Month: June 2014

The Power Potential in an Inspirational Card

To Pray
To Pray

You would probably be surprised by how much the person sitting next to you at work, on the bus, in the church pew is actually hurting. Our own lives are so rushed that we seldom take the time to enter anyone else’s. And yet, what is more Christ-like for Christians than to come alongside the weary and hurting? You don’t have to have the answers to someone’s problem in order to bring them comfort. There are several ways to be there for them, and most of them just require a willingness to be available.

1. Everyone is Looking for Unconditional Love
Whether the person in your life is a Christian or not, everyone on the planet is looking for unconditional love. Our natural response is to move away from people in pain or in a difficult situation. But as Christians we can look to the example of Jesus who moved toward hurting people and that should be our new default mode as well.

2. Listening Rather Than Fixing is What is Needed
Often we try to move the person forward along the path of healing by offering solutions when what they really need is just for someone to be present and listening. Whether you are taking them out to lunch or sending along an inspirational card, avoid telling them how to get better and instead endeavor to let them know you are standing with them in the hurting.

3. If You Speak at All, Let it be to Share Your Own Struggles
When a person is struggling, they appreciate someone willing to suffer alongside. Job’s comforters were helpful when they sat with Job and listened to his tears. It was when they spoke up and began to pontificate about reasons and solutions that they got in trouble with their friend (and with God). If you do speak up, let it be to share your own times of confusion, hurt and struggle. This is a great time to tell how God met you and carried you through.

4. Look for Small Acts of Support
You don’t have to have solutions in order to be used by God in the life of another person in pain. If you look around for even small ways that you can offer support it can mean a great deal. Babysit, mow the lawn, drive with them to an appointment. Send along an inspirational card letting them know you are thinking of them – it’s so small but can mean so much.

5. Pray, Pray, Pray
Prayer is a huge support. Pray for them over the phone. Write out your prayer for them inside the inspirational card you send. Pray for them when you catch them alone in the break room or stop by their house for no other reason than to pray. Prayer is powerful.

Jesus is our guide here. He will direct hurting people into our path if we are only willing to be used by Him to show them His love. People need to feel His love through us. A hug, a phone call, a visit, a card in the mail – these are the small things which make all the difference. Check out The Printery House and our full line of inspirational cards so you are ready the next time the Lord sends a sorrowing soul your way.

Are Church Visitor Cards Part of Your Outreach Strategy?

Notecard Assortment
Notecard Assortment

Opening your doors to all who wish to enter and worship is a common goal at most churches, and if you’re attending a church who wants to see new faces, you’ve likely thought about how your experience is for guests. One element of outreach to new guests or visitors can be a simple church visitor card, also called a church welcome card.

Here are some points to consider as you think about reaching out to keep visitors coming back:

1. There’s more than one way to handle a church visitor card. A church visitor card can either be a response card you send to say “welcome and thank you for visiting us” or it can be the actual card the guest fills in when they make that first visit. Both give you options for communicating a clear and simple welcome message. You can order church visitor cards or fill-in sheets to be custom printed to reflect the heart and soul of your congregation. You can also order your own visitor response cards that clearly state that you’re glad they’ve come, and you hope they’ll be back.

2. Once you’ve selected the right cards and stationary, be sure you have a plan in place to share them. This includes having plenty on hand with established greeters, and being sure that new faces get a warm hello and a chance to fill in a visitor card if they desire. It sounds simple, but sometimes these steps can be overlooked in the middle of other activities – and in doing so, a visitor may not feel as welcome as you’d like them to.

3. Ask for volunteers to share the joyful task of sending church visitor cards to guests. It’s rewarding and fun and a great way for children, teens or seniors to get involved in the outreach plans for your church.

4. Consider ordering holiday-specific church visitor cards and then invite people who’ve dropped in to your church during the course of the year to come back. Sending a handwritten invitation a few weeks before a holiday event or service can mean a lot to someone who is undecided about their attendance – and it could open the door to new faith.

It’s even more special to send a card with a story, such as a card designed by the monks and artists of The Printery House. For more than 60 years, The Printery House has designed and printed greeting cards for all occasions, with new designs each year. Sales support the Benedictine monastery at Conception Abbey, set in the hills of northwest Missouri. Start your church visitor card outreach plan today!

How to Turn Christian Wall Plaques Into Art for Your Walls

The Irish Blessing Wall Plaque
The Irish Blessing Wall Plaque

No matter how many hours of HGTV you watch, you can still feel stumped when it comes to making your own home reflect your tastes in a way that looks great. Some people seem to have an innate sense of style, but for the majority – putting together rooms that look attractive yet livable is a bit daunting. It’s been said that your rooms will look unfinished until you clothe the walls with artwork, but often, knowing how to hang artwork is the biggest challenge of them all. Here are some design tips for how to properly hang wall art.

Start by Focusing on the Focal Point
Don’t feel overwhelmed by an entire room. Start with the room’s focal point. If the room has a fireplace, this is probably the spot. If the room has one large couch or sofa along the largest wall, then that is probably where everyone’s eye naturally heads.

Fireplaces are rather easy to manage. You can choose to either hang one large piece that is nearly the same size at the fireplace opening itself or you can combine an even number of smaller pieces in a tight grouping that will create the illusion of a single piece. Whenever you make a grouping, you need some shared element that will make individual pieces into a cohesive collection. It could be similar frames, similar colors in the artwork or even a similar theme – such as Christian wall plaques.

Play Around First
Before you start driving nails into your wall, it’s a good idea to lay your artwork on the floor to see which arrangement looks the most appealing to you. If you are creating a grouping, you might think about setting out a large sheet of butcher paper on the floor. Place your artwork in different configurations until you find the one that suits you. Trace around each piece and then tape the paper to the wall. Now there is no question where each piece belongs or where to drive the nails!

Tips to Keep in Mind
If you are hanging a grouping of Christian wall plaques behind the couch or a cluster of chairs, your set will look best if the grouping occupies 75 percent of the space behind the furniture. Also remember to hang pieces at a height where the center of a large piece or of the group will be at eye-level.

Tight groupings with an even number of pieces look nicest when frames have only two to three inches in between. If you want a looser grouping you can allow more space between pieces, but keep it less than six inches.

Asymmetrical Balance
Maybe you don’t have four, six or eight similar pieces. In that case, you can still put together a pleasing arrangement with an odd number of mixed pieces. For instance, you can center a wall shelf behind your sofa and flank it by two similar horizontal pieces. Space the pieces four to six inches apart for a balanced look.

Asymmetrical groupings of pieces dissimilar in size should be staggered so that the base of one picture does not match the top of another.

Your home is your space. It needs to feel comfortable and relaxing for you. And it should say something about you too. If you are a Christian, decorating your home with Christian wall plaques is one way to have your home reflect your heart. By following a few simple design rules, your collection of pieces can become art that finishes a room. Check out the variety of Christian wall plaques available at The Printery House today.

Religious Greeting Cards: Do You Line up with the Trends?

Happy Father's Day
Happy Father’s Day

Religious greeting cards – sent any lately? Actually the market reflects that around 6.5 billion greeting cards are purchased annually, and certainly a portion of these reflect a faith message. It’s true that many people have come to rely on a text, a Facebook post or an email to send a quick birthday greeting – but when it comes to encouragement, sympathy, or a sincere thank you, many great options are available across the Christian and Catholic retail card industry.

If you send birthday cards the most, you’re in the majority. Birthday cards still dominate the market and make up for a large portion of card sales. If you’re looking for one with a faith message, you can find more bold, creative and interesting designs than ever to celebrate the life God gave someone you know.

When it comes to holidays, Christmas reigns supreme for card sales, but Valentine’s Day holds second place (this excludes the fun cards kids buy for their school parties). Honoring mom and dad is also a top trend, with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day representing a large share of cards sent.

Ladies buy more cards than men, and, if you’re a woman, you may spend more time selecting just the right card. (But men may buy a big stack of cards!).

You might spend more on a fancier card from time to time, especially if it has sounds or music, but most cards remain quite affordable at $2 to $4 each.

Most of you who buy and send cards know that it’s important, meaningful and not something you want to set aside even when you get busy. Some reports say that about 80 percent of the card buying audience doesn’t plan to stop buying and sending cards, but instead, to buy more. Now that’s encouraging in a fast-paced electronic world, where a simple hand-written card is still special.

If you’re among those who already have card-sending as a regular life activity, encourage someone else today to send a couple of cards. They’ll be surprised at how satisfying it feels, especially if they can share their faith with a religious greeting card and make someone smile at the same time. You’ll find a great selection of hand-designed greeting cards created by the monks and artists of The Printery House, now in its 60th year of helping people share important life moments with the ones you love.