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JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #8 -- August 2003)


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

Boy, have I been taking advantage of the lazy, hazy days of summer! I've failed in my duties this month, and I have made the other writers do all the work!

It's too bad, too, because I have missed out on a God-given opportunity to minister to all of you! I've gotten myself caught up in exactly what this month's issue is about -- growing lazy in our walk with The Lord!

Please forgive me for dropping the ball, and then, join me, and together we will learn a lesson or two about, "being about The Father's business"!

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR AUGUST
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
POINTS TO PONDER
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
THE HEAT IS ON
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 AUGUST
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

Almighty God, Creator of the
Universe and all that is in it,
Grant us Your
Unending mercy and grace
So that we may walk
Triumphantly throughout our days

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BIRTHDAY GREETING

Happy Birthday to all those celebrating that special day in August! How amazing to realize that the Lord of all creation planned you before the beginning of time and has a wonderful purpose for your life. May you grow closer to Him in the coming year and may your life bring glory to Him in all that you do.

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INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: Gwen Tweedy

Real, and lasting joy we can obtain,
If we remember that Jesus does reign!
For it is in and through Christ, we go in a circumstance,
For you see, nothing by God is ever by chance!
Though the waters be high, and the way be long,
If Jesus controls us, we can always be strong,
We can thank God in everything,
Because, you see, we serve the King of Kings,
You will not bear any more than you are able,
For remember, you stand upon the ROCK that is stable,
So when you feel down or blue,
Remember Jesus himself is praying for you,
He hasn't forgotten, nor will He fail
Remember He's traveled before you on this same trail!
And call Jesus' name whenever you must,
So remember to ask, and remember to trust,
Don't let yourself be idle with despair,
And if satan should bring it, just whisper a prayer.

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POINTS TO PONDER
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

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.

Sabbath Rest

Did you know that the Lord has provided for us to rest? He didn't just tell us to do so, He created a day for it! The Sabbath Day -- the 7th day of the week -- Saturday.

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." Exodus 20:8 - 11

The Sabbath was a holy day and a day to rest. Obviously we no longer observe the "no work" part of this command and I am not wanting to debate that issue right now, but my question for you is, do you observe the command to rest on the Sabbath? I find it interesting that Saturday (the Sabbath) is usually a very busy day for families. They clean house, do yard work, shop, do big chores like wash the car, .... it is usually far from being a day of rest.

Sunday, the first day of the week and the Christian's day of worship, is better but not much. It is usually crazy before church as a family gets dressed and into the car and on their way. Then church can often be a bit hectic with this child going to that room and another child going another way. Finally there is time to sit and worship, if you will allow yourself to do so without wondering about this person or that person or letting your mind wander as you create your "to do" list for the next week. After church, there is lunch to prepare and usually an afternoon filled with activity before returning to church that evening. So when do we slow down and rest?

We need to listen to our Heavenly Father who knows what is best for us - what we need - and take that day to rest each week. We need to rest our body physically and our mind mentally. Hopefully we have spent sometime each day with the Lord, but we need that day to refill the tank and prepare us for the week to come.

So when the weekend rolls around take time to be with your family - enjoy each other and rest from the crazy pace that the world sets. God created a day for you to worship Him and rest -- enjoy it!

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QUOTE OF THE MONTH


"We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking only to learn that it is God shaking them."
-- Charles West

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The Heat Is On
By: Denise Imbody

Well, here we are in the middle of another hot summer...and I believe August can be the hottest, or one of the hottest months of the year. Sometimes it feels so hot you just can not get a thing accomplished, because you break a sweat, just sitting still. The only thing that sounds remotely appealing, is taking a nap--but even then, it is too hot to get comfortable. Ah! The lazy days of summer. But if you're anything like me, you feel extremely guilty for not getting at least one thing done--never mind more than that.

Yes, the heat can be VERY overwhelming, and it makes me think of how lazy we can get--but not just lazy because of the heat--but how we can also get lazy in our walk with the Lord. And maybe it's not just the fact that we're lazy, but maybe we feel fed up?

The more we draw closer to our Redeemer, the more the spiritual warfare begins to intensify. The heat is turned to such a high degree we wonder if we can handle one more thing that may come our way. This got me thinking about a very familiar Bible story from the Old Testament, and how 3 young Hebrew men did not melt under the extreme heat they were put through.

I am sure you know I am speaking of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. I would like to share the 2 different types of heat, that I think they had to go through. The first is the fact that they were being forced to worship the image of King Nebuchadnezzar, and that they refused to do this. The second, of course, is the fiery furnace that they were thrown into for refusing to worship anyone, but the One true God.

Let's look at the first heat they were under. They were told that if they did not bow down and worship that golden image of King Nebuchadnezzar, that they would be thrown into that fiery furnace. Well, they stood firm, and said that they would not worship anyone but their God, no matter what happens. That is pretty strong faith--can we say that same thing--when we are under such extreme heat? I pray that is the case. It is not an easy thing to do, I am sure, but it will be well worth it in the end.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar was not happy to hear that they refused to bow down to his image, so he ordered the already extremely hot furnace to be heated 7 times hotter. Can you imagine what those young men must have been thinking--still they did not waver in the least bit. After the furnace was turned to an even more intense heat, he had Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego bound and thrown into the furnace. The heat was so intense, that the men that threw them in were burnt to death.

This is not the case for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego though. They were not only not burned up, but they also were no longer bound. They were up, walking around, and Jesus was there with them. King Nebuchadnezzar saw all 4, and asked those with him if they had only thrown 3 men in, and they answered yes. He explained how he saw 4, and the fourth looked like a son of the gods. Well, he was partially correct in his thinking--it wasn't just a son of the gods, but it was THE SON OF GOD!

He was so awed by it all, that he went to the opening of the furnace, and called them out. He believed in their God, and had a new decree made--that everyone was to worship Shadrach's, Meshach's, and Abednego's God. You can read about this story in its entirety, in Daniel 3.

I have to tell you that this months issue was not an easy one for us. I believe it is because a lot of us are under attack. THE HEAT IS ON, because we are trying hard to draw closer and closer to our Lord, and Savior. I am sharing all these things with you, because I am hoping to encourage anyone who may be feeling like the heat is too hot for them to bear. Jesus is with us, just like He was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He will see us through anything. His promises are true, and He loves us through it all--the hard times, the valley's--the happy, mountaintop times--the in-between times--all of it. Lean on Him, and He will rescue you from the intensifying heat of whatever you're going through.

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A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'

I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older, then it dawned on me, they were cramming for their finals.
--Author Unknown

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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.

Hebrews 6
11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Italian Roast Beef for Buns

Roast (I usually use a 3 or 4 pound chuck roast -- you want one that falls apart in the crockpot)
1 package zesty Italian salad dressing mix
1 package brown gravy mix
water

Place roast, salad mix and gravy mix in crock pot. Add water to cover. Simmer on low overnight. Shred the meat and serve on buns.

You can make this ahead and freeze for future meals also. Just place cooked mixture in freezer bags or containers with juice and freeze. Thaw and reheat to use.

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QUICK TIP OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

An Easy Way to Clean Your Garbage Disposal -- Take a lemon, roll it under your hand on your counter to soften it a bit. Then cut into quarters and run it through your garbage disposal. It will cut through any grease and gunk built up on the blades and get your disposal nice and clean. AND as an added bonus, you will have a wonderful smell in your kitchen -- if you like the smell of lemons, that is! ‹

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CRAFT OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Denise Imbody

I thought I'd share one of my original crochet patterns that I designed. It is a Scripture Holder. It holds about 50 3 X 5 index cards. For those of you who do not crochet, we will be giving an alternative craft for you.

Crocheted Scripture Holder Pattern
by: Denise Imbody
©May 8, 2003

Materials
Worsted Weight 4 ply yarn
Hook size H

BEG: CH 21.

ROW 1: SC in 2nd chain from hook, and in each CH across(20 SC); CH 2, turn.

Row 2: HDC in each SC across (20 HDC); CH 3, turn.

ROW 3: DC in each HDC across (20 DC); CH 2, turn.

ROWS 4-9 REP ROWS 2 and 3.

ROW 10: HDC in each DC across (20 HDC); CH 1, turn.

ROW 11: SC in each HDC across (20 SC); CH 2, turn.

ROW 12: HDC in each SC across (20 HDC); CH 3, turn.

ROW 13: DC in each HDC across (20 DC); CH 2, turn.

ROWS 14-19 REP ROWS 12 and 13.

ROW 20: HDC in each DC across (20 HDC); CH 1, turn.

ROW 21: SC in HDC across (20 SC); chain 1, do not fasten off.

***SPECIAL NOTE: 2 different ways to finish--choose the one you like, and enjoy!***

Finishing with Handles

Fold Piece in half, and SC down the side. SC in each SC along the fold. SC up the next side, do not fasten off.

CH 1, SL ST in first 4 SC.

CH 33, join with SL ST in 4th SC from end, and SL ST in last 3 SC, do not fasten off.

SL ST in first 4 SC on other side.

CH 33, join with SL ST in 4th SC from end. SL ST in last 3 SC, fasten off, weave in ends, and turn right side out.

Finishing with Flap and Button

Fold Piece in half, and SC down the side. SC in each SC along the fold. SC up the next side, do not fasten off, CH 1, turn.

ROWS 22-29: SC in each SC across one side (20 SC); CH 1, turn.

ROW 30: DEC with SC in first 2 SC, SC in each SC across, DEC with SC in last 2 SC (18 SC); CH 1, turn

ROW 31: DEC with SC in first 2 SC, SC in next 6 SC, SL ST in next 2 SC (Bottom of button hole), SC in next 6 SC, DEC with SC in last 2 SC (16 SC); CH 1, Turn.

ROW 32: DEC with SC in first 2 SC, SC in next 5 SC, CH 2, SK the 2 SL STS (Top of button hole), SC in next 5 SC, DEC with SC in last 2 SC (14 SC); CH 1, Turn.

ROW 33: DEC with SC in first 2 SC, SC across, DEC with SC in last 2 SC (12 SC); CH 1, do not turn or fasten off.

Turn right side out, SL ST down first side of flap, SL ST across the other side, SL ST up other side of flap, SL ST across the top of flap, fasten off.

Fold flap down, like you're going to close it, to see where you need to sew on button, and sew it on. Holds 50, 3 X 5 Index Cards comfortably.

ALTERNATIVE SCRIPTURE HOLDER CRAFT

If you do not crochet, but enjoy doing crafts, we did not want to forget about you. How about purchasing one of those little file boxes, and decorating it up as you desire. You can just draw different pictures, or add embellishments like beads, yarn, ribbon, etc.

If you are unable to buy a box, how about using a small box you may have laying around your house, and decorating it.

If you would like your verses to be "portable", you can find spiral bound index cards where you buy school supplies. Decorate the cover and then write verses on the cards and you are set to go!

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

Just Do It!

"And let us not be weary in well doing" Galatians 6:9a

The lazy days of summer are upon us and it seems that I really don't want to do anything right now!

January brought a fresh New Year full of new beginnings and possibilities. I had a new calendar -- blank and ready to be filled! I had a new outlook -- plans -- goals -- resolutions! I planned to eat healthier, exercise more and read the Bible and pray daily! I armed myself with a few new devotionals and other Christian books, as well as a Bible reading plans. Add to that a new pen or two and a fresh journal full of blank pages and I was set! What a year 2003 was going to be. I would be a better person by the time 2004 came knocking at the door. I was riding on that post-Christmas high and I thought I would never come down!

I've done well with my resolutions. We are eating healthier and trying to exercise more. (OK I was doing really well with that one until the HEAT hit!). And I have been sticking to my Bible Reading Plan. But I find myself wavering. I was struggling a bit in March, but then Easter came and gave me a sense of renewal, but now August is upon us and I just don't seem to have the desire anymore. It is almost as if it is more of a chore than anything else. I have fallen behind, caught up, fallen behind.... it would be easy to just forget it. I mean, the year is practically over and I just don't feel like doing this day after day. I tell you what, I will just let it go and then I will get a jump on it in January and 2004 will be the best year ever! Are you with me?

A better question to ask would be "Is God with me?" Does He really want me to just set my quiet time aside because I don't feel like doing it? I have searched my Bible and have yet to find a Bible verse that says "Only spend time with God if you feel like it." God wants us to spend time with Him no matter how we feel. In fact, I believe when we go to Him even when we don't feel like it, it is like a sacrifice. It costs a bit to do that. We have to make an effort and we have to set aside our wants and feelings. And it really isn't as difficult as you might think.

Matthew 11:28 says "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Heavy Laden can be translated weary also. So when we are tired, weary of doing what we need to do, we can just go to Him and He will do the rest. God is not looking for you to do it all, all He asks is that You show up!

If you are like me and you are in a summer-slump, then let me challenge you to just get up and move closer to God! Stop worrying about any time you have missed this past year or being behind in a reading plan or Bible Study. Just grab your Bible and find a quiet spot and say "Here I am God." He will do the rest!

Just Do It!

"Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13b - 14

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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 Godís Word more. The answers will be provided in the next issue.

All answers can be found in Daniel 3

1. Who made a golden image 90 feet high, and 9 feet wide?

2. What would happen to anyone who did not fall down and worship that image?

3. Who told King Nebuchadnezzar that the Jews were not following the decree of falling down and worshipping that golden image?

4. How much hotter did King Nebuchadnezzar tell them to make the furnace?

5. Who actually were burned to death by just throwing Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in to the fiery furnace?


ANSWERS FOR JULY'S QUIZ

Bible Quiz (all answers are from the KJV of the Bible)

1. When is the first time we see the prophet Isaiah in the Bible?
2 Kings 19:2

2. What was found in the temple of the Lord when King Josiah was renovating it?
The Book of the Law -- 2 Kings 22:8

3. What country took Israel captive under the reign of King Hoshea?
Assyria -- 2 Kings 17

4. Who was the King of Babylon when his country took Judah captive the first time?
Nebuchadnezzar -- 2 Kings 29

5. Who killed King Josiah?
Pharaohnechoh king of Egypt -- 2 Kings 23:29


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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: The Purpose Driven Life
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

This book is aptly subtitled "What on Earth am I here for?" We all wonder about that at one time or another in our life. There are many books out there that tell us to look within ourselves and discover our purpose .... our calling. Warren, however, takes the focus off of us and places it on God.

Not one of us is here by accident. God created each of us on purpose and with a purpose for our life. The Purpose Driven Life is a 40-day spiritual journey that will help you see and understand that. The ideas in this book are all Biblically based. They are not based on the current cultural values of the day.

Warren is very frank and honest as he discusses worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and evangelism - 5 elements of each believer's life. And I love all the Scripture he references.

This book will bless you and if you are suffering from the summer slump we've been talking about in this issue, it is a great book to jump-start you spiritually!

Video of the Month: The Donut Man Video Series
Recommended by: Denise Imbody

The Donut Man Video Series

The Donut Man video series, produced by Integrity Music, is really great for anyone. The tapes are labeled for 3-8 years old--but I just love them, and I know they can touch any age. Rob Evans--The Donut Man--is a soft spoken man, who focuses on Jesus, and has a different object lesson in each video. He uses a cute little donut puppet named, Duncan, and has different children featured in the episodes. So, whether you're young, or old, a parent, or not, I recommend this series to you--it is uplifting, and the songs he teaches--to help remember the lessons, are truly awesome!

CD of the Month: Press On
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Press On by Selah

I have been hearing the name Selah for a while now, but had never heard any of their music. Then, one day, I heard them sing "Wonderful, Merciful Saviour" and I was hooked!

Selah is comprised of 3 members -- siblings, Todd and Nicol Smith and friend, Allan Hall. Press On is their second album. Their style ranges from a soft reverence to rhythm and blues and everything in between!

Selah has a love of classic hymns and spirituals and that is what you find on their CD with a few surprises tucked in! Todd and Nicol grew up as missionary kids in Africa and they have included a wonderful Congolese praise song "Yesu Azali Awa" (Jesus is Here With Us), as well as a Kituba Dialect version of "How Great Thou Art". Two awesome cuts on this CD!

Other classic hymns include "Amazing Grace", "Press On" and "There is a Fountain". And then there is a wonderful version of the classic Spiritual "Deep Down".

I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite selection, but "In My Life / If We Never Meet Again" is too amazing for words! This rewrite of a classic Beatles tune combined with this wonderful old hymn will move you to tears. And then there is the wonderful prayer-song "Draw Me Lord".

I cannot say enough good about this CD! It will draw you into worship and have you praising our Lord all day long!

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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! ‹ Answers will be in next month's issue.

Unscramble these 10 books of the Bible.

EUDOTEROYMN

IR1ONCLHECS

SLAMPS

HAMEENIH

KABKAHUBK

WEHTTAM

STAC

AGALANITS

BREHEWS

TLAHESS2NNIONSNA


ANSWERS FOR JULY'S PUZZLER

Find the missing word from the following verses. Then figure out the secret phrase by replacing the numbers with the letters from the different words you found.

For Example--if you find the word HELPER as the missing word, and I had it like this in the verse--1 2 3 4 5 6, and the first letter of the first word in the mystery phrase is 6, then you would put an r as the first letter...and so on like that--but you'll need to pay attention, because the #6 in another word, might not be "r".
(HINT: There are 2 words in the mystery phrase)

Romans 8
1 There is therefore now no 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and 1 2 3 4 5.
condemnation, death

1 Corinthians 7
22 For he that is 1 2 3 4 5 6 in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's 1 2 3 4 5 6 7.
called, servant

Galatians 3
22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that 1 2 3 4 5 6 7.
23 But before faith came, we were kept 1 2 3 4 5 the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8.
24 Wherefore the law was our 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But 1 2 3 4 5 that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26 For ye are all the children of God by 1 2 3 4 5 in Christ Jesus.
believe, under, revealed, schoolmaster, after, faith

Galatians 5:1
Stand fast therefore in the 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
liberty

Colossians 3
1 If ye then be 1 2 3 4 5 with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 on things above, not on things on the earth.
risen, affection

Colossians 3
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one 1 2 3 4; and be ye thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual 1 2 3 4 5, singing with
grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by 1 2 3.
body, songs, him

1 2 4 2 1 5 5 9 4 1 5 4 4 3 2 3

Mystery Phrase:
CELEBRATE FREEDOM

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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