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JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #39 -- Great is Thy Faithfulness -- March 2006)


What can I say besides that? Great is Thy Faithfulness! God is so faithful! Just within the last few months He has brought our family to a wonderful Church, given us the opportunity to minister weekly on an internet radio station as DJs, (for more info on this, E-mail me) and has given us several wonderful new friends! He has kept us safe, healthy, and satisfied -- and even through the hard times He has been our Rock, our refuge and our strength! Great is Thy Faithfulness, O God my Father! Thank You, God for Your Great Faithfulness!

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR MARCH
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
WORD IN ACTION
FAITHFULNESS
THINK ABOUT IT!
TESTIMONY TIME
CHALLENGE OF THE MONTH
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
QUICK TIP OF THE MONTH
CRAFT OF THE MONTH
SKIPPING STONES
BIBLE QUIZ
CHECK IT OUT!
JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH



ACROSTIC FOR MARCH
By: Denise Imbody

May the Lord continually show
All of us, how His faithfulness
Reminds us each moment that we are His
Children and that
He will be with us always!

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Do you have an opinion or thought that you'd like to share with JEM-Precious Stones readers? Well, here is your chance...if you'd just like to comment on the E-zine or if you have something on your mind about current events that you'd like to share...as long as they are clean and family oriented and NOT against God and His Word...please feel free to share them with us at precious_stones@jemministries.org, and we'll use them if we can.

Comment Submitted by: Denise Imbody

I would like to take the time to thank each and every one of our readers, and those who make contributions to Precious Stones. Without you, we would not be able to do what we do. We have close to 200 subscribers, and we pray that this monthly publication is a blessing to you, as you are to us.

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BIRTHDAY GREETING

What a wondrous time is spring...we are reminded of life anew...and we'd like to take this opportunity to wish all of those born in this month a special birthday prayer and blessing. May God shine His face upon you, and be with you throughout this upcoming new year of life He is giving you!

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INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: Denise Imbody

Your mercies are new each day of the year
Your love is always so very clear
How faithful You are O Lord!

Your children declare Your Word
To all those who have not heard
How faithful You are O Lord!

To those who have turned away
Your children try to gently say
How faithful You are O Lord!

Declare His goodness and love
That flows from His throne above
How faithful You are O Lord!

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WORD IN ACTION
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

The Word of God is full of promises and powerful truths, and we can stand on every one of them! They are our weapons against the enemy and anything he sends our way.

"... the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." Eph. 6:17 NIV

So how do we wield our sword? How do we do battle with the Word? We speak it!

"It is written: 'I believe; therefore, I have spoken.' With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak." 2 Cor. 4:13 NIV

God's Word isn't just to be read silently, we must speak it out loud... proclaim His promises and His truths to the world and to the enemy! And then we choose to take God at His Word... to believe He can do what He says He can do!

Feeling frightened? Firmly proclaim God did not give me this spirit of fear, He gives me power and love and a sound mind! (2 Tim 1:7 KJV)

Are the enemy's whispers causing you to doubt God in some way.. maybe you doubt His faithfulness... God is a faithful god, who does no wrong, he is upright and just (Deut. 32:4). Maybe you doubt His abilities.... NOTHING is impossible for God (Luke 1:37).

And when you hear those whispers from the enemy, be sure to remind him who he is... the father of all lies! Nothing comes from his mouth but lies! (John 8:44)

There is nothing the enemy can send your way that cannot be refuted by the Word of God. Even if you feel shaky and uncertain, find those promises.. those truths that apply to your situation and proclaim them out loud! Choose to believe and therefore speak!

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FAITHFULNESS
By: Jacqueline Moore

Scripture:
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." Lamentations 3:22-24

FAITHFUL - Adhering firmly and devotedly, as to a person, cause, or idea; loyal.

Saints of God, what are you faithful to? Now many would say that they are faithful to themselves, their families, their beliefs, and the list goes on and on.

The faithfulness of God to the believer is expressed in many ways in the Bible.

The faithfulness of God to forgive sin.
The faithfulness of God in keeping us saved.
The faithfulness of God in times of pressure.
The faithfulness of God in providing for us under the partnership of Christ.
The faithfulness of God in keeping His promises to us.
The faithfulness of God to us in times of suffering.
The faithfulness of God in providing for the believer's eternal future.


Saints of God, are you as faithful to God as He is to us?

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Prayer:
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Father God, we enter into Your gates with praise and thanksgiving on our tongues and in our hearts. Lord, we thank You for Your faithfulness. We thank You for new mercies with the dawning of a new day. We thank You for the blessings we will receive today. We thank You Lord, for walking with us through dangers seen and unseen. We love You for all that You are to us. Father, we ask that You would speak a word into our spirits right now, before the trials and tribulations of the day begin. Grant us Your peace. Grant us Your joy. Grant us Your favor. Lord, someone reading this prayer right now, needs the reassurance that everything will be alright. Someone reading this right now needs the comfort of Your loving arms wrapped around them, right now. Someone reading this just needs to know that they are not alone and that You are with us, always. Lord, we thank You for Your faithfulness. We thank You for the gift of salvation. We give thanks to Your son, who paid the price of our sins, at Calvary, in whose name we pray, Amen.

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THINK ABOUT IT!

"All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

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TESTIMONY TIME

My Testimony: By Janice Alspach

I don't feel I really have a testimony. There was not a great day of changing or anything like that.

When I was about six, my mother would send me to Sunday School to a Baptist church around the corner from our house. I went there until I was about thirteen or so. I had a disagreement with the Sunday School teacher on who was going to heaven. I know around nine or so I asked God into my heart and wanted to be baptized. Every time it was set up, my father would come home and we would take off to my uncle's in Michigan City, IN. I finally decided that I wasn't supposed to be baptized yet. Well, I went on my merry way and did stupid things, drank a little and smoked and ran around.

Finally, I graduated from High School and moved to Chicago to go to school. I went to school, but played around a lot too. I started drinking more often and heavier. I lost my job and moved back home to DeKalb.

Then I got married to a jerk. He didn't like to work and we moved eight times or so in the five years we were married. About this time God kept reminding me He was there. I know He was there! I was willing to do almost anything to keep this marriage going. I didn't believe in divorce. I tried smoking grass. Boy, did it make me sick. I would rather drink and get drunk than smoke grass. Then we moved to Milwaukee, WI. and there things got worse. To try to keep things together I was willing to try some drugs. The first time it was neat, but God was there. During the "trip" I saw a full moon and thought of God coming for me. The second time I tried it I had a bad "trip". That was the end of that. Praise God. Every time we got into a fight it would get physical. One time I tried to put a knife into his heart, but something/someone(God) pulled my arm back so I didn't hurt him. Then he got a .22 pistol and every time we got into a fight the gun was up against the side of my head. I don't know why, but he never fired. Well I finally decided that God would forgive me if I left him and got a divorce.

I met and fell in love with Terry. We got married in a Christian Church and jointly gave our lives to God and were Baptized in water baptism. While there I helped start a Junior Church for the children and started teaching Sunday School and working VBS.

Terry and I were married 15-16 years and we always felt that we would die together in a car crash. God had other plans, Terry was killed in a car crash and left me behind. One night about a year later I had a dream that a tall, dark, handsome man was coming into my life. Then one Sunday morning after we met, I had a vision of the same man coming up the aisle toward me. We got to know each other better and after about a year we said our I do's. The only ones there were the pastor and his children and our witnesses and their two children. The kids wanted to see Miss Janice get married. We then had the kids sign a paper as being our witnesses. None of them could write. That was 15-16 years ago.

We have gone to different churches over the years. For a while a Christian Church, Then an Assembly of God church, now at home in a Methodist church. I have taught Sunday School at all these churches, I taught VBS at these churches, and also at a combination VBS of various different churches. They say I am the teacher there until I die. I love to teach the little ones up to Kindergarten, I also help lead song worship at church and used to sing solos, but haven't done that in a while.

So as you can see, God has protected me all along, but I guess I didn't really see it. Oh I guess I should say I have seen some things that the devil can do, but that is for another time.

***If you would like to share your testimony in an upcoming issue of JEM Precious Stones, please feel free to send it to Precious_Stones@JEMMinistries.org. If we use it, you will get full credit, but please know that due to the number of contributions, and other concerns, we may not be able to use all submissions.***



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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.

Lamentations 3
22 It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Joy Taylor

Sweet Potato Cookies

1 1/2 sticks margarine, softened
1 Cup sweet potato, cooked and mashed
3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 Cup quick cooking oatmeal
1 Cup pecans
1 Cup raisins (optional)

Cream margarine, potato, brown sugar and sugar. Add egg and mix well. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, oatmeal, pecans and raisins (optional). Drop batter by teaspoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Makes about 48 cookies.

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

When measuring dry ingredients for cookies, brownies, cake or such, measure an extra set and place them in a bag or container. Store in a cool dry place and the next time you need to make that recipe, grab the dry ingredients measured and ready to go!

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

This craft is based on THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER found in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8.

Materials Needed:
Paper
Pencils, Markers, or Crayons
Popcorn Kernels (or anything that can represent seeds)
Glue or Glue Sticks

What You Need To Do:
1. Draw a picture of a path, thorny ground, rocky ground, and good soil (Depending on the ages of your children you might want to have this done ahead of time).
2. Add one of the above Scripture References to your picture.
3. Have the children color their pictures.
4. Have them glue the kernels to the various different parts of their pictures.
5. Talk about the parable as they do this, and discuss how the good soil is needed to grow the seeds, and how it relates to us in our Christian walk.

***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: Barbara Lea Campbell

There are hymns that speak of faithfulness
so great and so sure
a faithfulness found only in God
so holy and so pure

I know it's there for me
just as it's always been
but still I turn away from You
in my doubt and my sin

You call me oh so gently
to hold Your hand and rise
upon this special journey of life
with You as my perfect guide

Oh Father help me take Your hand
and never let it go
to open up my heart to You
to love You and to grow

I thank You for Your faithfulness
that never goes away
that accompanies me always
even on my faithless days

Barbara Lea Campbell 10/01/2000

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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 take a faith walk together in the Word. (NIV was used for these questions)

1. According to Hebrews 11:1, faith is what?

2. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul called him (Timothy) his what?

3. In Matthew 8:10, Jesus said "I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith." Of whom was He speaking?

4. After touching Him to be healed, what did Jesus tell the woman with the blood issue had healed her?

5. Hebrews 11 is often called the Hall of ________ or the Walk of _______. (the same word goes in each blank)

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: Draw Me Close: Songs of Worship
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Draw Me Close: Songs of Worship by Kathy Troccoli

When I saw the theme of this month's e-zine, I started hearing the hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness" in my head.. and I heard Kathy Troccoli singing it! It is one of the lovely tracks on her Draw Me Close CD. Draw Me Close is a wonderful praise and worship CD, but it is so very different from most that are on the market today. I love upbeat, hands lifted high praise and worship, but Draw Me Close takes the listener in a different direction... a peaceful, meditative, contemplative direction. Where other praise and worship CDs seem to inspire corporate participation, Draw Me Close seems to be better suited for one on one time with the Lord. The instrumentation is light and soothing providing a lovely backdrop for Kathy's soulful voice. The CD features many well known songs such as "Great is Thy Faithfulness", "Come Just as You Are", "Awesome in This Place", "He Touched Me" and more! If you are looking for some music to usher you into a place of peace and calm... to lead you to heart felt quiet worship, then Draw Me Close is the CD for you!

Book of the Month: Sacred Legacy: Ancient Writings from Nine Women of Strength and Honor
Recommended by: Kristina

Sacred Legacy: Ancient Writings from Nine Women of Strength and Honor by Myrna Grant

The name of the book, Sacred Legacy: Ancient Writings from Nine Women of Strength and Honor is what first caught my eye. And as I pulled this beautiful book from the women's section of my local Christian bookstore, I knew that I had found a gem. Inside this book are stories of courage and heroism, that bring both smiles and tears to the face of the reader. I found that I would take the time to read each biography through, and then pause to consider how this affected my life and my faith.

Sometimes my heart was filled with pride for the women followers of Christ who had come before me; other times I was haunted by the stories, closing the book and wondering whether I had the strength to do what they had done.

The book begins with the famous story of the young woman Perpetua, who was murdered in an amphitheater in A.D. 203. Refusing to deny her faith in Christ, she listened to the pleas of her family, and asked them to care for her infant son. She would not turn her back on Christ, and hers is a story that has encouraged persecuted believers for years.

The book spans across the centuries, telling the stories of women from very different backgrounds, from different countries of the world. But though most of these faithful women never knew each other, their stories were similar in their love for Jesus and their desire to live, and sometimes die, for Him. I loved not only the inspiring stories of the Christian women throughout history, but also the personal stories shared by Myrna Grant, the author of this amazing book. Some of my tears were shed over the stories of her life, and the stories she shares about others.

We have all read the amazing stories of the heroic men of our faith. I pray that the stories in this book will help strengthen and inspire the believing women and girls of today by reminding them of our sisters of faith who have come before us.

Movie of the Month: Nanny McPhee
Recommended by: Stephanie Hurd

Ever seen those shows on TV about misbehaved children and the nanny who saves the day? Just multiply the children by 7, and there you have Mr. Brown’s household! The widower Brown played by Colin Firth has no control and no hope. The children have driven all the nannies away, until Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) strangely arrives. I wondered if this was going to be an unimaginative copy of Mary Poppins, yet was pleasantly surprised.

The children are quite rebellious at first, and challenge anything constructive attempted by Nanny McPhee. She uses her sobering attitude and magical influence in a way that the children cannot refuse. Some might take issue with the magic used in this movie, and Nanny McPhee’s sullen character, that must be up to each person’s judgment. I will say that I thought it was a charming story, which was obviously make believe, and that I don’t have difficulty with, yet one must decide for themselves.

Another twist to the movie was that the widower Brown had to find a wife or the snobbish intrusive Aunt Adelaide (Angela Lansbury) would no longer help the family financially. Will Nanny McPhee be able to make the children presentable and attractive to any potential new mothers? And, will true love come to Mr. Brown in time? These are the questions that make the movie delightful to see.

The inspiration for Nanny McPhee came from Christianna Brand's classic "Nurse Matilda" book series. If you wish to view a movie trailer go to www.nannymcphee.co.uk/trailers.htm

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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

SWORD DRILL Do you know where you can find these Passages of Scripture in the bible?
  1. Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
    your justice like the great deep.
    O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.
  2. I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;
    I do not seal my lips,
    as you know, O LORD. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
    I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.
    I do not conceal your love and your truth
    from the great assembly. Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD;
    may your love and your truth always protect me.
  3. Love and faithfulness meet together;
    righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
    and righteousness looks down from heaven.
  4. Praise the LORD, all you nations;
    extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us,
    and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
    Praise the LORD.
  5. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.


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. "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see"

2. His true son in the faith (1 Tim. 1:2)

3. the Centurion with a paralyzed servant

4. her faith (Matt. 9:22)

5. Faith

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Answers for JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH:

Answers

1. Psalm 36:5-6

2. Psalm 40:9-11

3. Psalm 85:10-11

4. Psalm 117

5. Proverbs 3:3

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