Thursday, July 9, 2020

A Well-Placed Stamp



2 Thessalonians 3:17
I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand, which is the distinguishing mark in all my letters.  This is how I write.

In this day and age of the email and instant messaging, the art of writing a letter, penned thoughtfully by hand, seems to slip into the bygone era with each passing day.  But is it an age that has drawn its last breath?  By the looks or our old mailbox pictured above, one would be tempted to think so.  Defaced by mossy growth and thoughtless offerings of birds, it is worn and tired now, yet it has witnessed countless seasons of greeting cards, pleas for charitable contributions, and welcomed notes from loved ones.

My husband, Danny, eager for projects to accomplish safely while we're in the throws of this virus, decides that a new mailbox is a positive move.  I have no argument with that!  The forced distance this illness has demanded from those we love has opened new opportunities for communication; our oldest granddaughter, Virginia Rose, is cultivating the art of the handwritten note, much to our delight and gratification.



We so look forward to her missives!  And now, they will have a brand-new mailbox in which they can arrive.

And don't you know, once I receive a note from Virginia, I promptly write back.  This enforces the importance of the written word, the impact it imparts, and the lasting meaning even the simplest of thoughts can convey.  We have a new generation to teach, an opportunity to encourage caring and thoughtfulness in them as they take the time to write to us.  We can't afford to blow this one!

I think St. Paul felt the same way.  His epistles make up a ponderous portion of the New Testament.  Whenever I read them, I wonder how much weaker our faith would be without his inspiration and conviction that Jesus is Lord.

And surely, God put His well-placed stamp of approval on Paul's writings.  How else would they have been so carefully preserved and passed down,  generation after generation, for our edification and strengthening in the Christian faith?

Let us continue, then, to preserve our past in order to bless the future.

The only cost just might be a well-placed stamp.

Amen!

31 comments:

  1. A wonderful post today, Martha. I have so many questions you may need to sit down with a cup of coffee.

    I have never understood how your mail boxes work; not having seen one. Are they lockable to keep the contents safe? If so, does the postman have a key for every box? Not feasible. How do you keep the content safe after the postman has put a letter in?

    How about big letters, packets and parcels? How does the USPS postman deliver them?

    What is that flag like thing on the right of your old mail box?

    Why don't you have it in your new mailbox? And what is that green tube hanging on the side?

    If you want to send a letter, do you put it in your OWN mail box for the postman to collect it; or do you put it in a USPS post box?

    Now for the UK version. Here it is the law that all mail will be delivered at the person's front door. No mail boxes on the side-walk by the edge of your property. If you live in an apartment block the postman delivers to your door on your floor wherever it may be. The postman will NOT collect a letter from you which you want to post. You have to put it in a Royal Mail post box, (sometimes in the street or inside supermarkets), and he collects it from there. Sometimes when the postman delivers to your door he requires your signature (on electronic tablet) as proof of delivery of an important item such as a legal document. He rings your door bell, waits, if you do not answer he takes the letter to his Post Office and leaves you a card asking you to go there and collect your item.

    Again, good post. But ... another question: How did Paul deliver his many letters to the Corinthians, and other people? There was no Post Office then. It was invented by the British many years later ... don't you know ... jolly good show ... what?

    God bless.

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    1. Oh, wow, Victor, so many questions! Okay, here's a try - there are some mailboxes designed so the postman can put letters in a slot, but only you have a key to unlock it. Big letters, parcels, etc., are delivered to your door, sometimes requiring a signature, and if one is not at home, we get that little card notice, too. The flag was used to alert the postman that you have outgoing mail for pick up. I don't know why that's not a feature on the new mailbox. The green tube has nothing to do with the box, but everything to do with electrical wiring in the neighborhood. Usually, we post our letters in an official post office box, especially if we are sending birthday money or something of that sort.
      And how were Paul's letters delivered? I'm sure by a trusted courier.
      Whew! What a way to start my morning!
      Love and blessings!

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    2. Thank you Martha for taking the time to respond to my questions. Here in the UK the postman is not allowed to take your outgoing mail. You should post it in a Royal Mail letter box and ensure it has the correct postage on it. If you have underpaid the postman at the delivery end fines the RECIPIENT before handing over the letter.

      As for writing letters by hand. I have discovered a new way regarding birthday cards, Christmas and Easter cards. I send a hand-written card and inside I write all the years ahead for 10 years. - for example from 2020 to 2030. I then ask the recipient to keep the card safe and each year cross out the appropriate year. This saves me a lot of money in cards and postage. And I've lost a few friends too, making it even cheaper not to send them cards in future. Isn't that clever?

      God bless.

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    3. Victor, you are too funny! Cheap, yes, but funny. :) And I was more than happy to answer your questions, my friend.

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    4. The new mailbox does have a red 'flag' to indicate outgoing mail, but is on the front door instead of the side. You can purchase locking mailboxes where the mail can be delivered without a key, but you use the key to retrieve the mail. We've never had a safety issue requiring a key, but if the mail is critical or includes money then we take to the official US post office boxes that can be found in a variety of locations. The green yube contains TV/internet connections.

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    5. Thanks for the added information, Danny! I hope that clarifies things for Victor more than I did. :)

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    6. Thank you both so much for your kindness.

      God bless you always.

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  2. The art of writing a letter has been lost. I still prefer hand-written notes if possible than sending an email. When the virus first hit, I wrote a hand-written note to every family/person in our church directory. I felt like my hand was permanently cramped after over 100 notes. LOL But I still write personal thank you notes to people. I'm glad that VR has caught onto the practice,

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    1. Maybe it's our generation, Bill, but I so prefer hand-written notes, too. I think it's wonderful that you took the time, hand cramps and all, to pen personal notes to all the families in your congregation. I know that meant the world to all of them. And I, too, am so glad we are training Virginia to be a letter writer. :)
      Love and blessings!

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  3. I am putting my not-so-well-placed stamp of approval on this post! Good thoughts and reminders. I may even have to start writing letters again. My Dad who passed away last fall, was a prolific letter writer. It may be time to purchase some stamps from the Post Office and see how well I can place them. Blessings, my friend!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Spaulphil! I think getting back to letter writing would be good for all of us. It's so easy to send an email, but rarely do we print them out to keep. Letters or cards, on the other hand, are more likely to be kept and treasured.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. There was a time when I wrote notes and letters to loved ones and even had a couple of pen pals. The computer and social media seems to have put an end to those days but you are so right to instill in our youngsters just how special a written note/letter can be. Good for Virginia Rose!! I need to do better. Yes to your thoughts on Paul. Where would we be without his writings?!!

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    1. I think that most of us essentially stopped writing real letters in the wake of the internet, Terri. I'm really hoping we can revive it in the months to come, especially for those who are shut in due to the virus. I'm glad Virginia Rose is being introduced to this almost vanished art form. And yes, where would we be without Paul's letters?
      Love and blessings!

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  5. I'm so glad you and Virginia are sharing hand-written notes. My daughter treasures her cards and letters from her Nana (my sweet mother) who is now in Heaven.

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    1. Beckie, I'm so glad you shared here that your daughter so treasures the cards and letters from her Nana. I still remember how thrilled I was when I'd get one from my Nana or Grandma. Hope Virginia will treasure mine as I do hers.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Wonderful thoughts today. I treasure the letters I have from my mother and very few from grandparents. I wish I had more. I have lost the art of letter writing now that email and facebook seem to be so easy. But I did just order a box of all kinds of greeting cards from Current, and I have god intentions of sending more cards this year. I hope I can remember to do that! I have very good intentions! Glad you are encouraging Virginia in this way. That is a real blessing.

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    1. I treasure the letters and cards I have, too, Pamela. Like you, I ordered some greeting cards at Amazon, but these are particularly suitable to send to kids so Virginia will really enjoy her notes. The theme is "flying" cats - lol! As she adores her cat, Henry, I thought these would be purrfect! I'm really hoping Virginia won't lose interest in sending notes to her Gammie. Something tells me, she will continue to do so.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Those were the days, my friend! When I'd spend summers at my grandparent's farm in Minnesota, seeing the mailman slow and stop was the highlight of my day. What I'd give to still have one of my mother's handwritten letters! Gosh, I can't recall the last one I received. But then, I've not posted one myself in many years. How encouraging to hear Virginia is taking up that tradition! I can't help but think that might never have blossomed had they not moved. Huge stamp of approval from here! (And blessings, too.)

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    1. No, Mevely, this probably would never have happened if they lived close by, so in that one way, their move is a blessing. Like you, I loved every day in the summer when I spotted the mailman in the neighborhood, and nothing made me happier than getting a note or card from one of my grandmothers. Don't know what happened to those . . .
      So glad you liked the post!
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Love getting those handwritten notes. You're right; they seem few and far between these days as email correspondence seems easier. Still, I love seeing how someone took the time to pen a note.

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    1. Writing letters and sending cards are such thoughtful gestures, J. D., that's for sure. It's so meaningful to know someone took the time to actually hand-write a note. Hoping Virginia will learn a lot as we correspond back and forth.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Martha, hand-written letters are such a joy, a loss art form--perhaps, at a time like this, letter writing will return. Our NT would be less rich without the letters of Paul, Peter, James, and John.

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Wouldn't it, though? The letters in the NT are so inspiring, encouraging and uplifting. So glad it was in God's plan that these be saved and passed down, Kim. And let's hope letter-writing makes a comeback!
      Love and blessings!

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  10. This brought back memories of me as a child writing to a pen pal overseas. How I would wait weeks to get a letter back. Even college days in the early 80’s before internet how we all hoped to get mail in our box. Now...wow, maybe in time your grandchildren’s children will have no idea what regular mail is like. I hope we never lose the privilege of writing hand notes and sending cards.

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    1. I hope we never lose that privilege, too, Valerie. There's just something so much more intimate and personal about a hand-written letter or card than any email could convey. And like you, I remember those college days when going to my mailbox was such a highlight as I hoped to find a letter from my mom and dad. Hope we can restore this fine practice.
      Love and blessings!

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  11. Awww...how sweet that your granddaughter sends handwritten letters to you. I would look forward to handwritten missives from grandchildren too. Thank heaven Paul's letters were preserved. He was such a talented letter-writer.

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    1. Yes, Laurie, I so cherish Virginia's letters; one just arrived yesterday! She is getting better at it.
      And with you, I'm so grateful that Paul's letters were so carefully preserved. Thinking God had a huge hand in that!
      Love and blessings!

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  12. You've reminded me that I want to write some notes to send to friends I've not been able to visit these past 4 months. I don't know their phone numbers so I can't call, but I know their addresses! I send postcards to my granddaughters and I have a penpal with their cousin on the other side, who is like an adopted granddaughter to me. I love real mail!

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    1. These times certainly do lend themselves to the "old" way of communicating, Lisa. Hand-written notes are so meaningful, and I'm glad this post has encouraged you to return to that practice. I guess something good has come out of this mess after all!
      Love and blessings!

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  13. Oh, I completely agree with you, sweet friend! I love getting a handwritten note in our mailbox, and it just brightens my whole day when that happens! I try to do the same for others from time to time, and I think times like these really reinforce the value of those special, personalized gestures. Sending much love to you tonight!

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    1. Handwritten notes are so few and far between these days, Cheryl, that it truly is a delight to receive one in our mailbox. Thanks for sending your love!
      Love and blessings!

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