This Week’s Links

Internet1Happy Tuesday! 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; Stewardship; Vocation; and Miscellaneous. I hope that you enjoy these links!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

If you are preparing for worship, or writing a sermon for this coming weekend I have a few helpful links for you. First of all, if you are following the revised common lectionary, Bishop Michael Rinehart shared these thoughts on “Lent 5C.” Also, be sure and consider this perspective from friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis on “Simultaneous Smells.” For a good listen, check out the “Sermon Brainwave” podcast with friends and professors, Rev. Dr.’s Rolf Jacobson, Karoline Lewis, and Matt Skinner.

If you are following the narrative lectionary, consider this “Commentary on Mark 13:1-8, 24-37” from Micah D. Kiel. For a good listen, also check out the “Narrative Podcast” with friends and professors Rev. Dr.’s Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker.

What are you doing next Tuesday? If you are in the Vancouver or Portland area you should consider “Theology Uncorked.”

In thinking about the Prodigal Son, as well as my role as a mission developer this year, I shared this blog post at Messiah Lutheran on how “Perspective Matters.” (I have to admit, I was heavily influenced by friend and professor Karoline Lewis‘ take on “Perspective Matters” as well.)

Erik Parker wrote about, “Why Pastors Shouldn’t Work More than 40 Hours a Week – and why most do.”

Allison, me, our friend Brigitte, and Dr. Fretheim in the chapel at Luther Seminary
Allison, me, our friend Brigitte, and Dr. Fretheim in the chapel at Luther Seminary

The annual Fretheim Lecture at Luther Seminary will be held on April 19th, and be given by Dennis Olson, and will will focus on the topic, “My God, Why? The Variety of Biblical Responses to Human Suffering.”

Joseph Yoo wrote that, “Maybe Church Buildings aren’t as big a deal as we Thought.” What do you think?

Ray Waddle wrote about one of the preeminent scholars and thinkers about the church and Bible of our time in writing that, “Justo Gonzalez ’58 S.T.M. no longer alone.”

If you are looking for ways to think about faith and politics, consider this new initiative, “ELCAvotes!”

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of its weekly chat from last week which focused on the topic, “Worship and Social Media: Let’s Lent Out Loud & Worship (via Social Media).” The chat was moderated by Alan Rudnick.

In The LutheranErin Strybis wrote, “Women clergy thankful for gains, frustrated by leadership gap.”

David Gibson shared interesting news about how “Vatican newspaper essays say women should preach at Mass.”

Friend, professor, and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared this update from “The Confirmation Project” by Bryan Miller offering “Two New Portraits,” from two congregations in the mountain west region.

The E-Team, the team of leaders of the ELCA Youth Ministry Extravaganza has gone over the evaluations of the recent Extravaganza and collectively shared these “Thoughts on #Ext16 Evaluations.” The feedback will be useful in shaping next year’s Extravaganza as well as future ones beyond that as well.

Friend, pastor, and blogger Sue Lang reflected about “The Changing Face of Pastoral Visitations.”

Cross-Sector Collaboration

NWB took up the question, “Dude, what’s with this notion that nonprofits don’t have clear outcomes?

Tom Murphy at Humanosphere writes that the “U.N.’s immunity from Haiti cholera responsibility comes under challenge.”

Julian Stodd wrote and shared about, “Words About Learning: Quest(ions).”

Leadership Thought and Practice

Julian Stodd wrote and shared, “The Change Leader: Framing Change.”

Brian Dodd shared his “Top 10 Leadership Posts” from the past week as well as “5 Words a Leader Never Wants to Hear.” The 5 words are, “I Didn’t See that Coming,” as well as some other leadership teams that can blindside.

Achim Nowak asked, “What Do You Do When You Hit a Mental Wall?”

Jessica Stillman shared “6 Things Exceptionally Productive People Know (that you don’t).” The things productive people know are: who they are; where they’re going; they focus on service; they don’t ask for permission; they learn by doing; and they can laugh at themselves.

Back in December, Cameron Morrissey wrote about “Why Great Leaders Laugh.”

Dan Lee shared this perspective from David Brooks on “The Governing Cancer of Our Time.”

Tanveer Naseer shared a guest post by Matt Tenney about “How Leaders Can Develop Their Skills With One Simple Habit.”

storytellingFriend, blogger, and communications strategist Carrie Gubsch shared this piece by Patti Sanchez about, “The Ancient Storytelling Secret that Every Leader Needs to Know.”

Seth Godin wrote about “The front row culture.”

Ron Carucci highlighted, “Four Radical Leadership Practices that will dramatically increase engagement.” The leadership practices are: invest deeply; connect personally; hire for heart; and love well.

Steve Keating wrote and shared about “The Gift of Listen.”

Anne Loehr continued sharing profiles about “Five Women Shaping the Future of Work,” including profiles focusing on “Kate Kendall, CloudPeeps” and “Maria Simon, Geller Law Group.”

Dan Rockwell wrote about “Breaking the Wall that Arrogance Built.”

Marc Smith Sacks wrote about “The Importance of Care in Leadership.”

Thin Difference shared this perspective on “Why Your Superstars Cannot Stay.”


Jon Mertz at Thin Difference took up the question, “What Spaces Empower People to Collaborate?

Jon Mertz shared this post from Jon Simmons who shared, “3 smart reasons why millennials should move for a new job.” The reasons offered, include: move for money and culture; move to a city that can support your business; and move for the sense of adventure.

Jeremy Chandler at Thin Difference shared about “Why Your Community Matters More than you think.”

Jeannie Walters writes that “Obsessing over CX for Millennials Ruins It for Everyone!

My friend Brie Marie shared this post by Hillary Crosley Coker who writes that, “Millennials are Well-Educated and Paid Like ____.

Neighbor Love

My wife Allison shared her sermon, “Eye to Eye with a Prodigal Son: Where are You?” from this past weekend based on “The Prodigal Son” in Luke 15. I was particularly struck when Allison preached, “When you stumble, try and forget God, and leave home, son, you are seen. When you keep tally of wrongs, and bitterness almost eats your heart, daughter, you are seen. When you forget that you are dust, and to dust you return, child, you are seen. The giver of new life, the savior, makes beautiful things out of dust, and makes beautiful things out of us. When our eyes are closed, when our hearing is drowned out by “what ifs” and “if I only I was better”—God takes us by the face and says “You are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.” I see you. You are a beautiful thing made out of dust, and everything that I make is good.” Check out the whole sermon and see what you think.

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes, given current events, news, and politics, writes, “I’m an idiot.” If Ron’s an idiot, chances are, I am too.

Michael Miller wrote and shared heart-breaking and horrifying news, “‘They stood over him and watched him die’: Outrage in Alabama after white officer kills black man.”

In response to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, Rev. Jack Eggleston writes about “When water becomes no longer safe.”

"Water, a Fundamental Right" by Vonda Drees.
“Water, a Fundamental Right” by Vonda Drees.

Sara Sidner, Mallory Simon, and Sarah Jorgensen wrote about how emails indicate that “Michigan governor’s aides pushed for ‘urgent’ fix to Flint water crisis.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Sue Leibnitz wrote about, “The Threads of Alzheimer’s.”

Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These posts included: “water, a fundamental right“; “ahhh… little ship“; “Christ in them“; “lift every voice“; “while we’re still far off“; “new life now“; and “grace-oriented.”

I have gotten about a week behind on the Lent Photo a Day journey through Lent, but did share a couple posts inspired by it over the past week, including thoughts about a “Ruler” as well as a “Wall.”

Friend and pastor Kent Shane shared this powerful and insightful piece by Maria-Jose Soerens at Christ & Cascadia on “Why Helping Should Hurt.” Maria writes and explains that, “When it comes to assisting our neighbors, vulnerability is better than ’empowerment.'”

Hannah Mornement at Lutheran World Federation asked, “Can we talk about climate change?

Friend, blogger, and communications strategist Carrie Gubsch shared this piece from Adam Hays inviting us all to “Make a pledge to ban the ‘R-word.'” Relatedly, John Franklin Stephens writes that, “When You Choose Words, You Can Do Better Than the R-Word.”

Luz Maria Frias shares this powerful and stinging commentary on our society and institutional and systemic racism within it in writing about a thought experiment which their daughter participated in. Luz wrote, “So ‘Kristin’ gets the job, while ‘Ebony’ gets zilch.” Give this a read, it sheds an important light which we should all ponder.

Friend, blogger, and seminarian Jessica Young wrote and shared, “not a morning pray-er: reflection.”

Blogger and pastor Clint Schnekloth took up the notion that some might hold that, “Salvation Doesn’t Matter Much.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Frank Johnson shared a couple sermons and reflections over the past week, including, “Scarcity, Abundance, and the Broken Pieces,” as well as “The Widow Shows the Way” based on Mark 12:28-44.

Friend, pastor, and blogger Aaron Fuller also shared his sermon from this past weekend based on Mark 12:28-44, “Save or Savor?

Horrifying and sad news broke out of Honduras late last week as “Indigenous Leader Berta Caceres Assassinated, won Goldman Environmental Prize.”

Friend and stewardship director Adam Copeland reflected about “How to Market God.”

Social Media and Blogging

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

John R. Bell highlighted, “Two Undervalued Ways at Having a Better Social Media Brand.” The two undervalued factors which John highlights are clear brand positioning and strategic driven content.


During March the COMPASS blog is taking up the conversation about debt and how to manage it. I wrote the introduction post to the series, and I hope you check it out and join the conversation. This month COMPASS will host it’s first ever live video conversation on the month’s topic, so check out the post for that information as well.

I came across this post from last summer by Samuel Ramos who pondered, “You can lead a volunteer to giving, but can you make them give?


Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared her weekly dose of life and vocational insights with her “Tuesday Tea Time” last week, as well as her dose for today and this week, in which she reflects on youth ministry, the announced closure of Youth Encounter and more.

Tom Kornblit shared “5 Things I Learned in SE Asia,” which I think makes for an interesting read about vocation, self-discovery, and even travel.

Friend, pastor, and blogger Diane Roth reflected about the idea of being a “Stranger in a Strange Land.”

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 Allison and I on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University, the home of the Lutes.

On Friday, Dr. Darrell Jodock will speak to “Lutes about inspiring racial justice through the Lutheran tradition.”

Friend and fellow Lute, Emily Barker was quoted in this story from the Twin Cities by Frank Jossi, “Sustainable: Recycling mandatory at commercial properties.”

Friend and fellow religion major and Lute, Kate Fontana was recently profiled by PLU. Check out this inspiring profile.


Friend and fellow Lute, Emily Shane shared this look at “15 Unique Coffee Shops in Washington.” For the few of these places I have been to before, they serve great hot chocolate as well.


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. Thank you for reading and being a part of the conversation! Blessings on your week-TS

Image Credits:  The Links; “We all have a story to tell“; and “water a fundamental right.”

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