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

JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #3--March 2003)


Greetings again from your friends at JEM Ministries! We have had a wonderful time putting our E-zine together over the past few months--It is our earnest prayer that you have gleaned just a bit of insight and inspiration from reading it!

This month, as we all thaw from the storms of winter, we are thinking about seeds, spring, and Salvation!

What a wonderful illustration God has granted us in the simplicity of plants! We sow seeds along the path as we go about the work of God, and some of them take root, grow up. Blossoming, and bearing fruit... We also know that Jesus is the vine that sustains us. Without Him we would whither and die... We know that Jesus died--just as a seed does--and that He was buried in the ground. What a glorious day that must have been...when Jesus came up out of the ground--bearing that precious firstfruit of eternal life--but I'm getting ahead of myself! Resurrection day is next month...

So, just sit back and enjoy yourself as we spend a few moments thinking about Planting seeds, witnessing, and bearing fruit!

In His Service,
Matt


TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR MARCH
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
POINTS TO PONDER
ACTIONS SOW OPPORTUNITIES
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 MARCH
By: Denise Imbody

My desire is to witness by
All I say, and all I do...
Reaching those who have not heard of Jesus
Christ, and all He has done...and
How He showed His love to set us free.

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

BIRTHDAY GREETING

We pray that all who will be celebrating a birthday this month, will have a very blessed day, in our Lord, Jesus Christ! ‹

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
Submitted by: Denise Imbody

Psalm 126
1 When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.
2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.
3 The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
4 Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.
5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Isn't that awesome? That even in our times of sorrow, and weeping, we can be productive for our Lord?! We need to praise Him ALL of the time, and He will keep His promises to us.

So, don't give up on the family members, or friends that you feel "will never get saved", or "will never find the Lord", because as we pray for them in our tears--the Lord will have a seed planted, watered, and grown in their lives...and you will see the results--if not here--when you get to the other side!

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

POINTS TO PONDER
Submitted by: Matthew Imbody

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.

In the beginning of the book of Genesis, we find the familiar retelling of how God created the world. Many of us remember the account from Sunday School class--it is a fundamental part of the most basic Bible teaching--but somehow, over the years, even faithful Christians have been almost easily led astray down the path of evolution... They say that evolution could have taken place--as long as God initiated it! They say that God could have used Evolution to bring the Earth to a certain point--just before He created Man! The scripture, however, seems to contradict that theory...

God made plants to bear seed after their own kind:

Genesis 1
12. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after their own kind: and God saw that it was good.

This means that apple seeds will produce trees that grow apples, orange seeds will produce seeds that will grow orange trees, etc. This is straight-forward, and easily understood. You can't plant orange seeds and expect to harvest apples! It's just one of the natural laws that God has put into place--but did you know that God also said this about animals?

Genesis 1
21. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
22. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

What a shocker! It's right there in The Bible! There aren't any minced words--God created each animal "after his kind"! A fish didn't evolve into a frog, a cat, and then an ape! A cow will forever bear cattle, a dog will forever bear puppies, and a bird will forever bear birds! Anything else is as silly as thinking that an apple seed will produce oranges! Check it out in the first chapter of Genesis!

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

ACTIONS SOW OPPORTUNITIES
by: Natalie Rose York

I think the Great Commission is a wonderful idea, but the very thought of witnessing makes me shake in my boots. I want others to know the joy I have found in Christ yet I am very thin-skinned. I am afraid of what people will think. I am afraid that they will be uncomfortable. Well, the list of reasons to keep my mouth shut goes on and on.

While these are all valid feelings they do not negate the fact that my ministry as a Christian is to "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.(Matthew 28:19a)" In recent months through Christian mentors, prayer and Bible study I have come to the realization that I have opportunities daily to speak the gospel. When I say "speak the gospel" I also mean act the gospel. You know, walk the walk, talk the talk!

My biggest daily opportunity is my non-Christian husband. In 1 Peter 3:1-2 it says, "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear." Our conduct is a form of witnessing. You do know that old saying, actions speak louder than words. It is so true, especially in the life of a Christian. We really are under almost constant scrutiny by non-believers.

My next opportunity is my children. They are young, but not too young to read Bible stories, to learn "Jesus Loves Me" and to watch how Mommy acts.

Then there is the Golden Rule. "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:31b) When someone cuts us off in traffic, do we respond in anger or count to ten? When an elderly person needs help with their groceries, do we step up to help or walk on by? When a young mother is trying to balance diaper bags, babies and mail, do we offer to hold the door for them? These are all virtually small seeds we can plant with the potential to grow plants of witnessing. How much easier is it to talk to that mother after you have shown her a kindness? What a wonderful opportunity it would be if they asked you why you stopped to help.

Why do I stop to help? Because Christ stopped to help me when He died on the cross. How can I not do this small favor and share the love and the joy of Christ as I load the groceries, hold the door, fix the meals and fold the laundry.

I'm not saying that even this simple idea will be easy. Because it does require us to think of someone other than ourselves. It will require you to be open to God's leading but what an inexpressible joy you will know when you sow the seeds of servanthood and reap the harvest of witnessing.

So remember our actions sow seeds. Our conduct is viewed by family members and strangers alike; and through this sowing, we will reap opportunities to talk about our glorious Savior, Jesus Christ.

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'

If God is your copilot, swap seats! -Author unknown

--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.

Hosea 10
12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Denise Imbody

Easy Meatloaf

2 lbs. Hamburger
1 Egg
1 cup Bread crumbs
Garlic powder
Onion Powder
Mustard seed or powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly.

Shape into loaf, and place in pan.

Bake at above temperature for an hour and a half.

NOTE: For the Garlic, and onion powder, I usually shake about 7 or 8 times or so...and for the mustard powder I usually shake 3 or 4 times.

You can increase, or decrease any of the ingredients as needed (I usually have to make a 4 lb meatloaf--but still only use 1 egg, but use a cup and a half of bread crumbs)



--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

QUICK TIP OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Keepsake Artwork

Long-lasting artworks: Apply a coating of hair spray to a child's drawing -- this acts as a fixative and prevents the colors from fading and rubbing off.

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

CRAFT OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Denise Imbody

Coffee Filter Shamrock
A fun Saint Patrick's day picture to paint.

I found this craft idea at this website:

http://familycrafts.about.com/library/projects/blshamcf.htm

Materials Needed:
Coffee Filters
Food Coloring
Eye Droppers or Straws
Instructions:
Cut shamrock shapes out of coffee filters. Mix together approximately 2 tablespoons of water and 5 - 10 drops of yellow food coloring. Do the same for blue. Baby food jars are the perfect size for holding your food coloring mixtures!

Use an eyedropper or a straw to drip colors randomly on the coffee filter shape. The colors will run together to make green. For a little variation, you can decorate your pin with glitter, tiny stickers, sequins, etc.

I thought we could elaborate on this idea a bit. First of all, I thought we could make it more Christian, and use it as a witnessing tool.

After following the instructions, for painting, above--I thought we could further decorate it by drawing a crown, a cross, and a dove in each of the leaves. The crown representing our Heavenly Father, the cross representing our Savior, Jesus, and the dove representing our Comforter--the Holy Spirit. Not to mention that the shamrock itself kind of looks like the cross.

If you feel like you're not able to draw the pictures, perhaps you can find some stickers, and place them on the shamrock.

Also, I thought, we can make them into magnets, rather than pins--but whichever you prefer--be creative, have fun, and remember we can use the shamrock as a witnessing tool to others.

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

SKIPPING STONES
(A word of encouragement)
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

Wars & Rumors of War

"And when ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, be ye not troubled; for such things must need be; but the end shall not be yet." Mark 7:13

Wars and rumors of wars -- we are certainly hearing that today. War looms on the horizon; it's plastered throughout the media; spouses, children, siblings, and friends are being sent to foreign lands; and the threat of terrorism hangs over us. It is a time where we can easily feel troubled.

But Jesus was very clear when He said "be ye not troubled." Jesus knew our hearts would tremble in times such as these, so He sent us comfort through His Words.

But how can we not be troubled when we are sending loved ones into danger zones and facing terrorist attacks in our homelands? Fear is our natural reaction to such circumstances and yet Jesus tells us not to be afraid. Why? Because God is sovereign -- He is in control. In the same verse Jesus says "Such things must need be" -- they must happen -- they are part of the eternal picture, God's plan.

When Habakkuk cried out to the Lord asking why He was allowing such violence and wickedness to prevail, God answered by telling Habakkuk to watch and be amazed for He (God) was going to do something in his days that he would not understand even if God told him. (Habakkuk 1:5)

God was in control then and God is in control now. He never changes (Malachi 3:6)

We can stand firm in the face of fear and have peace like Habakkuk --

"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls" Habakkuk 3:17

Though the terrorist gloats,
though the armies march,
though the violence grows, ..... YET

"I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places." Habakkuk 3:18 & 19

Don't let the wars and rumors of wars surrounding us today frighten you. Pray for those going overseas and those already there -- from our country and the natives of those lands; pray for our country and our leaders; pray for the other countries of this world and their leaders; pray for our enemies and pray for God to be glorified and His purpose to be accomplished.

--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

BIBLE QUIZ

In this section, you will find 5 questions each month, along with the Scripture reference (unless of course, the question is asking where you can find something in the Bible). We pray this will help you to get to know Godís Word more. The answers will be provided in the next issue.

The Branch and the Vine
from Jesus Link: A Bible Trivia Challenge by Ellen Caughey

1. When Jesus said He is the "true vine," who does He say is the gardener?

2. What branches of the vine does the gardener cut off?

3. No branch can bear fruit unless it does what?

4. What happens to the branches that are thrown away?

5. Jesus has chosen us and appointed us to do what?

HINT: The answers to all these questions can be found in John 15.

ANSWERS FOR FEBRUARY'S QUIZ

1. How many books in the Old Testament? New Testament?
OT--39, NT--27

2. What is known as the LOVE chapter?
1 Corinthians 13

3. What book and chapter is in the exact middle of the Bible?
Psalm 118

4. What is the last book in the Old Testament?
Malachi

5. How many chapters are in Proverbs?
31


--Back to TABLE OF CONTENTS--

CHECK IT OUT!

In this section we will share, and recommend our favorite website, book, movie, or any other favorite things we can think of to share with you. These are all highly recommended.

Book of the Month: The Gifted
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

The Gifted by Terri Blackstock

As with all of Blackstock's novels, The Gifted reads easily and well. BUT that is where the similarity ends. This is a much different venue for Blackstock.

The Gifted is a very short novel that gives us a brief glimpse into the lives of 3 people -- ordinary Christians who are trying to grow in their walk. These 3 friends begin a Bible study after work. In the midst of the first meeting, an earthquake hits and they are trapped with their injuries and their thoughts -- memories of what they have not done, what they should have done, family being left behind ...... Miraculously they are rescued, but the injuries remain -- horrendous injuries that are not life threatening, but certainly like changing.

They are passed over in the hospital for the more serious cases and left to spend the night crying out to God and wondering what the future holds for them. And then morning comes.... and they are whole, healed miraculously! But that is not all... they are more than whole, they have each been given a supernatural gift. One sees into the hearts of people, one has feet that lead him to people in need and the other cannot stop talking about the Lord.

Working together, they become the perfect evangelical team -- bringing the hope of the Good News to those in need. Lives are changed and they are on fire for the Lord.

But then as quickly as their gifts came, they leave. The healing is still in tact, but the supernatural gifts are gone. Now what?

This is a story for all of us. Blackstock shows how we all have gifts -- gifts we take for granted like the ability to walk, talk, see..... and she shows how all our gifts are to work together with others' gifts to glorify God and further His kingdom.

The Gifted is more than a fun book to read or a neat story, it is a book that will challenge you and cause you to think about the gifts you are blessed with every day of your life of earth. Are you using them for the Father? For His kingdom? Do you take them for granted?

In my opinion, The Gifted is a must read for every Christian!

Website Of The Month: Devo Digest . . . on-line Christian devotionals and newsletters.
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

http://www.DevoDigest.com

This is such a wonderful resource! There is every online devotional available here from Streams in the Desert, My Utmost for His Highest, Keys for Kids, Guideposts, Elisabeth Elliot, and so much more! There are links to daily devotionals and weekly ones. But that is not all -- there are links to daily and weekly radio programs you can listen to online like Adventures in Odyssey, Breakpoint, Dobson Family Minute, Back to the Bible, the list goes on and on. AND still there is more -- there are links to Christian Publications, Newspapers, News Services, hymns, church history, quotes and so much more! I truly cannot list all that is available here! And to top it off, you can sign up to receive a daily email that provides links for the devotionals etc. for that specific day. I love having all this at my fingertips!

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

FIND THE SECRET WORD

All you need to do is find the missing word in each passage of Scripture (which have been provided for you). You'll need to look the verses up in the KJV. I have provided a blank line for each letter that is represented in each missing word--except for the "special letter" that you'll need to figure out the SECRET WORD--in that spot you'll find an asterisk. Have fun!

Matthew 13
31 Another parable put he * _ _ _ _ unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the _ _ _ * _ _ _ _ among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

Luke 17
6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a _ _ _ * _ of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

1 Corinthians 3
6 I have planted, Apollos _ _ * _ _ _ _; but God gave the increase.
7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that _ _ _ _ _ * the increase.

SECRET WORD: _ _ _ _ _

ANSWERS FOR FEBRUARY 'S PUZZLER
BE MY VALENTINE!

Simply figure out who the Valentine is from, and who it is to, and write your answer under each one. Here is an example one for you...

EXAMPLE
We should have had good times,
Like candlelit feasts,
But you had to look back,
Now youíre a salt lick for beasts
BE MY VALENTINE!

ANSWER: Lot to his wife

1. Lilies are white,
Sugar is sweet,
You may collect,
My left over wheat...
BE MY VALENTINE!
Boaz to Ruth

2. The rain will come soon,
Weíll soon be afloat,
Please come and join me,
On our barnyard love boat...
BE MY VALENTINE!
Noah to his wife

3. You asked my secret,
I just wouldnít share,
Iíll love you forever,
Just donít cut my hair...
BE MY VALENTINE!
Samson to Delilah

4. I worked for you for seven years,
Then I was told, for you, seven more,
Your dad gave me your sister,
But it is you, that I adore...
BE MY VALENTINE!
Jacob to Rachel

5. I needed a wife,
None, in town, would do,
So, my Dadís servant, Eleazer,
Went out, and found you...
BE MY VALENTINE!
Isaac to Rebekah

6. In our old age,
Children, we had none,
Then God did promise,
That weíd have a son...
BE MY VALENTINE!
Abraham to Sarah

7. Out of paradise,
We had to go,
For disobeying God,
We can share our woe...
BE MY VALENTINE!
Adam to Eve

8. On top of my palace,
Is where you were seen,
Then I did bad things,
To make you my queen...
BE MY VALENTINE!
King David to Bethsheba

9. I had to question,
Our childís name,
So, I couldnít talk,
Until he came...
BE MY VALENTINE!
Zechariah to Elizabeth

10. The Son you carry,
Is not mine,
But is from the One,
Who is Holy, and Divine...
BE MY VALENTINE!
Joseph to Mary

11. I need a queen, who will obey,
Your respect, to me, you gave,
My favor, you have won,
Your people I will save...
BE MY VALENTINE!
King Xerxex to Esther

12. During my times of trouble,
You told me to curse God and die,
But you know I still love you,
Though I donít quite know why...
BE MY VALENTINE!
Job to his wife

13. Though your unfaithful ways,
Have messed up my life,
God has told me again,
To retrieve you, my wife...
BE MY VALENTINE!
Hosea to Gomer

14. In the Jewish tradition,
You drank from my cup,
Our homes almost finished,
Then Iíll bring you up...
BE MY VALENTINE!
Jesus to His church



--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 message section.

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