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JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #16 -- Showers Of Blessings -- April 2004)


You know, rain can do alot of damage. Thankfully, my sump pump has been happily churning away down there in my basement these past few rainy days. But the showers of blessing that we are talking about in this issue of JEM Precious Stones only do damage to the evil one and his designs. We are built up and encouraged by this "rain from heaven"!

Satan may wish to come in like a flood to destroy, discourage, and dishearten, but God's blessings are within our reach! Our Lord is so wonderful! His glory, majesty, and grace will just wash that old devil away! May The Lord cover you in His protection, and drench you in His Showers of blessings!

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR APRIL
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
POINTS TO PONDER
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
WHAT IS A BLESSING?
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: Denise Imbody

All blessings are
Poured out from our wonderful
Redeemer to whom all the glory
Is given for all His
Love for us!

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BIRTHDAY GREETING

Heavenly Father,
Please bless all Your children who were born in this sweet month of spring. Touch them, and help them to recall all the blessings You have bestowed upon them. Help them to always be thankful, and to come to You for everything--In good times, as well as bad--in Jesus' name, amen.

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INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: Denise Imbody

BLESSINGS FALLING ALL AROUND

Blessings falling all around
Showing love that I have found
Touching my heart deep inside
Lord, You are my Only Guide

I will never understand
How You hold me in Your hand
And keep me safe and warm
Through all the trials and storms

Blessings falling all around
Showing love that I have found
Touching my heart deep inside
Lord, You are my Only Guide

Sometimes it seems like You're not there
But I know You always care
No matter how I feel
Your love is always real

Blessings falling all around
Showing love that I have found
Touching my heart deep inside
Lord, You are my Only Guide

The blessings I have found
Lead me to higher ground
Lifts me higher to see
All Your grace and glory

Blessings falling all around
Showing love that I have found
Touching my heart deep inside
Lord, You are my Only Guide

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POINTS TO PONDER
By: Denise Imbody

"And to say that the devil made me do it, is a cop out, and a lie
Cause the devil can't make me do anything, when I'm calling on Jesus Christ"

Sung by: Sarah Groves

When I first heard this line, from the song Generations, I was stopped in my thoughts. I thought it was such a profound statement.

It made me realize that being tempted, and falling into that temptation, were 2 different things.

Does the devil tempt us? Yes, of course, he does.

Does he make us fall into that tempting sin? No, he definitely does not! Especially if we're leaning on Jesus.

The Lord has given us a free will...and we have choices to make...so yes, even though the enemy can tempt us, he can NOT "make" us fall into the sin he is trying to trip us up with.

Just a 'Point to Ponder'.

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QUOTE OF THE MONTH


"Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God."
--William Carey

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WHAT IS A BLESSING?
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

If asked to list some of the blessings God has given you, what would you say? Good health, children, employment, home, spouse, ...... the list is endless. But have you ever noticed that we tend to view our blessings in the physical realm? Certainly all these are blessings from the Lord, but there are so many other blessings we overlook.

Peace in the midst of a trial is a blessing. Strength to endure is a blessing. Calm in the midst of a storm is a blessing.

I can hear you saying, "Well, sure, I know those are blessings." But guess what, there are more!

Did you have an opportunity to touch someone's life today? To just smile and speak a kind word. Maybe you had the opportunity to help someone today. These may have taken less than 5 minutes, but you blessed them and in return you are blessed.

Or maybe you were the one who received the kind word or the help? How wonderful of God to work through someone to bless you!

Guess what... there is still more! Ever been insulted because you are a Christian? Rejoice! You are blessed! 1 Peter 4:14 says " If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified." -- again, happy here is also translated blessed.

Blessings go so much beyond what we can see. I think we will all be amazed when we get to Heaven and see how much God blessed us and how little we noticed!

If you are a child of God... you are blessed... "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 1:3)

Take time today to look for the blessings God sends your way. Ask Him to open your eyes to see them. You will be amazed... and blessed!

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A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'

The secret to happiness is to count your blessings, not your birthdays.
--Barbara Johnson

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CHALLENGE OF THE MONTH

We really should be getting into Godís 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.

Ephesians 1
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Frozen Coconut Cake

Purchase a Butter Cake Mix (this is like a yellow cake, but made with Butter instead of Oil) and bake as directed on the package for a 2 layer cake.

Cool layers completely.

Once cooled, split the layers in-half horizontally to create 4 layers.

In a bowl, mix together 1 cup sugar, 1 carton (8 ounce) sour cream and 2 packages frozen coconut (6 oz. each).

Place 1 layer of cake on a plate, spread 1/4 of the coconut mix on top of the layer. Place the next layer on top and spread another 1/4 of the coconut mixture. Do this with all 4 layers ending with coconut mix on top. There will be no frosting on the sides.

Keep cake in refrigerator until ready to serve. Warning -- this is messy but oh so good!

Do you have an original recipe that you would like to share? Click here to submit it!

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QUICK TIP OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Denise Imbody

We've been talking about blessings, and I thought it might be a good idea, if we all took a few minutes, prayed, and asked the Lord how He would have us bless someone this month. It could be as simple as a kind word (believe me, that is a very nice blessing to receive...having just received one recently), calling someone, or maybe dropping a note to someone. How about sending a little happy, or giving one to someone the Lord places on your heart. Remember the smallest things in life, can mean the most, and be blessings to treasure for a long time. ‹

Do you have an original Quick Tip that you would like to share? Click here to submit it!

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CRAFT OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Denise Imbody

Umbrella Blessing Jar Craft

Either purchase a jar, from the dollar stores, or when one of your condiment jars are empty, thoroughly clean it out, and remove the label.

Paint the bottom of the jar to look like an upside down umbrella (we want to catch those blessings ‹). You may use any color you like.

Above the umbrella, you can paint the words "JAR OF BLESSINGS", if you wish. Decorate as you desire.

Here are some decorating thoughts...
1. Paint rain drops all around the jar.
2. Use stickers to finish decorating your jar.
3. Paint a Scripture verse, or reference on it.

Now that your jar is finished, what do you put inside?

All kinds of slips of paper...different shapes and sizes...with different blessings written on them.

You can use the slips of paper that you had put into your prayer box (craft from March's e-zine), with the date they were answered, or just think of different ways the Lord has blessed you, and write them down. You could also look up the word blessed in your Bible and jot down verses that tell you how God blesses His Children.

There you have it...a jar full of blessings, and you can put it in a prominent place, so that when you are really feeling discouraged, you can pull one out (or as many as you need to read), or so that it can be displayed for all to see, and you'll have easy access to it, when you have a new blessing to add.

Have fun, and as always, be creative! ‹

***If you have an original recipe, quick tip, or craft, that you would like to share with us, please send it in with your first and last name, and your email address to Precious_Stones@JEMMinistries.org. If we use it, you will get full credit, but please know that due to the number of contributions, and other concerns, we will not be able to use all submissions.***

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SKIPPING STONES
(A word of encouragement)
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

"Showers of Blessing, Showers of blessing we need; Mercydrops round us are falling, But for the showers we plead." (chorus of "Showers of Blessing" by James McGranahan)

Showers of Blessing .... we all want and need them, but have you ever asked for them? James 4:2 tells us that we have not because we ask not.

Are you feeling a bit dry? Need some rain? Then open up your mouth and ask! The Psalmist had no trouble asking: " God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us" (Psalm 67:1) and neither should we.

God wants to bless us. He wants us to live that abundant life promised in John 10:10.

Keep in mind that we don't need to tell God HOW to bless us. Let's leave that up to Him. Afterall, He knows what is perfect for us.

So let's approach His throne with boldness and ask Him to bless us!

"And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing"
Ezekiel 34:26

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BIBLE QUIZ

In this section, you will find five 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 Godís Word more.

1. In what Book and chapter can you read about the Beatitudes?

2. Who pretended to be their brother to get their father's blessing? (Genesis 27)

3. When Jesus sent the disciples out 2 by 2, what were they to do to those who did not welcome them? (Matthew 10)

4. What were they to do to those who did welcome them? (Matthew 10)

5. Who received this blessing from the Lord, through Moses...
"Therefore say, 'Behold, I give him My covenant of peace; and it shall be for him and his descendants after him, a covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the sons of Israel.'" (Numbers 25)

Click here for the answers

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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.

CD of the Month: Throne Room
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Throne Room by CeCe Winans

Praise and worship albums are popping up everywhere... and I confess I love them. I love the choruses and raising my voice and hands in praise. But there is a deeper worship... a more personal praise that is found in CeCe Winans' Throne Room CD. She actually divides the songs into two categories -- Songs of Worship & Reflection and Songs of Praise & Adoration. Some of these are new and some are old favorites, but all come from the heart of one who has taken the bold step through that torn veil into the Holy of Holies. These songs are more like lyric prayers... psalms. I can imagine CeCe singing them directly to the Lord in a quiet place on her own ... telling Him He is Beautiful, Holy, Worthy ... singing Hallelujah to her King... and asking Him to fill her heart, to make her just like Him and give her a heart like His. It is as if you are granted a personal glimpse into the soul of a sister in Christ.... you are eavesdropping as she prays. But then... you find her praise and prayers becomes your own as you are moved to worship before the throne.

Video of the Month: Time Changers
Recommended by: Denise Imbody

Time Changers

Time Changers is a great movie for the family to gather together, and watch. It starts in the 1890's, where we learn of a man who is writing a book of morals. He would like to write this book, showing how as long as we keep morals in tact, we don't necessarily have to couple it with Jesus Christ.

One of the other men on the board, that needs to approve this book, tries to stress to the author how it is VERY important to keep morals connected with Jesus. This same man has a time travel device, which he has already used, and has seen what has happened to the future.

He convinces the author to come visit him at his house, and sends him into the future. The man is shocked by what he sees.

The time that he is thrust into is in the first few years of 2000, and even though a lot of the movie takes place in this time frame, it shows how morals without Jesus will not work.

It is all done in a VERY tasteful manner, and there is no fowl language, or anything vulgar about this movie.

Some of the actors will seem familiar to you, such as, Gavin McCloud, and Hal Lindsey.

So, fire up that DVD player, or VCR, and gather your loved ones together. Pop some popcorn, and grab your favorite snacks, and soft drinks, and have a great family movie night.

Book of the Month: Seasons series
(4 Books series with the following titles: Seasons Under Heaven, Showers in Season, Times and Seasons, and Seasons of Blessing)
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Seasons series by Terri Blackstock and Beverly LaHaye

This is a powerful 4 book fiction series that will touch you in more ways than you can imagine. It is certainly entertaining to read, but it is also thought provoking. In these four books you will come to know the families of Cedar Circle. They are as diverse as your own neighborhood and they struggle with many of the same struggles you and your friends deal with each day. A blended family trying to make things work ..... a unexpected pregnancy ... a special-needs child ... a rebellious child .... catastrophic illness ... and more. Sound depressing? Like they would be downers to read? Well, they aren't... because these glimpses into fictional lives also show us glimpses of His glory... His grace and mercy poured out on us every day. We can see His hand moving in these lives even though the characters often cannot see God nor feel His presence. It causes us, the reader, to stop and realize the same is true in our lives. God is always there... working ... moving... we just may not see evidence or feeling His presence at the moment. We also learn about faith... real faith .... active faith .... faith that is willing to step out and believe God.

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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! ‹

We've been talking about Blessings and being Blessed this issue, so I thought I would test your knowledge of a well-known passage on being Blessed -- the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3 - 11). See how well you know them. (Questions based on the wording found in the NIV)

These will be filled.

They will see God.

They will be shown mercy.

They will be comforted.

They will be called the sons of God.

Click here for the answers

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Please feel free to pass this along! If you would like to be added to the JEM-Precious Stones mailing list, send an e-mail to Precious_Stones@JEMMinistries.org requesting to be added in the message field. If you are not a member of the JEM community, and you would like your name removed from this mailing list, please send a message to the above address, and request removal in the body of the e-mail.

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






Answers for this month's BIBLE QUIZ:

1. Matthew chapter 5

2. Jacob (Genesis 27)

3. Take back their blessing of peace, and shake the dust off their feet (Matthew 10)

4. Give them a blessing of peace (Matthew 10)

5. Phinehas (Numbers 25)

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Answers for JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH:

These will be filled. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (v. 6)

They will see God. The pure in heart (v. 8)

They will be shown mercy. The merciful (v. 7)

They will be comforted. Those who mourn (v. 4)

They will be called the sons of God. The peacemakers (v. 9)

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