Month: March 2014

Easter Gifts That Help You Celebrate the Real Meaning of Easter with Your Children

Easter Cards 1
Christ is With You

No sooner has Valentine’s Day come and gone than stores start to fill their shelves with Easter goodies. The pastel baskets, plastic eggs and marshmallow chicks are popping out all over.

Although most parents find great delight in purchasing gifts for their children, this is a holiday which offers tremendous opportunity for teaching the real meaning of Christian faith. Easter gifts can help you communicate those important truths. It’s all about having a plan, including a plan for which Easter gifts you choose.

It can be confusing to small children who just celebrated Jesus’ birth at Christmas, to understand the celebration of His death at Easter – just a few months later. Older children will grasp the concept, but don’t fret if little ones don’t get it. In time, they will understand. Right now, be content to sow truth into their hearts.

Easter eggs are a common part of most celebrations and there is no reason not to make them part of Easter with your kids. However, while you are coloring, decorating or filling your eggs steer the conversation toward what happens with eggs in nature. Life is hidden within the egg and at the proper time life springs forth from inside. These are themes that fit perfectly with our Easter holiday.

Using a Lenten devotional book during the season is another way to help prepare young minds for the joy of Resurrection Sunday. These devotionals sometimes include activities that reinforce the main truth of the daily passage.

Writing and sending out Easter cards is another way to keep the true meaning of Easter central in everyone’s mind. Young children may affix stamps to the envelopes and older kids may sign their names or write a brief note. This is a great opportunity to talk about how faith in Jesus’ resurrection is what ties believers together.

Of course, it’s loads of fun to put together an Easter basket. To make your baskets really count, include Easter gifts that express a spiritual truth. A cross necklace, a children’s book about the crucifixion and resurrection, or a personal bible all make terrific Easter gifts. Someone has suggested giving a book or video about the marvelous transformation of caterpillars into butterflies as a way to depict the changed life brought about through resurrection.

Easter is the center of the Christian faith. It is a celebration that includes the tremendous sorrow of Good Friday and the incredible joy of Easter morning. Without the sadness of sin and death, the message of rebirth loses its wonder. Present your children with the facts of Easter. We are sinful, but Jesus took the punishment our sins deserve. God is willing to forgive our sins and He proved it by raising Jesus back to life! Hallelujah!

When you’re ready to shop for your Easter supplies, consider shopping at The Printery House. The Printery House offers Easter cards and gifts that can help you celebrate the real meaning of Easter with your children.

Four Powerful Ways to Share Your Faith With Christian Paintings and Framed Prints

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Watercolor Sunset Scene

Want to know where art, faith and great decorating style meet? Check out new styles of Christian paintings and Christian wall art. From thoughtful and inspiring to whimsical and bright, there’s a wall art piece waiting for your home or that of a friend.

Sometimes just a few words can be a powerful reminder of God’s love, so consider updating that room or home project with a wall plaque or several arranged together. Try having one as a central focal point, such as one with the famous message “Preach the gospel at all times, use words if necessary,” by St. Francis of Assisi.

Looking for a gift for a teen or a newlywed? Consider a Christian painting with bright colors and a message that resonates with every demographic. The artists and monks at The Printery House offer one with purples and blues in a modern style, sharing the message “We know that ALL THINGS work together for good for those who love God.” This type of framed Christian art works for all styles of décor.

If you attend a baptism ceremony or a wedding, you may even want to jot down a scripture that was used during the event and then make your own wall décor to honor the moment using a blank canvas. You can pair your own creation with a framed poster or plaque of a similar design that you find online.

If adding an exciting element to your entryway at home or at the office is on your mind this year, try a framed Christian art print with bright colors and visible art strokes that feature the cross. Right away, anyone who enters will know about your faith, and the art from The Printery House will resonate with every season, including “Where there is peace, there is God.”

In all these styles, you can be reminded of the scripture: Deuteronomy 6:6-9 — “Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.”

Keeping a few of these great gifts like wall plagues, Christian paintings or sculpted gifts for home or garden in your gift drawer means you’ll be ready to share your faith and show someone how special they are. Don’t forget to pair it with a beautiful hand-designed card from The Printery House, nestled in the rolling hills of the Benedictine monastery Conception Abbey.

Observing Lent with Your Family: Five Things You Can Do

Lent 1
Not by Bread Alone

It is only a matter of weeks until Easter and the celebration of the Lent season begins this week with Ash Wednesday. How do you celebrate the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday with your family? Do you want to take the time with your family for a season of preparation for the glorious remembrance of Jesus’ resurrection but you are just not sure how to do it? Here are a few ways that you can truly enter into a time of worship and preparation with your family during this special time of the year.

1.
Be devoted to prayer
Prayer should be part of every Christian’s daily life, but it often gets pushed aside in the rush of the day. During the prelude to Easter, be consistent about making time for extra attention to this spiritual discipline. Make it a family event each morning or evening.

You can pray for God to reveal Himself to each family member in new ways this season. You can thank Him for His plan of salvation. You can pray for the extension of His kingdom into all the world.

2.
Begin a bible or devotional reading time
If you have never developed the discipline of daily bible reading Lent is a great time to make the effort. Family bible reading doesn’t have to be long and drawn out. You could read together through one of the gospels between now and Good Friday. Families could also make use of one of the many devotionals written specifically for the Lenten season.

At The Printery House we offer simple devotions that include a scripture passage along with a printed reflection or modern application. These devotionals are brief and easy to incorporate into the busy lives of families. More robust devotionals like the one based on the writings of St Augustine could be adapted for family use. This devotional pairs readings, reflections, and prayers along with recommended daily actions.

3. Be involved in service
Jesus came not to be served, but to serve and this should be a hallmark of His followers as well. Think of things you could do as a family to serve someone else – bake goodies for a neighbor, write a letter to a missionary, visit a shut-in or spend an afternoon volunteering at a food pantry or homeless shelter.

4. Learn an Easter hymn
The church has beautiful music written especially in celebration of Easter. Prepare your children to take joyful part in the Easter service by teaching them at least one traditional Easter hymn during Lent.

5. Make a sacrifice
Lent is preparation for celebrating Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice, so making personal sacrifices has long been part of Lenten observance. A Lenten sacrifice is more than finally giving up a bad or sinful habit. The sacrifices of Lent should be about forgoing something that is permissible and pleasurable as a way of remembering the sacrifice that Jesus made when He left heaven to endure earthly suffering on our behalf.

This Easter could be the most meaningful you and your family have ever enjoyed. Choose one or several ways to mark the season of Lent and see what spiritual benefits you can reap together. Visit us at The Printery House for Lenten devotionals and other items to help aid you in family worship.

Christian Products That Say Luck O’ the Irish, and Also Send Blessings From Heaven

Can you share both the Luck O’ the Irish, and your faith this St. Patrick’s Day? Absolutely. The holiday can mean so much more than corned beef, parades and green trinkets, without losing the fun.

St. Patricks Day Card 1
Best Wishes on Saint Patrick’s Day

This St. Patrick’s Day season, surprise friends, coworkers and family members with unexpected cards or Christian products that remind them of the beauty of faith. Historically, St. Patrick’s Day began as a religious feast to honor the patron saint of Ireland. He is said to have brought Christianity to Ireland, and authored the Confession, an autobiography, and the Epistola, which brought to light poor treatment toward Irish Christians by the British.

Here are a few simple ideas for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and Send a Little Blessing to Someone You Love:

1. Send a pair of hearty mugs. Show the man (or woman) in your life that you’ll drink to their Irish blessings with a fun mug or two. Not only does it remind them of their Irish heritage, it’ll bring a smile as they remember you as the giver – and you can pair it with a beautiful and inspiring card from The Printery House.

2. Send a blessing plaque guests will stop and smile at. The shamrock represents the Holy Trinity, and was used by St. Patrick to help explain the concept to pagan people. You don’t have to display this classic Irish symbol only at St. Patrick ’s Day; enjoy it all year by giving an Irish blessing wall plaque. The Printery House, an apostolic work of the monks and employees at Conception Abbey, offers a classic Irish wall plaque with a slightly whimsical touch.

3. Stay cozy and snake-free with a unique Irish throw blanket. St. Patrick is also said to have removed the snakes from Ireland, but the reality is that this is probably more of a metaphor for driving away pagan faith than a geographic fact. As the Ice Age came to an end, the island of Ireland was distanced enough from the other parts of the continent that snakes were hard-pressed to establish a population. Instead, it’s believed that many who worshipped pagan gods often used images of the snake or serpent, and with his baptism of several pagan leaders in “holy wells,” St. Patrick may have symbolically driven away the snakes. Surround yourself with the truths around St. Patrick’s Day throughout the year with a comfy Irish cross tapestry throw.

4. Why not send a card this year for St. Patrick’s Day that’s so pretty it’ll be worthy of a frame? Try this intricate Irish design, with both an Irish blessing and a scripture verse. It’s the perfect card to pair with great Irish-inspired Christian products.

Get your Irish fix this year with Christian products and amazing Irish cards from our monks and team members of the The Printery House. Sending one of these gifts is also a great “hello spring” surprise for a friend, a church member or a priest – so don’t worry if you miss the actual St. Patrick’s Day on your calendar. Send it anyway!