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JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #21 -- Changing Seasons -- September 2004)


You know, there's change in the air. It's true that fall is on it's way, but there are some more important changes just on the horizon. Like the season, the world doesn't seem to stop for a moment -- It's headed further and further away from God -- and our job is to give them what they need to change their minds!

And our minds; they need changing, too. We need to be more in tune with God. We need to decide once and for all that He is our master -- and there won't be any more dabbling in those worldly pleasures we enjoy so much.

It's time to get serious with God! Change is in the air -- and we need to be ready!

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR SEPTEMBER
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
POINTS TO PONDER
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
CHANGE
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 SEPTEMBER
By: Denise Imbody

Spring, summer, autumn, winter
Each shine with their own
Personality...showing us how
Time can swiftly and
Easily change...like they just
Melt right into each other
But remember that
Eternity is the
Reality of it all!

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BIRTHDAY GREETING

We would like to take this time to wish those of our readers, who were born in September, to have a blessed, safe, and happy birthday!

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INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: Gwen Tweedy

I'm a little rain drop, sent from heaven above,
I'm a little rain drop that falls to show God's love!
I'm just a little rain drop, but I'm nothing by myself,
And I'm so filled with matchless awe, that God didn't place me on a shelf!

I'm just a little rain drop, but one of me would never do,
To green the grass, and grow God's sweet nature, there has to be more than one or two!
I'm just a little rain drop, and I'm so glad God let me be!
For maybe in the rain drops, you'll remember the drops of red that fell from Calvary!

Remember the death your Savior had to die
And how He rose again;
To cleanse you from unrighteousness and free you from your sin!
And the next time you see a little rain drop falling from the sky,

You'll stop, rejoice, praise and pray,
And think of the home He's prepared for you
Where you'll always rejoice and sing,
True praises and honor to your soon coming KING!

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POINTS TO PONDER
By: Robin Sloboda

A Late Night Thought

Mark 12:30
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

Last night, I was woken to pray late in the evening, with a deep gut ache that there is much wrong in our world. I have been studying the book of Acts, (chapters 1-4) and I found it amazing that the one main theme is prayer. The early church and through Christ ministry, (from the book of Luke), prayer was the main sustainer of life in fellowship with God. Christ's ministry could never have had the power it had, if He was not in communication with the Father, being filled with the Holy Spirit. I realize not everyone has a passion to seek God for hours, (by the way it is God who grants such a passion, all we need to do is ask Him.)

It concerns me when believer's feel prayer is a bother, or they have a hard time even praying for five minutes. When you love someone, is it not realistic to want to spend time with them? I wonder what my husband would think if all I wanted to do was spend five minutes a day in communication with him, this is a serious question to ponder. I think, I would be getting a divorce or would be having major marital problems. Ever thought to wonder what God thinks when all we want to spend with Him is five minutes a day? I think this has a lot to do with why we have no power as a body of believers, world wide. God wants us to have fellowship with him, period! He wants to be part of our daily life and He desires we delight ourselves in Him.

It worries me when it is promoted that it is okay to have five minutes with our Father and that is accepted, this is simply not scriptural. When talking about the woes of the life becomes more important then seeking first the Kingdom of God, this is not right. Our focus becomes very dull when we are not being filled with the Holy Spirit daily. My desire is to see people hungry and thirsty, full of passion to seek God through His word and prayer. Not by guilt, but through passion (I have heard passion can set others on fire.)

I pray God will grant to me such a bold passion to stir others to have a desire to spend at least a half an hour or more in the presence of Almighty God, our Father.

I pray God will allow me a heart that seeks hard after Him all of the days of my life. I realize that I too have not desired to be in Gods presence because then I need to see the sin that is ever present. ďFor all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.Ē Romans 3:23

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QUOTE OF THE MONTH


"If a man cannot be a Christian where he is, he cannot be a Christian anywhere."
--Henry Ward Beecher

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Change.. a word most of us dread. We like to stay where we are... in our own secure comfort zone. Even if our zone is covered with warts and blemishes... it is still ours... a "known" in our life... where we are comfortable. And yet, the Lord seems to be the ultimate mover and shaker. He calls us to leave that comfort zone ... to press on... push forward... grow... and often, when we resist... He pushes us right on out.

I can look back over the years and see all the seasons my life has weathered. Some of them joyful, some of them sad, some of them easy, some of them difficult... but there are two things that are the same in each season. I was (and am) never alone... and I grew.

God promises to never leave us or forsake us... that covers all the seasons of life... all the trials, joys, sorrows, hardships, fun times, .... you name it, He's there. He is our constant in a sea of change.

And He promises something else. These changes are not just for His pleasure.. just to "mess with" us. They are to grow us... to make us more like Christ... to refine and perfect us.

Like Paul, we are running a race... pressing on for the prize... it requires change. We can resist, but when we often miss seeing God at work in our lives and we miss the blessings He had planned for us. Do you really want to miss out on those?

Embrace the changes in your life.. letting go of the old seasons and grabbing hold of the new. "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6). Until that day, we all have to weather the seasons of life.. pressing on for that glorious prize!

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A MOMENT OF 'HA HA'

Take a tip from nature: Your ears aren't made to shut, but your mouth is.
-- 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.

Daniel 2
20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Stephanie Hurd

Apple Crisp

Ingredients:
4 cups apples, sliced
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup melted margarine or butter

Put apples in shallow 8-inch pan. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Combine all dry ingredients with butter and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle all this over apples and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves: 8

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

Crisp Celery
If you are like me, you mainly use celery for cooking. Often I go to grab some out of the fridge and it is all limp and wilted. I read recently that wrapping celery in aluminum foil would keep it crisp. I was a bit skeptical, but decided to give it a try. Well, it works! I bought some celery 3 weeks ago, took it out of the plastic bag, wrapped it in aluminum foil and tossed into the drawer of my refrigerator. It has stayed nice and crispy! I took some out today and it still pops when I cut it! Great tip and easy!

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: Barbara Lea Campbell

Materials:
Apples
Paint (for paper use regular poster or tempra paint. If painting on cloth, you will need to use fabric paint.)
Paper plate, shallow tray, or wide paint brushes
Paper or Solid Color T-Shirt or other cloth item (see notes below)
Newspapers to protect the table
Kitchen Knife

Preparation:
Be sure to "mess proof" the area where you are working. Cover the table with newspapers.. maybe the floor too! Or do this outside where you can just hose everything down.

Also, dress yourself and kids in old clothes (Or use Dad's old shirts for art smocks -- put on backward and button up the back -- works great!)

Instructions:
Once you have the paint and paper or clothing item set up, the next step is to cut some apples in half. There are two different ways to do this. Cut right through the middle of the apple, open it up and you have a star shape in the center with the seeds. Or you can cut it in half from top to bottom to create a traditional apple look. Hey! Why not do some of both!

Dip the cut side of the apple (not the skin side) into paint OR apply the paint to the fruit with a brush and then stamp on paper to create Apple prints.

If you choose to paint a clothing item such as a T-shirt or a cloth item a tote bag, you will need to place a thick layer of paper (newspaper is fine) inside the item to keep the paint from bleeding through. You can also stamp on napkins or placemats.

Use your imagination and stamp away creating Apple Art for your home and for others... like grandmoms who would love an apple tote!

***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

You know, sometimes we listen to songs... but we don't really LISTEN to them. We hear the tune.. sing along.. catch a phrase now and then.. but we don't take the time to hear what the lyrics are saying. I did that with a wonderful song on Selah's Press On CD called "Timeless." I know every word and have been singing it for a year now. It has been playing over and over in my head for the last few days and I realize how the words are so true and fit this month's theme perfectly. Let me share a bit..

"Time, itís changing me
Itís hard to see who I am
Touched, Iím touched by many things
So many things I donít understand"

Isn't that how it is? We are constantly changing as time moves on and God is working in and around us, but we don't always see it or understand what He is doing.

"But seasons pass and I discover
Above all this thereís another
Helping me to hold on to what is timeless
Change, whether itís good or bad
You know Iím glad Youíre in control
Oh, Lord, if I donít understand
I know Your hand will shield my soul"

Praise the Lord that is true! No matter what change comes our way .... no matter what season of life.. He is timeless and He is in control! Knowing that, I can sing the chorus with great joy!

"So the autumn can color me gold
And the winter can dress me in snow
But itís You I see
The timeless part of me
In the springtime Iím young once again
In the summer I dance on the wind
But itís You I see
The timeless part of me"

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BIBLE QUIZ

Name Change!

There are a number of times in the Bible where someone's name was changed. Abram became Abraham... Saul became Paul... you get the idea. Read the names below and see if you remember what the person's original name was.

1. Mara
2. Solomon
3. Belteshazzar
4. Zedekiah
5. Zaphnath-paaneah

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: The Christ - His Passion - Remembering the Sacrifice by Various Artists
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

The back of this CD has the following line: "A journey of remembrance and a call to follow in His steps." That is a great summary of this CD. Artists like Third Day, the Paul Coleman Trio, Jars of Clay, Sara Groves, Sixpence None the Richer, Glassbyrd, Bebo Norman, Casting Crowns, Phil Keagy and more lead us down the path Jesus walked during the completion of His earthly ministry. We visit Gethsemane as "Jesus Went to the Garden".... we pray for mercy in "Kyrie Eleison".... we are there in "Were You There When the Sun Refused to Shine" and we find "The Stone" rolled away. His Passion is a worship experience that will remind you once again of the preciousness of what Jesus did for you and me.... and will give you the passion to move forward and live each day abundantly.

MOVIE OF THE MONTH: Princess Diaries 2
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Our family loves movies, but we rarely go to the theater. For one thing, it costs so much and secondly the language in the movies we see can be awful. At home, we have TV Guardian to filter it out. However, we treated ourselves and saw Princess Diaries 2 in the theater recently. It was a delight!

We love the first movie and hoped the sequel would be good also. We were in no way disappointed. The story is sweet and cute and the movie lots of fun, but the best thing is it is clean and decent! No bad language... no suggestive language... no nudity... no scenes with sexual activity... what a pleasant surprise! I must add that the first Princess Diaries movie is clean also. So if you are looking for a treat for your family, Princess Diaries 2 would be a great one! Even my husband and 12 year old son enjoyed it... it is not just a girl movie!

Web Site of the Month: Book Share
Recommended by: Stephanie Hurd

Calling all Christian readers:

Want an opportunity to do mission work right from your home or office? There is an organization dedicated to providing books to the blind, visually impaired and other challenged persons, who cannot read regular print. It is called Book Share. Members search the online catalog and download their desired books so that they can read them in a format that works for them. A few ways they can do this are:

1. One can simply read it on their computer with speech software.

2. Another is to download it onto a small hand held device they can travel with and listen to via headphones.

3. Still, another is to translate the book into Braille format and print it up on a special Braille embosser to read this way.

No matter the style, the books are all there in an online catalog for members to choose from.

How can you help? One area that is lacking on the catalog is Christian books. Sure there are Bibles and study guides, surveys or even the Left Behind series. I don't wish to negate their obvious importance, but there are so many more enjoyable and informative Christian books out there that blind and visually impaired people are missing out on. This could make the difference for someone searching to know the Lord through literature and books that fit their personal preference. One example of this might be the endless number of books by Janette Oke. You might have other favorites you wish to bring to the hearts of others, who otherwise would not have access to read such novels.

What can you do about it? You can scan and upload books to the Bookshare site to make available to members. You will be enlarging the list of Christian books that might make the difference to someone's life.

Is it legal to do this? Yes, it is perfectly legal to make books accessible in another format for the sole purpose and use by blind, visually impaired and other persons with affected disabilities that keep them from reading regular print.

--How can I get more information?

Please visit the website at: http://www.bookshare.org.

There you can read all the frequently asked questions. Also, if you have any further questions you can write to this email address... volunteer@bookshare.org

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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! ‹

As you figure out the answer to each clue/riddle below, write them down as you go, and you'll figure out the MYSTERY VERSE for this month's JEM Puzzler.

1. What is the homonym that goes along with these 2 words?
THEIR
THEY'RE

2. What 2 letter word can be found in the following words?
THIS
CHRIST
CRISIS

3. What is the common letter in the following words?
CAT
BEAR
HARE

4. What flies when you're having fun?

5. What is the homonym that goes along with these 2 words?
FOUR
FORE

6. What is the opposite of nothing?

7. What is the 3 letter words that can be found in the following words?
CANDY
BAND
HAND

8. What was your answer for #3?

9. This word can be found in the title of this month's issue of Precious Stone?

10. If you're doing this in a timely manner, you'll know that the answer to this one is the number of the hint found in this clue.

11. If you ever wonder why, then you will be able to take this clue, add 2 things together, and get your answer.

12. A hobby or sport could also be known as this 8 letter word.

13. If you can't go over, then you'll need to go _ _ _ _ _.

14. This will be our eternal home one day.

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. Mara -- Naomi (Ruth 1:20
2. Solomon -- Jedidiah (2 Samuel 12:24 - 25)
3. Belteshazzar -- Daniel (Daniel 1: 6-7)
4. Zedekiah -- Mattaniah (2 Kings 24:17)
5. Zaphnath-paaneah -- Joseph (Genesis 41:45)

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Answers for JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH:

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
Ecclesiastes 3:1;NIV

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