"I...am writing this with my own hand."
"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."
Ever since I was a very young girl, I have loved collecting stationery. I love note pads, greeting cards and writing paper. I could get lost in a card store for hours! Still, a lovely stationery and greeting card store excites me...beyond even a unique clothing boutique!
As I look back now, I believe that, even as a young gal, God was graciously cultivating Himself in me as a lover of encouraging and as one who so deeply appreciates being encouraged. I love sending hand-written notes to family and friends. Even in this age of instant cyber communication, texting and e-mailing, there is nothing as meaningful as a hand-written note.
E-mails are a daily part of my life, and I appreciate the convenient and efficient correspondence they provide. However, the joy of opening the now almost-nostalgic "snail mailbox" and finding a colorful envelope with your name hand written on it is simply delightful. When I open the snail mailbox and see a personal note or card, my day is brightened. God has often used someone to send me a note at just the right time. His love and care has regularly been expressed personally through hand-written notes.
There is just something special about sending or receiving a hand-written note on pretty paper. In his writings, Paul was known for declaring that he was handwriting the letters he authored (at least handwriting a portion of each letter personally) with his own hand. He would often write, "I Paul am writing this with my own hand." It gave the letter authenticity and that personal, special touch. As with our own hand-written notes, Paul's own handwriting signified his sincere love and care for the people to whom he was writing.
Personal, hand-written notes will always be a treasure, no matter how much our world of communication is taken over by cyber-exchanges.
Heartfelt sincerity and love are so beautifully expressed by a hand-written note.
Pray and ask the Lord if there is someone He would like you to encourage through a hand-written note today. Include a favorite scripture verse. Pray for that person and place that hand-written envelope in your out-going mailbox today! Your hand-written note will be an encouragement to the recipient.
PS -- I like to even send my husband and children hand-written notes in the mail! :) (Much better than all the bills and junk mail we all find in our snail mailboxes!)
"I am sending him to you for the express purpose that...he may encourage your hearts."
"We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves."