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JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #51 -- GATHERING ACORNS -- September 2007)


It's getting cooler! It's getting darker earlier! We need to discern the times and seasons, and start getting ready for winter!

Join us as we transition from the steamy summer to the flavor of fall! You won't want to miss a word as we Gather together and store up precious Acorns!

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR SEPTEMBER
WORD REFLECTION
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
COMIC STRIP
WORD IN ACTION
GATHERING ACORNS
THINK ABOUT IT!
CHALLENGE OF THE MONTH
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
QUICK TIP OF THE MONTH
CRAFT OF THE MONTH
SKIPPING STONES
TIME OUT!
BIBLE QUIZ
CHECK IT OUT!
JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH



ACROSTIC FOR SEPTEMBER
By: Denise Imbody

Slowly the acorns begin to fall and
Every leaf begins to return to it's
Pretty, original color and the cool breezes begin to blow
Through our homes and the
Evenings become earlier and earlier and each
Morning has a new crisp air to greet us along with the
Bright shining sun to remind us of how
Emanuel is truly God with us and we
Rejoice in another day to fill with His love!

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WORD REFLECTION By: Denise Imbody

I thought we'd look at the word "gathering" this month, so let's begin by checking out one of the many meanings for this word.

Gathering: To accumulate (something) gradually; amass.

I chose this particular meaning because of the title of Precious Stones this month "GATHERING ACORNS"...so figured this was the perfect one for us to think upon.

Now let's look at the Greek word for "gathering"...which is synagoge (or synagogue, and it simply means "a gathering"...can't get much easier than that right?

But it is often associated with the Greek word ekklesia which means "a calling together", but there is another meaning for ekklesia that is often overlooked, so let's break it down a bit further.

Ekklesia has 2 parts in the Greek language...

ek which means from or out of

and

klesia which comes from the root kaleo and means call.

We are a gathering called out from the world...and we need to gather more into our family...the family of God....so no one is left behind.

I just love digging deeper in His Holy Word. It is like finding a little nugget of truth and adding or "gathering" it to the treasure chest of knowledge that we hide in our hearts...just like those squirrels who love to gather those acorns and store them up for the winter...we can gather wisdom from the Lord and have it at a moments notice when it is needed.

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BIRTHDAY GREETING

We pray that all our readers born in this beautiful month of September will have a blessed and wonderful day on your special day this month!

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INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

One of my favorite songs is "The Gathering" from the City on the Hill CD of the same name. The chorus focuses on that day when the body of Christ will be totally unified as we praise our Lord:

All God's children of love and light
Every heart will be unified
Singing praise to the Lord our King
On the day of the gathering
On the day of the gathering


Can you even begin to imagine that day? If you need pictures, read Revelation 4 & 5. What an awesome picture you will find there!

There will be a gathering one day.. a time where all believers from all time will be gathered together before the throne of God and in one unified voice we will praise Him singing "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty. Who was and is and is to come."

Soon we'll reach the shining river,
Soon our pilgrimage will cease,
Soon our happy hearts will quiver
With the melody of peace.

Yes, we'll gather at the river.
The beautiful, the beautiful, river.
Gather with the saints at the river,
That flows by the throne of God


from the traditional hymn "Shall We Gather at the River"

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COMIC STRIP
By: Matthew Imbody

Note: These Comic Strips are specially designed to work with JAWS and other speech software. With Graphics turned on, JAWS should read a description of the comic. If you have any trouble with it, or you would like to comment or give feedback, please feel free to write us at Precious_Stones@JEMMinistries.org.

The comic has four panels.  Each panel has a turtle upside-down in it.  The turtle calls out to the reader...   The first panel: 'Have you ever been flat on your back?'  The second: 'Ever felt like you can't get up?'   The third: 'You try and try but everything's still upside-down?'  The fourth: 'You know, God can help with that!'


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WORD IN ACTION
By: Kristina

Make allowance for each otherís faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. - Colossians 3:13-14

The past few months have been times of extreme pain for myself and my family, as we have had to deal with the consequences of a person's hurtful actions. The anger and bitterness I felt for another person surprised me, as I always thought of myself as one who would be able to "turn the other cheek". Instead, I was a wounded person who only wanted revenge. So late one night I opened my Bible and began to pour over all the words God had said about forgiveness, both His forgiveness and that which we are to offer from ourselves to others.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. -Matthew 6:14

When I came to this verse I paused in my reading, my eyes scanning back to first few words" "...if you..." If you. It is a choice. We can choose not to forgive. And oh, how I wanted to. I wanted to hold back forever this sign of grace, never extending the olive branch of peace. But this verse is also a promise. If we forgive, we are forgiven. It is our choice to make, as He is a God of choices and second chances.

ďLove your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked." - Luke 6:35

It's difficult when you are hurting to think of loving your enemies and doing good to them. Our selfish human ways long to do the complete opposite! But this verse is a command from our Lord, a loving Father giving advice to His children: Love them. Do good to them. Lend to them. I will reward you.

I decided immediately after shutting my Bible that I would forgive. In the depths of my heart I didn't want to, but I realized that that was just the pain speaking. I had to stand on something stronger than that, something bigger than myself. So I loved my "enemy", lent them a hand, gently offered out that peace offering. My efforts have yet to bear fruit, but that doesn't matter, as that's not really the point. God has seen my forgiveness, and that is all that matters. Because as He forgives, so I long to follow Him.

ďBut to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, donít try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you." - Luke 6:27-31

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GATHERING ACORNS
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

I love squirrels. I am one of those crazy bird lovers who don't mind that the squirrels eat from my bird feeders. I have a blast watching them scurry up and down the trees... jumping from limb to limb.

In a previous home, we had a yard full of oak trees and the squirrels loved to gather up the acorns that fell and take them off to their secret hiding places. Our current home has no oak trees, but we still have plenty of squirrels. It seems we are the secret hiding place. They go to our neighbors' homes, gather up the acorns from their yard and bury them in our flower beds to have later when needed.

Isn't that what we are to do with God's Word? Gather up the treasures there and save them for when we need them. Ps. 119:11 says "I have hidden Your words in my heart that I might not sin against You." Col. 3:16 encourages us to "Let the Word of God dwell richly in you." In order for it to dwell, we have to put the Word in us.

Then we will have that Word when we need it to encourage others, to claim His promise in the face of temptation, to lean on in times of trial.

You know the squirrels in my yard forget where they plant those acorns most times. I think we do that sometimes to. We hear God's Word and it becomes a part of us, but we sort of file it away and forget about it. The amazing thing is that the Word is still active.. still powerful... still true.

Isa. 55:11 assures us that the Word will not return void. Those forgotten acorns the squirrels plant in our flower gardens sprout up as tiny oak trees and that is what God's Word does in us. It grows and strengthens us until we are oaks of righteousness, "a display of His splendor."

So take the time right now, no matter how old or young you are, no matter how busy, no matter how difficult it is for you to memorize Scripture, no matter what excuse... toss it out and take the time to get into the Word and get it into you. Gather those acorns... those treasures.. and let them take root in the fertile soil of your heart.

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THINK ABOUT IT!

Luke 12;NLT
27 ďLook at the lilies and how they grow. They donít work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.
28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
29 ďAnd donít be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Donít worry about such things.
30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs.
31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

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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.

Proverbs 6
6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Alecia Imbody

Apple Cake

Ingredients:
2 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
3/4 c butter (melted)
2 eggs
1/4 c oil
1/2 c Apple Cider (although Natural Apple Juice or even Water can be used)
3 apples peeled, cored, and diced


Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees F

Grease 9" X 13" pan

Mix dry ingredients.

Add butter, eggs, oil, and water into dry mixture, stir until blended.

Add apples and mix.

Pour into greased pan, and bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

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

A while back my son left an ink pen in the pocket of his shorts and I missed it before washing them. The pen exploded in the wash. Fortunately it only got on his shorts, but they were a new pair and they appeared to be ruined! It was a mess! I did some online searching and read about using rubbing alcohol for this. I put the shorts on top of a stack of paper towels and then pour the alcohol on the stain. The paper towels absorb it. The stain spread, but lightened. I would pour a bit, wait, carefully blot and then pour more. I got as much of the ink out as I could and then I washed the shorts again. The ink came right 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

Apple Star Stamp

Materials Needed:
Apples cut in half from the middle of the apple--not from top to bottom--this will create the apple star stamper
Paint
Paper Plates
Sheets of paper

This is a quick and easy craft, and lots of fun for the kiddos. Pour paint on the paper plate. Take apple stamper and press into the paint, then press it on to your sheet of paper. Repeat this process changing colors, and mixing and matching the stars on the paper.

See how many different designs you can create.

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: Denise Imbody

Do you ever think you have all your eggs (or let's say acorns since we are discussing GATHERING ACORNS this month LOL) nice and neatly altogether in one basket only to find that some are broken or have fallen out or have become rotten?

You happen to have one of those days where you actually wake up early, feeling refreshed and ready to face the day. You get everything done that needs done within a reasonable time. You have some time left over to do some of your favorite hobbies, and last but not least you settle down to relax with a good book, movie, or TV show. You feel like it's been a great day and you can't believe you accomplished everything you set out to do that day. Then it happens...an unexpected attack from the enemy!

You wonder why it's happening, and where did you possibly go wrong. Suddenly you no longer feel like you've done anything right, and you loose that sense of fulfillment that you briefly held in your hand. An attack from the enemy can appear out of nowhere in any form....a friend getting upset with you, a child's disobedience, a disappointing phone call, something you realized you forgot to do but it really needed to be done that day, and the list could just go on and on and on.

This is where we need to stop, take a moment to pray, breathe, and realize that, it is just that, an attack. Another good thing to do besides prayer, of course, is to memorize Scripture, so that when we are faced with these attacks we can quote God's Living Words right at the attacks that are coming our way....just as Jesus did when tempted in the desert for 40 days (you can read about that in Matthew 4).

And remember, you are not alone....God is always with you first and foremost, but you are not alone in the fact that you have times like this....anyone who is serving the Lord is going to experience them!

I'd like to leave you with this Passage of Scripture to focus on, and maybe use as your very first portion of Scripture to memorize, if you've never tried that before...

Proverbs 3;NLT
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
      do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do,
      and he will show you which path to take.

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TIME OUT!
By: Marilyn Christine

Effective friendships...

...prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve Him only. 1 Samuel 7:3

...to be an effective friend we have to stay in touch and to be effective in serving the Lord we have to stay in fellowship. We can do this by praying and with Bible study. Too often we get too busy to take a quiet time where we can listen to what He is telling us. We spend our time doing other things and sometimes in serving others. We need our quiet time to teach us patience, and wisdom which will strengthen our faith. Bible study gives us the wisdom to share Christ with others and prayer is our way of thanking the Lord for the great things He has done. We need to stay in touch.

Don't let anything keep you from having a personal friendship and communication with Christ.

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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.

1) After Moses asked Pharaoh to let his people go, Pharaoh quit supplying this material to them and instead made them gather there own to create bricks. What material was it?

2)What instrument was sounded to gather the people of Israel as they journeyed from Egypt to the Promised Land?

3) In Matthew 23 Jesus tells Jerusalem that He has longed to gather her as this animal gathers its young. What animal?

4) During the end time, God will send His angels to gather these people from the four winds, from one end of the earth to the other. What people?

5) During the end time, an angel of the Lord will call all the birds of the air to gather together for what event?

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: Waking Up by Bethany Dillon
Recommended by: Kristina

Bethany Dillon stormed onto the Christian music scene a few years back at the tender age of 16, debuting her self-titled album to much critical acclaim and commercial success. 2007 now finds Bethany at 18 with three cd's already under her belt, including her stunning new pop-oriented release, Waking Up.

At a time when pop music (even Christian pop music) all sounds very similar, there is no denying a Bethany Dillon song when you hear it. With her unique voice and soul piercing songs this young woman takes on the challenge of asking the painful questions and answering them with an acknowledgment of God's grace and mystery.

Waking Up begins with the catchy radio hit "The Kingdom", where Bethany begs in the chorus for Yahweh to show her the Kingdom. "Come Find Me" follows, a beautiful song that asks why we would ever want to worship wood or stone or idols, when we have such a loving God who seeks us out. The beautiful, haunting songs continue, each one in it's own unique way answering the questions that seem to pour out of Bethany's heart. My personal favorite "Top of the World", is about realizing how beautiful God is for the first time. And the last of the songs, "You Are On Our Side" is a quiet reminder about how God is on the side of the orphan and the widow, the wounded and the poor.

I have found such joy in Bethany's music and her worship of God, and I highly recommend Waking Up.

Website of the Month: Parent Handbook for Scripture Memory
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

This site has some information and ideas to help parents get their children started in Scripture memory. They even include suggested verses by age and grade from age 3 through Grade 5. This is a jumping off place.... a way to get your child started hiding God's Word in his or her heart. I can tell you that there is no greater discipline that you can teach them.

Please note: This site is sponsored by a church and does have links that offer various programs and books for sale. JEM Ministries does not endorse any of these.

Idea of the Month: Scripture Memorization
Recommended by: Denise Imbody

This isn't a "new" idea, in fact, we've visited it quite a few times in Precious Stones, and I am sure we will visit it again.

Scripture memorization is very much like GATHERING ACORNS. Think about those squirrels and little critters storing up for the cold, mean weather. They prepare ahead of time for what they know is going to be a hard time. That is very much what it is like with Scripture memorization...storing up those special little nuggets, or treasures if you will, for when those hard times come. We just know that they are going to come, so why not be prepared like our furry little friends?!

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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 words.

1. AMNTUU
2. DER
3. AEGNOR
4. BNORW
5. ELLOWY
6. AEFGILO
7. AFLL
8. AEELSV
9. AEJNS
10. AEEKNRSS

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) Straw (Exodus 5:7)

2) Trumpet (Numbers 10:8)

3) Chicken or Hen (Matt. 23:37)

4) His Elect (Mark 13:27)

5) the Great Supper of God (Rev. 19:17)

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Answers for JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH:

1. AUTUMN
2. RED
3. ORANGE
4. BROWN
5. YELLOW
6. FOLIAGE
7. FALL
8. LEAVES
9. JEANS
10. SNEAKERS

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