Tag Archives: Brownies

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 (February 26-March 4, 2015)

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I am currently in that stage of life where many of my friends are settling down and getting married. This means a lot of engagement parties, bridal showers, wedding shenanigans, becoming poorer but all in good fun. Just this past weekend, I got to witness the marriage of two good friends. I met them only a year ago, but this couple truly shines because of how much they care and serve others. In fact, I value both friendships dearly and respect them as older and wiser siblings in Christ.

I was quite honored to be a part of their special moment and, up to that point, had been counting down the days until the wedding for months. While I looked forward to the public exchanging of rings and declaration of vows, I think what I appreciated most was that that the wedding was centered on Christ. My favorite part in the entire ceremony was when everyone in attendance worshiped God with their voices as we sang a couple songs.

One song we sang, “Before the Throne of God Above,” is one of my favorite modern hymns, and I remember closing my eyes and just basking in the joy of praising God together. It was also a great reminder that we were all attending this wedding because of God — it was Christ that brought these two individuals together and Christ who will sustain their marriage until death do them part. In my opinion, each walk down the altar is a miracle and a testament of God’s provision and grace.

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This past week was like a treasure field full of awesome links. Check out my favorite stuff on the web now and share yours!

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Red Velvet Cheesecake Marble Brownies

I know, I know. V-Day was so last weekend.

Well, call me a rebel but red velvet can be made and eaten all the time, whenever, wherever. No special occasion needed, but if you’re in a pinch for a bridal shower or a birthday party, make something with red velvet. There’s just something about that vibrant red color that easily transforms any classic dessert and elevates it to another level.

Gah, I looove that color! And I don’t even really like the color red on anything else. Yes, it’s totally baffling.

Back in college, there was a period of time when I was obsessed with red velvet anything. I didn’t care if it was red velvet cakes, bars, or cookies – I loved them all. To this day, I don’t know if it’s because I loved the food coloring or the fact that the name “red velvet” sounded so pleasing to my ears. I guess that will remain a mystery. What I do know is that making these red velvet brownies elicited a lot of nostalgic feelings. Gah college days, I kind of miss you. Sorta.  Continue reading