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
  • .: Book Reviews :.

    "It is refreshing to see the truth unfold from God's word about this most important subject."
  • Matthew 1:18-24 – Joseph: The Other Father of Jesus

    Posted By on December 5, 2017

    One of my favorite parts of the story of Jesus’s birth is very personal. It is about a parent who adopted a child who was not biologically theirs. May the world know more “Joseph’s” – the other father of Jesus.

    1 Peter 1:14,18 – An Ignorant and Empty Life

    Posted By on September 13, 2017

    An Ignorant and Empty Life: “Do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance…for you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life” (1 Peter 1:14,18). Peter’s writings are not considered as scholarly as Paul’s, much like Jeremiah is not as compared to Isaiah. Maybe that says something about me since I have always been drawn to 1 Peter. He is elegant in his own blunt way, weaving the gospel in and out of his sentences. The two above verses struck me as pointedly blunt. It made me think of brothers and sisters who gave up their salvation for “perishable things” (1:18). It warns me. Ignorant and empty. That describes a life without Jesus.

    Hear Feel Do – Acts 2:37-38

    Posted By on September 13, 2017

    I saw a t-shirt with the slogan “Hear Feel Do – John 4:23-34”. Not sure that is the best verse for that slogan. Acts 2:37-38 fits perfectly though: “And when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts and asked, what must we do? Peter said, ‘Repent and be baptized, everyone of you in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

    Judges 13-16 – Samson and Eve #1

    Posted By on September 6, 2017

    They say young men marry women that remind them of their mothers. For me I know that was true, except younger! The story of Samson can be told by contrasting his mother to his women. In Judges 13, while unnamed, the wife of Manoah and Samson’s mother is the main character. It is she who is said to be unable to have children, and nothing is said about her husband. The Angel of God appears to her first and second. And when Manoah gets afraid after realizing in that seeing the Angel of the LORD, they had seen God (13:22); it is his wife who calms him down with some fairly sound logical thinking (23). She is a spiritually strong woman who is able to be a helper (Genesis 2:18) to her husband. Manoah was the weaker of the two.

    In studying Samson it is apparent he is a man of weak character. All is not lost because many a weak man can be made stronger through a godly helper. Sadly, and much to his detriment, Samson who was weak like his father did not marry someone strong in the Lord like his mother. He married a strong woman in the flesh who did not help but instead manipulated and ruled over him. Samson was like his father. Delilah was like his mother in that she was strong; but unlike his mother in being strong in a way that helps. The lesson for us today is we must be willing to do a strong and honest self-examination if we want to be faithful. Everyone benefits from marrying someone strong in the faith. In my experience, men need this more than women because women seem to be more naturally spiritually minded. And while all men benefit from a spiritually strong woman; for some men it is essential for their own spiritual safety.

    Do You Feel Your Prayers Aren’t Reaching God?

    Posted By on September 6, 2017

    Question: Hello brother Perry. What do u do when u start to lose faith in prayer? When u just feel your prayers are hitting the roof and see no results.
    Answer: Been feeling that myself. One answer is to not put much faith in feelings. Another is to read the psalms. The feelings of God not hearing is often presented as felt by the psalmists. The good news is usually those psalms either end with finally “hearing” back from God, or else understanding we need to keep praising God nonetheless. Reading the Psalms shows us you – and me – are not alone.

    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. Pleading Prayer – 13:14
    16. Praising Praise #3 – 12:31
    17. Purity Prayer – 13:22
    18. Pardon Not Prayer – 13:29
    19. 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”.