This Week’s Links

Internet1Each week on the blog I get to share some of what I have seen, read, and found interesting and thought provoking over the past week. To help make sense of all of these links, I have grouped them by the following categories: Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Leadership Thought & Practice; Millennials; Neighbor Love; Stewardship; and Vocation. I hope you enjoy these links!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

For those of you preparing for worship or a sermon for this coming weekend, and following the revised common lectionary, spend some time with this post, “On Seeing Yourself,” by friend and professor Dr. Karoline Lewis, which focuses especially on the gospel passage from Mark 9:38-50. Also, check out Bishop Michael Rinehart’s thoughts and reflections about, “Pentecost 18B.”

For those following the Narrative Lectionary, Vanessa Lovelace shares thoughts on the focus text of Genesis 32:22-30.

Bishop Michael Rinehart also shared, “Five Practices: Radical Hospitality.”

Robert Christian at The Millennial Journal shared, “5 Reasons Pope Francis is Calling for Action on Climate Change.”

Blogger and pastor Clint Schnekloth pondered and explained, “Why Nadia?” Within this Clint writes, “Nadia Bolz-Weber. The wrong person in whom God keeps showing up. And that’ll preach.” See all of what Clint thinks. What do you think?

Hannah Jones details about “Shepherd of the Lake’s new chapter,” as Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church in Prior Lake, Minnesota celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Friend, professor, and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared these “5 Ways to Incorporate Your Mission Trip into your Fall Schedule,” compiled by Sam Townsend. The ways that are unpacked include: teach it; stay connected; incorporate service; keep processing; and keep sharing stories.

Blogger and pastor Jan Edmiston shares about some great new resources for children based on the narrative and revised common lectionary, in “For the Love of God, Grab a Crayon.”

J. Aaron Simmons continues his thoughts he began sharing last week, writing about, “Seven Things I Wish All Pastors Knew About Academics – Part 2.”

The music group Lost and Found announced that they will have “Two Final All-Request Online Shows,” before they end their run. Definitely check this out, as you don’t want to miss your last time getting to enjoy their unique songs and great messages.

Allison and I together with our Research in Religion Class with Dr. Torvend
A picture from one of my favorite classes at PLU, with Dr. Torvend.

Eddie McCoven detailed the challenges and changes of identity facing religious colleges, especially Lutheran ones, specifically detailing Pacific Lutheran University’s (PLU) recent experiences, writing, “Losing our religion.” As part of this story, friend and PLU professor and mentor, Dr. Samuel Torvend is interviewed.

Leadership Thought & Practice

Friend, blogger, and communications strategist Carrie Gubsch shared this post by Gretchen Rubin, who wrote, “Want to Be Happier and More Productive at Work? Consider These Factors.”

Dan Rockwell wrote a number of interesting and thought provoking reflections about leadership over the past week, including: “The Principle of the Rope“; “Most Feedback Begins in the Wrong Place“; and “Why Leaders Don’t Listen.”

Michael Hyatt shared a guest post by John C. Maxwell, explaining “The Most Important Question a Leader Can Ask.”

Julian Stodd shared some more thoughts about the social age and change in writing, “Eat. Sleep. Change. Repeat.” Julian also wrote and shared about, “Tacit and Tribal Knowledge: Socially Moderated Sense Making.”

Steve Keating reflected about “The Importance of Recognition.”

Justin Irving wrote and explained that, “Busy = The Enemy of Strategic Leadership.” What do you think?

Ted Bauer shared, “Some simple ways to run better meetings.”

Dan Forbes shared a guest post by Karen Kimsey-House, which featured and unpacked, “Co-Active Lessons from the Cosmo(s).”


Bill Murphy Jr. shared about, “23 Ways to Improve Your Life by Working Like a Millennial.”

Heidi Oran offered some great vocational and life reflections about job dilemmas and decisions which face everyone, especially Millennials right now, writing over at Thin Difference. Heidi wrote, “The Job Dilemma- How to Pick Your Path.”

Also at Thin Difference, Jon Mertz shared an essay on attending the Business Innovation Factory (BIF) Summit, writing, “Innovate or Fritter: A Story of Life.”

Neighbor Love

My wife Allison gave her first sermon on internship this past weekend, and has since shared it on her blog as, “A sermon in which I didn’t have to say Washington after Tacoma.” Definitely check out her reflections. I’m still sitting with this line, “Because if you miss the risk to be yourself, you might just miss the chance to see the fullness of God working in you.” I think that’s quite profound, and I’m not just saying that because I’m her husband.

RJ Grunewald wrote that, “Theology is for Mondays.”

"Spirit of Dance" by Vonda Drees.
“Spirit of Dance” by Vonda Drees.

Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These posts included: “immortal diamond“; “Ring the bells!“; “lovestruck… unconditional belonging“; “Spirit of Dance“; and “art and experience.”

Jenny Glick reported about Lutheran World Relief in writing that the, “Baltimore-Based World Relief Organization (is) helping Refugees in Europe.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Aaron Fuller shared, “What my brief Facebook exile taught me,” a follow-up and more thoughts built up on his thoughts from last week about, “Signs of the Apocalypse.”

Andee Zomerman wrote and shared, “I learned Why Christian? and It Had Nothing to do with the Conference.”

Friend and stewardship director, Adam Copeland, shared about, “Living Vulnerably in a Culture of Fear.”

The Fall 2015 edition of Dialog: A Journal of Theology has been released, and to celebrate they have made this article on “Economy and Grace: A Defense of Human Capital,” by Else Marie Wiberg Pedersen accessible for free this month.

Pastor and blogger Timothy Brown wrote and shared, “A Midrash: Jesus and the Little Brown Boy who Makes Clocks from Mark 9.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Frank Johnson shared a recent sermon based on Genesis 18 and 21, “Loving strangers: even when it’s every tent for one’s self.”

Pastor, blogger, and writer Clint Schnekloth wrote about, “The self-righteousness of being wrong -or- On not conforming to ‘the world.'”


Over on the COMPASS blog I shared a post as part its September series focused on the challenges of talking about faith and finances, “Talking about Faith and Finances during Life Transitions.” I shared a quick overview sample of the post here as well.

Kristi at Young Adult Money pondered about, “How Often Should Couples Discuss Finances?

Janice Kaplan wrote that, “For World Gratitude Day, try to see the good in life.”


That one time when on tour with the Choir of the West in Eastern Europe, and finding a 1-story high poster for your concert in Romania.
That one time when on tour with the Choir of the West in Eastern Europe, and finding a 1-story high poster for your concert in Romania.

Congratulations are in order for Pacific Lutheran University’s The Choir of the West, and its director, my friend and professor, Dr. Richard Nance, as the Choir of the West has been ranked #6 in the world among all mixed choirs by the INTERKULTUR World Rankings. (For those of you unfamiliar with choral music, this is a big deal.)

Congratulations are also in order for cousin Sarah Van De Velde, who was elected to be the vice president of the North Dakota Emergency Management Association.

In the spirit of congratulations, there is more to go around still. Congratulations and blessings are in order for friends and recently ordained now (finally) pastors Katie and Will. Will shared some thoughts on their recent time in Taize, France.

Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared her regular “Tuesday Tea Time,” with life and vocational themed updates and reflections.

Terri Gleich beautifully detailed about friend Kristen Peterson, writing about, “Breaking the silence on reproductive disorder,” MRKH.

Friend, pastor, and blogger Diane Roth shared some life and vocational reflections and updates in “Double Minded.”

Sharing the question that all people have pondered about PLU since they started being called the Lutes (and yes, I claim to happily be a Lute and to answer this question when asked), university president Dr. Thomas Krise pondered and shared, “‘What’s a Lute?’ – Go Lutes Edition.”

Friend, blogger, and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared a post you have to check out because of the title alone, “Looking for Love- Introducing the Romantic Love Score.”

Sandy Dunham shared the story of another PLU professor, Greg Youtz, writing how, “PLU Music Professor Plays Instrumental Role in Chinese President’s Visit to Tacoma.”


That concludes this 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 “Spirit of Dance.”

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