Last updated: March 05. 2014 4:33PM - 897 Views
By Becky Spell Vann Contributing Columnist

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Do you enjoy receiving a greeting card? Pulling piles of junk mail and bills from the mailbox can be exasperating, but finding a cool greeting card among those letters is exciting. In fact, a scripture from Thessalonians 5:11 shows the difference it makes when we share uplifting words — “Encourage one another and build each other up.”

“It’s much easier to type a text, tweet, or send an email,” the majority concludes. Yet, there is joy in receiving a card with precious drawings or pictures and powerful words of life. The card continues to bless the receiver as it sits on the kitchen windowsill, beside the computer, or on a shelf at work. Finally, the card will end up in the trash or saved in a special greeting card storage place. There are probably beautiful Valentine cards still hanging around your house or workplace. The thrill of receiving and re-reading cards with uplifting words blesses beyond understanding.

Greeting cards can make a difference. A special card tucked inside my Blessings Unlimited package shed light on the power of getting a card. Few things can light up a face like the arrival of a greeting card. It is one of the most welcomed forms of communication, and creates a doorway into someone’s heart.

When you sign your name to a card you are saying, “Here is what is in my heart for you. Please receive it as something I truly want you to know and hear. When you send a card you are really sending a little part of yourself.”

There are so many people you know – friends, family, co-workers, church members – who would be so blessed and encouraged to hear from you today. How do you begin?

There’s a reason your friend has come to mind. Was it a memory you shared? Did you laugh about something together? Do you know they’re going through a difficult time? Do you simply miss their company? Start by letting them know why they’re in your thoughts – and it can be “just because.”

Keep it real. By referring to a memory, conversation, or moment of laughter you’ve shared, your words carry an authenticity that will strengthen the friendship.

Express sincere joy. Let this be the personal “blurb” straight from your heart like “I couldn’t be happier for you. I hope your joys grow sweeter with each year. God is good, you’re blessed. I’m thrilled.”

Include a blessing. Putting a short blessing in a card, note, or letter will make the recipient feel truly honored such as “I pray you know how priceless you are to God. May your new baby be blessed with every good thing God gives.”

Close with care. End your note with a personal compliment – words that affirm the person, apart from what they’ve done for you like “You have a way of making people feel special, just by being you. I always appreciate the warmth of your smile. You’re a genuine expression of God’s love.”

Let your pen flow. It’s never a good idea to over think the process. Let your pen flow freely as your thoughts come – God has already prepared your heart to be a blessing.

Paul understood the importance of sending letters with messages meant to encourage, warn, instruct, inform the people. Paul’s greeting written at the beginning of his letters set the tone for his lengthy letters. Reading Romans, Paul begins with words of encouragement, “Dear Friends of Rome. This letter is from Paul, Jesus Christ’s slave, chosen to be a missionary, and sent out to preach God’s Good News …And you, dear friends in Rome, are among those he dearly loves; you, too, are invited by Jesus Christ to be God’s very own – yes, his holy people. May all God’s mercies and peace be yours from God our Father and from Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Paul closes his letter giving honor to God. “To God, who alone is wise, be the glory forever through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” Sincerely, Paul.

Paul wrote a powerful greeting to begin his letter to Timothy (1 Timothy) — “From Paul, a missionary of Jesus Christ, sent out by the direct command of God our Savior and by Jesus Christ our Lord – our only hope.

To Timothy. Timothy, you are like a son to me in the things of the Lord. May God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord show you his kindness and mercy and give you great peace of heart and mind.”

Paul concludes this letter with a stern warning. “Oh, Timothy, don’t fail to do these things that God entrusted to you. Keep out of foolish arguments with those who boast of their ‘knowledge’ and thus prove their lack of it. Some of these people have missed the most important thing in life – they don’t know God. May God’s mercy be upon you.” Sincerely, Paul.

Paul’s letter to Timothy could be mailed to homes throughout the world today. Are we doing the things God has entrusted us to do? Are we foolishly arguing and harboring offense against people in our lives who boast about themselves and do not know God? Paul reminds us to show kindness and mercy and we will have peace of heart and mind.

If you opened your mailbox and found a letter from Paul, would his message compliment or criticize your service to the Savior? Would his words of encouragement congratulate your integrity and honor for Jesus Christ?

The challenge to share words of life with others is given. Become a vessel God can use to pour encouragement into the lives of those you know and love. Send a card today. Look for one in your mailbox soon.

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