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. To make sense of these links, I have grouped them into the following topic categories are: 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

If you are preparing for worship or a sermon for this upcoming weekend, the fourth weekend of Lent, you might appreciate reading some of Rev. Dr. David Lose’s reflections in “Lent 4B: God’s Offensive Love.”

Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis shared some great reflections on John 2:13-22 in “An Embodied Lent.”

Thom Schultz shared reflection about an “Easy Answer for Church Survival.” I especially appreciate his conclusion where he notes that, “the churches that will survive and thrive are those that embrace three things: See that God is, once again, making all things new; Fear not. Trust God; and Don’t wait for an easy pill. Initiate necessary change. Now.”

In a good news update to a story that was mentioned in the links previously, the “Seattle missionary was released from Nigerian kidnappers.”

Friend and communication expert Carrie Gubsch shared “Focus on Faith: Peace Lutheran strives to foster neighborly spirit.”

Sad news from late February that “The Rev. Bill Bischel, longtime weapons protester and Tacoma-born priest” has passed away.

The Public Religion Research Institute shared a look at “The Three Religious Traditions that Dominate the U.S.

In a related post, Dylan Matthews shared, “One nation under God, mapped.”

LEAD recently hosted its annual “Influence” event. Last week they shared some reflections and review of “Influence 2015- The Work of the People with Travis Reed and Phuc Luu.” I especially enjoyed this reflection, “You could almost feel the creativity rising up in the audience as people saw how they could use these ideas and tools in their own lives and work. It was a day that created connections and new ideas and we left fully challenged, and ready to listen more. To be present more. To birth our own new galaxy of creativity.” Check out the whole post and learn more.

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of its conversation last week on “Creating and Sustaining Online Community.”

Check out this great video and presentation from Pastor Keith Anderson about “Ministry Leadership in a Digital Age.”

Friend Monika Salden shared and asked, “The closing of Sweet Briar: What are the implications for theological schools?

Christina Embree shared some great reflection in “The Lie of ‘Not Enough.'”

News broke last week that “Fred Craddock, a ‘preaching genius,‘” has passed away.


If you are interested in the church, the Pacific Northwest and theology, you might be interested in this post from James Wellman, “A Theology for Cascadia: From None Zone to the Abundant Zone.”  Give this a read and see what you think.

Recently the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and Pope Francis met, and here is the picture proof.

Friend Beth A. Lewis shared something which I imagine will spark interest among any congregational ministry leader in “Something (cool) for nothing!

Cross-Sector Collaboration

If you work in the Nonprofit world, you might appreciate this list of the “12 Types of People who get on Everyone’s Nerves in the Nonprofit Sector,” from Nonprofit with Balls.

William Craft, the president of Concordia College, shared a letter “Defining college ‘value.'”

Julian Stodd shared some great reflections over the past week. First he wrote about, “The Future of Organisations: scaffolded & reconfigurable.” Julian also shared about “The Subscription Career,” and “The Disruption of Design.”

Tom Murphy shared some “News in the Humanosphere,” in that “Ebola-hit countries call for ‘Marshall Plan.'” Tom also shared about “Media and NGOs: 12 leading reporters on aid and development.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Lolly Daskal shared a list of what she sees are the “Top 10 Qualities of Highly Successful People.” The qualities to note include: drive; self-reliance; willpower; patience; integrity; passion; connection; optimism; self-confidence and communication. Check out the list!

Back in January, Kim Pope shared some thoughts about “Adapting A Leadership Style that Works for You and Your Employees.” Within this Kim shared reflections about authoritative leadership, participative leadership and reverse leadership.

I stumbled on to this post from this past September by Rodger Dean Duncan sharing, “5 Leadership Lessons From the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.” The lessons highlighted include: embrace an engaging cause; insist on sky-high standards; be of one voice; think globally, act locally and adapt or die.

Leadership Freak Dan Rockwell shared a number of great posts over the past week. First, he shared, “4 Ways to Energize Through Coaching,” a nice little read for anyone who does some coaching, especially coaching of leaders. Dan also shared, “10 Ways to Deal with Distracting Teammates” and “12 Ways to Overcome Fear and Confront Like a Master.” You will probably also greatly appreciate the interview and conversation he had with “Jack and Suzy Welch on Destiny and Authenticity.”

Bill Hybels
Bill Hybels

Dan also shared some thoughts and ideas from “Bill Hybels on Integrating Young Leaders.” There are great insights for nonprofits, congregations and faith communities, but also all types of organizations and groups. The insights in here I think are particularly helpful for thinking about building and creating a “multigenerational leadership environment,” as Bill Hybels calls them.

Brian Dodd shared “17 Practices of Highly Successful Leaders Who Build Great Teams.”

Legend Leonard Nimoy recently passed away, and this past week Tanveer Naseer paid tribute by reflecting about “The Leadership Legacy of a Childhood Hero.”

Benjamin Snyder shared about “the most important thing Mark Zuckerberg asks before hiring someone.” Zuckerberg is quoted as saying, “I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person.” I think that is great advice. What do you think?

Dan Forbes shared an important list of “20 Limiting Beliefs That Derail Leaders.” What might you add to the list?

Cranston Holden shared about the “Characteristics of Silo Walls.”

Steve Keating shared a couple helpful posts, sharing thoughts about “Why Key Employees Leave,” and “The Attitude of Success.”

Ted Coine shared about “Richard Branson’s Leadership Secrets.”


Over at Thin Difference, Jeremy Chandler shared “7 Ways Millennials Can Earn Trust and Respect in the Workplace.” The ways that Jeremy notes include: honor people’s time; come to the table with solutions, not just ideas; take good notes; learn how to anticipate; be a disciplined learner; work to create corporate culture, not just consume it and be a servant.

Back in January, Nonprofit Quarterly shared its “11 Biggest Nonprofit Stories of 2014,” which included insights and observations about Millennials like “Technology and Millennials continue to transform the nonprofit sector.”

One picture showing some of our current community (friend Rebecca and husband Trip are right behind Allison and I for example)
A group of friends and Millennials

Hannah Becker wrote about and shared, “Millennial Trailblazers: Formula for Success.” Within this Hannah notes three characteristics about Millennial trailblazers, that they are: not afraid to stand alone; invest in the long haul; and believe they can change the world.

Back in October, Caroline Ceniza-Levine shared an interview with Lindsey Pollak in “Leadership for the Millennial Generation.”

The Millennial Journal shared perspectives from Millennials and young adults in “Making a Better World: Young Catholics Discuss Social Justice at CSMG.”

Alan Murray asked and reflected, “What Do Millennials Really Want?” What do you think?

This post from a year ago by the Pew Research Center has been shared a lot in the past week, so here it is again about “Millennials in Adulthood.”

Tom Paulson shared an intriguing post and podcast over at The Humanosphere, in “Microfinance to cash transfers: The evolution of a Millennial do-gooder.”

Ted Coine shared “8 things millennials want- and don’t want- show how different they are from their parents.”

Here’s an article from last fall with a good question and implications across generations, “What if age is nothing but a Mind-Set?

Neighbor Love

Friend and blogger Hannah Heinzekehr shared “A new Anabaptist reading list.” Check out the list!

RJ Grunewald shared some good theological reflection in “Band-Aids on Cancer.”

Friend, professor and blogger Dr. Ron Byrnes shared some good reflections in “When You Are Adopted…

The story in Alabama about marriage equality (or the lack thereof) keeps spinning, as news broke last week in “A Defiant Alabama Regains Ground Against Gay Marriage.”

"got markers?" by Vonda Drees
“got markers?” by Vonda Drees

Friend, blogger and artist Vonda Drees shared a multitude of beautiful posts over the past week. These included: “What did I learn today?” As well as: “eyelash rainbows and burning bushes,” “starbursts of fireworks,” “got markers?,” and “moments that greet us.”

Blogger and theologian Rachel Held Evans wrote and reflected an important neighbor love and social justice piece, “But it’s not about race … right?

Wayne Nealis shared an important commentary in Minnesota which makes a lot of sense to me in the “Mall of America goes to court.” What do you think? As for me, if this case continues, I will continue to not visit the Mall, nor bring any visitors from out of town there as well in a form of protest.

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth shared a couple moving pieces over the past week. She shared, “To Look at the Heart,” a reflection about sitting with someone who’s partner was dying. Diane wrote, “‘We held hands, we prayed, we told stories.  I made the sign of the cross on his forehead, and said, “You are sealed with the Holy Spirit, and marked with the cross of Christ forever.’For 70 years, when they held each other up, it was Jesus who was holding on, through their faithfulness.  For 70 years, when they kept an eye on each other, it was Jesus watching out for them, through their faithfulness. If you look at the heart, that’s what you see.”

Diane also shared some thoughts in “Your Least Favorite Bible Verse.”

Here’s a good question for you, “What is it to be redeemed Image of God?” Check out this post.

Friend and seminarian Ariel Williams shared a recent message she gave on Micah 6:6-8, “Hungering for Justice.”

Benjamin Corey wrote and reflected, “Yes, There Is Christian Persecution in America and Here’s What it Looks Like.” What do you think about his thoughts?

Friend, pastor and blogger Frank Johnson shared a couple wonderful reflections and messages over the past week. These included, “Being a loser, bearing the cross,” as well as “Offensive grace and the judgment of invitation.”

John Fischer shared an interesting reflection entitled, “True Religion.”

Pastor and blogger John Pavlovitz wrote, “Dear Youth Pastor (Because You Have Gay Students In Your Youth Group).” Give this a read.

Friend, pastor and blogger Aaron Fuller shared a couple of his now usual weekly posts with his “Weekend Word (3/5): ‘A Song of Quiet Trust,'” and “The Monday Morning Preacher (3/9) … & one other point of business.”

The Revd Canon Robert Hendrickson wrote and shared, “A Message Signed with Blood: A Sermon on the Martyrdom of 21 Christians in Libya.”

I continued my Lenten series and journey through the Lent Photo a Day process. The past week’s posts and pictures included reflections about: worship, go, dream, new, home and journey.

The 50th Anniversary March- including  President Obama and President Bush
The 50th Anniversary March- including President Obama and President Bush

This past weekend marked the fiftieth anniversary of the March for Voting Rights in Selma, Alabama. To mark the occasion, people and leaders from all sectors including faith communities and politicians, partook in the remembrance march and sessions. In commemorating the march, President Obama spoke, and if you haven’t seen or heard this speech yet, please do see “President Obama’s Speech in Selma.”

Friend, blogger and intern pastor Chris Michaelis shared a recent sermon based on Matthew 20:1-16 entitled, “Worst. Pyramid Scheme. Ever.” You know with a title like that, you definitely want to check this out.

ScienceBlog shared about “The power of making amends: How conciliatory gestures promote forgiveness.”

Friend, seminarian and soon to be pastor Beth Wartick shared “thoughts on the law,” a sermon based on Exodus 20:1-17 and Psalm 19. Beth reminds, “God has promised to bring you to life out of death, and that is exactly what God is doing.” Amen.

Social Media & Blogging

Speaking of Beth above, her husband and also my friend and a great blogger, J.W. Wartick shared his version of the links with his “Really Recommended Posts.”

Stefanie Flaxman shared, “Guest Posting Best Practices from Copyblogger’s Guest Post Gatekeeper.” This is a helpful read, especially if you invite guest writers to your blog or a blog you help manage.

Back in October, Cindy King shared her “Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Marketing.”

Pamela Wilson shared about “The 3-Step Journey of a Remarkable Piece of Content.”

If you manage social media, you might appreciate this post by Melanie Dodara from last summer, “The Guide to Social Media Time Management.”


During the month of March, the COMPASS blog is providing space for thoughts and questions related to taxes. To officially kick off the series I shared some reflections, thoughts and ideas in “Tax Time.”

Speaking of taxes, I have found a few great and helpful posts and reflections over the past week. These include: “4 Ways to be Better Prepared for Taxes Next Year,” and “How to Plan for Taxes for Side Income,” from Young Adult Money; “Saving for Taxes if You’re Non-W2 Employed,” from The Finance Geek; and “8 Financial Tips for Young Adults,” by Amy Fontinelle with observations about taxes.

Sometimes a frugal vacation starts by just taking your car for a little drive.

If you are gearing up for, or have plans for spring break, check out these thoughts and ideas from Amelia Hobbins at brightpeak financial in “Too Frugal for Spring Break? 6 Tips for a Super Thrifty Vacation.” The tips include: travel in a group; carpool; timing matters; Wisconsin Dells or Water Park Resort; Pick a Direction and Drive; and Go to a Cabin.

Friend, blogger and Classy Frugalist Grace Duddy Pomroy wrote and shared, “Want to Get Away: Frugal Vacations.”

Erin at Young Adult Money shared “3 Ways to Make Your Living Situation More Affordable,” including: share your space, consider downsizing to a smaller space, relocate somewhere less expensive and a bonus fourth way, consider living closer to work. Young Adult Money also shared some thoughts about “What to do if you are in Credit Card Debt.”

Stefanie at the Broke and Beautiful Life shared about “The Value in Subscribing,” while Sarah Cooney shared about “Confronting Financial Kryptonite.”

Friend Emily Barker writes, reflects and asks in an environmentally stewardship related post, “Can I recycle that?

Michelle at Making Sense of Cents shared a couple helpful posts over the past week, “Everything You Need to Know about Selling Your Stuff for Cash,” and “Should We Get Rid of a Car and Just Have One?


Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared her usual vocationally rich weekly posts, including her “Friday Favorites” and her “Sunday Snippits.”

Rebekah Lyons writes that “Finding Your Calling is About Learning Obedience.”

Jessica Stillman shared, “10 Daily Habits that Will Actually Make You Smarter.”

Friends Katie and Will shared a life update in “Sick and tired…” I hope you are both feeling better!

Trent Gillis shared “The Tree of Contemplative Practices.” Do you engage these contemplative practices (or others) in your vocation(s) and daily life?


Elizabeth Ewing shared some intergenerational ideas for engaging children in worship especially in creative ways during Holy Week in “Maundy Thursday with Children- Practical Suggestions.”


Are you a frequent air traveler? If so, you might appreciate these “6 Google Flights Tricks that are Better than any Travel Agent,” from Suzy Strutner

Friend, blogger and math teacher, Tim Chalberg shared another post detailing the excitement of Spring Training and the Seattle Mariners in “2015 Non-Roster Invitee Rankings, Week 1.”


That will conclude this week’s edition of the links. As always, I hope you enjoyed the links! If there are questions or topics you would like me to think about on the blog, or things to include in the links in the future, please let me know. Until next time, thanks for reading and blessings on your week! -TS

Image Credits: The Links, CascadiaBill Hybels, “got markers?” and Selma March in 2015.

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