December 31, 2007

Never Too Early to Start

Although the Pacers are having a better season than most people expected, they still aren't doin' much to gain fans. Ever since the Rumble at the Palace, it seems like the Pacers been on a slippery slide downhill. As a result, in order to build true Pacer fans, I guess we need to start early. I've been teaching Owen the names of the Pacer players, hoping that one day he and I can enjoy sitting in front of the computer watching the scoreboard. Maybe by the time he is old enough to really understand, the Pacers will actually be good.

December 30, 2007

Name Owen

Meet Name, (No, I didn't forget his name, his name is Name) Owen's cousin. Name was born 4 or 5 days after Owen and they are next door neighbors for the time being. Tawm (Tawm's cousin in law) brought Name over to our house the other day. Everyone can't get over the size difference between the two. Owen and Name played together. Owen wanted to play more that Name. He squirmed and squirmed until he got in reaching distance and then gave his little cousin a little love tap. As a result of the love tap, Name started wailing. Although name is about 2/3s the size of Owen, his cry is about 5 times louder. I am sure Owen and Name will be spending lots of time together in the future.

If you were confused by the names, sorry, this is Thailand!! :)

December 27, 2007

A Tough Loss

Well, my fantasy football team had a disappointing end to the season. Pretty much my whole team had an off day and we got blown out.

I am also hoping that a couple of other teams have a disappointing end to their seasons, namely the Patriots and Cowboys. However with my luck, they will probably meet in the Superbowl. It will be like the mid 90's when my two most hated teams seemed to meet in the finals, the Jazz and da Bulls. It was always rough trying to decide which team to cheer for.

Here's my dream Superbowl match up Colts vs. Bucs or Steelers vs. Bucs. I know that neither is likely to happen, but hey, one can dream no?

Thailand's Need

Today we received a Christmas card from one of our supporters in Canada. Inside, they included a newsletter from Far East Broadcasting Associates of Canada. This is what the introductory paragraph said...

"The population of Christian believers in Thailand is estimated to be only one-half of one percent - making this Asian kingdom one of the least-evangelized countries in the world!"

Thailand's population is 64 million and according to my math that means that Thailand only has 320,000 Christians and many of those aren't really believers. I thank God that He called me here, please pray for us and all the missionaries who are laboring in this needy place.

December 26, 2007

The Results are in

Last Sunday was election Sunday. As a result, we had almost no one at church because everyone had to return home to vote. This was the result:

The People Power Party (PPP) whose main platform was its support for former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (who was ousted in last year's coup d'etat) won the election. PPP won the hearts of Thailand's rural majority. Of a possible 480 seats, the PPP won 232 seats. Thaksin who has been living in exile in both England and Hong Kong has already made it known that he will be coming back to Thailand for the first time since last year's coup. People have promised that there will not be another coup but we will see what the future entails.

Because of the PPP's popularity, it makes one wonder, was the coup really needed?

Have you You Faied?

Yesterday was Owen's first Christmas. Although he is too young to understand, I had the chance to explain the whole Christmas story to him (we'll see how much he can recall later on). We spent the day at home because Tawm is following a Thai tradition called "You Fai". After giving birth, if women have an opportunity, they will follow this tradition. Basically it is a week long spa. A lady comes to our house for 7 days to give Tawm massages and different kinds of treatments. At the end of each day, Tawm sits in a home made sauna. Thais believe this helps the woman to heal properly after giving birth and it also helps the woman to lose weight. I think it helps the woman to relax from lack of sleep. Anyways, Tawm is enjoying it and as a result, Owen gets to spend extra time with daddy.

December 22, 2007

The Problem with Democracy

Tomorrow (Sunday) Thais head to the polls to elect a new government. It has taken almost 1 1/2 years for this insurgent government to allow another election. I am excited but hope and pray that this election will be just, fair and democratic. There is over 20 parties running for government. In the past, Thailand has been plagued with corruption. Government parties buy votes hoping to give them the majority, especially among the poor country folks who are in need of money. There are signs posted around Chiang Mai that say "Don't sell your voice". It will be great to have some stability in the goverment rather than having a military government. Hopefully, Thailand will take a turn for the better.

December 19, 2007

Headin' to the Bowl!

Being a Bucs fan (ever since the ugly orange days), I have never liked the Minnesota Vikings. However this year, I wisely drafted Adrian Peterson and he is turning me into a Vikings fan too, although if they meet in the playoffs, I'd still have to cheer for the Bucs. Anyways, thanks to his outstanding season, my Fantasy Football team is heading to the Superbowl. My team finished third with a 9-5 record and upset #2 in last week's semi-final. Last year after finishing 4th I won the big game, we will see if I can do it as a #3 this year.
Here's my team:
QB - Carson Palmer
WR - Larry Fitzgerald
WR - Donald Driver
WR - Calvin Johnson
RB - Adrian Peterson
RB - Clinton Portis
TE - Donald Lee
K - Shayne Graham
DEF- Tennessee

Can you say Repeat!!

December 15, 2007

Some More Owen

Been trying to upload Owen's 2nd video but I can't get it to upload. In the mean time here are a couple more pics of Owen.

December 08, 2007

16 Already!!

No, he's not old enough to drive yet (at least in Canada, who knows about Thailand) but Owen turn 16 today, 16 days that is. Time sure flies by fast.

December 05, 2007

Thailand's King turns 80

Not only is it the King's birthday but Thailand celebrates Father's Day today too commemorating the king's birthday. Wanted to wish my father a Happy Father's Day and thank you for being a great dad. Appreciate you more and more all the time.

This article is taken from VOA News and helps explain the mood and climate of Thailand as the nation celebrates the kings birthday.
Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest-reigning monarch, marked his 80th birthday Wednesday with a warning that political disunity can lead to disaster in his country. Thailand is moving to heal political wounds this month with elections that are to return it to democratic rule following a military coup last year. VOA's Luis Ramirez reports from Bangkok.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, born 80 years ago Wednesday in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, is universally adored in Thailand. Thais see him as a symbol of national identity, unity and stability in a country that has had at least 18 coups d'etat since 1932, when Thailand made a peaceful transition from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy.

The latest coup, which ousted then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in September of last year, was the result of public anger over corruption - and over what some here saw as Mr. Thaksin's disrespect of the king.

Debate over the validity of the coup has pitted members of Thailand's middle class, who resented Mr. Thaksin's style and personality, against the working class, who support the former prime minister.

Thailand hopes to heal those political wounds, and Thai voters will cast ballots on December 23 to put a democratic government back in place. Mr. Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai Party was forced to disband, but his supporters have been regrouping and campaigning as members of new parties, and some analysts expect the poll to be contentious.

In a one-hour address to the nation late Tuesday, the king issued a call for unity - a recurring theme of his recent speeches.

He says Thailand's military and civilians must be united, like two legs that have to walk in unison, with one leg stepping forward while the other waits behind. He says that if Thais are not united, the country will - in his words - face disaster.

For Thais, the monarch's advice this year has special meaning, as his age and failing health have become evident. The king, who took the throne in 1946, was recently hospitalized for three weeks after suffering symptoms of a stroke and other problems, and in public appearances, he appears frail.

Talking about the monarch's passing and the future of Thailand without him is considered impolite here, but the unspoken preoccupation is evident among the thousands who gathered outside the palace in the pre-dawn hours of his birthday, wearing yellow or pink - colors that have come to symbolize the monarch.

December 03, 2007

Owen Update

 Since its been a couple days since I posted any pics and before I hear any complaints from the other side of the globe I thought I'd post some pics. The last pic is my personal favorite. Owen is doing good. The doctor told us we had a healthy baby boy after our check-up. We praise God that He is faithful in answering prayers.

December 01, 2007

Naa Jun

Naa Jun, these are the words that we hear all the time from people that come to our house to see Owen or when we go out. However you'd probably be surprised to know that Naa Jun doesn't mean cute, good looking, handsome or anything that a foreigner would call a baby. Naa Jun means ugly! Thais believe that if you use words like cute or handsome, the spirits will come and take the baby away. So instead, they use their wisdom to fool the spirits and call Owen ugly because what spirit would want an ugly baby. Before Owen came into the world, I never knew this (although I knew Thais were very superstitious). I love Thai people but some of their beliefs are just plain strange. Now everytime I hear someone say Naa Jun, I know that they really mean something good, or at least that is what Tawm tells me. When I doubt that, I just look at Owen's face and I know Tawm is telling the truth.

As I am posting, I recall a Seinfeld episode where Seinfeld and his buddies go to visit a friend who just had a baby. Don't remember all the details other than that the baby was hideous and none of them knew what kind of compliment to give the parents. If he lived in Thailand, he wouldn't have that problem, he could just say the baby is ugly. He would mean it and the parents would think it was a compliment, both sides win.

November 28, 2007

Watch Out! Cute but dangerous

Yesterday was an adventure to say the least. We are so thankful that Owen is already eating on a pretty regular schedule. It is almost like clock-work, every 3 hours, Owen wants food. Tawm takes care of that job, my job is a little dirtier, I get to change diapers. Usually its not a problem but yesterday afternoon, I jumped the gun a little and began changin Owen's diaper before he was done his business. As I was removing the diaper, Owen gave a good push and like a medicine coming out of a syringe, his business came squirting out all over my hand and the table where I was changing him. Having a boy, I have been preparing myself to get pee in the face however I didn't expect to give handful of poop.
Since Thailand is pretty hot, the doctors and nurses at the hospital recommended that we use cloth diapers in the afternoon because they breathe better. Later on in the same afternoon, I was holding Owen and all of us sudden I found a warming sensation going up my leg. When I lifted Owen, I saw that the cloth diaper did a great job of funneling Owen's pee right onto my leg. As a result of that incident, I made a veto decision, no more cloth diapers. One they don't hold anything and two, I have to clean them. Thank God for diaper diapers and that they have them here in Thailand too.

November 27, 2007

Owen's Video Debute

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I am not sure how many words a video is.

Since my side of the family is so far from us, I figure I will try to regularly upload video of Owen. To the outsider, the video may seem a little dry and boring. I tried sending video by email but the attachment was just too big. That meant my only other option besides mailing DVD's home was YouTube. A few months ago, YouTue was censored here in Thailand, unaccessible, but thankfully it is now uncensored or what ever you want to call it. We are so thankful for technology that allows us to share our lives with people halfway acrosss the world.

Since Owen is only a few days old, he still isn't doing much. However hiccups are always entertaining... hence the video.

November 24, 2007

Dad in Training

As you drive around in Chiang Mai, new drivers are required to put a sign in their window indicating that they are new drivers. Before Owen came into the world, I had never held a little baby. However I've been practicing. A few times a week for the past few months I've been carrying Dao Huu, Tawm's parent's shih tzu around the house. Whenever I did it, people laughed but the practice has definitely paid off. Holding Owen has been no problem (although it didn't hurt that he weighs 9 pounds. If Owen had only weighed 6 or so pounds, that might be a different story.) Actually carrying him around has been quite enjoyable. I look forward to doing it more. As you can see from the picture, there is no need for me to wear a sign that says New Dad. We will see what happens when it comes to changing a diaper!

Another Pic

November 23, 2007

Time to Introduce...

Tawm and I are the proud new parents of 9.1 pound baby boy. Braan Owen Rosendal was born on Thursday, November 22 here in Chiang Mai. Thailand requires mothers to be in the hospital for at least 3 days after birth, so that is where I am emailing from. Will be posting lots more pics over the days and weeks for all the fam and friends to see.

November 21, 2007

Books - Know any Good Ones?

Living half way across the world, there isn't many Christian bookstores and the one or two we do have have very limited selection. I look online from time to time, but it is hard to know if a book is as good as its cover. Early next year we have a few people from America coming to visit. My hope is that I can buy some books and get them to bring them with them. You have any must reads? I am looking specifically for some books to help with teaching or preaching, or just books that will challenge my thinking. Any genre will do.
Please let me know of any good books you've read, it will help me out a lot.

Another Member of God's family

A few weeks ago, we asked you to pray for Gai who wanted to know more about salvation. Gai works at a wood store next to our church. Tawm spent several hours talking to Gai about Christ and what He had done for her. At first she was very interested but as it got closer to making a decision, she was kind of apprehensive because her father is not doing well and when he passes away, she worried about the funeral and how she could take part if she was a Christian. This is a common barrier to being saved here in Thailand. On Monday however, Gai made the decision to follow Christ.
Please continue to pray for Gai as she grows in her faith. Pray also for her husband. Praise God that he doesn't have a problem with Gai being a Christian. Pray that he would remain that way (as many spouses change their thinking later on). Also pray that he would be open to the gospel too. Gai said that last week he asked Gai where the Bible was because he wanted to read it.

November 20, 2007


What is going on with the world around us? Sometimes the things that are going on are just so crazy that you have to stop and think who is thinking this junk up. Although I am not really a history buff, but ever since prayer was taken out of schools, I have seen society steadily get worse and worse.
The year before last, when we were in America, we couldn't believe the push there was for people to stop saying Merry Christmas. Many businesses were forcing their employees to say Happy Holidays instead. I just couldn't believe it. Yesterday I read on yahoo that businesses want to change Santa's slogan of "Ho! Ho! Ho!" to "Ha! Ha! Ha!" Why you ask? The answer: because they don't want to offend any women. Come on, who is it going to offend. It's Santa! Sometimes when I hear this stuff, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. What is happening to the world around us?

All I can say is that I am so thankful that Jesus called me and I had enough sense to follow Him! He truly is the only hope we have in this decaying world.

Natural Born Killer

This morning, I was sitting at my desk, chatting on MSN with my mom when all of a sudden, I heard a sound like fhluhp! fhuluhp! I swiveled in my swivelly chair and saw Leah, our inherited cat, carrying a dying pigeon in her mouth a few feet behind my chair. No, my office isn't in a barn, the cat brought the outside world inside. The cat ran past my chair and put the bird underneath the Buddhist shrine in Tawm's parent's house. Thankfully the cat didn't play with the dying bird, but she was pure business and finished the bird off quickly. I didn't want to watch the cat's playtime or have to finish the bird off myself. As I kid I wanted to be a zoologist and am still fascinated with animals (from afar moreso than upclose). It was amazing that Leah could kill that bird because the pigeon was almost the same size as the cat. After the bird was dead and feathers scattered everywhere, I grabbed a broom and dustpan and took the bird outside so that Leah could tear it apart without making a mess near the Buddhist shrine or in my office.

As I was dispersing of the bird outside, I thought to myself, what next. What other kinds of animals am I going to have to deal with in our house. The list is growing...
We have dogs, a cat, have had spiders, cockroaches, ants, termites, frogs, salamanders, a crab, a rat, and now a bird. Maybe I do live in a barn and was just mistaken!

November 18, 2007

Twins!! ... ;)

NOT REALLY, however everyone we meet, wherever we go, the question people is, "Are you having twins?" The other day, a young mother told Tawm that she felt sorry for Tawm because her belly was so big. All Thais think that Tawm's belly is huge whereas most foreigners don't think it's very big. Since being pregnant, people always stop to talk to Tawm and many ask if they can touch her belly too. Everyone we talk to gives us their opinion of whether the baby is a boy or a girl. Being pregnant has been a great conversation starter but we hope it will end soon because yesterday was the baby's due date. We are at 40 weeks and counting.

November 16, 2007

I can't do ANYTHING!!

Have you ever come to points in your Christian life where it doesn't matter what you read or who you talk to, it always seems that God is hammering the same message into your head? That's what's been happening to me the past few weeks. The message that God is hitting me over the head with is, you can't do anything apart from me.

I just finished reading the book, The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. This book is what got God working in my heart about this issue. This was my 3rd attempt to read this book. The first 2 times I just couldn't get into the book but now I know why. I needed to be at the right place in my Christian walk in order to understand. I thank God for this book. I thank God for verses like Leviticus 20:7-8 which confirmed this same message.

I'm a normal person and have struggles and my solution to fix them is this... Do better, try harder and the end result is always failure. Mr. Nee says that the key to becoming more like Christ is to draw closer to Christ. The closer we are to Christ, the less we will want to sin and the greater the hatred we will have towards sin. I've known this concept for sometime but it just beginning to become a heart reality rather than knowledge in my head. I cannot be holy on my own efforts, only God can make me holy. Only God can produce the fruit of the Spirit in me. I cannot do anything.

There is one quote in the book that sums this all up and it hit me hard...
"'What do you mean when you say you can do nothing apart from Him?' He answered, 'The Lord has shown me that I can do anything but that He has said, 'Apart from Me ye can do nothing' So it comes to this, that everything I have done and can still do apart from Him is nothing!'"

I don't need to try to do great things for God, God will do great things through me as I grow closer to Him. Praise God!!

November 15, 2007

Still Waiting...

We are still waiting for the birth of our little one.... Tawm is now in her 39th week and as a result the doctor wants to see us every week. At the last check up, the doctor said that the baby's head hasn't dropped as much as he'd like for this point in the pregnancy. His remedy - walk, walk, walk. Since then, Tawm and I have been taking evening walks. The doctor said that if the baby's hadn't lowered more by our next check-up, he might have to jump start "mother nature" so to speak.

Guess the little guy or little girl (still don't know what we are having) is enjoying life in Tawm's womb.

November 10, 2007

Thai Beliefs and the King

Thought this article in the Bangkok Post was interesting. Since coming to Thailand, one thing I have learned is that Thai people are very superstituous. You can see it a little in this article:

People rushed to Phufah shop in Bangkok even before it opened on Saturday morning to buy pink shirts featuring the latest collection of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's drawing.
It is the first day that the shop, under the Princess's patronage, sell the collection.
Demand for pink shirts has skyrocketed, after His Majesty the King was seen leaving Siriraj Hospital after treated for his illness in a pink shirt and blazer on Wednesday. Pink is also believed to bring good health.
Many enthusiastic shoppers queued up at Siam Discovery Centre, where the shop is located, since 7am. They said they are happy to wait to buy the shirts to show their loyalty to His Majesty.
Demand for the pink shirts is expected to continue for at least one month, when His Majesty celebrates his birthday anniversary on Dec 5.

Last Sunday's Update

I know it is almost Sunday again but I wanted to give a quick update on what happened at church last Sunday. We had our second annual business meeting where the church decides on all the major issues (mainly budget). We are happy because offerings have almost doubled in the past year. Also, Antioch voted to start supporting two missionaries here in Thailand. The church here will be paying over half of both men's salaries. We are very excited.

Dream Season is Ending

My hopes of an undefeated season are gone. Not only that, the Pacers are now looking like the team of old. Whatever happens, you're still my team.

November 05, 2007

One of the Best "Christian" Movies

Yesterday, we watched the movie, Second Chance. The movie is about a pastor in a large church who is trying to make a name for himself. However the church board at his church forces him to go and spend some time at a church they supported in the worst part of town. At the beginning he resents having to do this but in the end he begins to realize that he had lost touch with God. Rather than doing ministry, he was building his image. Although the inner city church was small, he saw what true ministry looked like. The movie challenges our thinking about church politics and motivations. I thought the movie was well done. Many Christian movies have good messages but are kind of cheezy. This one isn't like that. The movie stars Christian singer Michael W. Smith.

Although the movie is probably labeled a Christian movie, it does have a little bit of bad language in it.

Make that 3 and 0 :)

November 03, 2007

Pacers 2 and 0!!!

nuf said...

Couple days ago you might've thought I was crazy, but look who is laughing now!

November 02, 2007

Evangelism Team

Last week I asked people to pray for our young adults group that was going out to do evangelism. Here is a quick update.
After lunch on Sunday, 11 of us went out to a neighborhood about a 3-4 minute drive from our church. We divided into groups of two and went out talking to whoever we met. Some people went into people's yards, one group went to a restaurant and talked with the owners. My group talked with people that we met on the side of the road. The one thing I love about Thai people is that if you speak Thai, they are willing to talk to you about almost anything. Although they may disagree with you, they will pay you respect and listen to what you have to say.
Many people in our group were surprised that the people that they talked to had no ideas about Christ. Most people think that "city people" have some concept of Christ and only people in remote areas haven't heard but it was a good wake-up call for the young adults to see people's needs. Everyone really enjoyed themselves and are excited to do it again. That made me really happy.

October 31, 2007

Holding on to hope

Some people think the Pacers should rebuild. In almost all the NBA season expert predictions, the Pacers have been picked to finish last in their division and in the bottom 2 or 3 in their conference. I must say that I disagree. Call me a die-hard Pacers fan if you will blinded by visions of grandeur. Last year the Pacers were doing fine before they ended the season with a horrible losing streak to miss the playoffs. I think the players have had time to mesh some more and the addition of a new coach that allows the team to run and play more freely will definitely help the Pacers rather than the half court offense they ran last year.
Do I think the Pacers will win the Chip? No. I'm hoping that the Suns do this year. (Go Captain Canada!!!)
Do I think the Pacers will surprise a lot of people (in a good way)? Yes
Do I think the Pacers make the playoffs? Yes, but only because they are in the eastern conference.
No matter what, I am excited about the start of the NBA season.

October 29, 2007

Passing of a loved one

We just found out a little while ago that my grandpa passed away in Canada. I think he was 87 years old. We are so thankful that we had the opportunity to see him while we were in Canada this past summer. At that time, his health problems were just beginning and as a result, he seemed quite normal. From what I hear, he had been in a lot of pain lately before his passing. I will always remember him being a very patient man and a man that was always in a good mood. We'll miss you grandpa.

Problems lead to Change

Over the past few weeks, I've had a few people tell me that they have been having problems opening our blog. I've been having the same problems here in Thailand. At first I thought it was just me and my slow speed internet, however, people with high speed internet said the same thing. Since I don't know much about HTML, I don't know how to play around with the setting and figure out the problem. Therefore the easiest thing is to change the whole thing and that is what you are seeing now. Let me know if you have any problems opening this website and what you think about this design.

October 26, 2007

Attempting something new...

This coming Sunday we are trying something that we have never tried before and both Tawm and I and everyone else is really excited about it. This Sunday after church, lunch and prayer are finished, the young adults group we started last month will be hitting the streets to do evangelism. This was one of our major goals in forming this group. We wanted to have fun, get to know each other more and study the Bible but we also wanted to make a difference in the community. What better way to make a difference than to share the gospel. Pray that all of us would be bold and that is would be an encouraging time for everyone as it is many people's first time sharing their faith.

October 25, 2007

Uncertainties... Plese Pray

This year the king of Thailand celebrated his 60th year of being king of Thailand. This makes him the longest reigning monarch in the world. Unlike the English monarchy, the king of Thailand is loved, honored and respected by all. Although he has no legal powers, he has tremendous influence and many major political decisions made by are run by the king first. This coming December 5th, the king will be celebrating his 80th birthday as well. There are big plans for a huge celebration in his honor on that day. Unfortunately, the king's health hasn't been the greatest in recent months and he has been in the hospital for the past several days. Please pray for him.

On December 23rd, Thailand will be going to the polls to elect a new prime minister. It has taken more than a year for the interm military government to finally set a date for the election. Please pray that God's man would be elected into power.

October 22, 2007

A Houseful

For the next few days we will have a houseful full of people. Tawm's cousin is coming home for the next few days. She is bringing her husband and 3 inlaws from Phuket too. Tawm's cousin was married a couple years ago but the inlaws have never met. Tawm's cousin's house isn't big enough so everyone is at our house. It should be fun.

October 18, 2007

Prayer and Praise

Yesterday was a good day. When we arrived at the church, there was a letter there from a 14 year old girl requesting more information about Christianity. She got a tract/workbook that we give away for free and on the last page is a request form for people who would like more information. We have no idea who the girl is or how she got the information because she lives in a suburb of Chiang Mai on the opposite side of the city. We praise God for her interest and the way God works in ways we don't expect.

On top of that, next to Antioch is a wood store. M, one of our Bible students talked to Gai (pronounced like "guy") about Christ and he gave her a Bible. Gai loves to read and was very interested in Christianity. From what I understand, she read the whole New Testament and then began on the Old Testament. However when she got to Leviticus, she started to have a problem. Buddhists thinking killing animals is a sin (strict Buddhists don't even eat meat) and she didn't understand how God could command His followers to make sacrifices. M tried to explain some and he asked Tawm to help him explain more. Tawm has spoken to her a couple times and yesterday as we passed her store, she yelled at Tawm to come inside and visit. Tawm only had a couple minutes, but the thing Gai wanted to talk about is, what do I need to do to be saved. Tawm didn't want to rush it so Tawm told her she'd be back to talk to her about that.

We praise God for answered prayer and that God is working in the lives of people here in Thailand. Please pray for these 2 ladies. It would be awesome if we had a tons of people that wanted more information about Christ.

October 17, 2007

1 Month to Go

Well, according to the doctor's calculations, Tawm's due date is November 17th. That means only one month to go until I am a real father. Although technically I am a father already, I am sure the job will get much harder and much more hectic once the baby meets the real world. Exciting days ahead.

Tawm is doing good. We praise God that she hasn't had any difficulties throughout the pregnancy.

October 15, 2007

Going High Tech

Well, this past week we splurged and bought an external modem for our computer. It can be used anywhere you that you can get a cell phone signal. It is definitely faster than dial up but not as fast I would like it to be. It is nice having internet access anytime we want rather than waiting to be in certain places to access it. We wanted to get wireless but we live too far out of town and we can't get a signal. So this is the best we got right now.

October 14, 2007


This past Thursday through Saturday we had our second annual VBS.

This year we didn't do as much advertising as last year but have relied heavily on word of mouth (the best and cheapest way to advertise according to my marketing degree!)

We had 21 kids show up the first day and 23 the next 2. We were excited because over half the kids are not church kids and a good bunch of them were people we had never met. The kids were with us 3 hours each day, 1 hour of English which is what draws the kids (actually it is the thing that draws the parents of the kids), 1 hour of games and 1 hour of Bible stories and gospel presentation.

This year we had some special guests with us Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato. Although the 2 didn't speak Thai, we had some Thai people dub for them. The kids thought it was fun which was great and I admit that I had fun too. Although there we no salvations we pray that the seeds planted would be brought into fruition as a result. Two of the kids that came to the VBS were in church this morning so we are excited about that.

Thanks for Tawm and all the work she did organizing it. The best measure of success is the kids and parents ask, when will we be doing it again?


October 10, 2007

The Not So Simple Life

I've been reading the book, The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. I am glad that he named the book the normal Christian life and not the simple Christian life because some of the stuff he says takes a few times to digest, but overall if you like deep books, it is a good book. I have really enjoyed some of the quotes because they have really prodded my heart.

We cannot expect a tailor to make us a coat if we do not give him any cloth, nor a builder to build us a house if we let him have no building material; and in just the same way we cannot expect the Lord to live out his life in us is we do not give him our lives in which to live.

Man's thought is always of the punishment that will come to him if he sins, but God's thought is always of the glory man will miss if he sins. The result of sin is that we forfeit God's glory: the result of redemption is that we are qualified again for glory. God's purpose in redemption is glory, glory, glory.

October 09, 2007

Please Pray for Us

This coming Thursday through Saturday we will be attempting our 2nd English slash VBS here in Chiang Mai. People seem to be excited. We are busy handing out flyers and trying to spread the word. We a group of people that said they will be coming. Pray that they do, that they invite their friends and that souls would be saved. Appreciate it.

October 05, 2007

Going Loonie

The past few months have been a bunch of highs and lows because of the exchange rates. The American Dollar is doing horribly but the good old loonie is finally pulling some weight. I remember when I came to Thailand, the exchange rate was 40 Baht for 1 $US and it was 25 Baht for 1 $Canadian. As it stands today, the exchange rate is about 33 Baht for each dollar respectively. I'm hoping that after the election here in December that both the Canadian and American dollars will get stronger.

October 04, 2007

New Setup

How do you like the new look?
Took me forever to figure out but it adds a little pizzaz to the old blog.

October 01, 2007

Can you help me?

I've been looking at different people's blogs lately and have seen that people have different headers than the templates that are given by the blog. I'd like to make our blog a little more personal. Can anyone give me some tips on how to do that. Would appreciate it.

Adventures in Language

Preaching in a second language is always a challenge. There is still so much that I need to learn about the Thai language and still feel very inadequate to be doing what I am doing but I know that God has called me to do this. It is only because of God's grace and His help that people can learn from my teaching and preaching. The compliment I hear most often about my teaching is that I make the Bible easy to understand because I use normal language (because that's all I know :)) People say other Thai pastors are difficult to understand because they use lofty language and sometimes never get to their point. I am thankful that I am able to do that.

Each Sunday is a challenge, but this past Sunday was an even bigger challenge as we had two guests from the Philippines come to Antioch. Both work in Thailand but neither of them spoke any Thai and so on the spot, I had to change from teaching in Thai to teaching in Thai and English. Sunday school wasn't too difficult because my notes were in English. Preaching was more of an adventure as only practice my sermon in Thai. I hadn't looked at my English outline in 4 or 5 days, so sometimes I couldn't remember exactly what I was saying in English. I didn't think the sermon went so well but I had more people encourage me after yesterday's sermon than any other sermon I have preached in Thailand. It is defintely true that God works best when we are weak so that we cannot take any of the glory.

Since coming to Thailand, I have realized how difficult being a translator is. Just because you speak 2 languages doesn't mean you can translate. It takes another skill and yesterday made me more thankful for the people who had helped me with translation work in the past.

September 27, 2007

It's Raining, It's Pouring....

Soon we'll be heading into the rainiest part of the year. This year it hasn't rained as much as other years but we have been having a lot more thunderstorms which has made me happy. Over the past week, we've had a few, other years I remember only having 1 or 2 a year. Thunderstorms are a regular summer occurence in the Hat (my hometown in Canada) and other years I missed them, but not this year.

Since it could rain during anytime of the day here, you need to be prepared for the rain, especially if you ride a bike or motorbike. Other times you are not prepared and you need to improvise as Pawn, one of my Bible School students did the other day by using some a garbage bag as a jacket and a plastic bag for a cap. Everyone had a good laugh.

September 26, 2007

Thank God for มะเขือ

For those of you that can't read Thai มะเขือ means eggplant. I can honestly say that before I came to Thailand, I cannot ever remember eating eggplant (mom you can correct me if I'm wrong) and I can say with even more honesty, I never knew what I was missing. I just can't get enough of eggplant (not the purple kind that is in Canada and the US but the green kind pictured here). I can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner or all three if I can. You can eat it fried, stir fried, boiled, in curry or my personal favorite - ground into a paste that you eat with sticky rice. Everyone in Thailand laughs at me because I love this stuff so much but who needs chocolate when you got eggplant!!

Thank God for good food. I am so thankful that God called me to Thailand, a country that has amazingly good food. It is impossible to get sick of Thai food because there is so much variety.

If you come to Thailand, I recommend trying the eggplant, you probably won't regret it.

September 25, 2007

Some Strange Baptism Preparations

This past Sunday, 4 people decided to follow the Lord in baptism. After morning services, almost everyone in attendance went to a waterfall about 7-8 kilometers from church. When we got there, there was no one there and everyone sat down to eat lunch. Rusty and I went to go check out how deep the water was only to discover it was about knee deep. Rusty and I started gathering rocks and building a dam to stop the flow of water. Later on some guys came and started using branches and things to help us too. In the end, the water was about waist deep, perfect for a baptismal service. Lemuu, Johnson, Pawn and Tip (pictured above) were all baptized. After everyone was baptized, everyone gathered around to pray for them and bless them too. We had a great day.

September 20, 2007

Life is Like A Construction Site

Help! I can't escape the construction work that is going on in Thailand. It begins right outside our house. We haven't been able to park at our house for the past 2 weeks as they put a new drainage system in. So we park up the street at a relative's house. We drive to the church pretty much everyday and as we drive, we pass three places where the road is tore up and we have to take detours, one of which you almost need a 4x4 to take the detour. Finally, they tore the road up in front of the church to repave it (which is finished now). Once everything is done it will be nice but for the time being, it is kind of a nuisance.

September 17, 2007

A Day of Firsts

A couple Sundays ago, Tawm and I started a group for the "old teenagers", at least that's what I am calling it. It for anyone that is at least 13 years old up to people that are married but don't have children. Thais are different in that they don't groups like junior high, senior high and college and career. Thais are happy to hang out even though there is a big disparity in age. We meet every other Sunday afternoon for Bible study, prayer, worship and of course, games.
This past Sunday we decided to have fun by going bowling. We had 10 Thais go but Tawm couldn't bowl. Of the 9 Thais that were actually bowling, only one of them had ever been bowling before.
The bowling alleys are located on the fourth floor of one of Chiang Mai's shopping malls and in order to get there, one needs to take an elevator or escalator. As we were riding up in the elevator, one of the guys said to me that this was his first time he had ever been on an elevator. I am always reminding of how much we take some things for granted but the experiences of people here in Thailand.
When it came to the bowling part of the day. It was fun watching people trying to figure out how to get the pins down. One guy took about 5 or 6 frames before he got any pins down. By the third game, he was getting spares almost everytime. We were divided into three teams and when it was our turn to bowl, everyone counted to 3 and all three lanes had to throw the ball at the same time. It was so distracting but I am proud to say, my team finished in first place!! (A lot better than my diaper folding fiasco.)
Here's a pic of the winning team.

September 15, 2007

Thai Bibles

Over the past few years, some different translations of the Thai Bible have come out. For a long time, there was only one translation. Most churches still use the oldest version which uses difficult language that people use when they address the king. This makes the Bible difficult to understand, especially if Thai is not your first language. However, this is the only version that comes from Greek and Hebrew. All the newer versions that are coming out are translations of English versions and make it easier for new Christians to understand.
The thing I like most about the Thai Bible is the name of Revelation. It Thai it reads วิวรณ์ and is pronounced "We Won". What a declarative statement!!
Although most Thais don't understand what "We Won" means in English, it is always gets me excited to know that the end victory belongs to Christ. It is great news to know that We will win.

September 09, 2007


We broke our attendance record today (I think). We can't remember what our previous high was but I think it was 37. Today we had 41!! Praise God

We Survived!!!

Well, it is hard to believe that our parenting class came and went so fast. We had a lot of fun. We learned all about the birthing process, what kind of diapers and milk we should buy. We learned about some exercises for pregnant women but they never taught us how to breathe. I thought that was strange.
The nurses took us on a tour of the hospital. We visited the delivery room and the room that people stay in after giving birth. Thailand requires mothers who give birth naturally to stay in the hospital 2 nights, those that have c-sections 3. Not only are we now excited about having a child, it will also be like staying in a hotel because the rooms are so nice. Do I think I am a better father and know everything I need to know about being a dad? Probably not, although I can give a better massage and we did get some free stuff.

To end the day, there was a surprise diapering competition using cloth diapers. However, the mothers didn't compete as the nurses didn't want any mothers going into labor. Instead, the fathers were put on the hot seat. Before the competition, I practiced the diapering techniques and was doing great, even better than Tawm I might add. But when the competition began, old butterfingers returned. To make things worse, the electricity went out, so we had to try to do it in the dark (real life situations eh?). I don't know if it was a power outage or if the nurse turned the lights out to make it more difficult. Anyways, I was proud of the outcome. Out of the 8 fathers competing, I finished in .....
......................... 8th place!!

Way to go Brent!!!

September 07, 2007

Learning to Parent

Tomorrow Tawm and I will be attending an all day seminar at the hospital on how to be better parents. I am excited about going because I have absolutely no experience in being a dad, but my one concern is, will I be able to learn everything in a few hours???

I sure hope so. :)

September 06, 2007

Coping with the Classics

Having never raised a child or been around a pregnant woman in North America, I have no idea what the pregnant culture is like there. I am learning a lot about that culture here.

Thai people love to touch Tawm's tummy, even people we barely know or don't know have no quams about touching Tawm's bulging tummy. Tawm has been doing great during the pregnancy and has done well resisting various pregnant woman temptations. I must admit, that being a man, I haven't had to give up near as much as Tawm, but I am struggling with the daily influx of classical music into our lives. For those that know me, you know that my musical tastes are anything but classical. However, Thai people (maybe others too) believe that listening to classical music during pregnancy will make one's baby smarter. As a result, our truck has been bombarded with Mozart, Tawm has started putting earphones on her tummy for the little one to listen to Mozart too. It is hard to believe that this really works.

The one thing that I think is funny, is the advertising gimmick here in Thailand. Stores sell music specifically for pregnant women who want to have smarter children. But the cd's cover has a child that looks like it is half crazy and foaming at the mouth... Is that what a smart kid looks like? Questions, Questions, Questions....

My biggest question is, what if I want my kid to be a rocker?

September 04, 2007

Exciting Sunday

We had some great services this past Sunday. We had a couple visitors, a couple people ask about becoming members of the church and couple of people other people in services who hadn't been here in a long time. We had some great worship and Johnson, one of the students that studies in the city, taught Sunday School. This was the first time I have had the opportunity to see him teach and he did a very good job. He taught about giving offerings. The offering we received last Sunday equalled what we usually get in an entire month. I was blown away. After services, we ate and prayed together and then Tawm and I began a new ministry for college and career aged people. We had 6 people come, everyone enjoyed it and we hope that they will invite their friends to it too.

August 28, 2007

Gettin' Baby Fever

Yesterday we went to the doctor for Tawm's monthly check-up and the doctor said everything looks good. Tawm is almost at the 7 month stage. The baby weighs 1.1 kilos or 2.42 pounds. We still don't know if it is a boy or a girl yet which makes buying certain things a little more difficult but keeps the fun going.
As we approach the due date, both Tawm and I are getting more and more excited. Next month we will be going to a prenatal class at the hospital and everytime we see a baby, both of us smile and get more excited. We have bought a few things and everytime we go somewhere that sells baby stuff (there aren't that many places in Thailand, mainly department stores only), we browse through everything saying, "How cute". I guess that is what it feels like to be a dad.

August 23, 2007

A Great Book

I just finished reading Ravi Zacharias's book, Walking from East to West and I highly recommend it. It was very inspiring and made me think about many different things. The book is Ravi's reflections on his life so far. Growing up in India, he talks about many of his experiences and a number of them remind me a lot of life here in Thailand. Unlike Ravi's other books, this is an easy read.

August 22, 2007

Constitution Results

In this past Sunday's election, the Thai people decided to adopt the new Constitution that the interm military government proposed, although it didn't pass by as much as the military government hoped it would. Even though it passed, it showed that the Thai people are ready for an elected government to come into power. The reason that most people approved of the new constitution was because it was the first time that they had a say in adopting a constitution (even though no one had a say in composing the constitution). Please continue to pray for this issue and pray that a real election will be held soon.

If you want to know more about the election, you can read this article:
bangkok post

August 17, 2007

Pray for Thailand

This coming Sunday will be an important day in Thai history. This Sunday, Thai people will vote whether or not to accept the proposed new constitution that the interm military government has proposed. There is much indecision about this new constitution. From what I have heard, university students and educated people don't want it to pass but no one knows how other people will vote. Please pray that God's would be done.

Thank you to an Honest Person

Thank God that there are still honest people around. Whenever we work out at the gym, I listen to music or a sermon on my ipod. When I get on the treadmill though, the bouncing causes my earphones to pop out of my ears and so I set my ipod aside to run. Two days ago, I forgot about to grab it and I didn't realize it until we got home. When we phoned to see if someone had found it, a person at the gym said someone had turned it in. It would have been easy to take, especially since an ipod is an item that most Thai people don't have. So, I wanted to thank the person who turned it in even though I don't know who you are and thank God for helping with my negligence.

August 16, 2007

Bye Bye Bob :(

Last week, we finally concluded that our dog Bob had been killed because he killed another chicken. We had tried everything we could to stop him from killing chickens, but nothing worked. In the end, his luck ran out and someone (not sure who) killed him (at least that is what we think). In the past when Bob had killed other chickens, we were able to negotiate with people. Some people were willing to accept some money in return for their dead chickens. Others asked permission to kill our dog, but we refused. Sometimes Bob would kill chickens on Buddhist holidays and no one was willing to kill him on that day as it was bad Karma.

Bob had a much longer life than anticipated as he was nearly dead when we got him. Since then he has brought us many memorable memories. Here are a list of the few I can remember.

1. Always being so excited to see us when we came home, even after a year absence in the States. He never forgot his "parents".

2. He was clever. As already noted, he knew that he could get away with killing chickens if he did it on a Buddhist holiday and he did that a few times.

3. He was sneaky. While we were in America, he took Tawm's dad's cell phone and buried it. Tawm's dad finally figured it out by calling the phone and hearing its ring from underneath the ground. A couple weeks later, we suspect the same thing happened, however, this time the battery was dead. Tawm's dad still hasn't found that phone.

4. I was known as the foreigner that had the Thai dog in our village. Most Thais want purebred dogs and think it is strange that a "rich" foreigner would settle for a Thai mutt.

5. After we got him, he tried to go upstairs while Tawm was sleeping. When I met him on the stairway, Bob knew that I had caught him somewhere he wasn't supposed to be. As a result, he scurried up the stairs, leaving a trail of poop and pee all the way up into the bedroom.

August 15, 2007

The Bourne Adrenaline Rush

For those that know me well, you know that I am a pretty easy going guy. I am very even keel. When I watch movies, I never jump in my seat or get so into a movie that my adrenaline starts pumping. However, last night we went to watch the "Bourne Ultimatum" and I really got into it. There were times that I hurt Tawm's hand because I was squeezing so hard. If you like intense movies, they don't get any more intense than this. It is definitely worth paying the 3 bucks to see it in the theater!!

August 14, 2007

Figured it Out

Here is another pic of Mother's Day at our church. Since Mother's Day is a national holiday, many of our regulars were out of town spending time with their mothers.

PS. I think I have figured out my uploading problem...

Mother's Day

This past Sunday was Mother's Day here in Thailand and I wanted to start off by wishing my mother a belated Mother's Day too. You are the greatest. We had a mother's celebration where everyone sang the traditional Mother's Day song. The kids made their mothers cards in Sunday School and they presented their pictures to their mothers after the services. All the mothers really enjoyed their time. After that, all the families got their pictures taken together and Tawm and I also got our pic taken as Tawm is the newest mother in the crowd, even though she doesn't think she's a mom yet.


Sorry that I haven't posted anything on my blog lately. I have been trying to upload different pictures to the blog but for some reason this site isn't allowing me to do it. I'm not sure what is going on. I have tried some other ways of doing it, but once I upload the picture, the website won't allow me to make any changes to the pic. Hopefully I can find another way to get past the problem

August 09, 2007

Even Better News

This past Sunday we praise God that 3 of our young people made decisions to follow Christ. A number of our regulars were missing and as a result, we only had a few kids in Sunday School. Normally Tawm has in the low teens but this past Sunday she only had 3. As a result, she took the opportunity to share the gospel with them. Normally they play games, but last Sunday, Tawm didn't do any of that. Tawm was so surprised that the kids stayed still for so long. After Sunday School, one of the girls said that that was the most fun she had had in Sunday School. Tawm laughed as all she did was share the gospel. Please pray for Ken (8 years old), Pring (10 years old) and Vespa (11 years old) and their families. Ken and Vespa are children of long time members, Pring is the daughter of Tip who was saved a couple months ago.

Good and Bad News

A couple days ago, a sad day happened in sports, Barry Bonds broke the home record. I couldn't believe the hooplah and press this received, who actually cares that someone that cheated could beat a long standing record. Every record book needs to have a big * beside Bonds name so that future generations know that although Bonds has hit the most home runs, he cheated doing it. Hank Aaron looks like he will be the true home run king for a number of years to come.
On the other hand, I read on that Reggie Miller is contemplating a comeback at the age of 42. Unfortunately, the comeback won't be with the Pacers because they don't have a chance at a title this year, instead it will be with the recently loaded Celtics. Although, I've never been a Celtics fan, I might have to cheer for them if Reggie does come back because he the greatest Pacer and one of the greatest ball players of all time.