enough that Jesus was dead. No, His enemies wanted to make sure that He stayed dead! They went to Pilate and asked him to secure the tomb! So, the great stone that covered the mouth of the tomb was sealed with the Roman seal, and a guard was placed around it. Certainly, no man would be able to get in—but what they didn't know was, The Son Of God was coming out!

What's in your way right now? Circumstances? Debt? Family? Bad feelings? Religious persecution? Sickness? Death? Are you afraid that you won't be able to overcome these things? Are you worried that they are immovable—and that you are trapped behind them? Fear not—Christ has overcome!

Matthew 28
2. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4. And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

God shook the Earth, and sent an angel to roll away the stone! Fear came over the guards, and they became as dead men! What power God has! The obstacles that man set in His path to hinder Him—were NOTHING!

And so it is with your obstacles! They are nothing to God! He wants to roll them away—He wants to shake them up—He wants to cause them to be dead to you! Put your trust in Him—and don't be afraid! Even though you might be sealed in darkness by man's design—Know that God will come—to release you from your troubles—and roll your burdens away!

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BIBLE QUIZ

In this section, you will find 5 questions each month, along with the Scripture reference (unless of course, the question is asking where you can find something in the Bible). We pray this will help you to get to know God’s Word more. The answers will be provided in the next issue.

1. What was the name of the man that carried the cross for Jesus, and where was he from? (Matthew 27)

2. What does Golgotha mean? (Mark 15)

3. "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS" is what was hung over Jesus--in what 3 languages was it written in? (Luke 23)

4. Only 1 of the Gospels tells the story of the repentant thief on the cross, that was crucified on one side of Jesus--which one is it?

5. In Which Gospel can we read this verse, "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."?

ANSWERS FOR MARCH'S QUIZ

The Branch and the Vine
from Jesus Link: A Bible Trivia Challenge by Ellen Caughey

1. When Jesus said He is the "true vine," who does He say is the gardener?
His Father (John 15:1)

2. What branches of the vine does the gardener cut off?
Those that don't bear fruit (John 15:2)

3. No branch can bear fruit unless it does what?
Remain in the Vine (John 15:4)

4. What happens to the branches that are thrown away?
They are thrown into the fire and burned (John 15:6)

5. Jesus has chosen us and appointed us to do what?
Go and bear fruit that will last (John 15:16)


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CHECK IT OUT!

In this section we will share, and recommend our favorite website, book, movie, or any other favorite things we can think of to share with you. These are all highly recommended.

Book of the Month: Lessons I Learned in the Dark: Steps to Walking by Faith, Not by Sight
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Lessons I Learned in the Dark: Steps to Walking by Faith, Not by Sight by Jennifer Rothschild

Jennifer Rothschild grew up like most normal Americas, but when she was 15 her life changed. Her vision was weakening and she learned that she had retinitis pigmentosa. At fifteen she was legally blind and she has continued to loose her sight to the point of full blindness today.

But this is not a book about physical blindness. It is not a neat biography of this woman's struggles to adapt to her new dark world, although that is certainly a part of it.

This is a book about our spiritual blindness -- about walking by faith not by sight.

Rothschild uses the experiences she had learning to live without her sight to illustrate how we learn to walk in faith without always seeing what God is doing. This is a book about how to really see! The reader is encouraged to learn "to move with freedom, even in confining circumstances; to hear echoes of hope, even in heartache; and to be empowered, even when you don't feel strong."

Lessons I Learned is an upbeat, fun book that will both inspire and encourage you to take your eyes off the world around you and to focus solely on the one that provides all the light you need to walk through the darkness -- Jesus.

Movie of the Month: The Robe
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

The Robe
1953, Color, 135 minutes
Starring Richard Burton, Jean Simmons and Victor Mature

This is a wonderful movie that has become an Easter tradition in our home. This story is a fictional account of 2 men changed forever by Christ. Burton plays Marcellus Gallo, the Roman centurion in charge of Christ's crucifixion. While casting lots at the foot of the cross, Gallo wins the robe that Christ has been draped with and his life is forever changed. Every time he tries to wear the robe, he is reminded of the one who wore it before him ... the one he watched die on that cross. He becomes a tormented man -- a slave to his memories. In contrast, his slave, Demetirus (Mature) beheld Christ as He was being taken to Golgotha and watched Him die on the cross -- coming to realize he is the Christ. This slave to man has become free from the bondage of sin. The Robe follows these two men on their quests -- Gallo is searching for the truth and peace, Demetrius is searching to serve his knew master.

While totally fiction, this movie gives some insight into post-resurrection Rome and the early church there. It is a wonderfully rich masterpiece that the entire family can enjoy -- something rare in this day and age.

CD of the Month: Michael Card's Known By The Scars
Recommended by: Matthew Imbody

Known By The Scars By Michael Card

Come with me on a journey that begins at the Triumphal entry, and then, never ends! This CD, by Michael Card, wonderfully portrays the last week of our Lord—daring to go where some would never venture!

How might Jesus have felt as He rode into Jerusalem--as the crowds milled around Him—and He knew this was the beginning of His suffering? What was He going through in the garden—as He fought to do God's will—and not His own? How would it feel to be rejected by your own creation?

I love this time of year, because it is the perfect time to listen to this, one of my favorite recordings! Tears of joy and love are evoked by this masterpiece—and the true heart of God is revealed in it's words and melodies!

As you celebrate The One who is Known By The Scars, please remember to pray for His servant, Michael Card. Card was recently in an automobile accident, and he will be unable to perform his musical service to Our Lord for some time.

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JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH

In this section you might find a word search, An unscramble the words, OR any kind of word puzzle. We hope you will have fun with it! Ü Answers will be in next month's issue.

Hidden Letters

Throughout this month's E-zine, you will find red letters--those are the hidden letters for this month's puzzler. Just begin at the top of the E-zine, and when you come across a red letter, place it in the blanks in this section. If you place them, as you find them (in order from top to bottom, in your reading), you will figure out the mystery phrase for this puzzler.

SPECIAL NOTE: We would like to apologize to those who use a screen reader, this month's puzzler is a visual one, and we just could NOT figure out how to do it so the screen readers would make it work.

Mystery Phrase:
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


ANSWERS FOR MARCH'S PUZZLER

FIND THE SECRET WORD

All you need to do is find the missing word in each passage of Scripture (which have been provided for you). You'll need to look the verses up in the KJV. I have provided a blank line for each letter that is represented in each missing word--except for the "special letter" that you'll need to figure out the SECRET WORD--in that spot you'll find an asterisk. Have fun!

Matthew 13
31 Another parable put he * _ _ _ _ unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the _ _ _ * _ _ _ _ among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
forth, greatest

Luke 17
6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a _ _ _ * _ of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
grain

1 Corinthians 3
6 I have planted, Apollos _ _ * _ _ _ _; but God gave the increase.
7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that _ _ _ _ _ * the increase.
watered, giveth

SECRET WORD: FAITH

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Please e-mail us with any comments, suggestions, or feedback, at: Precious_Stones@JEMMinistries.org. We would love to hear from you! We would also love it if you would visit our JEM website, at: http://www.JEMMinistries.org As we continue with this monthly E-zine, you will also find a link to past issues there.

May God bless and keep you throughout this month! May He smile upon you, and show You mercy all of your days--and may You find peace in Him, and through Him! In Jesus' name, Amen