Each 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; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought & Practice; Millennials; Neighbor Love; Social Media & Blogging; Vocation; and Miscellaneous. I hope you enjoy these links!
Church and Ministry Thought & Practice
I have some links for those of you preparing for worship or writing a sermon for this weekend. For those following the revised common lectionary, Bishop Michael Rinehart shares some links about “Advent 2C” and digs specifically into the concept of “The Messenger.” Rev. Dr. David Lose shared and reflected, “Advent 2C: Audacious Historians.”
Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis looks especially at the gospel text, Luke 3:1-6. Karoline wrote about “The Being of Salvation.” Karoline also wrote elsewhere, digging into the refugee crisis and thinking about this text, writing, “Selective Salvation in a Fear-Filled World (Luke 3:1-6).”
If you are following the narrative lectionary, Michael Chan wrote this helpful “Commentary on Isaiah 40:1-11.”
Ronald Brownstein shed some light on “How America’s Demographic Revolution Reached The Church.”
Friend, blogger, and Executive Director of The Mennonite, Hannah Heinzekehr, compiled “An Advent Playlist.” Check out the playlist and enjoy it as part of your Advent journey of preparation and waiting. Among the songs included in the list are: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”; “Creator of the Stars of Night”; “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus”; “Comfort, Comfort O My People”; “Canticle of the Turning”; and “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord.” There are many other great songs, so be sure and listen to them all.
Social leadership theorist and blogger Julian Stodd wrote about, “The 3 Levels of Narrative: Co-Created Stories,” and “The Organizational Story“; as well as “Story Flow“; “The Careful Application of Common Sense“; and shared some thoughts on “Spaces, Places, and Community.”
Leadership Thought & Practice
Faisal Hoque highlighted, “5 Habits of Truly Disruptive Leaders.” The habits noted include: that they relentlessly pursue the truth; they guide others through chaos; they’re decisive; they break the rules and write new ones- but always explain why; and they thrive on uncertainty.
Earlier this fall, Monika Hamori, Burak Koyuncu, Jie Cao, and Thomas Graf published this look in the MIT Sloan Management Review at “What High-Potential Young Managers Want.”
Dan Rockwell shared what I think is a helpful list of “7 Ways to Get a Grip on Daily Life.” The ways noted include: pack your schedule; schedule transition time; don’t carry so much stuff; shorten meetings; go on short ‘gratitude walk-abouts’; eliminate tasks; and engage in service.
With Thanksgiving last week, David Hasenbalg dished up “The Thanksgiving Lessons of Leadership.”
Tiana pondered, “Why do millennials around the globe want to be leaders?”
Mel Jones shed some light on “Why So Many Minority Millennials Can’t Get Ahead.”
Tom Murphy writes that “Thanksgiving can be America at its best, or its worst.”
With Thanksgiving in her heart, Kelly Nolen wrote that she is “Grateful our state gives assistance.”
Pastor and blogger Clint Schnekloth wrote and shared, “‘Lies, damned lies, and statistics,’ and ‘You are what you share.'”
Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These posts included: “the dance of love“; “re-membering and giving thanks“; “quiet miracles“; “wholeness of creativity“; “a map begins“; “Wisdom inviting“; and an Advent themed question, “am I preparing?”
This past weekend, the season of Advent began, marking the four weekends preceding Christmas but also the beginning of a new church year. It’s a time of preparation, waiting, wondering, and centering. As we journey through Advent this year, I will be sharing daily on the blog as part of the “Advent Photo Devotional.” I encourage you to participate in this practice if it would be meaningful for you. To start the series, here are my reflections on “Prepare,” and “Royal.”
Also focused on that text from 2 Kings, friend, pastor, and blogger Frank Johnson shared his sermon, “Treasure hunts: Re-teaching ourselves what is important.”
My wife Allison is blogging weekly during Advent as part of her devotional practice this season. To kick off the series she shared some life updates, questions, and reflections, writing, “Advent Week 1: Yes, We Are Called to Hope.”
Martha Spong shared “A slender thread of hope (a prayer for pastors).”
John Pavlovitz asked a good question, “Why Do I Still Have to Explain #BlackLivesMatter to Other White People?”
In a moving must-read post, pastor Emmanuel Jackson wrote and shared, “My Story, My Voice,” a story about how he and his family are refugees. Read their story as it will situate our current national and international conversation in an important light.
Alanna Shaikh writes that, “Syrian refugees offer economic boon to host countries.”
My brother Thomas shared this important post that sheds more light on the situation by Steven Thrasher, who wrote that “The men who shot at the Minneapolis protesters want to scare all black people.”
Last week President Obama awarded the “Medal of Freedom to Billy Frank Jr. of Nisqually tribe.”
Social Media & Blogging
Stefanie O’Connell unpacked, “4 Important Truths Behind Pursuing Your Passion.” The truths unpacked include: that passion is not a starting point; it is not an end; it doesn’t dictate form; and pursuing your passion isn’t enough.
On Thanksgiving night, the Green Bay Packers hosted the Chicago Bears. At half-time that evening, Brett Favre’s number was retired by the Packers. Part of what made the night so special was the presence of Bart Starr. What you might not be aware of, were the many challenges that were undertaken to make that special moment happen. If you have some time check out this well written essay.
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, I hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving, and that your Advent season is off to a blessed start! -TS