Monthly Archives: September 2013

Religious Jewelry: Wear a Cross to Express Your Faith

Religious Jewelry 1

Trinity Symbol

Religious jewelry is one of the most ancient means of expressing faith and beliefs. For millennia people have worn jewelry with a religious message in order to express their faith. Among Christians, the universal symbol of faith is the cross.

The cross was not always the most recognized symbol of Christian faith. At one time, the fish, or Icthys, was perhaps the most popular. Particularly during early years of persecution, Christians were wary about making themselves known. Christian history tells us that early believers would draw the symbol of a fish on buildings where Christian meetings were to take place to keep them hidden or to secretly mark the location of a believer’s tomb.

It is said that Christians would draw one half of the Icthys in the dirt when meeting a stranger on the road. If the other person drew the other half of the fish, then it was safe to reveal one’s faith in Christ. Doves and other symbols were also associated with the early Christians.

The cross likely became a universal symbol of Christianity under the rule of Emperor Constantine. Some say it originated as an abbreviation since the Greek letter which begins the word cross, looks like a cross. Another Greek letter, shaped like an X, was a common abbreviation for the word Christ. Unde Constantine, crucifixion was done away with as a legal punishment and the converted ruler placed a cross (or an X) on the shields of his soldiers as a symbol of his allegiance to Christ.

The most ancient cross is the Greek cross. This cross is recognized by the equal length of every arm. The Celtic cross is another ancient cross. It is highly ornate and boasts a circle or sunburst around the upper portion. A Budded Cross has clover-like tips to each of the cross’ arms. The three leaf clovers represent the Trinity. But one of the most popular of all crosses is the Latin cross.

Today, crosses as religious jewelry are worn by men and women alike and are immediately recognized as symbols of the Christian faith. They are made from metal, wood or just about any other hard substance and are worn on necklaces, bracelets, as earrings and on key chains or pocket prayer medals.

It is amazing to think that there are still places in the world, where wearing a cross and identifying yourself as a Christian can bring hardship and persecution. We who are free to express our love for Christ and faith in Him can do so in any number of ways. Wearing religious jewelry is one of the easiest. Check out all the many kinds of crosses available at The Printery House.

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Remember the Day They Were Born with Religious Birthday Cards and Special Traditions

Birthday Cards 2

Bless You on Your Birthday

One of the best days of the year for parents and kids is a child’s birthday. This is the day that mom and dad get to go all out letting their rejoicing show. It is also one of those celebrations tailor-made for memories. And one of the best ways to create memories is to create traditions.  Kids tend to remember things that are repeated year after year.

Birthday traditions don’t have to cost a lot to mean a lot. There are all kinds of great ways to create a family identity that has to do with birthday celebrations. Here are just a few.

  1. If you are a Christian family, start by choosing religious birthday cards. This is one subtle way to reinforce the identity your family shares as believers. Save all those religious birthday cards in a special box for your child to peruse each year.
  2. Balloons figure largely into most birthday celebrations so put them to work. Why not write adjectives that describe the birthday boy/girl on every balloon?
  3. If you are hosting a birthday party, put out a snapshot of the birthday child set in an extra-wide matting. Ask guests to write a brief note in the matting. Save them year by year and they become a miniature scrapbook of birthdays.
  4. If the birthday celebration is more of a family affair, you can make it a tradition to go around the table and pay the birthday person a compliment. Every person at the table completes the sentence: “What I like about _______ is the way he/she…….”
  5. Have a special book or movie that is enjoyed together as a family only on birthdays. Of course the person wearing the crown gets the best seat and first dibs on the snacks during book reading or movie viewing. The best book for birthdays of course, is the child’s baby book!
  6. You can start the special day in many different great ways. It could just be breakfast in bed.  It could be a lighted candle in a doughnut or a stack of pancakes. Buttermilk biscuits can be iced with colored icing and dusted with colored sprinkles. Orange juice milkshakes (think creamy Orange Julius here) are another way to make the morning special.
  7. Some families allow the birthday person to pick the menu all day or at least for dinner.  Maybe you allow your child to choose his/her birthday cake.
  8. Make a super big deal out of those once in a lifetime birthdays – when the person turns 10 on the 10th or 7 on the 7th. For this birthday they may get additional privileges that come only once in a lifetime – spend the night in a hotel for example. Or take a group of friends to a theme park.
  9. Another way to make birthdays unique is to hide all, or at least one, of the gifts. It can be fun to tell the person if they are getting warmer or colder as they hunt around the house for the missing present. As kids get older, this could become more of a scavenger hunt with written clues to be deciphered.
  10. One final idea is to choose a bible verse for the child to be remembered all year long.  Write the verse inside the birthday card and then refer to it all through the year.

Making birthday traditions doesn’t have to be hard; it can be lots of fun. And they make it easier for children to form lasting memories of these precious family times. Finding religious birthday cards doesn’t have to be hard either. Check out the many options available through The Printery House.

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Religious Thank You Card: Take Time to be Thankful

Thank You Cards 5

Thank You For Being My Sponsor

Think for a moment and count up how many times you’ve said the words ‘Thank You’ in
the past 48 hours. My guess is that your words do not begin to come close to matching the actual number of blessings in your life. For example, if you are reading this blog, you can be thankful for the gift of sight. If you were deprived of sight for even one day, you would quickly appreciate it more than you do. Or how about this – have you enjoyed a meal today? Have you thanked God for the taste buds He gave you? Food didn’t have to taste delicious to us, but God blessed us with that pleasure.

This taking time to be thankful should extend to other people as well, and that is how we can play a role in recapturing an attitude of thankfulness. God deserves our thanks first and foremost, but there are so many missed opportunities when we could be thanking others too. A few years back, one man decided to write a Thank You note to someone each day for a year. Those notes became a book about how the practice transformed his life. Without doubt those who received his notes were also impacted.

A religious thank you card is particularly great in this regard because it acknowledges the blessing of the other person and includes God at the same time. If you consider
for even a few moments, there are so many people who make your day a delight. Your pastor or priest, your Sunday school teacher, your child’s soccer coach, even the friendly server at the coffee shop all contribute to your life in some way.

In fact, you could send a religious thank you card to just about everyone in your life. Your neighbor who keeps his yard up, the mailman who never fails rain or shine, your co-worker who shares paper clips and the grown child who calls every week just to visit. Even the person who has an opinion different from yours helps you to be a better thinker and broadens your world.

Have you ever found yourself in bed at night and thanking God for the fun of lightning bugs and the song of the crickets, think about how much we have to be thankful for. We could do so much better at thanking others around us – if we would take the time to do it. The good news is that big changes usually start small. Take some time to browse through our thank you cards at The Printery House, buy some stationery, and take some time today (and every day) to send a eligious thank you card to at least one person for the way they enrich your life.

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Blessing a Marriage: Give a Gift That Will Encourage the Bride and Groom

 

Keepsake Box 1

Celtic Cross Shaped Keepsake Box

When I was a young girl my mom had a promise box that was a special part of our days. Most days mom would have each of us four kids pull a brightly colored card from the assortment of God’s promises and read it aloud. It was a great foundation for learning that God’s word is full of truth and we can reach out for it every day to give us strength and courage.

One idea that reminds me of the old promise box is a Blessing Box. If you are planning to attend a wedding anytime soon, you might consider one of these for the bride and groom. It will be a unique wedding gift, but more than that it will be one that encourages them for weeks and months to come! Here’s how you can make your own blessing box to give away:

1. Visit a craft store and choose an attractive box. You could also visit a Christian bookstore and buy an appropriately-sized keepsake box.

2. Choose a biblical blessing that you would like to offer the bride and groom. During church, one of the most precious moments is when the people of God receive a benediction before heading back out into the world. Blessing a marriage with words like those found in Numbers 6:24-26 is ideal “May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you, may the Lord turn His
face toward you and give you peace.”

3. Pick out an attractive font and print out the blessing in a size that allows it to be placed on the underside of the box lid. You can use Modge-Podge to glue the blessing in place.

4. Next, choose some appropriate scripture verses that will bring strength and encouragement to the couple. You can choose verses that focus on subjects pertinent to young marrieds. For example:

Being grateful for your spouse

Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds
what is good and receives favor from the Lord Proverbs 20:6-7 Many a man claims
to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?  The righteous man leads a blameless life, blessed are his children after him.

Realizing we don’t have what it takes

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to think anything comes from ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God

2 Corinthians 12:9  My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness

There are so many verses that could be put in your blessing box to encourage the bride
and groom.

5. Print the verses in an attractive font that is small enough so that each verse can be rolled up as a small scroll and placed inside the blessing box.

6. Tie each of the scrolls with lovely ribbon – light blue, silver or white and gold are nice.

Like my mom’s promise box, the blessing box will be a place the couple can visit regularly to share eternal truth together. And you will be strengthened in your own faith just by blessing a marriage with God’s Word. Other ideas for placing inside the box include biblical prayers (Daniel 9, Habakkuk 3, 2 Chronicles 20 etc.) or Holy Cards.

Holy Cards and keepsake boxes can be found at Catholic gift stores like The Printery House. Visit The Printery House online and get inspired today– blessing a marriage can be personal and meaningful and fun!

 

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