This Week’s Links

Internet1Tuesday on the blog means that I get to share some of what I have found interesting and thought provoking over the past week with all of you.To help make sense of all these links, I have grouped them in the following topics: Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought & Practice; Millennials; Neighbor Love; Social Media & Blogging; Stewardship; Vocation; Worship and Miscellaneous.

I hope you enjoy these links!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

In looking ahead to this weekend, Rev. Dr. David Lose reflected in “Epiphany 4B: First Things First.” Bishop Michael Rinehart also shared thoughts and ideas about Epiphany 4B.

Bishop Rinehart also shared the message this past week in Houston at Lakewood Church as part of the “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.” His sermon was titled, “Living Water.” Bishop Rinehart also shared pictures of the visit.

Pope Francis shared thoughts “on Christian unity encounter, accept, and listen.”

Also in the past week, it was announced that Pope Francis will visit New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. 

Friend and pastor Joe Smith reflected about the importance and necessity of administration in ministry in “The Value of Administration and the Value of Go.”

Last week, “Marcus Borg, leading liberal theologian and historical Jesus expert” passed away. David Gibson shared the news.

Earlier this month Carey Nieuwhof shared “7 Surprising and Endearing Characteristics of Highly Effective Church Leaders.” Characteristics include: they show up on time; they do their homework; they call you by name; they’re okay not being good at everything; they follow through fast; they take their work- not themselves- seriously; and they’re incredibly down to earth.

Friend, professor and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared thoughts about her recent class and other insights in “A visit to South Carolina.” Within this, she shared thoughts about identity, community and what it might mean to be agents of God’s love. Check out the thoughts and included video.

Pastor and blogger Jan Edmiston shared and asked about “Authentic Accountability (or Who Tells Us When We Screw Up & Do We Acknowledge That – Yes – We are Screw Ups?)”  Jan also shared about “Memory-Making in Church.”

#ChSocM (Church Social Media) shared its weekly transcript, with this week’s focus on “Building a Social Media Team.”

"The Sacred Valley" by Peggy Hahn
“The Sacred Valley” by Peggy Hahn

Brian Dodd shared about “12 Practices of Highly Successful Pastors Who Love People.” Among the practices listed are the idea that highly successful pastors who love people: can’t fake it; pray for people early and often; look for opportunities to serve people; teach God’s Word; are accessible; give their people hope; can’t wait to talk to people; are generous; are humble; want to bring out the best in their people and generously share their knowledge.

John Meunier wrote and asked, “Going all-in for mission?

Anytime I read about innovation, change and the church I get excited. So with that in mind, I appreciated seeing this post by Leif Kehrwald over at Vibrant Faith, “Transforming the Way We’ve Always Done Things.”

I’m very excited to share the news from my friend Peggy Hahn and on behalf of LEAD that Peggy and LEAD’s first book has been published and is available on Amazon, “The Sacred Valley: A guide for growing leaders with a deep, bold, consequential faith in Jesus Christ.” Check out the book! I think you are going to love it as much as I already do.

Cross-Sector Collaboration

In news that gives me hope, Brian Fung writes that Senator “Cory Booker’s introducing a bill to help cities build their own, public Internet services.”

The Humanosphere shared a great deal of important cross-sector type news this past week. First, Tom Murphy shared about “The Gates Letter, 2015 edition.” Speaking of Bill and Melinda Gates, Tom Paulson wrote that “Bill and Melinda Gates bet on a technologically improved future.” Also for the Humanosphere, Tom Murphy also shared about “The 169 target sustainable development goals likely here to stay,” according to the United Nations. He also wrote that, “Microfinance is not a quick escape from poverty, studies show,” and shared about “What [President] Obama said on international development in his State of the Union address.”

Here’s a question for you, especially if you are involved with nonprofits or nonprofit leadership. “Are you or your nonprofit or foundation being an …?

Julian Stodd shared a couple great posts, “The Concentration of Meaning: Birth of the Social Age,” and “Monarchs and Monasteries: Emergent Communities in the Social Age.”

In case you missed President Obama’s “State of the Union Address” last week, you can see the transcript here.

Leadership Thought & Practice

Bob Tiede shared a guest post by Mitch Ditkoff, “Why You Need to Ask Why.”

Lolly Daskal shared “12 Significant Ways That Great Leaders Are Different Than the Rest of Us.” Lolly writes that if you want to be great: make people feel valuable; make the time to connect; be honest and straightforward even when the news is bad; take the heat; share the credit; give praise, and do it often; delegate responsibility without micromanaging; celebrate skills, and appreciate talent; challenge the status quo, and don’t settle for mediocrity; invest in your people, and make them feel important; encourage and inspire; and build team spirit, and encourage inclusiveness.

Tanveer Naseer shared some thoughts in explaining “Why We Fail at Leadership.”

Last spring James Pepitone wrote about “Making Mindful Managerial Decisions.”

Last week I shared “Three Questions to Break the Ice.” The questions include: If time or money weren’t an issue, what is your dream? What part of the purpose, vision, mission and/or values of the organization you are part of connects most with you and why? And, what is the dream for your organization?

Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson
Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson

Steve Keating shared a couple great posts including reflection about “Motivational Leadership,” and “What Your People Need to Know.”

In case you haven’t heard it yet, the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots are facing each other in this year’s Super Bowl on Sunday. With that in mind, Brian Dodd shared “15 Practices of Highly Successful Inspirational Leaders: 15 Leadership Quotes from Russell Wilson.” (Russell Wilson is the quarterback for the Seahawks.)

Anne Loehr shared and wrote, “What I Would Ask Danny Meyer About Leadership, if I Had a Seat at His Table.”

Dan Rockwell, the Leadership Freak, shared a whole host of great posts. Among them were, “How to Find Your Nut,” “The Disciplined Pursuit of Less,” and “7 Ways to Deal with Old Leaders.” Dan also shared about “If You Were Gone in Twelve Months.” There are great insights in here about leading in the short term with the long term vision in mind. These insights I think would be particularly valuable for interim leaders of all types, as well as those who are trying to build organizations and groups for the future not dependent on yourself or anyone leader. Dan also wrote about “How Values Expedite Connection and Integration.”

Cranston Holden wrote and asked, “Do you have Minions or People with Purpose?” Good question. Cranston also shared a quote from Jim Rohn on “The Challenge of Leadership.”

Jon Mertz wrote and explained “How Human-Centered Leaders Follow Principles That Matter.” Three reasons that Jon notes that leading on principle matters: it brings clarity to discussions and decisions; it creates and sustains organizational culture; and it serves as a way to galvanize organizational purpose.


Jon Mertz also shared thoughts about “The Rising Entrepreneurial Mindset of Millennials.” Within this, Jon shared three values of the entrepreneurial mindset of Millennials: always improve; always engage; and always collaborate. There is also good thought in this about the importance of purpose. Jon also wrote for Thin Difference about “Sustaining the Conscious Millennial Leader Mission.

To bridge the gap, you have to mind it first.
To bridge the Boomer-Millennial gap, you have to mind it first.

Thin Difference also shared a guest post by Megan Dougherty that, “It Takes Two to Tango: Bridging the Boomer-Millennial Gap.” Four ways to bridge the gap include: be curious; be patient; be kind and be flexible.

Jeremy Chandler shared “10 Things This Millennial is Learning About Leadership.”

Leisa Peterson wrote that, “Millennials are Redefining Success – Why the Rest of Us Should Pay Attention.”

TK wrote a guest post about herself, “The Millennial Girl Who Dreamed of Being a Female Catholic Priest.

Hannah Becker, the Motivated Millennial, asked, “Can Your Passion Be Your Profession?” That’s an important vocational question for Millennials, but really all generations. What do you think?

Back in March, Chelsea Krost shared a guest post by Amanda Loveland asking “4 Questions Every Millennial Must Ask Themselves.” The questions to consider are: Do I know how to make my own money? Am I willing to do what is required to have a child and have a life? What can I do better than anyone else? And, what is one thing I can do today that will significantly improve the quality of my life?

Chelsea also shared a guest post by Julia Jornsay-Silverberg, “Managing Millennials: Three Common Mistakes.” The three common mistakes that Julia notes are that when managing millennials, people “ignore our ideas,” “focus only on salary,” and “set strict hours.” Definitely check out this post!

Neighbor Love

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth shared some reflections about this time of year in “A Longer Epiphany.”

With the news that Marcus Borg passed away last week, The Very Reverend Barkley Thompson shared about his friend in “My friend, Marcus Borg.”

RJ Grunewald reflected in and about “4 Values that Influence My Ministry.” The values RJ highlights are: nothing new; beauty; translation and relationships.

Friend and pastor Frank Johnson shared his sermon for this past weekend grounded in Matthew 5:1-20, “Blessed are the meek: Another reason God doesn’t care who wins the Super Bowl.” Even though I’m a huge Seahawks fan, I definitely agree with Frank on this.

MSN shared a post with major social justice/injustice and inequality implications in “The 5 Worst States for Black Americans.”

Speaking of injustice and inequality, Charles Blow wrote an incredibly powerful op-ed, “Library Visit, Then Held at Gunpoint- Charles Blow: At Yale, the Police Detained My Son.” Charles notes, “In these moments, what you’ve done matters less than how you look.” This is injustice and racism. It’s real in our society, and we have a lot of work to do to change our culture.

Friend, blogger and intern pastor Chris Michaelis shared a couple sermons that he has given recently. These include, “Signs of Life,” based in Matthew 5:13-14, as well as “The End of Our Wits,” based in Matthew 4:1-17.

In the moving and feel good story of the week, you should check out this story about a “Packers fan’s heartwarming ‘thank you’ to Seattle might bring you to tears.” Even if you aren’t a sports fan, you should check this out.

In a story with huge environmental justice importance, Regina Garcia Cano shared news about how a “North Dakota Pipeline Leaked 3 Million Gallons of Brine in Oil Drilling.” This story was also picked up here.

Friend and pastor Aaron Fuller wrote an inspirational word partly inspired by the Seahawks victory over the Packers last week for the Old Dominion Wrestling Team this past week in “From the Mat: Weekend Word.”

With Martin Luther King Jr. Day having been last week, Rev. Dr. Amy Butler asked, “Will the Church Fail or Fulfill Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy?

Recently friends of mine from LEAD journeyed to El Salvador to lead, teach and equip a faith community there to lead “Camp Hope.” With that in mind, Peggy Hahn shared, “Three things I learned about being Centered in Christ from our El Salvadoran Sisters and Brothers.” Peggy learned: to let love be genuine; rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering; and extend hospitality to strangers. Also, Neil Christians shared some thoughts and pictures as well about this in “Camp Hope in El Salvador.”

I’m not going to mince words, I’m getting very upset at civic authorities and jurisdictions who put restrictions on the ability of people and communities to feed the hungry and serve the poor. I am sad to report that my home state now has a city to be added to the list, Kent. Well, Kent, let it be known you are not acting within the ways of neighbor love as can be discerned in this story, “Kent woman feeds needy despite warnings from city.”

"a Micah 6:8 tribute" by Vonda Drees
“a Micah 6:8 tribute” by Vonda Drees

“Jamie the Very Worst Missionary,” shared a highly important post earlier this month, “Depression is Not A Scandal.” I couldn’t agree with her closing thoughts more. She writes, “People are in desperate need of help and they shouldn’t be afraid to reach out and get it. Just talk about it…  End the stigma of depression and save lives.”

John Pavlovitz writes, “Stand Up, Straight Christians, It’s Time for you to come out of the closet.” John convincingly writes, “Ultimately, the greatest evil is never the injustice that exists in our world, but our silence in the face of it. So for them; for those LGBT people hanging by the thinnest of threads right now and for those who love them, I’m begging you: stand-up, straight Christian, and come out of the closet.”

Friend, blogger and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts from the past week. These included: “through the Great Commandment lens,” “a Micah 6:8 tribute,” “unforced rhythms of grace,” “everyday people trusting the waters,” and “the holy between us.”

The Humanosphere shared a guest post by Margarite Nathe highlighting “10 Global Health Issues to Watch in 2015.”

The Humanosphere also shared a guest post by Lauren Hashiguchi, “Visualizing Haiti’s New and Improving Health Landscape.”

Social Media & Blogging

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

Kevan Lee shared what I have found to be a helpful post this week, “The Ultimate List of Social Media Acronyms and Abbreviations, Defined.”

Kate Nasser wrote and shared about “Entrepreneurial Success From Great Social Media Finds.”

David A. Frankel shared, “8 Game-Changing Marketing Lessons From the ALS ‘Ice Bucket Challenge.'” Lessons learned include: anyone can participate; very simple rules to the “challenge”; compressed time period to complete challenge; perfect time of year; simple, but descriptive hashtags; and small expectations from the start.


Joseph Yoo shared reflections about “When Pastors Don’t Give.”

Michelle shared a few good stewardship and financial type posts. These included: “We’re Selling Our Home and Moving into a Rental House,” “10 Ways to Make Money Online from the Comfort of Your Home,” and “How I Paid Off $38,000 in Student Loan Debt in 7 Months.”

Sarah Cooney shared some thoughts “Debunking Bulk Buying.”

Friend and Classy Frugalist Grace Duddy Pomroy shared a couple great posts over the past week. On her own blog, she continued her current series of posts with “2015 New Year’s Resolutions: Runners Up.” She also provided a guest post on the COMPASS Blog sharing some financial goals and resolutions related to savings, paying down debt, the purchase of a new home and new expenses. Check out both of these posts!

Over at Young Adult Money, Erin reflected about “How Unplugging Can Save You Money.”


Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared a few vocationally rich posts like normal this past week in her “Friday Favorites,” “Sunday Snippits,” and “Tuesday Tea Time.” Julia, I have to say that Allison and I share your movie tastes. We both loved “The Hundred Foot Journey” as well.

Allison and I with one of our favorite mentors, Dr. Terri Elton
Allison and I with one of our favorite mentors, Dr. Terri Elton

Friend and pastor Diane Roth shared some life and vocational reflections in “The Preacher, Not Preaching.”

Friend, professor and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared a vocational and life reflection piece simply but appropriately titled, “Grateful.”

Jan Edmiston shared some reflections about “Truth Changes.”

Friend and blogger Angel Yackel shared some great life reflections in “Change.” In this she writes, “As we settle into our new home, our new town, our new congregation, I have no choice but to put my trust in God. I already know in my heart that this is the right place for us, and I am confident that we will grow individually, grow together, and grow with our congregation and the Church as a whole. I see so much beauty in what is around me, and though I’ve been a city girl my whole life, I’m pretty excited about small-town living.”

Friend, artist and blogger Vonda Drees depicted about “What new thoughts visited me?


The Rev. Canon Robert Hendrickson wrote and shared, “Liturgy: It’s not the Work of the People.” Give this a read and see what you think.

Victoria shared, “Worship on the Eve of the Reformation, Part 2: The Eucharist.


Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared a couple posts including, “Administrivia,” and “Where (a lot of) Feminists Go Wrong.” (Don’t judge that second post until you check it out.)

The 12th Man Flag flies a top the Space Needle in Seattle. Go Hawks!
The 12th Man Flag flies a top the Space Needle in Seattle. Go Hawks!

Every once and awhile I find a comic that I have to share. I think Calvin and Hobbes really hit the nail on the head last week with this strip. What do you think?

Here’s another good story about my hometown (and favorite) airline, Alaska Airlines, doing some good in the world and going beyond the basics of business.

This past week, baseball Hall-of-Famer and Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks passed away at the age of 83.

Finally, how could I not end the links without another post related to the Seahawks? Here’s a story by Ashley Fox about Pete Carroll and his time previously serving as coach of the Patriots that helped shape him into the coach that he is now.  Also, if you don’t know about the Seahawks’ running back Marshawn Lynch, he’s a man of generally few words for reporters, but with a love of Skittles. With that in mind, you have to check out this “press conference” and the “Marshawn 8-Ball.” (Shout out to Carrie Gubsch for sharing that with me.) Here’s hoping for a great Super Bowl this coming Sunday!


That will conclude this week’s edition of the links. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed them! As always if you have topics to include in the links, or questions and ideas you would like me to unpack on the blog, please let me know about them. Until next time, blessings on your week! -TS

Image Credits: The Links; The Sacred Valley; Russell Wilson; Mind the Gap; “a Micah 6:8 tribute“; and the 12th Man Flag over the Space Needle.

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