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JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #11 -- November 2003)


Greetings, and welcome to the November issue of JEMís Precious Stones E-zine!

Well, now that October is behind us, we can look ahead to the wondrous holiday season! A time of Thanksgiving, worship, friends and family. A time to look back on all that God has blessed us with Ė especially His greatest gift to us Ė the gift of His only begotten Son!

This month is one of Thanksgiving. What a wonderful prelude to the celebration of the arrival of that Christmas Babe! Praise and thank God with me, as we celebrate the true meaning of the holidays...

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR NOVEMBER
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
POINTS TO PONDER
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
GIVING THANKS VS THANKSGIVING
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 NOVEMBER
By: Denise Imbody

Now is the time for
Our hearts to rejoice in the
Victory that we have in Jesus our
Emmanuel, Savior, Friend,
Messiah, Redeemer, and
Brother who bore all our sins so we could live
Eternally with Him, if we believe, so let's
Remember to give Him thanks this month and all year round.

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BIRTHDAY GREETING

Heavenly Father,
We give thanks for all who will be celebrating a birthday this month. We ask You that You would make them truly grateful for how You love them,and take care of their every need. Please help them to have a great day, and a great year. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

Every Day Thanksgiving

A few years ago around Thanksgiving Day, I was having my Quiet Time and thinking of all I am thankful for....all the obvious stuff -- good health, family, friends, etc. Then I started to think of the deeper things I could....should....thank God for such as my salvation. Now hear me on this, I am not saying that you should not thank Him for all those things and certainly our salvation is His greatest gift to us, but as I read my Bible that day I started to see so much more that I needed to thank Him for.

As a result I started a "Thank You" journal where I wrote out my thanks. Here are some examples --

I am thankful that He who began a good work in me will carry it on to the completion until the day of Christ. (Phil.. 1:6)

As Much as I am thankful to be an American, I am even more thankful that my citizenship is in heaven. (Phil. 3:20)

I am thankful that everything under heaven belongs to God and that He can do all things and that no plan of his can be thwarted. (Job 41:11, Job 42:2)

I am thankful that I can cast all my anxieties on Him, because He cares for me. (1 Peter 5:7)

I am so thankful that what is impossible with men is possible with God. (Luke 18:27)

This list goes on and on. Whether you write your thanks down in a journal as I have or just speak them in private to the Lord. Search His word for all the many, many things you have to be thankful for as a child of the King. The list is endless!

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POINTS TO PONDER
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.

One evening, as I was working on an e-mail to our chat list, I was searching out the scripture in which Paul the Apostle admonishes us to do all things in moderation. I knew it was there somewhere. I have probably attributed those words to Paul in conversation more than once, but, to my surprise, I couldnít find anywhere in the Word where those words were written.

Even worse, in my research, I ran across people who quoted these exact words and referenced Philippians 4:5 ďLet your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.Ē Clearly, in context, and with a little research into the Greek words, this is speaking about being gentle, and not at all about, ďdoing things in moderationĒ. The words I had so long attributed to Paul were never written by him!

I am relating this story so that you will see that everything needs to be backed up by scripture! We canít just think we know, because, if we are wrong, we are spreading lies! We need to hide Godís Word in our heart Ė so that we will know the truth, and be able to give it to a dying world! Donít just accept what your pastor teaches as the truth Ė look it up for yourself! Any good pastor will tell you to study to show yourself approved! If any mere man demands blind obedience, you need to run from him!

Lord, help us to know Your word! Weed out the religious and traditional beliefs we hold to, and replace them with Your truth! Give us a mind that isnít satisfied until Your Word confirms something, and lead us deeper into Your truth and Love! In Jesusí Name, Amen!

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QUOTE OF THE MONTH


Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.
~Edward Sandford Martin

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GIVING THANKS VS THANKSGIVING
By: Denise Imbody

One of the traditions in our home, is to have everyone say 10 things they are thankful for, before eating dinner. Now, some years we have shortened this list to either 5 things a piece, or a couple of years we only did 1 thing. I have to tell you on these years, I felt like it was just a hurried, "Let's get this over with" attitude..and that made me kind of sad. The reason we had shortened the lists was because of the amount of people we had in attendance.

Well, eventually Matt and I decided that we would do 10 things we are thankful for, no matter how many people we had over. A couple of years ago, we had quite a few people here, and we told them all to come prepared with 10 things that they were thankful for, because we would be doing that before eating. I feared that some would groan at the thought--and some did grumble--but they all came with their lists.

Well, we decided to do it a bit differently that year--instead of everyone taking a turn reading their whole list at once--we decided it would be fun to go around the room, and everyone give 1 thing at a time. It really went pretty quickly, for the amount of people we had here, and I dare say that I think they all enjoyed it--even some that had grumbled about having to do it.

I guess I am bringing all this up to say that we truly do need to take time to say thank you to our Lord--not just on this special holiday that we call Thanksgiving--but each and everyday. When He answers a prayer you have petitioned before Him, do you take the time to say, thank You, Lord? I hope so. I try to do that each and every time. Please notice that I say "try", because I am human, and I am sure there have been times that I have forgotten to say thank you.

There is a praise song that goes like this...
It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord
(REPEAT)
And to sing praises to our God, Most High

Aren't those awesome words?

Look at this verse with me...

Psalm 7
17 I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.

Even if there are no other reasons (and there are plenty of them, if we're honest), but even if there were no other reason on this planet to be thankful to the Lord, we need to be thankful just because of His righteousness.

So, please remember that we need to be GIVING THANKS to our Lord each and everyday, and not just on the day we call THANKSGIVING! I just love that those words are interchangeable like that--it's as if, it is a reminder to us to be thankful all year round.‹

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A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'

What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?
~Erma Bombeck, "No One Diets on Thanksgiving," 26 November 1981

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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 92
1 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:
2 To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

This month's recipe is a pie -- but, since it's Thanksgiving, lets make it PIES!!! Mama Daisy's Pecan Pie

This is my grandmother's recipe... and just for the record, it is pronounced "Puh-con" not "Pea-can" ‹

1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup corn syrup -- 1/2 cup dark & 1/4 cup white
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons butter (not margarine!)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat eggs. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into a partially baked pie crust and bake in a moderate oven (325-degrees) for 45 minutes.

Easy and fool proof! I usually bake this a day ahead. It is easily warmed in the microwave or oven if you like it that way.

To partially bake crust, place a piece of parchment paper in the crust and weigh down with dried beans. Bake at 325-degrees F for 10 -15 minutes. Cool and use in recipe above. I have to confess though, I often forget to prebake the crust and my pies come out just fine!
____________

Chess Pie

This is a recipe from my husband's family and a must in our home on Thanksgiving Day. Very easy recipe! This needs to be baked ahead of time and eaten cooled not warm!

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter, melted
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 Tablespoon corn meal
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat eggs and stir in sugar. Add margarine and vanilla. Stir in corn meal, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, vinegar and milk. Pour into an unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350-degrees F. for 30 - 40 minutes. You want the top to be golden and "set". This pie will fall a bit as it cools.

Note -- this will fill a standard pie shell to the brim! I use a pie pan that is 9" and a bit deeper than normal.
____________

German Chocolate Pie

2 ounces German's baking chocolate
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup coconut
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F. Melt chocolate in double boiler. Add butter, sugar, salt and corn syrup. Stir until dissolved. Cool. Beat eggs. Add milk and cornstarch. Mix well. Add egg mixture to chocolate mixture. Stir in vanilla, pecans and coconut. Pour into pie shell. Bake approximately 35 to 45 minutes or until filling is set.

NOTES: I have made this using regular baking chocolate instead of German AND I have used walnuts in place of pecans. I tend to use what I have on hand. These work great!

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QUICK TIP OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

It's that time of year when pies are popping in and out of the oven! If you are like me, you find it challenging to slide that pie into the oven without spilling the filling. Also, I often have mine a bit too full and some will spill over as it bakes. How to avoid that? Here is what I do. I take a nice sturdy cookie sheet and cover it with heavy duty foil. I place my empty pie crust on it and then fill it. This gives me more to hold onto while placing the unbaked pie in the oven and the pan catches any spills making less mess to clean up afterwards.

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CRAFT OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Autumn Placemats

This is an easy and fun craft and can be a very special gift for grandparents.

Take a large piece of construction paper (light colors work best) or cut a large piece of poster board. You decide the size based on how large a placemat you want.

Take your children on a nature walk....or go on one yourself if you no longer have kids at home. Collect autumn leaves of red and gold and orange!

Cut two pieces of clear contact paper a bit larger than the placemat paper. Peel the backing on one piece and lay sticky side up on a flat surface. Place the place mat paper on top.

Now comes the fun! Decorate with the autumn leaves! You can also add Bible verses about being thankful or the children's handprints! Be sure to have the creator sign and date it. Then take the other piece of contact paper and remove the backing. Cover the top of the place mat with the clear contact paper.

You now have a cherished keepsake and placemat all in one!

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

Give Thanks...it is God's Will

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

This has always been a curious verse to me. Just like the "Count it all joy" verse in James. I mean sometimes there just doesn't seem to be any reason to have joy or give thanks. And yet, we are told...commanded...to do so in God's Word. And what's more in this verse, we are told that this is God's will for us...it is His plan, His way, His desire.

God's will .... that is the key. When we don't feel like giving thanks, we need to remember that it is God's will and God's will is always the best for us. We need to join with David and pray "Teach me to do thy will; for Thou are my God; Thy Spirit is good, lead me into the land of uprightness." (Ps. 143:10) Doing God's will grows us...makes us more Christlike...and part of that will is to give thanks in everything.

But how do you give thanks in the tough times, the tragic times...I mean what is there to thank God for when someone is terminal, when there is a death, when you are facing financial struggles, in the midst of a Spiritual struggle..... If you are a saved child of God, then you have the greatest thing to thank God for no matter what is happening in your life. You can thank Him for salvation. You can also thank God that He is with you always, that nothing can separate you from His love, thank Him that when you are weak He is strong.... the list goes on and on.

I can tell you that thanking God in the midst of a trial is an amazing thing. It changes your focus and lifts your spirits. You are looking at the good in your life....you are focusing on Him and that is the best place to look.

So give thanks today and tomorrow and the next day no matter how good or bad your day may be! Your Father wants you to .... He knows it will help you, it is good for you....and He will never steer you wrong!

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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.

We have many, many things to be thankful for - one being God's Wonderful Word! So this month let's see how well you know your way around it!

In what Bible book is the story of David committing adultery with Bathsheba found?

In which book is Stephen stoned to death?

What book tells of the day the sun stood still?

In which book does Philip baptize the Ethiopian?

In which book do we meet Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?

ANSWERS FOR OCTOBER'S QUIZ

All answers are based on NIV

1. What casts out fear?(1 John 4)
Perfect Love

2. Who roams around like a roaring lion, seeking who he can devour? (1 Peter 5)
The devil

3. Who masquerades as an angel of light? (2 Corinthians 11)
Satan

4. If you resist the devil, what will he do? (James 4)
Flee

5. If you draw near to the Lord, what will He do? (James 4)
Draw near to you

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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: It's The Thought
Recommended by: Denise Imbody

It's The Thought by Twila Paris

Well, I am sure that it is no secret that Twila Paris is one of my all time favorite Christian Singers--so it would only seem appropriate that I would recommend her Christmas CD called It's The Thought. The song from which the title is taken, is an incredible one that points us right to the ultimate gift of all--Jesus giving up His life for us, so we can live eternally with Him.

This CD has some traditional favorites, along with some songs that will catch your attention, and have you singing along. Some of my favorites, are the title track (mentioned above), This World, Away in a manger, White Christmas/Whiter Than Snow, Wandering Pilgrim, and her version of O Holy Night, is a must hear--along with all the rest of the songs, that I just did not even mention. So, gather the family together, and get ready to sing along with some old familiar tunes, and learn some beautiful new ones, as well.

Idea of the Month: Advent
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

We have always strived to emphasize Jesus during the Christmas season. We enjoy many of the more secular traditions like a tree, Santa, Rudolph etc. But we never want them to overshadow the real reason for the season.

We have always put our nativity out before any other decorations. We also never open presents on Christmas morning until we have gathered together as a family and read the story of Christ's birth in Luke 2 and had a time of prayer. Many years ago, we added another tradition that keeps us focused on Jesus daily despite the holiday hubbub spinning around us. We observe Advent.

Advent is the period of expectation prior to Christ's birth -- it begins 4 Sundays before Christmas. Some people only participate on those Sundays. We choose to have a daily Advent time.

There are many books for all ages and families available with advent readings and devotions. Go to www.christianbooks.com and search the subject index for Advent. You will find many! Three we have used are The Twenty-Five Days of Christmas by Rebecca Hayford Bauer, Jotham's Journey by Arnold Ytreeide and Batholomew's Passage also by Arnold Ytreeide.

There are many ways to count down the holiday season. You can purchase Advent calendars or create your own. The book Advent Foretold by Gary and Wanda Sanseri has wonderful instructions for creating a family Advent banner and includes daily readings also.

Another great Advent resource is Family Celebrations for Christmas by Ann Hibbard. This book includes 2 Advent reading plans, ideas for family worship at Christmas, instructions for an Advent Tree Banner, a Jesse Tree and an Advent Wreath and Hymns to sing each day.

Our family uses an Advent Wreath, lighting candles each night. Again, there are a number of ways to create these. One year our "wreath" consisted of 5 candles on candle holders. We placed 4 in a circular pattern to create the "wreath" and then placed one in the center. Be creative!

There are many, many Advent resources online to give you ideas and information. Here are just a few:

The Christian Season of Advent

Annie's Advent Page

Annie's Advent Links

Annie's Advent Calendar
(A craft, devotion and fun thing to do for each day of the advent season)

Why not participate in Advent this year? Spend this time in anticipation of the birth of the Savior! It will draw you closer together as a family and closer to the babe in the manger.

Book of the Month: Jotham's Journey
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Jotham's Journey by Arnold Ytreeide

This is a wonderful way to spend time with your family during the Advent season and to keep your focus on the real reason for this season. Jotham's Journey is the story of a young boy's search for his father. His disobedience has separated them and now he must travel a long and sometimes difficult path to return to his family. There are wonderful memorable characters that will seem like real friends by the end of the book! Ytreeide has set everything up for daily reading and even has suggestions for how to enhance it that experience using advent candles. This book is perpetual with instructions on how to modify it depending on the weekday on which Christmas falls. There are also two additional advent books by Ytreeide -- Bartholomew's Passage and Tabitha's Travel. Characters intertwine between all 3 stories, but the perspectives are different. All three are available online at www.christianbooks.com

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

Give Thanks

Unscramble the words below and find a list of things for which to thank God. Verse references are included. (NIV Used in creating this puzzler)

eh si ogdg (1 Chronicles 16:34)

sih sueihnsrgtose (Psalm 7:17)

ish vole sndreue erefvor (1 Chronicles 16:34)

nafuiinlg veol (Psalm 107:8)

ogiterhus awl (Psalm 119:62)

lenourwdf ededs (Psalm 107:8)

lacenriidsbbe tisgf (2 Corinthians 9:15)


ANSWERS FOR OCTOBER'S PUZZLER

NAME THAT TUNE

The first line of a song is provided for you--can you name the title of it?

1. My Jesus, My Savior, Lord there is none like You
Shout to the Lord

2. My hope is built on Nothing less than Jesus hope and Righteousness
The Solid Rock

3. I can't find the words to pray I'm a little down today
Lord Move, or Move Me

4. You are God in Heaven, and here am I on earth
Let My Words Be Few

5. What a fellowship, what a joy divine
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

6. I don't know how to say this, I don't know where to stand
Conversation

7. I was walking round, trying to put it down in total darkness
Jump, Jump, Jump

8. Over all the earth, You reign on high
Lord, Reign in Me

9. Sometimes my life just don't make sense at all
Hold Me Jesus

10. Oh Lord, my God, when I, in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy hands have made
Great is Thy Faithfulness

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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