Welcome to PlaaPlaaPlaa!

So you may be wondering why PlaaPlaaPlaa? What are those strange fish symbols above? What is ปลา and what does it mean? In short, this is a blog site, so surely there's going to be plenty of rambling. Unfortunately BlahBlahBlah was already taken, so I had to settle for the 'Plaa'. But there's actually more to it then just ramblings. The first fish symbol is actually a Christian symbol meaning ICTHUS - a greek acronymn which means "Jesus Christ is God's Son, the Saviour". The other strange letters you see in the last fish is actually the thai word for fish which funnily enough is pronounced "Plaa". So when you put it all together, this site is going to be my ramblings in telling people about how Jesus Christ is God's Son, the Saviour in Thailand (with plenty of good stories about food in between). Happy reading.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Making Chiang Mai Sausage

I must admit, i've been a slow starter at getting into Masterchef Australia. But after seeing all the posts that friends had on facebook about it, and after my sister got back from Australia and talked about it, i had to find out what it was all about. I've only managed to see some of the finals series, but what i have seen has inspired me (and most of Australia i'm sure) to get into cooking. After seeing an episode on making sausages, i was suddenly inspired to want to learn how to make sausages. A friend and i thought we'd give it a go. After looking up lots of various recipes on the net, we figured we could get the stuffing sorted, but what to do about the intestine casing and how to stuff it. We didn't have any of those fancy machines that they had on masterchef! And there's no point buying something like that for an experiment that'd most likely taste terrible :)

So thank God for Mac and her aunty and Uncle. Mac is a good friend of my friend. Her aunty and uncle run a shop that makes and sells Sai Oowa (the thai name for the Chiang Mai sausage). So a couple saturday's ago, we went over to their restaurant, and i got the low down on how to make sausages. One of the best things i learnt - you DON'T need the fancy machinery that i saw on the TV to make sausages. An old cut up water bottle works just fine. Ok, so you'll need to really get your hands into it a lot more, but hey, it makes it more fun too.

here are a few pics of my cooking lesson.

trying to work get the intestine back onto the end of the bottle after i accidentally lost concentration and let it go

it really was fun making it

getting a bit of help from Mac's uncle in how to tie it up

the sausage all stretched out

and the final product!

Verdict: it was YUM!!! i was given a long length of sausage that i was going to take around to my sister's place to share with the family. But it never actually got there as i ended up eating it all myself :) hehe

Friday, August 21, 2009

Joshua Cell Groups lives on

Thanks for all those who prayed for the cell group i go to. It's been an interesting past couple of months and last weeks prediction that there would be no more cell group was thankfully a wrong presumption. However, having said that, there are some MAJOR changes that have happened and a really exciting future i feel for the group. After months (literally) of meetings and 'discussions' over what the group should be like and essentially whether or not we should study the bible, those who were in favour of having a 'fun relaxing' group have all decided to leave the group. As i try to understand where they were coming from, i do think i have a bit of an understanding as to why they might have been pushing for a group like that, but at the same time, it didn't help those in the group to be growing in their knowledge and understanding of God and helping them grow as christians.

So, there were a few old faces that returned to the group last week when they realised it could possibly be the last week and we'd have to make decisions about the future. Despite the 'advisor' for the group pushing for us to shut down after he himself announced he would be stepping down as advisor and also taking a break from the group, the entire group voted to keep on going. As soon as the decision was made, there was an restrained excitement by that were left in the group, that we could finally be able to do what we wanted to do - study the bible, as well as have fun. it's not that the two things have to be mutually exclusive! All the decisions about where we would meet, what we will study, who will lead the group, what will we do in our time together (all the things we'd been 'meeting' about over the past 2 1/2 months), we agreed on within a total of about 2 mins!

So as of tomorrow, i will start taking the group through a 6 week series in the book of Philippians. :) I'm really excited about the fact that we are going to start to study the bible seriously - the first time in almost 3 months, and everyone is really pumped about it. Please pray for me, especially with language, that i'll be able to help the group grow in their understanding of Philippians and especially of God, but please pray especially for the group, that they'll (for the first time for some) really start reading the Bible and letting the Bible speak for itself. Pray that they'll learn great truths about God and that as they are challenged by those things, their lives will be changed as a result too. So exciting times ahead for Joshua. it's like we've made it through the kiln and have come out the other side more refined :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Long weekend to Bangkok

A couple weekends ago, i was able to get away for a long weekend to Bangkok with Kim and Da. We've been wanting to go away together for about a year now, and it wasn't until a few weeks ago that we FINALLY found a time that all 3 of us could get away. Thankfully Da has a 'sister' who lives in Bangkok, so we stayed with her and just went on lots of day trips each day. worked out to be a pretty cheap holiday in the end (can't complain about that).

What i found pretty amusing was that for some reason, people in Bangkok can tell that i'm not Thai, and as a result tried to make me pay all the tourist prices - which at times is like 5 times the 'thai' price. But after a bit of reasoning and showing of my thai drivers licence etc to prove that i wasn't just here as tourist, we finally got away with paying the thai price, but had to put a good fight.

So we got to check out Ampawaa, a floating market town known for all the fireflies, went to a wax museum where i tried to pretend to be a wax statue to catch other visitors out (pretty funny), went to a crocodile/elephant zoo, went to another riverside market, went to Nakon Pathom and visited the royal grounds there and ate at the markets, went to church and got to meet heaps of cool people there. Their church was held in an old cinema, so made for an interesting atmosphere :)

Anyway, here are a few quick snaps of the holiday.

at the wax museum with all the past kings of Thailand

the lights at Ampawaa looking like the Thai flag

Da and Kim walking the markets Ampawaa

an awesome seafood feast - a plate of scallops for $2 AUD

the boats at the markets at Ampawaa

on the single bridge for ALL the people

at some seaside town - no idea where

trying to do a Sound of Music type shot

getting eaten by a croc

At the croc and elephant zoo

the flower arrangement bird on kim's head

learnt how to make flowers out of money

Monday, August 10, 2009

What's in store next?

For many of you who have been praying for my Cell Group, thanks! Your prayers have been invaluable! God is working to resolve the situation, however, as always it's also not in a way that i would've hoped. But i know that God is god, and i'm not, so He knows best.

I guess over the past 2 1/2 months of 'uncertainty', it's becoming clearer and clearer that there are two distinct but unfortunately opposing objectives for the group and people in the group seem to belong to one or the other. If you had to sum it up in the simplest of ways - group A - wants to learn the bible, group B - wants to have fun and time out. Unfortunately group B doesn't seem to understand that it's possible to actually have fun while learning the Bible and group A doesn't want to compromise in either using the Bible randomly or not at all. So whilst nothing is official, there are some big decisions that will need to be made this week as to what will happen to this group. There are many who are leaving or have left the group already as they are fed up with what's been going on. My personal opinion is that it is likely that this week could be the final week of this group, which is probably a good thing for the long run for a whole host of reasons. However, again, that's my wisdom talking, not God's. So for those who are praying, if you can please be praying for the group. For relationships within the group to be preserved despite differences of opinion, for God to be glorified and for his will to be done. I know it's been a big wake up call for many in the church that there has been a big issue like this that has come up. For me, it's also just demonstrated even more, the reality of spiritual warfare and how satan is doing all he can to bring down God's people.