This Week’s Links

Internet1Each week on Tuesdays I share some of what I have seen, read, and found 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 and Blogging; Stewardship; Vocation; and Miscellaneous. I hope that you enjoy these links!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

For those of you preparing for worship or writing a sermon for this Pentecost weekend, check out Bishop Michael Rinehart’s take on “Pentecost C.” Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis offers some more thoughts on Pentecost in sharing, “Spirit Focus.” Speaking of the Spirit, friends and professors Rev. Dr.’s Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker discussed “Gifts of the Spirit,” on the “I Love to Tell the Story” podcast. Give that podcast, as well as the Sermon Brainwave podcast on the “Day of Pentecost,” a listen with friends and professors Rev. Dr.’s Rolf Jacobson, Karoline Lewis, and Matt Skinner.

Last week on the blog, I shared some big news for both my wife Allison and I in writing about, “When the Holy Spirit Leads to the Cornhusker State,” as we now know where we are headed at the end of the summer, the state of Nebraska. I have been called there to serve as the Nebraska Synod’s Director for Stewardship.

Pastor and blogger Clint Schnekloth reflected about, “Solving the problems of church in a post-program era.”

My wife and pastoral intern Allison continued her journey through topics related to church administration in writing and reflecting about, “Conflict and Communities.” Allison also shared some insights from interviews on the topic in writing and sharing, “First-hand: Church Administration from Those Who Practice it.”

In sad news, Trinity Lutheran College had its final commencement last week as it is closing at the end of this academic year.

In good news out of Trinity’s closure, former Trinity professor Mark Jackson has received a new call to St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, Minnesota.

Friend and pastor Kent Shane shared this important reflection from Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, “Love Your Neighbor.”

My sister Tamara shared this important perspective from Bishop Kirby Unti who wrote and explained that, “Maintaining transgender rights aligns with my Christian faith.”

Over at Religion Dispatches, Daniel Schultz wrote and shared, “Mega-Church and State Separation? Not in an Election Year.”

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of its weekly chat which last week focused on “Privacy and Copyright” issues and questions. The chat was moderated by Melinda Mitchell.

Russell Moore wrote about, “A White Church No More.”

Bishop Guy Erwin shared this important “Statement on events at Ben Gurion International Airport 29 April-2 May 2016,” from the World Council of Churches.

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Friend, professor, and blogger Dr. Ron Byrnes reflected about education, college, vocation, and vocational discernment in writing about “Higher Cost Education.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Carey Nieuwhof wrote and shared about, “3 Words You Should Drop From Your Leadership Vocabulary Starting Now.” The words to drop are: someone; something; and someday.

Tanveer Naseer shared a guest post by John Addison who wrote, “Don’t Settle For Being a Good Leader. Be a Real Leader.”

Brian Dodd wrote about, “Why Generous Leaders Always Have an Advantage.” Additionally, Brian shared a post that any superhero movie fan would probably love, “36 Leadership Quotes and Lessons from Captain America: Civil War.”

Social leadership theorist Julian Stodd shared about, “The Fictional Leader,” and how it is important to recognize that no one leader has all of the answers, let alone all of the questions.

Friend, pastor, and blogger Joe Smith wrote about leadership, service, and presence in writing, “Ending Warm Body Thinking.”

Dan Rockwell wrote about leadership, partnership, collaboration, and what I might call accompaniment, in sharing about “The Go-With Leader.”

Anne Loehr reasoned that, “Diversity Officers Must Have These Four Qualities.” The qualities she lists include: high emotional intelligence; entrepreneurial mindset; champion of purpose-driven strategy and culture; and lifelong learner.

Speaking of lifelong learning, Jon Mertz at Thin Difference took up the question, “What If Learning Stopped.” I don’t know about you, but if I ever stopped learning, life would be pretty boring. I hope to be like my 92-year old Grandma who continues to learn, study, and want to work to understand the world and its beauty and mystery, as well as faith and life.

Jon also share about “How to Be Selective in a Jam-Packed World” at Thin Difference.


Jeremy Chandler at Thin Difference asked, “Is It Time To Take Your Eyes Off the Map?

Also at Thin Difference, Megan Dougherty wrote and shared, “Dear Me- A Reflection on How Things Turn Out.”

Last month Jon Mertz wrote about Millennials and mindfulness at Young Upstarts, writing, “Say Yes to Success! How the New Millennial Leaders Embrace Mindfulness.”

Neighbor Love

Friend, pastor, and blogger Aaron Fuller shared his sermon for this past weekend based on 1 Corinthians 15, “Jesus rose from the dead: A Confession.”

Hometown and home congregation friend and fellow Lute, Emily Shane pondered about relationships, friends, and social interaction, vulnerably sharing, “What If They Don’t Like Me?

"Lagniappe!" by Vonda Drees
“Lagniappe!” by Vonda Drees

Friend and blogger Rozella Haydee White shared, “A Word on Walking Away.”

Nicholas Kristof shared, “A Confession of Liberal Intolerance.”

Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These posts included: “eternity celebrating presence“; “lagniappe!“; “seasons“; “art, somehow…“; “a grace prayer“; “be the soul“; and “wings of wholeness.”

Blogger and pastor Clint Schnekloth wrote about and asked, “Why progressive Christians can’t evangelize. The limits of accompaniment. Every nation or bust?

Clint also shared a guest post by Elle Dowd on, “The Problem with ‘Diversity’ as #ChurchGoals.”

Friend and blogger J.W. Wartick took up the question of open and closed communion, asking and sharing, “Who is Worthy?- A reflection on closed communion in Lutheran churches.”

Jack Jenkins wrote and shared about how, “Hillary Clinton is now the most religious candidate running for President. Here’s Why that Matters.”

With Mother’s Day having been this past weekend, friend, pastor, and Ph.D. student Mandy Brobst-Renaud wrote that, “Mother’s Day is Broken.”

I shared my sermon from this past weekend on the Ascension, “You Are Witnesses to These Things.

Social Media & Blogging

Friend, professor, and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared a guest appearance by her daughter Jordan Elton, “SPLIT- tips for your Social Media use!

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


My friends at LEAD are sharing perspectives all year about how leadership is hope. The latest installment comes from friend, pastor, and blogger David Hansen who shared this conversation with pastor Mike Ward about how, “Stewardship is Hope.”

With May being the start of graduation season, the COMPASS blog is sharing thoughts about graduation and student loan debt. To start off this series of reflections I pondered, “After Graduation… Student Debt?

Friend and stewardship director Adam Copeland shared a post by Shelby Etheridge, “The Power of Vulnerability to Transform Stewardship.”

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner wrote and reasoned, “Family Budget Meetings- Yes, You Need to Have Them.”


Speaking of Mother's Day, happy Mother's Day again to my Mom!
Speaking of Mother’s Day, happy Mother’s Day again to my Mom!

Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared her weekly installment of vocational and life reflections with her Mother’s Day edition of “Tuesday Tea Time.”

Friend and blogger Tyler Scott shared some thoughts about his Mom and Mother’s Day in writing, “It’s Mother’s Day, not Mothers’ Day.”

In Living Lutheran, Dwight DuBois wrote all about vocation in “Vocation: From worship to the world.”

Friend, professor, and blogger Dr. Lynn Hunnicutt shared that she has “One month to go…” before her big bike ride, as well as some thoughts on “Fun.”


Friend, blogger, and Seattle Mariners fanatic Tim Chalberg shared a couple new Mariners themed posts in sharing his weekly update of the “MLB Projected Standings,” for week five of the baseball season, as well as in writing about a “New True to the Blue.”

The other day President Obama signed a bill, “declaring the bison the national mammal.

Friend J.W. Wartick shared this look at a fascinating geologic phenomenon of the creation of a new island.


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 and “lagniappe!


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