January 8, 2019


Easy to Read, Easy to Share ~ Four Booklets About Jesus
Sharing Jesus with others can be tough sometimes. This handy three-pack of booklets by Rev. Don Everts will help take some of the difficulty out of sharing your faith with others. Included titles are Who is Jesus?, Why Did Jesus Die?, and What is Faith in Jesus? For the kids, we're including Do You Know Who Jesus Is? ~ a beautifully illustrated and pocket-sized volume with a great story that kids will love to read and pass along to others.

You can get this handy four-pack for $20 (complete with display stand) by clicking here.

Sharing Jesus more ... now that's a healthy new year's resolution!

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Head South of the Border and Visit Peru!
Gospel Adventures: Passport to Peru (formerly Online Mission Trip) is heading south in 2019! In partnership with Group Publishing, Lutheran Hour Ministries is giving kids a chance to explore Peru: home to amazing people, wonderful foods, fascinating culture, first-class ruins, and much more. Through activities, video, and discussion, kids in the U.S. will learn as Peruvian kids tell stories about what it's like to live in a country with places as awesome as the Amazon rainforest or the lofty archaeological site of the Incas: Machu Picchu.

Gospel Adventures: Passport to Peru brings this country to kids -- whether at home, in the classroom, or in Sunday school. Once you or, if you're a teacher, your school registers for Gospel Adventures, a world of excitement is on your doorstep.

To give you an idea how this works, Day One of Passport to Peru feature six different elements. There's a 1) geography lesson on the country of Peru and its place in the world; 2) a video trip with Neil and Sharith, Peruvian twins who share a bit of their daily lives and who then visit the ruins at Machu Picchu; 3) fascinating information on the Inca who built Machu Picchu and the culture that thrived in Peru some 700 years ago; 4) video and pictures of wildlife in Peru; 5) a look at Psalm 23 with questions about how God comforts us as our Good Shepherd; and 6) additional discussion questions for students which review the day's highlights.

To sign up for Gospel Adventures: Passport to Peru, click here.
* Upon registration, you will receive a link to our interactive webpage, and a FREE teacher curriculum PDF download.
* Prior to National Lutheran Schools Week, January 27 - February 2, 2019, you'll receive an email containing the link to the interactive webpage and the link to the teacher curriculum. The videos on our interactive page are pre-recorded, so you can choose the best time during the week to show them in conjunction with your curriculum. (Please note: Gospel Adventures: Passport to Peru can be utilized anytime during the year.)
* Teachers will have access to materials to enhance the lessons learned through the Gospel Adventures videos. Kids will have the opportunity to answer questions and enjoy activities related to the daily video.
* Schools can give chapel offering donations to support the mission work of Gospel Adventures.

"With high-quality videos and engaging activities, the curriculum helps kids learn about life and culture from kids like them but who live in another part of the world," said Ashley Bayless, curriculum development manager for LHM. "Kids are constantly surprised how life isn't all that different in other places around the world. Kids go to school; they help with chores; they play soccer with their friends-and yet life can still look very different: new foods, different transportation, another language. One of the greatest similarities, though, is God's love for all His children, no matter where they live in the world."

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What Kind of Holiday Cheer Did Your Group Spread This Year?
The Men's NetWork's GIVES BACK event concluded on December 21 and some people were helped in a big way.

As you know, this was our first try at this special service effort. For those who participated, we say thank you! Those who were helped experienced the love of Jesus: some received supplies to make the tough winter months a little easier; some received wonderful Thanksgiving dinners; and some enjoyed a bratwurst and a chat with a brother in Christ.

All in all, it was very good.

If you did some kind of event for GIVES BACK, be sure to let us know about it. Don't forget our contest with three winning categories: 1) most creative service idea; 2) most community-oriented project; 3) best "holiday-themed" dressed group.

Each group winner receives a $150 Amazon gift card.

Send a brief description of what your group did, along with a picture or two to the Men's NetWork at LHMMens.Network@lhm.org.

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The Lutheran Hour, Daily Devos, Bible Studies ~ All in a Day's Work
Good things are in store for those who download one or more of Lutheran Hour Ministries' apps to their mobile devices. For those who do, they can take LHM with them when they're on the road (stuck in traffic); at the office (in a meeting); on the beach (between volleyball games); or at home (between ball games). Now you can enjoy the creative resources you've come to expect from the LHM, wherever you are.

And to think, all it takes is a simple download. When you do that you have immediate access to powerful weekly messages from The Lutheran Hour, award-winning, original Bible studies; topical booklets on a pile of subjects; our daily and seasonal devotions; and lots of other Christ-centered resources -- all right at your fingertips.

To take advantage of this exciting hands-on resource, go to the website and click here.

Once the app is loaded, you're ready to go!

Don't forget you can pass the app along to your family and friends using Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail.

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Our Confession Before God Is a Wonderful Privilege
Session three of Lutheran Hour Ministries' latest Bible study is now available in the Jan.-Feb. issue of The Lutheran Layman. Nurturing Your Faith: Prayers of Confession looks at how confession before God is a powerful gift He has given His children.

Each of the four sessions of Nurturing Your Faith will include an online video featuring Rev. Don Everts, content development manager for U.S. Ministries. In these brief videos, he highlights how the particular prayer type being considered can become part of our personal prayer lives.

The first three sessions of Nurturing Your Faith can be accessed online by clicking here where Scripture citations are included in full. Here you will also find reflection questions to explore specific examples of prayers of gratitude in the Bible and how they have applications for us today. Introductory words and some capping comments at the end give the reader context, and a prayer concludes the study. The study can be downloaded and printed for individual or group use. You may also clip the page out of The Layman and save it that way.

Nurturing Your Faith will continue to be featured on the Men's NetWork website and in the next issue of the 2019 Layman, with attention given finally to prayers of praise. When all four sessions are completed, the study will be compiled into a DVD available for purchase.

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Getting Real About Money and Limits
I'll be honest, I'm not writing about my financial health because I'm financially healthy. I'm writing about it because I'm not great about my money ... and it bothers me.

A lot of people in my life would say that I'm a pretty good adult -- perhaps that I have been since I was about four. It's a hazard of being an only child. And in a lot of ways it's true. When I'm presented with a task or an area of my life that I'm responsible for, I tend to grab it by the horns and figure out a system to make sure I take care of it in the rhythm of my life. I build these rhythms because to not do so leaves me in a state of overwhelming distraction where I can't be present in the moment (a.k.a. my own personal hell). So naturally, I'm pretty motivated to stay on top of things.

What makes this harder with money? It's not that I'm terrible with finances. I pay my bills on time (thanks, automatic payments), and I don't have very much debt. But I've also been working for four years, and I don't have a reasonable emergency fund, much less any other savings account that would prepare me for large future expenses, aside from a bit in a retirement account. My savings account is smaller than it was four years ago when I was three months out of college and had moved to a new city.

So, what gives? Why does a generally responsible person have a hard time bucking up and saving for expenses that I know are coming?

I think the hard truth is that I struggle with accepting limits when those limits cost me something I find important.

For example, I eat out a lot. I know I do it more than I can really afford for my income level. Sometimes I do it to be social. Sometimes I do it because I want regular access to fresh food, and I'm not willing to take time away from other things in my life to cook more than once a week. Sometimes I do it because I just need to get out of the office during the day for my mental health, and I'm not sure where else to go.

I know when I do this over and over, many times a week, I am failing to build my emergency fund. I am failing to move beyond my emergency fund and save for a house, or school for my children, or make investments that will have a higher return later because of how much time I have left for the interest to build.

Having an active social life, eating fresh food, and mixing up my environment for my mental health are all good things. Building an emergency fund, saving for my family, and keeping myself from being a burden on others when I can't work anymore are also good things. So really, I think, what's hard for me to accept is that I might not have the means to do all the things that keep me feeling like a healthy, balanced person. That I might not be able to do all the things that are, or seem to be, good for me to do.

So, I'm in denial about it. I don't feel like I should have to make that choice, so I live as though I'm not making that choice. Even though I am.

I think the solution, for me, is to get my nose into my finances more. To force myself into the reality of the fact that I'm making choices when I spend my money. And once I accept that I'm making choices, I think I'll find myself naturally making the ones I need to make. Learning to cope with the places in my life where I choose to give something up -- that will be a separate issue. But at least I'll know I'm facing the reality of my limits and doing the best I can with what I have.

Written by Megan Panarusky

Do you make any big resolves concerning your finances when the new year rolls around?

You can let us know what your strategy is by clicking here and leaving a comment.

You can let the folks at THRED know what you think by clicking here.

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Newest Men's NetWork Groups:
  • Second Saturday Men's Breakfast Club
    Hopewell/Lambertville, NJ
  • Ascension Lutheran Men's Club
    Apple Valley, CA
  • Mens' Fellowship Group
    San Angelo, TX
view all groups