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JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #29 -- MYSTERY -- May 2005)


Greetings, and welcome to another edition of JEM Precious Stones!

There are some things we may never know until we reach Heaven; but there are other things that God wants us to know -- things that we must seek out from Him and from His Word! If we keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking, our reward will be not only answers, but Godly wisdom and knowledge! Join us as we try to open our hearts, and expand our minds, to God's wondrous mystery!

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR MAY
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
POINTS TO PONDER
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
MYSTERY
A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'
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 MAY
By: Denise Imbody

My Father is the One who created
Yesterday, today, and forever and He
Sent His Son to
Take on all our sins and
Express how much He loves us by
Redeeming those who
Yield to His will, and believe in Jesus!

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BIRTHDAY GREETING

Heavenly Father, We thank you for this wondrous time of the year, that we call spring. How lovely it is to see new life springing forth. We thank You and praise You for Your beautiful creation. We also thank You for our brothers and sisters who are celebrating their birthday this month. Please help them to blossom where they are, and be used for Your glory and honor, in Jesus' name, amen!

Happy Birthday May Babies!

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INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: Denise Imbody

Life is moving so very fast
Each moment is quickly in the past
What a wonder, what a mystery
Just take some time to look and see

The mountains, rivers, all the blues and greens
The colors, and picturesque scenes
Want to praise the Lord each day
Shouldn't that be our hearts way?

Stop the busyness, and slow down
Come on, take more than a moment to look around
At the glory of God's mystery
Created for you and for me

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POINTS TO PONDER
By: Chris Silvey

Matthew 5:14-16 NAB

You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.

This has always been one of my favorite verses in the Bible. We are called to share our light--our gifts, our love--with others. When we share our light we are also sharing the love of God. Do you know what your gifts are? Do you know how to let your light shine so that it gives glory to God? If you are unsure, pray to God and ask Him to show you what your gifts are and how you can shine before others. Your light was meant to be shared with the world. It wasn't meant to be hidden away.

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QUOTE OF THE MONTH


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence.
-- St. Augustine of Hippo

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Webster's 1828 Dictionary gives the following definitions for the word Mystery:

1. A profound secret; something wholly unknown or something kept cautiously concealed, and therefore exciting curiosity or wonder.

2. In religion, any thing in the character or attributes of God, or in the economy of divine providence, which is not revealed to man.

3. That which is beyond human comprehension until explained. In this sense, mystery often conveys the idea of something awfully sublime or important; something that excites wonder.

Much of life fits into those definitions. I sometimes think more is unknown to us than is known. It is often difficult for us to deal with the unknown, but I have found that we need to focus on what we know... what is NOT a mystery to us.

The Word of God is full of "knowns" ....

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16 NASB

"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Rom. 8: 38 - 39 NASB

"If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going." John 14:3 & 4 NASB

Those are just a few! God's Word is no mystery to Believers... the Holy Spirit goes before you... guiding you into all truth ... the truth of the Word.

Spending time in the Word.. the "known" helps us to walk in the unknown each day. And it allows the anticipation of certain unknowns to fill us with wonder... we know Jesus is coming back for us.. we just don't know when.. we know Heaven is a grand and glorious place... we just can't comprehend it fully... but we can anticipate them. And even on a daily basis... we might not know what the day is going to hold.. what opportunities the Lord will bring our way... or maybe we have a trial and we have no idea how He is going to bring us through.. but we can go forth with the anticipation of seeing Him work!

Don't worry about the mysteries of life.... the things you don't understand... instead embrace the truth of His Word... the "knowns".

"Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth." John 17:17 NASB

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A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'

I know there is a lesson to be learned here somewhere, but I don't know what it is.
--Linus Van Pelt from Peanuts

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TESTIMONY TIME

My Testimony: By Gwen Tweedy

I was born on a very cold and snowy November day. I came three months too early. I weighed 1 pound 15 ozs and went down to 1 pound 8 ozs. I was in an incubator for three months and I received too much oxygen; thus I became totally blind. It was thought that I would see, but then one eye clouded up and then the other. All attachments that make eyes work were gone!

I went back to the hospital a week later after I was home, diagnosed with pneumonia and was pronounced DOA! But I was a scraper! They said I kicked my way from one end of the box to the other and they could not keep me still. To this day I still have an interest in exploring, and seeing how things work.

I grew up in a pastor's home, and knew at an early age who Jesus was. I walked the aisle for the first time when I was ten years old. The trouble was the peace didn't last, and I kept walking the aisle with doubts fears and worries. Worries that I wasn't going to heaven.

When I was grown these nagging doubts and fears still persisted. One day back in 2001 though I was tired of listening to music and turned to talk radio and my choices were Rush Limbaugh and G Gordon Liddy. I won't go into all that here for you don't want to read a novel!

I happened one day though to turn the radio on and catch an earlier talk show with Neal Boortz and he had a topic of "How to keep stupid people from breeding!" Here again I won't go into the despicable details of his program. Let's suffice it to say, I was beyond boiling after the program and tried to shut his broadcasts down in my own pitiful way. And the more people told me to "turn the knob or turn it off if it upsets you" so much the truly angrier I got. I hated him and told him so in an Email and later apologized. He got neither personally I'm sure but it helped me anyway.

I had the worst head ache I have ever experienced for three solid days and my appetite was null!

It was about that time I received a worship CD for some choir numbers we were to memorize, by Don Moen, and if you have not heard his worship you are missing a bundle of praise!

It literally turned my life upside down and catapulted me onto a higher praise plane where I had never gone before! I smiled more! I talked more! I greeted people more including staff at work! I was bowing my knees and heart to Jesus in praise almost 24-7, and I could truly be inside people and actually feel what they were feeling for the first time in my life -- and this time, I acknowledged Jesus as LORD and controller of me and all I possessed or touched! And oh the peace and the joy that still exists is unmatchable. For you see I had all the head and heart knowledge but hadn't truly given His rightful place within me!

I sing constantly!

I am now on my third time of reading my Bible through and I keep asking God not for more Bible though that would be nice, but that he would show me more and more from the Bible I have. I hope I have grown, and I pray that I truly am a blessing and a minister to somebody

I want to leave a legacy.

I am not afraid of the Mark any more or the tribulation any more nor anything here, cause I truly know who my Redeemer is, the only begotten Son of God, and the devil has no power within me any more that God is not Big Enough To Handle all by Himself.

Praise The Lord I've finally come home!

***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 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.

1 Timothy 3
16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Fudge Ecstasies

12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips, divided
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 TBSP butter or margarine
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350. Grease cookies sheets (or line with parchment paper); set aside. In a heavy medium saucepan heat 1 cup of chocolate chips, the unsweetened chocolate, and butter until melted, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla, and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping sides of pan. Add remaining chocolate pieces and nuts.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2" apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm and surfaces are dull and crackled. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool.

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: Alecia Imbody

Melting Chocolate

Instead of placing the chocolate in the microwave, place a bowl of water in there for a minute or 2. While that is heating up, put chocolate bits, pieces, or melts into a cup or smaller, yet deeper bowl. Remove hot water from the microwave, and place the cup or bowl in it. Put a plate over the cup or bowl, and something a little heavy to hold it there. Check it every few minutes as chocolate begins to melt. Reheat water as needed.

This will melt your chocolate, but prevent it from burning.

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: DelAnne Frazee

Mother's Day Baskets

Materials: Elmer's glue bread food dye plastic (surgical) gloves Flower wire

Take some old stale bread and mix in Elmer's glue until malleable adding red and green dye to turn it brown. You can also use brown paint. Then roll into long tubes about 8 inches long, no thicker than a slender straw. Depending on the size of the tube make 14-16. Weave 6-8 of these tubes gently into a mat of about 4" square. There should be 2" left over on all 4 sides of unwoven tubes. Taking 5-6 tubes begin weaving the sides of the basket. Pinching the ends gently together to seal them. If you have a bowl or box you can mold the shape to it will be easier. Take a embroidery needle and make a hole where you will attach the handle to the basket.

Take the last 2 and carefully twist them forming a sort of rope effect. Take a length of flower wire and carefully run it through the twisted tubes leaving about 1 1/2 inches on either end. Shape it into the handle for the basket. Make sure it will fit the basket. Set aside and let both the basket and handle dry over night.

The next day use the extra wire to attach the handle to the basket by inserting the wire through the holes and bringing it back up and twisting it like a twist tie.

You can also use the bread clay to make flowers for your basket and glue them to the out side after they are dried and painted.

Put tissue paper or Easter grass in the basket. Get a little trinket and give it to your mother with love from you or to grandma from the kids.

***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: Gwen Tweedy

I can be up
Or I can be down.
I can wear a smile
Or I can wear a frown.

My disposition is truly
Mine you see,
Am I in Jesus?
And is Jesus in me?

I can choose anger,
Fear and fretting,
Or I can walk with Jesus
And not be forgetting.

I can cause others
To have a bad day,
Or I can lead them along
Christ's wonderful way.

So you see
The choice is clear,
I can freeze out Jesus,
Or I can claim He's here.

So look to Jesus
That's what it's about,
Bring others to Jesus
And don't ever pout.

And you'll be joyful
All the day long,
And you'll whisper His name
And be singing a song.

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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.

This month we celebrate Mother's Day, so for our Bible Quiz I thought we would look at some Mom's in the Bible.

1. Who gave birth to a son when she was 90 years old?

2. Who prophesied to the Shunammite woman that, though her husband was too old, she would bear a child?

3. What woman, long barren, gave birth to twins?

4. Whose mother was told by an angel that she would bear a son who would deliver Israel from the Philistines?

5. What beloved wife of Jacob gave birth after many years to Joseph and Benjamin?

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: Restored
Recommended by: Chris Silvey

Restored by Jeremy Camp

Jeremy Camp is currently touring with MercyMe. Restored is Jeremy's latest album. All the songs were written by Jeremy and discuss topics such as God's love and mercy for us. "Take You Back" promises that no matter what our circumstances are in life God will always take us back. Songs such as "Letting Go" and "Nothing Else I Need" discuss letting go and allowing God to be everything in our hearts and lives. There are twelve songs on the CD. Some of the songs have a hard rock sound to them. I would recommend this CD to anyone interested in up and coming Christian musicians.

Movie of the Month: Luther
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Luther

Our family recently rented the movie Luther... a film based on the list of Martin Luther. This movie is a wonderful telling of Luther's journey into the Word and the changes he started in the church. From all I have read, it is very accurate historically.. something I personally appreciate. The movie was filmed on location in Europe and is beautifully done... you will feel like you are there in the 1500's. It is full of passion and anger and injustice and sadness... many emotions. In no way is this a dry documentary. Because of the subject matter, there are some scenes that might be upsetting to young children -- there are scenes with poor people dying and battles with a bit of gore... and of course the main emphasis is on theology and doctrine. The church of that day required people to pay for their sins to be forgiven and even the monks were not encouraged to read the Word. In fact, that was one of Luther's crimes.. he dared to understand the Word of God and encouraged others to do the same. The Gospel message comes through in the movie.. something we rarely see in Hollywood. One more thing I must mention is language.. there are a few inappropriate words scattered here and there in the movie. All that said... I really do think this is a wonderful movie.. it really increased my understanding of Martin Luther and how his life has effected mine. Much of how I worship is a result of Luther's standing up to the church and saying "No... this is not right." Again, because of the subject matter and the smattering of language, It would be most appropriate for teenagers and adults.

Website of the Month: www.Crosscards.com
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

I love sending online cards to folks for birthdays, anniversaries, Mom's Day, Father's Day.. and just because! I especially love Christian cards and have a couple of sites I use regularly. Over time, I start to know all the cards by heart! Well now there is a new Christian Card site.. Crosscards... and they have more than just free e-cards there. They have the coolest free wallpaper for your computer with Scripture on it. It is great to surround yourself with the Word... and this is just another way to do that!

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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! ‹

Unscramble these springtime words.

WERSFLO

EHORSSW

PENO INDSWOW

LOMOB

NICSPIC

CKOOOSTU

PRINGS ACEILNNG

AABBELLS

REGNOL ADSY

ENGER RASGS

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. Sarah - Gen. 21:1-5

2. Elisha - 2 Kings 4:13-17

3. Rebekah - Gen. 25:21-26

4. Samson's - Judges 13:3,5

5. Rachel - Gen. 30:22-24; 35:18)

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Answers for JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH:

FLOWERS

SHOWERS

OPEN WINDOWS

BLOOM

PICNICS

COOKOUTS

SPRING CLEANING

BASEBALL

LONGER DAYS

GREEN GRASS

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