JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #2--February 2003)


Hello all, and welcome once again to JEMís monthly E-zine! It doesnít seem like it has been a month since our last issue, but, as it always does, time keeps marching on.

This month we are focusing our efforts on the idea of love. What is love? Don Francisco says that, ďlove is not a feeling, itís an act of your willĒ. In first Corinthians chapter 13, Paul lays out a pretty descriptive definition--one that all of us, sadly, often fall short of. Without love, though, he says, we are nothing! Our works donít matter--our ďfaithĒ doesnít matter... It all hinges on this thing called love!

Jesus gave us an example of the greatest love--the love of laying down oneís life for his friends! (John 15:13) His love wasnít just words--it was enacted upon! He gave up himself for us--His friends!

What are we willing to do for this man called Jesus? How much do we love Him? Do we dare offer anything less than what He freely gave us? Think about it this month. Thereís more to love that chocolates and cards--Love never fails!

In His Service,
Matt


TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR FEBRUARY
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
POINTS TO PONDER
LOVE LETTER
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 FEBRUARY
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

From Heaven's throne He came to
Endure earthly pain and
Bear your shame on the cross. He
Rose on the third day and
Undermined Satan's plan. Yes,
Amazing Grace came down and
Redeemed the lost -- because He loves
You and me with an everlasting love.

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BIRTHDAY GREETING

We pray that all who will be celebrating a birthday this month, will have a very blessed day, in our Lord, Jesus Christ! ‹

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INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
Submitted by: Denise Imbody

LOVE OUR ENEMIES!

Yes, you read that right--we need to "LOVE OUR ENEMIES!" The first time I read this in God's word--I thought, "Is that possible?" Of course the Lord answered in His gentle way--that, yes, it is possible.

We need to pray for them, and continually show them love, for if we do not--who will? And how will they know about God's unconditional love?

Here is just one of the passages of Scripture that talks about loving our enemies...

Romans 12
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

We need to be used of God to overcome that evil, with His good. If they still continue to be evildoers, than the Lord will deal with them.

Now, does this mean that we have to hang out with our enemies? Or have a warm fuzzy feeling when they're around? Of course not--we just need to show them God's never ending love, grace, and mercy--when they are near.

So, the next time you're feeling hurt, or hate--stop what you're doing--pray, and ask God for His peace, love, and strength (for He will give it to you), and pray for the one who has hurt you--or that you're feeling hatred toward. The Lord will hear, and honor your prayer.

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POINTS TO PONDER
Submitted 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.

Have you ever heard the story of Jacob (Israel) and his twelve sons? Sure you have! You know Joseph and his brothers? I love to read about them. Even more, I love to read the account of Jacob and Rachel. Jacob loved Rachel and agreed to work for 7 years in order to marry her, but when he woke up on the morning after his wedding, he found himself married to her older sister Leah! He then was allowed to wed Rachel, but had to work another 7 years.

Knowing that story and knowing that Jacob had 12 sons, I assumed Leah and Rachel were the mothers of his children. I knew Rachel gave birth to Joseph and Benjamin, so I figured Leah was the mom to the other 10.

Wrong! Here is what the Bible says:

Jacob had twelve sons:

The sons of Leah:
Reuben the firstborn of Jacob,
Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.
The sons of Rachel:
Joseph and Benjamin.
The sons of Rachel's maidservant Bilhah:
Dan and Naphtali.
The sons of Leah's maidservant Zilpah:
Gad and Asher.
These were the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan Aram.

Genesis 35:23-26

We see that Leah was the mother of 6 of Jacob's sons and Rachel of 2, but he also had children by each of his wives maidservants.

To read more about Jacob's family and the circumstances behind these births, read their story in Genesis 29 - 35.

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LOVE LETTER
by: Denise Imbody

Please indulge me for a moment as I reminisce a little bit. When my husband, Matt, and I first got together we were so shy that we would sit on the couch next to each other and write letters back and forth instead of just talking. Eagerly anticipating what our letter would say when it was returned to us.

Then there were those times that we were apart, and we would impatiently wait for a letter from each other. When we finally received one, we would open it right away, and read it in it's entirety...and occasionally read them more than once.

And now 17 years later, we still occasionally send a love letter to each other (and we still have most of our writings from long ago).

Ah! Love! Isn't it grand? Now even though I feel like Matt is my other half, and he makes me complete, he knows that he will always be my second love. I will always be his second love--we wouldn't have it any other way.

My first love is Jesus, and will always be. Back in the early 80's Mickey and Becky Moore came out with a song called LOVE SONG FOR #2, and the chorus goes like this...

It's not that I love you less than best, for each day I love you, more, and more, and more
But there can only be one first place in my life, and you know who that's for,
Jesus is number one in my life, so second place will have to do for you,
I'm counting on spending the rest of my life in love with the 2 of you.

Did you know that Jesus should be our first love? And further more, did you know that He wrote us a LOVE LETTER? It is just waiting there for us to open it and read it. Not just once either--He wants us to read it over, and over, and over--always finding something new that He wants to reveal to us when we're ready to hear it.

Rob Evans--Also known as the "Doughnut Man"--sings a song called LOVE LETTER. The chorus goes like this...

It's a LOVE LETTER from God to me,
It's a LOVE LETTER from A to Z,
It's a LOVE LETTER that you can read,
And it's called the B I B L E

Yes, it is a very simple song, but most children's songs are--that is why I love children's songs so much--they express the truth so simply--that I, personally think it makes them profound. The Bible is a LOVE LETTER from the Lord to us. In His LOVE LETTER He tells why He loves us, and how we can live for Him.

So, as you prepare your valentine's, and love letters--that you'll be sending to those you love--I encourage you to open God's LOVE LETTER. Read it--cherish it--and always keep in mind that our first love has written a very special LOVE LETTER--just for us.

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A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'

You "have to" love EVERYONE, but you don't "have to" LIKE everyone!
-Mark Lowry

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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.

1 John 4
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

They say that when we eat chocolate, it causes some sort of reaction in our bodies that gives us a euphoric feeling similar to that of being in love. So it seems only appropriate that the recipe for this month of love be one filled with chocolate! This recipe is a creation of my husband's and is pure chocolate delight!

Mississippi Fudge Pie

1/2 cup butter (or margarine)
2 or 3 unsweetened chocolate squares
4 eggs
3 Tbsp. white corn syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
9-inch pie shell, unbaked

Melt butter and chocolate together over low heat on stove or in microwave. Meanwhile, beat 4 eggs until light and fluffy. beat corn syrup, sugar, salt and vanilla into the eggs. Add chocolate mixture and blend thoroughly. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 350-degrees for 25-30 minutes. The top of pie will look puffed up and "set". Let the pie cool before serving. As it cools, the top falls. Serve with cool whip or vanilla ice cream. YUM!


One more recipe! More and more people are cutting sugar out of their diet for one reasons or another. My husband was recently diagnosed with diabetes, so we are learning to change our eating habit. Just because you are eating healthy, does not mean you have to give up treats entirely! Here is a virtually sugar free, fat free pie for you!

Chocolate Dream Pie

(from The Art of Cooking for the Diabetic by Mary Abbott Hess)

1 1.3-ounce package sugar-free, fat-free chocolate instant pudding mix
2 cups skim milk
1 8-ounce container nondairy light whipped topping, thawed
1 Vanilla Wafer Crumb Crust (make your own or buy at the grocery)
1 Tbsp. semisweet chocolate chips

Prepare pudding with skim milk according to package directions. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Fold 1 cup whipped topping into pudding. Spoon chocolate mixture carefully into pie shell; chill until pudding is firm. (about 15 minutes)

Gently spread remainder of whipped topping across top of pie with a small spatula. Sprinkle chips over top of pie. Cover pie carefully with plastic wrap. Chill 2 - 3 hours until set and firm.

To serve, cut into eight equal wedges.

Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Starch, 1 Fat. 1/2 Carbohydrate

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QUICK TIP OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Cut the fat -- after you have browned ground meat for a recipe, place it in a colander in your sink and rinse it with warm water. This will not change the texture or the taste of the meat at all! What it will do is wash away some of the fat that clings to the meat after browning.

Also, to save time -- brown and wash your ground meat in large batches. Then freeze in a ziplock. When you need browned ground meat for a recipe, just grab it out of the freezer -- thaw in the microwave and you are ready to go! 1 pound of ground beef equals around 2 cups browned.

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CRAFT OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Stephanie Hurd

Christian Conversation Hearts

Here's an idea for a Christian Valentine decoration. You will need some kind of wooden or plastic hearts. It would be preferable to find them in different sizes or slightly different heart shapes. Some could be big and fat while others long and skinny. About 6 will do. They need to come with holes to put string through to hang them, or if not you could hot glue some kind of hook to each heart.

Simply select a pleasing glitter glue in white, pink, red or so on that shows up against the hearts and write some Christian conversation sayings on each one. For example, one could say "Jesus loves". Another could read, "Love Him" or "Serve Him" or "I love God". Be creative and have fun.

Once these dry, you can connect them with string or decorative wire that fits through the holes or hooks making them into one dangling decoration. Hang on your front door or inside wall. They will add a touch of fun in February that may also spark a conversation about the Lord.

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SKIPPING STONES
(A word of encouragement)
By: Matthew Imbody

A boy stands at the edge of a large pond. He scans the ground in front of him--looking for something. In a moment, he smiles slightly and bends over to pick up a smooth, flat stone. He turns it in his hand, examineing it, and then, with a flick of his wrist, he sends the stone spinning and sailing straight out towards the middle of the water.

The small projectile finally hits the water with a slight splash, but the momentum behind it, and the spin it is in sent it not sinking into the deep, but back up into the air for several more feet. Gravity again brings it low, but, once more, it only rides along the top of the water for a moment--and then it is again airborne.

How many times can the boy skip the stone? 5? 10? 15? Can he skip it all the way across the pond--so that it rests once again on solid, dry ground?

We are the stone. God is the momentum behind us, and the speed with which we spin. If we let Him be our power--if we let Him be our strength--if we let Him be the driving force behind our every movement, we will have nothing to fear! Without God, the waters of our life will surely engulf us--pulling us under--but with God, we are sure to have the strength--the momentum--to land safely on that other shore!

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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.

1. How many books in the Old Testament? New Testament?

2. What is known as the LOVE chapter?

3. What book and chapter is in the exact middle of the Bible?

4. What is the last book in the Old Testament?

5. How many chapters are in Proverbs?

ANSWERS FOR JANUARY'S QUIZ

1. Why did God decide to flood the whole earth? (Genesis 6)
Because everyone had become so wicked, and all they had was wickedness in their hearts

2. Why did God allow Noah, and his family, to be spared from the flood? (Genesis 6)
Noah had found favor in the eyes of the Lord, because he was a righteous man

3. How many of each clean animal was Noah to bring aboard the ark? How many unclean? (Genesis 7)
7 clean, 2 unclean

4. We know that it rained for 40 days, and nights, but how many days were the flood waters upon the earth? (Genesis 7)
150 days

5. When did God tell Noah that they could come out of the ark? (Genesis 8)
The twenty-seventh day of the second month


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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: Nicole Nordeman's Woven & Spun
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Woven & Spun -- Nicole Nordeman

This is the first CD I have purchased by Nicole Nordeman, but it will not be the last! Nordeman focuses on the Lord and the simple truths we know about Him through original songs of worship and praise that will move you to the depths of your soul.

We see God as Holy, giver of mercy, healer, the great I Am, and much more! And we are encouraged to pour out our hearts to Him in gratitude and thanksgiving for all that He is.

One of my favorite songs on this CD is "Legacy" -- a song that encourages us to share with others all God is and does. And "Mercies New" -- which reminds me that God is always there and no matter what I need to praise Him.

This CD will move you to tears of joy and have you on your knees in worship!

Book of the Month: The Name
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

The Name by Franklin Graham

"Why does the name of Jesus stir both awe and animosity?" This is the question that plagued Franklin Graham after he spoke at a memorial service for the students of Columbine High. He boldly spoke the Name of Jesus only to receive as much criticism as compliments. Why does the Name bring such passionate responses in men?

Graham leads us on a journey that explores the effect the Name above all names has on mankind -- both collectively and individually and he stresses the importance of Christians to be bold in speech and action. We are not to hold back speaking the Name for fear of persecution or repercussions, for it is the Name that every ear needs to hear and every heart needs to embrace.

Graham provides many instances of the cause and effect of the Name. I was so convicted when I saw how much the Name costs to so many others in this world and how little it costs me -- at the most a bit of discomfort if it is not received well. At present, we in America are not being called to die or suffer physically for the Name and yet we are the ones who are the most silent.

The Name also includes many incidents of hope and victory where the Name was boldly proclaimed. These will uplift you and show you the power that is on the tip of your tongue.

The Name is a book written from the heart of Franklin Graham to bring glory and honor to the One who holds the Name -- Jesus Christ -- and in reading it, you will be encouraged to live your life fully for Him and to proclaim the power of His Name to everyone you meet.

Movie of the Month: The Sound Of Music
Recommended by: Denise Imbody

Well, as you can see, the theme for this month is LOVE, so what better to recommend, than a movie about LOVE? THE SOUND OF MUSIC is my all time favorite movie--I will say right off,that it is a musical, so if you're not fond of that type of movie--you probably won't be interested in it--but if you like, or even love musicals, like some of us--then read on...

This movie is based on a true story. Captain Von Trap is a retired navy officer, and a widower with 7 children--ranging in age, from 5-16. He has a lot of trouble finding a nanny that will stay around long enough to help take care of his children until Maria, that is.

Maria is a young lady who is trying to become a nun, but finds herself always doing things the nuns don't really approve of--nothing bad, just things like singing in places where she shouldn't, always being late for services, or meals--and things like that.

The Von Trap children try to scare off Maria, as they had done for all the other nanny's, but she is not that easily frightened off. She and the children become very fond of each other, and she brings happiness back into a home which has not known happiness since Mrs. Von Trap had died.

This movies story setting is in the early 1940's--right before Hitler takes command. The Von Trap family live in Austria during the movie, and during the course of the different events that happen throughout the movie, they are forced to escape their home.

To find out more about this movie, make some popcorn, grab your favorite soft drink, and sit down with your loved ones, and watch it. It is a great movie for a family to watch together.

The Sound Of Music
Copyright 1965
Twentieth Century Fox

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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.

BE MY VALENTINE!

Simply figure out who the Valentine is from, and who it is to, and write your answer under each one. Here is an example one for you...

EXAMPLE
We should have had good times,
Like candlelit feasts,
But you had to look back,
Now youíre a salt lick for beasts
BE MY VALENTINE!

ANSWER: Lot to his wife

1. Lilies are white,
Sugar is sweet,
You may collect,
My left over wheat...
BE MY VALENTINE!

2. The rain will come soon,
Weíll soon be afloat,
Please come and join me,
On our barnyard love boat...
BE MY VALENTINE!

3. You asked my secret,
I just wouldnít share,
Iíll love you forever,
Just donít cut my hair...
BE MY VALENTINE!

4. I worked for you for seven years,
Then I was told, for you, seven more,
Your dad gave me your sister,
But it is you, that I adore...
BE MY VALENTINE!

5. I needed a wife,
None, in town, would do,
So, my Dadís servant, Eleazer,
Went out, and found you...
BE MY VALENTINE!

6. In our old age,
Children, we had none,
Then God did promise,
That weíd have a son...
BE MY VALENTINE!

7. Out of paradise,
We had to go,
For disobeying God,
We can share our woe...
BE MY VALENTINE!

8. On top of my palace,
Is where you were seen,
Then I did bad things,
To make you my queen...
BE MY VALENTINE!

9. I had to question,
Our childís name,
So, I couldnít talk,
Until he came...
BE MY VALENTINE!

10. The Son you carry,
Is not mine,
But is from the One,
Who is Holy, and Divine...
BE MY VALENTINE!

11. I need a queen, who will obey,
Your respect, to me, you gave,
My favor, you have won,
Your people I will save...
BE MY VALENTINE!

12. During my times of trouble,
You told me to curse God and die,
But you know I still love you,
Though I donít quite know why...
BE MY VALENTINE!

13. Though your unfaithful ways,
Have messed up my life,
God has told me again,
To retrieve you, my wife...
BE MY VALENTINE!

14. In the Jewish tradition,
You drank from my cup,
Our homes almost finished,
Then Iíll bring you up...
BE MY VALENTINE!


ANSWERS FOR JANUARY'S PUZZLER
Unscramble the words.

ACEINORT-CREATION
BEGGIINNN-BEGINNING
AEELNRW-RENEWAL
CEIPRRSTU-SCRIPTURES
EEIMMORZ-MEMORIZE

BONUS: EILNOORSSTU-RESOLUTIONS


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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 piece in Him, and through Him! In Jesus' name, Amen