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JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #22 -- Fruit Inspection -- October 2004)


We're a bit late this month, but that's ok. We had to wait 'til the e-zine ripened and was ready to pick! Sometimes, time is all that is needed for fruit to become beautiful. Unfortunately, that's not always the case, though. Sometimes, extensive pruning, removal of bad fruit, or even uprooting the plant and starting from seed again is the only answer...

No matter where you are, though, God is with you. He is the Gardener, and He will lovingly take you through the hard times -- carefully spreading warm soil over your battered roots; meticulously cutting away the useless, making way for new buds, blossoms, and fruit; tirelessly starting over with you, again and again -- as long as it takes... You can be sure that He will never give up on you -- and, eventually, no matter how hard it may be, you will bear fruit good enough for His table! After all, the produce is not because of anything you have done -- but because of all the work that the Gardener has put into you!

Lets take some time to look at some fruit. Join me, as we become Fruit Inspectors!

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR OCTOBER
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
POINTS TO PONDER
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
FRUIT INSPECTION
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 OCTOBER
By: Denise Imbody

Orange, red, yellow, brown, the
Colors of autumn brilliantly shine
Through the camouflage of the summer's
Overwhelming heat but now can show their
Beautiful colors that never seem to
End as they stand proud to
Reveal God's beauty all around

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BIRTHDAY GREETING

As you grow in wisdom and grace, may The Lord bless you on this, your birthday month. May He fill you with His living, flowing power, and may He empower you to do all that He asks of you!

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INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: Denise Imbody

From sunrise to sunset
Remember that we all can
Unite in prayer and stand firm
In all the Father has
Taught us through His Holy Word.

In doing this
Night and day we will
Surely be able to
Prepare our words to help
Encourage each other in
Complete and
Total confidence to
Inspire each
Other to be bold
Now and in the days to come

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POINTS TO PONDER
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Gal. 5:22

For years I talked about the fruits of the Spirit and then one day I realized that the word is singular not plural -- it is the FRUIT of the Spirit. Yes, there are 9 virtues listed in those verses as part of that Fruit... but they come as a package deal.

You have access to every single one of those virtues. You cannot say well, I have lots of love and self-control, but no patience. Not true. If you are a believer the Holy Spirit lives in you and, therefore, you have ALL of these virtues within you. The key is found in verse 16 "live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature." We have to live by the Spirit. You know how that is done... you have heard this before, just as I have! This is where we talk about dying to self.

Everyday we have to surrender our flesh, our natural self, our emotion, desires, wants, thoughts, etc., to the Lord and allow the Spirit in us to lead and guide us. Then, and only then, will we bear the Fruit He longs to see.

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QUOTE OF THE MONTH


"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn't it?"
--Anne of Green Gables

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FRUIT INSPECTION
By: Denise Imbody

John 15;NIV
3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

As we walked through the apple orchard, on our annual apple picking field trip, I took notice of how the apples that had been dropped on the path had been rotting. They were getting slimy and slippery, and actually were dangerous, if you happen to step on them accidentally, in just the right way.

Then there were those apples that were still hanging onto their branches. Some were ready to be picked. They came easily off with a twist of the wrist, but I noticed that there were some apples that clung to the tree. I turned them a couple of times, but could tell that they just were not ready. It seemed as though they were hanging on for dear life.

Well, I got to thinking about how us Christians can be like any of the above apples...just take a minute and think about it.

Let's start with those rotting apples on the ground. While it is true that the seeds they hold within could be planted and made into a brand new apple tree, in essence, their purpose in life is just about up. Oh, sure, some might get picked up and used as seconds, but I thought we could try and look at this from a spiritual point of view.

Something must have happened for those apples to have been separated from the tree that once gave them life. Perhaps some folks came along, and plucked them off the branches, thinking they wanted it, then realized there was some kind of imperfection on them, so tossed them aside. Or maybe, they just couldn't hold on to the branch anymore...they had no more strength, so they just gave up and let go.

Have you ever seen this happened to anyone that you knew was serving the Lord at one point in time? They were strong in their walk with Jesus, then one day someone came along, wheedled them into thinking it would be fun to hang out together, then when they were away from Christian fellowship, the person who coaxed them away, decided to drop them like a hot potato, for whatever reason.

How about the Christian that is struggling in their walk. They are finding it hard to keep their head above water, and feeling like if just one more thing happens, they will just fall to the ground, because they are holding on by a thread. Unfortunately, their brothers and sisters, are so busy with whatever is going on in their own lives, that this hurting child gets lost in the crowd, doesn't receive the help they need, and just falls from their weakness.

They haven't been spending time with the Lord, reading what God has to say in His Holy Word, and stopped fellowshipping with other believers, because they just couldn't find the strength they needed, not realizing that they needed to find that strength in the vine they were holding on to originally...so they just let go. I guess that would also be the way it is for those apples who are easy to pull off the branches. They're ready, and if just one more thing happens, that will be it, and they will be done.

Now, let's take a look at those apples that just do not want to let go of that branch no matter what. They cling to it like their life depends on it. Almost like they know that if they let go of that branch, that that will be the end, and they are right.

Looking at this in a spiritual way, isn't it the same way for us as children of the Most High God? Things come along, and spin or twist us, trying to pull us away from the Lord. They try to yank us, trying their hardest to see if they can pull us away from what they know gives us our very life, so they can begin sucking the life right out of us. But if we are spending time with Jesus, in His Word, and assembling ourselves with other believers, we have the strength to hang on with all our might, and not let go. The reason this is true, is because it is not "our might" or " our strength", but because we are filled with the Lord's strength, and therefore we are able to hold on.

I truly believe that we need to hold on to Jesus no matter what may come our way. Sure we are going to have hard days, or times, but if we are clinging to Him, He will give us the strength we need to get through anything.

Remember He is the VINE and we are the BRANCHES. Let's do a quick FRUIT INSPECTION, and see which apple we are at the moment. Then, realize which apple we should be. I know I want to be that apple that just seemed to be holding on for dear life...because, let's face it, He is our "LIFE!"

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A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'

"If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?"
- Abraham Lincoln

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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.

Luke 6:
43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Baked Apples

Peel a strip off around the center and then core the apple and fill with a mix of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Place in a pan and bake at 350 degrees... not sure how long ... 30 minutes? I just watch them until they are smushy like I like! LOL!

My favorite apple to back is a ROME apple, but I have done lots of others kinds too.

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: Denise Imbody

Wonder how you scoop out all that pit from the middle of the apple, and still keep the bottom in tact? Just go ahead and core it with that corer to start with, just about to the bottom, then use a melon baller to scoop it all out.

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

Leaf Placemats

We did this craft one year with our homeschooling group, and the children loved it--from the little ones right on up to the teens--they had a blast.

Materials:
Construction paper (preferably in autumn colors)
Leaves (that you have collected--or you can make your own paper ones)
Clear Contact Paper (the kind that is sticky on one side)
Scissors
Glue
Markers or Crayons

Instructions
Write a poem or Scripture verse of your choosing, on your piece of construction paper (If you have chosen a piece of construction paper that is too dark, then just get a white plain piece of paper, and glue it to your piece of construction paper). Once you have it where you'd like it, then place glue in the blank areas, and begin putting leaves all over, until you have it the way you like. If you so choose to, take your markers or crayons and draw harvest type items or pictures in various different places. Be careful not to cover the words you have written. Once the paper is covered, and you are happy with what you have done, then take a piece of that clear contact paper, and place it over the front. It should fit nicely over the construction paper, and cut off excess. If you'd like to, you can do the same thing to the back.

Be creative, and most of all have fun!

***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

The Echo

Have you ever talked down a well or called down a mountain and heard the echo that comes back?
It is this way when the devil gets a foot hold on us.
We can hear things coming back like "no good" "Can't do it" "Not good enough"!
I got to thinking supposing we started praising, praying and thanking
our Lord for our many blessings and for what He has done for us.
Then what do you supposed the echo would be like?
"Thank you Jesus Thank you Jesus!"
"Bless you Jesus! Bless you Jesus!"
"We worship you, we worship you"!
"We adore you We adore you!"
"We love you Lord, We love you Lord!"
We are beautiful We are beautiful!
"We are never alone, We are never alone!"
Jesus cares and loves us Jesus cares and loves us.!"
Get the idea
our words come back
to us as well as the thoughts
wonder what that difference would be
if we had heavenly echos patching up our day?
We'd have the best ever day, The best ever day!"

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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 God’s Word more.

1. On what day were fruit trees created? (Genesis 1)

2. What kind of fruit was on the branch that the Israelite spies brought back from the land of Canaan? (numbers 13)

3. Who is Isaiah prophesying about in chapter 11?

4. What kind of tree did Jesus curse? (Mark 11)

5. What Jewish feast did Jesus fulfill when He rose from the dead? (1 Corinthians 15)

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: Hiding Place
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Hiding Place by Selah

This is the 4th CD from the group Selah. They have 2 previous "regular" CDs and a Christmas one. Hiding Place comes on the heels of their amazing Press On CD and I feared they wouldn't be able to achieve the same level of greatness. My fears were unfounded. As always, Selah delivers beautifully. I believe what makes Selah's music so special is that they are not singing it for the earthly listener, but for their Heavenly Listener.

Hiding Place starts out with the uplifting "You Raise Me Up." I don't see how anyone can listen to this song and not want to shout Hallelujah! The CD includes classics like "There is Power in the Blood", "Through it All" and "O the Deep Deep Love of Jesus". One of the most precious moments is the beginning of the hymn "By and By". The "album" notes tell us that for many years baptism was outlawed in Congo. 2 of the lead singers grew up in the Congo at a mission started by their grandfather. "By and By" begins with an old tape recording of the first legal baptisms after the ban was lifted. Their grandfather speaks and then their grandmother and a Congolese choir start the singing. It will fill you with awe at the faithfulness of our Lord and the love of His people. Over 1000 people were baptized that day. Even the ban imposed by man had not stopped the work of the Lord through His faithful servants all those years. That song alone makes this a CD worth having, but the rest will in no way disappoint you.

Game of the Month: Fruit Basket Turnover
Recommended by: Denise Imbody

I am sure there will be various different Harvest parties going on at our local fellowships...so I thought I would recommend a game. :)

This game is a fun addition to any party. It is called FRUIT BASKET TURNOVER.

You'll need 1 less chair than however many people will be playing. The person that is standing (in the beginning), will go around the circle--I guess more like a horse shoe shape--of folks that are sitting in the chairs.

Starting with the first person they will go around and assign each person a fruit. The fruit names used are APPLES, BANANAS, and CHERRIES. So, the first person would be an APPLE, the second person would be a BANANA, the third person will be a CHERRY, and the fourth person will be an APPLE, and so on like that.

Once everyone is assigned a fruit, the person who is standing will begin calling out things like this...

They can either call out APPLES...

or

BANANAS

or

APPLES and BANANAS

then anyone who is an APPLE and/or a BANANA will have to leave their seat, to find another seat. The person who is standing also can race for a seat, that way whoever is left standing would be the new person to call out the fruit names.

Whoever is left standing, can call out various different things like...

APPLE and CHERRIES

Or any combination of the various fruits...

They can even call FRUIT BASKET TURNOVER, and that would mean that EVERYONE gets up to find a new seat.

This game can continue as long as you like it to, since there will always be someone left standing.

Have fun!

Web Site of the Month: Autumn on the Web at Clint's Place
Recommended by: Stephanie Hurd

Autumn is here with all of its wonderful glory. It is a great time to reflect on the beauty that the Lord created. Just seeing or touching what He made is proof of how awesome He is. It is a time to draw closer to Him and to praise Him for His handy work. Whether you live in a place where the foliage is in full color or not, here is a web site that can take you on a virtual tour of the fall foliage. It has a lot of other information too such as a brief explanation of why the leaves change their colors, sites for numerous states and their foliage season, and etc. I think you will enjoy it. Please check out

http://capt.clint.home.mindspring.com/fall.html

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Romans 1:20;NIV

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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

Fruit Basket Toss Up

It seems we've spilt a basket of fruit.... fruit of the spirit to be exact. Look at the letters below and see if you can rearrange them to create each of the 9 virtues found in Gal. 5:22-23 (KJV)

voel

oyj

cepae

nfnlueiosgfrg

seeegtnsnl

sodngeso

hatfi

ekesmnes

eaperntmec

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. The Third Day

2. A single cluster of grapes

3. Jesus

4. Fig

5. First Fruits

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Answers for JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH:

love

joy

peace

longsuffering

gentleness

goodness

faith

meekness

temperance

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