October 30, 2005

Moving on faith

I've been listening to a lot of Jadon Lavik lately.

He's awesome. For comparison's sake, imagine if Chris Tomlin stopped making Christian praise songs and just did Christian songs. I kinda overlooked this CD because I got stuck on Building 429 for the longest time and revisited David Crowder.

Jadon plays a pop-style of music. There's a lot of guitar though, I know he plays because I saw him on newsongcafe, playing his song "How Majestic". It's a fun song to play. Actually I haven't played a lot of guitar over the past few months and only started playing again because of this CD.

I drafted a post about one of the songs but I never published because it was kinda morbid. To sum it up, I came up with the following songs that I would like to be played at my funeral.

Dare You To Move by Switchfoot
I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe
Homesick by MercyMe
Today by Jadon Lavik

Today by Jadon Lavik

More things to buy
More clothes to wear
The perfect job
The perfect wife
A new color for the hair

And take a look around the way we're living
It's no secret we think that
Just a little more
Just a little bit further
Then we're there

But time asks no questions
It moves on
In spite of me
It's not about my style of life
My own prosperity
It's time we open up our eyes
To find there's so much more

And all I'm asking
Is what you're living for

You saw the hurts
You saw the pain and knew our needs
Cured the sick
Healed the lame and made the blind man see

A life laid down
The perfect gift for you and me
Love's greatest sacrifice
A picture of how it ought to be
How it ought to be


So take a look around go find a brother
And help him stand
Take the risk to love another
With an outstretched hand

October 28, 2005

I love egg

Not really, but great song. It's linked now so it doesn't play automatically.

Oodle doodle!

October 23, 2005


Acute sensitivity to what is proper and appropriate in dealing with others, including the ability to speak or act without offending.

Interestingly enough, Sunday sermon talked about the gift of singleness. It pretty much confirmed everything I said two posts ago. Am I a genius or what?

Speaking of geniuses, I'm not the greatest with words so I've started working on or practising phrases to use in the future. Actually it's something that I've been working on for a long time, in the effort to upgrade myself. eBrian v2.0 -- coming soon.. One of phrases I've been trying to find alternatives for has been "You look tired." It can have so many negative connotations, most notably in physical appearance. I said that once to someone and they blogged about it and thought it was insulting. Fortunately for me they couldn't remember who had said it to them...

Anyway, the sermon at the wedding yesterday talked about tact as well. Pastor Vic was instructing Duncan on use of words when addressing his new wife.

I was thinking "How are you feeling?" would be more tactful, and then if they said they felt tired, then it's done. Or maybe "Are you feeling okay?". "Late night?". Or maybe reflect it back and tell them that I'm tired. The best I've been able to come up with is:

"Wow, I'm so tired from [insert reason for being tired] but you look great.. how do you do it?"

At the wedding, I was sitting at a table of people who really liked to travel. They were talking incessantly about vacation spots.. Paris, Provence(?), London, Australia, New Zealand, Cuba, Jamaica. I dunno but personally if I could afford to travel, those places would all be at the bottom of my list. The idea of going somewhere to lay down on a beach doesn't appeal to me at all. Going some place for shopping and expensive meals.. I can do that here and I choose not to. Topping my list has to be Africa, and then India. Places where I can visit now and won't be able to visit when I'm 50+.

October 21, 2005


Yesterday I went to the rehearsal for my friends' wedding this Saturday. I've known Nancy & Duncan only for a short time but they seem closer than many of the friends I've had for much longer. I think it's because we were in the same small group.. and it was one of those small groups that was really close-knit, so we got to know one another really well, not just on the platonic level but personally and spiritually. That's totally missing in my current small group.. but I digress.

I like weddings.. It's only my 3rd this year but technically my 5th if you count the ones I couldn't make it to. Plus I had another 4 last year. I know someone who has/had 12 weddings in one year. I think the most unbelievable thing about that isn't the numbers but the fact that someone had 12 different close friends who were getting married the same year. That's a little mind boggling -- I don't know if I have that many close friends altogether. But I suppose that you don't have to be a close friend to be invited.. I mean if you have the money then you might as well invite everyone you know.

I was really disappointed when I was bumped off the worship team for this Saturday's service. The bride asked too many of us to be on it and when we realized we had a surplus, I was chosen to do something else. Instead I got decorations.. which is also cool because I like being creative. But N&D aren't the type who want anything extravagent, they like simple and easy. After all they're both engineers and me personally as a fellow engineer would have gone with no decorations. Haha..

I'm not sure if I'm coming down with a cold or not.. but my throat has been very sore and raspy over the past 2 days. It's been kinda cold the last few days plus I shaved my head again so that hasn't helped. Karen asked me what was wrong with my voice yesterday. I think it's combo of cold weather, singing along to Building 429, and talking a lot. Been talking a whole lot at work.. been feeling more assertive now that I feel like I really belong there. Anyway..

Yesterday I also managed to fill my car up with gas at 85.1 cents. What a deal! To think my last fill-up (about 1 month ago) was at 99.5! What a saving! Woot!

So anyway I stayed home from work today because I felt sick.. and you can probably sorta tell from the randomness of this post that mind isn't really clicking properly right now.

October 20, 2005

Shadow of Angels

This is track 6 of Building 429's album "Glory Defined". It's called Shadow of Angels. I really enjoy the acoustic guitar in it. Unfortunately they're almost all barre and I haven't been able to learn it. Plus the song is in the C# key and well, I'm not good enough to play the chords.

If you haven't already purchased this album, I highly recommend it. Look for the extended edition. It's really good.

Shadow of Angels by Building 429

Sunrise on Sunset Beach
Finds me right where I watched it set
I spent the night inside myself
But I haven’t found me yet

But I’m not running from you anymore
I’m not running from you anymore, no not anymore

Cause I believe that when I call for You
You hear the plea for my rescue
And You lift me up above the world I know
And I know that when I speak Your name
You hear my voice and send Your saints
To cover me in the shadow of angels

I got caught in the memories
Cause they never fail to prove
I’m insecure and incomplete
It’s a stinging point of truth

So I will never find the best of me
Until I find myself in You, I’ll find myself in You
(I have to turn off autostart because I have a limited bandwidth from my site and it's costing me about 2 cents each time someone plays the songs. Honestly it's not a big deal since there's only 10-15 visitors per day. Just hit play if you want to hear it.)

Also wanted to thank everyone for your prayers for my job interview. I know that without you, and without God's hand in this I wouldn't have gotten through it.

Since I've gotten to full-time status I've actually been giving a lot of thought about the difference of all of it.

It's the same pay, same hours and benefits. But being a temp meant zero job security. Being temp also meant that my job couldn't tie me down. Erwin McManus talks about God's blessings that end up tying us down and handcuffing us from seizing our divine moments. He gave examples of a better paying job, his wife and children.

This is why I feel that we are in various stages of our lives for a reason. I believe that God places us in certain positions, places and circumstances in order for us to maximize the use our gifts. Once that has been exhausted, God moves us into a different stage.

I think over time my parents have realized this too and it's why they finally stopped nagging me to find a girl and settle down. And that has helped me a lot because I no longer feel pressure in doing so. Dating, marriage and children is a completely different stage in life and it's not where I want to be, nor is it a place I'm ready to go... yet.

However, I do feel that becoming a permanent staffer brings me a new limitation that I didn't have before. I've talked before about quitting my job and moving abroad. Though it's not completely impossible to do this now, it certainly will be more difficult. Giving up a secure job in a market where job security don't exist would prove to be a big test for me if God ever asked for it.

October 18, 2005


This morning I got a call from my manager, letting me know that I GOT THE JOB!!


October 17, 2005


I've always liked the word smorgasbord.

Thanks to everyone for your prayers. My interview on Thursday went relatively well. They asked me 7 questions and I think I answered 6 of them very well.. and the other one -- I think I made a pretty valiant effort :) They also gave me a written question, again -- a courageous effort. Everything is in God's hands now. My supervisor told me that it would take a few days to crunch the numbers.

The way the City works for hiring is -- since it's a union position -- anyone who scores 70% or higher is considered 'qualified' for the position. From there the person with the most seniority gets the job. I've been with the City for about 3 years so if anyone applied with more seniority than me and is qualified, they will get the job.


I had a dream last week. Kenric and I were at the gates at the Air Canada Center getting ready to go watch the Raptors' season opener against Washington. We were in line to get in, when my brother appeared. He was a lot younger.. it was a memory of him when he was oh.. 7 or 8 years old. He was so cute and he asked me if he could have my tickets so he and his friend could go watch. I couldn't refuse. I gave it to him and they ran off.

When I woke up later, I remembered my brother is really 18 now. All grown up. I still treat him like a kid because he'll always be that little kid that I had fun with. But it kind of just struck me how much he's grown up.

This weekend my brother came home again and we spent the afternoon shopping to get him a winter jacket. He didn't even have a thin jacket so I bought him one of those two-layer jackets with the outer shell and inner fleece. His jacket (Wind River) is actually nicer than the Columbia one that I have. It cost me about $200. Well whatever.. as long as he's warm :)


Our entire worship team went to visit Unionville Alliance Church. The idea was to go there and experience their worship and hopefully bring something back to improve our experience at T3C. UAC's Sunday Service was really great. It felt like an experience, not just going through your regular routine like we have at T3C. I don't know how else to describe it. From beginning to end it felt like one experience, with smooth transitions, great music and great sermon.

At our church it's like this:

  • Singing - 4-5 songs
  • Prayer
  • Scripture reading
  • Sermon
  • Response by song
  • Offering
  • Doxology/Benediction

  • At UAC, they had no 'program' per se, I would describe it like this:

  • Worship

  • Everything kind of encompassed everything else, like you walked in, you worshipped God, and after that amazing 2 hour experience, you walk back out feeling like something great just happened.

    Revisiting David Crowder Band - Collision

    I've decided that there are actually 3 good songs on the CD, not just the one you hear playing. There are 2 others that are pretty good. And there's the hoe-down song which is also kinda catchy. But I don't know too many people who like hoe-down songs. You could only possibly like a hoe-down song if you've actually been to a hoe-down. And of course I have.. in Wyoming.

    October 12, 2005


    My job interview is Thursday at 11:30am.

    I'm super nervous about the whole thing. It's not that I'm afraid of not getting the job, which is actually very likely. It's the fact that it's one of my first interviews period. I haven't done a whole lot of interviews and this is the first done with a panel of people.

    I've been so anxious about it that I have literally eaten 1 meal since Monday lunch. That's one meal over the past 48+ hours. The mere mention of food makes me sick to my stomach. I managed to eat half of my dinner yesterday at Charlene's birthday/farewell party.

    I've been preparing for the interview since the weekend, figuring out the various scenarios they might ask me and making sure I have a good story/event to tell them about where I performed admirably and successfully. It's not easy thinking of stressful situations when you work for the government.

    God, I'm thankful that today I went through a stressful and high intensity incident. We were releasing a patch and no one was around so I had to do the whole thing. Things went smoothly as I handled the pressure and took care of business. Thank you for giving me something to share if I need to tomorrow at my interview.

    Anyway, your prayers would be greatly appreciated. Aside from that.. things are pretty okay. Lack of sleep and food.. the burning/churning/anxious feeling in my stomach just like I'd been heartbroken. I just hope there isn't a second round of interviews because I may not last much longer without food.

    October 11, 2005

    Real men

    This past weekend, my brother and I became real men.

    Last week when my brother was up for a visit I told him that for Thanksgiving, we would cook ourselves a real meal -- a Thanksgiving feast. He was skeptical and admittingly, so was I. The idea that the two of us, having no experience in cooking anything but stir-fry and steaks, could put together a meal of Thanksgiving proportions, seemed a little far-fetched. But the Yao brother prevailed.

    Sunday morning Darryl was feeling ill so I stayed home with him. So we both missed Sunday service.

    In the afternoon, he was feeling better so we went on the internet to look for recipes for a chicken. A WHOLE chicken! We found a good one for Roast Chicken with Orange Glaze. "Feeds 6 people", it said. Sounded pretty good.

    So the two of us jumped in the car and drove out to Markham to a small chicken farm. The chickens there were plump and juicy and we asked the farmer if we could do the slaughtering ourselves. He let us on the condition that we clean up the mess. So we ran around the pen and grabbed a sweet looking hen. Given my brother's experiences with an axe, I did the cutting while he stretched out the neck. Needless to say it was pretty satisfying when she breathed her last "cluck-cluck-clu...rp". The farmer took care of the rest. I dunno how he got all the feathers off but he did and it was almost like a store bought chicken after 15 minutes. I took the head and it's now hanging from my rearview mirror.

    All kidding aside, we ended up getting the chicken at Dominion because Loblaws was old out.

    We marinated the chicken, stuffed it with vegetables and prepared the orange glaze broth. I had to buy a baster because I didn't have one. Popped it into the oven and 3 hours later and after two coats of orange juice glazing, the chicken was done. It looked *amazing*. As we pulled it out and put it down on the dining room table, my brother looked at me and said "We're real men now." I agreed.

    October 10, 2005


    The song you're listening to is called "Here Is Our King". It's the 3rd track of the latest album by David Crowder Band. I was super looking forward to this album because the previous one "Illuminate" was amazing. All my friends love it and we even named our fellowship after it.

    If you really enjoy this particular song, and are willing to pay $15 for it (plus tax), then this album is definitely for you. "Here Is Our King" is the only good song on the entire album. I'm not kidding at all.. this is quite easily the most disappointing Christian album that I've ever purchased. It is also the first time I've ever berated a Christian CD. To say that I'm disappointed with it is an understatement.

    1 good song on an album with 21 tracks, most of whom aren't songs at all but strange sounds or some guy talking about nothing, or background noise. There's one track of a guy walking downstairs I think.

    So like I said, if you love this song and want it so badly that you'll pay $15-20 for it, then by all means you should definitely buy it. Otherwise, steer clear of it. If I hadn't purchased this thing online, I'd be first in line at the Returns lines at the store, asking for my money back.

    I give this album a 2/10.

    October 06, 2005

    The reason

    I haven't been blogging a lot lately and here's why:

    1. World of Warcraft. There have been times in the past year or so that I've thought about how much more time I would have to do useful things, if I hadn't started playing this game. I have spent an unprecedented time in this world of fun. More time than I've spent on Diablo 2. But the difference is the time spent in D2 was spread over 4 years, whereas time in Warcraft has been only 10 months.

    Am I sorry for this? Yes, I'm sincerely sorry for it. I know it's a waste of time. I know it's excessive. Will I stop? No.

    2. 24. I have been watching a whole lot of the show 24 since about 2 weeks ago. I cannot stop watching this show. It's so addictive and suspenseful that I forget about everything. This includes eating, sleeping, socializing and eating.

    This show has taken more of my time than WoW over the past week. Which is mind-numbing and yet all too true. Great show. Will I stop? Probably, when I've seen all the episodes.

    3. Fantasy Football. Every year, I join at least 1 league for fantast football. It consumes me. I think about it night and day.. about how to improve my team. Devising strategies on how to rip off another team and how to steal players from others. The best are those 3 team deals where you give up nothing and gain next year's top 2 runningbacks. I dream of making such deals.

    4. Work. Work consumes me from 9am-5pm. Whether it is an extremely busy day or a dead day where nothing happens. I sit here 8 hours a day no matter what. I call busy days "good days" and boring days "crappy days". I love it when it's busy. I'm at my best when I have tons to do. That's because I work so damned fast. But then there are those slow days where I finish my work and then sit there and having nothing to do for 5 hours. Sucky..

    5. Mess. My home is a total mess. As a result, I am likely overdue on most of my bills because I can't find them. I can't find my capo so I haven't played guitar in nearly a month. I can't find new dishes so I often don't eat, or use an old dirty dish. I suppose the good that comes out of that is that my stomach is a lot stronger now. I can eat dirt and not get sick.. oh yea..

    Hey what's for dinner tonight? Dirt? Sweet!

    So that, in a nutshell, has been my last two weeks.

    October 03, 2005

    Building 429


    To further on my comment, building 429 is a band who started in North Carolina, and who's name is derived from Ephesians 4:29:

    "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
    I'd describe them as a Christian rock group. There are some songs that are heavy/metal rock, while others are just one of the guys singing along to a piano. The music ranges so that there's something for everyone. Their music is for your enjoyment, not really for worship. I could only dig up around 6 songs/chords.

    I find that the vocals are not the greatest but the band makes up for it. They are much closer to being a contemporary rock band than MercyMe, who has more of a southern twang to them. The song that is playing right now is called "The Space In Between Us", it is the title track. The solo electric part very similar to U2's "With Or Without You". I like this album's mix of instruments, from the piano and heavy rock to the LOADS of acoustic guitar, and the use of an orchestra, it makes my ears very happy :)

    I haven't been able to pinpoint their overall theme for this particular album except to bring us closer to God. I'm usually a bigger fan of music that mobilizes and moves us like MercyMe or Switchfoot, but I guess I just really like the mix of this album.

    I'd give this album a 9/10.

    Space In Between Us

    Look at my heart again
    Look at the mess I’ve got it in
    I’m trying to trust in You
    To know that you’ll see me through
    Through my pride
    Through my shame
    Into Your love
    Into Your grace
    I’m not looking back
    Till I see Your face
    & I’m running straight to You

    All I really want to do is to fall into
    The emptiness that is
    The space in-between us
    To break this division
    All I really want to do is to fall into
    The emptiness that is
    The space in-between us
    Erase it and bring us together again

    My life’s like an open book
    Nothing is hidden when you look
    You break through my boundaries
    Revealing my insecurities
    But through my pride
    And through my shame
    You show me love
    You show me grace
    I’m not looking back
    Till I see your face
    & I’m running straight to you

    Here I am saying I need you
    I know I need you
    Here I am, I’m coming to meet you
    Cause I want to see you