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JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #7-- July 2003)


We’ve hit the half-way mark! It’s July, and 2003 is half gone! Welcome to the July issue of Precious Stones!

Freedom is the subject this month... Freedom in Christ... Freedom from sin... but the price of freedom is sometimes high! Jesus gave his life to attain our freedom! What then shall we do? We are free, and the Great Commission gives us clear instructions – to share that freedom with others!

Jesus has authorized normal down to earth people to be the ambassadors of this freedom, and, although we don’t have the “worldly” credentials of, “counselor” or, “Psychiatrist”, we have something better! The Holy Spirit of God! He is the one who leads us into all truth – into freedom in Christ! “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR JULY
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
POINTS TO PONDER
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
FREEDOM
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 JULY
By: Denise Imbody

Jesus came and died
Upon that cross to
Lift the curse of sin and bondage for
You and me and all who believe in Him

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BIRTHDAY GREETING

Happy birthday to all July babies -- no matter how old you might be! May The Lord bless you with wisdom, and may He draw you ever closer to Him!

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INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: Denise Imbody

One of the several meanings for jubilee is...

A season or an occasion of joyful celebration.

It's time for us to celebrate the fact that we still live in a free country. We can go to church, and not feel like we are going to be imprisoned, or killed for doing so.

It's time to celebrate the fact that we are free from the bondage of sin, and the curse of death, and the grave. Jubilee--it is just such a fun word to say, and doesn't it make you want to celebrate?

But before we get started with our celebration, let's take a minute to pray for our President, and our country.

Heavenly Father,
Please be with our President as he openly confesses that he leans on You. Lead and guide him in each decision he finds himself having to face--no matter how big or small a decision--just help him always seek You for all things. Be with our country, and help us to turn back to You, as a Nation--You are what we were founded on, and we need to get back to our Foundation. Help us to shine Your Light into the places where the darkness has crept in so much that some are blinded to Your truth. Just be with us now, as we begin a jubilee in the fact that we are free from sin and death, if we believe and trust in You, in Jesus' name, amen.

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POINTS TO PONDER
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.

What is a Day?

"And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made." Genesis 2:2

I feel safe in assuming that everyone here knows the story of Creation -- how Almighty God spoke the world and all the plants and animals, moon and star, planets, sun.... into being and how He formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed life into His nostrils -- all over the course of six days and on the seventh day He rested.

So God created the world in one week -- seven days.

But how long were each of those days? After all, God doesn't measure time as we do -- does He?

2 Peter 3:8 says "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." So maybe it was 7000 of our years that equaled those 7 days of creation. Sure ... that's it! Makes a lot more sense that way. We can even explain it scientifically now -- even work it so that the theory of evolution fits. Everyone is happy!

But wait -- in Genesis 1:5 is says "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day." That doesn't sound like 1000 years to me? It sounds like an actual 24 hours. And we see that phrase "And the evening and the morning were the ___ day" in Genesis one for each of the 6 days of creations.

But how do we make sense of that being a 24 hour day and the verse from 2 Peter. Doesn't it say that to God one day is a 1000 years? No -- it actually says "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years."

That little "as" is important. It is "hos" in the Greek and means as if, like, as it were. I believe the point of this verse is that God is timeless. He doesn't exist under the constraints of time that we use in our life. He is now and always has been and always will be. God created this sense of time for man when He created the world. I beleive that He did this because He knew what was to come. God knew that Adam and Eve, and ultimately all mankind, would not exist eternally on earth in these earthly bodies. He knew sin would enter the world and change all that. And He knew that man would need some way to measure and number his days. We just are not made to think and feel eternally. We need a start and a finish.

I also believe that when we are with Him (in 2 Peter 3:8 that word with is the Greek word "para" and means beside, in the vicinity of) we will feel no sense of time. You can get a taste of that now -- just wholly enter into His presence in praise and worship -- totally surrendering ever bit of you. You will completely lose track of time.

So while God is timeless, the world He created is not and He did create it in 7 days -- literal days -- a morning and an evening day. Sound impossible? Not really - after all "With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible" Matthew 19:26.

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QUOTE OF THE MONTH


"If our liberty in Christ is going to be a reality in life, we are going to have to learn to walk in the freedom of Christ, independent of everyone else we know." -- Beth Moore, from her book Breaking Free: Making Liberty in Christ a Reality in Life

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FREEDOM
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

"Freedom, people cry for freedom
But freedom without Jesus is just another wall.
Freedom, give the people freedom
Give the people Jesus or they've got nothing at all."
from the song "Freedom" by Wayne Watson

There is a great deal written and spoken today concerning personal bondage and the need to be free. This bondage can be in many forms -- bondage from an addiction such as alcoholism, drug abuse or overeating ..... bondage from things in your past such as the loss of a loved one, an abusive parent or a difficult childhood ..... bondage from generational strongholds such as child abuse, anxiety, or anger ..... bondage can even occur from the everyday things of life such as financial pressures, stress at work and marital strife..... the list goes on and on.

Everyone longs to be free from something and there are many places to seek the answers -- books, counselors, programs, audio series .... again the list goes on and on.

But there is only one place to find true and lasting freedom and that is in Christ.

"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:36

Jesus came to set us free from the greatest bondage of all -- sin. There is no one who has ever lived on this earth, except Christ, who does not have the bondage of sin in their life. We are born with it. Without the freedom we receive when we accept Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, one can never be truly free from all the other bondage in the world.

Yes, you may go through a treatment or 12 step program, you may receive counseling -- there is value in those programs and you may find a way to break free from your particular bondage, but that freedom is a false and temporary one ... it will not last.... your bondage may not return in the same form, but it will return because it has really never left.

Does that mean salvation is the cure all? A lost alcoholic is saved and presto no longer craves a drink? While it certainly could happen that way, afterall nothing is impossible with God, salvation does not mean that all the troubles of the world disappear. But when a lost person finds Christ, he or she is empowered with the Holy Spirit and has the means to find true complete freedom.

"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty* to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound" Isaiah 61:1

*note that liberty means freedom

Most bondage is based on lies .... "I can't make it without that drink" ..... "I can't control my anger, it's just the way I am" ..... "My wife doesn't understand me or care about me, I deserve to be with someone who does" ..... "I'm just looking at a magazine, it's no big deal, it's not like I'm doing anything!" .... yet again, the list goes on and on.

The master deceiver loves bondage and he will say whatever it takes to keep you there. Only when you invite the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life into your heart can you battle those lies. The Word, which is all Truth and Light, dispels the lies and darkness Satan sends your way.

What about Christians who are in bondage? There are many who live in bondage when they don't have to. Again, Satan has convinced them that there is no way to break free of the hold their bondage has on them. They are allowing this in their lives because they don't realize they have the power to be free. Most likely they are not in the Word, soaking in the Truth. Doubt and unbelief also interfere with a Christian's ability to be free. Again, time in the Word and prayer is the answer.... often much time. You need to learn to replace the lies Satan has put in your mind with the Truth found in the Word of God.

Remember Philippians 4:13 says "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" -- that little word "all" includes breaking free of whatever bondage you are battling. You can do it, but only through Christ.

"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, 'If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'" John 8:31 - 32

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A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'

Forbidden fruits create many jams.
--Author Unknown

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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.

Galatians 5:13

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage .... For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another"

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Stephanie Hurd

Broccoli cheese casserole

Ingredients:
1 cup mayonnaise
2 eggs
1 large package shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can cream of celery soup
2 packages of frozen broccoli flowerets only; or cut flowerets only from fresh broccoli.
Ritz crackers

Mix together all ingredients except crackers. Place in a casserole dish. (I use a rectangular glass type pan)

Bake in a 350 oven for about 35 minutes. Add crushed Ritz crackers generously on top. Bake for about 15 minutes more.

Eat and enjoy.

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QUICK TIP OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Grilling Tips

Summer time is here and that means time for grilling!

Make up a batch or two of hamburger patties and wrap them individually in plastic wrap. Toss into a large freezer ziplock. When ready to grill, take out the number of patties you want.

For chicken, steak, pork etc. Place the meat in a ziplock with your marinade of choice. Remove as much air as you can and then seal up the bag. Toss overnight in the refrigerator and then grill the next day OR place meat in the freezer. The day before you want to grill it, just take it out of the freezer, place in the refrigerator and let thaw overnight.

An easy way to prevent food from sticking to your grill is to apply vegetable oil to the grate or coat it with a nonstick cooking spray before you begin grilling.

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CRAFT OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

"Let's Have a Parade"

For several years our neighborhood held a Fourth of July Parade. Adults and lots of children would get together at the entrance to the neighborhood and parade throughout the neighborhood. We even had a police officer escort us and blow sirens for a few years. It was great fun!

Why not try this with your neighborhood or maybe just your family or a few families. Let everyone dress up in red, white and blue. One year we bought white T-shirts for our kids and sponge painted red stripes and blue stars on them. Decorate their bikes, trikes, wagons, strollers, or scooter with streamers, signs and flags. Adults can carry flags or signs also.

One year we made windsocks to fly behind the kids bikes and at home. Just take a poster board and cut a strip about 12 inches long and 6 inches wide. Decorate with stickers, paint, glitter... whatever way you want. Then staple crepe paper streamers to the unpainted side so that they hang down. Fold the poster board into a circle and connect the two ends. Add a string at the top and there you have it!

And don't forget face painting! You can make your own with some white cold cream and tempera paints. Very easy to wash off. We ended our parade at a designated yard where there were fun refreshments for all!

The Fourth is a time to celebrate. So joy in and have a blast with your friends and families!

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

In this issue we are discussing our freedom in Christ--isn't that a great thought? I have a question for you though--does this mean that since we have liberty in Jesus, that we can do whatever we like, whenever we like? NO! Of course not! What does His word say? Let's take a look at a few passages of Scripture...

Philippians 4
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

1 Thessalonians 5
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19 Quench not the Spirit.
20 Despise not prophesyings.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Does that sound like--oh, we are saved now--we can go do whatever we desire? No, we need to keep focused on the things that God's word tells us--justlike in the above passages, just for a couple of examples.

Does that mean that the Lord is going to make us do what is right? No, of course not! He gave us a free will, and therefore will not force us to do anything. He wants us to love Him freely. He gave us a set of rules, a beautiful book--a Love Letter--the Bible--to help us along the way, if we choose to freely serve Him--but He will NEVER make us, no--isn't that awesome, that He loves us like that?!

So, yes, by all means, know that we are free in Christ, but that freedom is the freedom from sin, and the curse thereof. He came and humbled Himself to take on flesh, die, and rise again, so that those of us who believe in Him can be free from the curse of sin, and live with Him in Heaven for eternity.

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

All answers are found in the book of 2 Kings. For some of the questions, I have added the chapter ... to make it a tad easier for you! Ü

1. When is the first time we see the prophet Isaiah in the Bible?

2. What was found in the temple of the Lord when King Josiah was renovating it? (chp. 22)

3. What country took Israel captive under the reign of King Hoshea? (chp. 17)

4. Who was the King of Babylon when his country took Judah captive the first time? (chp. 29)

5. Who killed King Josiah? (chp. 23)


ANSWERS FOR JUNE'S QUIZ

1. What does Abraham mean? (Genesis 17:4-6)
father of many nations

2. Who was Joseph's, husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus, father? (Matthew 1:16)
Jacob

3. What happened to David and Bathsheba's first son? (2 Samuel 12:13-18)
He got sick and died.

4. Which one of Noah's sons did NOT cover up their father's nakedness, and went and told his brothers about it? (Genesis 9:20-23)
Ham

5. James and John, also known as the sons of thunder, are the sons of whom? (Mark 3:17)
Zebedee


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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.

Book of the Month: Daily in Christ: a Devotional
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Daily in Christ: a Devotional by Neil T. Anderson with Joanne Anderson

Neil Anderson is the president of Freedom in Christ Ministries and has authored many well known books such as The Bondage Breaker, Victory Over Darkness and Freedom From Fear.

Daily in Christ is a wonderful devotional for any Christian. It encourages the reader each day to walk in the reality of Christ .... to be more than conquerors... to live the victory that is ours. This book will encourage, motivate and challenge you. Like many devotionals, each day's reading consist of scripture, a thought and a prayer. It will take a matter of a few minutes each day to read and yet those few minutes help you get your focus where it belongs... on Christ!

I have read many devotionals over the years and have 3 or 4 favorites that I return to regularly. Daily in Christ is one of those. If you want to stay focused on Jesus and live in victory, then I strongly suggest you add this devotional to your daily time of Bible reading and prayer.

Website Of The Month: CrossWire Bible Society
Recommended by: Matthew Imbody

http://www.crosswire.org

Freedom is the buzzword – and free is what God’s word should be! One of my biggest pet peeves is the copyrighting of God’s word – but you don’t have to worry about that here!

This software is free. Totally free! And it you can download and use it on a number of operating systems. They have a program for Mac, one for Windows, a Unix version, and even a version for a few hand-helds! There are several options – including multiple versions and translation, commentaries, and daily devotions, to name a few.

Check it out! God’s word should be free – and, at Crosswire, it is!

CD of the Month: Songs & Songs 2
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Songs & Songs 2 by Rich Mullins

These are actually 2 separate CDs, but you will not want one without the other. Mullins released Songs in 1996 and Songs 2 was released in 1999 after Mullins' eath in 1997. These are essentially "greatest hits" compilations. They do not include every song Mullins wrote and recorded, but these 2 CDs contain he ones everyone knows and loves....

"Sing Your Praise to the Lord"
" Screen Door"
"Awesome God"
"Verge of a Miracle"
"Hold Me Jesus"
"Step by Step"
"Here in America"
"Ready for the Storm"
and many more!

These works of arts are written from deep within the soul of one of the greatest songwriters God every created and inspired. Mullins is so real ... so like you and me. He is not a lofty theologian with all the answers, but a sinner saved still asking questions and praising God all the way! His music is thought provoking and brings the listener into a state of praise and worship before the Lord. If you are a diehard Mullins' fan, you cannot live without these CDs! OK, you can live without them, but you really don't want to! Ü If you are not a diehard Mullins' fan, you will be after listening to these CDs! Both are available at local Christian bookstores and I have even seen them in Walmart! You can also find them online at:

http://www.christianbooks.com

and at

http://www.buy.com

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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 Answers will be in next month's issue.

Find the missing word from the following verses. Then figure out the secret phrase by replacing the numbers with the letters from the different words you found.

For Example--if you find the word HELPER as the missing word, and I had it like this in the verse--1 2 3 4 5 6, and the first letter of the first word in the mystery phrase is 6, then you would put an r as the first letter...and so on like that--but you'll need to pay attention, because the #6 in another word, might not be "r".

(HINT: There are 2 words in the mystery phrase)

Romans 8
1 There is therefore now no 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and 1 2 3 4 5.

1 Corinthians 7
22 For he that is 1 2 3 4 5 6 in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's 1 2 3 4 5 6 7.

Galatians 3
22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that 1 2 3 4 5 6 7.
23 But before faith came, we were kept 1 2 3 4 5 the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8.
24 Wherefore the law was our 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But 1 2 3 4 5 that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26 For ye are all the children of God by 1 2 3 4 5 in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 5:1
Stand fast therefore in the 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Colossians 3
1 If ye then be 1 2 3 4 5 with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one 1 2 3 4; and be ye thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual 1 2 3 4 5, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by 1 2 3.

Mystery Phrase:
1 2 4 2 1 5 5 9 4 1 5 4 4 3 2 3


ANSWERS FOR JUNE'S PUZZLER

HKWMA LG VZGW -- Bread of Life
VZJZQR OMDWK -- Living Water
VZRBD LG DBW OLKVA -- Light of the World
DBW HKZAWRKLLC -- The Bridegroom
DBW DKYW JZQW -- The True Vine
DBW RLLA XBWEBWKA -- The Good Shepherd
DBW OMU, DBW DKYDB, MQA DBW VZGW -- The Way, the Truth and the Life

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