This Week’s Links

Internet1Happy July! To all of you Canadians out there, Happy Canada Day! To all of you World Cup and futbol/soccer fans out there, GO USA! Today is also Tuesday, which means here on the blog that its time for me to share some of what I have found interesting and thought-provoking over the past week. This week’s topic categories include: Church and Ministry Thought and Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought & Practice; Millennials; Neighbor Love; Social Media & Blogging; Vocation and Miscellaneous. I entrust these links to you now and hope that you enjoy them!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared some reflection on “Role Plays in Christian education,” as she linked to an essay by Clint Schnekloth.

As referenced above, Clint wrote, “Good news verbatium: Why we need clinical evangelistic education.” Check this out and give it some thought!

I’m sure you have heard of the “glass ceiling” before, but have you heard of “The Stained Glass Ceiling“? Felicity Dale reflected on this concept. What do you think?

Angela Roberts Jones shared a reflection titled, “God’s Appointed Time.” Give this a read, especially if in discernment and/or transition, and see if this is helpful for you.

Friend, writer and communication extraordinaire Carrie Gubsch shared, “Finding hope after prison.” It’s a story about ministry, but also about neighbor love. Give this a read and see how it might move you in some way.

An older congregation in the Pacific Northwest celebrated its final Sunday of worship this past Sunday, and the building it has called home for so long will now likely see new life in a year as a center for a local head-start program.

Rev. Dr. Will Willimon shared some reflections and excerpts in this post, “Bishop: The Body of Christ in Motion.” What thoughts and questions come to mind for you?

Friend and pastor Aaron Fuller shared some more “Thoughts from Navy Chaplaincy: Tidbits for ‘Being Church.” Aaron would love to hear what you think about this, and so would I, so give it some thought and see what you think.

Of the many great quotes I have heard this week, this one stands out.
Of the many great quotes I have heard last week at Disciple Project, this one stands out.

This coming Sunday, July 6th, will be the fourth Sunday after Pentecost. If you are needing some thoughts, ideas or inspiration on what you might want to preach about, check out this post from Bishop Michael Rinehart’s blog about the lectionary readings appointed for the day.

In case you missed it, many congregations this past Sunday observed, “Social Media Sunday.” If you missed out or want to see what was learned or discovered, check this out.

Last week I was at the Disciple Project, and I shared a quick update during the middle of the week. I am currently working on a blog post or two to wrap up my experiences, thoughts and questions from my time. Expect to see something on my blog on Wednesday this week.

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Christopher Ingraham shared “10 maps that show how much time Americans spend grooming, eating, thinking and praying.” I’m sure you have always been curious how the average American’s day is spent. See how your day compares.

Do you work for a non-profit or for-profit, and if so, do you report to a board? If so, here is some potentially helpful information and ideas from Hardy Smith on how to prevent “Meddling Board Members.”

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared some “Good ideas for presentations.”

In a very interesting and thought-provoking piece, David Brooks wrote and asked, “The Spiritual Recession- Is America losing faith in universal democracy?” What do you think?

Julian Stodd shared some thoughts and reflection about “learning from our social lives.” He also shared reflections about “geolocation and exploration.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Kid President
Kid President

Rev. Dr. David Lose shared a fun post well worth some time and thought, “Kid President on Creativity.”

LaRae Quy shared, “7 Ways Strong Minds Tackle Big Goals.” Take a look at the list, and see if you do these, or if they might be helpful ways for you to tackle big goals.

In a post I can’t argue with at all, Frank Sonnenberg writes that “Moral Character Matters.” Would you agree?

Lolly Daksal wrote that “Great Leaders Serve With Great Returns.” The ideas and values of: time, empathy, patience, recognition, connection, forgiveness and mentorship are all included and reflected on in this piece. Spend some time with it and see what or who comes to mind for you.

Jesse Lyn Stoner wrote, “Tune In and Turn Off.” She provides a list of 7 habits that can help to create “off-time.” The habits include: stop multi-tasking; change your mindset; set up a backup strategy; schedule “off” time; just say, “no”; pay attention to your breathing; and be clear about your priorities.

Faiyaz Farouk shared, “7 reasons why you need to be a better public speaker.” Reasons offered included: speaking gives you credibility as a leader or expert; public speakers advance faster in their careers; public speaking enhances your own personal image; have less stress; differentiate yourself; get your ideas across with accuracy and consistency; and live a little. Life is short. What do you think of these reasons? Do they resonate?

Dave Snoweden wrote, “Thinking simply, in context.” It’s a good read in the spirit of complex systems.

Dan Rockwell reflected on, “When Assuming the Best is the Worst.” Think about that idea for a second. Dan also shared “The Leadership Freak Code of Leadership,” which at its core is very Drucker like in that it is to “treat people like volunteers.” Dan also wrote about “How to Motivate Others to Commit.” Check all of these posts out.

Tanveer Naseer wrote about “How Leaders Promote Collaborative Environment.” As part of the post, he shared four leadership measures that help promote collaboration. These include: define at the start what to expect from each other; leave intentional spaces for others to contribute; don’t let assumptions prevent you from asking questions; and promote a sense of shared ownership over the process and team successes. What do you think?


Jon Mertz wrote and shared, “Millennials Rising: Forward-Thinking Policy Options.” You should check this out and learn some about the pillars being proposed by Common Sense Action and the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Anne Loehr shared, “Generational Differences and Demographic Shifts in the Workplace Require Adaptation.”

Jon Mertz shared a guest post by Danny Rubin which explains, “What the World Needs from Every 20-Something.” He writes to 20-somethings that the world needs you to: step in line; to not think so much; fall flat on your face; to ask everyone about everything; to give without hesitation; to be vulnerable; to go beyond; and for you to listen to your soul. Good thoughts!

Neighbor Love

In a post that is equally hilarious and thought provoking, L.P. shared, “When Suits Become a Stumbling Block: A Plea to My Brothers in Christ.” Give this a read and see what comes to mind.

Sarah Pulliam Bailey shared an update to one of the largest Neighbor Love stories of the spring. She shared, “World Vision, recovering from gay policy shift, tries to shore up its evangelical base.”

Friend and director for ELCA hunger education, Ryan Cumming wrote, “Same Table.” It’s a great story that appears in the July issue of The LutheranYou can see the majority of the article here, but to see the whole article you will have to be a subscriber.

Friend and pastor Frank Johnson shared his sermon from this past Sunday, asking, “Bondage or freedom: What really makes us happy?” Great question! What do you think?

Anthony Moujaes shared news from the United Church of Christ, that its’ “South Dakota Conference Continues land transfer to Dakota Association.”

The Supreme Court
The United States Supreme Court

Yesterday came news of the Supreme Court’s decision in the United States on the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case. I’m going to be honest, I don’t agree with the court’s ruling and worry that it might create a slippery slope for future decisions and questions going forward. Time will tell. In the mean time, give this ruling some thought. Jack Jenkins first explains, “Why Today’s Hobby Lobby Decision Actually Hurts People of Faith.” Jonathan Merritt pleads that people “Stop calling Hobby Lobby a Christian business.” Give this article a read to see why. Laura Bassett shared the news about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent. Finally, Jan Edmiston shared some nice perspective in, “Hobby Lobby & The No Good, Very Bad Adjective- in Five Points.”

Changing subjects and topics now, Stephen Mattson writes that “‘Christianity’ is Not a Personality Trait.” Amen to that!

TK asked and wondered, “Who Bears Responsibility for Objectification?” What do you think?

Friend and Ph.D. student Amanda Brobst-Renaud wrote, “Heroes: Building Their Pedestals and Judging their Defeats.”

RJ Grunewald shared, “Preaching Law & Gospel: An Interview with Tullian Tchividjian.” What strikes you about (or in) the interview?

Social Media & Blogging

Blogger and theologian Rachel Held Evans shared about where she gets her stock photos for her blog. Check this out! It might be a resource not only for me to use, but for you as well.

Friend and blogger J.W. Wartick shared his version of the links in his “Really Recommended Posts.”


Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) music professor and composer Dr. Greg Youtz shared, “The Blooming Season: a new musical theater production.”

Dr. Ron Byrnes, another PLU professor and friend shared a post about, “The Mathematics of Happiness.” Give this some thought, and see if you want to make any adjustments in your life based on this.

Friend, mentor and Luther Seminary professor Dr. Terri Elton reflected in “‘Tis the Season.” This is both a great reflection about life and vocation, but also perhaps even more so about the transitions and changes that are a part of both. I really appreciate this post, and love her conclusion. Terri writes, “I’m mindful of those in my circle of friends and colleagues who are in the midst of transition. Some anticipated and celebrated, others forced and disheartening. Today, I hold you in my prayers. May God meet you in your letting go, in your disorientation, and in giving you hope for tomorrow. And may you experience grace and peace, space to be alone and community with which to share the journey.” Thanks for sharing Terri!

Friend and musician Heatherlyn shared some fun footage from a recent duo rehearsal.

Ken Griffey Jr.'s Classic Swing
Ken Griffey Jr.’s Classic Swing

Friend and pastor Diane Roth wrote about “Practicing Faith on Vacation.” It’s a great post, and its also timely given that its summer and many people go on vacation right about now or at some point soon during the year. How do you practice faith on vacation?


By now you have figured out I am a baseball fan. You have probably also discovered that I am a Seattle Mariners fan. Well, as a Mariners fan and someone who grew up watching Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, and Jay Buhner bat in the same lineup, the news announced last week that Ken Griffey Jr. would be hosting a new show about baseball swings and hitting makes me ridiculously excited. Here’s hoping it finds a good crowd and stays around for awhile.


That will wrap up this week’s edition of the links. I hope you have enjoyed them! As always if there are particular questions or topics that you would like me to cover or think about, please let me know. Also, if there are particular topics or articles you would like included in the weekly offering of the links, please let me know that too. Until next time, thanks for reading, have a happy and safe Fourth of July (if you celebrate it), and blessings on your week! -TS

Image Credits: The Links; Kid President; Supreme Court; and Ken Griffey Jr.’s Classic Swing.

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