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JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #50 -- SCHEDULE PLANNING -- August 2007)


Welcome again to Precious Stones! This month we are talking about something that many Christians struggle with: Schedule Planning!

Are our schedules synced with God's? I'm saddened when I realize that, if they were, we wouldn't run out of time to do all the things He asks. Are we willing to let Him have total control over our time and plans? I hope so, because, as long as we don't let Him have control, we are doing nothing but spinning our wheels! May He bless you as you make the time for this month's Precious Stones!

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR AUGUST
WORD REFLECTION
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
COMIC STRIP
WORD IN ACTION
SCHEDULE PLANNING
THINK ABOUT IT!
CHALLENGE OF THE MONTH
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
QUICK TIP OF THE MONTH
CRAFT OF THE MONTH
SKIPPING STONES
TIME OUT!
BIBLE QUIZ
CHECK IT OUT!
JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH



ACROSTIC FOR JULY
By: Denise Imbody

Arranging time to make sure things don't become
Undone at the drop of a hat, is a
Good thing to do, just take time to
Unite with the Lord at the
Start of each day and He will
Take care of the rest!

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WORD REFLECTION By: Barbara Lea Campbell

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


This passage from Ecclesiastes is familiar with most people, even those who are not familiar with the Bible. It has been quoted in speeches and sung in the lyrics of a popular song. The Hebrew word for season means an appointed time, while the word used over and over in this passage as time means an occurrence, occasion, usual time, time of an event. To me, this emphasizes that these times are part of God's plan for us and are not lasting.

So what do we learn from all this? We learn what the first verse says: "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven."

Sounds simple, right? But it isn't. It is easy to see this when life is going good, but as soon as the time to weep comes.. the time to search... to die... we don't see it at all. When we are in the midst of the unpleasant times, we think they will last forever. We loose sight of any good that has happened in our life, even the good that is there despite the bad. We fail to remember that God appoints times in our lives that won't be fun or easy, but He is with us during them and He has a purpose for them. And they aren't here forever, they are here for but a season. How long will the season last? Only God knows the answer to that, but I don't believe He allows the bad parts of life to last one breath longer than is absolutely necessary.

So when the rough times come, stop and remember that this is not forever.... forever will be the day you see Jesus face to face. This time is only for a short season in the kingdom calendar.

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BIRTHDAY GREETING

The Word tells us there is a time to be born and for many that time was the month of August! We wish each one of you a very blessed birthday and pray that you grow in your faith over this next year. May the Lord's favor fall upon you as you strive to walk in the center of His will.

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INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: Gwen Tweedy

When I'm bowed low beneath of the struggles of this world,
May your grace unfold,
May your wings unfurl.
May I travel my road in your glorious light,
May your Son be bright
After the day turns to night.
May I take one more step, climb one more hill,
And be blessed again in your perfect will.
When my times are filled with sorrow and tears,
May your love rain down and calm my fears.
And when I feel I just can't handle any more,
Wrap me in your arms
So I can trust you as before.

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COMIC STRIP
By: Matthew Imbody

Note: These Comic Strips are specially designed to work with JAWS and other speech software. With Graphics turned on, JAWS should read a description of the comic. If you have any trouble with it, or you would like to comment or give feedback, please feel free to write us at Precious_Stones@JEMMinistries.org.

A caption reads, 'What if God acted like us...?'  The first panel shows God's to-do list.  There are four items on the list:  Go to Church, Play Video Games, Bless My People, and Have Some Quality Me Time.  God speaking, says, 'There's just too much to do!'  In the second panel, He has crossed out Go To Church, and says. 'No time for that...'  In the third panel He has crossed out Bless My People and says 'No time for that either...'  In the final panel, God is left with Play Video Games and Have Some Quality Me Time on His to-do list.  He says 'Ah... There!  That's do-able!'  The comic ends with the caption, 'Thank You, Lord, for treating us better than we treat You!'


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WORD IN ACTION
By: Matthew Imbody

Sometimes it’s hard to fit everything into our schedule – and sometimes we have so much to do that we need to cut down on our activities. I guess many people have this problem, but what can we do? How can we whittle away at our schedule and still accomplish everything we need to do? God has been showing me that selfishness is what causes the problem – and that selflessness is the only proper answer.

You may say, "But everything I do is for others." If this is really true, then, congratulations! You’re ready for Heaven right now! Many of us still struggle with (or have even given in to) selfishness.

Here’s the real deal: Jesus NEVER did anything specifically designed to boost His self. That’s why the temptations in the desert were so important. "Use you Godly powers to satisfy your hunger! Look how important you are to God – throw yourself off and watch Him move for you! Worship me and you get everything!" That’s what satan came at Jesus with – because selfishness is at the root of all sin – and as long as we are selfish, we are still sinning.

Can you get "you" out of your schedule? I believe you can; but it will take a lot of hard work. God never said any of this would be easy – but compared to the alterative, it’s really a cinch. Do you know why? Because all we have to do is let God be Lord of our life and start following His lead. All we have to do is let go of our selfish desires and let His selfless Will guide us. All we have to do is let Him train our minds to think about others first – and, if you think about it, this is nothing new or mysterious. In fact, it’s what He’s been asking us to do from the moment we got saved!

Galatians 5:13.
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve one another in love.

So let Jesus get self out of your schedule and see how much time you have! You’ll be amazed at how much God will be able to accomplish through your submitted, servant’s heart!

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SCHEDULE PLANNING
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

Calendars... Day Runners... PDAs... Time Management Software... there are scheduling aids to be found for ever preference, style and level of management out there today. Some people schedule every single minute of every single day. Others schedule the "big" things like doctor's appointments, teacher conferences, hair cuts etc., but leave the rest of their time open.

No matter who you are or what you do, at least some part of your life is scheduled. You make appointments... you go to church or Bible study at the same time each week... you watch a certain television show each week at the same time on the same day. Scheduling at some level is a part of each of our lives.

So how is it, with all there is today to help us manage our time, that many of us find we don't have time to pray or spend time in God's Word?

When I am in a group of people and the topic of Bible study, prayer or quiet time with God comes up, inevitably several folks will say, "I want to do that, but I just don't have time." I have been one of those people.

What amazes me is that we will bump God from our schedule, but we won't miss out on other things like going to the dentist, attending that baby shower, watching that movie with your family, etc.

Isn't God important enough to be included in our hectic schedule? I think so... actually I know so... and if you are a believer, you know so too.

The Bible is full of verses that talk of meeting with God. Two are found in Psalm 63. Verse 1 in the King James Versions says, "O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee." For me, that means I need to take time with God first thing each day. You may not have a lot of time in the morning, but you need to at start your day with God. The New International Version of this verse translates the word early with earnestly (so does the New American Standard). To earnestly seek God means to make an effort, to work at it, to strive for it. We need to make an effort to spend time with God.

Ps. 63:6 KJV covers the night time: "When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches." So just as we begin our day with God, we end it with Him also. By doing so, we take Him with us wherever we go. He is there no matter what, but by starting and ending your day with Him, you are more aware of it.

Jesus modeled making time for God. Mark 1:35 NIV "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed."

Jesus had been busy. His schedule was overflowing with activity. He had called some disciples, tossed evil spirits out of a demon possessed man, healed a multitude of sick. Don't you suspect He was tired and you know He had more to do. But He didn't decide to sleep in or do without God just this once so He could get a head start on all His busyness. No, He got up early and made a conscious effort to spend time with God. He was earnest about it.

And we should be too.

I am sure everyone reading this has a lot of their plate. You might even think that your plate is fuller than anyone else. If that is the case, then you need to spend time with God the most! How on earth do you expect to juggle all God has given you to do if you aren't spending time with Him? And are you really supposed to be doing all that? Have you talked with Him about it or did you just say yes over and over? (I am so guilty of that one!)

I challenge each one of you to make an earnest effort this week to get up a bit early and spend time with God first thing. Even if it is just a brief encounter where you read a Psalm or short Bible passage and then pray for your day. Then I also challenge you to make some time each week (each day would be best) to dig into His Word and to get on your knees before Him, to earnestly seek Him.

You can do this. Ask Him to give you the desire and the ability. He won't let you down!

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THINK ABOUT IT!

In the name of Jesus Christ, who was never in a hurry, we pray, Oh God, that You will slow us down; for we know that we live too fast. With all of eternity before us, make us take time to live--time to get acquainted with You, time to enjoy Your blessings, and time to spend with each other.
--Peter Marshall

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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.

Ecclesiastes 3
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Double Duty Meals

I love it when I can make two meals from one dish. It helps to stretch the budget a bit and lessen my cooking time. Here are a couple of double duty meals we enjoy in our home.

Roast in the Crockpot / BBQ / Stew

I love to cook a chuck roast in the crockpot. I usually add some water and a packet of dry onion soup mix and let it go. The size roast will depend on the size of your family and what all you plan to do with it.

I usually cook a roast like this once a month for Sunday lunch after church. Serve the roast with veggies, mashed potatoes, gravy (made with some of the juice from the roast), and rolls. Great traditional meal!

I have 2 dishes I can make with the left over roast. The first is Bar-be-que for sandwiches. I take the leftover roast and shred it. Place it in the crockpot and add a bottle of BBQ sauce. Let it cook on low for an afternoon. It smells awesome and is so easy! Serve on buns or open faced on toast with chips and slaw. Quick and easy BBQ!

Another thing I do with leftover roast is to create a quick stew. I usually do this when I cook potatoes and carrots with the roast. Not mashed potatoes, but cubed ones. I put shredded leftover roast in a pot, add leftover cooked carrots and potatoes, leftover juice or gravy from the roast and seasonings of choice. Let cook on low until hot. A great way to use up leftovers!

Sloppy Joes / Chili

Our family enjoys sloppy joes and I use a recipe that cook in the crockpot. I make a larger than needed batch so that I will have some leftover. You can do this with whatever sloppy joe recipe you use for your family whether in the crockpot or on the stove.

I use the leftover sloppy joe mixture to create a quick chili. Again, I love to use my crockpot. I put the leftover sloppy joe mix in the crockpot, add a can or two of beans (we like red beans and black beans), some chopped up onion and peppers, a bit of water and tomato sauce to "wet" it and seasonings to taste. Let cook on low all afternoon or even all day to really blend those flavors and you have a wonderful chili.

There are a lot of other ways to make double duty meals. The next time you are cooking one of your families favorites, think about how you can use the leftovers to create another dish. Be creative. It's fun!

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

Good-bye Fruit Flies

To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass fill it 1/2" with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dishwashing liquid, mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

**Note This Quick Tip is tried and true. Denise and I had some fruit go bad and were having a fruit fly problem. We did this, and left the mixture out overnight -- and by morning, the fruit flies were almost all in fruit fly heaven...LOL!

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: Jacque Bering :

Cross in a Pocket Project

http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf50580893.tip.html

...have fun!!!

***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: Marilyn Christine

Life is to short to fold your underware.....

"There is not enough time in the day to do all I have to do..." How many times have you heard folks say this? Busy moms, busy husbands, busy friends. Everyone is running here and there - or worrying about getting somewhere else. And all the things we have to do besides coming and going and yet, we are never done.

Very few people are content to be content. Much like a child at Christmas who rips off the paper on the gift and then drops it to hurry on to the next gift. They miss the gift looking for the next package. We are missing the gift of to day the Lord has given us because we are looking for tomorrow. How can we stop the running from to and fro?

Today do what you can and expect no more of yourself. Take some time to enjoy this day. Tomorrow will come soon enough. We each have twenty four hours to spend. Spend it wisely. Feel joy in your accomplishments today and gratitude for the things you can do tomorrow. Use some of your time He has given you to tell Him ''thank you'' for the gift of the day. . Rejoice in the Lord today and be glad.

"Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." ~Matthew 6:33

©mcmpiesse

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TIME OUT!
By: Marilyn Christine

We can find joy in the simple things-
a clean room, sunshine on a shoulder,
fresh baked bread, a cup of tea, a quiet moment,
a friend's smile, a Bible verse that sings-

Take time to look and see and you can find joy in the simple things.

''You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy. At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 145:13b

Miss Sidney says: Look beyond the clouds and you will find the sun shining.

©Meme16

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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.

1. According to Ps. 55, there were 3 times a day that the Psalmist prayed and cried out to the Lord. What were they?

2. On what watch of the night (in Matt 14) did Jesus take a walk on water?

3. How many weeks made up the time period in Daniel's dream recorded in Daniel 9?

4. How often did the Year of Jubilee occur?

5. How many different times are listed in Ecclesiastes 3:2-8?

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: The Far Country by Andrew Peterson
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

My son introduced me to Andrew Peterson's music about a year ago and I have been hooked ever since! Peterson has a mellow voice and his music has a bit of a soft-rock / folk sound reminiscent of the early 70s. It is rare that I love every song on a CD. There is usually at least 1 that doesn't do much for me. Not so with this CD. They are all great songs! The title cut centers around God sending Abraham to a far country, away from his home. And it reminds us that we too are in a far country... we are not home. That theme echoes through out this CD. In "Lay Me Down", Peterson looks back over his life and remembers that there is more than this. As he says "When you lay me down to die, you lay me down to live." "Little Boy Heart" looks at the abundant life God has for us. "All Shall Be Well" encourages us to hang on when times are rough.

Cause all shall be well, all shall be well
Break the chains of the gates of Hell
Still all manner of things will be well
All shall be well, all shall be well
The Word of God will never fail
And all manner of things will be well
There’s a light in the darkness
There’s an end to the night

You can listen to clips, read the lyrics and see the scriptures which inspired these songs at Peterson's website: http://www.andrew-peterson.com/music

DVD of the Month: The Muppet Show Season 2
Recommended by: Matthew Imbody

It's time to play the music. It's time to light the lights. It's time to go out shopping (why don't you go out shopping) and get the Muppet Show Season 2 tonight!

The packaging is as clever as season 1, with a close up of Miss Piggy's nose and eyes. It is also a good indication of what's in store when you finally get that cellophane off the box!

In my opinion, some of the best guest stars grace the small screen in season 2, including Don Knots, Milton Berle, Rich Little, and Nancy Walker -- and that's just on the first of four DVDs! Others include, Edgor Bergen, Steve Martian, George Burns, Julie Andrews, Elton John, Bob Hope, and, one of my favorites, John Cleese!

All in all, The Muppet Show: Season 2 is a family classic, and you will be glad you added it to your collection!

Website of the Month: Christian Homemaking
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

"She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31: 27

The Christian Homemaking sight is a great resource. You can learn ways to clean and keep your house quickly and efficiently. There are organizational ideas and an entire section on managing your time. And there are fun things too like craft ideas, decorating tips and recipes. You can also sign up for a monthly newsletter which is full of wonderful tips and encouragement. If you register with the site (it's free) you get access to more articles, devotions and the forums. The forums are a great place to ask questions and connect with other homemakers. Check out Christian Homemaking (http://www.christian-homemaking.com/). I think you will find something you like there!

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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

CRYPTOGRAMS

Since we are talking about time and scheduling, I thought it might be fun to do CRYPTOGRAMS with this in mind...words relating to this topic.

HINT: R = T

1. RGKC

2. AJMAI

3. KGLSRC

4. FMSP

5. QCAMLB

6. BYW

7. WCYP

8. KMLRF

9. UCCI

10. AYJCLBYP

Click here for the answers

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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






Answers for this month's BIBLE QUIZ:

1, Evening, Morning, Noon
Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. Ps. 55:17

2. Fourth Watch
And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. Matt 14:25

3. Seventy
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Dan. 9:24

4. Every 50 years
And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. Lev. 25:10

5. 28
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

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Answers for JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH:

1. TIME

2. CLOCK

3. MINUTE

4. HOUR

5. SECOND

6. DAY

7. YEAR

8. MONTH

9. WEEK

10. CALENDAR

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