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

JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #37 -- We Want to See Jesus Lifted High -- January 2006)


Here we are at the beginning of another year! You know, we want to see Jesus lifted high in 2006! If that's what you want, too, read on! :) I'm sure you will like what you see!

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR JANUARY
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
POINTS TO PONDER
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
WE WANT TO SEE JESUS LIFTED HIGH
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

Joyfully we proclaim that we
Adore the most High God every
Night and day and long to lift
Up His name to
All who will listen and
Rejoice with us throughout the new
Year and all time to come!

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

BIRTHDAY GREETING

Happy birthday to all those who were born in January! May The Lord bless you abundantly, and fill you with His Grace, Patience, Wisdom and Love!

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: Gwen Tweedy

How do we thank You Lord for all You have done?
How do we thank You for sending Your only son?
How do we thank You what words would be right?
How do we thank You for Your marvelous light?

How do we thank You for the sun and the rain?
How do we thank You for our pleasure and our pain?
How do we thank You for each step we grow?
How do we thank You and express that we love You so?

How do we thank You for family and friends?
How do we thank You for Joys without end?
How do we thank You when we laugh and cry?
How do we thank You for Your home for us on high?

How do we thank You; oh how to measure Your worth?
How do we thank You for suffering while here on the earth?
I don't know how to thank You for being our King.
So starting right now; I'll just give you me -- and my everything!

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

POINTS TO PONDER
By: Jacqueline Moore

PEOPLE OF CHARACTER

Identifying the different types of character traits, that each of us posses is a necessary process in order for us to improve upon our relationships with others. This is essential if we are to grow into the person that God desires us to become. Our character is who we are. Or you could say "Our character is what makes us who we are" Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines character as the combination of emotional, intellectual, and moral qualities distinguishing one people or group from another. A description of one's attributes traits or abilities. Finally, for the purpose in establishing our position in the body of Christ: character, moral, or ethical strength, character helps to define our own integrity. In other words, integrity is what we uphold and believe as our value system.

Essentially, we could say that the fruit of the spirit; the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness(Galatians 5:22), is our roadmap to exhibiting positive character traits. Some of the positive character traits that a godly person will exhibit are politeness, modesty, quietness, or meekness. They will be industrious, honest, wise, knowledgeable, and can be obedient. They are generous, sincere, merciful, brave, and courageous. They can be frank, grateful, have a sense of humor, and be earnest. A godly person is respectful, devoted and has a gentle spirit. Many might believe that these are signs of weakness but in reality, these are all Christ-like attributes.

As Christian people, we have all heard of the seven deadly sins. They are gluttony, sloth, greed, pride, lust, envy, wrath, and anger. The way we harmfully project ourselves unto others expands upon these seven and leads us in another direction, the negative character traits. How we relate to others as human beings, but even more, how we relate to each other as Christians has a definite impact on our relationships. The list of negative character traits is a bit longer than the positive traits previously listed. I believe that we need to take a closer look at these traits and confront them in order to change them.

We all know people who are vain, manipulative, judgmental, pushy, stubborn, bitter, jealous, haughty, materialistic, lazy, angry, or helpless. Some may be distressed and are waiting for someone to rescue them. Maybe they are deceitful, corrupt, or non-accountable. So often, it is easy for us to see negative behavior in others, but rarely do we see those same harmful traits in ourselves.

When we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we are supposed to change for the better. Too often, many of us tend to cling to the aforementioned behaviors and carry them into our new roles as Christians. We do not see how our old ways may be hindering our relationship with God. We may be preventing others from reaching their goal of salvation.

I have often noted others exhibiting negative behavior towards others right in the middle of God's house. I have seen my sisters and brothers in Christ who claim to be saved, close the door in the face of someone who has come seeking answers in the house of God. I have watched the faces of non-believers as their hearts harden by the treatment of those who loudly profess themselves as saints of God. The possibility exists that we in the body of Christ could lose a brother or a sister to Satan because of the negative actions and attitudes towards those who just wanted to find a friend in Christ but instead were met with discord.

Our character should always be based on the second commandment that was given to us by Jesus. "Love your neighbor as yourself."(Mathew 19:19) In other words, treat others the way you yourself would want to be treated. Our words and actions towards others should always be tempered with our own feelings in mind. Think about how you would feel if someone else was treating you in the same manner that you are treating her/him. Would you be offended if someone spoke the same words back to you? The word of God teaches us that we will be accountable to God one day. We should never hinder others who are trying to take that Christian walk.

Christians have to stop being cold and uncaring. No one has the right to be rude just because someone does not dress like us or act in a manner that you expect. Even when someone may not know the rules of your church, you do not have the right to be crass in your correction. Though others may have treated you wrongly in your past, you do not have the right or the authority to mistreat someone else.

As professed Christians, let us always take a moment and examine how we treat others around us. We are ambassadors for Christ. We must always keep in mind that not everyone may be at the same level in his or her Christian walk. It is our responsibility to reach back and pull someone else forward to where we are, not block his or her path. Remember, God did not save you for you. God saved you for himself.

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

QUOTE OF THE MONTH


Live as though Christ died yesterday, rose from the grave today, and is coming back tomorrow.
--Theodore Epp

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

WE WANT TO SEE JESUS LIFTED HIGH
By: Denise Imbody

I am sure that most of us are familiar with the children's song HIS BANNER OVER ME IS LOVE, and I got to thinking about that song, in trying to think of something to write for this month's issue, and it suddenly became so clear to me. Let's look at a little bit of the song...

Jesus is the Rock of my salvation, His banner over me is love.

Isn't that a truly awesome statement? Don't you just want to hold that banner up as high as you possibly can, for all to see it? I know that when that thought came to me, that is what I decided I wanted to do...hold that banner as high as I possibly could, to show the world how much Jesus loves me, and really all of us. The higher we hold the banners, the easier they will be able to see them.

Then, I got to thinking, you know it is such a beautiful children's song, but is it actually in the Bible anywhere? So, I decided to type in 2 key words on Bible gateway (banner, love), and see what, if anything, would come up. Well, I got 2 results, to my surprise, and I was so excited. I decided to use the first result, and even though it's not the words found up above there, they are words in another verse of the song...

He brought me to His banqueting table, His banner over me is love

...here it is in the Verse
Song of Solomon 2:4;NIV
He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love.

So it is NOT the exact words, but it is the jist, and I thought it was great.

Children songs are some of the most simple songs you will ever find, but they are also some of the most profound, thought provoking songs, you will find, too.

Please join me in desiring to lift those banners high, and hope others will see them, and want a part of it all, too.

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'

With hurricanes, tornado's, flooding, and severe t-storms tearing up the country from one end to another: "Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"
--Jay Leno

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

TESTIMONY TIME

My Testimony: By Miriam Huff

An elderly friend from my church recently told me that the first time she met me (over a year ago), she could tell God really loved me. She said, "His love just surrounded you!" That was such a pleasing and comforting thought - and true! I know that I have what I have, and am what I am, today because of God's grace towards me.

Let's try to make a looonnnnggggg story short. Basically, I grew up in foster homes. Not really, but this is the easiest explanation for people to wrap their minds around. There were a lot of traumatic things that happened and my friends have said I should be strung out on drugs or selling my body or something when they learn what I've faced as a child. I say that God is the reason that I am a "sane" person.

You see, I was born legally blind. God placed me into a Christian home as an elementary student and I was the only handicapped child in the rural county. I became a very independent person and taught myself how to adapt in many ways - once again God's direction. In fact, I now have the attitude that I can do anything that anyone else can do until I prove myself wrong. I don't have a "handicapped mentality" - my lack of vision is "nothing but a thing". Most people don't even know that I have a visual problem until I tell them, because they say I don't "act" blind. Of course, my children are GREAT helps!

My God has great plans for my life that I know I have not finished yet! For example, He saved my life by taking away my opportune time for my plans at ending my life when I was 17 years old and living in an abusive home. I recognized this as God's hand at the time and didn't try again. Then, in 1998, I had a miscarriage at 4 months and lost so much blood that the doctor told me that he was surprised to see me still alive the next morning. He said that a person is on their way out when their numbers drop as fast as mine did. This perked my ears to what God was still needing me around for! I decided he wanted me to take care of these children. I believe I am very correct in this opinion too! Then, a little over 3 years ago, I suddenly became very ill and needed to go to the hospital. I was always very healthy before this ER trip. They discovered I had chronic kidney disease and had already dropped to a function of 21%! What a shock to the family! But, I know/knew that God is/was still in control and He must really have BIG plans for my children since they were having to face so much at such young ages. This gives my boys, who are 13 and 10, comfort when I remind them of what God must have planned for their lives! They have really had to do a lot more chores since I've been sick.

Plus, God has comforted me through a "bad" marriage. I felt His peace last fall when He seemed to say that I could stop trying to keep my marriage together. For the last 10 years, my husband has been interested in other girls and had more than one affair. But, God has blessed me with great churches in every location we've moved - and wise friends and prayer support. I have such a terrific church family now! I am SO blessed! God is so gracious to me!

Now, God is saving me again with this process of the Paired Kidney Exchange Program! It has only been around for a little more than a year - amazingly! My sister, Naomi, will donate her kidney to a man in Cincinnati and his son will donate his kidney to me! The operation is scheduled for January 31st! As of November, my current kidney function was down to 11% - needing dialysis. But the doctors decided not to start it since I was going to surgery soon.

So....I have been meeting with newspaper reporters because I want to raise funds for my sister since she has to be off of work for 6 weeks after the surgery and she is just a realtor. No work, no income in that business. I figured that was the least I could do for her since she was doing so much for me. Anyway, a reporter asked me last week, about all of the challenges I've faced and am facing.....I just told him that "yeah, there is a lot of bad things happening BUT there are a lot of good things happening too!" You have to look at the "silver lining" of each subject in life. I recently had a friend at church tell everyone in the choir that I was "Hebrews 11 personified". I thought that was a pretty good compliment and it made me realize that much more how much God truly loves me and has His hand wrapped around me! I feel very secure in His love and would love to learn how to tell others about His amazing love and protection in my life.

Yes, there have been (and continue to be) some rough spots in my life, BUT there is so much GOOD because I know that I can rest in God's care and peace!

***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.***



--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.

John 8
28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Janice Alspach

Orange Salad

1 pkg Orange jell-o(I have used sugar-free)
1 container Cool-Whip(I buy IGA Lite)
1 small can of Mandarin Oranges(drained)

Just mix all together!

Lime Salad

1 pkg Lime Jell-O
1 sm container of cottage cheese
1 sm can of pineapple

Make Jell-o as directed (use the drained pineapple juice for some of the liquid)
Let it start to set and mix in the cottage cheese and pineapple.
You can even top this with nuts if you like.

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

2 Tips for Measuring when cooking:

If you are measuring dry and wet ingredients with the same measure... like a Tablespoon of oil and a Tablespoon of Sugar... measure the dry ingredient first and then the wet. This allows you to use the same measuring spoon for both without the need to wash in-between.

And for measuring sticky things.. like honey... rinse the inside of the spoon or cup with water first and then fill with the sticky substance. The water will help it all slide out instead of leaving lots behind!

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: Denise Imbody

Banners Lifting Jesus High

Materials Needed:
Long sheets of paper (or maybe poster boards glued together)
Pencils, Markers, Crayons, Paints Stickers, Pictures cut from old magazines, whatever else you can think of
Your imagination

What to do:
Create a banner, lifting Jesus high. You could say anything you like, for example...

WE WANT TO SEE JESUS LIFTED HIGH

JESUS IS LORD OF ALL

JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GOD

I'M NOT ASHAMED TO ADMIT JESUS IS LORD OF ALL

I LOVE JESUS! YES I DO!

...or come up with your own saying.

Can't think of anything creative to say on your own...don't worry...just look up a favorite Bible Verse, and put it on your banner.

Even if you have created your own saying, you can add Scripture, if you like.

If you have written it out in open letters (like bubble letters or block letters), color each letter a bright color, or color it by word, or however you'd like to do it...just as long as it draws attention to your saying.

Draw pictures, or place stickers, and pictures you've cut out of old magazines, or whatever you can find to decorate with, and let your imagination help you out...the possibilities are endless! ‹

Let's raise those banners LIFTING JESUS HIGH for all to see...just hang it in a prominent place in your home! ‹

***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: Denise Imbody

Ever get so tired and worn down that you just want to wave that white flag of surrender? I am sure we have all been there at one time or another.

Sometimes, in our family, we kid around and say we are resigning, or that our resignation will be on the desk in the morning. As silly as that might sound, I am all sure we have felt that as much as it can be fun to kid around, we all feel like "if you only know how serious I am right now"...and I am sure we are that way with our walk with the Lord at times too.

It's not even really that we don't want to "serve Him", or "want to walk with Him", or anything like that, it's just that we are so tired, and feeling so beat down, and are tired of being in the valley.

Things are so much better when we are on the mountaintop. We are so ready to hold those banners high, and proclaim how great our Lord is, but when we are in the valley we are just tired and can't see a thing because the mountain looks so high.

I know that I have been feeling very discouraged lately along with several others, and I think it is time for us to press in, and draw closer to Him, rather than pull away. I guess what I am trying to say, is that instead of going into a shell and hiding away, which is something I tend to do, is that maybe, just maybe, if we stand firm, hold those banners high, encourage each other, pray, read God's word, and focus on Him instead of ourselves and our situations, we will be on those mountaintops more? Maybe we won't, but it will sure help us, when we're in those valleys, to get out of them faster.

So, let's wave those banners holding Jesus in the most high honor, and put away those white flags of surrendering in defeat.

--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.

Let's Lift ourselves with the Word. Fill in the blanks in the following verses (there is a blank per letter for each missing word):

1. "When these things begin to take place, _ _ _ _ _ up and _ _ _ _ up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." (found in Luke 21)

2. "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the _ _ _ of _ _ _ must be lifted up" (found in John 3)

3. "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will _ _ _ _ all men to _ _ _ _ _ _." (found in John 12)

4. "_ _ _ _ _ _ yourselves before the Lord, and _ _ will lift you up." (found in James 4)

5. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's _ _ _ _ _ hand, that He may lift you up in _ _ _ time." (found in 1 Peter 5)

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.

Movie of the Month: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Playing in Theaters now... Rated PG
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

C. S. Lewis' series The Chronicles of Narnia are some of the best books a child can read.. or have read to them. Lewis' imagination soars like a child's, knowing no bounds and wrapped in his fantasy are age old truths of mercy, grace and love. Being Narnia fans, our family was excited and nervous about The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe being made into a movie. Would they stay true to the book? Would they make changes? The answer to both of those questions is yes. There are changes.... even an additional scene at the beginning, but the movie is also true to the book and to the message that C. S. Lewis tells in his works. This is a beautifully done film that entertains and warms the heart. .. Very much a family film. The PG rating is not for language or sex.. you will find none of that here. There are some intense scenes that could be too much for young children. That is a decision that needs to be made individually. A great deal depends on whether your child knows the story of Narnia or not. I encourage you to take the time and the money to see this movie in theaters if possible. I believe we need to support any film that is family worthy... in the hopes that Hollywood will listen and make more. And if the theater is too high an expense, then please watch for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to be released on DVD and rent it.. or buy it.. it will be a treasure for your family.

Book of the Month: Thorn in My Heart, Fair is the Rose, and Whence Came a Prince
Recommended by: Kristina

Thorn in My Heart, Fair is the Rose, and Whence Came a Prince, is a three book series by Liz Curtis Higgs. This story follows the McBride sisters, Leana and Rose, and their love for their cousin, Jamie McKie. What follows is a tale of love, betrayal, faith, and ultimately healing.

This story is set in the late 1700's in Scotland, and is based on the biblical account of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel. The first book, Thorn in My Heart, begins with a mother seeking the advice of a midwife before giving birth to her only children, twin boys, named Evan and Jamie. When the boys are grown, this mother helps her younger son deceive his father, thereby stealing his older brother's blessing and inheritance (as in the story of Isaac, Jacob, and Esau). Jamie, after being threatened by his angry brother, is sent to stay with his mother's brother and his two daughters, to quickly find a wife and produce an heir.

Leana, the oldest daughter of Lachlan McBride, is fair and kind hearted, but is also a plain woman. Rose, on the other hand, is both beautiful and bonny, but much too young and immature for marriage and motherhood. Jamie, however, falls head over heels for young Rose from the first moment he sees her. Leana is crushed, as she is both older and wiser than her sister, and she is truly in love with Mr. Jamie McKie. When Leana believes that her sister does not love Jamie, she is willing to believe (and do) whatever her father tells her, however wrong it may be, not aware of how life altering her decision will be.

I was amazed at how well Liz Curtis Higgs was able to stay true to the biblical story, even while taking the story thousands of years and miles away from the setting of the biblical account. My heart went out to both sisters in this story, but Leana especially. To believe that you are completely unloved and unwanted is a tragic thing, and helps the reader understand why Leana chose to do some of the things she did. The setting in this book is beautiful, as is the many historical tidbits Ms. Higgs throws out along the way. If you are looking for a story that will move you to tears and help you appreciate better the true story of Leah and Rachel, then I highly suggest this series. I would recommend these books for older teens and adults, as some of the storyline may not be appropriate for young teens.

Website of the Month: JEM Ministries
Recommended by: Denise Imbody

I am sure that most of you, if not all, know about JEM's website, but just in case there are some who do not know about it, I thought it might be good to review it.

For those who do not know what JEM means, it means Jesus Every Minute. The Lord had Matt and I start this ministry back in 2001, beginning with our chat list (which is still around), and growing it from there.

There are several different things to check out on it, and there is even a shout box, if you'd like to say "HEY" or something.

Last I knew the shout box was down, but I know Matt will have it back up and running as soon as he can.

Please check out the site, and visit often, as we do update it as much as possible.

http://www.JEMMinistries.org

--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! ‹

Unscramble these winter words, then take the first letter from each word, to create the mystery phrase.

GLNO GHINST

CCEIIL

EEFGINRZ EMPST

BGINTU

ACJK FORST

AER FFMSU

AMNNOSW

CDEENORUV EERTS

EGHILNOSV

AHST

CEI MORSST

DGNORU GHO ADY

TOH ACCOO

CCEEILRT AEEHRST

AELLRY CDLO ADSY

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. "When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." Luke 21:28 NIV

2. "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up" John 3:14 NIV

3. "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." John 12:32 NIV

4. "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up." James 4:10 NIV

5. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time." 1 Peter 5:6 NIV

--Back to BIBLE QUIZ--

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--





























Answers for JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH:

LONG NIGHTS

ICICLE

FREEZING TEMPS

TUBING

JACK FROST

EAR MUFFS

SNOWMAN

UNCOVERED TREES

SHOVELING

HATS

ICE STORMS

GROUND HOG DAY

HOT COCOA

ELECTRIC HEATERS

REALLY COLD DAYS


MYSTERY PHRASE: LIFT JESUS HIGHER

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

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--