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JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #49 -- COMING BACK -- July 2007)


We're back! Did you miss us?

It is our heartfelt prayer that this issue of Precious Stones finds you and yours well. Six months is a long time to be silent, but God has again opened our mouths and inspired our minds to bless you with these simple words and thoughts.

We also have a few new sections, including a Comic Strip that is user friendly with JAWS and other speech software, so check them out! :)

May The Lord refresh and strengthen you through all that is held within these few pages, Amen!

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR JULY
WORD REFLECTION
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
COMIC STRIP
WORD IN ACTION
COMING BACK
THINK ABOUT IT!
CHALLENGE OF THE MONTH
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
QUICK TIP OF THE MONTH
CRAFT OF THE MONTH
SKIPPING STONES
TIME OUT!
BIBLE QUIZ
CHECK IT OUT!
JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH



ACROSTIC FOR JULY
By: Denise Imbody

Just a little break and we
Unite again to share our heart and
Love with you through
Yashua our Savior and Lord!

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WORD REFLECTION By: Barbara Lea Campbell

In this section of the e-zine, we want to take a bit of scripture and dig deeper. We will look at it in light of other verses, look at the original meaning of the Hebrew or Greek words, or even look at the cultural significance. It is our goal to gain deeper understanding and application of the Word.


Recently our pastor preached a wonderful sermon on Revelation 2:10 "Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life."

We learned a great deal about faithfulness and things we must do, how we must live, in order to be faithful to the end.

And then we saw in the Word that there was a reward for us, a "prize" as it were for our faithfulness.

"I will give you the crown of life." Rev. 2:10

The Greek word used here for crown is Stefanos. (The name Stephen comes from this word.) This crown is a victor's crown. . It shows a mark of royalty or exalted rank. It is not a rank to which we are born, but one that comes as a result of our being victorious. This is the crown we will receive one day in Heaven. The crown we will lay at the feet of Jesus. It is also the Greek word used when the gospels talk of the crown of thorns placed on Jesus' head at His crucifixion.

I am a bit awed to think that His victor's crown drew blood, cause pain and yet ours will be a crown of life.

Are your remaining faithful? There's no doubt the devil is causing many to suffer today, but hold firm.. stand true.. do not be afraid.. for your Deliverer is coming and in His hand He has a gift for you, a precious crown of victory.

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BIRTHDAY GREETING

A blessed and happy birthday to all the July babies in our midst! May His lovingkindness fill your hearts and lives with grace, mercy, hope, and love! Happy Birthday!

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INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

When we think about the phrase Come Back in connection with believers, we think of the prodigal who has physically wandered away from the Lord and needs to return. There are certainly prodigals and they most definitely need to return... and the wonderful thing is the Father is waiting with arms open wide to receive them. But there are others of us that need to Come Back in a different way.

For many we are physically there. We go to church, we attend Bible study, we read our Bible regularly, etc. but we are just playing at it... going through the motions. We need to heed Jesus' words to the church at Ephesus and return to our first love.

Matt Redman talked of this very thing in his song, Heart of Worship. "I'm coming back to the heart of worship and it's all about You, it's all about You, Jesus." We need to look at our hearts.. at our motives.. and we need to make sure they are pure. We need to come back to Jesus... to keep Him in the center of our lives.

So often we do everything in our own strength and the things we do are good, but if they are not done out of a heart filled with love for Jesus and out of obedience to Him, then they are not worthy. They are nothing to Him but filthy rags.

I challenge each one reading this to spend time in prayer about this. Ask the Lord to show you your heart motives. What do you do out of a heart for Him? Listen to Him. Follow His lead and let Him turn your heart fully back to Jesus.

It's time to bring your heart home... and just like that prodigal who physically left, the Father is standing there with open arms waiting for you to come back.

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COMIC STRIP
By: Matthew Imbody

Note: These Comic Strips are specially designed to work with JAWS and other speech software. With Graphics turned on, JAWS should read a description of the comic. If you have any trouble with it, or you would like to comment or give feedback, please feel free to write us at Precious_Stones@JEMMinistries.org.

Two Angels float in space, the earth between them.  One says, ''Is He really going back?''  The other replies, ''He said He is, so He IS!''  The first angel ponders, ''After all they did...  All they have done...''  Then he says, ''He must really love them.''  ''Yup!'' replies the second angel...


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WORD IN ACTION
By: Matthew Imbody

It is my personal belief that Christ’s return is imminent – that means that he could return at any second. I also believe that this imminence is talked about and backed up by a host of Scriptures. Following this thread logically, it would seem that Christ’s return, if imminent as Scripture states, must of necessity be Pre Trib, or before the tribulation. Now, I know that there are many who would dispute this, and I’m not going to try to convince them all that my beliefs are right – the calling that God has put upon my life is to minister to His people outside of the boundaries of denomination, belief, and, at times, even doctrine – so I’d like to use this information about my beliefs as a jumping off point to discuss the things we all have in common...

It’s interesting to note that the book of Revelation begins with three warnings about Christ coming quickly. The first warning concerns forgetting our First love, namely, Christ. He says that He will come quickly, "and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent" (Revelation 2;5) The second warning concerns false doctrine and idol worship. The Lord says that he will come quickly, "and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth."(Revelation 2:16. The final warning admonishes us to, "hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown."

Revelation closes with three promises related to His coming. Lets look at them for a moment and see if there’s any correlation to those at the beginning...

Revelation 22:7
Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

The third warning could be wrapped up into this first promise. Holding fast to what we have learned is comparable to keeping His sayings contained here in Revelation. God is saying we need faith based on the truth that He reveals – and, of course that Truth is imparted through Scripture by the revelation of the Holy Ghost.

Revelation 22:12
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

The second warning talks about false doctrine and idol worship. The second blessing talks about a reward for every man according to his works. Where are our hands? Are they on God’s things or satan’s? Are they busily working for the kingdom, or for our own selfish, self-satisfying, worldly desires? Are we worshiping God, or mammon?

Revelation 22:20
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Finally we come to the last blessing that harkens back to the first warning – wrapping Revelation up into a nice neat package –.God had warned that if we forget our first love, He would remove our candlestick from his place – and now, without saying anything but "surely I come quickly" He is saying that our light – our Savior is coming to take His place as the Light of the World! What a glorious day that will be – when our Candlestick finally takes His rightful throne and rules this world with the light of truth and warmth of mercy! Even so, come Lord Jesus!

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COMING BACK
By: Matthew Imbody

Revelation 2:2-5
I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

In this portion of Scripture, Jesus is talking to the Church of Ephesus. At first glance, it seems like these people have a lot to be proud of. They are hard workers and full of discernment. They have endured hardship in the name of Christ, without giving up, and have no tolerance for wickedness – a lot of great attributes, but what was it that Paul said? Without love – perfect love, everything else is worthless!

Psalms 127:1
Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

It’s not good enough to go through the motions of being a Christian. It’s not even good enough to have the act down so well that you really "look" like one! I don’t think the Ephesians were even being disingenuous with their many acts of worship and service, but God, Himself knew they were doing all their great and wonderful deeds for the wrong reason. He knew they had forgotten Him – and that all they were trying to accomplish was worthless because He wasn’t allowed to be in it anymore.

They needed to get back to their first love!

Can you remember what it was like when you first got saved? Can you remember that excitement about a new life that was just beginning? Can you feel that urgency? That feeling that there wasn’t much time left – and that God was coming soon for His people? Are you there today? So many of us have lost our first love, just as the Ephesians had – and as history plays out, the Church at Ephesus disappears from it’s pages... Sadly, good deeds – even great deeds – won’t make the cut when we stand before Jesus and He separates the sheep from the goats. As we stand there on his left or on His right, everything will hinge on one thing – who is our love? Who have we followed and worshiped all our lives? Who have we put our faith in? Nothing else will matter. It’s Jesus or nothing...

Have you wandered away from your first love? Don’t just say a quick, adamant "NO!" Please take some time to search your heart and examine your life. The Ephesians probably wouldn’t have known that they had wandered off the path if God hadn’t told them, and neither will you! Take time to listen to what He has to say to His Church – and what He has to say to you as a member of His body – and then, if He shows you that you have strayed even slightly from your first love, and from His fold, come back! Come back to the one who loves you so much that he gave up everything for you! Come back to His open arms, and to the things you did at first! Then, your lampstand will never be removed, and His light will brighten your life and the lives around you for all of your days!

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THINK ABOUT IT!

"I'm coming back to the heart of worship, and it's all about You...it's all about You, Jesus."
--Matt Redman

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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.

John 1
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Denise Imbody and Barbara Lea Campbell

Quick and easy ice pops...no actual "recipe" just quick and easy and lots of fun!

Just take your favorite juice, kool-aid, etc, and pour into an ice cube tray. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the tray, and poke a tooth pick into each individual cube. Place in the freezer until completely frozen. Remove the plastic wrap, and enjoy the pops!

SIDE NOTE from Barb: Katherine does this with kool-aid and ice cubes, but she puts them in a glass and pours another drink over them.. usually something like ginger ale or sprite. You don't want a strong tasting drink. Let the cubes melt just a bit and you get a really neat taste! My crew is having fun trying different combos.

Thanks Barb for the added great idea! :)

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

Use a dry cotton ball to pick up little broken pieces of glass - the fibers catch ones you can't see!

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

I did a search for crafts for the Fourth of July, and came across this site, that has lots of great craft ideas...and since I couldn't just choose one, thought I'd just share the link to where you can find several ideas for this holiday...

http://www.kidsdomain.com/craft/_4th.html

...have fun!!!

***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: Jan Dobens

Do you ever doubt? Do you ever complain? Do you ever worry? Do you ever wonder what you need to be doing with your life? Do you ever think you are lacking things? Here is the biggest question, do you think you are nothing or have nothing to offer the Lord? While I write this, I am speaking to myself more then anyone who is reading this but I pray you are blessed in what the Lord has shown me in these scriptures.

Psalm 21 (ASV)
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

1 The king shall joy in thy strength, O Jehovah; And in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!

David is not looking at himself. He is leaning on his Maker and rejoicing in Him! For me, I need to stop looking at Jan because when I became a Christian, I died so people would not see me any more, but my King.

2 Thou hast given him his heart's desire, And hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah

What a wonderful thing! I do not have to know all the answers for my life, if I trust the Lord, He will give me the desires of my heart. I need not to put my God in a box and say, "I can only do these things for you because they are my only skills."

3 For thou meetest him with the blessings of goodness: Thou settest a crown of fine gold on his head.

I am so famous for complaining!" I need to stop it and count my blessings. I need to look at even the smallest things I am blessed by.

4 He asked life of thee, thou gavest it him, Even length of days for ever and ever.

I have such a hard time with this because all I can think is, " why in the world would I want long life?" How selfish can I get? If I need to be on this earth longer to be used to save another soul, then it will be worth it.

5 His glory is great in thy salvation: Honor and majesty dost thou lay upon him.

This puts me in awe! When people look at Jan, they will not see me but God's beauty and glory. How amazing that I do not have to worry about being beautiful for the Lord, if I lean on Him and walk in Him, He Himself will shine.

6 For thou makest him most blessed for ever: Thou makest him glad with joy in thy presence.

If we have all these other things in our lives, we will be blessed and joyful because Jesus is working in and through us. Few, what a relief!

7 For the king trusteth in Jehovah; And through the lovingkindness of the Most High he shall not be moved.

David trusted the Lord. If we trust Him, and lean on Him, nothing can move us from our relationship with Him. Right there folks, it is a promise!

Thank you Jesus that Jan has nothing to do with who you are, what you provide, and she died when I allowed you to be Lord of my life. Jesus, I know for myself, satan tries so hard to get me turned around so that I will not walk in You. I do not want to be an enabled Christian any more. Why in the world would anyone want Jesus if we are not following You, resting in you, trusting in You, and allowing You to be in control? Start with me Jesus that I would be that example.

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TIME OUT!
By: Denise Imbody

Red Light, Green Light, Yellow Light?

Well, we all know that Red Light means STOP, right? I mean, that is a point that just can NOT be debated. The same with the Green Light--we all know that means GO--again, we don't have to debate that, right? How about YELLOW Light--what does Yellow Light mean? Depending on who you ask, the answer might vary, even though there is a definitive answer for Yellow Light as well. You might hear some say that it means to speed up so you won't have to STOP at that Red Light. Sadly that is their mentality about the Yellow Light. But is that what it really means?

On the contrary, yellow light means slow down. It's a warning, if you will, letting us know that it is time to think about slowing down, and yes, eventually stopping.

The traffic light reminds me of our walk with the Lord. There are times when we are to go...there is just no doubt about it...it is time to go, and we need to do just that.

Again, there are times when we are to stop...although it is clear...I think this one is a harder thing for us to do....but it is VERY true that the Lord wants us to just stop what we are doing, and spend time with Him.

Last, but not least, and I think we get this a lot more than we like to admit...there are those times where we are almost spinning out of control with all the things we are trying to do. I think we get it set in our minds that the Lord wants us to do these 100 things on our list, when in reality, have we really sought His face on the matter?

Seriously, think about it...if we see that something needs to be done at church, home, work, neighborhood, or whatever...do we say I will pray and see if the Lord wants me to take this on, or do we just jump in and say I'll help...and just continually do this until we experience burn out. I am guilty of this, and I am sure you are. I have learned over the years, that I do need to ask the Lord if He would like me to take one more thing on, or a certain thing on, and wait for that answer before just jumping in...it is a hard thing to do at times, because I'd like to just jump in and help when I can,, believe me...but it is necessary to check with our Father on every matter in our life.

You're probably thinking..."Well, what if someone else takes it on???" Well, then, it wasn't meant for you to do, or that person didn't seek the Lord on the matter, will experience burn out, and the position will become available again...and if it was for you to do, then you will be able to do it.

So unless you really feel the Lord is saying GO GO GO, then I recommend you slow down, pray and seek His face, and wait to see what He tells you to do. And most importantly, we all need to take some of that STOP time and just spend it with the Lord, to refuel, if you will.

Remember the traffic light, and how it can apply in our walk with the Lord!

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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.

Let's look at people in the Bible who were brought back.. or came back.. or are coming back...

1) I fled my homeland and while on my journey I had a dream in which God gave me this promise, "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land." Who am I?

2) I physically left this world, but have promised to return... for "if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." Who am I?

3) I took my inheritance and went off to live a life of fun and pleasure. Soon the money was gone and I was without food. Even the pigs ate better than me. I went home to beg my father for work, but instead he welcomed me with the fatted calf. Who am I?

4) God sent me and my family to Egypt during a time of famine. He promised that He would bring us back to our land one day. Who are we?

5) The Lord promised me many descendants, but He also told me they would be carried off from the land He gave them to be slaves. However, He promised that in the fourth generation they would return to the land. Who am I and who are my descendants?

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.

Book of the Month: Holiness, Truth and the Presence of God
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Holiness, Truth and the Presence of God is by Francis Frangipane. It is a non-fiction work. Frangipane leads the reader through a series of talks on Holiness... what it is and what it means for us to be Holy as He (God) is Holy. He challenges us to look closely at the imagine of God we have in our mind and make sure we haven't created some false imagine of who we think God is. (For example we often assign an ethniticity or denomination or such to God without really even consciously realizing it.) He also focuses on the importance of God's Word in our life and of our spending time with God. There are several things I like about Frangipane's writings. One he relies heavily on Scripture. These are not his ramblings, his opinions; everything he shares comes with Scripture after Scripture to show where he got his information... why he is able to say what he says. Secondly, he doesn't sugar coat his words. Frangipane isn't going to try to make you feel good or give you a warm fuzzy feeling, he speaks the truth in love. He challenges our beliefs and actions.. our priorities. He makes it clear that the Bible doesn't promise no suffering and an easy road to believers. But it isn't gloom and doom... Frangipane keeps the focus on Jesus.. and our need to seek Christlikeness and to cling to Him and His Word. Finally, Frangipane encourages and pushes the reader to be more... to strive more... to not settle for crumbs when God has an entire feast waiting for us.

This is a relatively short book.. 21 chapters that average 4 or 5 pages each. But it is very meaty. I read one chapter a day and did my best to let it sink in as I mulled it over or journalled about it.

I highly recommend this one... some Christian bookstores carry Frangipane's writings, but they can often be difficult to find. I ordered mine directly from his site:

http://www.frangipane.org/

Website of the Month: Birth Verse
Recommended by: Denise Imbody

I thought this was a very cool site, and worth sharing. It is very easy to do...and you do not need to give too much info at all. Just go here...

http://www.mybirthverse.com/

...and choose the day of the month, and the month, you were born, and click on the submit button, and wait for the verse to come up.

It doesn't necessarily mean it is "your birth verse" exclusively...in fact I think there is just a Verse for each day of the year...but it is fun, and definitely worth checking out...have fun! :)

***This site is user friendly for those who use speech software.***

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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

Can you change 1 word into another in 4 steps, by changing 1 letter at a time, to make a new word in each step?

Example:
CONE TO LACK
CONE
LONE
LANE
LACE
LACK

Now it is your turn...can you change...

1. MAKE TO COLD

2. CHIP TO SLAM

3. FAST TO LINE

4. YARN TO BOOK

5. LIFT TO SOON

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) Jacob (Gen. 28)

2) Jesus (John 14)

3) the Prodigal or Lost Son (Luke 15)

4) Hebrews, Israelites or Jews (Gen. 46)

5) Abraham (Gen. 15)

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Answers for JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH:

1. MAKE TO COLD
MAKE
CAKE
COKE
COLE
COLD

2. CHIP TO SLAM
CHIP
SHIP
SLIP
SLAP
SLAM

3. FAST TO LINE
FAST
LAST
LIST
LINT
LINE

4. YARN TO BOOK
YARN
BARN
BORN
BOON
BOOK

5. LIFT TO SOON
LIFT
SIFT
SOFT
SOOT
SOON



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