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.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Food and sport

I love food, and I love sport. Now that life here is a lot more settled, I'm really starting to be aware of so many more opportunities to be using these 2 things to not only be building relationships myself, but also helping other friends get to meet and know each other better. When I think of my church friends, so often we only see each other once a week on a Sunday, or maybe twice if they are also in the same cell group. But over the past few weeks, I've had a chance to be playing tennis with other people from church meaning that we get to see each other 2-4 times a week, and that alone has really helped to build relationships and all people to open up. I'm hoping to do more sport stuff (weather permitting here of course, especially as we hit rainy season), and be using my place to invite friends over for midweek dinners/movie nights. I've found that even if people can't make it for dinner, they appreciate the invite or even the call to chat.

So, thanks to a few of my smbc friends, here's one of my latest investments.

After a shaky initiation dinner with friends, i realise that i really need to practice working with charcoal here (not quite as easy as heat beads back home). But looking forward
to the fun that i can have, not only cooking bbq's but especially the fun in hanging out with friends.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sunday School Social

After getting introduced to nerf guns many years ago, I was pretty excited to discover that many of the kids at church here have also got into nerf guns. Now that all my nerf guns have arrived in Thailand (thanks to my many friends who have kindly been bring over stuff for me) I promised the kids that we'd have a nerf wars day, to which they were all super keen. Who would've thought that nerf games that we used to play in the office (all in the name of helping get the creative juices running of course) would come in so handy many years later.

Earlier this month, Thailand had a 4 day long weekend, so we decided to use one of the days as a social day for the SS kids. We started with nerf wars in the church, before going bowling and ending up with dinner and a movie at my sisters house in the evening. It was a great day where many of the kids brought along friends and we could just have lots of fun with them. Unfortunately in my over enthusiastic attempts to try and capture the flag, I was quickly reminded that I am no longer as young or agile as I used to be. Needless to say, it was still heaps of fun!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Church Camp

Just came away from this years church camp pretty pumped and challenged by the things we were taught from the Bible. Over a series of 4 Bible talks, we were challenged by what it means to have Jesus at the centre of our lives. The first talk looked at 2 Cor 6:14-7:1 and looked at what a life that has Jesus at the centre should look like and why we need to have Jesus at the centre of our lives. The second talk looked at how 'Love' can be an idol that we put in the centre of our lives so that it replaces Jesus. In particular, our love of relationships. It was an awesome talk which used stories from Genesis, from Jacob & Esau, to Rebecca and Leah. Although love of people and relationships is a good thing, it was a strong warning to us to consider how our desire to be loved by others, and how often we think our life will be fulfilled when we get the affections of others, can in fact be an idol that makes us lose focus on what is the one thing that indeed gives us true fulfilment, ie a relationship with God. From there, we looked at how the desire for money and possessions can be an idol too. As we looked at the parable of the shrewd manager it was a great challenge and reminder of what it is that we put our trust in, it's not the money, but the character of God. We need to be 'clever' like the shrewd manager in how we act in response to our knowledge of God's justice, mercy and grace rather than the things of this world. Our final talk was from John 21:1-19 where Jesus reinstates Peter. It was a great reminder of how there is nothing too big or bad that we have done in our lives that Jesus cannot forgive us for. No matter how much we think we might have strayed from God, Jesus meets us where we're at and calls us to follow him. The big question we need to keep asking ourselves is do we love Jesus more than anything else in this world. There is so much that I still need to process, think about and challenge myself about the 'idols' in my life. Needless to say, I think there were many people at the camp who were really challenged by the things they heard.

For those who pray:
- Praise God for a great weekend away with the church
- Praise God for faithful and challenging teaching
- Pray for all those who attended the camp, to not let the things they learnt simply become head knowledge, but things that become life changing.

Apart from the amazing talks, I had the privilege to serve with the Worship team by playing drums, keys and help with the sound desk and other A/V stuff including doing up a video clip from Cool Runnings which included having to do the Thai subtitles. While the editing factor was straight forward, doing subtitles is a whole new world that I've just been opened up to. Let's just say that I've got a long way to go with language still. Being involved with quite a few things at camp unfortunately meant that there wasn't much time to rest up as most of the free time was rehearsing, setting up A/V stuff for the various meetings, but it did mean that I got to get to know a few people a lot better as we served together. After getting back from camp, I managed to get a solid 10hrs sleep, which unfortunately still isn't enough. Hopefully the next few days will allow for some good rest and reflection time.

Anyway, here are a few pics from the camp, as well as a link to a video that was done up to show what happened at the camp. I appear few times with evidence that shows that any mischief that I'm involved with is only minor stuff (skip to the 8min 15 sec part of the video).

You can check out a bit of the action of our church camp by clicking here