Mark Nowotarski Has a Refreshing Take on the Bible

 When you speak with Mark Nowotarski about the Bible, it really comes to life.  Mark has a fondness for diving into Biblical times and activities to experience them for himself. I recently posed a few questions about his cool take on Biblical activities and how they can inform us today.


Have you always been fascinated about activities in biblical times? When and how did you discover this interest?

I think I’ve been fascinated by Bible stories going back to my Sunday School days.  We would do these special projects to illustrate a story.  One project I remember very clearly was when we did a tapestry illustrating the crucifixion of Jesus.  Every week after we did our regular lesson, we would each get needles and colored thread and work on the tapestry.  It took us the whole year to finish it.  I still remember exactly how it looked.  

Why do the activities in the bible intrigue you?

Stories in the Bible are very candid and honest.  Each time I go back and read a story I see new things I didn’t see before.    I think that has a lot to do with my own life experiences.  The more I live and experience new things, the more relevance I find in the Bible.

What activities have you researched and how did you go about it?

The research I find most meaningful is trying to directly experience the things spoken about in the Bible.  That makes the stories much more real to me.
For example, the Bible talks a lot about how precious sheep and lambs are.  I sort of get it, but it wasn’t until I went to the Duchess County Sheep and Wool show and saw how the sheep just adored the people coming up to pet them and how the people adored them back, that I could get a gut level feeling of how precious we must be to God.

What do these activities teach us today?

Stories in the Bible help me to be humble in a very positive and self affirming way.  What I’ve experienced is really nothing compared to what people in the Bible have gone through.  To see them get through their challenges reassures me that I can get through mine too.

Why is it important that we understand the people and cultures who lived before us?

I feel that it’s important to understand the people around us today as well as those that have gone before us.  If you listen to both with an open mind and a willing heart, you can find yourself receiving absolutely wonderful blessings.