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JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #28 -- ADOPTED -- April 2005)


Welcome to another edition of the JEM Precious Stones E-zine!

This month we will be talking about adoption, and being adopted. You know, we are all adopted if we have given our hearts to Jesus! He becomes our brother, God becomes our Father, and all that is His, becomes ours. I'm having a hard time with things lately, but it helps a lot to know that God's blessings are mine, His promises are mine, and His Salvation is mine! We're all part of the same family -- all we need to do now is live like sons and daughters of the most high! May our words bless you as you continue striving for this! Amen!

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR APRIL
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
POINTS TO PONDER
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
ADOPTION STORY
A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'
TESTIMONY TIME
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, our Father,
Dearly loves each
One of us.
Protecting and perfecting until
That glorious day when we will
Enter into His presence and
Dwell with Him forever.

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BIRTHDAY GREETING

Now that Spring has finally sprung, those of you that have a birthday this month can enjoy the sunshine, new life, and blessings that this time of year brings. May the Lord especially bless you with His light, spiritual growth, and His awesome presence!

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INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: DelAnne Frazee

The Bible states in Exodus to Honor thy mother and thy father.

Jesus as our adopted father then deserves our respect, honor and obedience. We must stay close to the Lord, listen to His words and obey for He is our adopted father and He loves us. He adopted us the day we accepted Him as our Lord and Savior. Through Him we have access to the kingdom of God and Eternal Life.

Just as Mordecai watched over Esther guiding her moves, worrying over her health and care. So Jesus worries over us.

The king had removed Mordecai's control over Esther to the extent that if she chose she could ignore her Uncle. Just as we have the choice to listen to God's directions in our lives or choose our own.

Mordecai would have loved Esther no matter what she did but grieved for the lost innocence. God also feels pain when our choices take us away from Him, but He also rejoices when we turn back to Him; just as Mordecai and Esther rejoiced when they were finally rejoined and acknowledged their relationship to those around them.

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POINTS TO PONDER
By: Denise Imbody

1 Samuel 2;NIV
18 But Samuel was ministering before the LORD -a boy wearing a linen ephod.
19 Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice.
20 Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, saying, "May the LORD give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the LORD ." Then they would go home.
21 And the LORD was gracious to Hannah; she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD .

You know, I was recently talking with some fellow sisters in the Lord, and we were discussing Hannah. I pointed out how the Lord had given Hannah more children, after Samuel, and they seemed shocked. So, I thought maybe I could use this opportunity for a "POINT TO PONDER" and remind us all how no matter how many times we read His Word, we will always find/see something new in it.

Of course, while I was talking with them, I could NOT remember the Scripture reference off hand, but happily told them I would look it up for them. When I got home, that is just what I did, and I couldn't wait to share the Reference with them...and that is the Verses you see listed above there...so keep in the Bible and God will continue to show you something new. I just think that is so exciting, and inviting, don't you?

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QUOTE OF THE MONTH


Man, made in the image of God, has a purpose - to be in relationship to God, who is there. Man forgets his purpose and thus he forgets who he is and what life means.
--Francis Schaeffer

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ADOPTION STORY
By: Kimberly Lewis

Adopt: To take into one's family through legal means and raise as one's own child.

My husband Jim and I have been married for nearly 8 years. Five years ago we lost our first child through miscarriage, and subsequently lost 3 more children that way. At first, I was devastated I simply felt I could not go on with my life without my "babies". The day I hit rock bottom is the day Jesus lifted me up. HE so gently wiped my tears and reminded me that HE had been with me all along. HE told me that my babies were safe and that they were special because they knew no sin, no hate, no war, nothing evil, but they knew pure love. I was reminded of a song I had heard years ago called "Jesus has a rocking chair." What better care giver for my children then Jesus himself. HE reminded me that someday I would see them again, but it wasn't my time and not in the manner I was thinking. HE then told me HE had a plan for me. Imagine that…me at my weakest and in my utmost despair, finding out there was a plan for me. It took a few more years to develop this plan, but all the while, HE was molding and creating something new and wonderful in our lives.

Jim and I adopted a son this year. He came to live with us last Thanksgiving as a scared 9 year old boy. He had been in the foster care system for several years and knew loss, pain, and rejection. But through it all, Josh survived. He is an awesome child with so much potential. He has come to love the Lord and tries his best to make God happy. A surrealistic twist to this is that Josh looks like a natural born son to Jim and me. Those that don't know of the adoption tell us constantly how much our son looks like us. When they find out he was just recently adopted, their jaws drop in amazement. To watch him grow and change and mature has been so awesome.

Jim and I are in prayer and considering accepting a sibling group of 4 to bring into our home for adoption. In just a few short days, we will make the decision as to whether we want to proceed or not. I sit here overwhelmed at the thought of last year having no children, to this year possibly having 5!

How like God, though…HE has given me the possibility to have my four babies, plus an extra bonus. HE took us through sorrow, pain, loss and suffering to understand what these children have gone through by losing their "birth" families.

As I sat this morning praying and thinking of the decision Jim and I need to make, I realized how similar our Christian lives our "worldly" lives.

Jim and I were made in God's image through Adam. So, we resemble God in that way. I will lay down my life for my child. Josh has come to mean the world to me and I would fight tooth and nail for him. Jesus did that for us when he voluntarily stepped up to the cross. The day we reached out for Jesus, we were accepted into the family of God through an adoption process. While I have a "birth" father and he will always be my dad, I now have a heavenly father who will not let me fail, will be there no matter what, and will love me no matter what. HE will correct me when I am wrong, and hold me when I am scared. HE will be there no matter what. HE molds us and creates us and shapes our lives. This is exactly what we are doing for Josh at this time.

Oh how I long to be the kind of parent God is to us.

Written Oct 2003


An update to our story….April 2005

Josh celebrates his two year anniversary as our 'legal' son this month. He still continues to grow and reach towards God and still struggles with his past abuse. However, he is slowly learning to lean on God. He has such a heart for our Lord.

You know those 4 children we were 'considering' adopting? They became our children in June of 2004. Again, people are amazed at our God ordained family. Our children look so much like Jim and me that when told, people can't believe we adopted all 5 children.

God has given us such an incredible journey through the last few years. I have learned so much about becoming more of the woman God wants me to be. Jim and I have learned that we can't do anything without God leading the way, preparing the battlefield, and fighting our battles.

While there are daily struggles with our children, 4 of them have come to accept Jesus as their savior and try to lead a life to be proud of. I see their inner struggle and their inner turmoil but I also know that with God all things are possible and their lives will be so much the richer for accepting HIM into their lives.

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A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'

Lying covers a multitude of sins - temporarily.
-- Dwight L. Moody

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TESTIMONY TIME

"When My Father and My Mother Forsake Me": By Kim Lucas

(Why I Tell My Testimony)

Joseph was a man with a past. He had all his years in Egypt to forget what was done to him by his brothers. He had a new life, a family, and an important political position to keep him busy. He could not escape or ignore his past forever, and as soon as he was face to face with his siblings he had a really tough, emotional reaction. It took him awhile, but he had to allow GOD to deal with his heart before his past could be turned for GOD's glory.

Joseph experienced such emotions as rejection, sadness, grief, anger, resentment and unforgiveness. When first confronted with his past, he tried to hide from it, but his past was still with him. Though he tried to hide it, the pain was very real. He could not move on to healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation until he was face to face with the reminders of his painful past.

A person's past is a part of who they are. We cannot lie to ourselves and pretend things in our past never happened. When there are deep hurts in our past, it is not helpful or wise to build a wall around it and put up a "NO TRESPASSING" sign. Instead, we have to give the keys over to the Lord Jesus and allow Him to walk in with us and shine His light. Only then can we be free to heal and move forward. Knowing the truth makes us free! "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)

It is like the 3 Hebrew children who were thrown into the fire. Sometimes it feels like facing the past is like walking into the fire, and we can either run and hide ......or we can trust that the LORD will be right there with us! And when we come out of the fire, we will not even be tainted with the smell of the smoke!

The Samaritan woman at the well was well-known for her sinful past. She made it a point to come to the well to draw water at the time of day when the other women of the city would not be there because she didn't want to face the shame of her past. On that day when she was met by JESUS at the well, He went right to the most sensitive issues of her past .....and she was made free. She ran into the city (the same city where she was so well-known for her sinful lifestyle) and told everyone she met...... "Come, see a man Who told me all I ever did!" And many people were influenced by her testimony, because they could see what GOD did for her.(John 4:6-30)

This is why I tell my testimony. I overcome the devil by the blood of the Lamb .......and by the word of my testimony! Rev. 12:11 says, "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." It takes a kind of dying to open up to others about where God has brought me from, but I want people to see Christ and not myself. My life is not my own, and all that I am, I give to Him - Christ! One of my favorite scriptures so beautifully states, "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." (Colossians 3:3)

I am a real person, with a real past. There are many hurting people who have built walls around their wounds and the wounds have not been allowed to heal. If my telling what Father GOD has done for me and brought me through can help those people, it is worth it! John 3:30 says, "He must increase, but I must decrease!" To GOD be the glory!

"Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my GOD, I will give thanks unto thee for ever." Psalm 30:11,12

06/10/2004

Note: Because of some of the subject matter in this testimony, it may not be appropriate for all readers.
Please click here to continue to Kim's complete testimony.

***If you would like to share your testimony in an upcoming issue of JEM Precious Stones, please feel free to send it 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 may not be able to use all submissions.***



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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.

Romans 8
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Stephanie Hurd

Broccoli cheese casserole

Ingredients:
1 cup mayonnaise
2 eggs
1 large package shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can cream of celery soup
2 packages of frozen broccoli florets only; or cut florets only from fresh broccoli.
Ritz crackers

Mix together all ingredients except crackers. Place in a casserole dish. (I use a rectangular glass type pan) Bake in a 350 oven for about 35 minutes. Add crushed Ritz crackers generously on top. Bake for about 15 minutes more. Eat and enjoy.

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: Barbara Lea Campbell

Canned beans and other canned foods sometimes stick to the bottom of the can and require a spatula or spoon to remove. Try opening the bottom of the can, where everything has settled. With a little shake, the contents come out quickly and cleanly.

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

Make an Adoption Certificate!

Click here and print it up, fill it out, and show all your friends and family that you've been adopted by God!

***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: Denise Imbody

I thought it would be fun to take the letters that make up the word APRIL, and use them, along with Scripture Verses that show us, or remind us of our value to the Lord. For we are His children, and no matter how we are feeling, He ALWAYS loves us!

Don Francisco sang a song, back in the 80's, and a line from it goes like this...

"Love is not a feeling; it's an act of your will"

Here is what I came up with for the letters and for the Verses that go along with them...

Apple of God's Eye
Psalm 17;NIV
6 I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.
7 Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.
8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings

Pleasing to God
Romans 14;NLT
17 For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
18 If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God. And other people will approve of you, too.
19 So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.

Resting in the Lord
Psalm 116;NIV
5 The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.
6 The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.
7 Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.

Important to the Father
Matthew 6;NIV
25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Living Examples
1 Peter 5;NLT
2 Care for the flock of God entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly--not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.
3 Don't lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your good example. 4And when the head Shepherd comes, your reward will be a never-ending share in his glory and honor.

I know that I am guilty of being emotional at times, and therefore are unable, or should I say do not take the advice of that above line from the song, and therefore act on feelings rather than will.

It is my prayer that I will start acting on will, and not feeling...and not "my will" but the "Father's will". May the Verses above help, and remind us how we should continually be in the Father's will at all times!

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BIBLE QUIZ

In this section, you will find five questions each month. Scripture references will sometimes be provided, but other times you will have to seek out the answers. We pray this will help you to get to know God's Word more.

I thought I'd relate all these questions to our topic this month "ADOPTED". The NIV was used to make up this quiz.

1. Mordecai adopted his cousin Esther, after her parents died, what was her father (his uncle's) name?

2. According to Romans 8:15, what have we received?

3. Who said these words, "Your sin prompts your mouth; you adopt the tongue of the crafty."?

4. In Psalm 106 who was the Psalmist talking about when he said, "but they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs."?

5. How many times is the word ADOPT, or a form of it mentioned in NIV?

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: Arriving
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Arriving by Chris Tomlin

Chris Tomlin is one of the best known worship leaders and writers of praise and worship music on the Christian music scene right now.... and his latest CD, Arriving, shows why. Tomlin is a man after God's own heart. He leads the listener to a place of praise and worship with his songs of love for our Lord. In "Indescribable", you hear of the wonders of God and how unfathomable they are and how awesome He is... a theme carried on in the song "How Great is Our God". "Your Grace is Enough" reminds us that all we need is the Lord. There are 8 more expressions of worship and praise on this CD... each unique and uplifting. A great addition to any music collection.

Book of the Month: God's Handmaiden
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

God's Handmaiden by Gilbert Morris

I just finished reading this book and had to recommend it to y'all. It is a great story! Set in the mid to late 1800s England -- it is the story of a young girl who is orphaned and sent to live with her aunt and uncle, who are servants at a large manner. Of course there is a bit of romance -- the girl, Gervase, grows to love one of the sons of the manor. But at this time, servants don't marry nobility, so she leaves to join the household of Florence Nightengale. Gervase eventually learns to be a nurse and travels with Florence to the Crimean War. Florence Nightengale has always fascinated me, so I really enjoyed reading about her... her ideas... the obstacles she faced... and her involvement in the care of soldiers during the war.

I have read other books by Morris and find that he is very thorough in his research. This lends an authenticity to his books that I can trust.

This is a fun and somewhat adventurous story -- check your library for it!


I found this month's web site by a back door happenstance. My ten year old daughter came home one day with a list of web sites she and her friends discussed. Naturally, I told her I would check them out first and even try to add a few to this list. I remembered how I liked to do card tricks, and so I did a general search. I have to say that this even showed me that the Lord's hand is in everything.

I found a web site with several card tricks, including Christian comments. As I read on, I discovered a former home schooling dad designed this site. There are card tricks, how to tie many types of rope knots, science experiments, computer game sites and so on! It was truly a find for kids.

The fun didn't stop there. I then linked back to the main page of his site. There I discovered at the top of the page "Christian Evangelism, healing and teaching resources". A multitude of topics are right there to refer to and enjoy. The man's name is David Root, and it appears that he did a rather thorough job covering numerous issues. Whether you agree with everything he has written is up to you and the Lord. I think there is a great balance between material for adults and fun for kids. So what is this site, you might ask? http://www.layhands.com

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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

This month's puzzler is a Cryptogram. Below is a Bible verse written in code. You have to break the code to reveal the verse. Each letter represents another letter in the alphabet. If you figure out that the letter D in the first word represents the letter Z, then it will represent Z every time you see D in this puzzler. By the way.. D is not Z. LOL! For the number reference, I have used symbols from the keyboard. Note -- the apostrophe (') and the colon (:) are real.. in other words, they are what they are! I will give you 1 letter to get you started. J = W.

CDR XGLBLC DLWXRTU CRXCLULRX JLCD QZB CDPC JR PBR YQA'X MDLTABRV. BQWPVX *:#= VLK

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. Abihail (Esther 2:15)

2. the Spirit of sonship. [ Or adoption]

3. Eliphaz the Temanite (Job 15)

4. The Israelites

5. 7

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Answers for JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH:

The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Romans 8:16 NIV

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