May 31, 2006

New record

"Attention, attention."
"Attention, attention."
"This is the security speaking."
"This is the security speaking."
"The fire alarm has been activated."
"The fire alarm has been activated."
"The fire department is working on the situation."
"The fire department is working on the situation."
"Unforunately, it is a false alarm."
"Unforunately, it is a false alarm."

I don't know what's funnier, that he feels the need to repeat every sentence, or the fact that he thinks that a false alarm is "unfortunate". I would think a real fire would be far more unfortunate, but I guess since he's not 30 floors away from the fire exit, he's not as scared as I would be.

So this alarm goes off at 12am, which isn't too late unless you consider I had to wake up at 6:30 to go to work the next morning, because I had to make up time at work because I missed a whole day because of the TTC strike.

And to make matters worse, my internal clock woke me up at 5:30am. (That's a new record).

But aside from the lack of sleep I am doing fine. I haven't had a whole lot to blog about. I've noticed that whenever I have guests/family, I don't blog as much and since my brother is here for the summer, I've blogged very little.

Andrew & Lisa from Ottawa stayed over for the weekend, in Toronto for a wedding. I always enjoy spending time with them. I think I've mentioned them before. I stayed with them one night when I was in Ottawa in March. They always find time for me whenever they visit Toronto, and I always enjoy talking to them, especially with Lisa who is just a very loving person, great person to talk to. They're a very God-centered couple who I find often rubs off on me and makes me realize sometimes how not-God-centered I can become.

I think they are one of the few people from Ottawa that I actually still talk to and not just purely reminisce with. I think that's the main reason I stopped meeting with my university friends, because all we would ever talk about was the old days, and after awhile it wasn't cool to hang out because we always talked about the same old thing. You need a buffer, a span of a few years to hang out with people like that, that way reminiscing doesn't feel idiotic.

On the weekend we also had a big lunch reunion, where I saw Tim C for the first time since 2000. He has gained a lot of weight since then. He's also gained a fiance in Angela. Very nice girl.. looked a bit like a chinese Rachel McAdams. Also saw Andrew and Bernice, I believe that Andrew spent a co-op term in Ottawa. It's none of my business but I'm surprised they aren't engaged yet. Lon and Yvonne were also in attendance, along with Roger, Miranda and her sister Ange. We ate at Skyland de Shanghai, a restaurant close to Midland & Steeles. Everytime I eat there, I come out with a huge belly.. the food there is sooo good.

May 25, 2006


It occurred to me on the subway ride home, that maybe working upwards might not be such a bad thing. I've always worked horizontally, trying to meet people and talk to them, expanding my social and "political" network but never really had much invested in trying to move up. Of course I'm talking about work, and working on getting promoted, moving up the ranks.

I've never considered it as something that I had any interest in doing. Sure, it comes with benefits. Better salary, more respect from peers, more impressive to others, etc. I guess I could see other benefits now, such as opening my mission field to a different group of individuals, those who are more "advanced".

There's a song called "So Long Self" in the new Mercy Me album "Coming Up To Breathe". The lyrics are interesting because they speak about breaking up and the common phrases you hear in a relationship that is about to end. Only the difference is that Bart sings it to himself. He's saying goodbye to himself because it's all about God now.

Well if I come across a little bit distant
It's just because I am
Things just seem to feel a little bit different
You understand
Believe it or not but life is not apparently
About me anyways
But I have met the One who really is worthy
I think it's cool to say goodbye to yourself, to your own ambitions, aspirations. Your salary expectations, your goals as to how big your house should be, a shiny car, a beautiful wife (or husband), that big promotion you're looking forward to. None of that matters.

May 24, 2006


It's been over a week since my last post. That's not for the lack of excitement in my life, but just an insane span of days where I've been totally either pre-occupied or exhausted. Work has been really busy, and the time between work and bedtime have been jam packed as well.

It occurred to me last night that I have not been making the right choices when it comes to dinner preparation and going out to eat with my brother. My salary dictates that I can't afford to live this way. It's a good thing my brother is only here for the summer! I've been thinking about what we can eat for dinner, and I've concluded that the honeymoon is over and that I'll need to cook large meals on the weekends and hope the leftovers last for at least a few days.

I've had some wonderful conversations with people at work lately. Somehow important conversations pop out of no where. Sometimes they catch me off guard and I'm unable to capitalize on them, but other times meaningful stuff result in them. It's all part of the "my work place is my mission field" thing that I've been praying about, and also hearing about. I think as Christians we often wonder about the Great Commission and how we can do our part if we feel as if we weren't called for the traditional "missionary" work.

And I kinda think that these opportunities have always been there but that I just wasn't listening for them. Or maybe, God has opened them after all the prayers. Or, perhaps God opens these doors when He feels you're prepared for them. Whatever the case may be, I find myself having all sorts of opportunities to talk about evolution and creation, life purposes and goals, religion, music, culture, beliefs.

This brings to a close my poll, which was whether or not you think you've been called for missions. Of course, the answer is yes. We as believers have been called for missions. There's no if, ands, or buts about it. For it is written:

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 18:19-20)

I don't know if it could be any clearer than this..

May 15, 2006


My brother said something to me that made me tremendously happy. We were walking together towards the elevator, on our way downstairs to buy us some vegetables (we've been having way too much meat lately). He put his arm around me and told me that I was a good brother. That he had seen other people's brothers and that there was no comparison, that I'm a really good brother, the best he's ever seen. He said "Where would I be without you? You take care of me, you're a great brother. I love you, Brian."

I was totally taken aback, I asked him what he had done, if he had scratched my car, burnt something. But it was a random thing that he decided to share with me. It was totally AWESOME.

Thinking back, of the various milestones we've been through, it's be a growing relationship that started from me earnestly praying for a baby brother when I was 9, to the times I would pick him up from school, and then our sad separation when my family moved to the US. And then to have him come back to Toronto for University. To him it might seem like a curious roundabout way where God gave him a huge opportunity to study in the US only to end up back in Toronto again. Maybe it might seem like a curse to him, but to me it has been every little bit of a blessing.

Having the responsibility to look after another person may appear to be burden for some, but for me I've found that it has been challenging but extremely gratifying and fun. It has made me do things that I normally wouldn't bother with on my own, but because it's for someone else it becomes worthwhile.

I used to think that being independant was the ultimate way to learn how to deal with responsibilities, to learn to take care of yourself. But now I've learned that having a dependant you end up learning so much more because there's someone there to keep you accountable for your actions. It's kind of like the approach I take for driving -- I drive differently if I'm alone or if I'm giving someone a ride. I'm far more reckless driving on my own because the way I figure, if I screw up it's only me who suffers. There's more on the line when people you're responsible for are involved.

Apart from the responsibilities, having a friend, someone whom I love very much to be living with me. It's absolutely great. Having someone to come home to, to talk to, to eat with, to cook for/with, to enjoy games and tv shows with. It makes me so excited about the future, about what God has in store for me.

May 12, 2006

Coming Up To Breathe

I just realized that I have almost a dozen posts saved as drafts that I either never finishing writing or were afraid to.

Anyway, I made a big mistake saying that "Coming Up To Breathe" was a bad album. In fact it may be one of Mercy Me's best offerings. The difficulty in judging it at first was me being in a "hard rock" mode having listened to a lot of Building 429, and then the transition to a more southern, country rock.. well it just wasn't working for me.

But looking back I can definitely agree that I made a mistake in judgement. It's a great cd. I wasn't well today and didn't go to work, my mind is jumbled because I basically just woke up. I won't say much but post a song and lyrics.

Here is "Bring The Rain" by Mercy Me, from the "Coming Up To Breathe" album:

I can count a million times
People asking me why
I can praise You
With all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You?

Maybe since my life has changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on You Oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead
Draw closer through this time

So I pray
Bring me joy
Bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise you
Jesus bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The clouds that may loom above
Because You much are greater than the pain

You who made a way for me
Suffering Your destiny
So tell me
What's a little rain

So I pray
Bring me joy bring me peace
bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus bring the rain

Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Is the Lord God Almighty

Now forever sing
Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Is the Lord God Almighty

Everybody sing
Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Is the Lord God Almighty

May 11, 2006

Blasphemy - Suns

On Tuesday during our weekly team meeting, my supervisor talked about how we are trying to get other groups on board to use our application, which is a web based project tracking tool. It's called PTP.

Anyway, at some point he said we were trying to spread the "PTP Gospel". Then later, another guy who was travelling from district to district, called himself a missionary. I just find that absolutely blasphemous.

In the second half of this post I'd like to post my rant about the Phoenix Suns. This is a team that, I had always liked up until recently. They are a team of underdogs who lost their best player and banded together to put together a pretty remarkable season, making it into the playoffs with a high seeding. A team of cast-offs who are all have career years and seemingly a hard working, humble and classy group of individuals.

This all changed last Saturday when they played against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 7. They shot nearly twice as good as the Lakers did, who were shooting a mere 35% for the game. Leading by 30 or more, they continued firing on all cylinders, going all out even late in the game when the end result was no question going to be a win. This is like kicking someone when they're down, and to me doing something like that in sports is about as worse as it can possibly get. With 5 minutes left in the game, leading by 30 points, with their MVP player tweaking his ankle, their coach chose to keep him in the game and continue to run up the score. It just doesn't make sense to me why you would do that unless you were purposely trying to embarass the other team. This kind of behavior made Steve Spurrier one of the most hated coaches in college football because he would do the same, run up the score even when his team was already up by a good margin.

This kind of bush league behavior is what I would have expected from a bunch of idiot players, possibly drunk, having absolutely zero respect for their teammates and their sport, to pull off something like this. It's basically turned my whole outlook of this team into seeing just how stupid these players are. At the end of the day, it proves one thing: The Phoenix Suns don't deserve to win the championship. You look at any other team who has a big lead in the playoffs, they do not fire 3 pointers and try to run up the score. Look at the Detroit Pistons after they had scored 11 3pointers in the first half, cruising by nearly a 25 point lead. They had a chance to break the NBA record for most 3 pointers in a playoff game. But did they go for it? Of course not, because they are a championship calibre/deserving team. They only scored 4 more 4 pointers for the rest of the game.

The Clippers, leading the Suns by 20 at the half, did the same thing. Did they try to rub it in? Of course not. Because they aren't a bunch of idiots and they respect their game and their opponents.

May 08, 2006

Lack of posts

Sorry for the lack of posts. I have been pretty busy lazy and haven't had the chance to stop and think. My brother Darryl has moved back in for the summer. He finished his exams on Friday. I drove down to get him on Saturday.

I lended out my Building 429 "Rise" CD and have been listening to MercyMe's "Coming Up To Breathe". Initially I didn't really like it because it leans more towards the country side which is completely different from "Rise". But I have to say now that it's pretty darn good. While listening to it this morning on the subway, I had the same feeling I had listening to the previous album "Undone". It was a feeling of clarity that came over me. Feelings of joy and sensing God's hand upon me, opening my eyes.

May 02, 2006


I was asked if I disliked the band "Starfield". My personal opinion is that people like them a lot because they're Canadian and outside of that, they're just an average band. A friend of mine (who I trust in terms of musical taste) bought the CD after much hype was made about them, and told me the CD was "Okay, nothing special." If I were to spend $15-20 on every CD by all the average bands out there, I'd run out of money in a hurry.

That brings us to my review of Building 429's latest offering: "Rise".

When I bought their first CD "Space Between Us", I had almost no expectations. I had heard "Glory Defined" on the radio a billion times and outside of that I didn't think they would be much better than that. However, that CD surprised me because it was really good. I guess you could say I had mixed expectations of the second CD "Rise". On the one hand you expect good stuff because of the first, but on the other, I am always weary of sophomore CDs.

I think the first thing I noticed about Rise was that the musicians have matured a lot. They sound more like a hard rock band whereas in the first album, half the album was rock, and the other was a bit of alternative/pop. It impresses me that they would go and work harder on their craft after just picking up the "New Artist of the Year" Dove Award. Often I've found that bands release a sub-par CD following great success in the previous and just ride their past fame — or they're just one-hit wonders. For example, David Crowder's "Collision", MercyMe's "Coming Up To Breathe" (I'll get to this disappointment in a couple weeks), Coldplay's "X&Y", Alanis Morissette's "Everything after Jagged Little Pill". But in this case Building 429's second offering is even better than the first.

I haven't listened to anything other than "Rise" over the past few days in my iPod. The songs are brighter and fuller, and the lyrics are challenging and bold. I highly recommend this CD if you're into Christian rock.