Biblical truth standing on its spiritual head to get our eternal attention.
  • .: Welcome :. is devoted to the pursuit of truth, whether plain or paradoxical, whether simple or sublime, or simply absurd yet absolute.

    Our Lord came down from life to suffer death; the Bread came down, to hunger; the Way came down, on the way to weariness; the Fount came down, to thirst. —Augustine, Sermon 78
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    "It is refreshing to see the truth unfold from God's word about this most important subject."
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    Posted By on July 14, 2017

    Service: Sunday Assembly (352), Midweek Meeting (1).
    Date: 2009 (44), 2010 (40), 2011 (42), 2012 (43), 2013 (45), 2014 (42), 2015 (47), 2016 (41), 2017 (9)

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    Sermons (353)

    The Sunday Before
    (Part of the Bible series).
    Preached by Perry Hall on April 9, 2017 (Sunday Assembly).
    Amazing Grace (Theme Service)
    (Part of the Bible series).
    Preached by Perry Hall on March 5, 2017 (Sunday Assembly).
    Protecting a church Through Togetherness
    (Part of the Bible series).
    Preached by Perry Hall on February 19, 2017 (Sunday Assembly).
    Listening To God: Making Decisions (Part 6)
    (Part of the Listening To God series).
    Preached by Perry Hall on February 12, 2017 (Sunday Assembly).
    Listening To God: Making Decisions (Part 5)
    (Part of the Listening To God series).
    Preached by Perry Hall on February 5, 2017 (Sunday Assembly).
    Listening To God: Making Decisions (Part 4)
    (Part of the Listening To God series).
    Preached by Perry Hall on January 29, 2017 (Sunday Assembly).
    Listening To God: Making Decisions (Part 3)
    (Part of the Listening To God series).
    Preached by Perry Hall on January 22, 2017 (Sunday Assembly).
    Listening To God: Making Decisions (Part 2)
    (Part of the Listening To God series).
    Preached by Perry Hall on January 15, 2017 (Sunday Assembly).
    Listening To God: Making Decisions (Part 1)
    (Part of the Listening To God series).
    Preached by Perry Hall on January 1, 2017 (Sunday Assembly).
    Seven Churches of Asia Plus One: Philadelphia
    (Part of the Seven Churches of Asia Plus One series).
    Preached by Perry Hall on December 18, 2016 (Sunday Assembly).
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    Ephesians – That’s Me

    Posted By on June 24, 2017

    Saturday’s Special – My daily goal is to not let my work get the way of reading my Bible. As a preacher, you might think this is strange. Don’t I read the Bible in preparing to write sermons, classes, and articles, and such? Yes. But. Sigh. I have discovered, rather too late in life, that “just” reading is far more important than I realized. It is more important than reading other books about the Bible; and more important than studying to prepare for you as part of my work. For example, today I have to finish a magazine article (the deadline is today), plus finish Sunday’s preparation (class, sermon, bulletin), and still hope to have time to visit for a gospel meeting (a friend is preaching). Unlike before, I did not let my busy schedule be an excuse to not read. Today I read Ephesians.

    Most footnotes of Ephesians 1:1 include, “Other manuscripts omit ‘at Ephesus.'” That means this was likely a general epistle Paul sent places where there were Gentile Christians. “That’s me”, I reminded myself.

    Then in chapter 2 Paul speaks of “we” and “you.”; Jews and Gentiles. But this time I was like the Jews, the religious folk who were raised in a good religion, who despite their religiosity: “We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of the our flesh and thoughts, as we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also” (Ephesians 2:3). “That’s me”, I reminded myself.

    Chapter 4 didn’t do my spiritual ego much good either: “All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31). “Shouting” is something I did at my children just this week. From a fleshly view, they deserved it. From a fleshly view, I deserved to be yelled back at. From a godly view, I should have spoken more quietly and set a better example.

    Our goal must be to set time to read without stopping to studying and dissect the text. There must be time for serious study; but there must be time for serious reading too. Don’t forget though, that reading is not for the purpose of staying on schedule. It’s to take the time to digest big amounts of God through His word, and to think, “That’s me.”

    Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48 – The Woman Who Interrupted

    Posted By on June 23, 2017

    There is a woman who interrupts another story. This “interruption” is real in the sense of historically accurate; but it is also symbolic (at least to me). Sometimes interruptions are annoying, and other times life-changing.

    Jesus is approached by a leader in the synagogue; an important man. She is not important, at least as viewed by most. The leader’s daughter is dying. Again that is more serious than this woman’s issue who interrupts; except maybe to her. As selfish as that sounds, that is the reality for all of us. OUR problems are not necessarily bigger or smaller than others, they are OURS. The closer we are to anything the more intense it is.

    The story that interrupts is Jesus healing the bleeding woman (or “woman with an issue of blood” and other variants) (Matthew 9:20–22, Mark 5:25–34, Luke 8:43–48). Her bleeding issue was not only physical, but social and spiritual as it caused her under Mosaical law to be unclean. Mark even adds she had spent everything she had on the doctors to no avail (5:26). Can you imagine the emotional pain all of this inflicted upon her? Let’s count the ways again: 12 years of chronic health problems; 12 years of socially being unaccepted; 12 years of not being able to attend religious services; 12 years of running through her finances; 12 years of all of this weighing on her mind.

    No wonder she was desperate enough to believe! “If I can just touch His robes I’ll be made well!” (Mark 5:28) Belief, which is acting trust, is often the oxygen of the desperate.

    So what is your “issue”? What is interrupting your goals, happiness, or peace of mind? 1. Health; 2. Family problems; 3. Job status; 4. (Lack of) Marital problems; 5. Aging – finding their purpose; 6. All of the above?; 7. Combination of the above? 8. Something too private to share? 9. Something you are unwilling to even admit to yourself?

    Let me just add a personal note here. Let me share with you that my back pain is more than just physical pain. There is the realization of how much I have lost in time the last several years. There is the wondering of whether or not I will ever get pain free. There is the possibility that I will never again be able to do things I once enjoyed. All of these play on my mind. Chronic physical pain leads to Chronic emotional pain.

    Going back to the woman, almost all of her issues were taken away. Almost. There is no indication Jesus filled up again her bank account! Plus, she will never get back those 12 years of life and all the joys that fill one’s life. Twelve years gone. Just that is enough to drive some to depression.

    So what about us? Are we still waiting for these interruptions of life to become non-issues? Here is where my answers might not be as comforting as much as the comfort this unnamed lady received. Strangely, admitting that brings some comfort.

    First, take comfort that Jesus took time for her and did not consider her an unimportant interruption. Second, take comfort in that the parables are more than indications of divine compassion. Miracles, signs, and wonders are real-life parables. The word for “well” (Mark 5:28) is sozo. It is the same word used for “save.” The parables shine the light on a greater “healing,” an eternal solution to life’s issues and interruptions.

    So what about us? Sadly we might have to live a life filled with less than we want; even if we want it for God’s glory. What we can do is: 1) Find ways to glorify God in the conditions we are in. This must be even if it is a lifetime of blindness, blind for the glory of God to heal (John 9:1-3). 2) Glory in the reality that sin is not longer interrupting your relationship with God. Spiritually, you have been made well. 3) Finally, give thanks to God that he is always willing to be “interrupted” so that you may “touch” God’s ear in prayer. 4) Acceptance is realizing God’s grace is enough (2 Corinthians 12:9). Contextually that grace is for Paul the grace of his apostleship. For us it is the acceptance that God’s grace – our position in His kingdom – is enough. It is enough that God lets us serve God. That is a needed interruption in this world of sin. God using us might be enough for someone to reach out in desperation for spiritual healing.

    Nehemiah – Prayer

    Posted By on June 9, 2017

    The prayer passages with a description of each which help us understand various types and occasions for prayer:
    Prayer in Nehemiah
    1. Preparation Prayer – 1:4-11
    2. Prompt Prayer 2:4
    3. Persecution Prayer – 4:4-5
    4. Protection Prayer – 4:9
    5. Promise Prayer #1 – 5:13
    6. Pastoral Prayer – 5:19
    7. Power Prayer 6:9
    8. Perceptive Prayer – 6:14
    9. Praising Prayer#1 – 8:6
    10. Petitioning Prayer – 9:1-4
    11. Past and Present Prayer 9:5-37
    12. Promise Prayer #2 – 10:28-39
    13. Public Presenter Prayer – 11:17
    14. Praising Prayer #2 – 12:24
    15. Praising Praise #3 – 12:31
    16. Purity Prayer – 13:22
    17. Pardon Not Prayer – 13:29
    18. Pleeful Prayer – 13:31

    Titus 2:4 – Loving Your Husband

    Posted By on May 27, 2017

    Strumming my fingers incoherently while driving, and all of a sudden my brain makes an unconscious connection and I start to sing “Green acres is the place to be. Farm living is the life for me.” “For me” is the husband. Think about those last two words – “for me”. When you watch the opening credits you see the backstory: a successful lawyer and his pampered wife holding a pampered pet dog who trade in a high rise New York apartment for a broken down farm house. That’s the setting for the comedy – including a pet pig named Arnold. What the real story is, because farm living was for the husband and not the wife, Green Acres is about a wife’s unconditional – and at times very uncomfortable – love for husband. Considering how unsuccessful the husband was at farming, the only thing green was the wife’s evergreen love for husband.

    John 12:13,15

    Posted By on May 27, 2017

    John quotes in 12:13,15 messianic prophecies which both the crowd and Jesus quote. Then John records, “His discIples did not understand these things at first” (John 12:16).
    I am constantly amazed at what the apostles did not know considering they had attended synagogue all their lives (yes that is an assumption based on their willingness to follow Jesus and Jewish practice). This brings me to two points: 1) it is good and right to be certain of what we know; 2) it is wrong and bad to be certain of what we do not know.
    Constantly Jewish leaders and others who were schooled in messianic prophecies did not understand what they did not know. Too often they let one truth override another truth such as the Messiah was to be from Bethlehem not Galilee (John 7:41-42,52).
    So remember these necessary rules: 1) do not let one scripture cause you to ignore other scripture; 2) while it is good to be certain of what you know; do not be certain of what you do not know. Together this means God can and had and will do things that are beyond our understanding – even on Judgment Day. Hopefully it can be said of us when we are glorified, as it was said of the disciples in John 12:16, “However, when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered”.

    Criticizing Preachers

    Posted By on May 27, 2017

    As a preacher, reading the gospels again has been good for me and my feelings: 1) “Some of your sermons are too complicated.” So were some of Jesus’ (John 6:60). 2) “Didn’t you preach that sermon before?” Jesus repeated himself (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27). 3) “Were you talking about me?” Jesus had to do that (Matthew 21:45). 4) “You shouldn’t talk about yourself in your sermons.” Jesus did and people complained about him too (John 8:13). 5) “Some people left because of what you said.” You can picture the sorrow, as Jesus watched some leave (John 6:66). No preacher is Jesus, obviously; we make mistakes and have personal flaws. But before you complain about the preacher, maybe you likewise should read the gospels again.

    Days of the Week Without God

    Posted By on May 27, 2017





    John 1:1-2 – Chiasm

    Posted By on May 20, 2017

    John 1:1-2 – Notice two things: 1) The order of the words in Greek is different than in English which lends itself to an interesting chiasm. 2) While we normally quote just 1:1 as a complete thought, the chiastic order suggests v.2 should be included.

    A – In (the) beginning was the Word

    B – and the Word

    C- was with [the] God

    C’ – and God was

    B’ – the Word.

    A’ – He was in (the) beginning with [the] God.

    NEWS! – Russia Has Banned the Jehovah Witnesses

    Posted By on April 24, 2017

    Russia had banned the Jehovah Witnesses making it illegal. The reason was saying it was guilty of extremism. Not stated by the Russian government is that possibly they viewed the group to be extreme because it was a pacifist group which did not celebrate Russia’s aggressive military actions.

    People often joke about hiding behind the curtains when JW’s knock on the door. However remember Niemöller, a German Protestant “Pastor”, who is perhaps best remembered for this quotation:

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.