Friday, November 21, 2014

A Mural To Remember
Elijah and his friend, Mari, as members of the Pierce High School Art Club, painted a tree mural for  the office of  Superintendent of the Pierce Joint United School District, Mrs. Geyer!
Notice their signatures at the base of the tree.
What a great memory to treasure.  Way to go, Elijah!
Elijah Rodriguez And His Friend Mari After Painting Their Mural   November 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Thrift Store Bible
Sister Christine Masters, Full Time Missionary
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

While browsing in a thrift store recently, I was excited to find and purchase a  Bible published in 1905.  However, little was I prepared for the soul- stirring poem by John Greenleaf Whittier that was hidden in the Bible’s pages.
The poem spoke to my heart of Our Savior’s sacrifice for each one of us which was necessary to atone for the sins of the entire human family.   The poem also spoke of the Holy Spirit witnessing to me of the love of my Heavenly Father.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16 KJV

“And what if my feet may not tread where He stood
Nor my eyes see the cross which He bowed Him to bear.
Nor my knees press Gethsemane’s garden of prayer.
Loved of the Father, The Spirit is near
To the meek, and the lowly, and penitent here.
Oh, the outward hath gone: but in glory and power.
The Spirit surviveth the things of an hour;
Unchanged, undecaying, its Pentecost flame
On the heart’s secret altar is burning the same.”

The Atonement of Jesus Christ, which began in the Garden of Gethsemane and culminated on the cross, is the greatest evidence of divine love that this world has ever known.  Only through the grace of Jesus Christ are the blessings of Christ’s Atonement available.  “There is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah.”
2 Nephi 2:8

Our Father in Heaven invites all of us to come unto Christ and  partake of His salvation and the power of His redemption. Our Father has taught us to have faith in Jesus Christ, to repent of our sins, to be baptized, to received the Gift of the Holy Ghost, to keep all the ten commandments, to render continual service to others, and to endure to the end.

The words of a beloved hymn come to my mind when pondering the profound gratitude I humbly have for the atoning sacrifice of my Savior, Jesus Christ.
“I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me.
Confused at the grace that so fully He proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me He was crucified.
That for me, a sinner, He suffered, He bled, and died.”

What more appropriate time of year than this season of Thanks to express gratitude to our Heavenly Father for the victory over sin and death made possible for us through the Atonement of His Son?

Sometimes spiritual insights happen in the strangest places.  In my case, a poem in a Thrift Store Bible witnessed to me once again, through the Holy Spirit, of the amazing grace of my Savior Jesus Christ through which I can be saved.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Apples Of Gold In Pictures Of Silver
T's the season of thanksgiving and gladness!  

Two  characters in literature portray the polar opposites in negativity and optimism.
D'Artagnan in The Three Musketeers is so hateful that even a smile arouses his anger and hate.  
Polyanna, the namesake in Polyanna, represents the true spirit of optimism and gladness.

It is sad that today when someone says you are being "Pollyannaish", he or she is most likely not giving you a compliment.  Usually, he is she is intimating that you are very naive, childish, and unaware of the true harshness of life.

It is a truism that you can't find happiness in a negative attitude.
Gordon B. Hinckley has said, "We have every reason to be optimistic in this world.  
Tragedy is around, yes.  Problems everywhere, yes...You can't, you don't build out of pessimism or cynicism. You look with optimism, work with faith, and things happen."

Mark Twain once commented that he could live two months on one good compliment!

And who isn't amazed by the words of  Proverbs 25:11 painting a picture of what a kind word may look like?   "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver."

Finally, the words of Johnny Mercer's song were good advice then and good advice now according to Thomas S. Monson.  Who wouldn't agree?
"Accentuate the positive;
Eliminate the negative.
Latch on to the affirmative;
Don't mess with Mr. In-between."

Church News  Be A Voice Of Gladness  Week of November 9, 2014
A Robot Warrior
Sam  Masters competed in his very first Robot Warrior Competition at California State University, Sacramento and won the competition! And, guess what, his fellow competitors were adults!

Congratulations, Sammy!

Our Very Own Sam Masters At California State University, Sacramento!

Two Ninja Turtles And A Pirate
The Masters Brothers are all prepped and ready for All Hallow's Eve!

"Hallow" means "saint".
Halloween (October 31) was the eve of All Saints Day (November 1) when Christians remembered, particularly, the canonized saints. 
The next day was All Souls Day (November 2) when ALL the departed were remembered.

Early on, it was believed that, just prior to All Saints Day, any of the dead who wanted to seek revenge or vengeance upon the living were given that opportunity on All Hallows Eve.  
So,  people began to wear costumes on this night to disguise themselves! 
Hence, the custom of wearing costumes on All Hallow's Eve or Halloween began.
Brandon and Kevin Masters  Halloween 2014

Ryan Masters   Halloween 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Good Things Which Come Of The Earth
A home in Cambridge, Idaho has set up the best private harvest display we have ever seen!

This display depicts so beautifully and simply the bounty of this earth and the multitude of harvest blessings that grace our land.

What a noble season of thanksgiving that we are privileged to participate in year after year!

"Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart."   Doctrine and Covenants  59:18
Raise The Song Of Harvest Home

God Our Maker Doth Provide For Our Wants To Be Supplied

Gathering Of The Harvest

Off To The Pumpkin Patch

Think Walnuts, Almonds, Peanuts, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Pecans   Think Autumn!

Sunny Side Up, Over Easy, Scrambled, Hard Boiled, Soft Boiled, Poached 

The Fulness Of The Earth Is Yours

Can't Leave Out Those Idaho Potatoes

Come Follow Me
Elder Norm Masters    Full Time Missionary   The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 

In the hymn book of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a hymn entitled, “Come Follow Me”.  This hymn has six verses that encourage us to follow Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer.  The first verse reads:
"Come, follow me," the Savior said.
Then let us in his footsteps tread,
For thus alone can we be one
With God's own loved, begotten Son.
As Jesus was beginning his earthly ministry, he called on ordinary men to come and follow him, to become “fishers of men”.  It is certain that they had no idea of what all that this meant, and how their lives and the lives of so many others they met would be affected by this simple phrase.  Little could they imagine that people’s lives in the year 2014 are still being affected by Christ’s offer to make these ordinary men into “fishers of men”.
Along the way, these men experienced profound teachings, witnessed miracles, such as making the blind to see, healing the sick, curing lepers, raising the dead and many other amazing things.  Imagine what must have been their astonishment at having accepted Jesus’ invitation to become “fishers of men”.
Surely they never imagined they would be taught about the blessings of eternal life, where ordinary men, women and children can return to, and live with our Heavenly Father.  The Savior taught his apostles that ordinary people could receive this blessing by being clean and pure as a little child, by following God’s commandments, and by not being worldly with their possessions. See Mark 10:14-30.  In Matthew 16:21-28 (KJV), Jesus taught that man should (v24) …“take up his cross and follow me” and (v27)…”and then he shall reward everyman according to his works”.  See   click on ‘View All’ and then scroll down to-, and click on: ‘Whosoever Will Lose His Life for My Sake Shall Find It’.
Jesus Christ was perfect because He did EVERYTHING His Father wanted Him to do.  Of course, none of us are perfect, as was Jesus, so we must be diligent in following His example.  Jesus suffered and died for our sins through the Atonement, a free gift to us if we will but follow the Savior AND sincerely repent of our sins. These are simple, but challenging requirements for gaining eternal salvation. May we do our very best to follow the Savior’s admonishment to “Come Follow Me”.

Upper Country News Reporter   Cambridge, Idaho   November 2014