Bits ‘N Bytes June 2015

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Pastoral Response

Did you hear the story about the pastor who always started each service off with the phrase, “The Lord be with you.” The people, well trained over many years, would then respond, “And also with you.”

However, one Sunday the sound system wasn’t working very well. The pastor stepped to the pulpit and mumbled, “There’s something wrong with this microphone.”

The people responded, “AND ALSO WITH YOU!”

True Love?
I was hospitalized for a few days, and my wife reported that my dog really missed me. “She spends the night at the front door, awaiting your return,” she said.

“What an example of true love,” I replied. “I wonder if you’d be that concerned about me?”

“Honey,” my wife answered, “if you were gone overnight, and I didn’t know where you were, you can be sure I’d be waiting for you at the front door.”

Four Reasons for Discouragement (Nehemiah 4:10) – Rick Warren

  1. You get fatigued.
  2. You get frustrated.
  3. You think you’ve failed.
  4. You give in to fear.

…and you get Discouraged.

The teacher’s temptation is to use the Scripture like a drunk uses a street light: more for support than illumination. – Unknown

Take a Stand on Sanctity…

  1. The sanctity of life – God has a purpose for every unborn child (Psalm 139:16).
  2. The sanctity of sex – Sex is only for marriage (Hebrews 13:4).
  3. The sanctity of marriage – One man and one woman… for life (Matthew 19:4-6).

Battles aren’t won during Planning Meetings, though planning meetings are important.

Battles aren’t won during Public Meetings, though public meetings are important.

Battles are won during Prayer Meeting, as it brings God into the equation. – Ron Hutchcraft

Everything I Needed to Know I Learned From … a Man Named Solomon

(Cited on Andychaps_the-funnies)

  • Happiness makes you smile … Proverbs 15:13
  • A kind answer soothes angry feelings … Proverbs 15:1
  • A true friend will keep a secret … Proverbs 11:13
  • You will say the wrong thing if you talk too much … Proverbs 10:19
  • Don’t tell your neighbor to come back tomorrow, if you can help today … Proverbs 3:28
  • Everyone likes to brag about getting a bargain … Proverbs 20:14
  • Wise friends make you wise too … Proverbs 13:20
  • It’s better to be honest and poor than to be dishonest and rich … Proverbs 16:8
  • Telling lies will get you in trouble … Proverbs 17:20
  • Don’t give up … Proverbs 24:10
  • Make your parents proud, especially your mother … Proverbs 23:25
  • Watching what you say can save you a lot of trouble … Proverbs 21:23

Looking for Wisdom and Discernment? (Chuck Swindoll)

  1. Go to your knees. – James 1:5 promises wisdom to those who ask for it.
  2. Go to the Word. – Psalm 119:98-100 offers insight beyond our fondest dreams.
  3. Go to the wise. – Discernment is better caught than taught. Those who have the disease are often highly contagious.

Check out these interesting sites: – Tools for Christian growth (Our Daily Bread) – Discount Christian Bookstore

Time to Ask Myself… Am I Protecting My Heart and Ministry from an Affair? (Part 1 of 7)

Ron Edmondson /

It seems every day we hear of another big name celebrity, politician, or pastor that has fallen into the temptation of lust and had an affair. I think it is dangerous for any leader to assume this could never happen to him. Speaking as a man, I understand that temptation is very real. When the mind begins to wander in a lustful direction, it is very hard to control. The failure, I believe, comes more in not protecting the heart and mind. I know that I must personally work to protect myself, my wife, my boys, and my church from the scandal and embarrassment of an affair. Here’s the first of seven rules I have in place that serve to protect my heart and the first of seven attempts I have to protect my family from the stress of ministry:

  1. I never meet alone with a woman besides my wife (or mother). I always take someone along to lunch meetings and I make sure others are in the office when I meet with women. Also, I never exercise with other women. (If you need explanation, then you’ve never been a guy going to a gym where girls are in workout clothes. Trust me!) I realize this is not popular in these days where men and women are searching for equality in the workplace. Honestly, some women never understand this. I had one woman tell me recently that I “think too highly of myself,” but my family is too important to me not to take this precaution.
  1. Down time. Saturdays for me is a protected day. I normally work six long (up to 10 hours and more) days a week. (I’m wired to work and to take a true “Sabbath.” According to Exodus 16:26 at least, it seems one would have to work six days… just saying… Ha!) This also means I agree to do fewer weddings or attend other social events on Saturdays. There are only a few Saturdays a year that I allow this part of my calendar to be interrupted. Pastors, it doesn’t have to be Saturdays for you, but there should be at least one day in your week like this. If you are wired for two… take two!

If a pastor is not careful, the weight of everyone else’s problems will take precedence over the issues and concerns of his immediate family. I see it frequently among pastors I encounter. There have been seasons of my ministry where this is the case, especially on abnormally stressful days. I decided years ago when I was a small business owner, serving in an elected office and on dozens of non-profit boards that my busyness would never detract from my family life on a long-term basis.

Ask yourself this question: How healthy is your family? What are you doing to protect it?

[Dale Flynn and his wife, Liz, are Word of Life Local Church Ministries missionaries in Eastern MD. Dale is a Local Church Ministries curriculum editor and is the editor of this Ministering to the Minister E-Transfer national electronic Pastor’s newsletter. The Flynns make their home in Elkton, MD. Questions or comments about this article may be addressed to Dale at: ]