Tag Archives: good gifts

Gifts

Love the giver more than the gift. ~Brigham Young

During Christmas one year the adults sat in a circle opening family gifts. As I flipped the lid off of a box, I started to cry. Inside was an oddly shaped piece of wood.

“What is it?” my brother-in-law asked, looking around the room for an explanation.

Tears streamed down my face as I crossed the room to kiss my father-in-law. “It’s the ears to the donkey Pap made for me years ago. The original ears broke last summer.”

My husband’s parents had been down to visit and noticed the broken wooden planter on our porch. My father-in-law remembered when he got back home and made the ears to set atop the old donkey. I was touched.

Gifts are not my ‘love language.’ I enjoy a nice gift, but a gift that takes time and effort, that gift I will cherish.

Philip entered a foreign land to tell people about a gift that was given to each of them. All they had to do was accept it.

But Simon wanted to purchase the gift. He wanted to have control of the gift: pick it out, wrap it the way he liked, and give it to whom he chose.

Philip refused to give the gift to Simon because of his ulterior motives.

The gift Philip and God offered was the gift of the Holy Spirit. But don’t we sometimes act like Simon with our gifts as well?

We want to be able to understand scripture so we can crack someone over the skull with it. Or we want to pray like the apostles so we can have whatever we ask for- health, wealth, and fame. Maybe we want the gift of patience so we can avoid confronting people, or the gift of spiritual sight so we don’t need faith, or the gift of joy so we don’t have to deal with that grumpy neighbor.

The best gift-givers know what a person needs and in the end what he will desire. Like a cut-out of donkey ears that brought me to tears, so just the right gift can move you toward true gratitude and appreciation of not just the gift, but also the Giver.

What gift do you need to kiss the Father for today?


“You give your mouth free rein for evil,
    and your tongue frames deceit.
You sit and speak against your brother;
    you slander your own mother’s son.
These things you have done, and I have been silent;
    you thought that I was one like yourself.
But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.

“Mark this, then, you who forget God,
    lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!
The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
    to one who orders his way rightly
    I will show the salvation of God!” Psalm 50:19-23 ESV

Gifts of Thanks

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ~William Arthur Ward

He was a scrawny little guy with a head too big for his body. A definite descendant of Calvin the comic strip if ever Calvin grew old enough to marry Susie.

Dad had skipped town with another woman. His mother was all he had. She was a great mother; she took him to ball games, caught frogs in the reservoir, and told bedtime stories with gore and goo.

He loved his mom.

He loved her so much he was saving acorns in his desk for her.

As autumn turned into winter the strange odor seeping from his desk drew my attention. The acorns were filled with maggots.

I explained in no uncertain terms that the acorns were to be thrown away and the desk thoroughly washed.

He was devastated.

Those acorns were his gift to his mother. He didn’t see the maggots; he saw the great joy that he had picking them up during recesses, plopping them in his pants’ pockets, squirreling them away in the pencil box. He knew his mother would love them.

I knew she would not.

Then I became a mother.

As a mother of boys, I was gifted rocks, sea shells, worms, even a dead mole. I was regaled with fantasies, jokes, and riddles. I was serenaded, hugged, and kissed with sticky, filthy fingers and faces. Occasionally I even received a fistful of flowers.

I loved every single gift.

Why?

Because they were given in love and appreciation. Something my boys valued was freely sacrificed and offered to me.

I didn’t need any of the gifts my sons gave me, but I treasured them like a Kindergartner’s maggot-filled acorns.

God doesn’t need anything you give him. But if you freely offer him a gift, He will accept it with tears of pride and joy glistening on his cheeks.

What will you offer God this week?


Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV

Good Gifts

God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I bit into the bright green jellybean anticipating the tangy apple flavored sweetness. I screwed up my face and tried to swallow. Watermelon.

I really don’t like watermelon flavored candies.

I set the bag of jellybeans on the seat beside me and wondered how to get rid of them without offending the sweet little girl who had willingly offered me her bag of candies. How do I say thank you for something I don’t want?

God handed me a bagful of goodies recently. Some have screwed up my face in dislike and disgust. I’m sure they were meant to make me sit still and spend some much needed time with him, but when that directive came disguised as a boil in the crease of my leg, I set it aside on the chair next to me and wondered how to get around it.

A class I signed up for has stressed waiting and white space. So I have spent the day trying to fix problems, finish projects, and finalize preparations. White space? Who has time for that?

I need to visit my friends at the rest home, but the repairman can only come during my weekly visiting hour. Instead of enjoying the extra hour I’ll have to slow down, I curse the appointment that may make a big difference in our home.

The jellybeans were a child’s selfless offering to someone she loves, but all I tasted was bitter disappointment. The rest of the candy sits on the counter top now, unopened, untasted, unwanted.

I wonder how many bags of candy I have turned away from because the first taste was unexpected and disappointing?


And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 NIV