This Week’s Links

Internet1Tuesday means that its time to share some of what I have seen, read, and found interesting and thought provoking with you over the past week. This week’s topic categories include: Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought & Practice; Neighbor Love; Social Media & Blogging; Stewardship; Vocation and Miscellaneous. I hope you enjoy these and I entrust them to you now.

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

Friend and current doctoral student Reed Carlson wrote a reflection about “Preaching the Bible to Those Who Have Never Read It.” There’s good stuff in this, well worth a read!

In an update to a story we mentioned previously on the Links, pastor Jodi Houge shared the good news that Humble Walk has found a place to land and gather.

Living Lutheran recently pondered the question, “Are we scaring people away?” What do you think? Check out where the conversation went, and then reflect on your own experiences to see what you think.

Friend and blogger J.W. Wartick shared his book review of How God Became Jesus edited by Michael Bird. Regarding the book, J.W. writes that “It provides insight not only for a response to Ehrman’s thesis but also for a number of other issues that come up when talking about the incarnate Lord Jesus Christ. Each essay has much to commend it, and the excurses found throughout provide ways forward to research various other topics. The book is a solid resource for those interested in the deity of Christ.” Check out the whole well-written review and see if you want to read the book.

In a story that supports the idea of different vocations, callings and types of ministry, comes the news that a Los Angeles deacon was recently ordained in a laundromat. Check this out!

Sad news came over the weekend that Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, is getting a divorce. Credit to Sarah Pulliam Bailey for the story.

Friend and pastor Aaron Fuller shared, “Lutheranism 101: What Growing up in a small rural church taught me.” Check this out and see what you think. Perhaps you might even have ideas about what Aaron can consider or share as part the series he is starting called, “Lutheranism 101.”

In news that I wouldn’t consider good, a Cardinal has rebuked nuns for honoring important and ground breaking feminist theologian Elizabeth Johnson. Check out the story, as it appears there was still room and the ability to have a mutually up-building dialogue. Let’s hope that was the case.

One of the areas that I find interesting regarding congregations, is congregational culture. Jan Edmiston added to the conversation in asking, “what if we tried to shift the culture of our congregations, regardless of what that culture might be?” Great question, though not an easy thing to do, it is very important to do!

Jan also shared this post about “Solo pastors in the 21st Century Church.”

Friend and pastor Diane Roth shared this reflection on “Congregational Redevelopment and ‘Leaving Room.'” In case you are curious what is meant by redevelopment, while in seminary, mentor and professor Rev. Dr. Mary Sue Dreier claimed that “in reality today, every congregational call is a redevelopment call.” I would agree, and redevelopment is always unique to the particular congregational context it is happening in, but its important work.

Pastor Joe Smith wrote that “Trust is a primary investment for mission.” Amen to that!

LEAD shared this post about “Purposeful Direction.”

As we are entering the season of graduations, pastor Clint Schnekloth offers an important post with “Nine ways to not lose your graduating seniors.” Check this out, and see if these tips are helpful for your congregations and communities of faith.

Cross-Sector Collaboration

If you are looking for a good resource on how to cover and report live from nonprofit events and conferences, you are in luck. The resources here will help and improve your coverage and usage of social media. Check out the list and advice, you will be glad you did!

Elena Aguilar shared, “5 Simple Lessons for Social and Emotional Learning for Adults.” The lessons include: practice recognizing emotions; notice physical responses; get curious; observe your emotions; and notice the impact of your emotions on others. Check it out and see what you think.

Leadership Thought & Practice

A good sampling of some typical millennial questions, ideas, and passions
A good sampling of some typical millennial questions, ideas, and passions

Ted Coine asked a week ago, “Are You a Millennial?” Based in part on this post, I offered my thoughts on Millennial Leadership and then some further thoughts yesterday about millennial leadership and age.

Somewhat related to that, I found this guest post from Mark Murphy on Bob Tiede’s blog from last summer offering “2 Questions great leaders ask their Generation Y employees.” The two questions are about resources and obstacles, and I think they are helpful to keep in mind, particularly when thinking about millennial leadership and what it might mean.

Julian Stodd shared a wonderful blog post looking at co-creation in relation to social leadership. Give this some time and thought this week!

Julian also shared a post on “Collaborative, cooperative and hierarchical leadership.” This is a great post as well, and you should check it out as well as the drawn models and diagrams he provides which are wonderful and help make the theories so accessible. And for good measure, here is one more about “why collaboration may be infectious.”

In a timely piece given recent events, James Strock wrote, “Donald Sterling: 21st Century Leadership Fail.” You can say that again!

Bob Tiede shared a guest post by Art Petty offering “4 Reasons Why Questions are a Leader’s Best Friend.” The reasons include: questions teach; questions promote innovation; questions promote performance; and questions promote improved decision making.

Joe Mathews, Don Debolt, and Deb Percival shared, “10 Time Management Tips that Work.” Check out the tips and see if they work for you.

Switch & Shift is asking for input with their annual reader survey. Take a moment and fill out the survey to continue to improve their great work and resources.

Jon Mertz asked, “Where do answers to 3 simple questions lead you?” The three questions are: What you do? How you do whatever you do? Why you do what you do? Check this out and reflect on it for yourself. These are important questions and reminders for daily life and leadership.

Santiago Iniguez offered an interesting little post titled, “Learning Family Business from King Lear.”

Daniel Goleman asked, “What Makes a Leader?” This is a good post which looks at emotional intelligence.

In news which can’t be entirely surprising, only perhaps in terms of how long it took to get to this point, Target’s CEO announced his resignation yesterday after the data breach that plagued the company nearly six months ago.

Alli Polin wrote this nice post, “Personal Leadership: Thrive in Ambiguity” which was shared by Kate Nasser. Being able to learn to live and even succeed in ambiguity I believe is something that is increasingly important in today’s world. What do you think?

Randy Conley shared, “Ctrl+Alt+Delete- 3 Steps to Reboot Your Leadership Style.” Give this a read and some reflection.

John E. Michel wrote, “Carrying the Flag: Discovering the Leader in all of us.”

In a post that would seem to resonate with my friend, mentor, adviser and professor Dr. Jean Lipman-Blumen’s belief about a move from Stage 2 to Stage 3 leadership, Shawn Murphy explains, “why replacing hierarchies is the future of work.” What do you think?

Cranston Holden reflected on the idea that “Questions drive behavior.”

Neighbor Love

Mark Silk continued the conversation that we mentioned last week in this section about Sarah Palin’s use of the sacrament of baptism in comparing and talking about, water boarding. The interesting part of this post I think are the points about “American civil religion.” Check it out.

Thom Rainer added in his own way to the conversation about millennials. He wrote about five implications of “Sex, Millennials, and the Church.” It’s interesting perspective, well worth a read. See what you think. I agree with the implications. I am not sure that I agree with all of the commentary regarding the implications, but its thought provoking anyway and is certainly worth thinking about from a neighbor love perspective.

Nicholas Kristof asked profoundly, “Job Crushing or Lifesaving?” It really puts discussion about laws and regulations in an important light. It’s something to keep in mind. What do you think?

One depiction of Easter- "Jesus rose for you"
One depiction of Easter- “Jesus rose for you”

Friend and pastor Diane Roth asked, “What if we said, ‘Jesus rose for you’ instead of ‘Jesus died for you’?” Great question! Here is an excerpt from this post by Diane which I really hope you read and contemplate for yourself: “But he rose.  He rose from the dead.  He came back.  And when he came back, did he come back vowing revenge?  Did he come back to even the score?  Did he come back to make sure that his enemies paid for what they had done, that his friends atoned for their failings? No, he rose for us, to be reconciled to us.  He rose to make friends out of enemies, create life out of death, build a future out of dead ends and regrets.” There is much more to that post, so please do check it out.

Last week Rep. Janice Hahn walked out of a National Day of Prayer event. To be fair, had I been present, I would have walked out too. What apparently was being spoken about, certainly doesn’t sound like the gospel as I understand it. But what do you think?

In South Carolina, Carolyn Click wrote about five bishops in the state from four denominations who wrote an open letter trying to increase awareness, funding and support to combat failing public education in the state. The failing education is continuing to mire and keep children in poverty and hopelessness. I was struck by the title of the article, “Bishop: ‘If Jesus walked through South Carolina he would identify with folks in the Corridor of Shame.'”

In news that broke yesterday, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow prayers at town meetings. What do you think of the vote and its implications?

Will Willimon shared this reflection, “Resurrection: Getting what God wants.” There are important implications for neighbor love and congregations in this. Give it some thought this week.

Todd shared this post offering reflection and a sort of review about a book about Cancer Theology. See what you think.

TK asked, “What makes cultural appropriation offensive?” What do you think?

Rachel Held Evans asked importantly, “Should Jesus inform our Christianity? (A response to Sarah Palin, Al Mohler, and me).” Good stuff here to think about as always.

Nate Pyle wrote this very powerful post, “Beggars Along the Road.” Read this and think deeply about it this week. To peek your interest, here is the conclusion: “Maybe our eyes will be open just enough to see that we aren’t the only ones begging along the road. Lord, have mercy on us.”

Social Media & Blogging

Sandi Krakowski shared some tips about how best to use and utilize the new Twitter design.

Liz Strauss offered a helpful list of “27 things to know before you work in social media.” Check out this list!

In case you haven’t been following all of what has been written and is at stake in the net-neutrality debate, here is a 3-minute discussion showing some of the key points, and if you feel inclined here is a petition which you can sign to make your voice heard.


Jack Alexander wrote, “ReImagining Generosity: Re-shaping the conversation on stewardship, giving, and generosity.”


My wife and I on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University in the Fall of 2012 (where we met, graduated from, later got engaged...etc.)
My wife Allison and I together

My wife and blogger Allison Siburg wrote, “Mira voce: now I know,” which concluded her Lenten “Mira voce” series nicely. Check this out and see what’s next on the blog for her.

Friend and blogger Hannah Heinzekehr shared a guest post from Janet Trevion-Elizarraraz, “The body, pleasure and spirituality.” I think there are some insights for vocation here, especially as it relates to identity and being created as we are. What do you think? Hannah also shared this guest post from Laura Schlabach, “Muddy and fulfilled: lessons from daily life on a restoration crew.”

Hannah also reminded about this post and journey she is on to celebrate the last year of her 20’s. As part of this, she is spending the month of May with 30 days of tea. It’s kind of a cool practice which you might enjoy employing in your own life.

Parker J. Palmer asked this very vocational question, “What task is calling you- at home, at work, in the larger world- that you need to embrace even though it’s impossible?” Please check this out and give it the thought and reflection it deserves for each one of you.

Friend and musician Heatherlyn shared some more about herself, and about how you can invite her to share her gifts with your community and congregation, etc. If you are looking for a great guest musician to lead worship, I highly recommend Heatherlyn! Her lyrics and music are all timely, moving, and she teaches the gathered how to join the songs as she goes along.

A quick shout out to college friend Mitch Dietz who was recently profiled in this Success Story. Check it out.

Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared some “Good, Bad, and Awesome” snippets. This is great and authentic reflection as always. Perhaps this would be a good vocational practice for you to adapt for yourself to reflect on the past week and to look forward to the next? Perhaps I might even try doing this in some capacity on the blog. We’ll see.

My parents and my wife and I upon graduating from Luther Seminary (May 2012)
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

In case you forgot, Mother’s Day is this Sunday. Let me repeat that, Mother’s Day is this Sunday! Don’t forget to call and celebrate your mothers (and preferably spend time with them if you are close enough). Somewhat related to that reminder, RJ Grunewald wrote this good and important post about “The Vocation of Motherhood.” Give it a read.


If you like a good laugh, then check out this story about how Bob Costas handled the need to answer nature’s call while broadcasting a Mariners and Yankees baseball game last week.

Do you consider yourself a Disney fan? If so, check out this story about the number or code A113.


That will conclude this week’s offering of the links. I hope you have enjoyed it and found plenty of things worth reading and checking out. As always, if there are particular types of stories that you would like me to include in the links, please let me know. Also, if there are particular topics or questions you would like me to think about on the blog, please let me know that too. I view this blog as a place of conversation and collaboration, and its only possible because of you being part of the conversation. Thank you for your readership!  Blessings on your week! -TS

Image Credits: The Links; Millennial Questions and Ideas; and one depiction of Easter.

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