This Week’s Links

Tuesday means its time again for an offering of some of the things I have been reading and thinking about from the past week.  This week’s categories are, in alphabetical order:  Church and Ministry Things; Leadership and Leadership Thought; Neighbor Love; Stewardship; and Vocation. I entrust these to you now in the hope that you find some of these helpful, interesting, and perhaps even provocative. Enjoy!

Church and Ministry Things

Friend of this blog and blogger, Rev. Diane Roth offers some honest thoughts about how she misses some of the conversations she was able to have before she was a pastor.

How is this for a title with Reformation Sunday coming up this Sunday?  “Pope Meets with ‘Bishop of Bling‘ Over Lavish Renovations.”  To be fair, I don’t know much about the particulars about this, but from reading the story and the title, it seems like something Martin Luther (and his political prince friends) would be likely railing against.

I want to offer a shout out to my home congregation back in Washington State which has unveiled its new website which is about 50% up and running now. Nice new look!

This is the first time I have ever linked to the Vatican Insider.  Yesterday came news that the Pope is calling for “mutual forgiveness between Catholics and Lutherans.” This provides me with great hope.

Leadership and Leadership Thought

One of the things I have occasionally written about is the need for a sense of shared vision and mission.  Here are some thoughts shared by Jim Woods on shared vision and its implications for leadership.  As Jean Lipman-Blumen argued before too in many of my classes at the Drucker School, in order to lead one has to be able to tie their story and ideas to the stories, dreams, hopes, and ideas of their partners, collaborators, and constituents.

Having now lived/gone to school/worked in three different regions of the country, its apparent that different places inspire or have different personalities.  Well, now there seems to be some research to support these observations.  What do you make of this?

I have pondered writing a blog post about the leadership learning from the government shut down.  Well, Jason Diamond Arnold has already done this. Check it out!  What do you think?

Here is some food for thought on personal leadership.

I can’t lie. I love Disney, and have always loved the opportunity to enjoy the Disney theme parks (especially Disney Land).  When I saw this story earlier this week, I was intrigued.  There are great insights, and food for thought about customer perception, loyalty, and satisfaction.

Neighbor Love

Ministry Matters offers some insights for congregations and people in general (thanks to the Michael J. Fox Show) about living and supporting people and families affected by chronic conditions. Great read!

I don’t usually provide a link to satire, but this past week’s article in The New Yorker by Andy Borowitz was far too good to pass up.  If we believe that all people should have access to things they need, then this has implications on society, politics, etc. What strikes you about this? 

In this week’s example of someone doing something good and decent, I give you this without further comment.

Rabbi Joshua Stanton and his colleagues express their joy and thanks for being able to marry and affirm “all of God’s people.” I found this article first thanks to friend and Luther Seminary professor and adviser Rev. Dr. Matt Skinner, who referred to this as what might be called by some in ministry and theology an example of “public theology.”

Friend of this blogger Hannah shares some thoughts on the idea of “God’s Will” which are inspired by an episode of The Mindy Project.  It’s a great read and one that will surely make you think.  What comes to mind?

If we really love our neighbor, and want to accompany them, sometimes we have to start by reading, watching, engaging, and listening.  Rev. Joe Smith shares some thoughts on this very concept by explaining why he has print subscriptions.

One of those claims that are often made with the best of intentions by congregations, groups, and nonprofits is that they want to be a “voice for the voiceless.”  Well, Caryn Rivadeneira challenges this notion, and says its time to stop being the voice, and let people speak for themselves.  It’s time to listen to those supposedly “voiceless” and help their voices be heard by others.


Part of stewardship is remembering to be grateful for all the gifts, seen and unseen.  Here is a beautiful video example on gratitude.

Admittedly, not everyone likes to dwell in the details. But they often do matter, and in order to be the best stewards that we can be, some times we need to take stock of the details to see why we are doing what we are doing, and how what we do or don’t do correlates with us as stewards.  Lutheran World Relief blogger Nikki Massie offers this wonderful piece as a reminder about this.


Often we get caught up in our busyness and forget about ourselves, why we do what we do, etc. At the very least, we forget to reflect on some of the deeper things that really shape who we are (and our vocations).  Friend of this blogger, professor and adviser Dr. Terri Elton offers some helpful questions and perspective on this very thing.

I hope you found these interesting and helpful.  Blessings on your week!

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