Monthly Archives: May 2010

Why do you wai?

In Thailand, handshakes are not the norm in first acquaintances or greetings.

To greet someone in Thailand, you do it with a wai. This is the polite and culturally acceptable way to say hello and goodbye.

How do you wai you ask?

Place your palms together with fingers pointed up toward heaven. The age and status of the person you’re greeting determines how high you raise your hands for a wai. If it’s a child, you don’t wai them, but you nod your head in acceptance of the wai. If it’s someone your age you wai with palms at chest level. If they are older than you or more important you raise your hands up to your nose.

When you wai, you bow/dip your head so that your nose either touches your fingers or is pointed down to your fingers. Also, you bow your upper body as you say hello, Sawadee kah.

This also applies when saying goodbye.

If you are greeting royalty or a monk the wai is different. I won’t go into that though.

You are now ready to greet someone in Thailand!

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The Voice

I’ve always enjoyed reading different versions of the Bible. It gives you a fresh perspective. I think it causes different passages of Scriptures to stand out. The Bible verses I’ve read so many times have new meaning in different translations.

I am currently reading “The Voice New Testament.” It’s a retelling/translation of the New Testament published by Thomas Nelson Publishers in conjunction with Ecclesia Bible Society.

It’s created for the church today–the church in transition. It’s tailored to speak to a post-modern audience. Before each book of the Bible, the authors set the stage for the book by giving an introduction and background. Within the books, the authors have put explanatory notes that elaborate on certain portions of Scripture. The font families chosen and layout of the Bible also lend itself to a post-modern audience.

It’s great for new believers because of the explanation and commentary given. It’s great for those who’ve been Christians for awhile because of the different translation and insight into passages.

“The Voice” follows the theme of the Liberating King and his church. I love this choice–partly because I don’t think we think of Jesus being a Liberator as much as we need to.

I have enjoyed reading “The Voice.” I would not recommend it as someone’s only and primary Bible–but a great cross-reference Bible. This isn’t just because there isn’t an Old Testament, but I think it’s important to have one of the more well-established versions as your constant.

“I’m not there yet, nor have I become perfect, but I am charging on to gain anything and everything the Liberator, Jesus, has in store for me–and nothing will stand in my way because He has grabbed me and won’t let me go.” Philippians 3:12, The Voice.

I received a copy of The Voice through Thomas Nelson’s BookSneeze book review blogger program. Check it out: http://www.booksneeze.com/ It’s pretty fantastic in my opinion

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News poll

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Prayer requests from Thailand

I’d like to be able to share more about the current situation here, but for many reasons it’s unwise to do so.

However, you can be praying!

Here are some prayer requests:

1. Please pray for a stop in the bloodshed.

2.Pray for the powers at be to come to a conclusion soon

3. Pray for those who have been caught in the crossfire in Bangkok

4. Pray for wisdom by Thailand’s leaders

5.Pray that Thai people would look to their Creator

Links for more information:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63M15T20100423

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/26/world/asia/26thai.html?fta=y

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/

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Boiled eggs and blind turtles

They kneel, bow and rock back on their knees. They chant earnestly with eyes tightly closed and brows knit. Left palm glued to right palm.They are praying to an emerald Buddha perched atop a throne.

Countless Thais visit Wat Phra Kaew each year to pay homage to the Emerald Buddha. For every bad deed a Buddhist commits, for each of the five laws they break, they must do good deeds to make up for the bad deed.

It’s never ending.

Long ago, Buddha’s disciples asked them when their sins and bad karma would be gone. Buddha told them they’d be free of karma if they placed an egg into a river and after three years they put a blind turtle in the same river and when the blind turtle finds the egg, that’s when they’d be free of their sin.

That’s impossible, they remarked.

Well, of course it is.

It was even impossible for Buddha to break free from karma. Buddha told his disciples that he’d kept the five laws most people try to adhere to, furthermore, he’d kept the 227 laws and the 100,000 laws of Buddhism. He’d logged so many good deeds in his life. But, Buddha said that if he lived his life 10 times over, he wouldn’t make it within sprinting distance of the gates of heaven.

What are we to do? His disciples asked.

Wait for the One who’s coming. He’s like a golden ship, Buddha said, one who’d carry people to heaven. This One Buddha prophesied about would have no bad karma. He’d be recognized by the holes in his hands and the scar on his side.

This One, will be able to break karma’s curse.

This is the message we are sharing with Thais. The One Buddha foretold of has already come. Karma doesn’t have to rule.

–These stories are part of a training we’ve taken and stories are taken from the book,  “From Buddha to Jesus, An Insider’s View of Buddhism and Christianity.”

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