March 30, 2006

Off the wagon

I fell of the wagon on Tuesday night, spending nearly 2 hours online in the World of Warcraft. A new patch came out and I wanted to see it, but because of the patch there was all kinds of server problems and I winded up wandering around on a new character, pretty much just messing around and doing nothing at all.

The following day, I spent another 3 hours playing my old character Smee, trying out some of the new stuff they had added.

I got to talking to some of my old guild members.. many of whom were extremely excited to see me online, just about everyone sent me a message about when I was coming back, and how much they missed me. I guess I provided a sense of "ease" as well as "comedic relief" to some people from some of the wisecracks I used to make.

Truly, I did get a sense of comraderie that I've missed since quitting.

There's a song that's been in my head for the past 2 weeks now, it's a song by Third Day, called "Your Love Oh Lord". It's a popular song, not new or anything. I find that it really speaks to me. I wish I had the CD so I could listen to it but instead I have to settle for playing it and singing it, which isn't nearly as great.

Your love, oh Lord, reaches to the heavens.
Your faithfulness stretches to the sky.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains.
Your justice flows like the oceans tide.

And I will lift my voice, to worship you my King.
And I will find my strength, in the shadow of your wings.

Your love, oh Lord, reaches to the heavens.
Your faithfulness stretches to the sky.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains.
Your justice flows like the oceans tide.

And I will lift my voice, to worship you my King.
And I will find my strength, in the shadow of your wings.

Your love, oh Lord, reaches to the heavens.
Your faithfulness stretches to the sky.

March 28, 2006

Bite the bullet

I had to bite the bullet yesterday. I was cleaning my bedroom when it occurred to me that it would probably take an entire week for me to clean my room, leaving little or no time to clean the rest of my place. With my parents' arrival looming, I realized there wasn't enough time for me to clean everything. So I called the maid and she'll be coming in to "accelerate" the process.

I've had a maid come in once before and managed to maintain relative cleanliness for approximately 2 months, so, now that I've reached the 5 month mark I don't feel as bad about my 'failing'.

Something interesting I discovered today, was that 2 people at work don't own a microwave. It boggles my mind how a person could survive without a microwave. I mean, what world is this that one can live without a microwave? To have to heat everything up using either a stovetop or oven? That's absolutely insane.. imagine how much time it would take. Let's say you had leftover food from the night before. You'd have to essentially re-cook it. Let's say it was pasta. How would you reheat pasta without cooking it and thus making it mushy? What a disaster, a total disaster.

Don't even get me started on popcorn..

March 26, 2006


We had a worship retreat this Saturday, for all those involved with worship for Sunday service at our church. This includes all instrumentalists, vocalists and audio/visual people. It's the first time we've all come together. I didn't know a lot of people and it was cool to get to know all these faces that I've seen a million times.

They invited a worship team from Churchill Heights Baptist church. They were mostly caucasian, although they said their congregation was very multicultural.

Everyone knows that I love to sing. I've been gifted with a good voice, either by God or be circumstances God created for this gift to be passed down to me (my parents are both amazing singers). I used to play piano, flute, and I can play guitar. My brother is not a great singer but he's extremely talented musically -- he can play violin, piano, saxophone, guitar.

When I help to lead worship, I am a vocalist, either the male lead or singing harmony (tenor). I think I'm good at it -- I can pull out harmonies on the fly, even for songs I've never even heard before. It's a gift I think that just comes from playing various instruments and having sung in several choirs or listening to a lot of music. So I just as well assume that this gift is from God, and thus I should use it to serve our church.

I guess what I really wanted to share about is this thing that I've been struggling with for some time and it's basically hit a point where I can no longer continue leading worship. I've been approached by some people saying that I look very serious when I'm up on stage. They say I should smile, try to look like I'm having lots of fun. That, if I do this, it will encourage others to sing louder or allow them to experience a better worship time.

First of all, I completely disagree with this entire philosophy. If people need to be coerced into worshipping God feverently, or excitedly, or enthusiastically, then they are not worshipping God. They're being manipulated into worshipping -- what they are feeling -- happiness, excitement, uplifting -- is not Spirit-led, but human led. It's manufactured worship. To me, that's all wrong.

But getting back to my struggles -- this is the direction that my church wants to go. They want us to smile, look happy, be animated. I cannot worship in this way. Don't get me wrong, I have been happy, I have been animated, at certain times, but it has been spirit-led -- not because everyone else was doing it. So for me to do all that, I am basically being asked to put on a show.

I can't put on a show. I think it's a mockery to God to put on a show before Him, standing up there on the altar and "acting". This isn't the drama team, it's the worship team. The song is called "Here I Am To Worship", not "Here I Am to Jump and Dance So That Others Will Do So Too". But mostly, I can't worship if they want me to act.

Some of you will say that because I'm *leading*, I have to lead by example -- I have to put on a face because that affects other peoples' ability to experience worship. That, because I'm leading, others will look up and think if he's not smiling, then I can't worship properly because he doesn't look like he's having very much fun up there. There are people who are visually influenced, and will notice these things. Preachers will often put on a show, by lowering or yelling their message, to emphasize certain points.

Personally, I rarely if ever, pay any attention to the worship leader, although lately I have been, for the simple reason that I wanted to see if they were smiling. Broken Walls, for instance, didn't smile. People in the sanctuary were dancing around in the aisles, bouncing up and down, holding hands and having a grand ol' time and John Maracle (leader of Broken Walls) never cracked a smile. But then again, why should he?

But again I can understand T3C's point of view, because our congregation for the most part, is deadpan. My thinking is they want to try this because they figure that people will get a better experience -- or rather, people will break out of their shells if they see the leaders doing it.

Anyway, what it all comes down to is whether or not I can put on a show while also being able to worship God.

I can't, so I am taking a break from worship leading until I can figure this out.

March 23, 2006


I know some of you have been wondering so..

My dad went in to get his test results yesterday afternoon. I talked to my mom this morning and she said the specialist found some bacteria (ulcer) in his stomach and he'll be okay. His stomach has already begun healing. He has about 8 pills to take every day for the next two weeks, and then he should be fine.

Thanks for all the prayers. The cool thing is that pretty much since the day I shared that he was ailing, he started getting better. I was talking to him about that and he said the pain basically stopped right around the exact same time that I told my small group to pray for him.

God is good! But we all knew that already :P


I wanted to add, that I did what many would consider a very stupid thing to do. But I did it anyway and I think it was the right thing to do. You see, I get these bi-weekly paystubs, and they show how many vacation days I have. They list them by the carry-overs from last year, and my current ones from this year.

For the longest time I wondered when they would subtract the 5 days I took off over the Christmas holidays. I figured there was a backlog of timesheets and that they were just taking forever to update. Essentially I had a surplus of 5 days that I should have had. Anyway, I contacted the payclerk and she was able to correct the error.

I have 4 weeks left now.

That's actually 1 more week than I was expecting. I was expecting to use 1 week for a vacation to Africa, 1 week for Longlac, and 1 week for Christmas time. But now I have an extra week. Clearly, I am not going to Africa because I haven't even started to research it, let alone plan it. So that gives me 2 weeks of extra vacation time! Currently, my plan is to use that time in the fall for some R&R for myself, and then find another missions trip for the additional week I found.

Big Sub

I got my subwoofer yesterday. It's absolutely humongous. But let me share with you a hilarious conversation I had with a friend, Will from Maryland. [I kept our skillfull punctuation and spelling to retain the realness]
me: i got my sub. it's huge
Will: take a pic
Brian: I can't eblieve how big it is.. it's like an automan.. i could put a cushion on top and put my feet up
Will: haha nice
me: ok
me: maybe they're all that big, but i think it's just bigger than i expected
Will: where did you get it
i goto safeway for my subs now
cuz theyre enormous
me: i got mine from Onecall
i think.. some site grayson sent me
Will: ohhh i thought you were talkin about a sandwich
Will: u were making me hungry!
a giant sub
mmmmm sub
now i'm dis­ap­poin­ted
me: HAHAHA thats funny
Will: i want to eat a huge sub
like automon huge
He thought I was talking about a submarine sandwich!!

I haven't plugged in the subwoofer yet, since I cannot watch television. It has a giant speaker pointing down. I have a feeling that when I plug that sucker in, with a cd player, and Jack Johnson -- I'm gonna have some angry neighbors knocking on my door.

March 22, 2006

Day 22

Yesterday afternoon I actually decided my Lent period would change from Mar1-Apr16 to Mar1-Apr8. I am still doing the 40 days, and since Sundays weren't supposed to count and I was still doing them, I decided Apr8 is more appropriate for me.

This morning, I felt a little lost. Last night I learned that a friend of mine had slipped and sounded as if she wasn't going ahead with her 'fasting' anymore. It was disappointing to say the least. I had decided to pull my Lent back 8 days, and then I find out a fellow Lent'r was giving up. I guess you could say I was a little rattled.
I made a commitment to God to stop watching television for 40 days.
When I woke up this morning and switched on my computer, opened up the folder I have full of shows I've downloaded (shows that I've missed over the past 22 days). Clicked on an episode of 24 and stopped.
I made a commitment to God to stop watching television for 40 days.
If I can't keep a commitment to the Lord, then what does that say about me? That I'm a weak human being -- tell me something I didn't know. That I need God in everything that I do, especially in times of temptation.

What if I decided to give up my current way of life and devote it all God, would I be able to do it, if I can't even give up a form of entertainment for a few days?
When in doubt, ask God for advice.
I wanted to open up a bible and turn to a random page and find the answer to my ponderings. But instead turned to someone who always seems to have the answer -- Oswald Chambers. Here is an excerpt of TODAY's reading.
Much of the distress we experience as Christians comes not as the result of sin, but because we are ignorant of the laws of our own nature. For instance, the only test we should use to determine whether or not to allow a particular emotion to run its course in our lives is to examine what the final outcome of that emotion will be. Think it through to its logical conclusion, and if the outcome is something that God would condemn, put a stop to it immediately. But if it is an emotion that has been kindled by the Spirit of God and you don’t allow it to have its way in your life, it will cause a reaction on a lower level than God intended. That is the way unrealistic and overly emotional people are made. And the higher the emotion, the deeper the level of corruption, if it is not exercised on its intended level. If the Spirit of God has stirred you, make as many of your decisions as possible irrevocable, and let the consequences be what they will. We cannot stay forever on the "mount of transfiguration," basking in the light of our mountaintop experience (see Mark 9:1-9 ). But we must obey the light we received there; we must put it into action. When God gives us a vision, we must transact business with Him at that point, no matter what the cost.
I don't know if God would condemn my actions of watching television, but rather I think what He's telling me here is to make the most of my "basking in the light of our mountaintop experience" -- that is, Ishskwaday. Rather than dwelling on my Lent, I should be putting into action what God has placed in my heart from the conference. I think that's the lesson to be learned today.

March 19, 2006

Ishskwaday 2006

I'm still attempting to piece together all the information and feelings I have on the conference. It was such an unbelievable experience.

On Friday, I headed over to TKPC at 3pm. I was a volunteer/usher, we were supposed to get there earlier to start helping out and setting up. The thing didn't start til 7pm though.

Sometime while we were in the foyer waiting for registrants, Jessie from Longlac came out -- one of the older youth that we befriended while in Longlac. She and her brother would come over to the church to eat with us. It was sad news when we asked about Eddie and she said that he didn't come because he was in jail.

Anyway, about the actual conference. Friday night's large group session featured the church's praise team, Richard Twiss (keynote speaker), and then worship time with Broken Walls. Richard Twiss is this huge tall guy, a native Sioux. He spoke about .......

During the worship time with Broken Walls, with the beat of the drums -- something, or someone came over me. I became intoxicated. It was the strangest feeling I've probably ever experienced, it was as if all of a sudden while singing along with Broken Walls, someone had injected 5 beers into me and I was drunk. I started to fidget and eventually dance along to the music. No really -- I danced. My face and my hands felt numb. It was very, very strange. I don't think I've ever felt that way, a total peace and tranquility -- which is strange because the music was pretty intense. The tribal beats they used on the big drum, it was like nothing I've ever heard before, it kind of put me into a trance.

I used to joke around about being "drunk with God's love". Never thought it'd actually happen to me! Anyway, that was the most memorable part of the night for me.

We got 3 seminar/workshop courses on Saturday. The first one I took was led by Judy Desmoulin, one of the people we worked with in Longlac. She came to speak about the sociology aspect of the First Nations people. She talked about their history and how everything happened, some of it was review from what we had heard last summer when Gilbert talked about his testimony.

I was devastated when I heard about what had happened at Longlac recently. The police had raided the reserve based on a case they had built on some kind of drug ring. They raided the reserve quite violent and forcefully, and arrested several people. They're currently being held and won't get out until the end of the month. The others on the reserve are terrified now, in fear that someone could break into their homes at any given time. And the children -- that's the saddest part -- witnessed their parents get taken away, and they're at home now with no one to take care of them. The thought of those kids all alone..sigh

Judy talked about other things, like the neglect of children. She said one time she was driving through town and saw a 2 year old girl standing outside her house in the rain. Her parents had thrown a party and were inside drinking and smoking. Judy said she took her into her car -- and kept her -- for the next 18 years. The child's parents never came looking for her.

It's all these kinds of sad and hopeless stories that really put a perspective on the conditions in Longlac.

Judy also talked about some other injustices that the natives have had to face. The Indian Act was set and limited indians from gaining the rights of adults. It forced them to go to school until 16, residental schools abused children and put them through hard labor. Children were literally taken from their homes to go to these schools. Indians were afraid to teach their kids their native languages in fear that their kids would face the same atrocities they had faced. Their long hair was cut. The schools took away their culture. Families were split up.

The second seminar I went to was on the legal context of the native plight. I slept for most of this particular seminar, not because it was boring but rather because it came immediately after lunch. The speaker was Jennifer Dalton, a student at York University to specialised in the study of the consitutional legal protections of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. She talked a lot about the Indian Act and about self-determination and self-governization (the lack thereof).

The third seminar was based on the theme "Where do we go from here?" The gist of this seminar was the partnering with other churches, to unify for further missions -- and most importantly mobilizing natives to join us to travel to other countries to serve God together. This is Pastor Joe's (TKPC) vision. I think it's a great radical way of thinking. We've been working so hard to serve them, but the idea of serving alongside them, that would be so incredible.

The key messages, I think, were about unity -- Radical community to diverse unity. He asked us to try to see the bible through an indian's eyes. That we need to perceive the message differently and to understand how to better communicate the gospel so that it could be more effective. He talked about the importance of affirmation and blessings, of connectiveness, community and belonging.

He talked about how Christianity is considered a "white man's" religion, which is why it is rejected by Indians. He talked about how we need to transform the gospel into a native context, and then he retold important stages of the bible in a native point of view.

Funny line -- he called white people "pigmentally challenged", that they were all "bleached out". I thought that was pretty funny.

The second wave of Broken Walls music was less satisfactory for me because I had a terrible stomach ache. Dinner did not agree with me -- we had chinese food. Which is just weird, to have chinese food at a Korean church. I bet I wouldn't have been sick if we had bulgogi! However, we did still dance, we joined hands for various songs and everyone was dancing together, it was truly a unifying experience.

I really enjoyed this conference and got a whole lot out of it. It was a harsh reminder of what we had already seen last summer. The harsh reality of it. But it was also an amazing feeling of worshipping together. And I got a chance to talk to some of the youth -- a demographic we never connected with last summer -- so that was cool. And I met so many amazing people, other missionaries, people who have been helping the Natives for years and years. So many passionate, loving people, who were totally excited about what God has/had been doing in their lives and in their ministries.

March 17, 2006

I Believe

"I Believe" by Building 429

Walk blindly to the light
And reach out for His hand
Don't ask any questions
And don't try to understand

Open up your mind
And then open up your heart
You will see that you and me
We aren't very far part

'Cause I believe that love is the answer
I believe love will find a way
I believe that love is the answer
I believe that love will find a way

Violence has spread worldwide
And there's families in the streets
We sell drugs to children now
Well why can't we just see

That all we do is eliminate our future
With the things we do today
Money is our incentive now
And that makes it okay


Walk blindly to the light and reach out for His hand
Don't ask any questions and don't try to understand
Yea.. I bought another CD. The album is called "Rise", newly released album by Building 429. I don't have much to say about them yet, since I just bought it.

Today I took a day off work so that I could go early to Ishskwaday to help out. Ishskwaday is the Native Missions Conference that I think I've mentioned before. It starts tonight and goes all day tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to this and I'll talk about it when it's all said and done.

March 16, 2006

March Madness

Because of Lent I'll miss all the games in March Madness. But here are my predictions. I picked UConn, Texas, Duke and Oklahoma as my final 4 when the season started. Hey, I got 2 out of 4, which is pretty sad actually. Oklahoma wasn't even close, while Texas ended up a #2 seed.

Once again all predictions were made based on the number of potential NBA players on each roster. Last year after UNC won, I predicted UConn would win this year. This year, I predict Kansas will win next year. Anyway, my breakdown -- and this is purely for my own safe-keeping as I know that 99% of the readers will think "oh great, not another sports post".

Round 1
Atlanta: Duke, Geo. Washington, Syracuse, LSU, West Virginia, Iowa, California, Texas
Oakland: Memphis, Arkansas, Pittsburgh, Kansas, San Diego St., Gonzaga, Alabama, UCLA
Washington: Connecticut, Kentucky, Washington, Illinois, Michigan St., North Carolina, Wichita St., Winthrop
Minneapolis: Villanova, Arizona, Nevada, Boston Coll., Oklahoma, Florida, Georgetown, Ohio St.

Sweet Sixteen
Atlanta: Duke, LSU, West Virginia, Texas
Oakland: Memphis, Kansas, Gonzaga, Alabama
Washington: Connecticut, Washington, Michigan St., Winthrop
Minneapolis: Villanova, Nevada, Florida, Georgetown

Elite Eight
Atlanta: Duke, Texas
Oakland: Kansas, Gonzaga
Washington: Connecticut, Michigan St.
Minneapolis: Villanova, Florida

Final Four
Duke, Kansas, Connecticut, Florida

Duke, Connecticut

Winner: Connecticut. 87-81.

Next Year Champs: Kansas

March 14, 2006


The other day, I was talking about buying more cd's -- there's a few new ones coming out:

  • Hillsong United
  • Building 429
  • Kutless?
  • Mercy Me
  • Jadon Lavik
  • Anyway, I was talking about these cd's with Andrew, and he remarked that I must have a huge CD collection since I'm always talking about buying this or that album. I guess I never really thought about it, I just assumed everyone buys CDs when they want them, and that they want ALL CDs.

    The idea that I might obsessed or fixated on having every CD for every band that I enjoy -- it made me a little self conscious about this problem that I have. I didn't think I had a very big collection. I bought a lot of Green Day and Mariah Carey album's in highschool. And others too, but nothing as obsessively as Mariah and Green Day. Then through most of university I illegally downloaded everything.

    Tapes wise, I only bought 1 tape ever -- "Kris Kross - Totally Krossed Out". Man, I loved those guys. With their backwards jeans.. and the miggida miggida miggida Mac Daddy.

    But CDs, I bought a lot of them once I started working. I erased all my mp3's and bought many of the CDs that I had mp3's of, either because I felt like I couldn't live without them, or because I felt guilty about having listened to the albums a lot without ever buying them. The latter choice was probably pretty dumb because now I have a bunch of CDs that I will probably never listen to again.

    But how big is big? Is 25 a lot? 50? How about 297?

    The next thing is realizing how much I've spent on the CDs, or let's say even music in general. That would include CD players, discmans, mp3 players, walkmans, on top of all the media. I'm a music junkie, I'm like the cookie monster with music. I can't stop. I don't want to. That's quite an "investment"...

    OK, so I don't have 297. But still, it's something for me to think about, especially next week when I buy 3 more to make it an even 300. Just kidding!

    March 13, 2006

    Day 13

    Btw, I am an idiot. Every day I've been counting the days I have been Lenting, not realizing that the whole thing started on the 1st of the month, and I could have just taken the date.

    Anyway.. someone found me some fun to play with, so here it is. There's this test, Johari Nohari -- I know it sound like some kind of occult chant, but it's not. It's a personality test but it's more about how people perceive you.

    You take these two links, and go ahead and fill them in. The instructions are on the site.


    Okay, so go ahead and do those, I won't be offended. This is really great because it gets updated on the fly. It's almost like watching tv!

    March 11, 2006

    Day 11

    I think reality kinda hit me today, when I was talking to my dad today on Google Talk. Okay.. I'll do sad news first, then happy news.

    The sad news is while I was talking to my dad, he asked me about Lent, and pointed out that I got myself into it. I was lamenting on the fact that I was completely bored out of my mind with nothing to do, and he kind of laughed at me about it. He's right though, I could have done anything for Lent. I could have given up pork. Or chicken. Or meat altogether. That would have been easier than giving up TV. It's that point when your own dad laughs at you, that reality sets in.

    Onto the happy news, or maybe the amazing news, is that I told my small group about my dad's illness last week on Friday, and according to him, his stomach has stopped hurting since that day. He's still going in for the test, and yeah I can't say I've got my hopes up but it's nevertheless an item of praise.

    March 10, 2006

    Day 10

    I got to hear a recording of a few of the American Idol singers. I was happy to hear that the future Mrs. Brian Yao is still in the competition. The recording I heard of her was awesome. She sang "Think" by Aretha Franklin, and it was just fantastic. Her voice is good enough that you can't tell if she's exerting herself to hit the difficult notes -- it seems to just comes naturally. I wish I could have seen it. I mean look at her -- what a cutie..!

    I think Katharine McPhee will definitely finish in the top 2 women. People are saying that this year will be a guy's turn to win it. No matter.. after she displays her talents on AI, Katharine will sign a record deal and still be successful. What can I say.. I've got McPhee-ver!

    I made my infamous Beef Brisket again last night, for a potluck we're having tonight's small group. The guys and girls are splitting to do our own thing and the guys decided to do a potluck. I told this to one of my co-workers and he asked me what the point was to cook for a bunch of guys. I think his statement has some merit..

    I made a presentation today. I was a bit nervous this morning, and became more nervous as it got closer because it occurred to me that I wasn't the least bit prepared. At the last minute I typed out exactly what I was going to say, and read it. It took 3 minutes. I had 15 minutes allotted. Oh well. Funny thing is, it ended up taking about 25 minutes. :P

    I revisited my 5 year plan again, of quitting my job after 5 years. I think it will be a full-time ministry type of thing. At least that's what I'm envisioning right now. One of my Christian co-workers told me that there was no way I could "retire" in 4+ years. I told him to have a little faith.

    March 08, 2006

    Are you afraid to die?

    Just thought I'd throw that one out there.

    I think people in general are afraid to die. There's a certain amount of finality to dying, because when you do, everything ends. Your relationships, your belongings, and then you leave behind that responsibility that you had — someone else will need to pick up the slack. Perhaps if you die, a large financial burden will fall upon those who depended on you. I also think people like being alive, just like how people are unhappy when they are sick, because they feel less alive. Whereas death is the ultimate where you're just dead.

    As Christians, there's no finality because we've been granted eternal life, the life after this life. If anything, it's a blessing because we always knew we would be leaving, and plus it'll be so much better in heaven than it is here on earth.

    But I think that, with most Christians and myself included, there is still some fear or at least a bit of nervousness and uneasiness when we ponder our own end. You may feel bad for dying because of the pain it would cause others around you. I know for me, I would really feel sorry for my mass of fans who will miss me so much. ;)

    There's a certain amount of guilt involved with it too, as if to say "HEY! I still have more to do!". I mean if God decided to give you a surprise early retirement, wouldn't most of us think "Whoa whoa whoa... can you give me a second please? Give me.. a month.. no — a year. I still have way more to do. Lemme finish those things, and THEN I'll come home." It'd be like what the little boy says to his mom when she tells him it's bedtime. "Just 5 more minutes.."

    And then you'd sit back and think of all the time you wasted, sitting in front of the television or computer, hours wasted studying in the library about some topic that had absolutely no use towards your mission. Sitting at your desk at work 8-10 hours per day or hours spent in a boardroom discussing topics that don't matter, or the countless hours spent lying awake in bed, thinking about some girl (or boy) who wasn't even worth your time.

    Isn't it also funny, that a non-christian would cite all those similar things as major accomplishments in their life? This has become more and more apparent as I talk with my co-workers (I have no other non-christian friends in any other circuit of my life). They sit around at lunch and all they talk about is new car models, interest rates and investments, and taxes.

    It's really kind of sad when you think about these empty goals and achievements, being the pinnacle of their ambitions.

    March 07, 2006

    Pork chops, Q & A

    I had written a post about death, but it's on Notepad at work. I'll have to post it tomorrow instead. Instead, let's all hear about what I had for dinner today.

    Q: What's that you're eating there? It looks good.
    A: Why hello there. I'm eating porkchops.

    Q: What's so great about porkchops?
    A: I can tell you with great certainty there is absolutely nothing "great" about porkchops. It's just pork and salt. And pepper. It's a little fatty but all in all, pretty tasty indeed.

    Q: Say, what the heck is that pink stuff next to your porkchop?
    A: Oh, that's applesauce. Actually, it's strawberry applesauce, so it's got the added yummy strawberry flavor on top of the tangy applesauce flavor.

    Q: Wait, wait. Are you saying that you're having pork with apple?
    A: I sure am. It's really yummy. I can tell you that the applesauce complements the pork flavor quite well. Yessiree! Porkchops and applesauce are A-OK in my book!

    Recipe for porkchops:
    2 porkchops
    Vegetable oil

    Pour a bit of oil into a saucepan. When hot, place porkchops into the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Flip when brown. Oh, use medium heat.

    Recipe for applesauce:

    Put applesauce on porkchop. Serve.

    All jokes aside, porkchop has to be the most uninteresting thing ever to make. I think even making instant noodles is more exciting. I am not going to bother attempting this again because it didn't even taste all that great. This is probably a good recipe for students though.

    Btw, I feel like crap right now. No-no, it's not from the porkchop. I had 5 minigo's for lunch. What a big mistake. Next time I'll limit myself to 4. :D

    March 06, 2006

    Prayer items

    I want to request that everyone prays for my father, who will be undergoing an EGD on March 17, 2006. EGD stands for esophagogastroduodenoscopy, so let's just stick with EGD because that's way too much to type out.

    He's been having stomach pains off and on (more on than off) over the past 3 months and so he's going to have it checked out. Hopefully it's nothing. It would be great if it's just an ulcer, which can be fixed with some medicine.

    Also, one of my cousins is also going in for an endoscopy on Wednesday. I think it's similar so please for him as well. I have a co-worker who went for the endoscopy this afternoon.

    I was doing some reading and according to this site and this site, found that cancer is extremely prevalent among the asian community. The stats are rather alarming. When I talked to my dad about his stomach problems, he pointed out that oriental men experience the highest rate of stomach cancer out of all racial/ethnic groups. In fact, that site says the highest is for Korean men, other sites say Japanese people in general.


    I have been feeling colder and colder every night and I think I have finally figured out why. Last night, I noticed that most of the filling in my comforter has bunched up over to the side. In other words, right now my blanket is essentially two pieces of very thin cloth. There's no filling at all in most of it. That's why I've been so cold these past few nights. That could also be why I've been unable to sleep well.

    Someone at work suggested that I buy a Duvet. One of my co-workers, "Anthony", really cracks me up. He told me to get a Duvet simply because women love them and it's an easy way to get them into bed. Apparently he's experienced at this. Haha.. what a funny guy. He's always giving me great ideas. Hilarious! Anyway, I also considered a Duvet for the more practical reason that it's supposed to be very warm.

    The trouble is I have a twin-sized bed and it seems like an awful waste of money to buy a Duvet for a twin -- that is if they even make them that small. Maybe I'll buy a queen sized Duvet for the guest room bed, and then just sleep in that bed until winter is over. Ohh.. that's a great idea!

    March 05, 2006

    Day 5

    A couple things I noticed about abstaining from television.

    First, I am getting way less sleep than when I watched TV. I used to watch tv right before bed, and it would put me into a sleepy mode. I'd be either dozing off or I had slept 20-30 minutes in front of the television before bed. So it was a good transition for me before bed. I'm missing that now and I find it takes a lot longer for me to fall asleep. And as I mentioned, I'm missing those naps I'd have when I dozed off from watching TV. I tried to take my usual "2 hours of napping in front of the TV on a Sunday afternoon" nap in bed today and really couldn't get it going.

    Second, I have a way lower inclination to cook. For some reason, because I'm locked up in my room now (my room has the best lighting in the house and it's the warmest room) all the time, and when I'm in here, I have no inclination to go out of my room. That includes going to the fridge to grab a snack or drink, and henceforth, to cook. I have not cooked for myself since Lent began. I think part of it is that I used to cook and enjoy my meal in front of the TV. I could eat slow and enjoy the taste and the show. Now, I just stare into nothing and eat. It's depressing.

    So I would say that at this point it's working, because I'm suffering and that's great because I love to suffer. In previous years, giving up gaming or chatting, there were alternatives. But by the end both those Lents, I guess I would say that I had gotten used to it. However if you think about Christ's sufferings, I don't think you can ever "get used to" someone whipping you with a mace. It's not like after 3 hours of flogging you think "Hey, this isn't so bad.. I think I'm getting used to this.."

    Praise God for allowing me to find a way in which I can find suffering such that I can be constantly reminded of His sufferings.

    March 04, 2006

    Out of love or necessity

    I had an interesting conversation with a friend about serving out of love or out of necessity. By serving of course, I mean serving in God's purposes.

    My initial reaction is that it isn't so black and white. There is the grey area where you serve both out of love and out of necessity. Is it wrong to feel "obliged" to go on missions, when God's command for us is to do so? I remember the sermon by Pastor Daniel at OCAC. A. B. Simpson (founder of the Alliance Church) said that if you truly believe in the second coming, then there is no possible way that you are not thinking about missions all the time. I tend to agree with this. My interpretation is that, if you believe Christ is coming back, then there can't be an iota of your being that isn't missions driven.

    I did not have this burning feeling in the pit of my stomach or urgency towards the Native people in Canada that drove me to go on a missions trip to Longlac. Sure, I've grown fond of them since then, having spent time with them, and knowing their history and seeing their poverty with my own eyes helps me to understand their plight and need for God. At this point I would say that I have a heart for the Natives. But at the time, when I was there, and when I made the decision to go -- it was definitely a decision based on obedience and sense of duty.

    But not all my actions are based on duty or obedience. Although I believe this is a tricky topic. I mean, you can go and say I did this and that for a person because I love that person. But then are you saying that God had nothing to do with it? That, you made the decision on your own and are doing it for yourself? Because then you are taking credit away from God. God *is* love. So in reality, although you may have thought you did this and that for someone, the truth is you did it for God and that God had a hand in your action.

    It's like that whole pride/humble thing. If I say "I'm humble", then I'm being proud I just cancelled it out.

    But I think I'm digressing. Do I serve at church out of love or necessity? In that sense -- do they *need* me to go up there and sing? Not really. I do it out of love, love for worshipping God and love for singing. I enjoy singing, and I enjoy worshipping God. I guess in some sense that explains why I can never smile or jump around on stage even when people ask me to. Because that's no longer me worshipping God, it's me putting on a show to help others get in the mood. Bleh.. if people need me to do something to get them into the mood to worshipping God, then they probably need some counselling. How can you, as a believer, not be in the mood to worship Him, or feel uncomfortable worshipping God?

    Once again, I digress.

    So... what was my point. Yea.. man, I hate when you lose your train of thought, and you don't want to hit "Save as Draft", because you just know that when you come back to this post again, you'll delete the whole thing and start over?

    My point is, everything I do for God I do it because I love Him, and as a result I feel the urgency to obey him. Yes, that's it. Done and done. Good night!

    March 02, 2006

    Day 2

    Day 1 was too easy, because I spent the entire day at work, and then the entire evening at the ACC watching the sad pathetic Toronto Raptors lose.

    Today was tough though. I was sick today so I stayed home. So that's 8 hours right there of avoiding television. And then another 6-7 more for after hours. I meditated, which helped a lot. And then for the other 14.5 hours, I moped about. I read the passage for tomorrow's bible study for small group.

    I played some games and I napped. I drank lots of orange juice.

    I went out for dinner, to just get some food, came back and felt very cold (that was 30 minutes ago), I still feel really cold. I'm probably going to bed again in an hour or so.

    I just read over this post, and boy is it ever boring.

    March 01, 2006

    429; Purell

    There's a new Building 429 album coming out this month. I was surprised because usually I'm on the ball when it comes to these things. I guess it's proof that I haven't spent quite as much time in front of the computer as I used to.

    The way I found out was from Mitchell's Family Bookstore, who called me to let me know it was coming out so that I could pre-order it. That surprised me as well. Firstly, I didn't know Mitchell's did things like that. And secondly, I didn't think Building 429 was so popular that they needed a pre-ordering service.

    Praise God that they got the exposure they've needed. Their song "Glory Defined" is on the latest WOW Worship CD. Good for them!

    Anyway, you can go to this site to preview a couple of their songs. After listening to them a few times, I can see that they've gone over to the rock side (whereas "Space In Between Us" was more of a mixture of rock and pop-rock). This excites me because there aren't really any hard rock Christian bands out there -- a genre that I actually really enjoy.

    I heard of a group called Kutless a few years ago and a few friends have mentioned that they are pretty good. I'll probably have to check them out when I go pick up my Building 429 cd.


    I've fallen into yet another obsession, this time at work. I have this bottle of Purell, that I squeeze into my hand. I'm obsessed with it. I just love it. I put it on any time my hands aren't silky smooth. Even a tiny bit of sweat gives me an excuse to squeeze another excessive amount of Purell on my fingers. It feels so great.

    I've used up a tiny 59mL bottle in about 2 weeks. It's like magic.. it just cleans me and then it disappears into thin air, like magic gel!


    The City abolished their "mandatory retirement" rule. You can work here forever now. And of course, you would because why retire and only get 70% of your salary if you can work here forever and get 100%? Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

    Seriously though, why would anyone work past 55 unless they had to? I sure wouldn't. I'd rather live like a student and eat crap for the rest of my life and rent a basement apartment, than have to work past 55. Seriously.