National Popcorn Day | Joy for Today

Popcorn is popping. The microwave beeps. JOY arrives as hot, buttery kernels mounded in a bowl. Maybe you share the popcorn with loved ones as you watch a movie. Or maybe you savor those morsels of heaven for yourself. Either way, we hope you do not overlook the offer of JOY popcorn extends.

Popcorn in the background with text overlay quoting 1 Peter 1:6 and a reminder that National Popcorn Day occurs on January 19th Annually

JOY for Today Offerings:

Did You Know:

  1. There are two different shapes of popcorn? Popcorn comes in mushroom and snowflake (or butterfly) varieties. Movie theaters typically sell the snowflake style, because they are bigger. Next time you eat popcorn, see what shape yours is. (Fact Retriever)
  2. Popcorn kernels grow to 30 times their original size? The popcorn pops successfully depending on the moisture content of each kernel. The heat causes the moisture to steam past the boiling point, gelatinizing the hull. Eventually, the pressure inside becomes greater than the strength of the hull and the hull erupts or "pops". Without enough moisture the pressure inside the kernel cannot overcome the strength of the hull. (Popcorn for the People & The Spruce Eats)
  3. Popcorn is probably healthier than you think? This whole grain that is low in calories and fat is also a good source of fiber. It offers more protein than any other grain, more iron than eggs and roast beef, and more fiber than dark chocolate, oats, and almonds. (Fact RetrieverPopcorn Carnival Healthline)
  4. Americans eat enough popcorn each year to fill the Empire State Building 18 times? That's 17 billion quarts of popcorn! The average person eats six quarts annually. Do you think you eat enough popcorn each year to fill a whole room? (Fact Retriever & Popcorn Carnival)
  5. Nebraska produces more popcorn than any other state? They produce about 250 million pounds of popcorn annually, about a quarter of the United States' total popcorn production. Other popcorn producing states include Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio. (Fact Retriever & Popcorn Carnival)

We'd Love to Know:

Which fact was new to you?

Wolfe Stew Connects

Corn under pressure becomes America's favorite snack.

As I read this verse (Psalm 78:24 KJV), I chuckled:
"And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven." 
Could it be that the "manna from heaven" was...POPCORN?!? The Wolfe Stew household is all for renaming the delicious morsels "Corn of Heaven." I am envisioning labels slapped on bag with "Corn of Heaven" penned in Sharpie on each one. I could even use coordinating colors! But, lest I get carried away, it wasn't.

"Corn" was an English colloquial term for grain (Bible History) and since corn is a native American crop, it would be unknown to the Israelites Moses led. Besides which, it does not fit the description of a "honey wafer" that could be "boiled and baked" (Exodus 16:23-31).

Yet, the two still bear a resemblance for me: divine provision provided under pressure. 

Over my next bowl of popcorn, I'm going to take time to consider how God has provided and will continue to provide when I am under pressure. I hope you do, too. Chosen people under pressure become God's special possession (I Peter 2:9).

In response:

  1. Slap a "Corn of Heaven" label on every popcorn bag in your house and should someone ask, tell them the story of God's provision.
  2. GROW with us in our journey toward identifying ourselves and others as VALUABLE. Or engage in last year's GROWTH opportunity and learn to CHOOSE decisions that reflect your values.

Bible Verses and Quotes 

Bible Verses

  • "And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven." Psalm 78:24 KJV
  • "Salt is good, but if it no longer tastes like salt, how can it be made to taste salty again?" Luke 14:34 CEV
  • "As far as God is concerned there is a sweet, wholesome fragrance in our lives. It is the fragrance of Christ within us, an aroma to both the saved and the unsaved all around us." 2 Corinthians 2:15 TLB
  • "You should greatly rejoice in what is waiting for you, even if now for a little while you have to suffer various trials." I Peter 1:6 The Voice
  • "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." Psalm 27:14 KJV


  • "Popcorn is one of the only situations in which you eat the result of an explosion." - Demetri Martin
  • "Popcorn for breakfast! Why not? It's a grain. It's like grits, but with high self-esteem." James Robertson
  • "The laziest man I ever met put popcorn in his pancakes so they would turn themselves." W. C. Fields 
  • “You know how when you make popcorn there are always those fluffy white kernels that are fun and good to eat but there are also always those burnt, black kernels that don't pop. You know why they don't pop? Because they have integrity." Marc Maron
  • "Have you ever pondered the miracle of popcorn? It starts out as a tiny, little compact kernel with magic trapped inside that, when agitated, bursts to create something marvelously desirable. It's sort of like those tiny, little thoughts trapped inside an author's head that - in an excited explosion of words - suddenly become a captivating fairy tale!" Richelle E. Goodrich

We'd Love to Know:

Which verse or quote is most likely to POP back into your head?


Activity Suggestions

Popcorn activities in several varieties are what you will find below. Choose from movies, science, writing, art, discussions, or try them all! Download a printable version at our Teachers Pay Teachers store.

The Mr.'s Suggestion:

Watch a movie and eat popcorn!
Looking for a movie to watch? Check out Reader's Digest's list of family movie classics or Crosswalk's list of Christian movies for kids and families.

The Mrs.' Suggestions: 

Investigate Popcorn Science

Education World offers a popcorn science lesson plan that incorporates math and science in five experiments. Marked appropriate for kindergarten to 12th grade learners.

Try Out Popcorn Writing

  1. Each learner starts writing (or drawing) his or her own story (or picture). 
  2. When you say, "Popcorn!" they rotate papers to the left. 
  3. When you're ready to wrap up, return each paper to its original author.
  4. Authors read what is written and provide a conclusion to the story (or picture).
  5. Share outcomes with group when time permits.
Create Popcorn Arts and Crafts

Discuss "Would You Rather..." Questions

  • Eat popcorn or corn on the cob?
  • Work for a popcorn farm or factory?
  • Visit the home of the oldest popcorn kernel in New Mexico or the place that produces the most popcorn in Nebraska?
If you would like three "Would You Rather...?" questions for every January day, download this Wolfe Stew PowerPoint.

Take on the Family Challenge

Pop popcorn. As it's popping, take turns answering the question, "What makes a movie truly great?" Then, after watching a movie, discuss if it met each person's requirements. What would have made it even better?

We'd Love to Know:

How you eat your popcorn.

We’re excited to share one more day with you and wish you JOY for Today and HOPE for Tomorrow. Come back next week for... Library Shelfie Day!

Your Partners in JOY Finding,
Red stew bowl with steam rising from top. Wolfe Stew crawled on front.

Find even more JOY for Today in our monthly calendars, holiday, and seasonal posts.


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