Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Fantastic Party

Today's Reading: Numbers 17-19 and Mark 6:30-56

In today's reading we see Jesus miraculously feed thousands. I would call that a pretty good party. Of course, Jesus always performs miracles for a purpose. Feeding the crowds a single meal is good but proving His divinity is even better. Jesus wants us to realize that His offer of a relationship with God is the real deal.

I'm married (and a Levite) but in honor of our Old Testament passage for today, I'm going to share some dating advice with our single readers: There's this thing called "the Christian Pickup Line."

The image below is a pickup line found on Twitter. Another great one is when you sit down next to someone, you ask, "Is this seat saved? Are you?" Then you either start dating or you share the Gospel message. Either way, you win!


If you're itching for some old school Audio Adrenaline then check out this song which sings of Jesus walking on the water (that we see at the end of our Mark passage).

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Terrible Party

Today's Reading: Numbers 15-16 and Mark 6:1-29

Caravaggio is one of the greatest painters in history. He lived in Italy, born 1571 and died 1610. Here is his painting of John the Baptist's head being delivered on a party platter.

The scene is ugly because it's a feast being run by an evil man. Tomorrow we'll see a feast run by God (the feeding of the 5000). I don't believe it's an accident the two passages are right next to each other!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Joshua and Caleb Scout the Land

Today's Reading: Numbers 12-14 and Mark 5:21-43

Our church loves the group that put this video together. We use some of their curriculum for our Sunday School classes. For more information visit their website

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Demoniac

Today's Reading: Numbers 9-11 and Mark 5:1-20

The following cartoon was done by an Australian artist named Matt Baker. His website can be found here.

For our passage in Numbers, check out this image:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Jesus Calms the Storm

Today's Reading: Numbers 7-8 and Mark 4:21-41

Jesus stills the sea. Here's another parody video from ApologetiX. The song is 'Parable Guy' and it takes after American Pie by Don McLean.


If you're looking for a straight-forward video clip of Jesus calming the storm then here is the scene from The Jesus Film Project.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Parable of the Sower

Today's Reading: Numbers 5-6 and Mark 4:1-20

I wanted to make today all about the Nazirite Vow (in Numbers 6) because we'll see it appear again in the book of Judges with Samson. BUT it's hard to find art inspired by Numbers 6. Sorry. >-<

Instead, here are a couple of great images for Mark 4 and the parable of the sower.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Jesus appoints the 12

Today's Reading: Numbers 3-4 and Mark 3:20-35

Jesus appoints His twelve disciples. He says "follow me."

The piece of art below was made by a Korean artist by the name of Yongsung Kim, whose website is here and whose Pinterest page is here

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Book of Numbers

Today's Reading: Numbers 1 and Mark 3:1-19

Today we begin the book of Numbers. How is your reading plan coming along? Is there anything we can do to encourage you in your Bible reading plan?

This is another overview video from the team over at Bibledex.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Paralytic Healed

Today's Reading: Leviticus 26-27 and Mark 2

The paralytic is healed. Here is a performance from Intervarsity's Urbana Conference in 2012:

The Roof from InterVarsity twentyonehundred on Vimeo.

I love the painting above.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Today's Reading: Leviticus 25 and Mark 1:23-45

Jubilee hits the reset button: debts are paid, land markers are restored, people are set free. The idea is to wipe away all the hurts that have grown incrementally over time. We all yearn for a do-over sometimes and Jubilee is a symbol of God's larger plan for community.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Almost done with Leviticus!

Today's Reading: Leviticus 23-24 and Mark 1:1-22

We're almost through Leviticus! As I shared in a previous verse, Leviticus is arguably the most boring book of the Bible. The folks at Blackhawk Church went through a reading plan and after finishing Leviticus they put this song together:

The Leviticus Song from Blackhawk Church on Vimeo.


This rap-along (yes, you read that correctly) is for our Leviticus passage.

This video from Bibledex gives an overview of Mark, in case you want a refresher.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

He is risen indeed!

Today's Reading: Leviticus 21-22 and Matthew 28

Christ is risen, He is risen indeed! The following song is honor of Matthew 28 and Christ's resurrection.


This video shows John Piper analyzing Matthew 28:18-20.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Pinterest Praise

Today's Reading: Leviticus 19-20 and Matthew 27:51-66

Today I want to share some of my favorite images off of Pinterest that tie back to Leviticus 19:18, which warns, "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself."

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Depicting the Crucifixion

Today's Reading: Leviticus 17-18 and Matthew 27:27-50

Depicting the crucifixion is no easy task, especially if you're doing the performance for younger students. Do you show gore? Is it better to simply describe crucifixion, or to avoid the torturous details altogether?

I like what this troupe did for an Acquire the Fire conference in 2009:


The movie The Passion of the Christ is almost entirely about the crucifixion. My parents chose not to watch it because, as my mom shared, "Why would I want to watch my Savior get tortured?"

The first time I watched the movie was in theaters. I had brought an atheist friend of mine and I think it was a memorable experience for him, to see how I reacted to the film. If you have never seen it then I do recommend it, though be warned there is a great deal of gore.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Judas and his (lack of) Remorse

Today's Reading: Leviticus 15-16 and Matthew 27:1-26

Today's clip is particularly fascinating (and heartbreaking). In it, a musician by the name of Tim Minchin plays the part of Judas in a new revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. But here's the thing: Tim is an outspoken atheist.

The result is that I'm always really hit by the emotion of this clip. It's heavy on several levels.

So check out this scene where Judas sings right before he dies.


If you wonder why Tim Minchin tried out for this musical, here is an interview where he gives some explanation.

I'm trying not to post full sermons for this reading plan but the following sermon from Rob Bell is an interesting one. He uses props to help us understand Leviticus 16. Here is the sermon and remember, by posting this I am not saying I agree with Rob Bell's theology, I just present it as an example of something inspired by this passage of Scripture.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Peter's Denials

Today's Reading: Leviticus 14 and Matthew 26:26-50

I'm sorry to be posting clips from the same movie two days in a row but oh man, the following moment when Peter betrays Jesus and then catches eyes with him, gives me a chill every time:


For a good sense of what the Garden of Gethsemane is like, check out this sermon delivered from within the garden.

Tomorrow we'll have a clip from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. But if musicals are your thing then this song should tide you over until then. It's Steve Balsamo performing 'Gethsemane.'

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Memes and Parodies

Today's Reading: Leviticus 13 and Matthew 26:26-50

Just for fun:

And here's a parody of 'Last Kiss' by Pearl Jam. It's by ApologetiX, called 'Last Night,' and is about what we read in Matthew 26:36-56:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Today's Reading: Leviticus 11-12 and Matthew 26:1-25

I share this thought often, but what really is the difference between Peter and Judas? They both messed up and betrayed Jesus. They both turned their backs on him when he needed them most. Yet one is considered a faithful disciple while the other is cast as the villain.

The difference is that Peter allowed Jesus to pick him up after he fell down. I want to be more like Peter today -- I want to let go of my mistakes, my guilt, my shame. Instead, I want to let Jesus pick me up and put me back on my feet.


For the Leviticus passage it's hard to do better than this fantastic infographic by the artist over at

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Song in Hebrew

Today's Reading: Leviticus 8-10 and Matthew 25:31-46

This youtube musician loves to take Bible passages (especially ones off the beaten path) and sing them in their original Hebrew. Here is her song for Leviticus 9:


For the Matthew passage I'm going to share an older song by Keith Green. It's older than me. >-< BUT you can't go wrong with Keith Green because all of his songs have some serious kick. Enjoy.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Drawing Meaning from Parables

Today's Reading: Leviticus 6-7 and Matthew 25:1-30

Check out today's video for Matthew 25 and the Parable of the Talents:

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Stone me, Please

Today's Reading: Leviticus 4-5 and Matthew 24:29-51

A.J. Jacobs is a fascinating person. His life is one big experiment. Because he goes through seasons when he obsessively shapes his life around a certain issue or question. For example, he spent an entire year attempting to follow the rules of the Bible as literally as possible. Most of these laws came from the book of Leviticus.

He wrote a book about his year of living biblically but you can also check out his presentation at a TED conference:

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Where Reading Plans Go to Die: Leviticus

Today's Reading: Leviticus 1-3 and Matthew 24:1-28

Many people on Bible Reading Plans get stuck in Leviticus. It's a tough book to get through. So for out first day in Leviticus, I'm giving a couple of great overview videos. They'll help you understand how to enjoy Leviticus -- which will help you more fully enjoy the art we'll see over the next couple of weeks.

Also, if you're subscribed by e-mail I want to apologize because it seems like the videos/links are not always formatted correctly. If anyone knows how to adjust the Blogger settings for these e-mails, let me know, thanks!

This first overview comes from Blackhawk Church when their congregation was taking a 'Read Through the Bible in a Year Challenge':

This next overview is from the team over at Bibledex. We'll keep seeing their videos throughout the Reading Plan because they do such a good job at bringing the Bible to youtube.


Matthew 24:15-16 is a difficult verse so I refer you to this article for helpful commentary.

Friday, February 6, 2015


Today's Reading: Exodus 39-40 and Matthew 23:23-39

What is the difference between hypocrisy and imperfection?

The Pharisees were hypocrites because they weren't really listening for God's guidance. They were so intense about following the rules that they missed the whole point: a closer relationship with God.

The youth group at Saddleback Church put together a little skit to show how appearances don't always match the heart's condition:

If you are curious to learn more about what the Pharisees believed, or how they differed from the other leading group at the time (the Sadducees), then here is a great informational video:

Thursday, February 5, 2015

God's Home Through History

Today's Reading: Exodus 36-38 and Matthew 23:1-22

Tabernacles and Pharisees: today's passages may feel like the stuffier aspects of organized religion but the video below gives a glimpse of something deeper taking place:

I haven't gone through the study mentioned in the video (which can be found in its entirety on Vimeo) but it looks interesting. Also, don't forget, the tabernacle of the wandering Israelites becomes the Temple of the Hebrews which becomes the temple of your heart. These symbols are to let us know that God wants to reside with us.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Worship Wednesday: Love the Lord by Lincoln Brewster

Today's Reading: Exodus 34-35 and Matthew 22:23-46

Worship Wednesday! Because there's nothing better than spending some quality time with the Lord. Moses spent time with God and everyone could tell, he glowed. So join along with 'Love the Lord' by Lincoln Brewster:

In this next video, Lincoln shares the story of writing this song:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I Buy my Groceries with Art

Today's Reading: Exodus 31-33 and Matthew 22:1-22

One of my favorite lessons is to hand out foreign currency to students. I then ask them to describe the country that uses that money. I don't give them any information about the countries, including the names, so the only clues they have are what they see on the coins or bills.

Of course some of the answers are pretty imaginative. But in general, you can accurately tell a lot from a culture by their money. It may seem strange to think of money as art but it is designed to reflect values and ideologies.

Jesus seems to be making that very point in our passage today -- when you look at the coin above, you see the culture of Rome. The man pictured is Emperor Tiberius. Jesus encouraged Roman citizens to pay their taxes but He warns us not to be confused about whose kingdom we ultimately belong to.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Wines and Whines

Today's Reading: Exodus 29-30 and Matthew 21:23-46

I love stumbling across videos that were clearly put together by students of a church youth group. Here is one for the parable of the workers in the vineyard:

For a more more polished video, here's the Matthew passage in a video that was put together by the Mormon Channel on youtube. Be aware that the Mormon church does not agree with Christianity on many tenets of the faith, but the following video is a good representation of our passage today.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Kicking Out the Idols

Today's Reading: Exodus 27-28 and Matthew 21:1-22

Have you noticed how often you want more? You are on the hunt for bigger, better, more. The good news is that God designed every one of us that way so we would seek after Him. We're free to crave because God's character is infinite and His blessings are endless.

The bad news is that when we direct our hearts away from God, that hunger to worship still remains. This is when we stumble into idolatry. Both our passages today deal with these pesky idols.

For our Old Testament passage we're going 'old school' by visiting a movie clip from The 10 Commandments with Charlton Heston (which came out in 1956).

For our New Testament reading we're going 'new school' and checking out one of the many faith-based Pinterest images getting shared: