Monday, August 31, 2015

Psalm 133 the Folk Song

Today's Reading: Psalm 132-134 and 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

Psalm 133 is such a fun psalm. For me, the words immediately conjure up memories of mountain breezes and anchovies spread across homemade bread. That's because the Psalm became an anchor passage for me during a mission trip to Norway and Latvia during my freshman year of college.

As I scour the Interwebs, I notice this Psalm has been used for many great Jewish folk songs. Here's one that a Seminary professor taught to his class. Skip to the last minute if you want to only hear the singing. They sound suspiciously good for just being a class of Seminary students.

For a more formal performance of a choral song, here's one by the Twin Cities Jewish Chorale. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Psalm 130 and Waiting for Redemption

Today's Reading: Psalm 129-131 and 1 Corinthians 11:1-16

Here's another beautifully shot Scripture reflection from artist James Drake. This one is for Psalm 130

Psalm 130 from James Drake on Vimeo.

If you enjoyed the Sons of Korah song from a couple days ago, then here's another one for Psalm 130.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

All Things Are Lawful

Today's Reading: Psalm 126-128 and 1 Corinthians 10:19-33

1 Corinthians 10:23 shares, "All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify."

I've always understood this verse to mean that my relationship with God is most vibrant when I'm aligned with God's desires, not out on the boundaries trying to test what I can get away with. Sure, I am forgiven and thus have incredible freedom, but that doesn't mean I should pull right up to a cliff edge. That's common sense.

This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible yet I've had trouble finding art to express it. If you stumble across something, let me know. Until then, I share this song by Keith Green that is about Psalm 127.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Do all the Good you can by all the Means you can

Today's Reading: Psalm 123-125 and 1 Corinthians 10:1-18

It's hard not to enjoy this song, with its Spanish-style acoustic guitar, its soft melodic vocals, and that light rhythm of the subdued bongos. The song is 'Psalm 125' by the band Sons of Korah.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Run the Race to Win

Today's Reading: Psalm 120-122 and 1 Corinthians 9

In response to 1 Corinthians 9:24,

And here's another 3-minute reflection by James Drake, this one on Psalm 121.

And for a praise song, I share I Lift My Eyes by Sonicflood (which is a cover song). Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Your Word is a Lamp

Today's Reading: Psalm 119:89-176 and 1 Corinthians 8

If you are fans of Amy Grant or Michael W. Smith then check out this song, 'Thy Word,' which is taken from Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Psalm 119, the Alphabet Poem

Today's Reading: Psalm 119:1-88 and 1 Corinthians 7"20-40

Did you know that Psalm 119 is built on the Hebrew Alphabet? The first eight verses begin with the first letter of the alphabet. The next 8 verses begin with the second letter of the alphabet. And so on. Here's an image of the Hebrew alphabet:

And if you'd like to learn more about the alphabetic poem then here's a video taught by a language teacher.

And here's another song from the Dutch artists doing the Psalms Project. The song is based on Psalm 119.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Finding the Center (1 Corinthians 7:17)

Today's Reading: Psalm 116-118 and 1 Corinthians 7:1-19

Here's a talented Gospel choir singing a song for Psalm 118. I believe the group is from France.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Don't Go to Court

Today's Reading: Psalm 113-115 and 1 Corinthians 6

Hmm, I debate whether to share this spoken word performance of Psalm 113-115 with a lyrical dance because it doesn't capture my personal attention. But ultimately I'm choosing to share it because I recognize it's a creative expression directly inspired by the Scriptures of the day.

Also, notice, in the 1 Corinthians passage believers are encouraged not to be so litigious. I think that's a particularly relevant passage for believers living in America these days.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Classical Composers and Psalm 112

Today's Reading: Psalm 110-112 and 1 Corinthians 5

It seems Psalm 112 really grabbed the attention of classical composers. How's your Latin these days? This first song is Laudate Pueri (Psalm 112) by Antonio Vivaldi:

And then there's Paudate pueri Dominum (Psalm 112) by G.F. Handel

And of course here's the great Mozart with Vesperae Solennes de Confessore - Beatus Vir (which is for Psalm 112).

Am I missing your favorite Classical composer? Who else would you like to see included in this list?

Friday, August 21, 2015

More Unknown Servants of Christ

Today's Reading: Psalm 107-109 and 1 Corinthians 4

I have a couple more songs for you today, this time from more unknown artists. This first one is an original song written by the praise team at Genesis the Church in Troy, Michigan. The song is called 'Psalm 109'

Psalm 109 from Genesis on Vimeo.

I stumbled across this fusion jazz song from a group called New Thought Jazz. The song definitely leans towards the smooth/Gospel end of the fusion jazz spectrum. It's not my cup of tea but I'm glad there are groups out there using the Psalms within their own genre.

I'd hate to leave the traditional purists out of the mix. Here's an Anglican chamber choir from Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland singing a version of Psalm 108

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Confession of Sins

Today's Reading: Psalm 105-106 and 1 Corinthians 3

The team over at Mothlight Creative call this next clip "Visual Liturgy" and it was made for Psalm 106.

Psalm 106 from Mothlight Creative on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Psalm 103 and 104 in Contemporary Christian Music

Today's Reading: Psalm 103-104 and 1 Corinthians 2

Today we hit the Contemporary Christian Music jackpot. These are some of the greatest, best known contemporary songs because they so genuinely put all the focus on Christ. Enjoy.

Psalm 103:
10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman
East to West by Casting Crowns
God with Us by Marcy Me

Psalm 104:
How Great is Our God by Hillsong United or by Chris Tomlin

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

2 Minute Rest

Today's Reading: Psalm 100-102 and 1 Corinthians 1

This two minute reflection for Psalm 100 is without lyrics or words. It's a time out. A rest. Enjoy.

Psalm 100 from James Drake on Vimeo.

We're starting 1 Corinthians today so here is the Bibledex overview if you need a refresher on the book's contents.

Monday, August 17, 2015

God will Crush Satan!

Today's Reading: Psalm 97-99 and Romans 16

The first praise band I played for was in a smaller church so I used a drum machine. Imagine the feel of smacking sticks against hard rubber and plastic, then hearing the machined noises come out the speakers. It was a different kind of drumming experience but I still vividly remember playing this song during those years. Good times. It's called 'Romans 16:19' and it's performed by Chris Tomlin.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

How to Delight

Today's Reading: Psalm 94-96 and Romans 15:14-33

If you have never tried 'Prayer Journaling,' consider giving it a try. It's as simple as buying a notebook or Bible with wide margins. As you read, make notes, draw, or scribble in response to the Scriptures. Over time you may find yourself getting more creative and, more importantly, more aware of God's involvement in your life.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

God's Still Not Dead

Today's Reading: Psalm 91-93 and Romans 15:1-13

Psalm 91:12
They will hold you up with their hands so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone.

You may remember, this song ('Hold You Up' by Shane Harper) was one of the main songs used in the movie God's Not Dead. Great song and great movie.

Also, as a bonus, here's a short animated film that the artist connects back to Romans 15:13. The film is 3 minutes long by Lindsey Olivares and is called 'Anchored.'

Friday, August 14, 2015

Traditional and Contemporary for Psalm 89 and 90

Today's Reading: Psalm 89-90 and Romans 14

Two praise songs for you today, traditional and contemporary. The first is 'Forever' by Chris Tomlin with chords and lyrics. The second is 'O, God Our Help in Ages Past' sung in Westminster Abbey. Enjoy.

Psalm 89:1
I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 90:1
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Psalm 88 and Crooked Governments

Today's Reading: Psalm 87-88 and Romans 13

For Psalm 88, with worn and ragged lyrics, here's a near-blues song from Rich Moore.

I've personally never struggled with Romans 11 and being subject to authorities but I had a college roommate who wrestled with the concept. He saw corruption everywhere. He was right -- wherever there are human beings, there's greed and jealousy and malice. This chapter, though, is less about condoning all government actions as it is encouraging a bigger, more God-centered perspective. We can follow government rules that do not violate our core convictions because ultimately the victory is God's.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Better is One Day in God's Courts

Today's Reading: Psalm 84-86 and Romans 12

Psalm 84:10
Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

You may have noticed I've been posting more songs as we've been reading through Psalms. That's because Psalms are themselves songs, accompanied by music and sung.

Here is the same song as above but by Matt Redman.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Painful Psalms

Today's Reading: Psalm 81:83 and Romans 11:19-36

Psalms are not always happy-go-lucky. Sometimes the psalms are reaching desperately heavenward, full of struggle and pain. God's people seem to go through cycles -- reject God, experience the consequences, repent, get restored, reject God, experience the consequences...

The painting above is by Evelyn Williams (1929-2012) and is called 'Couple Reaching Up' (1981).

Monday, August 10, 2015

We are Not Cast Away

Today's Reading: Psalm 79-80 and Romans 11:1-18

The message of Romans 11 is that Israel is not cast away. How does Israel's story connect with you and me? Good question. For the answer, I want to share a 10 minute summary of the New Testament.

Now I realize that not every video I post will appeal to everyone. Most of us may skip right over the kid videos, for example. But I strongly encourage you to find 10 minutes for today's video because the content is just that valuable. God has a big plan that can be seen on every page of the Bible. Enjoy.

The New Testament in Ten Minutes from Desiring God on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Dealing with Doubt

Today's Reading: Psalm 77-78 and Romans 10

My favorite non-Christian band is The Mountain Goats. They wrote a whole album inspired by the Bible. What's fascinating is that the album is not pro-Jesus or anti-Jesus but rather wrestling with the big themes of Scripture and how they interact with modern person's stories.

The song 'Romans 10:9' is about someone trying to hold onto biblical promises even though their life is falling apart. The song ends by quoting the Scripture but I get a sense the person's faith is not resolved. And honestly, that's okay. Part of discovering God and growing in faith is wrestling with doubt.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Cutting the Wicked Horns

Today's Reading: Psalm 74-76 and Romans 9:16-33

Psalm 75:10, [God] says, "I will cut off the horns of the wicked, but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up."

That verse may be confusing(?) until we realize that horns are the animal's strength. So here's another example of Pinterest art for the same verse:

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Psalm Project

Today's Reading: Psalm 72-73 and Romans 9:1-15

These Dutch musicians are reworking hymns from the Genevan Psalter for modern ears. The project is called 'The Psalm Project' and this song is 'Psalm 72.' What do you think?

For more visit

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Who Could Ever Stop Us?

Today's Reading: Psalm 70-71 and Romans 8:22-39

Romans 8:31, "What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?"

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

"In Christ Jesus"

Today's Reading: Psalm 68-69 and Romans 8:1-21

I'm so happy that pastors have different styles of preaching. What helps the passage come alive for one person may look different from what helps it come alive for someone else. Here's a video of John Piper walking the congregation through Romans 8:1-3:

Romans 8:1–3 // Free In Christ Jesus from Desiring God on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Internal Struggle

Today's Reading: Psalm 66-67 and Romans 7

Surely there must be great art out there inspired by Romans 7? It's one of the most poignant passages of the Bible, perfectly describing the internal struggle we all feel. If you find art inspired by Romans 7, let me know! Until then, here's another song by Keith Green called 'Romans VII'

Monday, August 3, 2015

Orthodox Jewish Rapper Matisyahu

Today's Reading: Psalm 63-65 and Romans 6

Matisyahu is an Othodox Jewish rapper. Seriously, I can't make that up. And in his popular song, 'King Without a Crown,' he sings of Psalm 63:1. Check it out:

For a video based on Romans 6, I share a 'Bible Study that Doesn't Suck' video from ELCA pastor Megan Rohrer, which you can see here

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Parachute Pants and Diving Boards

Today's Reading: Psalm 57-59 and Romans 4

This next video is where Internet Meme Culture meets Greek Bible Study. Seriously, I wouldn't make that up. And it's a fantastic example of what it can look like to share biblical truths with millennials online. The guy behind this series is Jonathan Fisk, who is with the Lutheran church.

Faith can be a hard thing to describe in a sermon. A simple illustration is that it's like a loving father standing in a swimming pool and his child is about to jump off the diving board. For this illustration explained in detail, visit this blog post at (it quotes from a John Piper sermon)