Wednesday

Just a Bag of Popcorn

In sermons, in books of those who have walked this way, in testimony service...you hear of blessings all around. One man needs a home; another supplies his need. A woman hasn't any groceries to feed her four children as she evangelizes on the reservations; bags of food appear on her porch in a town where she knows no one.

A Funny Thing Happened the Other Day

We had a funny yet touching event occur just the other night. Like many other women, I don't always have it together like the old pioneers. There are many times I have to thaw out meat in the microwave (ok, like, all the time) or I heat our veggies in it to prevent having to clean another pot. I fix our toddler's meals in it sometimes or I use it to rewarm coffee so I don't waste the dregs of the morning. Essentially, we NEED a microwave.

The other night, I was going to make some popcorn for my husband and myself but after trying to pop 2 bags to no avail, I quickly (ok, not so quickly) realized that the bags weren't even getting hot. I checked the microwave and while the timer was working, the heating element was totally gone. Grrrrrreat! And after paying all our bills and buying new shoes and clothes for our ever-growing son, there's no money left for a brand new microwave!

Well, determined little me decided we were having popcorn so I slipped over to our neighbor's house to ask him to pop us some in exchange for a bag for him. He welcomed me in and when I explained, he said, "Wow! I just decided to buy a new microwave today and I need to get rid of my old one! Nothing's wrong with it; I just didn't like it any more. Take it! It's free! On me!"

My husband was certainly in shock when I went out with a 2 bags of popcorn and came in with a "new to us" microwave!

Human Nature and Blessing Others

While there are certainly the blessings of waking up each day, a roof over our heads, and food to eat that most of us usually enjoy, there are also those extra bonuses that leave us stumped. They appear to be against human nature.

According to NewScientist.com, there are six items that are part of every human's nature:
1. Being playful. We can be completely ruled by the need for entertainment.
2. Testing the limits. We can constantly categorizing ideas and items in our minds and our environments as well as testing hypotheses. We are curious by nature.
3. Being legislative. We like to make rules and establish patterns of behavior as societies--no matter how small each societal group is. We are a bit bossy.
4. Loving food. We are the only creature in the world who takes the time to taste, develop favorite and despised foods, and enjoy meals as if they are events. We love to satisfy this flesh.
5. Being secretive. We are a secretive lot, choosing to keep some areas of our lives as hush-hush from others as possible, whether it be our family life, our past, or our sin.
6. Being gossipy. We love to communicate but scientists have proven that we have the most fun when gossiping about others. No wonder the Bible says the power of life and death are in the tongue!

The Bible breaks the sinful side of our human nature into 3 areas.1 John 2:16 says, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." All sin can be divided into one of these three areas...pleasing our eyes or our ideas of how things ought to look; satisfying our flesh whether it be through sexuality, gluttony or indecent entertainment; and pride such as stealing or cheating to compete with others, jealousy, envy, etc.

Aside from the 3 areas of temptation, scripture bears out that all men have an innate desire to touch the divine...a void that must be filled.

But none of these elements explain the blessing of others...Not being playful, not testing our limits, not making rules, not loving food, not being secretive, not gossiping, not satisfying the lust of our eyes or body, not pride, and not even the desire to know God.

So, where does this desire to bless others in extraordinary ways come from?

May I direct your attention to Luke 6:38, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

Blessings from others are often the result of God moving on their hearts to perform His will! How prideful we are indeed when we think we've blessed others out of our goodness or when we think we deserved the kindness of others! Those 'out of the ordinary' blessings are from God and God alone.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17).

Say 'thank you' to those who bless you, to be sure, but don't forget to thank your heavenly Father first!