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November 20, 2013

MAY: Filled to the brim

I love barbecue potato chips. It is not unusual to see me snacking from a bag during the afternoon, or having some with a sandwich at lunch. Some of the vending machines and convenient stores carry a brand that I like — Grippo’s — and it is difficult for me to pass those by.

I discovered Grippo’s in the mid-1970s when I was a college student in Cincinnati. The snacks are a locally produced in the Queen City. Grippo’s was founded by Angelo Grippo in 1919. Known as the Grippo’s Cone Company, it manufactured rolled sugar cones in a one-room office on Court Street in Cincinnati. Grippo’s added pretzels and in 1923 began hand twisting and baking the traditional twist pretzel. The standard sized pretzel sold for a penny each at retail locations throughout Greater Cincinnati.

In 1930, Grippo invented the loop pretzel. He wanted a simple pretzel that could be made easily and would resist breakage. The loop pretzel looks like a tear drop. Grippo not only invented but also constructed and put into operation the pretzel looping machines.

I like Grippo’s barbecue potato chips because they are covered with barbecue seasoning. Some companies make the chips so that they are lightly covered and the flavor really isn’t that different than a plain chip. Grippo’s is a sweet seasoning that leaves just a little bite in your mouth when you are done.

One afternoon I put my coins into the vending machine and I anxiously tore open the bag to get my tasty snack. To my surprise, there was one chip in the bag. Granted, it was a big chip — but only one. I fussed about being ripped off to anyone who would listen. Can you believe I only got one chip in this bag? 

As I was eating my sandwich, I had the empty potato chip bag upside down on the table. I casually was reading the advertising on the bag when I noticed an incredible disclosure that had slipped past me for years. “Packed by weight, not by volume.”  That’s when it dawned on me. My one chip must have passed the weight inspection as it was being processed at the plant. One big chip met the requirements.

At the time of that lunch, I couldn’t help but wish they had crammed as many chips into that bag as possible. But they are there to make money, and rules and regulations will prevail.

On the way back to work, I began to think of how different it is when God gives. Jesus says that God gives in a way that fills us to the brim with blessings. And then, just when you think that He cannot give you any more because there is simply no more room, He presses things down, shakes them together, and pours more blessings into the jar of our lives.

At one time or another, most of us have committed John 3:16 to memory. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Charles Swindoll, in his book “Living Above the Level of Mediocrity,” gives this thought:

God, the greatest Giver; so loved, the greatest motive; the world, the greatest need; that He gave, the greatest act; His only Son, the greatest gift; that whosoever, the greatest invitation; believes in Him, the greatest opportunity; should not perish, the greatest deliverance; but have eternal life, the greatest joy.

This Thanksgiving, pause for just a moment to think about the way that God has blessed you and your family. Don’t you like the way God gives?  He gives and gives, setting the example for us. He encourages us to be givers just like Him, challenges us to live abundantly by giving it all away, just like He did.

Pressed Down. Shaken together. Running over.

Packed by volume, not weight.

 

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