Berean Memorial Church

Berean Memorial Church is an active fellowship in Irving, Texas where we study and live God's word.

Operating as usual

[03/06/21]   March 4, 2021

Dear Bereans,

I certainly enjoyed the last couple of weeks resting and catching up on some things at home which needed to be done. I must admit that I did not enjoy the one digit temperatures and the lack of electric power, but this soon passed.

I am especially grateful for Dr. Steven Cook for his excellent four part series on spiritual growth. If you haven't listened to it, you will profit by listening. I you have listened, listen again!



Speaking of unpleasant circumstances,I would like to share a story which I read recently:

A senator… employed a young man as an intern. One morning the senator breezed in for a meeting and discovered that his intern was already in the office, reorganizing the entire mailroom. The senator said to the intern, "This is amazing—the mailroom has never looked so clean. You did a great job."

A few minutes later the senator saw that the intern had tears streaming down his face. [He] said, "Son, are you okay?"

"Yes," the intern answered quietly.

"Did I say something to offend you?"

"No, sir."

"Well, what's wrong?"

The young man said, "That's the first time in my life anyone's told me that I did something good."

Men of Integrity, "How Little It Takes," (November/December 2010)

We never know how much an encouraging word might mean to someone and especially during times when there is so much to discourage us, with the Covid19 pandemic and all that it entails.

Hang in there, Bereans! The day is coming when we will be able to meet again and enjoy face to face fellowship. In the meantime, keep your personal priesthood current and look for opportunities to "exhort (encourage) one another".

In His marvelous grace,

Pastor Leon Adkins

Hebrews 3:13

But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Romans 14:19

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

Ephesians 4:29

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Romans 15:4–5

4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. 5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus

Philippians 4:4–8

4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

[12/21/20]   December 2020 Church letter from Pastor Leon Adkins
2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

Dear Bereans,

It was on Christmas Eve, 2004 that conservative Christian radio commentator Paul Harvey read a modern parable, The Man and the Birds story which follows:

"The man to whom I’m going to introduce you was not a scrooge, he was a kind decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn’t believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas Time. It just didn’t make sense, and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t swallow the Jesus Story, about God coming to Earth as a man.

“I’m truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas Eve.” He said he’d feel like a hypocrite. That he’d much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And so he stayed and they went to the midnight service.

Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound…Then another, and then another. Sort of a thump or a thud…At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the front door to investigate he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They’d been caught in the storm and, in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window.

Well, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it.

Quickly he put on a coat, galoshes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light, but the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in. So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted wide open doorway of the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them…He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms…Instead, they scattered in every direction, except into the warm, lighted barn.

And then, he realized that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me…That I am not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him.

“If only I could be a bird,” he thought to himself, “and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to safety, warm…to the safe warm barn. But I would have to be one of them so they could see, and hear and understand.”

At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. And he stood there listening to the bells – Adeste Fidelis – listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas.

And he sank to his knees in the snow." 1

I have always loved this story. Recently I read a testimony by a former unbeliever, Rebecca Pipert, about how she first began to suspect that the Christian gospel was true:

"One sunny day I was stretched out on the lawn … when I noticed that some ants were busy building a mound. I began to redirect their steps with twigs and leaves. But they simply bounced off and started a new ant mound. I thought, This is like being God! I am redirecting their steps, and they don’t even realize it!

At one point, two ants crawled onto my hands and I thought, Wouldn’t it be funny if one ant turned to the others and said, “Do you believe in Becky? Do you believe Becky really exists?” I imagine the other ant answering, “Don’t be ridiculous! Becky is a myth, a fairy tale!” How comical, I thought--the hubris of that ant declaring that I don’t exist, when I could easily blow it off my hand. But what if the other ant said, “Oh, I believe that Becky exists!” How would they resolve it? How could they know that I am real? I thought. What would I have to do to reveal to them who I am?

Suddenly I realized: the only way to reveal who I am, in a way that they could understand, would be to become an ant myself. I would have to identify totally with their sphere of reality. I sat upright, and I remember thinking, What and amazing thought! The scaling-down of the size of me to perfectly represent who I am in the form of an ant! I know; I would have to do tricks! Things that no other ant could do!

Then it hit me: I had just solved my problem of how finite creatures could ever discover God. God would have to come from the outside and reveal who he is. " 2

2020 has been a year like no other. In spite of the setbacks, quarantine, etc., we have so much to be thankful for. Our 2020 Christmas celebration will be different from any other in our lives. This is a great time to keep in mind that we are remembering God's greatest gift ever: eternal life through His Son, Jesus the Messiah.

In His marvelous grace,

Pastor Leon Adkins

PS Call to office to request a Bible reading calendar.

PS#2 January 3,2021 will be a testimony service. If you mail it, be sure to mail early since the mail has been running at a snail pace. You can also email testimony to: [email protected]

1. https://www.hughsnews.com/newsletter-posts/paul-harveys-famous-christmas-story-the-man-and-the-birds-that-lives-on-in-2015

2. Rebecca Pippert, Stay Salt: The World has Changed Our Message Must Not, (The Good Book Company, 2020), pp. 39-40

[12/02/20]   November Church Letter from Pastor Leon Adkins:

2Corinthians 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair

Dear Bereans,

In the above passage the Apostle Paul explains his current state: he had plenty of troubles and because circumstances did not seem to be working out the the way he had anticipated he was somewhat puzzled but certainly not in despair. He knew that since he was serving God as his number one priority he could rest assured that the Heavenly Father was behind the scenes working out everything for His honor and glory and for the good of His servants.

Of course, we have not met with the opposition, persecution and hardships that he had experienced (read 2 Corinthians 11:25-33), but this year of quarentine has been a time of change such as we have not experienced. This is the first year in at least 50 that our church will not be having a special Thanksgiving service.

I recently read an article by Fulton Ousler. He had been an agnostic since his high school days. At some point he became a believer and wrote several books about Christianity and the truth of the Bible. There was an African American lady who had cared for him when he was small and he would visit her over the years. She had a habit of saying "much obliged, Lord" for everything. Once she told him that she had not wanted to get up that morning until she smelled fresh coffee brewing. "Much obliged for the coffee, Lord" she said as she jumped up. During her final illness Ousler visited her. As he walked into her room where several had gathered he heard her say, "Much obliged, Lord, for my faithful friends".

During this happy season of thanksgiving, I want to challenge you (and me) to see how many times we can shoot up to our Father, "Much obliged, Lord".

Thankful for faithful Bereans,

Pastor Leon Adkins

1Thesalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

youtube.com 11/05/2020

PM Service 11 1 20

Pastor Leon Adkins shared his testimony of God’s Grace and Providence:

Part One: https://youtu.be/cbxug7NDb7Q

Part Two: https://youtu.be/T2L7bSovp7Q

youtube.com

namethathymn.com 08/04/2020

Hymn Lyrics Search at Name That Hymn

Dear Bereans,

Jeremiah Denton, an American pilot shot down over North Vietnam was kept prisoner for almost 8 years. In looking back, he said that the most discouraging part of being a POW was facing unmet goals. He would say, surely I will be home by Thanksgiving. The day would come and go and he would set another goal: to be home by Christmas, then Easter, then by the Fourth of July. These goals would be met with disappointment followed by depression. Finally he decided just to pray for freedom and believe that God would answer his prayer in His own good time.

In Hebrews 6:19-201 We read that our Savior has entered into the Holy of Holies in Heaven. This truth gives us hope, which provides an anchor for our souls. An anchor gives a ship stability. Remember that in the Bible, hope always means a confident expectation.

The curtain which separated the congregation from the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle was so massive that Jewish tradition says that it a hundred Levites to move it! No one was allowed past the curtain s except the High Priest and he, only once a year. When the Savior died on the cross the curtain split from top to bottom. Today Jesus is our great High Priest inside the Holy of Holies interceding for us. He is our Anchor!

Verse 20 tells us that He is our forerunner. Our High Priest is inside the Holy of Holies as our intercessor (1Timothy 2:25, 1John 2:1). This gives us hope which is an anchor to our souls. The fact that Jesus has entered the presence of the Father as our Forunner means that we can all come in now!

Let's continue to walk in the light (1John 1) and maintain a cheerful attitude of thanksgiving while we await better circumstances

With agape and phileo,

Leon Adkins
Pastor

1 Hebrews 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

In Times Like These Lyrics

In times like these you need a Savior,
In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, Yes He's the One,
This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these you need the Bible,
In times like these, O be not idle;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, Yes He's the One,
This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these I have a Savior,
In times like these I have an anchor;
I'm very sure, I'm very sure
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, Yes He's the One,
This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

www.namethathymn.com

namethathymn.com This site offers free assistance to those searching for Christian hymns and hymn lyrics. Includes an online discussion forum.

[06/13/20]   June 3, 2020
Dear Bereans,

An old story about Abraham Lincoln goes like this: when he was a young man he rented a room from a man who was somewhat eccentric. One night he was awakened by the man rapping on his door and yelling that at that very moment the world was coming to an end. Young Abe rushed to the window and looked out at the sky. A star fell and he thought it must be true, the universe was distentigrating. Then he observed the old constellations that he was familiar with, were still in place, and he knew that the universe was not yet falling apart.

With the Covid19 virus and now the riots and mayhem in the streets, sometimes it is hard for us not to have the feeling that everything is falling apart. Young Abe's fixed point was the heavenly constellations; ours is the unchanging character of God revealed in the Bible.

Malachi 3:6 "For I am the LORD, I change not…"

We are missing the fellowship with one another, and the singing of hymns, but after careful consideration and discussion with the church council, keeping the safety and welfare of the congregation as our concern, we have decided to continue for at least another month with electronic church only.

Praying for God's gracious provision for all members and friends of Berean Memorial Church.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

In His grace,
Pastor Leon Adkins

Some more Scriptures you may want to read for encouragement in these unstable times:: Lamentations 3:22, Psalm 102:24–27, Romans 8:35–39

[04/13/20]   Dear Bereans,
Go with me to a dark afternoon 1,987 years ago. Minutes before the officer in charge of the crucifixion had just reported to Governor Pilate that Jesus had just died on a cross. Shortly, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were anointing His body with spiced oils for burial and dark clouds gathered while the sky turned black as midnight while an earthquake shook the city.
Jesus' disciples had fled. They had witnessed the One they loved most being insulted, tortured and killed with unspeakably and inhumane demonic cruelty. We can imagine the depression and sorrow that Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and the eleven were experiencing. On top of that was fear: what would happen next? Would the authorities hunt down His followers and charge them with aiding and abetting a rebel against the Jewish establishment and the Roman empire?
Their mood was probably even darker than ours during the recent stress over the COVID-19 epidemic. At first, we minimized it. We said it was just a kind of flu. Beside it was on the other side of the world, and yes, we were so sorry that it had happened in China, but this was America, thousands of miles away and it wouldn't come here. If it did our advanced medical technology would keep it at bay. Yes, we would take it seriously and we would take reasonable precautions, but it was not a realistic threat.
But then rumors became reality. We were issued stern warnings, for our protection; stay at home, only essential workers out and about, wear gloves, keep a distance from others, then wear a mask. We've flooded social media with jokes about being shut in, but under it all there is fear. We're asking how worse will it get and when will it all be over?
Let's go back to the hand full of followers of the prophet named Jesus of Nazareth, a teacher of the Jews. He had claimed to be the Son of God, the Christ, the Messiah Savior of the world. They had believed that He would soon declare Himself king, force the Roman government to submit to His rule, set up His kingdom and rule the world with absolute justice and righteousness. Then He was dead. What was left but grief and hopeless darkness?
Days later some of the women claimed that His body was missing from the tomb. They said they had been visited by an angel who said that Jesus had risen from the dead. Mary Magdalen had talked with Him. Peter had seen Him. A couple had a meal with Him and then He had vanished. Before long He was appearing to the disciples, visiting with them, eating with them and teaching just as before. The impossible had happened. A man who had been dead and buried was up visiting and encouraging His friends, bringing them hope and joy, just as he had spent His life before His death on the cross.
Before He was placed in the tomb Governor Pilate had ordered armed guards to stand watch over the tomb and sealed the entrance with the official seal: Property of the Imperial Roman Government; Keep Out! But the seal was now broken and the corpse which had been inside was now full of life and was visiting with His friends.
Those who believed in Him were suddenly transformed from sad sacks to people brimming over with joy and hope. (Remember that in the Bible hope means confident assurance about the future).
The Apostle Paul, who had actually met the risen Savior personally, wrote years later the secret that transformed Jesus followers from depressed to joyful. It was this:
Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us
It was the power that raised the dead Jesus to life; the power of the one true God, that is now available to us, His spiritual children. He can transform us to make us able to withstand circumstances and He can change circumstances. He listens to and responds to the prayers of His children.
One thing we have total control over is our response to our circumstances. Let me encourage you to bring all your cares and concerns to God, asking Him to change the circumstances according to His timing and until He does, to make us spiritually strong and mature, using this experience to transform us into the image of His Son.
I am looking forward to feasting on the Word of God with you this coming Lord's Day.
Agape, phileo and Happy Resurrection Day,

Pastor Leon

P.S. Just in case you forgot, agape is mental attitude goodwill, phileo is brotherly affection!
—If you would like Sunday's sermons each week, call the church office and leave a voice mail and leave your email address.

Location

Telephone

Address


1000 E 6th St
Irving, TX
75060
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