Monthly Archives: May 2015

Weekly Favorite Links (May 21-27, 2015)

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Starting from the beginning of this year, I have been in the midst of preparing for a big event for my church. The event itself would span three consecutive Sundays, probably not even constituting 24 hours in total, yet hundreds of helping hands and countless hours of email correspondences late into the night over the past several months have gone into preparation for it. Perhaps what makes this particular event “the biggest event of the year” is that it unites our entire church of all three language-speaking congregations in almost every age group.

At first, when people asked me whether I was stressed over planning and bearing such an enormous responsibility, I would respond that I wasn’t stressed about piecing all the pieces together. And I would say that my answer remains true, even with the last and biggest event being T-minus four days. Rather, my biggest concern at the time, which is still relevant now, is that my character would be right — that I would love God so much in order to love all the people that I would have the responsibility of managing.

I believe that loving others is the biggest burden for me, the one that carries the most weight. It ought to be for all Christians. Despite all the administrative duties that go into an event preparation, it is caring for my team members that holds a paramount significance. It is also the biggest blessing and gift from God that I have these opportunities in the first place to get to know people that I do not normally come into contact with because we have differences in our culture and age.

I could easily delegate assignments, coordinate meetings, follow up with all tasks assigned but what would be the point if I didn’t love the people? Those that are on my team aren’t simply chess pieces that I can maneuver into the right places so that we could get things done efficiently. Organization is important, but so are relationships. They are my brothers and sisters in Christ. How could they follow my directions and my leadership if they didn’t get to know me, my heart, and if I didn’t demonstrate Christ-like love to them? Likewise, how could I possibly manage a team if I didn’t actively invest and listen to them, to know their strengths and talents? This is all to say that my authority is limited and when it comes to leading, I cannot rely on my own strength. The work that my team and I are doing is not for our own glory, but God’s. Even when we are planning logistics, love for one another must be present because it must come out of an overflow of our love for God.

I can’t say that I know everything that it takes to be a good leader. Even after gaining so much experience for this particular setting, I think I’m still at level one. But if there’s one ingredient that is essential and absolutely necessary for good leadership, it is love — love for God and a love for others.

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Weekly Favorite Links (May 14-20, 2015)

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Too often and too late do I find myself regretting that I didn’t savor the seemingly mundane moments in my life. I’m guilty of taking many things for granted, and at the top of the list is time. There are days when I wish time would hurry along, such as when I’m starting out my first steps in a run (which are always the hardest!) or if there’s a big event that I can’t wait to be a part of. On the other side of the spectrum, I sometimes wish time would slow down and come to a halt so that I could savor it some more. I reflect back to my college days of staying up with friends until the wee hours in the morning, not because we were studying (although we did plenty of that too) but because we were simply just talking about life and enjoying each other’s company. Little did I know that those talks would be counted as some of the most precious moments of my college experience, and that they would never come by again.

Then there’s that one hot summer day, when my grandmother took me all around the streets of Taipei, Taiwan to find the perfect wrist watch for me. A new watch was consistently one of the gifts she’d give me whenever I’d visit, which wasn’t often. It was an item that bound us together, no matter where we were, and seeing a watch would always remind me of her. To this day, I wear that watch wherever I go because of its sentimental value to me. Perhaps if I had known back then that God would take her home soon, I probably would’ve been more intentional that summer. Or maybe that’s just my own wishful thinking.

After graduation, I can’t just walk over to my friends’ apartments and start a conversation like I did so many times back in college. It’d be impossible because everyone’s now physically scattered throughout the world. While we used to all be in the same stage of life (college students), a lot of us are pursuing different things. Thus, it’s moments back then that challenge me to treasure the present and to have a sense of urgency for the future. The Bible reminds us that we’re finite human beings and we’re up against a ticking clock. Only God knows when our time is up. The author of James reminds us that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and that we are simply a mist from the perspective of eternity (James 4:14).

Time is the greatest gift that we can ever give because it is not something that we can ever refund or replay. There is no time machine that can turn back time, nor can time be rushed. Each and every second in this life counts. While every moment is fleeting, it also matters much. Just like all my other resources that I’ve been blessed with, time is a God-given gift. We ought to be good stewards of time, to live not for ourselves, but according to how God intends for us to live. I have to wholeheartedly agree with David Mathis from Desiring God, who says in his article, “One key principle in making our time-management Christian is this: Let love for others be the driver of your disciplined, intentional planning. It is love for others that fulfills God’s law.

So the question that I’ve been asking myself this past week, and the question that I’d like to extend to you is, how are you using your time and resources today to show love to others? 

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Weekly Favorite Links (May 7-13, 2015)

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Well, I hope all of you had a fabulous weekend celebrating and commemorating our mothers. Is it just me, or has May been a busy month so far? I feel like my days are just zooming by on fast forward.

Instead of writing about my week or something that I’ve been learning, I decided to share some random facts about myself so that you can get to know me better. I’d be curious to know if my friends knew some of these facts already, or if they’re all new information.

EIGHT FACTS ABOUT ME:

  1. I need a consistent and solid 7-8 hours of sleep every night. If I don’t get those hours, I must either endure the suffering of sleep deprivation or take a nap. Usually after a consecutive 3-5 days of not sleeping well and no naps, I get sick.
  2. I hate green onions, but I love green onion pancakes. If necessary, I’ll still use them in a dish to add more flavor, but that’s rare. It’s weird, I know. I’ve been told that I’m not a true Asian.
  3. I like to turn off my Wifi or Mobile Data whenever it’s not in use. Not just to save my battery power, but because I don’t want to be bombarded by notifications or to constantly be checking my phone all the time. I also don’t like to get onto the internet on Sunday mornings until after attending church. It just doesn’t feel right for me. I think there’s freedom in turning off our technology. It can wait.
  4. Eight is my favorite number. In elementary school, I used to practice writing my “8’s” a lot. Hence, eight facts.
  5. David Platt’s book, Radical, changed my life and how I viewed Christianity. I would highly recommend his second book as well.
  6. I like to watch Korean dramas in my spare time and I used to blog about them on another website, which is no longer active. My first-ever Korean drama was Dae Jang Geum and I watched it with my parents. While I don’t watch as much as I used to, I still follow what’s airing in Korea and am pickier about what I choose to watch. There’s a motto that my friends and I go by, and it’s “Life is too short to watch bad dramas.” I guess you could probably also argue that life’s too short for Korean dramas as well, but then it wouldn’t be half as fun. If I had a favorite Korean drama, based on how many times I’ve re-watched it, it’d be Answer Me 1997.
  7. My favorite Classic author is probably Jane Austen. It shouldn’t be hard to guess what my favorite Austen book is. I also love the film adaptation to this particular book. (Hint: Mr. Darcy)
  8. I have the utmost respect for Tim Challies and his blog. He’s been blogging every single day for years now. I think we’d get along well. He is definitely on my list of top five all-time favorite and most-read bloggers.

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Weekly Favorite Links (April 30-May 6, 2015)

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In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been a little bit quiet around here besides these weekly favorite links posts. Something that I haven’t yet mentioned on here is that I’ve been in a career transition for almost a month now (omgoodness time fliiiieeess). In other words, I’ve been funemployed. The crazy thing is that my life’s only gotten busier. How is that even possible? I don’t even know. It just turned out that way.

A lot of people in my life have been kindly checking in on me and one of the first questions they ask is to see how funemployment is turning out. To be honest, I never quite know how to answer them because I assume that they’re expecting me to reply with a “it’s been really chill and boring,” or “it’s okay, just job hunting,” or some other answer that they’ve already pre-conceived in their minds. Instead, when I tell them that it’s been pretty productive, I’m assuming that a lot of them only half-believe me and I always feel there’s a need to explain myself. So then I go and try to accurately paint a picture of what my schedule looked like during the week. (Don’t even get me started on weekends.)

It’s interesting that I feel the need to justify myself in other people’s eyes, or that I even care about what they think of me. It’s humbling to admit that I want to sound really productive, not just because it’s true, but because I want to gain recognition in their eyes. I know all of them genuinely mean well, but I also struggle with pride and don’t want them to think anything less of me because I’m not working right now at a 9-5 — thoughts that I’m lazy, unproductive, just wasting time, etc. In reality, perhaps none of them think any differently of me during this life stage, and it’s just all in my head, but I’m scared that they will.

There’s a strong temptation for me to get trapped with thoughts that are based off of my own interpretations and assumptions. It’s a silly, dangerous game that I play every day. In my heart of hearts, I want to be liked and affirmed by others. I seek their approval and worry whether I’ll fall short of their expectations for me. Believe me, I know it sounds really silly, but this battle is real. I have to remind myself that my worth is not found in my job title, or the numbers in my bank account, nor is it found in my ministries or relationships. It is also not found in being busy and productive. Instead of worrying about how others perceive me, I need to focus on how God views me and how I can use my time here on this earth more wisely to glorify him. My circumstances should not and will not define my character. The truth is, my worth is not found in my accomplishments or appearances, but on Christ’s accomplishments for me on that rugged cross so that I could have the freedom to worship God. Therefore, the only one I ever need to please, the only one that I should fear more, is him.

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