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JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #17 -- Masterpiece -- May 2004)


Did you know you are a masterpiece? Youíre one of a kind, and very special to God! So special, in fact, that He gave His own life to save yours, so that you and He could be together eternally! It is my heart-felt prayer that The Lord will use this issue of JEM Precious Stones to give you just a glimpse of how much He loves you!

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR MAY
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
POINTS TO PONDER
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
A WORK IN PROGRESS
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 MAY
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

Masterpiece -- You
Are God's Masterpiece. Formed by
Yahweh's loving hands.

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BIRTHDAY GREETING

May our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, bless you on your special day. May His peace, love, and mercy rest upon each of you, your homes, and your loved ones, as you celebrate the masterpiece that He created you to be!

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INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

Made in His image, but
Apart from Him now --
Soon He is coming
The trumpet will sound.
Eternity's waiting
Rejoicing Abounds.
Praise to the Lord our
Immanuel. On that day
Every eye shall behold Him
Christ, our Risen Savior and
Everlasting King.

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POINTS TO PONDER
By: Gwen Tweedy

I find it simply amazing that the Air Force studies different birds like vultures and other kinds, to learn better how to fly! Imagine that! Whether they acknowledge God or not, they are turning to the master creator for flight. So God even taught us this in His forming of winged birds! More rock solid evidence that God is on His throne and controls it all! I find it so comforting -- that God is, and is in all things! Pretty awesome, wouldn't you say?

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QUOTE OF THE MONTH


"I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love."
-Henry Ward Beecher

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A WORK IN PROGRESS
By: Denise Imbody

Ah! What a wondrous time is spring. Time for the trees to begin budding, and the flowers to begin blooming, and time to plant those gardens....but let's not forget that it is time for some good spring cleaning!

As I typed this...I almost could hear all the moans of those who will read it..but yes, I did say spring cleaning. Time to get some deep cleaning done in our homes..and maybe tackle some of those areas that we kept pretending weren't really there.

Oh, you know some of the places I am talking about...the basement, attic, shed, and let's not forget the yard, and the list could just go on...but we're so excited that life is in the air, and that the warm weather is coming, it doesn't seem as bad of a task as we thought throughout the rest of the year...so we get ready to tackle the different areas.

Did you ever notice that when you get ready to clean a certain area, and you begin pulling different things out of the area, and wondering how items that belong some place else might have made their way to that particular spot...that as you clean, and the more you clean, the worse the area looks? And so it goes on, until you get everything pulled out, wiped down, and put back into their places...then and only then does it look nice.

I think that is the way we are...constantly messing up, but the Lord continually cleans us, and as He does, we are His work in progress...not quite there yet..but with His help we will reach that place of being a masterpiece for the Lord.

We need to remember that we are just that..."a work in progress"...we are His creation. It would be so very easy to quit, and decide that we do not need to do this or that, but we are no longer our own, if we have chosen to serve the Lord, but we are His. His to mold, shape, make, create into whatever He wants us to be.

There is an old children's song that goes like this...

I am a promise. I am a possibility.
I am a promise, with a capital P.
I am a great big bundle of potentiality
And if I listen, I can hear God's voice.
And if I trust Him, He'll help me make the right choice.
I am a promise to be, anything He wants me to be.

I Am A Promise - Composed by: William J. Gaither and Gloria Gaither - © 1975

So, let's remember that we are just that..a masterpiece that the Lord promises He will complete in us.

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A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'

When someone says "Life is hard," ask them, "Compared to what?"
-- 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.

Psalm 139
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Easy Taco Chicken

This month's recipe is quick, easy, yummy and versatile!

For the chicken, you need:

4 - 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
OR
7 - 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, thawed
1 can (2 cups) chicken broth
1 package taco seasoning mix

(additional ingredients, depending on how you serve)

Place chicken in the bottom of your crockpot. Pour chicken broth and taco seasoning over the top. Place lid on and cook on Low 8 hours (can also cook on High 4 - 6 hours). Once cooked, remove chicken from liquid (discard liquid) and shred with fork. This chicken is very tender and shreds easily.

Ways to serve:

Chicken Wrap: Use this chicken to create a wrap, by placing the amount you want in a soft flour tortilla. Add any other ingredients you like such as, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, cheese, etc. Wrap up and eat!

Chicken Taco: Create a chicken taco by placing some of the chicken in a crispy taco shell with your favorite taco toppings.

Chicken Salad: Add some of the chicken to a green salad for a bit of zip and to create a one-dish-meal.

Be creative! Use this yummy chicken in other dishes such as a spreadable chicken salad, stuffed baked potato, over rice with corn and black beans, etc.

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: Cheri Church

For places that you don't clean often, like the top of the refrigerator, cut a piece of cloth to fit the area, and then pull it down to wash occasionally...and voila! no cleaning!! LOL...it looks pretty, too!

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

You know, I love to just take some plastic canvas, yarn, and a yarn needle, and find a Scripture verse. Once I have found that verse...like this one...

Psalm 139
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

SIDE NOTE: It does NOT have to be from the KJV (usually the ones I do are from the NIV).

I work it into the plastic canvas. I put a border around the outside (in the same color yarn choice), and if there is any space left over, I pray and see what kind of picture I can put there to fill that area a bit. Once I have the verse, and picture placed, I take a nice contrasting yarn...or a yarn that would look nice as a background color, and fill in all the rest of the canvas...and there you have a nice little masterpiece you can keep or give away (I have given several away as gifts--and the people I gave them to, just loved them). ‹

If you would like an easier craft alternative...how about this.

How about making a masterpiece magnet of your precious little ones, yourself, spouse, relative, friend, pet, etc.

You'll need the following materials...

A picture (you don't mind using)
Scissors
A craft clothes pin (the ones with the springs in them)
magnetic tape
Hot glue gun

optional materials...
foam pieces
markers
and whatever you can think of to decorate with

Take the picture and cut it into whatever shape you like. Hot glue it on to the clothes pin (unless you are going to use the pieces of foam..then glue it to the foam first then to the clothes pin). Cut a piece of magnet to fit the back of the clothes pin, and stick it on (the magnetic tape is usually sticky and does not need to be glued on). Write the words "you are a masterpiece" on your little picture magnet...or a scripture verse of your choice, and there you have it..a nice little masterpiece to hang on your fridge.

This also can double as a little message magnet, too. If you want to leave a note for someone, just clip it inside the clothes pin.

***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

Mistake or Masterpiece?

Psalm 139;NIV
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

You know, for the longest time, I went around saying that I was a mistake. Even well, after I was saved, I would say this. The reason I thought this was because of so many reasons.

My mom was only 15 when she conceived me, and 16 by the time I was born. She was not married. She was just a baby herself. She was forced to marry my father, but that didn't end up working out. The list could just go on like this, why I felt like I was a mistake. But the Lord has shown me through His beautiful Word, that it is not true. I am not a mistake. I am a masterpiece!

Just read Psalm 139, and you will see that you were not a mistake either. I know there are others out there, that think they are, but you are not. To believe such a lie (and believe me I was there once) is to say that our Heavenly Father is a liar. I don't know about you, but I never want to entertain such a thought. His Word is true, and therefore we need to know that we were not a mistake at all where He is concerned, but we all are a masterpiece!

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

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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 Godís Word more.

In honor of Mother's Day (May 9), let's see if you know these Biblical Mothers.

1) Who was the Gentile widow who followed her mother-in-law to a foreign land, where she met and married an Israelite and gave birth to Obed, placing her in the lineage of Jesus?

2) Which mother preferred her younger son to her older and interfered to obtain the birthright and blessing for him?

3) Who's mother named him a Hebrew name which means "I gave birth to him in pain"?

4) Who begged God for a child and even vowed to give him to the Lord?

5) Who was the barren woman who gave birth to her child in her old age and gave him the name the angel told his father?

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: VEGGIE ROCKS!
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

VEGGIE ROCKS! by Various Artists

Watch out Veggietale fans, there's something new on the scene... and it isn't your normal fare. VEGGIE ROCKS! is a CD compilation of favorite songs from the Veggietale videos rearranged and recorded by Christian singing artists such as Rebecca St. James, Newsboys, Tait and Audio Adrenaline (to name a few). While a fun CD with lots of spirit, it may be a bit too rocky for some folks.... and little ones may not like the altered sound of their favorite Veggie Tunes. Overall, I liked this CD. Only one of the renditions was too over the top for me -- Skillet's version of "Stand." There is one precious jewel here for Steven Curtis Chapman fans -- a hilarious rendition of the song "I Love My Lips" recorded by Stevenson (Steven and his 2 sons). His boys can sing! I suggest previewing clips of this CD at www.Christianbook.com or if offered, listening to it at your local Christian bookstore before purchasing. Again, it is a fun CD, but will not be something that suits everyone's taste.

Book of the Month: It Couldn't Just Happen
Recommended by: Matthew Imbody

It Couldn't Just Happen by Lawrence O. Richards

The public schools arenít teaching our children that we are a masterpiece Ė on the contrary, they are teaching them that we are, in essence, an accident. The theory of evolution, and all itís inconsistencies, is presented as fact, when, in actuality, scientific discoveries do not support it, and, in fact, have dis-proven evolution time and time again. In this book, you will find the facts that ďtheyĒ donít want you to know, and clear, convincing evidence for the Biblical creation. With this book in hand, you will have the knowledge you need to convey Godís Word, and show the scoffers that It Couldnít Just Happen!

Idea of the Month: Masterpiece Watch
Recommended by: Denise Imbody

I thought, since we were talking about the Lord creating all the masterpieces that He has created, that it would be a good time to suggest a family walk. You can walk through your neighborhood, or go to a park, or some nearby site that you like to visit, and just take notice of all the beautiful things that the Lord has created for our pleasure, and enjoyment. It would be a really nice family field trip, and a glorious time to spend with each other and the Lord!

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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! ‹

How many words can you make from this word?

MASTERPIECE

If you are having trouble, and need some ideas, I have 50 words listed in the answer section,and I have been thinking of even more than that, so see how many more you can come up with...have fun! ‹

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) Ruth

2) Rebekah

3) Jabez's mother

4) Hannah

5) Elizabeth

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Answers for JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH:

Here are some Answers to help get you started.

1. master
2. piece
3. same
4. prime
5. trees
6. meet
7. meat
8. seat
9. tea
10. tee
11. team
12. teem
13. trim
14. rim
15. sit
16. pit
17. trip
18. tip
19. mat
20. pat
21. sat
22. rat
23. rate
24. car
25. care
26. creep
27. create
28. crate
29. price
30. space
31. pies
32. paste
33. cast
34. scrap
35. scrape
36. case
37. scream
38. cream
39. raise
40. praise
41. items
42. stem
43. step
44. steep
45. strip
46. stripe
47. rise
48. rice
49. cries
50. tries

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