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JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #25 -- Jubilee -- January 2005)


Greetings; and welcome to 2005! It’s time to celebrate a new year, and, more importantly, it’s time to celebrate a new beginning – a fresh start! That’s what Jubilee is all about! A fresh start! Join us as we celebrate freedom, the return to our Christian “land”, or roots, and the ability to have our slate cleaned through Jesus!

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR JANUARY
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
POINTS TO PONDER
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
FREEDOM FROM IDOLATRY
A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'
TESTIMONY TIME
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: Denise Imbody

Joyously we all come
Unto our Lord for a
Breath of fresh air that
Infills our very souls with His
Love that just seems to
Envelop us as we remember that
Emmanuel means God with us!

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BIRTHDAY GREETING

Happy Birthday to each and every one celebrating their special day in January! Remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made! God planned you.... He loves you more than you can fathom! May you see glimpses of His glory throughout your days filling your heart with joy!

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INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: Denise Imbody

I came up with this acrostic for "JANUARY" for our writer's group...

Joyously we
Awake each morning to draw
Nearer to our Lord and ask Him to
Umbrella our day with His protection
And ask Him to guide us as we
Rejoice in
Yashua's love each minute of the day!

As I read it and reread it, I realize how the Lord guided me to say that we want, need, long for Him each and everyday, and that each and everyday is a "New start". So even though we are beginning a "New Year" and have our different goals that we are trying to reach in this "New Year", remember that the Lord gives us a brand new start each morning.

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POINTS TO PONDER
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

In Leviticus 25: 8 - 17 we can read the Lord's commands concerning a year of Jubilee. This event was to occur every 50 years and was to be a time of canceling all debts, freeing all slaves and returning all land that had been sold to its original ownership. God laid this all out for Israel.. and yet, did you know we never read of a year of Jubilee being observed. No where in the Bible do we see Israel doing this. Isn't that amazing? God had this very clear plan for them and yet they ignored it. Imagine what it would have been like if they had observed Jubilee? How different their history and how different our world today would be. One final note, lest we point fingers a little to easily, the Bible is full of commands for Believers... how many of them do we... you... hold to? How many of them have we ... you ... never followed? How different our legacy... our world.. would be if we did what the Lord called us to do.

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QUOTE OF THE MONTH


"If we stop obeying God, we begin faking Christianity."
--Francis Frangipane

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FREEDOM FROM IDOLATRY
By: Robin Sloboda

As an infant until age six, I was always sick with various childhood ailments. By the time I was a young adult, I believed I would die at a young age.

Ten years ago I accepted Christ. One of my daily heart prayers was for Jesus to heal me from constant illness and fatigue, but even as a Christian, thoughts of sickness plagued me constantly. I was left feeling helpless to the slavery of sickness.

Three years ago, while waiting at a hospital for yet another test, I was reading Beth Moore’s book, Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds, “Praying God’s Word”. Alone, with overwhelming waves of fear that the doctors would find something wrong with me, I prayed verses from the chapter on idolatry. Rage and anger filled my heart, because all the Scriptures focused on God while I was the one who was sick. I needed verses for healing, not verses on how good God is. As if a light switch went on in my head, I realized I was worshiping my sickness, not my God.

I immediately asked God to forgive me for focusing on myself and on my weaknesses instead of on Him. A healing grace rushed over my mind, body and soul, setting my spirit free in Christ. Moore writes, “…in our weakness He is strong and…as we bend to His lordship, God is more than able to deliver us”.

The last three years I have experienced freedom from sickness. My focus is no longer on being ill, but on Christ who is my Redeemer, Healer, and focus of praise. God has also delivered me from many other idols, and He continues to work in my life. I know as I seek and love God with all my heart, mind and soul, He will continue to set me free to keep my focus on Him.

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A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'

Excuses are the cradle that Satan rocks men off to sleep in.
--Author unknown to us

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TESTIMONY TIME

My Testimony: By Barbara Lea Campbell

Years ago I had to write out and share my testimony in a Bible Study I was taking. As I heard others share theirs, I became a bit embarrassed. I have no amazing mountain top. I don't come from a horrific childhood... I haven't been on drugs... I wasn't raised in another faith. But then I realized that just because I didn't have those experiences, doesn't mean my testimony is weak. In fact, many of the ladies who came from those backgrounds shared that they would have much preferred mine.

I was born into a loving Christian family whose ultimate goal was for me to be a Christian. I have never once not believed that God loved me and I have always known that Jesus died for me. When I was 12 I gave my heart to Him fully. I cannot say I gave Him my life, though. I did the things I thought I should do, but I also lived very much in the world and over time I became more like the world than Christ.

When I was approaching my 31st birthday, I heard about a Bible study that was going to be held at our church. It was an In-depth Inductive study and I felt I should take it. I can tell you I didn't really want to go, but I felt an urging to. I realize now that was the Holy Spirit. That study changed my life. The Bible came alive to me and I began to fall in love with the Word of God.

I would love to say that my life has been rosy and perfect ever since. That would be a falsehood. In fact, I believe I have had more trials and tribulations since then.. but I have also grown closer to the Lord. I have learned to surrender to Him... to let God be God... to trust Him... to listen for Him... and I have learned how marvelous and loving He is. I falter more often than I should and yet He is right there ready to take me back... no questions asked.

It is my heart's desire to encourage every believer to get into the Word. Read it over and over. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to the wonders and truths found there. It may seem difficult at first, but the more you read and pray, the more you will understand. Your life will never be the same!

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

***If you would like to share your testimony in an upcoming issue of JEM Precious Stones, please feel free to send it 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 may not be able to use all submissions.***



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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.

Luke 4:18-19
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Creamy Turkey Vegetable Soup

1 small onion, diced
2 Tbsp. butter
2 c. water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 c. diced cooked turkey (can use chicken also)
1/2 c. chopped celery
1 1/2 c. potatoes
1 c. diced carrots
2 1/2 c. milk
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Sauté onion in butter until translucent. Add water, bouillon cubes, turkey and vegetables. Cover and boil gently until vegetables are tender. Add a small amount of milk to the flour, stirring until mixture is smooth. Add remaining milk, salt and pepper. Stir milk mixture into soup. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until soup thickens slightly. Remove from heat and serve. Makes 4 - 6 servings.

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

All Day Prayer and Praise -- The Word exhorts us to pray without ceasing.. and we can! You can use "prompts" throughout the day to lead you in prayer and in praise. Examples -- while folding laundry, say a prayer for each person in your family as you fold an item of their clothing. Putting Groceries away -- thank the Lord for His provisions. Making a sandwich or toast -- praise the Lord for being the Bread of Life. Cooking a meal -- ask God to give you (or someone you're praying for) a hunger for His Word. Driving -- Pray for God to guide you -- lead you -- down the right path. I think you get the idea! The possibilities are endless!

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: Denise Imbody

Wordless Book Crochet Pattern
Designed by: Denise Imbody
©March 8, 2004

SPECIAL NOTE: For those of you who do NOT know how to crochet, we haven't forgotten you. :) You can use construction paper to make one of these "Wordless Books"...just put the colors in the correct order mentioned below, then staple the book together (If you decide to use whole sheets of paper, you'll need 2 pieces of green)...they are great to use as a witnessing tool. :)

MATERIALS:

WW yarn in...
     green
     Royal blue or Purple
     black
     red
     white
     yellow or gold

Hook size G
Yarn Needle

INSTRUCTIONS:
Make 1 of these in every color, except for green.

CH 15
ROW 1: SC in 2nd from hook, and each CH across (14 SC).
ROW 2: CH 1, turn, SC in each SC across (14 SC), CH 1, turn.
ROWS 3-14: REP ROW 2, fastening OFF at the end of ROW 14.

With Green:

CH 34
ROW 1: SC in 2nd from hook, and each CH across (33 SC).
Row 2: CH 1, turn, SC in each SC across, fastening off at the end of ROW 14.

FINISHING:
Wrap the green around the others, placing them in this order inside the green cover...

Royal Blue or Purple
Black
Red
White
Yellow or Gold

With green yarn, and a yarn needle, sew through all layers, creating a binding edge look. Fasten off, and weave in ends.

Meaning of the colors...
Royal Blue or Purple represents our Lord and all His righteousness.
Black represents sin.
Red represents Jesus' blood.
White represents how we are washed white as snow, by Jesus' blood.
Yellow or gold represents the streets of Heaven, and how we all will be there some day, if we believe in Jesus.
Green represents how we need to grow in the Lord.

***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: Barbara Lea Campbell

JU'BILEE, n. [L. jubilum, from jubilo, to shout for joy; Heb. the blast of a trumpet, coinciding with Eng. bawl, peal, L. pello.] 1. Among the Jews, every fiftieth year, being the year following the revolution of seven weeks of years, at which time all the slaves were liberated, and all lands which had been alienated during the whole period, reverted to their former owners. This was a time of great rejoicing. Hence, 2. A season of great public joy and festivity. (from Webster's 1828 Dictionary)

The thought of a time of Jubilee fascinates me. A time set apart to forgive debts and set slaves free... to return land to its original owner... a time of rest and celebration. How cool would that be!?

Well, guess what? We have that every day.. if we belong to Christ... for He, Jesus, is our Jubilee. In Him we have rest and celebration. In Him our debts are forgiven... paid in full! In Him we are free... no longer slaves to sin and death. In Him we are reunited with our land.... our home... Heaven.

How can we then not walk through each day with joy in our hearts and excitement in our eyes! Jubilee comes from a Hebrew word that means shout for joy. That is what we should be doing. Proclaiming the Word as we shout for joy over all He has done for us!

Jubilee, Jubilee, Jesus is the Jubilee, Debts forgiven, Slaves set free, Jesus is our Jubilee! "Jubilee" -- Michael Card

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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.

Since we are celebrating the Jubilee in our e-zine this month, I thought it would be fun to see how well we knew other celebrations found in the Bible.

1. A father shouted this to his servants .. "Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate." Luke 15:23 NIV -- What was he celebrating?

2. The Israelites were told to celebrate what feast "because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come." Ex 12:17 NIV

3. This feast was to be celebrated "with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field." Ex. 23:16 NIV

4. The Jews were to celebrate this at the end of the year, when they gathered in their crops from the field. (Ex 23:16 NIV)

5. Israel was of observe the month of Abib and celebrate this "because in the month of Abib He (God) brought you out of Egypt by night." Deut 16:1 NIV

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: UnDone
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

UnDone by MercyMe

MercyMe blast onto the Christian music scene a few years ago with their single "I Can Only Imagine" and they have continued to move us with their amazing musical talent. Undone is their latest CD and it is as good as expected ... actually it is even better! This CD focuses on that period in your life where you let go of yourself and let Christ take over -- you are.. in a sense.. undone. With songs like "Where You Lead Me", "Here With Me", and "Keep Singing", the listener is challenged to stay focused on Christ no matter what their circumstance. If you are trying to hold on to the control in your life, grab this CD and let go! Let Christ take over and watch your plans unravel while His come to perfect fruition.

Book of the Month: The Yada Yada Prayer Group series
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

The Yada Yada Prayer Group series by Neta Jackson

I have discovered the "funnest" set of books -- 2 so far with more to come. They are the Yada Yada Prayer Group books by Neta Jackson. They are so good and fun and yet there is more. These books challenge us... deal with difficult issues like loving the unlovable... forgiving those who hurt us... they challenge us to live as Jesus would have us to live... in other words to walk the walk! The first book - The Yada Yada Prayer Group -- deals with Grace .. God's wonderful merciful grace. The second book -- The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Down -- looks at forgiveness and reconciliation. There are even discussion questions in the back for personal reflection or to use in a book club. I cannot say enough good about them.

Go here to learn more about the first book:
http://www.faithfulreader.com/reviews/1591450748.asp

And here for the second book:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/bookclub/yadayada.html

Idea of the Month: Fasting
Recommended by: Kim Lucas

    "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
    Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
    Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.
    Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
    And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness as the noonday:
    And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
    And they that be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
    If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on the holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
    Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it."
      ~Isaiah 58:6-14


Oh my!! This speaks volumes doesn't it? If we find it a struggle to delight ourselves in the LORD, then we need to pray and humble ourselves through fasting (Isaiah 58:14; Psalm 35:13). And to be called "The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in" .....that is SO needed today! With all the multitudes walking in their own ways and the wickedness in this world... it is because we have turned away from the LORD GOD as a society..... and the answer is GOD's people returning to Him with the whole heart (Psalm 119:1,2) and humbling ourselves before Him.

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." ~II Chronicles 7:14

There's sin in the camp of America and judgement begins at the house of the LORD! ! !

"For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of GOD: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of GOD? And IF THE RIGHTEOUS SCARCELY BE SAVED, WHERE SHALL THE UNGODLY AND THE SINNER APPEAR?" ~I Peter 4:17, 18

Sounds like serious stuff to me! Is it possible that those who call themselves "CHRISTians" could have to suffer with the ungodly when GOD pours out his judgement? It says... "if the righteous scarcely be saved" .....oh my!! The next verse says....

"Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of GOD commit the keeping of their souls to him, in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator."

Here is a site I found today that some may be interested in. :o)
http://www.topical-bible-studies.org/42-index.htm

You can pray without fasting..... but you cannot fast without praying!" (quote from our pastor, Robert Turman)

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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

Unscramble these words pertaining to JUBILEE.

1. ABCEEILNORT
2. GINSING
3. CANDGIN
4. GNISIARP
5. DEEFMOR
6. STER
7. AEFSST
8. CISUM
9. EFHILLOPSW
10. EFFHIITT ERAY

Click here for the answers

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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. Return of his prodigal son

2. Feast of Unleavened Bread,

3. Feast of Harvest

4. Feast of Ingathering

5. Passover

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Answers for JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH:

1. CELEBRATION

2. SINGING

3. DANCING

4. PRAISING

5. FREEDOM

6. REST

7. FEASTS

8. MUSIC

9. FELLOWSHIP

10. FIFTIETH YEAR

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