Gobsmacked…a good marriage book!

My wife has recently gotten me to read a book on marriage, as if we need it, as our marriage is perfect…ha, ha…hmmm….so anyway, I’ve started reading it and I am absolutely gobsmacked. The author is Mark Gungor and it is called, “Laughing your way to a better marriage.”

Now, I already knew our mindset is Greek thinking etc, as opposed to a Hebrew mindset, which actually, Aboriginal people in Australia have more so. (for example, a sacred sight is far more valuable to them than to the westerner who only thinks of money and is willing to rip up the land in mining to get it. To the Jews, the ground where the Temple was, is a sacred sight. If they had a Greek mindset, they wouldn’t care where the Temple was built, they would rebuild it elsewhere. In the same way, if Aboriginal people had a Greek mindset, they would be digging around for gold as well, forgetting about the sacredness of the land…of course, I’m not saying either that Aboriginals and Jews are the same either, they are unique, like everyone – but they do have similar mindsets, as opposed to the Greeks, where westeners get their mindset.)

With that little lesson in whatever out of the way, let’s talk about the dreaded marriage book my wife is forcing me to read…

So, where was I? Gobsmacked, that’s the word. I have discovered in the first chapter of Mark’s book that the very idea of a soulmate is absolute garbage and is the reason for many divorces. That’s no exaggeration! Again, I was gobsmacked ok, let me tell you what he said…

According to Greek mythology, man once had four arms, four legs and one head with two faces. They were basically two people in one. Seeing this and fearing that the authority of the gods would be compromised, the Greek god Zeus decided to split each person in half, condemning them to a life of searching for their other half – otherwise known as their “soul-mate.” This was meant to keep men too busy from meddling in the affairs of the gods, as they went on the search for perfect love.

This has been ingrained into our very culture, and especially in our churches. The world talks about finding your soul-mate, and the church talks about finding “the one” God has for you. Both are one and the same and is a load of garbage. God does not have the “right one,” for us…but there is a right kind of person for us. That is a person who is a “believer,” and it is up to us to marry the person who is right for our faith. But whoever we marry, just because we go through hard times, it doesn’t mean suddenly, we made a big mistake.

What got me is that the very idea of finding a soul-mate says that you’d be less happy if you’re not married to your soulmmate, or “the one,” and that if your marriage doesn’t work, then oh well, you obviously haven’t found him/her yet. It is a wordly license for separation and divorce.

So many marriages splitting up just because they’re not happy. Mark challenges the reader that we have mixed our faith with myth! We somehow feel our lives will be complete and fulfilled when we have both God AND “the one” God chooses for us. But this is so wrong. Only God can fulfill us! We live and move and have our being in Him, and Him alone. In His presence is fullness of joy…not anyone else! The very idea also, that God has a special someone just for you, is totally selfish. God did not create another human being just to satisfy you. I seen a quote on Twitter once, where it said, “lust’s desire is to get – but love’s desire is to give.” In a healthy marriage, both husband and wife are called to give to satisfy the other – not get to satisfy yourself. That’s why marriages suffer…and that’s probably why my wife wants me to read this book!!!

Some real food for thought I tell you. I have seen the DVD to Mark Gungor’s seminars before, but gee, reading the book is better I think…I highly recommend it!

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A new ministry…

Hey everyone! Hope you are all well…

For the last month, I have been doing a daily devotion, which you can check out at http://rabattyedaily.wordpress.com and I’m amazed at the responses I’ve received. I’ve discovered a new ministry to the nations in fact.

When I go to the stats section, it tells me how many people have viewed the blog and from where. So far, views from Australia, America, UK, Brazil, Colombia, Bulgaria, Canada, South Africa, Japan and the Netherlands!

What encourages me is that I may never go to these countries in person, but through a simple devotion, it’s like I am right there in their rooms, giving them God’s Word in all these countries! What’s even better, God IS there with them, and I pray that He is speaking to each one who reads and shows Himself to them in some way. I imagine God speaking to them, I see it and pray for it! I don’t know their circumstances, but God does.

Maybe some of them don’t have access to a Bible – sure, most in countries like Australia, the U.S. and the UK would – but what about in Bulgaria, or even Japan. I once was going to go to Japan for a year, but decided instead to go to the outback of Australia. Now, through this devotion, I am going inside someones room in Japan. I heard stories about young people there, who would isolate themselves in their rooms to the extent that their parents would leave their dinner outside their rooms for them to pick it up later. And if the meal was still there later, it meant they died, or committed suicide.

WHAT IF I was talking to one of those lost souls, who through a daily devotion, read God’s Word and received hope in their lives again? I just started thinking of this concept when I saw that someone in Japan read the blog. We’ll never truly know what impact we’ve made in the world until we get to heaven. Just what if…

I am also building new friendships with other bloggers who just want to also share God’s Word like me, we encourage eachother through our comments, challenge eachother. It’s great. I’d recommend wordpress blogging for sharing God’s Word anyday.

Sure, nothing beats having fellowship in person, but since I have a nighshift job like this, I’m in a good position to blog, and using work’s internet…which I’m allowed to do, so why not use it for Kingdom purposes – and touch the world for Jesus at the same time!

If you have time for blogging, why not give it a go? You never know who’s reading it…

Enjoy your day people, and God bless!

Rob 🙂

An update on the life of the Battye’s…

Dear one and all,

G’day, hope you’re all doing well! We haven’t written for a while and maybe, just maybe you were wondering to yourselves, “gee, I wonder how that Battye family”s going…” or not…either way we’re gonna tell ya!

It’s been a long year since leaving Halls Creek…even though we all have the same 24 hours a day, trust me, ours must have been 28 hours a day I was sure of it sometimes. We first came down in May 2011 or so, we lived in my brother’s unfinished house for a few months, then I finally got a job in July, where I am still working. (Aboriginal Sobriety Group) I have built up holiday time now, so we went camping for a few days around a month ago. We went to a place called Gluepot Reserve, which is 60km north of Waikerie. It is a birdlife reserve and has bird hides and lots of walking trails, which I especially liked. The only problem was that they didn’t let us have campfires…and it was FREEZING!!! I really tried hard not to think about up north then, I forgot there are rules called firebans…lol! But the walks were good in the mornings, was able to defrost then.

Anyway, after living at my brother’s property, we moved into their townhouse they had bought last year in Two Wells…that was nice and comfy, but now we are living in the luxurious suburb ofDavorenPark. Anyone who knows about the place will laugh here…it’s no better thanElizabeth…where I was born. Oh well, could have been born inVictoriaI suppose- gotta count my blessings!

Yvonne is now studying withCharlesDarwinUniversityonline. She has started a prep course and has received a scholarship, and plans to go on studying Health Science. She is studying part time and is talking about working as an Aboriginal health worker as well.

She has inspired me to do the same prep course, so I also am applying to study part time. It’s free and I’ve never even considered doing uni before, so am giving it a go. I’m starting to get into giving things a go lately- started my own part time business, cleaning windows. That’s been fun, but slowed down considerably at this time of year, but thankful for the work I do have.

My brother in-law, Cameron, has been staying with us for the past 6 or so months. He has started a cert 2 in Construction and plans to head out to the mines at some stage. He just needs a few tickets and experience. He’ll be with us a while, but he’s a good lad!

At present, we are going to a church in Gawler called Hope Chapel. The Pastor is Andrew Cole, he’s a good bloke, down to earth. As every church I go to, everyone seems to like my wife better than me, but I like her better too, so that’s ok! 🙂 They will be starting an outreach soon into the community, so we’re hoping to get involved with that.

Other than all this, life seems pretty normal. Nothing spectacular has happened, the storms of life have passed by and we’re in a nice calm, which I like! But I am also becoming more aware of the needs all around me, especially at work. I work with people whose lives are messed up considerably and who have no hope- and I have the opportunity to just sit down and have a good yarn to them. Most of the time, I don’t know what to say when they vent all their problems. I’ve never been where they are exactly, but I’ve experienced brokenness and a life away from Christ, ravaged by the affects of sin. We all have to some degree. The truth is, I am learning more from them than they are from me I think. I know that sounds cliché, but it’s true. They are just happy to have a roof over their heads, but we fight and argue over the colour of the curtains, tiles etc. Nothing wrong with all that, except the attitude over what’s important and not.

One of them encouraged me one time in fact, and told me that it didn’t matter if I had never been where he was, but I was an example to him, as I’ve never become an alcoholic. He said that don’t you think it’s better to learn from someone who has had the strength to resist the grog in the first place? Everyone thinks they gotta have experience as an alcoholic to minister effectively to one, but that’s simply not the case. All you need is a humble attitude with them. That was quite some advice from a recovering alcoholic, let me tell you! So this is the path the Lord seems to have me on so far, and I want to be faithful to it. But one thing I’ve learnt- only God knows the future. I will plan as much as I can,  but leave the journey in His Hands.

Anyway, hope you are all well – keep happy, healthy and blessed!

Rob and Yvonne Battye 🙂

Influence the world around you…

Jeremiah 15:9, “If you return to Me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve Me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be My spokesman. YOU MUST INFLUENCE THEM; DO NOT LET THEM INFLUENCE YOU!”

When I was a teenager, I lived like this- I was influencing others all around me for Christ. I didn’t do the things they did and I got teased for it. I stood out like a sore thumb, but no one could deny I was a Christian. But something happened along the way- I gave up trying to influence the world, and I allowed it to influence me. The only answer is repentance and doing the first works I did before.

I derived three points from this verse above that really spoke to me and encouraged me, so I trust it will do the same for you.

1. Repentance. “If you return to Me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve Me…”

By repentance comes restoration of relationship to God, and out of your relationship with God comes the grace and ability to serve Him. So many people try to serve Him without maintaining a relationship with God. As I look back on my own time in ministry, I started out in faith and victory, but I failed to maintain my personal relationship with God. This ended in burnout, which affected my other relationships…with my wife, my leaders and the people to whom I came to minister in the first place. My wife and I argued, as did my leaders and me, and now a church we re-established is without a pastor- again. So it is VITAL to the kingdom of God for us to maintain a relationship with God, above all things.

2. Right confession. “If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be My spokesman…”

Anyone representing Christ needs to have a right confession and faith in the One whom they confess. So many of us focus on our problems instead of the solution – being CHRIST! Confess good words- God’s Word in your life, stop being negative, no matter what situation you find yourself in and be a spokesman for God! Adjust your attitude and speak right! I know it sounds easy, but it’s not…it’s not easy to change a habit of negativity, BUT you CAN do all things through CHRIST who gives you strength- God keeps His Word- so stay in faith and have a right confession.

3. Influence the world around you. “You must influence others; do not let them influence you!”

We have been set apart from the world. We may be in the world, but we are not of the world. The only way to influence the world is to be radically different from it. How? Simply by your actions. By not doing the same things everyone else is doing. Standing up and saying no will bring persecution to you, you will stick out like a sore thumb…that means you are being effective! It’s working! Why? Simply because you are being different! Once you become different from the world, you are in the best position to influence them to Christ. Jesus showed the world a different way to live. He was persecuted and killed for it, but He rose again and now look at the difference He has made in so many people’s lives for eternity.

Influence the world around you, be different. God bless…

Rob

The Fear of Man – 1 Samuel 21

“David heard these comments and was very afraid of what King Achish of Gath might do to him. So he pretended to be insane, scratching on doors and drooling down his beard.” (1 Sam 21:12-13)

In this chapter, David flees to Nob and sees Ahimelech the priest. He gives him holy bread and sends him off with the sword of Goliath, to help him in his matter that he kept hidden. So David didn’t let him know he was running from Saul, but said Saul sent him on a secret mission. So David fled to King Achish of Gath, a Philistine king. But when the officers started talking to Achish about him because he was a famous warrior in Israel, he feared for his life and pretended to be a madman. Well, it worked and Achish sent him away, wanting nothing to do with him!

What I noticed in verses 12 and 13, is that it was fear that caused David to act differently in front of the king and everyone. Fear makes us act contrary to who we really are. David was not a madman, but because he feared what man might do to him, he acted like one. Love, however, along with faith will cause us to be whom God has created us to be. God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind. He hasn’t called us to live in fear, acting contrary to who we are- He has called us to live free of the fear of man and to act boldy in the faith God gives us, because He loves us. We are called to fear God, not man. Cursed is everyone who fears man, (Jer 17:5) so fear God- and be yourself in Him.

“Father, thank You that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, created to be free from the fear of man and to love, fear and obey You, and learning to be who I am in You. Help me not to act contrary to the person You made me to be, because of the fear of man, but to live out of the nature of God within me, by Your Spirit in me- out of love and faith, in Jesus’ name, amen.”

*Prov 29:25; Ecc 12:13-14; Jer 17:5; 2 Tim 1:6-7

Grace – Ruth 2

“Ruth fell at his feet and thanked him warmly. ‘What have I done to deserve such kindness?’ she asked. ‘I am only a foreigner.’” (Ruth 2:10)

In this chapter, Ruth asks permission from her mother-in-law, Naomi, if she could go to work, to help gather in the harvest. So off to work she goes, asking workers if she could follow along the other harvesters, picking up the stalks of grain they left behind. She just so happens to come to the field of a wealthy and influential man named Boaz, but not only that, she discovers he is one of her dead husbands closest relatives, a family redeemer. Boaz is exceptionally kind to her and tells her to stay in his field, not to go to other fields, lest she be harassed. He makes sure she is treated properly, ordering the young men to not give her a hard time, feeds her and even tells his workers to leave grain on the ground on purpose for her. So after her first day of work, she brings home a good amount of grain for her and Naomi, who was very blessed by it and by the news that she was working with Boaz.

Ruth was overwhelmed at the kindness of Boaz, that she asked him what she had done to deserve such kindness, since she was only a foreigner. Boaz goes onto tell her how he had heard of all her kindness to Naomi, and that was the reason why. But you know, many people experience the kindness and goodness of God and ask why. We haven’t deserved any of it. Have you heard people say, “I am only…” this and that, putting themselves down, knowing they don’t deserve God’s forgiveness and kindness? There is one word to describe this situation- GRACE. Grace means undeserved favour. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but by grace through faith, we are forgiven and saved! It is by grace we are saved, and we receive it through faith- believing that God will and does forgive us, doing what He has promised to do! Believe and receive His GRACE that none of us deserve, amen!

“Father, thank You that it is by grace through faith that I am saved and forgiven! Thank You for Your marvellous grace toward us who believe in You, and I will praise You for it for the rest of my life, in Jesus’ name, amen.”

*Rom 3:10-12, 21-24; Eph 2:8-10

Who’s following you? – Ruth 1

“But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!’” (Ruth 1:16-17)

The book of Ruth is a wonderful account of how a Moabitess is accepted into the Israelite community and ends up being in the lineage of the Messiah! It starts off in this chapter telling of a woman named Naomi. Her and her husband Elimelech were from Bethlehem in Judea, and they had two sons, Mahlon and Kilion. Because there was a severe famine in the land, they moved to the land of Moab where their two sons ended up marrying Orpah and Ruth- the focus of the story. In Moab, Elimelech dies, and ten years later, Mahlon and Kilion also dies. So Naomi is left with her two daughters-in-law. When she hears that the Lord has blessed the land of Judah again, she decides to go back to her homeland with her daughters-in-law, but on the way tells them both they should go home and find security with new husbands. Orpah, though sad, goes home. But Ruth is determined to stay with Naomi and makes a covenant with her, making the God of Naomi her God as well as everything else, and commits to even die where she dies.

The love that Ruth must have had for her mother-in-law, to make her commit her whole life to her, that she even changed who she worshipped! She left the old ways and customs and gods of the Moabites, to serve the living God of Naomi. My question today is, who’s following you? Has anyone lately decided to give up all they have, all their old ways and customs and even gods, just to follow the God who lives in you? I know that no one has with me yet! Maybe it’s because we are not really shining the light of Christ, allowing the love of God to shine through us. It’s a powerful thought, and very challenging- oh to influence others so much so, that they would change their whole lifestyle and outlook on life- their deepest values to follow the God you serve! Paul said be imitators of me, as I am of Christ! We need to walk as Jesus walked, an example for others to really follow. Amen.

“Father, I pray You would cause me to be an influence on others, that they would turn and follow You with all their heart, giving up all the old ways they used to live. Let me be an example in the world around me and the people You place in my path of relationship, that I may win some for Christ- in Jesus’ name, amen.”