Thursday, December 31, 2015


Today's Reading: Malachi 1-4 and Revelation 22

You made it! You got to the end of the Artists Bible Reading Plan. You successfully read through the entire Bible in a year. Was this experience encouraging? Are you inspired by the biblical art we've shared?

Revelation 22:17, "The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life."

'Heaven books' have been popular these last few years. You know the type -- where the author has a near death experience and then writes a book about seeing Heaven. At least a couple of these authors have been discounted, yet we know Heaven is real. So here's a helpful video on the topic:

And for the final summary video: Bibledex - Malachi

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Heaven and New Earth

Today's Reading: Zechariah 13-14 and Revelation 21

Revelation 21:1 shares, "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more."

We understand the idea of a new heaven and a new earth but the idea of the sea disappearing is a little strange, isn't it? Well here's an article from Dennis E. Johnson that very seriously tackles what this verse could mean.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Screwtape Letters

Today's Reading: Zechariah 9-12 and Revelation 20

A book written by a devil to instruct his nephew on how to make humans sin? That's the synopsis of the brilliant book by C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters. The preface of the book makes its purpose clear: it's fun to mock Satan. And identifying his silly tactics is a great way to strengthen our faith.

This first clip is from the stage production of The Screwtape Letters with actor Max McLean. In the second clip, Max describes the play and his understanding of the book, which he calls a 'reverse devotional."

Monday, December 28, 2015

Second Coming of Christ

Today's Reading: Zechariah 5-8 and Revelation 19

One of my favorite blogs is where Tim Challies provides great resources for Christians including links to books on sale, thought-provoking links and articles, and theological reflections. It's a great site, I encourage you to check it out. Below is an infographic he put together for the Trinity, which I post to further illuminate Revelation 19 and the second coming of Christ.

Also, if you're interested in the Second Coming of Christ then a quick youtube search will show sermons by Billy Graham, Francis Chan, etc., on the topic. So don't be shy, search away and click on any respected and trustworthy teacher.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Canticle of Zechariah

Today's Reading: Zechariah 1-4 and Revelation 18

"TENET is a leading vocal ensemble of soloists specializing in Renaissance and Baroque music under the artistic direction of Jolie Greenleaf." Here is the group performing a beautiful piece, 'Canticle of Zechariah.' If you click through to the youtube video, there is a link to that night's program. It provides background for the music and contains the Latin/English lyrics for the song.

And here's Bibledex - Zechariah

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Building up to Victory!

Today's Reading: Haggai 1-2 and Revelation 17

Today we read Haggai, the Encourager Prophet! This is not about destruction, it's about rebuilding. And then in Revelation we read about the victory of the lamb. So all in all this is a feel-good day.

Bibledex - Haggai

Friday, December 25, 2015

Immanuel, God is With Us

Today's Reading: Zephaniah 1-3 and Revelation 16

Merry Christmas! You are surely spending today with family or loved ones so I won't keep you long. For our stop in Zephaniah I simply share a kinetic typography video from Church of the Highlands:

Worship Opener/Zephaniah 3:17 from designerMD on Vimeo.

And here's the Bibledex video for Zephaniah

Thursday, December 24, 2015


Today's Reading: Habakkuk 1-3 and Revelation 15

This beautiful song (called 'Habakkuk Song') was written by Sharon Irving and shared at Willow Creek Church. Enjoy.

I feel committed now to sharing the remainder of the Bibledex videos as we finish out the year. So here is their overview video for Habakkuk.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Nineveh Still Doesn't Get It

Today's Reading: Nahum 1-3 and Revelation 14

This is David Wallace performing 'Nahum: An Apocalyptic Prophesy for Electric Viola.' In another video David explains why he composed this piece:
Many of the minor prophets give visual descriptions but Nahum seems to give a lot of descriptions of sound. It's begging to be turned into music. And David believes Nahum is the sequel to Jonah, taking place three generations after, and the city of Nineveh is out of chances. While the prophecy seems horrific and violent, Nahum means 'consolation,' and the meaning of the book is that the days of bullies are numbered. Every evil regime will end one day. Anyway, very interesting. Enjoy.

And here's the Bibledex video for Nahum

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

ApologetiX Double-Header

Today's Reading: Micah 6-7 and Revelation 13

I wanted to share the Christian parody band ApologetiX one. last. time. I've used a handful of their songs throughout the year and today I have a double-header. The first song is called 'Revelation Man' and parodies 'Secret Agent Man' by Johnny Rivers. The next song is 'Barroom Hitz' which parodies Ballroom Blitz by The Sweet AND also gives the explanation for why ApologetiX do what they do.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Red Dragon Fights the Church

Today's Reading: Micah 4-5 and Revelation 12

In Micah 5 we see a prophecy for a great leader to be born in Bethlehem. Nice! And in Revelation 12 we see the culmination of the spiritual battle between good and evil. The good King sits on the throne and over the next two weeks we'll read how the entire biblical story ends (with a new beginning). Enjoy.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Micah and Acting Justly

Today's Reading: Micah 1-3 and Revelation 11

Micah 6:8, "No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."

Bibledex for Micah

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Jonah and the Big Fish

Today's Reading: Jonah 1-4 and Revelation 10

We go from the least read minor prophet (yesterday's Obadiah) to one of the most read minor prophets (today's Jonah).

The above image is from Sketch-Iz and the image below is from Kyle McQueen, two very talented artists.


Here's a really well done kid's video for Jonah from the team at Lifechurch.

And here's the Bibledex video for Jonah.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Least Popular Book in the Bible

Today's Reading: Obadiah 1 and Revelation 9

So apparently Obadiah is the least read book in the whole Bible! For a really fantastic blog post on Obadiah, check out this site by Jeffrey and Laura Kranz. They openly describe their site as "Bible geekery." :-D Enjoy.

I believe the painting above is a watercolor from French painter James Tissot (1836-1902) and is titled 'Obadiah the Prophet.'


Are you a fan of the band Toto? Here's an ApologetiX parody that uses Toto's song 'Hold the Line' to sing about Obadiah. Nice.

This video has nothing to do with the Bible but it's one of the things that pops up when you search for Obadiah. It's the cover 'Hey Ya' by Obadiah Parker. (By the way, you stumble into some disturbing art when you begin to search the Internet for Revelation and the minor prophets. Just saying).

And finally, of course, here's the Bibledex overview of Obadiah

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Famine and Trumpets

Today's Reading: Amos 7-9 and Revelation 8

For our final day in Amos I have a very simple video to share. It's kinetic typography for Amos 9:11-14, made by a group called Lightsource.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

God Wants Justice

Today's Reading: Amos 4-6 and Revelation 7

Well this video is a punch in the gut (in a good way!). It's a powerful clip from Hillsong United's social justice documentary, 'I-Heart Revolution: We're All in This Together." It quotes Amos 5:21-24.

The painting above was done by Kathryn Ricotta and can be found on her Wordpress site here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Today's Reading: Amos 1-3 and Revelation 6

The four horsemen of the apocalypse rear their ugly heads all over popular culture. Not too long ago I was talking with a guy who could name all 4 horsemen because of the video game Darksiders:

And the non-Christian band Muse involves the horsemen in their big hit from 2006, 'Knights of Cydonia.' I should warn you, it's a catchy song, and the video is a bit strange.

But of course usually these references distort the message we find in Revelation. Which isn't a surprise -- the end of the world, divine judgment, and horsemen of death, how could those not be appropriated for all sorts of action stories?

Today we're also starting the book of Amos (the Bibledex Overview can be seen by clicking here)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Lambs and Locusts

Today's Reading: Joel 1-3 and Revelation 5

Again, if you have questions about the Revelation reading for today, leave them in the comments section and we can discuss!

Today we also read the book of Joel (Bibledex Overview here). This minor prophet doesn't pop up often in sermons or Bible studies but it really should because it has a great message. I used Joel for one of my first sermons in Seminary (ah, good times).

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Revelation 4 and the Team Mascots

Today's Reading: Hosea 12-14 and Revelation 4

Here's a great worship video called 'Revelation Song,' performed by Kari Jobe at Passion Conference 2013.

If you still want more Revelation-based worship, here's Chris Tomlin singing 'We Fall Down.' This song is based on Revelation 4:10.

I don't usually share 'study notes' on our readings but I had a lot of fun this past year studying Revelation with both the High School group and with the Nursing Home groups. Here's a thought from Revelation 4 that both groups found interesting:

Revelation is more easily understood when we remember genre. If you go to a romantic comedy in movie theaters, for example, you probably know how the movie will turn out in the final 5 minutes. Each genre has its formula, and a story is great depending on what it does with that basic formula.

Revelation is the genre 'Apocalyptic Literature.' We no longer see movies in theaters or books in bookstore from this genre, but in the 1st Century they were quite popular. They started with a very colorful, grand entrance (like we see in Revelation 4) and centered around a good guy (usually a king or god) who fought against evil. Nowadays our equivalent might be a superhero movie?

John uses this genre to tell the story of Jesus because, well, Jesus is ultimate hero. And Revelation becomes easier to understand when we learn to identify the genre from the new information John adds. Make sense?

A fun bit to identify in Revelation 4 are the four animals. To us these feel random. But to the 1st Century audience those would have immediately been recognized as the 4 mascots of the Israelite tribes. Every time the Israelite people stopped in the desert, the 12 tribes would break up into their 4 sections (north, south, east, west). And each 'mascot' represented the 'best of' creation -- of the thinking animals, the wild animals, the flying animals, and the tamed land animals. The New Testament tradition even continued these mascots in representing the four Gospels.

Those 4 mascots would have been instantly recognized. And they would have been a clue for who the 24 elders are (the 12 Old Testament tribes and the 12 New Testament disciples). This elder interpretation will be solidified further as we read on. And of course, at the center of it all is Jesus on the throne.

Hopefully this little bit of information is fun to hear. If you have specific questions, don't hesitate to leave them in the comments section. Revelation is a great book to research and discuss.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Open the Door

Today's Reading: Hosea 9-11 and Revelation 3

There's something different about the door in this painting. See if you can catch it:

The answer is that the door is missing a doorknob. Perhaps the painter was trying to communicate that we must choose to let Jesus into our hearts. Jesus will not force His way in.

Revelation 3:20 shares, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me."

Friday, December 11, 2015

Let us Acknowledge the Lord

Today's Reading: Hosea 5-8 and Revelation 2

Here's a simple kinetic typography video of Hosea 6:3 from Biltmore Baptist Church...

Hosea 6:3 from Biltmore Baptist Church on Vimeo.

And here's a helpful infographic for the churches mentioned at the start of Revelation:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Modern Retelling of Hosea

Today's Reading: Hosea 1-4 and Revelation 1

Here's a very well done modern retelling of the story of Hosea. It comes in 6 parts and this is part 1. For more information and links to the other parts, click through to the Vimeo page. Enjoy!

The Hosea Love Story - Part One from Andrew Smith on Vimeo.

I've posted a couple Worldview Everlasting videos (where Internet Meme Culture is added to Bible Study). The guy who does those has posted a lecture series he gave on the book of Revelation. I haven't listened to all the lectures yet so I don't know if I agree with his presentations, but I still thought it was worth the mention.

And here's Bibledex - Hosea and Bibledex - Revelation

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Saint Jude

Today's Reading: Daniel 11-12 and Jude

The oil painting above is by a Flemish painter named Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641). It's of the Apostle Jude.

The year is almost over, we're on the final stretch of this Artists Reading Plan! And it just so happens that the Reading Plan is structured in a way that we're flying through these Minor Prophet books, often covering a book in a day. How has the pace been? Does it feel like we're speeding up as we reach the end?

If you want an overview of Jude then click here for the Bibledex video. I know that the secular band Florence and the Machine wrote a song called 'St. Jude' which is about the Catholic Saint Jude and the damaging British storm Jude, but I don't think I'll share the song here. Anyway, have a great day.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Visions of Daniel

Today's Reading: Daniel 8-10 and 3 John

The image above is for Daniel 8. The image below makes me think of Daniel 10. And don't forget to click on the Bibledex Overview here if you want to be reminded of what 3 John is about.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Belshazzar's Feast and the Writing on the Wall

Today's Reading: Daniel 5-7 and 2 John

This beautiful oil painting is on display at The National Gallery in London. It is called 'Belshazzar's Feast' and is painted by Rembrandt. It connects with our reading in Daniel today.

Then, because we're in our first day in 2 John, here's the Bibledex overview.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel, and Lions

Today's Reading: Daniel 3-4 and 1 John 5

Above is one of my absolute favorite depictions of Daniel in the lion's den. It was painted by Briton Rivière, a British painter who lived 1840 to 1920. Then below is the famous depiction of Nebuchadnezzar by William Blake

Saturday, December 5, 2015

False Prophets and Real Prophets (1 John 4 and Daniel 1-2)

Today's Reading: Daniel 1-2 and 1 John 4

1 John 4:1 lovingly warns, "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

In case you think false prophets are a thing of the past, here's a 26 minute documentary on a modern day cult leader who claims to be Jesus and the voice of God. This documentary is fascinating and if you're like me, will give you the creeps. We indeed must test the spirits and discern what is true and what is false.

Today is the first day we're reading Daniel so here's the Bibledex overview. It just so happens that in this Artists Bible Reading Plan, we finish Daniel a day before we begin Revelation. Nice! So pay attention to Daniel because it helps inform some of what we see in Revelation.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Lifehouse Skit at Winterfest

Today's Reading: Ezekiel 45-46 and 1 John 2

Yesterday's video was popular on youtube but believe it or not, today's went even bigger. This version alone has been watched over 22 million times, praise God. It's called 'Lifehouse Skit' and helps demonstrate what we read in 1 John 2. Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Cardboard Testimonies

Today's Reading: Ezekiel 42-44 and 1 John 1

This video became huge a few years ago and rightly so. It's a powerful reminder of God's love! And ties in perfectly with 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

Also, don't miss the Bibledex overview of 1 John

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

New Heaven and New Earth

Today's Reading: Ezekiel 40-41 and 2 Peter 3

Not bad. After a short introduction, there is a song that talks about 2 Peter 3 and the New Heaven and New Earth. Enjoy.

New Heaven and New Earth (Intro) - Serge from Rebranded CTF on Vimeo.