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

JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #13 -- Whiter Than Snow -- January 2004)


I can’t believe it’s 2004 already! We’ve put out a year’s worth of E-zines! Welcome to the first issue of year 2!

Over the next few months, we hope to make some changes. You may even notice a few in this issue! As we change, and grow, and draw closer to God, our prayer is that we can, in some small way, help you as you strive to do the same!

We had a dusting of snow today, and it reminded me that, no matter how dirty we are -- no matter what we’ve done, Jesus wants to make us like that snow -- in fact, He wants to make us whiter than snow! His blood can cover all our sins, just as snow covers a dirty city -- making it look clean, new, and pure! But He doesn’t just leave it like that. Oh no. If we will let Him, He will start digging and rooting through the stuff under that covering. He will make us more like Him -- from the inside out! Then we will truly be Whiter Than Snow!

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR JANUARY
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
POINTS TO PONDER
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
WHITER THAN SNOW
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 JANUARY
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

Jesus is the same
As He always has been and will be
Nothing will ever change that - So lift
Up your hands
And
Rejoice -- for
You serve the King of Kings

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

BIRTHDAY GREETING

Happy New Year everyone, and Happy Birthday to all those January babies out there. Heavenly Father, we ask You to please be with each person that is celebrating a special day this month. May they, along with the rest of us, truly enter this New Year, with a renewed outlook on life, washed WHITER THAN SNOW, and ready to shine Your Light and Truth to all we come in contact with, in Jesus' precious name, amen.

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: Denise and Matthew Imbody

Snow flake
©2001

God made each snow flake,
So unique, and so small,
But when they come together,
They form a blanket over all.

Alone, they can refresh,
So gentle and so meek,
As they softly float on down,
To land on someone’s cheek.

It’s like a kiss from Heaven,
That the Lord sens our way,
As a sweet reminder,
He’s with us, everyday.

But when the snow flakes land,
And gather in one place,
To form a snow white blanket,
They show the Father’s grace;

Of how He sent His Son,
The perfect sacrifice,
To save us from our sin,
His blood, the only price.

So though we don’t deserve,
A gift, so free and dear,
He chose to do this, for us,
And wants the world to hear.

But Jesus didn’t stop there,
That’s not all He did,
He rose up from the grave,
The curse of death to rid.

Now, we have His perfect love,
Within our hearts, so deep,
A gift that we can share,
And also, we can keep.

So, next time you see a snow flake,
Just think about that kiss,
That special touch from Heaven,
You can’t afford to miss.

And when you see that blanket,
Of newly fallen snow,
Just think of all the mercy,
The Father chose to show.

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

POINTS TO PONDER
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

Have you ever looked at a snowflake up close....like under a microscope? I remember years ago one of my children had a book from the library with photographs of snowflakes that were taken using a high-powered microscope. They were amazing! So intricate! And, just as we all know, no two were alike -- each very unique.

You know when that snow is falling it all looks like the same white stuff. We can't see all those delicate crystals and facets with our regular eyes. We have to look closer.... closer than our human eyes alone can see.

Have you ever seen a picture looking down on earth from an airplane? If there are people below, they pretty much look the same from up there. And the farther up you go the smaller and more alike they become. But you know, I don't think we all look like little specks from the far heights of Heaven.

God sees us with His vision. Just as that high-powered microscope reveals hidden beauty in that snowflake, God's heavenly vision reveals the hidden details and beauty within each of us. The one who took the time to fashion each one of those unique snowflakes, took the time to fashion each one of us. He is not a cookie cutter God. He creates us to each be a unique reflection of His glory.

So when you look in the mirror and can't see past the gray hairs or tired complexion or other human traits, stop and look at yourself in light of your Creator. Realize that He made you to be you. He has a plan and purpose for you and He has created you for that.

Then take the time to thank Him and ask Him to help you see just what that plan and purpose is and how you can fulfill your unique calling.

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

QUOTE OF THE MONTH


Look not back on yesterday
So full of failure and regret;
Look ahead and seek God's way--
All sin confessed you must forget.
--Dennis DeHaan

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

WHITER THAN SNOW
By: Denise Imbody

...wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Psalm 51:7b

Whiter Than Snow
©2001

I always find myself anticipating the arrival of the first snow fall. I just love the way the snow flakes gently float down, slowly making a blanket of white on the ground. Each snow flake, though completely different and unique, all coming together to form the beautiful, fresh, completely spotless, blanket of white. At least that is the way it is when it is first on the ground.

Then slowly, little by little, things begin to happen. First, maybe some footprints, then next maybe some tire tracks, and so on. Until the once spotless blanket of white, is now marked, and not looking as beautiful as it first did.

Sadly, it looks awful, and you stand there and wonder what happened. “Wow!” You think, “I can’t believe this was once so white, new, fresh, and so beautiful…what on earth happened?”

I think we are like that. When we first find the Lord, we’re washed in His blood, which makes us whiter than snow. Then as we try and walk, talk, and live as a child of God. We’re stepped on, run over, virtually abused as it were, and it makes us not as beautiful as we were when we started.

Then, while you’re standing there wondering what happened, you notice that it begins to snow again. New snow flakes falling down, covering over the marks, dirt, and the old yucky snow. As you watch the new snow falling and covering the old, you start to get that smile back….that warm feeling….as though you know everything is going to be okay.

I feel that is the way it is with Jesus. His precious blood continually falling to cover us. Renewing our spirit. Letting us know that everything is going to be okay. No, better than okay! He lets us know that it is going to be great! He is with us, through all we may be going through. He is with us during happy times, sad times, angry times, apathetic times, etc.. He promised He’d never leave us, and Jesus is great to keep His promises.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Son, Jesus. Jesus thank You for choosing to die on that cross for us. Thank You for Your soul cleansing blood. Thank You for the renewing that Your blood brings to us. Help us to know that You are always with us! Amen.

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'

Dusty Bibles lead to Dirty Lives
--Author Unknown

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

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.

Isaiah 1
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Denise Imbody

Krispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients:
18 oz jar of creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies
2 cups confectionary sugar
1/2 stick melted butter (or margarine)
2 packages (12 ounces each) of semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Mix peanut butter, Rice Krispies, sugar, and melted butter in a bowl. Shape balls, and freeze for 2 hours.
Melt 1 pkg of chocolate in the microwave. It takes about 3 and 1/2 minutes -- stir after 2 minutes, then continue melting.
Roll the balls in the melted chocolate (this should take care of half the balls.
Next, melt second pkg of chocolate chips, and roll the rest of the balls in the melted chocolate.
Place back in the freezer for an hour.
This makes approximately 40.
Keep refrigerated, until ready to eat.

A couple of side notes--
1. Trust me on this--use Rice Krispies! I made them with a store brand (Puffed Rice--or something like that)--and it just is NOT the same.
2. If you want to cut down on the sugar a bit--just use 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar--if you choose this option--then you will want to omit the melted butter.

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: Angel Ward

I know a lot of people use the swiffer dust mops or wet mops ( or similar brands) so I thought that I would pass on this tip. The disposable cloths for these can be very expensive, but you can make your own re-usable washable pads.

For the dust mop -- you can use a worn fleece blanket or purchase some fleece at your local discount store. Fleece is great for grabbing dust.

For the wet mop -- you can use a worn bath towel or purchase one at local discount store.

Use the disposable pads as a pattern and cut your fleece/towel to fit ( you can get 10-12 wet mop pads out of 1 bath towel). Then just use them as you would with the disposable, but when you are finished you just wash and use again!!! :)

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: Barbara Lea Campbell

Glue & Glitter Snowflakes

In parts of the U.S. the snow is flying... and in other areas there is no white stuff in sight! Wherever you live, you can have fun creating your own snowflakes with some wax paper, white glue and glitter.

Put a piece of wax paper on a flat surface, like your kitchen counter or table. Take a bottle of white glue (regular Elmer's glue, for example) and squeeze a snowflake pattern on the paper.

Before the glue dries, sprinkle your snowflake with glitter. Make as many flakes as you want, then let them dry overnight.

The next day peel your flakes off your wax paper. If you want to hang them in your windows, just run some monofiliment through the flake to create a loop for hanging.

Have fun and be creative! And Let it snow... Let it snow... Let is snow!

***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: Nancy Groff

The Simplicity of Christ

2Co 11:3
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

The Gospel is simple. Man complicates it. The Gospel is straightforward. Jesus said, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." So why do so many people labor in their Christianity?

I believe that it is because they do not understand how to enter the rest of God.

The law was given so that man could learn that no rules can even justify him before God. To learn the futility of trying to be good enough to enter God's presence. For God cannot tolerate sin. Animal sacrifices did not take away sin, it merely covered it. The blood of Jesus Christ, the lamb of God, took away the sin of the world. He provided an answer. A way to have a relationship with the Father, without following a system of rules.

God gave Moses 10 commandments, but by the time Jesus was born the Pharisees and other religious rulers had turned these into thousands of rules and regulations. Lest we think we are so much better than the Pharisees, we have done the same to the Gospel. We try to clean people up before leading them to Christ, whereas only the Blood of the Saviour "can" clean them. We have made a form of religion that vastly denies the power thereof.

The gospel, my friend is simple. When Jesus left, He sent another just like himself, the Holy Spirit.

Gal 5:1
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Dear Heavenly Father,
Please help those who read this to remember the liberty they once had when they were new in you. Help them to break off the chains of 'legalism' and pursue a relationship with you. Keep it ever in front of them that you want fellowship. It is your intention that we mature in Christ and become sons, not stay a servant forever. Please send your Holy Spirit to them, to hover around them, and show them the path in which they need to walk. Help them to listen to you and follow you.
In Jesus Name
Amen

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

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 God’s Word more. The answers will be provided in the next issue.

This month we are talking of how Jesus' blood washes us whiter than snow. So it seemed that questions that focused on the Savior would be best for our Bible Quiz. Hope these draw you a bit closer to Him today!

1. Complete this sentence: "For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be ____________."

2. On what occasion did Peter offer these remarks? "And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out of My Spirit and they will prophesy ..... and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

3. What was the "one thing" Jesus told the rich young man that he lacked to inherit eternal life?

4. What will our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, do to our bodies once we join Him in Heaven?

5. Reading from the Book of Isaiah in the synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus said He had been sent to proclaim freedom for whom? (use NIV for this one)

ANSWERS FOR DECEMBER'S QUIZ

All answers are taken from the KJV...and can either be found in Matthew chapter 2, or Luke chapter 2.

1. In what country were the shepherds abiding in the field, and watching their flocks by night?
Bethlehem

2. What was to be the sign for the shepherds to find?
The Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger

3. After the angel finished speaking to the shepherds, and the Heavenly hosts appeared with him, what did they say while they were praising God?
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

4. How many wise men came to present Jesus with gifts?
We don't know, because the bible does NOT say, we just always hear that there were 3, and I think that is because there were 3 gifts mentioned--gold, frankincense, and myrrh--but that does NOT make it 3 wise men. :)

5. What kind of shelter did the wise men find Jesus in?
House

--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.

Book of the Month: The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Blessing
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Blessing by Donna VanLiere

I recently read these two wonderful books and wanted to share a bit about them.

The first book is based on the song by the Christian group NewSong. That song is such a tear jerker and so is the book! You know the song don't you? The scene is a busy store on Christmas Eve, a young boy rushing to buy special shoes for his mother who is dying and, of course, he doesn't have enough money. And then a stranger, moved by his plight, gives him the difference. There was also a movie made of this story that is good. I was a bit concerned that I would be bored with the book because I knew the song so well and had seen the movie. That was not the case. Even though I knew how the story ended, there was so much in the book that added dimension to the characters -- especially concerning the man who gave the boy money for his mother's shoes.

The Christmas Blessing is a sequel to The Christmas Shoes. The boy, Nathan, is grown up and in medical school. He is struggling with the normal life decisions, especially "am I doing the right thing?" His "patients" know how right he is and they teach him a lot about taking a step of faith... moving on beyond the past and beyond what is known and reaching for more. I read this entire book in one sitting and I laughed and cried the whole time! It is truly one of the sweetest stories I have read in a long time.

I know the Christmas season is soon to be over, but these two are worth reading any time of the year!

Video of the Month: Hometown Legend
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Hometown Legend

This movie is based on the novel of the same name by Jerry Jenkins, co-author of the Left Behind series.

Our family decided to rent this movie because we had seen it in a Christian catalog and we were always on the lookout for a decent family movie.

Hometown Legend is the story of the end of an era. Athens, Alabama is loosing its high school and with it highschool football. The team has long sense passed its glory days, but there are still those who hope.

Enter a retired hard-nose coach and a drifter, who together bring closure to one life and a new beginning to another.

While football is the catalyst, the movie is not just about it. This is a movie about moving on, standing firm, making the right choices. It is a movie about hope.

Idea of the Month: Read the Bible Through
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Happy New Year! Made any resolutions yet? Loosing weight? Eating healthier? Exercising more? Less TV... more books? Spending more time with the Lord?

Whether you make resolutions or not, spending time with the Lord in His Word and in Prayer should always be in our plans. I have no doubt they are in the plans He has for us! He wants to teach you, lead you, guide you.... He wants to be your friend and He wants you to know Him. The only way that can happen is by spending time with Him.

A great way to get into the Word and to get a real feel for how it all connects is to use a Bible Reading Plan. You can Read the Entire Bible in a Year -- in order from Genesis to Revelation, Chronologically, Alternating between Old and New Testament books, and in a number of those ways. You can opt to read the Old Testament in 1 year and the New the next. And there are even plans to read them in shorter amounts of time. There is truly a plan that fits everyone. An easy way to find plans is to go to a search engine like www.google.com and search for Bible Reading Plans.

Here are a few that I can recommend ....
www.bibleinayear.org
www.anchorlife.org/courses/classes/read_thru.htm
www.bibleplan.org/
www.bible-reading.com/bible-plan.html

I encourage you to find a plan and, if possible, find a friend to read along with you. That accountability and encouragement will help you stick with it! I promise you will be blessed!

--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! Ü Answers will be in next month's issue.

Unscramble these winter words.

AEFKLNOSW

CEI AGIKNST

AMNNOSW

DDEGILNS

EGINNPU

CCEIIL

EGHILS DEIR

ABLLNOSW THGIF

NOSW AEGLNS

TOH ACCOO

GIIKNS

ABDILRZZ

EGHILNOSV

GOILO

EINTRW ADDELNNORW

ANSWERS FOR DECEMBER'S PUZZLER

Can you recognize these different characters, and objects of the Christmas season? Some are Biblical, and some are just fun characters we have come to know over the years.

I love the cold
not the heat.
Stick a certain hat on my head
and I hop to my feet!
Who am I?
Answer: Frosty the Snowman

The sky was black
The pasture quiet
until a song burst forth that night
We were afraid to behold this glorious sight?
Who are we?
Answer: Shepherds

The singing, the noise, the happy times
Christmas made me loose my mind!
I wanted to stop it
make it go away
but I found out Christmas was here to stay.
Who am I?
Answer: The Grinch

It looks so bright and
hot to the touch
but really it's shiny and cool
It lights up the night
and clears the way
for Santa and his crew.
What is it?
Answer: Rudolph's Nose

We traveled day and night
following a miraculous sight.
Some believe we were at the manger side
but we had too far to ride.
We arrived when the child was a tot
and presented him with the gifts we brought.
Who are we?
Answer: The Magi (Wisemen)

An angel came to see me
when I was just a girl
the message he presented
changed the entire world.
Who am I?
Answer: Mary

My light shone brighter than any other
Than anyone had ever seen before
And even though it took a while
I help lead them to the Holy Child
What am I?
Answer: the star

I spoke to Joseph in a dream
Several times to warn
To keep the Holy One safe from harm
Since the time He was born
Who am I?
Answer: Gabriel

--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