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; 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.”

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of their weekly Twitter chat which last week focused on “Pastoral Care and Community via Social Media.”

Christina Embree wrote and explained why she believes that “Intergenerational Worship Isn’t For Kids.”

Friend, blogger, and Executive Director of The MennoniteHannah 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.

Cross-Sector Collaboration

In the on-going story that will not go away about the radio station KPLU, Bill Virgin wrote that the “KPLU Saga has many storylines beyond money.”

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared some thoughts about KPLU (and other things) in writing about “A New Philanthropy.”

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

Tanveer Naseer shared “Leadership Biz Podcast #16- Heidi Grant Halvorson On Why No One Understands You.”

Steve Keating provided some ideas on “How to Give a Compliment,” as well as asked and unpacked, “Compliance or Commitment?

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.”

Ted Coine argues that “Work-Life Balance is a Crock.” Do you agree?

What Thanksgiving looked like in our house last week.
What Thanksgiving looked like in our house last week.

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.

Justin Irving reflected about “The Power of Vision.”

With Thanksgiving last week, David Hasenbalg dished up “The Thanksgiving Lessons of Leadership.”

Thin Difference shared “Two Tricks to Improve Focus,” from Max Cron: mindful drawing and taking a walk.

Also at Thin Difference, Heidi Oran wrote about “Downtime: (and) How We Can Use It in Our Favor.”


Tiana pondered, “Why do millennials around the globe want to be leaders?

Stefanie O’Connell highlighted “7 Ways Social Media is Turning Millennials into Millionaires.”

Mel Jones shed some light on “Why So Many Minority Millennials Can’t Get Ahead.”

Neighbor Love

With Thanksgiving last week, friend, pastor, and blogger Stephanie Vos wrote that, “We Turned Thanksgiving into Fat Tuesday.”

Tom Murphy writes that “Thanksgiving can be America at its best, or its worst.”

LEAD shared a beautiful post and little reflection about “Giving Thanks!

With Thanksgiving in her heart, Kelly Nolen wrote that she is “Grateful our state gives assistance.”

Friend, pastoral associate, and blogger Stefanie Fauth-Lemke shared about “How to give thanks…

"a map begins" by Vonda Drees
“a map begins” by Vonda Drees

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.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Diane Roth reflected about “The First Day of Advent,” and “Watching, at Advent, and at Other Times,” as well as some thoughts about “What to Pray For.”

Rozella Haydee White shared openly and courageously, “#AdventUs: A Word on Birth.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Aaron Fuller shared his sermon for this past weekend based on 2 Kings 22:1-13; 23:1-3, “Our Advent observances & Kin Josiah.”

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).”

Bishop Michael Rinehart shared “Prayers for the People of Colorado Springs.”

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.”

In an update to the on-going peaceful protests in Minneapolis, friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared this post and video on the “#4thprecinctshutdown.”

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

Back in June, Beth Kanter shared about the “Future of Social: Gen Z.”


Friend and blogger Ben Tully shared about life, blogging and a new goal in “Procrastination.”

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

Image Credits: The Links and “a map begins.”


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