Idol Madness

Jatukhamramathep amulets for sale in a Thai shop (photo credit: www.jatukarm.com)We recently took a field trip to Southern Thailand to check out a potential ministry opportunity in Nakorn Sri Thammarat province and, among other things, we observed how much the people there are into a particular amulet called Jat-Tu-Kham-Rama-Thep. In fact, the amulet comes from Nakon Sri Thammarat and is so immensely popular right now that people come from all over the country to buy up these amulets and resell them at a 30-60 fold profit. Jat-tu-kham, unlike a lot of other amulets, is not a Buddha image but is an image of an ancient king of Nakon Sri Thammarat who has been elevated to divine, or angelic, status. Every place in Nakon is selling these things - restaurants, beauty shops, malls, convenience stores - everyplace. It's idol madness, really.

Something really notable about the Jat-tu-kham, besides the fact that it is so immensely popular with Thai people, is the probable reason why it is so popular. I recently read an article in a Thai national newspaper's weekly magazine that said the Jat-tu-kham amulets are popular because what the amulet promises corresponds to Thai people's current needs - i.e. the desire to have money and get rich! The economy is down and people want something to help them make money (or get rich, perhaps). Listen to some of the names of the different editions (or models) of the amulet that

I'll Feed Myself, Thank You

A couple weeks ago, Joshua decided he didn't want to be spoon fed anymore. He'd twist and turn and shout and the spoon just wouldn't go in. From that point on, picking up little pieces of rice, meat, cracker, vegetable, and so forth was the order of the day. Since then he has allowed some spoon feeding again but overall, he still prefers to use his pincer grib to pick up food with chopstick-like precision between his thumb and pointer finger. It is often the left hand he uses for this so we wonder if he is a lefty. Only time will tell on that front. Personally, I am routing for ambidextrous as it seems much more versatile.  Here a video of the boy going after a raisin.

 

Check out those flailing arms. Joshua is really Mr. Energy. Should we put a drum cage around his feeding table?

First Family Vacation

Beach located right in front of the holiday homeSun & I are finally enjoying our first real vacation since our honeymoon almost two years ago. With the pregnancy and Joshua's birth, there was never really a good time to get away, not to mention all of the busyness involved with preparing to leave for Thailand. Joshua is at a good age now where we can start to do a few things with him and we all, especially me, need a break. OMF has nice holiday home on the beach in Southern Thailand that is available for missionaries.

We've enjoyed sometime to sit back and relax, read, go for a swim, walk on the beach, and play with Joshua. Sun's had some time to do cross stitch and I am working on some books that I've been meaning to get to for a while. I am slowly working my way through Revival and Revivalism by Iain Murray but I got sidetracked by a book of sermons by J. Gresham Machen that I found in the library here at the OMF holiday home. There is also a book on Calvin's life here but I don't know if I'll get to it before we leave in a few days.

Look at My Teeth

Joshua is sprouting teeth like crazy. His eigth one just popped through his bottom gum a few days ago so now he has four on the top and four on the bottom. These later ones have not come with as much drooling, screaming, and sleeplessness as the first few, thankfully. Here is good picture that we got recently which shows Joshua's toothy grin.

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