This Page (On The Web) ||| Archives ||| JEMMinistries

JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue 24 -- Light of the World -- December, 2004)


For so long, Man spent all his time seeking after his own needs -- looking out for his selfish interests. God had called to him through His prophets and holy men, but man would not listen. Until, finally, in God's time, The Light of the World was born in a stable, and lain in a manger. That night, angels sang, shepherds worshiped, and the world changed. Jesus was born! The Savior was given! And He is the Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world!

So, you'd think that man would know this Light, wouldn't you? This Light that walked on water, healed the sick, and raised the dead -- but man is still, for the most part, about his own business. He still doesn't look to The Light. He still needs someone to show it to him -- to give him that fire in his heart!

That's where we come in. Those of us who have found the Light must pass it on.

This issue of Precious Stones is a tribute to that Light! Feel free to pass it on as well!

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR DECEMBER
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
POINTS TO PONDER
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
A CANDLE'S FLICKERING FLAME
A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'
CHALLENGE OF THE MONTH
RECIPES 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 DECEMBER
By: Denise Imbody

Delight in the fact that
Emmanuel, God with us, Jesus
Came down to our sinful
Earth to shine His light
Magnificently to all who
Believe He is our
Everlasting Father, Savior, Friend,
Redeemer, and soon coming King!

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

BIRTHDAY GREETING

May those of you born in December receive a double blessing this month! May your celebration be filled with happiness, love, joy, and peace -- and may you always remember that tiny baby born in Bethlehem!

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

Love came down
In all its
Glory to brighten our
Hearts and bring us
The gift of eternal life.

Overwhelming grace
Floods our being as we

Thank God for
His ultimate gift -
Emmanuel, God with us.

Would that all might
Open their hearts to
Receive the true
Light that
Delivers us from the darkness.

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

POINTS TO PONDER
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

Light....

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12

The Light of the World... when I think of that I think of light that shines bright.. illuminates the darkness.. makes things clear and easy to see... but there are other meanings to the word LIGHT.

Light can mean easy or less heavy, like carrying a light load. That definition applies to Jesus also. He isn't heavy... or a burden.. in fact He tells us in Matthew 11:30 that His yoke is easy and His burden light.

Light can also be used when describing something that is happy and joyful... "the mood of the party was light and happy." That definition of light works with Jesus too! Certainly He brings joy to those who know Him as their Savior. In fact, one can never have true joy without Him, so to have that light carefree feeling, you must have The Light.

Light is also used in reference to someone who is a model or guide for others... usually in the moral sense of the word. Certainly there is no doubt that definition applies to Jesus also. There is no better guide or model for us to follow.. He is the perfect Light.

Light can also be used as a verb. To light a fire is to ignite or set aflame. Jesus does that in more ways than one. His Word can ignite the hearts of men in an instant and when He comes into your heart, you are set aflame with His Spirit.

To light also means to fall on, like a butterfly lighting on a flower. When you ask Jesus into your heart, His spirit falls on you.

Those are just a few of the definitions for the word Light. It comes as no surprise that it would have so many meanings, afterall Jesus is a full and complex being.. He cannot be simply defined.. He encompasses too much for that.

Look at these and some of the other definitions of light and take time to ponder how Jesus fulfills each and every one!

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

QUOTE OF THE MONTH


Eternal God, this holy night is radiant with the brilliance of your one true light. May that light illuminate our hearts and shine in our words and deeds. May the hope, the peace, the joy, and the love represented by the birth in Bethlehem this night fill our lives and become part of all that we say and do. May we share the divine life of Your son Jesus Christ, even as He humbled Himself to share our humanity. Amen.
-- Rev. Richard J. Fairchild

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

A CANDLE'S FLICKERING FLAME
By: Denise Imbody

When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ďI am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life.Ē
-John 8:12

A Candles Flickering Flame

I love to sit and watch a candleís flame as it flickers. Sometimes it just seems to be dancing, happily, without a care in the world. Other times it seems as though it is holding on in hopes not to go out.

During the times it seems to be dancing, it seems so happy, and nothing can bring it down. Nothing can bother it. Nothing can touch it.

The other times when it seems like itís holding on, in hopes not to go out. It seems so sad. Like if the littlest thing happens, it will go out. Yet, it flickers hanging in there, not going out, even though the wax all around it is melting. It seems as though it could drown in itís own wax, or if the slightest breeze goes blowing by, it will go out.

I think we have times like this in our Christian walk. Sometimes we are like that candleís flame that seems to be dancing. We seem, and feel, so strong in the Lord, and in our walk. We feel like nothing can ruin our walk. In those times, we feel bold, happy, and like we can do whatever the Lord asks.

I think we also have those times when we feel like that candleís flickering flame, where if just one more thing happensÖthatís it weíll go out. We could drown in our problems, or if the slightest thing comes along and upsets our walk, and weíre like thatís enough; feeling as though we can not take anymore.

What should we do in these times? We need to hang in there like that happy dancing flame. Even if we donít feel like it. Itís hard at times, believe me, I know. I have never wanted to give up on the Lord, but there have been times, when Iíve just had enough, and donít feel as I can take much more, if anymore.

I will never, not ever, give up on Jesus, because I know He will never give up on me.

Heavenly Father, please help us in our times of struggles, and trials to hang in there. Help our flame never go out,as You are our flameÖhelp us to remember that. Help us to remember with You, we can go on, and on, as long as You have us to, in Jesusís name, amen.

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'

Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas.
-- Johnny Carson

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

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.

Luke 2:30 - 32
"For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, Which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel"

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

Unfortunately, we didn't have an overwhelming response to a special issue of JEM, Precious Stones, so, in lieu of that issue, we have decided to share a few of the recipes that were sent in here in the December issue. Just click on the name below, and you will be brought to the recipe. And a special thanks to all those who submitted!

Two-Minute Velvet Fudge
Submitted by: Connie P.

Coconut Crisps
Submitted by: Lois B.

Orange Slice Cookies
Submitted by: Alice W.

Chocolate Biscotti
Submitted by: Kimberly L.

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

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

QUICK TIP OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

When it's time to undecorate, it's always an unhappy and hard time so why not throw a take down the tree party! Turn on some music and pull out any leftover cookies or cake or candy and leftover food! Make an event of it. This less than pleasant task will go much faster!

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

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

CRAFT OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Kimberly Lewis

Christmas Marshmallow Sticks

WHAT YOU NEED...

Large Marshmallows
Christmas sprinkles or sugars
lollipop sticks and wrappers
small pastry brush
water

WHAT YOU DO...

1 Stick marshmallow on lollipop sticks
2 Fully coat marshmallows with water using pastry brush.
3 Roll in colorful sprinkles shake off excess
4 Wrap creations in lollipop wrappers and tie end closed
5 ENJOY

***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.***

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

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

"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." Gen. 1:3

Light -- the earth was dark -- devoid of light -- then God spoke and the Light filled the earth. Light was the first thing God spoke into being at the creation of the earth. And light is the greatest gift He ever gave us. Not the physical light ... the sun and moon and stars, but the Light sent to earth 2000 years ago to a tiny manger in Bethlehem.

"Light of the World, shine down on Bethlehem, God in His glory has sent us a Son..." (from "Light of the World")

The sun, moon and stars illuminated the earth, but it was still full of darkness... spiritual darkness... and then Jesus came.

"I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness." John 12:46

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12.

He filled the world with His unending light... a light which He calls us to shine forth today.

"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid...Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matt. 5:14 & 16

"For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light" Eph. 5:8

"Light your world
Let the love of God shine through
In the little things you do
Light your world
And though your light may be
Reaching only two or three
Light your world " (from Newsong - "Light Your World")

Let's don't let the darkness take hold of our world. God said "Let there be light"... so let's be the Light He calls us to be! Brighten the day of those you encounter -- shine His light for all to see!

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

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.

Do you know the Bible references for these verses?

1. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

3. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

4. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

5. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

Click here for the answers

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

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: Real Christmas
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Real Christmas by Kim Hill

For a blend of classic acoustic instruments and Kim Hill's earthy voice, you need look no further than Real Christmas. Hill praises the Lord with traditional carols such as "Angels We Have Heard on High", "O Come, O Come Emmanuel"," O Holy Night" and more. Phil Keagy joins her on "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" with his guitar and voice and the result is one of the most amazing versions of this hymn I have ever heard! The music here is very pure and clear. In addition to traditional hymns, there is Hill's original song "Gift of Love", as well as another lesser known carol, "He is the King". You cannot go wrong with this Christmas CD. It is sure to be a favorite!

Book of the Month: 31 Days of Praise
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

31 Days of Praise by Ruth Meyers

For a while now, God has been calling me to Praise Him more. Oh, I would say a quick thanks every now and then and my prayers would start with a general thanks or I praise You for the day, but that was about as far as it went. Then I remembered this tiny book my mother had, 31 Days of Praise. I borrowed it and may never give it back.

31 Days of Praise is a down to earth look at praising the Lord. There are 4 parts to the book. The first part is a short section on praise and why we do it. Part three talks of the benefits of praise and part four the acts of praise, but the meat of the book is part 2 - the praise pages. Meyers has written out 31 prayers of praise based on Scripture. She praises God for things which you expect -- creation, salvation, grace, ... but she also praises Him for our trials, our weaknesses, our disappointments.

As you read the Scripture and then the prayers, you learn to praise Him for everything in your life -- good or bad -- and as you do, wow! how your perspective will change! You will find yourself focused on the One you praise -- our Sovereign Lord -- as you draw closer to Him in a fresh new way.

Idea of the Month: Birthday Party for Baby Jesus
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Many people include a birthday cake for Jesus in their Christmas celebration, but how about kicking it up a notch by having a birthday party for Him? Use the time to focus on the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Sing Christmas Carols (not Christmas songs, Carols about Jesus). Have activities that focus on His birth -- color sheets for little ones, word searches or cross words... Bible Trivia from the Christmas Story... How about decorations or a tree that focuses on the many names of Jesus? The possibilities are many! Be sure to include a reading of the Biblical account of His birth. This would be an awesome event to invite neighbors and friends -- those who don't attend church or are lost. Use this opportunity to share the Good News of Christmas - the reason the Babe came in the first place -- to save the souls of man!

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

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! ‹

Carolling Fun!

Here are the titles of 5 well known Christmas Carols.. but with a bit of a twist. The titles have been rewritten and need to be "translated" back to the original. Have Fun!

1. Oh member of the round table with missing areas

2. The lad is a diminutive percussionist

3. Sir Lancelot with laryngitis

4. A small Israelite urban center

5. Far off in a hay bin

Click here for the answers

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

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. Psalm 27:1

2. John 1:5-10

3. John 8:12

4. John 12:45-47

5. Philippians 2:14-16

--Back to BIBLE QUIZ--

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--





























Answers for JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH:

1. O Holy Night

2. The Little Drummer Boy

3. Silent Night

4. Little Town of Bethlehem

5. Away in a Manger

--Back to JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH--

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--





Two-Minute Velvet Fudge

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle brand or whatever)
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup nuts, chopped

Microwave chips and milk for two minutes on high.
Stir until smooth.
Stir in sugar and vanilla, then add nuts.
Pour into buttered (or Pam sprayed) 8-by-8 inch pan.
Chill in fridge ninety minutes or until firm.Cut into squares and enjoy!

Omit the nuts, use mint chips instead of chocolate for wonderful mint fudge.

Back to RECIPES OF THE MONTH







Coconut Crisps

These are wonderful and melt in your mouth!

1 1/2 cups shortening
3 1/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 tsp. vanilla
2 cups unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
5 cups rolled oats
2 cups coconut

Mix well and drop by teaspoon on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes. Note: One cup oats can be replaced by an additional cup of coconut for extra "melt in the mouth flavor!"

Back to RECIPES OF THE MONTH







Orange Slice Cookies (this recipe is pushing 50 years old)

1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of shortening (Crisco)
1 teaspoon vanilla
cream together well....
add two well beaten eggs and mix together

Sift together:
2 cups flour
1 Teaspoon Baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
add to the creamed mixture and blend well....
dissolve 1 teaspoon baking soda in 2 tablespoons of hot water....add to the above mixture and mix well....

2 cups quick cook oatmeal
1 cup coconut
1 1/2 cups of Orange slice candy cut into small pieces

stir the 3 above ingredients together and then add to the other mixture and stir until well blended.
shape the dough into balls the size of walnuts....press down with a fork which has been dipped into vanilla.

bake 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.

Back to RECIPES OF THE MONTH







Chocolate Biscotti

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup almond, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 15 x 10-inch baking pan.

In small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda; set aside.

In large mixer bowl, beat sugar, butter, eggs and almond extract until creamy. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in almonds. Divide dough in half. Shape into 2 (12-inch long) logs; flatten slightly. Place in prepared pan. Bake 25 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack 5 minutes.

Cut into 1/2-inch thick slices at angle. Arrange slices flat on cookie sheet and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer, until surface is dry and crisp. Cool completely.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Back to RECIPES OF THE MONTH