This Week’s Links

Internet1Tuesdays on the blog mean that I get to share some of what I have found interesting and thought provoking over the past week. To help make sense of all these links, I have grouped them into the following topic categories for you: Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought & Practice; Millennials; Neighbor Love; Social Media & Blogging; Stewardship; Vocation and Miscellaneous. I hope you enjoy these links!


Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

Can you believe that we have already traveled through the entire season of Easter? That means that this coming weekend is Pentecost. In preparation for worship, sermons, messages and other creative ideas I am happy to share a host of Pentecost related resources with all of you.

What Pentecost Sunday may look like in a sanctuary near you.
What Pentecost Sunday may look like in a sanctuary near you.

First of all, spend some time with this podcast about the “Day of Pentecost” with friends and professors Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis, Rev. Dr. Matthew Skinner and Rev. Dr. Rolf Jacobson. As Matt Skinner is a New Testament scholar who has spent a great deal of time and research on the book of Acts and the Pauline writings, you might guess that he has quite a bit to say and share about Pentecost. A few years ago when I was still one of his students Matt wrote, “Pentecost: When Christians Dream.” He also has shared this “Commentary on Acts 2:1-21,” which I think you might appreciate. In a post written this week for Pentecost, Matt wrote and shared, “Sorry, Presidential Candidates: Hope Resides in Groans, not in Your Rhetoric,” based on Romans 8:22-27. Karoline Lewis also shared a Pentecost inspired post in “Spirit Feelings.”

Also with Pentecost in mind, check out Rev. Dr. David Lose’s reflections in “Pentecost B: Come Alongside, Holy Spirit!” as well as thoughts and ideas from Bishop Michael Rinehart in “Pentecost B.”

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript from their weekly chat about, “Planning, Branding and Audience.”

If you are using the Narrative Lectionary and planning to use the Psalm series appointed for this summer, then definitely check out this post and resource from Rev. Dr. Rolf Jacobson, “Commentary on Drinking Deeply from the Psalms.”

LEAD shared a post by Jessica Noonan with thoughts about “Making Our Churches Safe for Everyone.”

Have you ever wondered about what religion looks like in your context? If so, check out this project from the Public Religion Research Institute.

The big story from the past week was the release of a report and study from Pew Research about “America’s Changing Religious Landscape.” By now about a week later it has led to a number of responses and reflections. At some point, I might offer my two cents on the blog, but in the meantime, all of the following reflections should hold you over. Peter Manseau wrote and reflected one of the better responses in, “Thou Shalt Worship None of the Above.” Friend, pastor and blogger Erik Gronberg shared some thoughts and reflections in “Labels.” Nate Pyle wrote and shared, “The Pew Study and Being Driven to Drink.” John Pavlovitz added to the conversation writing, “Shift Happens: Why American Christianity Dying, is a Good Thing.” Friend and pastor Eric Bodenstab wrote, “Overstated Headlines Lie about Death of Christianity in U.S.” From the Pacific Northwest, Rev. Alissa Newton noted about “Why that Pew Report is great news for the Church.”  And from another Lutheran perspective, writer and pastor Clint Schnekloth shared, “Mainline Self-Loathing/mainlinedecline/Mainline Protestant Gaze.” Check out all of these different takes and see what you think. What might you add to the conversation?

Brian Dodd shared a couple helpful posts for church and ministry. Brian shared, “Encouragement for Every Church Volunteer Who Wonders if What They Do Really Matters.” Brian also offered, “14 Characteristics of Great Church Leadership Meetings.”

Blogger and pastor Jan Edmiston wrote and asked, “Who Are the Most Creative Leaders in Church Leadership?

Blogger and pastor Nurya Love Parish shared a couple posts, “This is how renewal starts- reflections on #EpiscopalResurrection,” as well as news that “Episcopalians To Consider Food Ministry Resolution.”

A beautiful artistic post by Vonda Drees called, "beauty in brokenness."
A beautiful artistic post by Vonda Drees called, “beauty in brokenness” based on 2 Corinthians 4:7.

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth wrote and shared, “Kairos.” In this she writes, “The message that morning was about Kairos time — not the same as the time on our watches, not chronological time, but the right time, the acceptable time, the time of opportunity.  “it is your time,” he said to the confirmands.  “It is your time to serve, your time to follow Jesus, your time to say yes to the grace and beauty and love of God in your life.”  Those aren’t the exact words, but that is what I heard.This is your time — the right time, the acceptable time.  That’s the message that the confirmands heard, but not just those eleven students.  Is it the right time for us as well?  Who is Jesus calling us to be?  How is Jesus calling us to follow?” Check out the whole post!

John Pavlovitz shared, “A Pastor’s Apology to the Single Community.”

Candice Czubernat wrote and shared about “Gays and the Church.”

Blogger and Vicar Eric Worringer wrote and shared, “The New Doctor(s) of the Church.”

Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Jonathan Watts shared news that about how the “Catholic church warms to liberation theology as founder heads to Vatican.”

Cross-Sector Collaboration

NWB reflected about “Why the Sustainability Myth is just as destructive as the Overhead Myth.” Check this out, especially if you are in leadership of non-profits or if you care about their work, mission, development and stewardship.

Have you heard about “This 23-Year-Old (who) Built and Sold his Startup while in School?

Julian Stodd shared great insights for leadership, life and organizations with more of his blog posts over the past week. Among these he shared thoughts and ideas about the importance of stories and narrative in “The Story Machine.” Julian also shared thoughts in and about, “Handshakes” as well as “Groundswell: waves of change.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Last fall, Bruce Jones at the Disney Institute wrote and asked, “Why Is Vision Critical for Leadership Success?

Lolly Daskal shared a couple very thought provoking posts. She shared this post from last fall, “Lead By Example Others Will Follow,” as well as more recent thoughts in “The Act of Empowering Others Changes Lives.” Lolly reflects especially about the following ways of empowering others: by helping them reach new heights; by appreciating them; by having the right attitude; by sharing information and giving them what they need; by modeling the way of empowerment; and by grooming others for leadership.

Bill Gates
Bill Gates

Bernard Marr shared a list of “The 15 Biggest Body Language Mistakes to Watch Out For.”

Brian Dodd shared “18 Leadership Quotes and Lessons from Bill Gates TED Talk.”

Dan Rockwell, “The Leadership Freak,” shared a number of great posts and reflections over the past week. These included: “Coaching to Capitalize on Frustration“; “Cows and New Gates“; “7 Ways to Put in More than You Take Out“; “12 Ways to Get People to Listen to You“; “10 Ways to Discern Rather than Condemn” and “Half the Team Doesn’t Trust the Boss.”

As we are in the midst of commencement and graduation season, “Here Are the Famous People Giving Graduation Speeches Across America.”

Justin Irving wrote and shared, “Engaging in Honest Self-Evaluation (Leadership Practice 2).”

Steve Keating shared thoughts in “Write Better Emails, Not Bitter Emails.”

Dan Forbes shared a guest post by Meaghan Sullivan at Lead with Giants entitled, “Great Leaders Pay it Forward.” Meaghan highlights the following points: choose carefully who deserves a break; be the sort of mentor that an emerging leader needs; bring all the right pieces into alignment; make a difference on a grander scale; and be the kind of leader you want to see in the world.

Tanveer Naseer wrote and shared, “This is What Real Leaders Do.”

Bill Taylor writes that, “The Best Leaders, ‘Talk the Walk.'”

Gretchen Spreitzer, Peter Bacevice and Lyndon Garrett shared thoughts and explained, “Why People Thrive in Coworking Spaces.” Check this out and see what you think.

Brian Fielkow reflected and shared about, “Tom Brady, ‘Deflategate’ and the Lesson for Business Leaders.”

For all the Muppets lovers like me out there, KC Ifeanyi writes and shared about innovation and creativity in “The Life and Rebirth of Jim Henson and the Muppets.”


Jon Mertz shared thoughts about Millennials and the workplace in “Separate, Segment Or Integrate: How Businesses Are Handling Gen-Y.”

Clay Forsberg shared thoughts about “Bridging the Gap.”

Jeremy Chandler at Thin Difference reflected about “What Millennials Should Know about Fear and Chasing Dreams.”

Also at Thin Difference, Jon Mertz wrote and shared that “Graduation is Just a Phase,” a timely reflection as we are in the midst of commencement and graduation season.

In a related post on the subject of graduation, Chelsea Krost shared a post by Jasmine Crockett about “What They Didn’t Prepare You For After College.”

Kern Carter wrote and explained, “Visualize, Execute, and Learn to Let Go- Lessons for Life.”

DC over at Young Adult Money shared thoughts about the “Top Mistakes Millennials Make When Investing.”

In one more response to the aforementioned Pew Research report from last week, Daniel Burke wrote and shared, “Millennials leaving church in droves, study finds.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Aaron Fuller shared provocative thoughts about Millennials in writing about “What the 1% teaches us about the problem with the Millennial Obsession.” What do you think?

Rev. Dr. David Lose offers some great insights, questions and ideas related to faith, stewardship, vocation and Millennials in writing, “Faith Is Action.”

Here’s a post by a Millennial pastor simply titled, “Dear Millennials.”

Neighbor Love

In a story of neighbor love in action, here’s a story about a 911 operator who went above and beyond the call of duty to serve a man in need and to care and be in relationship with that neighbor.

Chad Bird offered an important reminder to “Don’t Tell Hurting People that God’s in Control.”

Friend, blogger and Ph.D. student Sara Wilhelm Garbers shared great reflections in “Living in the Face of Fear.” She also shared her recent sermon that was preached at First Covenant Church in Minneapolis, “Peace that Saturates Us.”

The Economist shared a provocative and enlightening article about race and society in “The fire and the fuel: What a dead white man can teach America about inner-city decay.”

Jamil Dakwar shared the news about how the “UN Issues Scathing Assessment of US Human Rights Record.”

Another gorgeous piece of artwork by Vonda Drees, "waters breaking forth."
Another gorgeous piece of artwork by Vonda Drees, “waters breaking forth.”

Friend, blogger and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These included: “fall into a larger brightness“; “make the circle bigger…“; “waters breaking forth“; “seeing with the eyes of love“; “beauty in brokenness,” based on the missional idea of treasure in clay jars found in 2 Corinthians 4:7; a post inspired by LEAD’s disciple frame, “living everyday as disciples“; as well as the questions “What reached me today? How deep did it imprint?

Lutheran World Federation shared news that “LWF’s Dr. Prabin Manandhar joins disaster committee in Nepal.”

Nekima Levy-Pounds wrote that, “Ferguson and Minneapolis are closer than we think.” Give this some thought.

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth shared thoughts and reflections in “The Scenic Route.”

Blogger and pastor Jan Edmiston shared reflections about “Praying Well with Others.”

Friend, intern pastor and blogger Chris Michaelis shared his sermon for the past weekend based on the Narrative Lectionary’s text of Romans 6:1-14 entitled, “Learning to Swim.”

Pastor, blogger and writer Clint Schnekloth shared “Texting the Faith: Salvation and Christianity Explained.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Aaron Fuller shared his sermon for this past weekend based on the Narrative Lectionary’s focus text Romans 6:1-14 in “It’s about a death.”

RJ Grunewald shared exciting news about a commentary that he synthesized in Galatians: Selections from Martin Luther’s Commentary.

Over at Humanosphere, Tom Murphy shared and wrote that the “Status quo won’t end extreme poverty by 2030, think tank says.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Frank Johnson shared his sermon from a week ago based on Romans 5:1-11, “Senselessness, Suffering, and Salvation.”

The Humanosphere provided a guest post by Melody Schreiber about “The struggle to get aid to quake survivors in Nepal.

Friend and pastor Todd Buegler shared a piece that he recently published in the Owatonna People’s Press, We Only Have One Job.” Within this Todd writes, “We only have one job:  to stay connected.  We nurture the connection that comes as a gift from God, and we stay connected to each other.  Everything else flows from there.  Let go of your need to control (and I’ll try and do the same!) and trust in God who does the work, and who grows the fruit.”

Social Media & Blogging

Are you looking for blog post ideas? If so, check out “The Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas,” as compiled by Russ Henneberry.

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

Write to Done asked and shared, “Are You Using this Simple Way to get more shares on Social Media? 9 Tools to Help You.

Friend and communications strategist Carrie Gubsch shared this post by Kevan Lee featuring, “Collaboration Tools for Social Media Teams: You Don’t Have to Do it All Alone.”

Carol Lynn Rivera shared, “10 Things I Learned About Content Creation from 100 Episodes of Podcasting.”


Friend and “Classy Frugalist,” Grace Duddy Pomroy shared a timely post for recent and soon-to-be graduates, offering “Frugal Tips for Recent Graduates.”

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner wrote and shared, “Stop Using These 6 Ridiculous Excuses For Not Saving Money.”

DC at Young Adult Money shared “8 Ways to Make Money Blogging.”

During the month of May, the COMPASS blog is providing space for reflecting on the question of “What’s next?” This is an important question for all those in transition or graduating. The series continued last week with a guest post by Beryl Jantzi, “Baby Steps Towards a Financially Balanced Life.”

Stefanie shared a couple great posts including, “The Not So Obvious Rules of Travel Hacking,” as well as “Making Room for New Spending Priorities.”

Pastor Tania Haber shared some great thoughts about “Online Giving.”


Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared a couple vocationally rich posts as always including her “Tuesday Tea Time” as well as her “Friday Favorites.”

Friend and musician Stephanie Johnson shared thoughts and reflections in “What am I getting out of music, teaching and living life?

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 and I on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University in the Fall of 2012

In a post that brings back great memories of Pacific Lutheran University, here is Madeleine’s “PLU Bucket List.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth shared some “Lessons from (her) Mother.”

Brianna Johnson shared “20 Paradoxes that Give Us Wisdom and Perspective.”

Friend and blogger Jenna Reyna shared pictures and thoughts from her family’s recent “Alaskan Cruise.”


If you grew up enjoying Thomas the Tank Engine like I did, then you should check out this post by Elizabeth Blair pondering, “Just How Do ‘Thomas & Friends’ Drive Sodor’s Economy?” It’s a very interesting read.

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes writes that “We Need a Different Sports Narrative.” What do you think?


That will conclude this week’s edition of the links. I hope you have enjoyed them! As always, if you have things to include in the links, please let me know. Also, if you have ideas or questions for future blog posts, please let me know those too. Until next time, thank you for reading and being part of the conversation. Blessings on your week! -TS

Image Credits: The Links; Pentecost; “beauty in brokenness,” Bill Gates; and “waters breaking forth.”

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