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JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #15 -- Army of God -- March 2004)


Are you ready to MARCH? I mean, are you ready for March? This month we are talking about the Army of God!

We are all a part of this vast army -- everyone who is saved by the blood of Jesus has enlisted! Are you ready to arm yourself? Are you ready to stand firm and fight? Jesus has already won the victory -- all we need do is trust Him to see us through!

Lets join together and get to know... The Army of God!

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR MARCH
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
POINTS TO PONDER
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
FIGHT
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: Barbara Lea Campbell

May we, the
Army of the Lord,
Rise up with the
Courage and
Hope that comes from Christ.

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BIRTHDAY GREETING

If it's your birthday this month, STAND UP! Attention! Your orders are to have a blessed day! May God surround you with His love, and may His grace and peace be with you always!

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INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

Pick Up Your Sword

"What if the armies of the Lord picked up and dusted off their swords vowed to set the captives free and not let satan have one more"

This line, from the song "What If His People Pray" by Casting Crowns, really caught me the first time I heard it.... and it still does. Can you imagine what would happen if we, the army of the Lord, would actually use the one weapon He has given us... the Sword of the Spirit?

Ephesians 6:18 tells us that the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. So how do we use His Word as a weapon? Well, one way is to use His Word to rebuke the lies satan sends our ways.

The enemy whispers in your ear ...."You are all alone... no one cares about you"... you reply with assurance "Oh no, the Lord promises to never leave nor forsake me."

"It's just a little sin... no one will know or be hurt," satan says. "There is no where I can go outside of the Lord's presence, so He will know... and my sin, no matter how small or harmless is always before Him," you reply.

Maybe you aren't battling whispers from the enemy ... maybe it's an emotion ... fear "The Lord does not give a spirit of fear, but of power and a sound mind" .... sadness? ... "The Lord gives me the oil of gladness instead of mourning."

You can use the Word like a protective shield... for yourself and others. Pray it and believe it!

Also, the Word is full of exhortations and commandments from the Lord .... things we are to do and not do while here such as encourage one another, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, do not quench the Spirit, do not weary of doing what is right, speak the truth with boldness, stand firm in the faith, and so much more.

You might wonder what all these things have to do with warfare ... well, everything. This isn't a battle of flesh and blood -- "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12 It will not be won with the world's weapons and ways. It is won through prayer and unity in the church.

The key in all this is to have your weapon ready ... your sword sharp... and you do this by being in the Word daily and asking the Lord to place it in you. Don't just read and close the book.... get into the Word. Search for verses that deal with whatever is happening in your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you and give you understanding.

God is our General... our Master and Commander... He is not an unfeeling dictator... oh no, He loves us and wants to help us in this battle. So turn to Him and ask Him to equip you for what lies ahead. Get into the Word and get the Word into you ... get your sword sharpened and ready for the battle at hand.

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POINTS TO PONDER
By: Matthew Imbody

Wounded Soldiers

You know, satan doesnít play fair. He is constantly trying to sneak up on us, catch us off guard, trip us up with our past, and just generally make us feel like we are useless to God. Oh, itís all lies; we know that -- but all to often, both new believers, and seasoned Christians alike, buy into the enemies deceptions in a moment of weakness or hurt. These fallen friends -- family, really -- become casualties of war. Wounded soldiers.

I honestly believe my older brotherís life would have turned out a lot differently if his church hadnít discouraged him from ministering because of his visual impairment -- and because this kind of abuse is that close to my heart, it breaks when I think about the many, many people who have been hurt -- and even destroyed in the name of Christ, and anger rises up within me.

How dare these organizations hurt in the name of Jesus -- when Jesus calls us to bind their wounds. How dare people preach lies, and call them Biblical truths -- when the Word of God says that the world will know we are Christians by our love one for another?

If you have been offended by someone who comes to you claiming the name of Jesus, please, please take some time to search out Godís answers to your situation. Donít ever just walk away, or turn your back on God! He is in the business of healing, growing, and maturing -- not tearing down and destroying! Open Godís Holy Word! Talk to a godly person who you trust. Realize that God loves you despite what man may do or say. There are too many wounded soldiers staggering around the battlefield! Donít let satan manipulate you into being one, too!

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QUOTE OF THE MONTH

The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil. He mocks at our wisdom. But he trembles when we pray.
-- Samuel Chadwick

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FIGHT
By: Matthew Imbody

I once wrote a story about a man whoís unsaved wife was on her death bed. She had been in a car accident, and wasnít going to recover. At the hospital, reality seemed to fade away. In time, an elderly gentleman called to him. The confused young man was given armor and sword -- and was told to go to his wifeís room -- and fight.

Noone noticed him as he clamored down the hall, nor did they see him round the corner to come face to face with a demon who said he had lain claim upon the womanís soul. He was no longer in this world -- but in the spirit realm...

The man took up his sword and fought the beast -- by now, the room had faded, and all that was left were the two opponents and the young woman. They fought for some time, and then, finally, the man reared up, under the power of God, and slaughtered the devil. He then "awoke" in his wifeís room -- bible in hand, and open to Romans 10:13: "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the lord shall be saved."

As she died, the wife did just as The Word commanded, and called out to Jesus -- and then, she went to be with Him.

The manís mother had been standing in the doorway stunned. "I've never heard such a sermon.", she finally said through tears. "Your words today have surely shaken the foundations of hell"!

Our weapon is The Sword of Truth -- and itís words cut deeper than the mightiest blade! And, what is the reason God has put such a powerful weapon in our hands? TO FIGHT! To empower us to command satan to flee! To catch him in his craftiness, and expose him for what he really is -- a liar! To come at him in the name of Jesus despite his threats and deceit, and to shake the very foundations of Hell!

I grew up in the Salvation Army. Itís founder, William Booth, is a man I have come to greatly admire. During his last public address, he spoke these words:

While women weep, as they do now, I'll fight; while little children go hungry, as they do now, I'll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I'll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I'll fight-I'll fight to the very end!

To the very end! May we all be found faithful in The Lordís call to take up arms against our enemy, satan! May he know no rest, no peace, no victory -- as long as The Lordís army draws breath! Amen

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A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'

It's not the load that brings you down, it's the way you carry it.
-- Barbara Johnson

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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.

Ephesians 6:
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Poppyseed Chicken Casserole

1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup (or cream of chicken-mushroom)
8 ounces sour cream
Ritz crackers, crushed
1 stick margarine, melted
poppy seeds
3 - 4 cups cooked chicken, diced

Place chicken in the bottom of a large baking dish. Mix soups and sour cream together and then pour over chicken. Top with crushed Ritz crackers. Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with poppyseeds. Bake at 350-degrees F for 30 minutes, until top is golden and bubbly.

Notes: I use 98% fat-free soups and light sour cream

Also -- you can make this ahead -- Layer chicken and soup mix, then cover and refrigerate or freeze. When ready to bake, thaw (if frozen), top with Ritz, butter and poppyseed and bake as directed.

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: Nichole Martelli

To clean a sponge in the microwave, put water in a bowl, submerge the sponge, and nuke for 1 minute to kill the bacteria. Cool it down, wring it out and air dry. You could also put it in a cup of water with 1 oz of bleach and submerge for about a minute, rinse and air dry. Air drying is important because no nasties can live in a dry sponge. Do the same thing for a dishrag; Soak, rinse and air dry.

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: Barbara Lea Campbell

Prayer Box

How often has someone told you to give your cares... a certain situation... a struggle... to the Lord and let Him take care of it? If you are like me, you've heard it often! And I have even given that advice. It is good advice -- Biblical advice. In 1 Peter 5:7 we are told to cast our cares to the Lord. He wants them. But, I have a bad habit of giving them to the Lord and then taking them back again! Do you do that to? Here is a way to physically give them away. Sometimes when we go through the actual physical motions, things seem to stick with us more. And this will also serve as a visual reminder that the Lord is dealing with whatever we have given Him.

OK -- the first thing you need is a box. Not a large box. I would go no larger than a shoe box and smaller is fine also. Next, you need various art and craft supplies. What ever you have on hand is fine! You can wrap the box in wrapping paper.... paint it.... add stickers... verses... whatever you want to personalize it.

Next, you will need to find a place for your box. Now you can put it in a very prominent place so you can see it regularly and be reminded that God is taking care of things. OR if you are an "out of sight our of mind" person and want it tucked away so that you don't dwell on it, then find a neat little hiding place like under the edge of your bed. Just don't loose it!

So what do you do with this box? Well, it is really simple. You write out whatever it is you want to give to the Lord on a piece of paper. You can just right what it is .... "Bob's salvation" ... or you may want to write out a prayer to the Lord. I strongly recommend signing it and dating it. Then, place it in the box and leave it there.

Symbolically, you are giving that prayer need to God. That doesn't mean you can never pray about it again. It just means you are not going to fret over it or try to help God out with it. Instead, you are going to let God be God.

You can pull the request out and write updates or add more requests as they come up. Be sure to remove the request when it is answered and note that with a date also.

What a wonderful way to "give it" to the Lord and "leave it" there.

***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: Denise Imbody

Victory!

Army of the Lord
Words and music are by Brent Lamb. Copyrighted by Straightaway Music.
Lead: Keith Lancaster

Chorus:
Are we walking into the enemy's camp, laying our weapons down,
shedding our armor as we go, leaving it on the ground?
We've gotta be strong in the power of his might and prove to the enemy
We are the army of the Lord and we've won the victory.

This is just an awesome oldie but a goodie in the way of a Christian song. Have you heard it? If not, I pray that you will get to hear it at some point.

I have been feeling compelled for some time now to write an article concerning this, and especially more so, since we had decided that the issue for March would be "Army of the Lord"...but I have had such a time trying to get something written,that I have NO doubt that the enemy was trying to stop me.

Over the course of the past month, in the midst of trying to get ready for this issue, I have had A LOT of spiritual battles going on...and quite honestly, I was pretty much ready to surrender, very recently. Not that I was giving up on the Lord, I just was ready to hibernate from everyone and everything...and that is what satan loves to do. He loves to get us all alone, so we can begin to believe all the lies that he wants to spew our way. That is why it is so so so important to be in the Word, and to fellowship as much as we possibly can with our Heavenly Father and with other believers.

Fortunately the Lord caught my attention, and kept recalling the words of this song to me. I thought about how I was doing exactly that, walking into the devil's camp, and dare I say, shedding my armor as I went. I had to do a check in my spirit, and ask the Lord to pull me back, once again.

I was just getting so discouraged with "life" kind of things, that I wasn't realizing that the enemy had snared me,and I was definitely tripped up.

I always feel like such a failure when I give in like that. It's like when you're trying to diet, and you have too much to eat one day. Well, just because you messed up that one day, doesn't mean you have messed up your whole diet, and so it is more so with the Lord. He loves us right where we are at. He wants us to walk and talk with Him each and every day. He wants us to strive to live as though people can see Him in us, but if we have a moment, or a day where we fail, He does NOT stop loving us. He is right there waiting for us to ask Him to draw us back into His arms.

So, let's decide to NOT believe the lies anymore, when satan comes around and tries to steal our joy. Let's NOT shed that armor in the enemy's camp, but show him that we have the victory, because of what Jesus has done for us! He loved us enough to lay down His life for us, so can't we love Him enough to give our lives completely to Him? In all circumstances, and in all situations? Let's do just that.

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BIBLE QUIZ

In this section, you will find five 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.

Our theme this month is Army of the Lord, so I thought we would look at a few military men found in the Bible. Enjoy!

  1. What captain of the palace guard did Joseph serve under?
  2. What Hittite soldier was put on the front lines of battle so David could take his wife?
  3. What leper was a commander of the Syrian troops?
  4. What soldier led a revolt against King Elah, made himself king, and then committed suicide after a seven-day reign?
  5. What Roman soldier treated Paul kindly on his voyage to Rome?
Click here for the answers

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CHECK IT OUT!

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

CD of the Month: Grace Like Rain
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Grace Like Rain by Todd Agnew

Todd Agnew broke onto the Christian music scene with the awesome song "This Fragile Breath (The Thunder Song)". Agnew's voice is deep and mellow, reaching down into the depths of his soul.... and in the process you will find your soul touched also. The songs on this CD are like modern day Psalms that worship and praise who God is and what He does for each of us... like sending "Grace Like Rain" (an absolutely amazing song!), reaching down and saving us ("Reached Down"), being our "Shepherd", and so much more. If you want music that helps you pour out your heart to God, Grace Like Rain is the CD for you!

Video of the Month: Veggie Tales -- An Easter Carol
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Veggie Tales -- An Easter Carol

Easter is coming and Ebenezer Nezzer wants to fill London with plastic Easter eggs. In fact, he wants Easter to last throughout the year. Cavis and Millward (played by Bob and Larry) determine to teach Nezzer that Easter is about more than just candy and eggs, but they need a bit of help.... and they find it in an angel named Hope (voiced by Rebecca St. James). In true Veggie fashion, this is a wonderful video that explains why Christians celebrate Easter.

Book of the Month: Praying God's Word
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Praying God's Word by Beth Moore

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 tells us "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." So how do we tear down the stronghold by captivating our minds with the knowledge of God? Get into His Word.

Praying God's Word will help you attack specific strongholds in your own life or the life of someone for whom you are interceding. This book is set up like a topical prayer guide and looks at 14 common areas of stronghold including unbelief, pride, addiction, guilt, depression and more.

In the introduction, Moore teaches what a stronghold is and how to personalize and pray scripture against them. In each chapter, she talks a bit about the stronghold and then shares prayers based on scripture (giving the reference with each), as well as some quotes from various Christian leaders on these subjects.

This is not a Bible Study; nor is it a book you sit down and read cover to cover (although you could if you wanted to!) It is more like a tool for your prayer life. It helps you to quickly find verses that deal with what you are praying for and along the way you will learn to personalize and pray other verses on your own.

An invaluable tool for every prayer warrior!

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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! ‹

Can you decode these Spiritual Weapons?

  1. HEADGEAR OF REDEMPTION
  2. SHELTER OF BELIEF
  3. BUCKLER OF CORRECTNESS
  4. ANKLES DRESSED WITH THE GOOD NEWS OF SERENITY
  5. VEST OF HOLINESS
  6. WEAPON OF THE HOLY GHOST
  7. PHRASES OF KNOWLEDGE
  8. SOFT SPOKEN ARTICULATION
  9. CONVERSATION WITH GOD
  10. BEING WITHOUT FOOD PRAYERFULLY
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. Potiphar (Gen. 39:1)
  2. Uriah (2 Samuel 15:19)
  3. Naaman (2 Kings 5:1)
  4. Zimri (1 Kings 16: 9 - 20)
  5. Julius (Acts 27: 1 - 3)
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Answers for JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH:

  1. HELMET OF SALVATION
  2. SHIELD OF FAITH
  3. BELT OF TRUTH
  4. FEET FITTED WITH THE GOSPEL OF PEACE
  5. BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
  6. SWORD OF THE SPIRIT
  7. WORDS OF WISDOM
  8. GENTLE WORDS
  9. PRAYER
  10. FASTING
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