Tag: books

A Look Back at 2013 With Pope Francis

Pope Francis 2Time magazine chose Pope Francis as its Man of the Year for 2013. The Pope edged out several other high-profile candidates, none of whom could match this one man’s widespread appeal. Looking back at 2013 with Pope Francis one cannot but feel a sense of renewed hope. So just what is it that makes Pope Francis so remarkable?

The Pope stands tall as a man of true conviction and action. The former Cardinal and Archbishop of Buenos Aires had long been known as a priest who ministered to the real needs of real people and none of that heart for service was left behind when Jorge Bergoglio ascended to the seat of St Peter in March 2013.

He is a Pope of several firsts. For starters, he is the first to assume the name of St Francis. St Francis of Assisi was a man who turned his back on family wealth in order to share the gospel with humble people. This saint and founder of an order that followed an austere, self-supporting lifestyle was wholly devoted to preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. Pope Francis has chosen a name that effectively defines
his outlook on ministry.

To a world that seems jaded by the self-serving actions of the powerful, Pope Francis is like a breath of fresh air. A leader who believes in humble service and who exemplifies the message he preaches to others.

When he moved to the Vatican, Pope Francis astounded a watching world by refusing the palatial residence in favor of more humble apartments. He refused to be driven around in a luxurious (and safe) vehicle, but accepted instead a 1984 Renault. He chose as his first public celebrations, acts of servitude toward the lowly, washing the feet of prisoners, for example.

He is also the first non-European to be chosen as Pope in more than 1,000 years. The break with tradition which elected Pope Francis has been of monumental importance in terms of how the church and its leadership are perceived around the globe.

Though only in office since March of 2013, the Pope has shown a talent for handling the challenges facing the church without being sidetracked from its central mission. The Pope has not promised to abrogate church teaching or doctrine, but he has expressed willingness to dialogue. He is a leader who puts feet to his words and is ready to share words with those who feel excluded.

Pope Francis describes the church as a military field hospital – a place of comfort and healing for those crushed by the cruelties of life. And he expects those under him, including his flock, to be out on the streets begrimed from the work of meeting needs. This kind of servant-leadership is what a heart-sick world is looking for. A look at 2013 with Pope Francis is a look at how one true servant can upend a world of cynicism and despair. For pictures, prayer cards, bookmarks and other religious items commemorating the Pope, check out The Printery House.

Inspirational Cards & Homemade Goodies: What a College Student Loves to Get in the Mail

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It’s September, and just about everyone is back in school, including college students. Whether this is the first year you’ve sent a child off to college or you’ve done it before, it’s always an exciting (and emotional) event.

Parents who want to encourage their college student, or those who’ve inspired that student along the way (such as Sunday School teachers) will want to start packing a care package. Kids in college will always welcome a package from home or a family friend. What makes for a great welcome gift box from home? Here are some suggestions:

First, pick out a selection of inspirational cards. Inspirational cards are available at Christian bookstores and they come in all sorts of styles and with all kinds of messages. Cards that encourage your student to lean on God, ones that remind them that God’s strength is available and sufficient or cards that let them know you are remembering them in daily prayer are perfect. So are cards which bear the simple reminder “God Loves You”. These cards will be the anchor for all the other goodies you choose to send along.

Cash is always in short supply and is therefore, always welcome. It doesn’t have to be a lot of money. You can tuck a twenty dollar bill into a card along with a note that suggests using it for pizza or ice cream (or laundry). Getting a handwritten note from home with just a little fun money is a great way to surprise your college student.

College kids are expected to do a lot of reading, so a bookmark is another simple, but welcome gift that can be slipped inside an inspirational card. You can make the bookmark yourself or you can choose from a variety of bookmarks on sale at a Christian bookstore; either way the gift will be a regular reminder of the folks at home who are supporting the hard work of college. Desk or wall calendars also make great gifts that are easy to mail.

Gift cards are easily stuffed inside one of your inspirational cards. Gift cards that can be used at fast food chains, the gas station, the bookstore or even Wal-Mart (for dorm or school supplies) will bring a smile to your student’s face when he opens his mail. You could choose to send a different card every month. It will let your student know he is remembered and will make getting mail from home eagerly anticipated.

Of course, home-baked goodies are a staple of the college gift package. Brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and other homemade treats will make a wonderful surprise. But even better than the snack food and money will be the words you write. This is your chance to tell your child how much you believe in them. Inspirational cards with uplifting messages are valuable, but not more than the words that flow from a mother or father’s pen.

So send along regular care packages, but always include some heartfelt words of encouragement and praise. They mean more than you know and will be remembered for years to come. If you wonder where to buy great inspirational cards, check out our selection at the The Printery House. We offer a variety of cards that can help brighten the day of your college student.