#PenToPaper

#PENTOPAPER is a heartfelt ministry of time – a gift of hope and encouragement, and a reminder to someone that they are thought of, cared about, and prayed for.


“You are a letter from Christ … This “letter” is not written with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is not carved on tables of stone, but on human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:3 NLT

Encourage One Another with Notes and Letters

A MINISTRY OF LETTER WRITING

 

“You are a letter from Christ … This “letter” is not written with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is not carved on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:3 NLT

#PenToPaper is a ministry of the heart, because we the living letters of Jesus, inscribed not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. The Voice Translation

God’s love poured out into us, infusing each word we write in love for the heart of another.

“…be a precious letter from Christ,” wrote Dr. Paul Marquardt, “and take the time to let [someone] know how loved and treasured they are by you, and by the Lord!”

What an encouraging reason to write!

 

“THOUGHT OF, CARED ABOUT, AND PRAYED FOR”

 

It’s not the length of what you write that matters, but the love you pour into your words. Be honest and authentic. Offer a kind word or an encouraging phrase. Share a favorite quote or Bible verse. Include a short prayer. In short, write the words you’d want to receive.

In 1895, Emily Dickinson wrote, “A Letter is a Joy of Earth,” and she’s right. Putting #PenToPaper is a vital and life-giving ministry of hope to both sender and receiver.

Studies have shown that letter writing:

  • increases brain development and cognition
  • makes physical wounds heal faster
  • keeps us focused on the present moment
  • improves sleep
  • elevates mood
  • decreases stress and depression
  • increases creativity and critical thinking
  • builds motor memory
  • improves overall well-being

In his book, Intimate Letters on Personal Problems, published in 1914, J. R. Miller wrote:

“… Go on, my dear friend, in your ministry of letter-writing, and let Christ use your pen in this way for his service. God has given you a big heart—a great fountain of love and sympathy and cheer. Let the streams pour out continually in all directions, to bless the world. Hundreds and thousands of people need encouragement and uplifting. You will scarcely meet one man or one woman … whom you cannot make a little stronger or braver—by saying the right word.”

Why not pick up your pen today and pour out a little love, reminding one precious person that they are not alone – that they are thought of, cared about, and prayed for? Your words just might make them a little stronger today or a little braver tonight.

 

PICK UP YOUR PEN AND BEGIN

 

Letters don’t need to be long or beautifully written to make a difference. Just a few words written in love can change the trajectory of someone’s day.

WHAT TO WRITE IN A LETTER:

  • An encouraging quote
  • A favorite Bible verse
  • A story of how God has comforted you
  • A short prayer
  • Your favorite hymn or worship song
  • What you’re reading or learning about right now
  • Your favorite holiday – describe your favorite sights, sounds, smells, tastes, or memory of that holiday
  • Your favorite part of the day or season of the year and why
  • What you enjoy most about your hometown
  • Your biggest challenge right now
  • Something you’d like to do or a hobby you’d like to learn
  • What your typical day is like
  • What made you laugh this week

And if you honestly don’t know what to say, if haven’t walked a mile in someone’s shoes, it’s OK to write that too. This letter from Pastor John Piper to the parents of a baby born blind is a beautiful example: Words of Hope for a Baby Born Blind.

“Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Proverbs 16:24 NLT

 

A PLACE TO BEGIN – IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTED

 

There are many good places, but the best is in prayer. Ask God who you could encourage with a note or letter today. When He prompts, start writing.

Need a few ideas? Here are some of our favorites:

WRITE TO A LOVED ONE

Strengthen relationships with loves ones as you share family news and favorite memories, write about hopes and dreams, pray for one another, and share encouraging Scripture.

 

WRITE TO YOUR SPOUSE

Today might be the perfect day to write a love letter to your spouse.

A few quick tips:

  • Share how your spouse has touched your heart.
  • Share what you admire about your spouse.
  • Share a favorite memory about your spouse.
  • Write about a favorite song, quote, movie or food reminds you of your spouse.
  • Write about a funny moment that has turned into a favorite memory.
  • Reaffirm your love and commitment. These are words we can never say enough.
  • Close with words that mean something to both of you. If you don’t a phrase you use, maybe today, with this letter, is the day to begin.

WRITE TO A MEMBER OF YOUR CHURCH

Ask your pastor if there is someone you could encourage with a note. Someone who is:

  • Homebound
  • Recovering from surgery
  • Hospitalized
  • Ill
  • Celebrating a birth or adoption
  • Grieving a loss
  • Lonely or depressed

We need each other. Without even one of us, the Body of Christ is incomplete.

 

WRITE TO A SOLDIER

Write to deployed and active duty military members, new recruits, wounded warriors, caregivers, veterans, and families of the fallen through an organization like Operation We Are Here that:

  • Offers practical insights about how to support and encourage those in the military community
  • Provides free thank you cards to download, print, and share
  • Offers tips on writing letters to deployed military
  • Provides free downloads for kids (ie: coloring pages) to send to deployed military

 

WRITE TO PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS

Write to a persecuted Christian around the world, reminding them that they are not alone or forgotten, that someone cares and is praying, through organizations like Open Doors USA.

 

 

WRITE TO ANOTHER WOMAN

To Love Ourselves was founded to invite women into a Christ-centered community that builds each other up and encourages collaboration. “We believe that we’re all in this big, beautiful world together and the best thing we can do is pour into one another.”

 

 

WRITE TO THOSE IN A NURSING HOME

Love for the Elderly – Many nursing home residents are lonely, having few local relatives to care for, look after, or love them. Your letter could change that. Founded by Jacob Cramer, when he was just 13, Love for the Elderly is a five-year old, non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of seniors with kindness and joy.

Interested in connecting locally? Call a local nursing home and let them know you’re interested in sending a card or letter to someone who seems lonely or down. They’ll be able to get you started.

 

 

WRITE TO A MISSIONARY

Quick Tips

  • Share stories about God’s love and provision, especially in the small things and poignant moments.
  • Ask questions about what they’re learning. Share what you’re learning.
  • Share your story. And ask them theirs.
  • Share fun news  and photos (ie: engagements, weddings, new babies, adoptions)
  • Include the hard news too (ie: losses, illnesses, deaths)
  • Remind missionaries that they are loved and that the work they do is needed and appreciated. This helps especially when times are difficult.

 

WRITE TO A FOSTER CHILD

Braid MissionMany foster children never receive holiday, birthday, or “just because” cards. Braid Mission makes sure they do. Founders Rebecca Edwards and Christopher Chase set out to create a new community built around mission to the foster system. Throughout the year, they send birthday cards to kids ages 6-16, as well as encouragement cards to staff and social workers.

 

 

WRITE TO A COLLEGE STUDENT

Do you know a current college student, a niece or nephew, a friend’s, neighbor’s or co-worker’s child, someone from church? Writing to a college student can be such a blessing. Make it fun! Include local news, an update from the neighborhood, a joke, a memory from your own college days, and end with a few words of Scripture, and a prayer for them. These can be a stressful days for a college student. To know someone is thinking about and praying them can make a big difference, especially for those who are far from home.

 

 

WRITE A THANK YOU

Thank someone who has made a difference in your life: a loved one, pastor, doctor, nurse, teacher, mail carrier, delivery person, neighbor, friend, local business owner, dog groomer, vet, hair stylist, a server at your favorite restaurant, a checker or bagger at your food store, etc. Your note will likely mean more to them than you know.

 

 

WRITE TO A STRANGER

 Hannah Brencher founded The World Needs More Love Letters after leaving more than 400 handwritten notes around New York City for strangers to find. The envelopes simply said, “If you find this letter, it’s for you.” Since 2011, letters have been found in 50 states, 73 countries, and on 100 college campuses. More than 250,000 letters have been delivered to people in need across the world.

Letter writing? Does anyone still do that? Letter writing is so powerful because it’s so uncommon. Don’t like letter writing? Can’t do cursive? Send an email or a text. Connect to people with words—like [Apostle] Paul and [Martin] Luther did. Bob Kellemen, Faith Bible Seminary

#PenToPaper

#PenToPaper Guide

HOW TO SPEAK HOPE WITH #PENTOPAPER

#PenToPaper is a powerful way to encourage one another, offer hope, and let a friend or loved one know they are prayed for, cared about, and loved.

  • Begin with prayer. Ask God who needs a note of encouragement today.
  • Download and print our free stationery or order one of our Notecard Collections.
  • Write a short prayer or choose one from our free printable, Short Prayers – Note Starters.
  • Include a favorite quote or Bible verse.
  • Tuck a free printable into your note, like Suffering & Joy, Story Matters, or You Are. Visit our Printables page. There are many to choose from!
  • Print and include an encouraging blog post and invite your friend or loved one to talk about it with you.
  • But what matters most is that you share your heart, for “You are a letter from Christ.” 2 Corinthians 3:3 Your words carry His love.

SHORT PRAYERS – NOTE STARTERS

Note Starters

You Get Mail!

Sign-up to receive inspiring, encouraging (Fun! Free!) #PenToPaper snail mail. And don’t forget to include your birthday so we can celebrate you!

ADULTS

We would love to bless you with inspiring images, encouraging words, and an opportunity to share a little #PenToPaper love with others. Sign-up today to receive your own beautifully-designed, free, snail mail packets. (*Limited international delivery.)

TEENS & YA

Teens and young adults, we invite you to sign-up for #PenToPaper packets designed especially for you. Fun, edgy, and transformational snail mail will wing its way to your mailbox several times a year. Sign-up today, and invite a friend!  (Safe and secure.) 

CHILDREN

CJ Star and the Sunshine Squad want kids to know just how much they are loved by Jesus. Bright, engaging characters bring laughter, delight, and sunshine to an even difficult day. SIGN-UP your child (and their siblings) today. (Safe and secure.) 

Blog Posts

Ministry of Letter Writing

The ministry of letter writing can be vital and life-giving to those who are hurting, grieving, recovering, homebound, lonely, ill, depressed, or isolated. This ministry embraces intentionality - a purposeful slowing down - as we write, sharing news, encouragement, love, inspiration,...

Ministry of Letter Writing

EVEN MORE

Free Printable Stationery

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

Love One Another stationery

Sharing Life, Discovering Hope

Sharing Life Stationery

TEENS & YOUNG ADULTS

Teen/YA Stationery

CHILDREN – CJ STAR

CJ Star Stationery

Recommended Books

If You Find This Letter: My Journey to Find Purpose Through Hundreds of Letters to Strangers

Hannah Brencher

A heartwarming memoir of love and faith from Hannah Brencher—founder of The World Needs More Love Letters—who has dedicated her life to showing total strangers that they are not alone in the world. There is something about receiving a handwritten note that is so powerful in today’s digital era.

LEARN MORE.

Letters of C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis

A repackaged edition of the revered author’s collection of personal letters—a curated selection of the best of his correspondence with family, friends, and fans at various stages in his life, from his youth to the weeks before his death, these letters illuminate Lewis’s thoughts on God, humanity, nature, and creativity. In this captivating collection, discover details about Lewis’s conversion to Christianity as well as his philosophical thoughts on spirituality and personal faith.

LEARN MORE.

Friends for the Journey

Madeleine L'Engle and Luci Shaw

Born of a friendship spanning a quarter of a century, Madeleine L’Engle and Luci Shaw’s Friends for the Journey considers the golden quality of deep and lasting friendships, showing that the common ground of love for God transcends even separation.

LEARN MORE.

The Letters of St. Therese of Lisieux

St. Therese of Lisieux

Letter writing at the end of the nineteenth century was an important activity for the people of France. Those who received letters from family and friends alike usually kept the hand-written texts sent to them as precious gifts. That is why this collection of letters by and to one of the greatest saints of modern times is so interesting to us today.

LEARN MORE.

Notecards

Looking for thoughtful and encouraging ways to put #PenToPaper in action? Or perhaps a gift to inspire others to begin writing notes? Choose from these beautiful notecard collections.

Every purchase made at the Chronic Joy Store helps to support our mission and ministry to Sow Seeds of Hope, Purpose, Worth, and joy – one precious life at a time.

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