This Week’s Links

Internet1Tuesday on the blog means that I get to share some of what I have seen, read, and found interesting with all of you. To help make sense of these links, I have grouped them by the following categories: Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboraton; Leadership Thought & Practice; Millennials; Neighbor Love; Social Media & Blogging; Stewardship; Vocation and Miscellaneous. I hope you enjoy these links!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

For those of you following the revised common lectionary and preparing for worship or for a sermon this coming weekend, check out these thoughts on “Pentecost 10B” from Bishop Michael Rinehart. Specifically thinking about the gospel text for this coming weekend, friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis wrote and shared, “#DoItForJohn.” Rev. Dr. David Lose also shared about Pentecost 10B in “The Surprise of Our Lives.”

If you are following the narrative lectionary (like me currently), check out the commentary on this weekend’s focus text, “Song of Solomon 2:10-13, 8:6-7” by Kathryn Schifferdecker.

Bishop Mike Rinehart also shared, “From Conflict to Communion: Observing the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation (1517-2017).”

The church I am currently serving (for the next couple of weeks), Woodlake Lutheran, was featured in a great article by Kathryn Sime, “Doing more with less: congregations redefine mission & ministry with fewer members.”

If you are curious about the congregation that my wife Allison and I will be serving at in the fall, check this out.

Pastor Joelle Colville-Hanson shared about the ELCA’s Worship Jubilee, writing that, “Worship Leaders Gather for Living Voice Jubilee.”

ELCA Youth Gathering (from ELCA Youth Gathering Facebook Page)
ELCA Youth Gathering (from ELCA Youth Gathering Facebook Page)

The ELCA Youth Gathering continued to be the subject of wonderful content, reflection and depth. I may be biased, but in this case, I don’t think so, as my wife Allison shared great thoughts about asking for stories and engaging young adults returning from the gathering in writing, “Coming down off the mountain top: #RiseUpELCA.” You should definitely check this post out and give it serious thought and application in your ministry context. In a similar vein, Elizabeth Rawlings wrote and shared, “30,000 youth excited about Jesus, service, and justice- let’s not fail them.” Also, friend and pastor Frank Johnson helpfully reflected with words and photos about “Why the Youth Gathering matters.” Pastor Andrew also shared some of the pictures and stories from St. John Lutheran’s experience at the gathering.

In looking at some of the results from the gathering, Maria Esquinca wrote, “Before and after: How volunteers transformed 100 blocks of Detroit.”

Friend and musician David Scherer, also known as “Agape,” shared sheet music for the theme song of the gathering, “Rise Up Together,” over on his website.

Julie Sevig wrote about one congregation’s unique approach to going to the gathering, writing about an “Outhouse on the move: in Kerkhoven, Minn., they’re sending kids to Detroit with a check and some chuckles.”

Bishop Kevin Kanouse wrote a heartfelt and courageous letter sharing about what he shared with the young adults from the North Texas-North Louisiana Mission Area at the Gathering. Thank you Bishop Kanouse for your courage and for being willing to share.

Friend and professor Rev. Dr. John Nunes shared findings from Michael Lipka on “The most and least racially diverse U.S. religious groups.”

Mikah Meyer wrote perhaps provocatively that, “American Christianity Has Been Hijacked.”

Pastor Blair Lundborg, Assistant to the Bishop in the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America wrote and shared about, “Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women.”

Meredith Gould wrote and shared about “How to Hire a Social Media ‘Expert.'”

Adam Copeland shared great thoughts for ministry and technology in “Pastor, Bless My iPhone.”

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of its weekly chat, which last week focused on “How Personality Shapes Social Media Involvement,” and was moderated by Regina Heater.

Friend and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared this great post on “How to Communicate Change” by Karen Shay-Kubiak.

I think this is the first time that I have ever provided a link to the White House, especially under Church and Ministry. Angela Barranco, Associate Director for Public Engagement at White House Council on Environmental Quality shared about “Champions of Change: People of Faith Acting on Climate.”

Margaret Felice shared a number of interesting posts about music ministry and a recent conference presentation. Check out her blog, and I recommend starting with this post on “Honoring our skills in ministry.”

Friend and executive director of LEAD, Peggy Hahn, shared a number of things to check-in, fix-up or clean-up in your congregation before the fall begins, writing, “Cleaning House- Company’s coming!

Lilly Fowler wrote about an “Outspoken theologian ousted from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.”

Friend, blogger, world traveler, and very soon to be pastor Will Johnson shared reflections and observations about churches, cathedrals and money in “Moneychangers in the Church.” What do you think?

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Friend and communications strategist Carrie Gubsch shared this post by Nancy Schwartz, “Make ONE- and Only ONE- Call to Action (Case Study)” with important insights especially for nonprofits.

Blogger and social leadership theorist Julian Stodd wrote and shared thoughts in writing and asking, “Want to Meet?” Julian also shared, “Sunlight,” and “The Loci of Engagement.”

Friend and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared a post about storytelling and Story Corps detailing, “Why I put all my stuff in storage to travel cross-country and listen to people.”

Mike Nemeth shared about Drucker School of Management professor Jay Prag, writing, “Professor reflects on ‘weird’ economic times in U.S.”

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared a video explaining that “Learning is about Relationship.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Steve Keating wrote about “The Perils of Planning,” in a two-part series in part one and part two.

If you like movies you really should check out this guest post by Kent Sanders on Paul Sohn’s blog, “10 Surprising Movies that will Upgrade Your Leadership.” The movies that Kent highlights are: Apollo 13; Lincoln; The King’s Speech; Dead Poet’s Society; A Few Good Men; The Passion of the Christ; Lee Daniel’s The Butler; Saving Private Ryan; Moneyball; and Citizen Kane. What do you make of this list? As Kent asks, allow me to repeat, “What is your favorite leadership movie?”

Tanveer Naseer shared a guest post by Mike Figliuolo, “Think Inside the Box to Solve Leadership Challenges.”

My wife Allison and I taking a moment to breathe amidst the crazy summer that has been.
My wife, the chaplain, and me.

Brian Dodd shared what he sees are “10 Leadership Lessons from the Shark Attack on Pro Surfer Mick Fanning.

I shared reflections and leadership learning on this blog in “7 Leadership Lessons from the Spouse of a Chaplain.” Some of the lessons I have learned or reminded of are: listen; ask questions; make time; be present; challenge when necessary; and encourage and remind.

Adam Smith shared a post by Glenn Brooke about “How to Use a Leadership Team Planning Calendar.”

Eugena Lee at Resourceful Manager just shared and published a guide all about leadership. Check out this good new source of thought and ideas.

Alan Elkin and Arthur Wagner at Switch & Shift shared, “3 Sure Fire Ways to Prepare Your Business For the Longhaul.”

Travis Wright shared, “7 Things Warren Buffet Can Teach You About Leadership.”

Dan Rockwell shared a number of great leadership insights over the past week. These included: “5 Ways to Face the Challenges of Coaching Teammates“; thoughts on “How to Create Dissatisfaction that Energizes“; and “The 7 Pursuits of Successful Leaders.”

Dan Forbes at Lead with Giants shared a guest post by Whitney Johnson who wrote, “To Become an Expert, Do This One Thing.”

Over at Thin Difference, Heidi Oran wrote and shared about “Resistance and Leadership,” and Jon Mertz shared that “You May Be a Passive Leader If…

Millennials

Gillian B. White explains that, “Millennials who are financially thriving have one characteristic in common.”

Bartie Scott wrote and explained about “What Millennials Really Want at Work.”

Last fall Adam Hanft noted about “The Stunning Evolution of Millennials: They’ve Become the Ben Franklin Generation.”

Nicholas Kristof wrote about “A Millennial Named Bush.” Read this excerpt and then check out the whole piece, “Now along comes this generation of millennials, and we have a problem. They are raised on “service projects,” apply to Teach for America in torrents and donate to charity at a higher rate (87 percent) than their elders. Basically, they’ve stabbed us older generations in the back with their idealism and altruism, robbing us of the opportunity to feel superior.”

Liz Peek wrote that in order “To Attract Millennials, Hillary Clinton Needs to Embrace the Sharing Economy.”

Ashley Stahl shared a post with insights for both Millennials and non-Millennials in noting, “Seven Mistakes to Avoid When Job Hunting.”

Sarah Puryear wrote about “Wooing Millennials with Tradition, not Pyrotechnics.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Stephanie Vos explained, “Why the Church Needs Millennials, But Millennials Don’t Need Church.” What do you think?

Neighbor Love

Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Matt Skinner shared this story from Julia Preston that a “Judge orders release of immigrant children detained by U.S.”

"no blue, no green" by Vonda Drees
“no blue, no green” by Vonda Drees

Author and pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber shared a recent “Sermon on the Feeding of the 5,000 (preached for pastors, musicians, and church leaders).”

Friend, blogger and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These included: “soul food“; “light, space, zest“; “make way!“; “paying attention“; “courage!“; “no blue, no green“; and “A Franciscan Benediction.”

I came across this post from last month by blogger and pastor Erik Parker written on “The Heresy of the Charleston Shooter: Racism and Lutherans.”

Friend Megan Hansen shared this editors note from Houston about “The Case of the Missing Magazine.”

Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Eric Barreto wrote and reflected about “Theological education after Ferguson and Long Island and Baltimore and Charleston and…

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared this video of “Kids talking about race.”

Jenny at Queer Grace asked, pondered and responded, “Is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah about homosexuality?

Friend, blogger and pastor Beth Wartick shared a sermon based on Psalm 23 called, “thoughts on Tables.”

The Millennial Journal shared thoughts from Christopher Hale explaining, “Why US Presidential Candidates Might Follow Francis’ Lead.

Friend, mentor and professor Dr. Terri Elton shared a beautiful little reflection inspired by daily life and once-in-a-life time adventures in “My Eyes Look to the Mountains.”

Rozella White shared a powerful, honest and authentic reflection about life, love, and the challenges of mental illness and anxiety in “A Word on My Birthday.” Thank you for sharing Rozella!

Friend, intern pastor and blogger Chris Michaelis shared a recent sermon based on Ephesians 6:10-20, “Chains and Chainmail.”

Sarah Bessey reflected in “A Voice for the Voiceless.”

Friend, blogger and writer J.W. Wartick shared a neighbor love and social justice “Response to an Article on Welfare Recipients in Seattle.”

Second cousin Melissa Schori shared a beautiful reflection about life and community in “Dick & Joyce.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Frank Johnson shared his sermon for this past weekend based on Psalm 91, “Refuge and Satisfaction (or why we sing ‘On Eagle’s Wings’ at funerals).”

PLU professor Dr. Joanna Gregson was quoted in an interesting article about how “Authors of romance novels are big sellers, but still deal with an age-old stigma,” by Alice Robb.

Friend, blogger and pastor-in-waiting Emmy Kegler shared this neighbor love in action story by Michael Rietmulder about how “Gary Hoover walks among the hookers of Lake Street.”

Social Media & Blogging

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared about “All-star Apps,” and asked, “What indispensable apps am I missing?”

Kylie Jane Wakefield wrote and shared, “‘Storytelling is Changing’: Why Gary Vaynerchuk Is Investing in Micro-Content.”

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

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner shared “5 Steps You Need to Follow to Finally Start Making Money with Your Blog.”

Stewardship

I shared some stewardship thoughts about giving, writing about “Why I Give.”

Erin at Young Adult Money shared and asked, “Have You Asked Your Significant Other These 5 Money Questions?” The questions that Erin highlights are: How much debt do you have? What financial goals do you have? What does your ideal retirement look like? Do you like saving money or spending it? How are you going to handle your money?

Also at Young Adult Money, Kristi shared and asked, “Time is Money: Do you budget your time effectively?

Vocation

A rainbow that Allison and I saw this morning on our mini-walk at sunrise before the storm started. If ever there was a reminder of God's promises and presence in the midst of the literal storms of life, this may be it.
A rainbow that Allison and I saw this morning on our mini-walk at sunrise before the storm started. If ever there was a reminder of God’s promises and presence in the midst of the literal storms of life, this may be it.

Friends Katie and Will shared life and vocational updates, updating the world about their new calls beginning in the fall in Montana writing, “Montana, Here We Come!” And, “Taize and Ordinations.”

Christian Balodis wrote and shared, “Finding Your Passion- A Call to Serve.”

Friend, photographer, blogger and now graduate student Jessica Young shared reflections and updates in “graduate school,” as well as on some of the reading she has done of late. Congrats on starting grad school Jessica!

The LEAD blog shared about “A Day in the Life of a LEAD Intern: Stephanie Gossett.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth shared thoughts about “Using GPS.”

Miscellaneous

In honor and celebration of Randy Johnson’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, friend and Mariners blogger Tim Chalberg looked back at the famous trade between the Mariners and Astros in “Big Unit Trade, Revisited.”

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That concludes this week’s edition of the links. I hope you have enjoyed them. As always, if you have particular questions or topics for me to think about on the blog, please share them. Also, if there are things you would like to see included in the links, please let me know that too. Until next time, thank you for reading and being part of the conversation. Blessings on your week! -TS

Image Credits: The Links and “no blue, no green.”

Why I Give

Earlier this week I shared some thoughts over on the COMPASS blog about “Why I Give.” This is part of a series of reflections and thoughts about giving inspired by the idea of “Christmas in July.”

Here’s an excerpt:

I also give because I come from a family of givers.
I also give because I come from a family of givers.

1. I give because of the Good News.

My giving is part of my response. Deep down my giving to the church and ministry is part of my joyful response to what I believe is the good news of the Gospel. My giving to causes, relief organizations, and other agencies is also part of this response. I deeply believe that I cannot earn salvation, but rather that is God’s work and has already been done for us. All I can do with that good news of love and grace is to live joyfully in response to it: sharing that good news with others, living life fully and abundantly, and giving thanks.

2. I give because there is a need.

My giving is also usually initiated by being moved to act in response to a need in the world. When I see someone hurting or not being cared for, I wonder, “What can I do to help?” If my wife and I can give a financial contribution, that is wonderful. If our budget is constrained, we can still give through volunteering and helping in other ways. (In a practical sense, this is where the idea of “Time, Talent, and Treasure” is made real through giving.)

3. I give because I want to.

There is no greater joy in life than the feeling of helping another person, or bringing a smile to someone’s face.

There’s much more! To see the full reflection, please continue reading here

7 Leadership Lessons from the Spouse of a Chaplain

This summer has been full of change, new experiences and transitions. Overall it has been full, challenging and rewarding. Over the summer, my wife Allison has been serving as a Chaplain Intern at a local hospital as part of her seminary program to become a pastor. (Technically this chaplain experience is called “CPE”- Clinical Pastoral Education.)

My wife Allison and I taking a moment to breathe amidst the crazy summer that has been.
My wife Allison and I taking a moment to breathe amidst the crazy summer that has been.

For the summer, Allison has been one of a handful of interns from different seminaries serving and learning what it means to be a chaplain providing real-time pastoral care. It has been a wonderful growing experience for her, but it has also taught me some as her spouse, and I believe about being a leader.

Here are seven of the leadership lessons I have learned (or at least been reminded of) from this experience so far:

1) Listen

Good leaders are good listeners. I have seen Allison remember her gift for listening this summer, through her telling me about her experiences of being with people in the joys, challenges and sadness of life that a hospital often serves as the location of. I have also been reminded that listening is not always easy. Sometimes there are distractions and things that need to get done. But a good leader is there with an open set of ears and attention.

2) Ask questions

As part of good and active listening, a good leader asks questions. I have found that as Allison recounts her days and experiences, it is more helpful for both of us if we ask questions about our day to guide our conversation. Otherwise, one or both of us may wander and ramble on. For the sake of time and our relationship, questions have been very helpful in creating fruitful conversation.

3) Make time

It takes time to listen and be present. A good leader makes that time, no matter what else might be on their plate. So, as Allison and I check-in with each other, we are honest in saying if the current moment might not be the best, but that we will make time in _____ minutes. This is a helpful way to be clear, manage expectations and value each other.

4) Be present

Life isn’t always easy or pretty. Sometimes the challenges and experiences of life lead to moments of heart ache and pain. Sometimes there are moments of great joy and excited energy. No matter where someone is on the emotional and energetic spectrum, be present with them. A good leader is someone who comes alongside and is fully there. This is true in any relationship, but especially in leadership.

5) Challenge when necessary

A good leader is not afraid of a little potential conflict. At times, it is important to challenge another person in order for them to think through the implications of their ideas or perspectives. This challenge might be something small, but if effective, it opens their eyes to other possibilities and ways of doing things which they will thank you for in the long run. (But please, unlike some people I know, please do not challenge just for challenge’s sake or to be a “devil’s advocate.”)

6) Be present some more

Even when you think you have been present, make more time to be present with those you work with, are related to, lead, collaborate with, etc. If you want your team to be most effective, you need to be there with them, maybe not actively leading, but there if or when they need your brain, heart, soul and imagination.

7) Encourage and remind

Perhaps the most important thing I have discovered or been reminded about through Allison’s chaplaincy, is the importance of encouragement. It is important for a leader to be able to encourage their team and fellow leaders, as well as to remind them of their gifts and how their work is connected to some larger mission and purpose. This is critical to reinforce and celebrate success, but also in the most challenging of moments, to remind someone that they are more than capable and that they are not alone.

How do you understand these leadership lessons in your own life as a leader in relationship with others? 

This Week’s Links

Internet1Tuesday on the blog means that I get to share some of what I have read and found interesting over the past week with all of you. To help make sense of all these links I have grouped them by categories. This week’s categories are: 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

If you are preparing for worship or a sermon for this coming weekend, I have a few helpful resources for you. First, for those following the revised common lectionary, check out reflections on “Pentecost 9B” from Bishop Michael Rinehart. In thinking about this weekend’s gospel text from the Gospel of John chapter 6, check out these reflections from friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis on the “Bread of the Preaching Life.” Also, for those of you following the revised common lectionary check out these reflections on “Pentecost 9B” from Rev. Dr. David Lose.

For those of you following the narrative lectionary (like me currently), check out this “Commentary on Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, 3:1-17,” from friend and professor Rev. Dr. Kathryn Schifferdecker.

Christina Embree shared some “Confessions of a Family Ministry Blogger (and Real Life Mom).” Christina also wrote and asked, “Watch and Learn: Church, What are we Teaching Our Kids?

Blogger and pastor Jan Edmiston wrote about “What Lasts After Church.”

This week worship and music leaders from the ELCA are “gathering under the theme ‘Called to be a Living Voice‘” in Atlanta for the ELCA’s Worship Jubilee.

Pastor and blogger Clint Schnekloth shared a list of what he believes are the “Best 15 Books About Being a Pastor.” What books might you add to the list?

Jenny Heipp wrote in The Millennial Journal that, “Black Churches are Burning, the Faith Community Must Act.”

My Facebook and Twitter feeds this past week were dominated by pictures, stories and news from the ELCA National Youth Gathering. I was overjoyed to see that the hashtag for the time of worship, gathering and service, #RiseUpELCA, was even trending for part of the weekend.

The following are some of the great posts and articles that I read and saw and that I want to share with you:  Francis Donnelly at The Detroit News wrote that the “Lutheran event brings 30K to city for Youth Gathering,” and Niraj Warikoo from the Detroit Free Press wrote that “30,000 Lutherans blanket Detroit to volunteer, worship.” Deadline Detroit shared this article by Alan Stamm explaining, “Why Downtown Detroit ‘Looks Like a Skittles Factory Exploded,'” as well as that “Detroiters Embrace Visiting Lutheran Teens for ‘Your Good Work for Our Area.” I especially enjoyed Alan Stamm’s list of “5 Things We Learn About Lutherans from Their Youth Event,” including that: they’re unpretentious, they take social issues head-on, they’re not shy about pushback, they’re humble, and they tolerate news site slips; I think Lutherans will be happy with those take-away’s, I know I am.

ELCA Youth Gathering (from ELCA Youth Gathering Facebook Page)
ELCA Youth Gathering (from ELCA Youth Gathering Facebook Page)

Others, especially friends shared their reflections and blogs during and after the gathering. Among these, Augsburg Fortress CEO Beth Lewis wrote and shared, “Living Vicariously with #RiseUpELCA” and “Living Vicariously with #RiseUpELCA, part 2.” Bishop Michael Rinehart shared on his blog about the “2015 ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit,” as did Pastor Andrew in “#RiseupELCA National Youth Gathering Day One.”

For congregations and leaders welcoming their youth back from the gathering this week, Pastor Joe McGarry wrote and shared, “Connect with Youth After the Gathering- 8 things you can do to connect to the church after the National Youth Gathering.”

At the end of the ELCA Youth Gathering the news was shared that the next one in 2018 will be held in Houston, Texas. With this exciting news Bishop Michael Rinehart provided this warm and excited welcome.

News broke yesterday that distinguished church historian and academic Rev. Owen Chadwick has passed away.

In news from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Lilly Fowler writes that an “Outspoken pastor (has been) ousted from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.” Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker, the pastor who was ousted shared some reflections and an update on his blog writing, “Less Room in the LCMS Brotherhood.”

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of its weekly chat, “Vacationing From or With Social Media,” which was moderated last week by Jason Chesnut.

Beth Lewis wrote and shared about, “Mobile Devices & Worship: It’s not if, but when and how!” Definitely check this out and see what you think.

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Exciting news came last week about how the “Every Child Achieves Act (is) a big win for arts education.”

Anne Loehr shared an important look at the future (and perhaps even current) workforce in writing and sharing about, “A National Survey of the Freelance Workforce: America, Meet Your Future Workforce.”

Tom Murphy at The Humanosphere shared some “News in the Humanosphere: Countries strike a deal at Financing for Development conference.”

Friend and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared, “Follow the Money: real stories of how open data can change lives.”

Julian Stodd wrote and shared, “Tall Tales in the Woods: Tempo of Storytelling.”

With thoughts to ponder about leadership and cross-sector collaboration, Dick Meyer wrote, “Mr. President, on behalf of an ungrateful nation, thank you.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Brian Dodd shared a list of “17 Leadership Quotes and Lessons from Ant Man the Movie.” 

Stefanie asked, “How Much Is Your Time Worth?

Dan Rockwell shared a few great leadership posts. Among these were a list of “12 Ways to Quickly Energize Your Environment,” as well as a reflection to “Find Better Answers- Ask Better Questions,” and “10 Words of Advice for Advice Givers.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth shared leadership and vocational reflections in “Leadership and Flying.”

Tanveer Naseer shared a guest post by Marlene Chism who wrote that, “Leadership Is About Alignment.” Tanveer also wrote and asked, “Are You Creating Purpose Through Your Leadership?

Steve Keating asked, “Do Your People Know How to Succeed?

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

Bob Tiede shared a guest post by Henna Inam featuring, “Three Questions Authentic Leaders Ask.” The questions to ask or ponder are: Who are you being right now? What’s happening around you? And, which parts of you will serve the greatest good in this moment?

My mother-in-law shared this article written by Gary Hamel detailing “The 15 Diseases of Leadership, According to Pope Francis.”

Julian Stodd wrote about “The Leadership We Need.”

Molly Page at Thin Difference shared about Victor Prince and Mike Figliuolo in “Lead Inside the Box.”

Millennials

Jon Mertz at Thin Difference asked, “Can You Wait Nine Years?” Thought is given to having a big mission, big preparation, big work, big faith and big community.

Jean Case shared thoughts about “Millennials And the Power of Influence.”

Neighbor Love

Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Eric Barreto wrote and shared, “All the Charlestons: We Press On for Justice.”

For the good news story of the week of neighbor love in action read, “Teen Tweets Homeless Man’s Hand-Written Resume to Help Him Land Work.”

"A Fuller Flock" by Vonda Drees
“A Fuller Flock” by Vonda Drees

Friend, blogger and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These posts included: “lighten up, fear“; “holy camo“; “reflecting on the life and witness of Sandra Bland“; “a fuller flock“; “at the foot of the cross“; “serve from the soul“; and “love and beauty.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth wrote “Human Being.”

Kayla Koterwski wrote and shared, “Here I Stand, I Cannot Do Otherwise- God Help Us, Amen.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Aaron Fuller wrote honestly and openly wrestling with their terrible tragedy and hate that was unleashed in Chattanooga last week in “Violence & Hatred: When Prayer Isn’t Enough.” Within this Aaron writes, “we can longer pick and choose when we decide to speak out when violence and hatred drop on our doorstep.” I agree. Aaron also wrote and shared, “Taking Stock of the Week: Grace in the midst of Violence, Hatred, Anger and ‘Disney Church.'” (Aaron, I think you and I should plan on attending the next youth gathering together since we both have never attended one and see what it is like in person.)

Rachel Held Evans wrote that, “For the sake of the gospel, drop the persecution complex.”

Friend, pastor and Ph.D. student Mandy Brobst-Renaud wrote and shared about “The Compassion of Desperation.”

My wife Allison preached this past weekend on Proverbs 8, and shared her sermon and reflections about how “Wisdom takes her stand.” Within this Allison writes, “Wisdom ‘takes her stand’ – at the crossroads, beside the gates of town, the gates of the city. Maybe she’s inviting us to see the crossroads at which we stand, within us. What does it feel like at that crossroad?You’re at one. I know you are. I’m at my own too. What does it feel like to stand there? Know that you stand at the same place as Wisdom.” Go and read the whole sermon. It’s fantastic, and I’m not just saying that because I am married to Allison.

Pastor and blogger Clint Schnekloth shared, “A Lutheran Pastor Reads the Pope’s Encyclical: On Care for Our Common Home, Part II.”

Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Matthew Skinner shared this neighbor love story about how President “Obama Commutes Sentences for 46 Drug Offenders.”

Jorge Ramos wrote, “Enough with the myths, insults and nonsense.”

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared this great video about “Catholic social teaching.”

Social Media & Blogging

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

Friend, blogger and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes also shared some great links with his “Weekend Reading.”

Stewardship

If you or your congregation is planning a stewardship campaign, have you considered how you might use digital and social media? Check out these ideas from Betsy Schwarzentraub and the Ecumenical Stewardship Center about “Going Digital With Your Stewardship Campaign.”

COMPASS continued its July series reflecting on gift giving in the spirit of “Christmas in July” with a post about Planned Giving and Millennials by Nicole Brennan.

Also as part of that theme on the COMPASS blog, I shared some reflections about “Why I Give.” In sharing my thoughts I wonder, why do you give?

Friend and “Classy Frugalist” Grace Duddy Pomroy, shares thoughts about student loans, finances and life in “Handling the Unexpected.”

Derrick Carpenter shared about “The Science Behind Gratitude (and how it can change your life).”

Vocation

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared thoughts and reflections about “How to Age.”

Friends Will and Katie continued their adventures by taking time at Iona Abbey in Scotland. Will shared some wonderful reflections which I hope you check out in “The Clamor of Silence.”

My friend Megan and her group Lemolo shared exciting news and schedule of their “National Summer Tour.” Check out the schedule and plan to come and enjoy their music. (I am bummed that I will be missing their Minneapolis concert by a matter of a few days because of moving, but hope to hear the group back in the Pacific Northwest.)

Miscellaneous

Family at Disney Land
Family at Disneyland- Happy Birthday Disneyland!

If you like flying, especially on themed planes, check out this story about “Flying on EVA Air’s Hello Kitty 777-300ER,” by David Parker Brown.

Friend and blogger Tim Chalberg provided a couple more updates on the Seattle Mariners. First, Tim wrote sadly for Mariners fans like me (and him) that a “Forgettable First Half Suggests Forgettable Second Half.” Tim also shared that, “Peterson’s Struggles point to organizational blindspot.”

This past week Disneyland celebrated its 60th birthday. Happy Birthday Disneyland!

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

Image Credits: The Links; Pope Francis; and “a fuller flock.”

This Week’s Links

Internet1Tuesday on the blog means that I get to share some links to what I have found interesting and thought provoking over the past week with all of you. To make sense of all of these links, I have grouped them by the following categories: 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

If you are preparing for worship or giving a sermon this coming weekend, check out these reflections based on the revsied common lectionary appointed readings from Bishop Michael Rinehart on “Pentecost 8B,” as well as from friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis on “The Dew of Compassion,” and also, “Pentecost 8B: Compassion and Need,” from Rev. Dr. David Lose

If you are following or using the Narrative Lectionary (like I am currently), check out this commentary on “Proverbs 8:1-11, 22-36,” by friend and professor Rev. Dr. Kathryn Schifferdecker

Jan Edmiston reflected about “The Difficult Truth About Creating the Future Church.”

Friend and blogger J.W. Wartick shared “John Wesley’s Directions for Singing Hymns.”

It’s a very good week when Rick Steves makes the links. Check out this post about filming at some of the Reformation sites in, “Martin Luther’s Been Kidnapped!

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of its weekly chat moderated by Meredith Gould, “Celebrating 4 Years of Chatting about Social Media.”

My cousin Kimber shared reflections and pondering in “How it all began,” a life and journey in cross-cultural ministry.

The time has come. This week about 30,000 Lutherans are gathering in Detroit for the ELCA National Youth Gathering, which you can watch and follow along. Regarding the Youth Gathering, Todd Buegler writes, “A Church that Steps Out.” To follow along with the fun, learning and excitement of the gathering, follow on Twitter here, here or with the hashtag #RiseUpELCA.

Friend Megan Hansen shared, “Recovering Reverend: You can take the pastor out of the church, but you can’t take the Church out of the pastor,” by Derrick Weston.

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Tom Murphy at The Humanosphere asked a great question that leaders, stewards, and donors wonder, “Why can’t we track money pledged for disaster relief?

MLK Jr. National Historic Site mural
At one of the USA’s important national historic sites, the MLK Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, Georgia.

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared, “Education Apocalypse- Junior Achievement for Kindergartners.”

For those of you like me who love visiting National Parks and National Monuments, Julie Hirschfeld Davis shared news that 3 New National Monuments were established by President Obama.

Anne Loehr asked and shared, “How Do Generations Impact Teamwork?

Jon Mertz shared this helpful post about remote work by Chantal Bechervaise about, “RV Travelers: Working From the Road.”

I share this detailed essay about “The Really Big One,” by Kathryn Schulz because it is fascinating and a good synopsis of what I learned in science growing up, but also in college geology courses. I share this also in this section, in the hope that the different sectors of society come together and with whatever time there is until the “Really Big One” hits, more will be done proactively to prepare structures, people, cities and communities. There is great work to be done, and I think it is possible to do a lot of good. The only question is, is there time and a willingness to spend now in an effort to not spend as much (in lives, deficits, destruction) after it hits and changes the face of the Pacific Northwest forever?

Julian Stodd shared this perspective about organizations and social leadership, “All of it: not just the tasty bits.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Julian Stodd wrote about “The Leadership We Need.”

Brian Dodd shared a list of “12 Practices of Highly Successful Leaders who attract other leaders to your organization.”

Justin Irving shared about the leadership practice of “Providing Accountability.”

Will Yakowicz shared “Leadership Lessons from a True Renaissance Man,” explaining about “How Cosimo de’ Medici used a style known as ‘multivocal leadership’ to get people to work together and bring out their strengths.” Some of the highlighted insights include: speak team members’ language; know what drives your employees; and be aware of your weaknesses.

Tanveer Naseer asked and shared, “Are You Creating Purpose through your Leadership?

Dan Forbes and Lead with Giants shared a guest post by Mark Fernandes about “Values Based Leadership- An Aligned Life.”

S. Chris Edmonds wrote that, “Great Leaders Manage People’s Energy & Their Contributions.”

Dan Rockwell explained about “How to Focus on What Really Matters.”

Last fall, Saga Briggs shared a list of “25 Things Skilled Learners Do Differently.” What do you think of this list? What might you add?

Ron Edmondson shared, “7 Reasons I Need to Regularly Exercise as a Leader.” The 7 reasons Ron lists that you may relate with are: forced down time; physical health; mental stimulation; longevity; maximum effectiveness; eat with less worry; and stress reduction.

Selfie Stick
Selfie Stick

Lolly Daskal shared, “69 Simple Ways to Unleash Your Full Leadership Potential.”

Achim Nowak reflected about “How We Have Institutionalized Rudeness.”

Over at Thin Difference, Molly Page asked, “Do You Lead with a Selfie Stick?” If you do lead with a selfie stick you might operate by these rules: don’t wait, get it done now; don’t ask for help, go it alone; don’t trust, protect what’s yours; don’t mentor, just do it yourself; and don’t surrender control, get the perfect shot.

Millennials

Jeremy Chandler at Thin Difference shared, “5 Foolproof Ways to Effectively Lead Millennials.” Jeremy’s “universal laws” for leading Millennials are: define clear expectations and outcomes, then let us work; don’t just tell us what to do, teach us how to think; tell us what we’re doing right, not just things we need to improve; help us transform our everyday work to a bigger vision; show us how our current work is setting us up for future success.

Brigid Schulte wrote about “How this Millennial learned to keep her work at work and finally go on that date night with her husband.”

Kristi at Young Adult Money shared “3 Misconceptions of Millennials.” The misconceptions which Kristi reflects on and responds to are: we have an unhealthy obsession with social media; we are lazy and feel entitled to what we haven’t earned; and we are narcissistic and don’t care about helping others. What do you think of these misconceptions and their responses?

Neighbor Love

Friend, blogger and pastor Diane Roth shared “Fear Itself.”

Jesse James DeConto wrote that the “Activist who took down Confederate flag drew on her faith and on new civil rights awakening.”

My wife Allison shared this thought provoking post and reflection from Christina Embree pondering, “Who Needs God Anymore?

"The Impulse of God's Love" by Vonda Drees
“The Impulse of God’s Love” by Vonda Drees

Robert Christian shared about “Pope Francis’ Most Important Speech: A Radical Call for Change” in the Millennial Journal.

Blogger, writer and pastor Clint Schnekloth shared some “Things I’ve Learned about My Whiteness This Summer.”

Friend, blogger and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These included: “the impulse of God’s love“; “so much green“; “eternal questions“; “love“; “We are not alone“; “community of creation“; and “black fire on white fire.”

RJ Grunewald reflected about “Work, Mondays, and the Theology of the Cross.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Erik Gronberg shared some remarks and memories about “Uncle Al.”

Lindsey Paris-Lopez shared some neighbor love themed reflections in writing and explaining, “Celebrating Interdependence: why I don’t celebrate the false notion of independence.” What do you think?

My cousin Erin Parks shared this post from Alanna Vagianos, “Watch Young Women Destroy Gender-Based Barriers #LikeAGirl in Under 3 Minutes.”

On this blog I also shared some reflections about the “Challenges of Love.”

Friend, pastor and Ph.D. student Mandy Brobst-Renaud reflected about “The Problem with Power.”

Social Media & Blogging

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

Uttoran Sen wrote, “Never Fear Google Again: The Smart Person’s Guide to Guest Blogging.”

Friend, blogger and communications strategist Carrie Gubsch shared this post by Pamela Wilson about “The 3-Step Journey of a Remarkable Piece of Content.”

Stewardship

Stefanie asked, “Is Increased Income a Threat to My Financial Goals?

In The Chronicle of Philanthropy Rebecca Koenig & Meredith Myers shared and detailed about, “A Mismatch Between Need and Affluence.” One of the major insights in this is that, “American communities with high standards of living often have low charitable giving rates.”

Over on the COMPASS blog, the July series on gift giving continued with a guest post by Nicole Brennan who wrote and shared, “Planned Giving… it IS for Millennials, too!

Vocation

Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared some “Tuesday Tea Time,” as well as some reflection about “Heart.”

Friend, mentor and professor Dr. Terri Elton shared about “Parenting College Students.”

Friend and blogger Angel shared an update in “Six months later…

Miscellaneous

In a smile worthy story, a 108-year-old Mariners fan threw out the first pitch over the weekend, becoming the oldest person to ever throw out a first pitch.

In other Mariners news, friend and blogger Tim Chalberg shared about the return of Jesus Montero.

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That will conclude this week’s edition. As always, if you have things to include in future editions, or topics for me to think about on the blog, please let me know. Until next time, thank you for reading and being part of the conversation! Blessings on your week. -TS

Image Credits: The Links; Selfie Stick; and “The Impulse of God’s Love.”

Challenges of Love

The following is a message I shared during the Matins service at Woodlake Lutheran Church on Wednesday August 8th. The texts that we read from were: Song of Solomon 2:10-13, 8:6-7, and 1 John 4:7-21

Challenges of Love

Grabbing a quick bite to eat as newlyweds
This happened almost 5 years ago now

Five years… for some of you that might seem like a sprinkle of sand in the hour glass. But for me at least, that’s still a good length of time. You see, just about a month from now, Allison and I will be celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary. Whoever thought we would spend our first five years of marriage in Minnesota, and then get sent back to Washington for internship? God is funny like that.

I am thinking about this today, because I believe at the core of who we are and what we do, is love. All who love are born of God, and know God, because God is love as we just were reminded.

I think we know about how God loves us, but I think we forget to what deep extent we are loved. We are so loved, like Solomon writes that God wants us to, “Arise, and come away…” We are reminded too that “love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave.”

You might be wondering why on earth I chose this passage from Song of Solomon- well it chose me. It’s the preaching text for the first weekend in August when I preach next. Thanks to Pastor Fred I will get to potentially preach on racism (as I did last month) and sexuality this summer, which is a big part of the themes in Song of Solomon. I wonder, do you think Pastor Fred is trying to push me, or just laugh at his good luck for avoiding a couple important but somewhat tough texts and topics? Ah well, whatever the case may be…

In thinking about these texts, they speak to the beauty of love, but also especially the challenges of love. Love is not something simple, easily understood, or something always of peace. Sometimes love is complicated, and causes a little conflict in the short term, like finding out someone you love is moving (or perhaps that you will be moving).

Imagine you have a child who just got married and will be moving some distance away, kind of like the whole “come away” theme in the passage of the Song of Solomon reading. Would you be happy for your child? Or would you be a little sad? Perhaps you would be a little angry or grumpy with their new spouse or partner?

In our first year of marriage, I thought for sure that many in Allison’s family didn’t like me because we moved to Minnesota instead of staying in Washington. Why would we go to Minnesota for seminary when we could stay on the west coast some wondered? Of course, the part that wasn’t understood yet, it wasn’t me who moved us out here initially. It was Allison who found this to be the best opportunity for us for our first chapter together as a married couple. Five years later, I can say, my wife is a genius and I am grateful that we have been here in the Twin Cities. We have grown deeply together, and have had to endure many of the challenges of life on our own and love, which has brought us even deeper together.

Thinking about the other passage, this passage from 1 John is sometimes used by pastors and couples in the wedding service. It’s not often that you hear the whole complexity of the passage talking about the challenges of love though. This is the passage that Allison and I gave to our uncles to preach on for our wedding. As I speak and hear the text anew today I am reminded again of how that love is not something individual, but rather something to be shared, creating a great community of love.

It is easy to say “let us love one another,” here in the community that is the church. It is an entirely different thing to have boldness, and just as God is present in this world, so are we to be. This means that we are part of the world. This means that we are commanded to love our brothers and sisters in the world. This is a hard thing, to love those you sometimes struggle to get along with. I mean, if you use the sibling imagery of brothers and sisters, I imagine that at least when growing up there were times where you might not have gotten along with a brother or sister you might have? Perhaps you see that in your kids, nephews, nieces, friends or grandkids at times? You know, the sibling rivalry thing.

I think this is a work in progress for me. For example, I love my brother dearly, and at the ground of belief and of who we are, we share many of the same beliefs, ideals, and values. However, we go about things very differently in the way we do things, and that difference is often enough to drive us both a little crazy.

Imagine then how much harder it is for us to love those who always just seem to be yelling and saying that everything is going wrong with the world right now. Or, in the political arena, loving any politician as they toss the proverbial mud around on their fellow candidates and other leaders. Or, how can we love those who murder, rape and blow things up just because they either want to, or believe that they are called to by their faith? It’s really hard to love those people.

Yet, we have this commandment that we “must love our brothers and sisters.”

These are all the brothers and sisters we share as God’s created children and God knows them, though they may not know God. We have been given the commandment to love them and through that love to model what God’s love looks like and means. We have also been commanded and called to share our stories and understanding of what it means that God loves and that we are loved.

Long story short which you already know, God’s love is unconditional. God loves- period. Anyone who tells you otherwise, missed the point of the Gospel.

Relates
Exchanging rings (with our 2 pastor uncles looking on)

So, as I think about these challenges of love, I think that on the one hand we know about love and how to love. I think we also know that it’s not always easy to love- both those we don’t get along with, and even our partners and ourselves. We are often our own worst critics, which really puts things in perspective when we are commanded in the gospels to “love our neighbors as ourselves” doesn’t it?

Since I started by mentioning Allison’s and my fifth anniversary coming up, I suppose I should close with that. What have I learned in five years of marriage? That I am still learning, that I don’t always get things right, yet even when I mess-up Allison still loves me. I’m excited to see what happens when she is serving her internship and we spend our next year, our first year as a married couple, back in Washington. It will be different to be closer to family. It will be good on the one hand, but being closer to family can also be a challenge at times which I am sure you can all relate to.

We’ll see how it goes. But I am assured of this, I know how much Allison loves me, forgives me, and accepts me with all my faults, gifts, hopes and likes (some of which she certainly doesn’t share)… I am grateful for that.

I am also grateful and believe that, even though we all love and are loved deeply by many important people in our lives, God loves each of us that much more. You are loved because God says so. Amen.

This Week’s Links

Internet1Tuesday on the blog means that I get to share some of what I have found interesting over the past week with all of you. Because of the Independence Day holiday weekend in the United States, the links are a little later than usual today, but better late than never. To help make sense of them, they are grouped by the categories: 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

For those preparing for this coming weekend’s worship service and/or sermon, I have a few resources which might be helpful. First, for those of you using and following the Revised Common Lectionary, Bishop Michael Rinehart shared thoughts and reflections about “Pentecost 7B.” Additionally, friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis shared thoughts about “Power Potentials,” and Rev. Dr. David Lose shared about “A Tale of Two Kingdoms.” Check out all of these RCL inspired reflections.

For those of you using the Narrative Lectionary, check out this commentary and introduction to the four week series on Old Testament Wisdom and Poetry, a “Commentary on Proverbs 1:1-7; 3:1-8,” by friend and professor Rev. Dr. Kathryn Schifferdecker.

Rebekah Simon-Peter asked, “Does Your Church Dream Like Jesus?

I am excited to announce and share that friend, professor and adviser Rev. Dr. Matthew Skinner has updated his website. You should definitely check it out and see what he is up to.

John Pavlovitz shared a list of “6 Ways Christians Lost This Week.”

Dani Haffernan shared news that “Transgender man, Asher O’Callaghan, (was) ordained by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

For those preparing for the ELCA Youth Gathering this month, check out this story from The Detroit News by Mark Hicks about how “Lutheran Youth Gathering will draw thousands to Detroit.” Also, Todd Buegler shared a helpful list of “10 Tips for a Great ELCA Youth Gathering.”

Bishop Michael Rinehart shared pictures from the “Installation of Pastor (and friend) Rachel Ringlaben as Mission Developer.”

Bishop Mike Rinehart also shared ideas and tips for “Recruiting Small Group Leaders.”

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of its weekly Twitter chat which last week was moderated by friend and pastor David Hansen, and included discussion and conversation about “What’s So Funny? Chatting about Humor and Faith.”

Thom Rainer shared a list of “Seven Key Reasons Your Church Attendance May be Declining.”

Looking up in awe at the National Cathedral (on one of our trips to Washington D.C.)
Looking up in awe at the National Cathedral (on one of our trips to Washington D.C.)

Pastor and blogger Erik Parker shared interesting reflections and perspectives “On Being an iPhone Pastor for a Typewriter Church.” Check this out, as there are great ministry ideas and observations, as well as those particularly about engaging Millennials among others.

Nicholas Fandos shared sobering news about the “National Cathedral’s Repair Work: Finials, Finance and Faith.”

Dr. Norma Cook Everist shared words that she had written nearly two decades ago, which are sadly still true and poignant today about “The Burning of Black Churches.”

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Linda Hernandez shared the great news about California residents and organizations stepping up (across societal sectors) in response to the epic drought writing that “California residents slash water use, exceeding all expectations.”

Niraj Chokshi shared maps and updates on “The state of broadband in the states.”

Blogger and social leadership writer and theorist Julian Stodd shared reflections about “Engagement and Silence,” with good thoughts about the importance of listening.

Shep Hyken shared some “Customer Service Lessons from Walt Disney.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Congratulations are in order for Drucker School of Management professor Bernard Jaworski who won an award for the “most significant contribution to marketing theory.”

I came across this post from last November by Lolly Daskal explaining that “The Best Leaders are Critical Thinkers.”

Tanveer Naseer shared three ideas for “Bringing Out the Best in Those You Lead.”

Dr. Margaret Benefiel shared, “3 Leadership Lessons St. Francis Taught me from his failures.”

Dan Rockwell shared a list of “13 Challenges All Coaching-Managers Face.”

Anne Loehr wrote and provided a “Portrait of a Future Leader,” in sharing, “Welcome to the Workplace.” There is good stuff here not only within leadership, but also with implications for Millennials as well.

Jim LaDoux
Jim LaDoux

Steve Keating asked and pondered, “How Much is Your Credibility Worth?

Amy Edmondson wrote, “Get Rid of Unhealthy Competition on Your Team.”

Friend Jim LaDoux wrote that, “Moving from mediocrity to excellence requires individuals and teams to be more nimble and adaptive.” Check out more of his thoughts on “Nimble folks and agile teams,” shared by the LEAD blog.

Back in January Dorie Clark shared about “Learning How to Become a Leader.”

Richard Branson shared his “top 10 quotes on communication.”

Jesse Lyn Stoner shared a guest post by Les Hayman titled, “What I Wish I Knew as a CEO that I learned later in HR.”

Justin Irving shared about the leadership practice of “Supporting and Resourcing Followers.”

In a story that makes perfect sense to me because I take notes usually by hand, Joseph Stromberg wrote about “Why you should take notes by hand- not on a laptop.

Cynthia Bazin shared a great set of additional leadership links in “The Best of Lead with Giants- July 2015.”

Thin Difference shared a guest post by Cristian Renella about “Working Without Bosses, Meetings, or Offices.”

Millennials

Jon Mertz at Thin Difference wrote and shared about, “Influence: Giving and Leading Across Generations.

Michelle Silverthorn reflected and wondered, “Will Millennial Women Seek Leadership?

Kathryn Tuggle shared, “3 Reasons Baby Boomers and Millennials Are More Alike Than Anyone Wants to Admit.” Reasons include: they both want to be heard and respected; they both want to make a difference; and they both see themselves as “rebels” and hate their stereotypes. What do you think?

In probably no surprise to many Millennials, Zoe Henry writes that “The Biggest Reason Most Americans (and especially Millennials) are Losing Sleep,” is… student debt.

Kathryn Dill shared a countdown of “The Best Cities for Millennials in 2015.”

Neighbor Love

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth shared a pastoral reflection “In Memory of Jean” as well as some vocational and ministry observations and “Early Lessons.”

Friend and musician Stephanie Johnson shared about “A legacy of growth and inclusiveness.”

"look!" by Vonda Drees and inspired by a quote from Mary Oliver
“look!” by Vonda Drees and inspired by a quote from Mary Oliver

Guy Nave wrote and shared, “Charleston killings: reflections of an AME minister.”

Friend, blogger and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts, including: “ja ja ji ji jo jo“; “The Sacred evokes…“; “expect beauty“; “Look!“; “Jesus moments“; and “bliss-guided behavior.”

Friend and intern pastor Chris Michaelis shared his sermon that he preached this past weekend based on Ephesians 1, “In(ter)dependence.”

Pastor, blogger and writer Clint Schnekloth wrote and shared, “I do NOT pledge allegiance to ANY flag,” as well as pondering about “Why Do I Feel so Spiritually Out-of-Sync?

Friend, pastor and blogger Frank Johnson wrote and explained, “Why this pastor is FOR same-sex marriage,” and his wife and my friend and also a pastor and blogger, Katie Johnson shared, “Here We Go: My Confessions on Same-Sex Marriage.”

David Brooks wrote and shared about what he sees as “The Next Culture War.” I think Brooks is on to something here. What do you think?

Friend, pastor and blogger Aaron Fuller shared his sermon for this past weekend based on Psalm 146, “Rethinking praising God.” Aaron also shared a short time devotion, writing that “The Opposite of Fear Isn’t Love.”

Eric Worringer shared this paper by friend Dr. Deanna Thompson on, “Calling a Thing What it is: A Lutheran Approach to Whiteness.”

Scott Paeth wrote and shared about “Moltmann, Kelly Gissendaner, and the Death Penalty.”

Friend, professor and blogger Dr. Ron Byrnes writes that “We need fewer Pharisees and more calzones.” I couldn’t agree more!

Ron also shared this touching post on “How to Grieve.” Ron, you and your family are in our prayers here in Minnesota, but I am glad and happy to read your conclusion that, “‘Death,’ Rohr writes, ‘is largely a threat to those who have not yet lived their life.’ Carol Byrnes and JSwanson lived full lives. May you and I do the same.” Thank you for sharing this!

Rozella White shared, “A Word of Gratitude.”

Friend and Ph.D. student Sara Wilhelm Garbers shared a recent sermon she preached on “Living Courageously.”

Friend and program director of hunger education, Ryan Cumming, wrote and shared, “Charleston, SCOTUS and Hunger: What a Week!

Social Media & Blogging

Berne Borges shared a list of “50 Must-Read Blogs on Content Marketing, Social Media, and the Intersect of All Things Digital- Docurated.”

Birch & Raven shared reflections in “Why I Blog.”

DC at Young Adult Money shared some “Lessons Learned from 3 Years of Blogging.” Congrats on three years of the blog!

Stewardship

DC at Young Adult Money also shared, “5 Financial Goals Everyone Should Work Towards,” as well as this post by Erin explaining, “Why You Need More Than One Source of Income.”

Christmas in July
Christmas in July

The COMPASS blog shared its introductory post to its July theme of “Christmas in July- Gift Giving.” Check out the post and see if you might have some story or thoughts to add to the conversation and shared learning.

COMPASS also closed out its June topic focus of “Summer Fun on a Budget,” with thoughts on traveling on budget in “One For the Road,” by Amanda Garcia.

Stefanie shared a post by Jamey Hood on “How Grief Has Shattered My Budget.”

Vocation

Friend, professor and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared some thoughts and links about “Parenting College Students.” If you are a parent of college students or will be soon, you should definitely spend some time with this.

Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared her usual weekly installments of “Tuesday Tea Time,” “Friday Favorites,” and “Sunday Snippets.

I shared some life and vocational updates and reflections in “Towards Approval (and answering a kind man’s question).”

Friends Will and Katie continued their year of adventure in traveling to “London!

Miscellaneous

Friend, math teacher and Mariners blogger Tim Chalberg shared “(Chris) Taylor Up, (Willie) Bloomquist Gone.”

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That will conclude this week’s edition of the links. I hope you have enjoyed them! As always, if you have things that you would like me to include in the links, please let me know. Also, if you have a particular topic or question that you would like me to think about as the subject of a blog post, please share that as well. Until next time, thank you for reading and being part of the conversation. Blessings on your week! -TS

Image Credits: The Links“; “Jim LaDoux“; and “look!