Another chance to catch a glimpse of what is coming true

As we begin 2017, it is good to think about what has been and what is to come. There were many people who started 2016 not knowing that it would be their last. I’ve known them. And so have you. We are not so different from them, are we?

When I look in the rearview mirror, I see the years gathering up behind me, and I can hardly believe how quickly they’ve piled up. As life rattles forward, it seems the earth makes its annual journey a little quicker than the year before. Where have the years gone?

Continue Reading →

“Nonjudgmental affirmation” is not a parenting strategy

National Geographic has released a special issue titled “Gender Revolution,” and it includes one article offering advice for parents of transgender children. Here is the bottom line:

Your most important role as a parent is to offer understanding, respect, and support to your child. A nonjudgmental approach will gain your child’s trust and put you in a better position to help your child through difficult times.

When your child discloses an identity to you, respond in an affirming, supportive way…

In short, parents must affirm whatever identity a child embraces or risk “harming” their child. But there are some obvious questions that never get asked and answered in this article. Are children really helped when parents decline to make judgments about what is best for their child? Must parents accept and affirm any identity that a child might assume? What kind of child-rearing strategy is it that disallows moral discernment and mandates unconditional affirmation? Continue Reading →

Top Ten Posts of 2016

Some of you may have noticed a big change at DennyBurk.com in 2016. I closed down comments on the blog. I didn’t make a big announcement or anything. I just did it. Why? The short answer is that Tim Challies convinced me. After a trial run of closed comments, I eventually wavered and opened them back up. But then I read this article explaining why NPR shut down comments on its website, and that sealed the deal for me. No more comments!

I want to thank all of you who have read and interacted with this site over the last year. I am grateful for every one of you. For those of you who are interested, I give you the top 10 blog posts from 2016. This blog is a combination of content creation and content curation, which means that I sometimes write original material and that at other times I pass on to you items that I find interesting from elsewhere on the interwebs. Both kinds of posts appear on this list, but the vast majority are original pieces. Drum roll, please. Continue Reading →

A Plan to Read through the Bible in 2017

In years past, my customary mode for reading through the Bible every year involved starting in Genesis and reading right through to Revelation. I estimated that about four chapters per day would get me through in under a year’s time. The method worked reasonably well, but it wasn’t without its problems. Sometimes I would miss a day (or days) and get behind, and I had no way to keep up with my progress. I needed a schedule so that I could keep myself accountable for finishing in a year.

In 2009, therefore, I did something I had never done before. I followed a Bible reading plan. I adopted Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s Calendar for Daily Readings. It provided the schedule that I needed. It also outlined daily readings from different sections of the Bible. On any given day, I would be reading something from an Old Testament narrative, something from the prophets, and something from the New Testament. Although this plan provided the accountability that I needed, I found it difficult to be reading from three to four different biblical books every day. I know that not everyone is like me, but that approach lacked the focus that my brain requires. I missed reading the Bible in its canonical arrangement and focusing on one book at a time. I wished for a schedule that would go from Genesis to Revelation in canonical order. Continue Reading →

Top 10 YouTubes of 2016

It’s time for my annual posting of the Top 10 YouTube Videos of the Year (see last year’s list here). This ranking is totally unscientific. Only one person was polled to compile this list—yours truly. This year’s slate of videos is mainly humorous, with some other odds and ends thrown in. If you think I’ve left something out, let me know. I’ll think about adding it to the “Honorable Mention” category at the bottom.

1. Brothers convince sister of zombie apocalypse

It’s another one of those coming-out-of-anesthesia videos. And I think it’s my favorite of all time.

2. Millennial International

Millennial International is a sponsor-based program designed to help Millennials live the lives they portray on Instagram. I hope you’ll consider sponsoring one of them.

3. Bad Lip-Reading: The Empire Strikes Back

4. How To Spot Suspicious Halloween Candy

5. Milk Commercial Tribute to “Sixteen Candles”

Okay, GenX’ers. Don’t miss the couple playing the parents at the end.

6. Man punches kangaroo in race to rescue dog

7. Trump and Clinton Perform “Time of My Life” Duet

8. Best Political Ad of the Year

9. On Identity and Bathroom Laws

10. Free Speech Zone

This one hurts too much to laugh.


HONORABLE MENTIONS:

“Dancing in the Street” Silent Music Video

Friends Awakens

Sad Affleck

P. S. I liked Batman v. Superman, and I liked Affleck. The criticism seemed a little bandwagony to me.

Eugene Peterson and Bono talk about the Psalms

A Showstopper at the Lincoln Memorial

Backflip over speeding Formula E car

“The Shot” in Slow Motion

The 2016 NCAA men’s basketball championship was a game for the ages.

A Two-Party System

This video hails from a 1996 episode of “The Simpsons.” Nevertheless, it was very 2016, so I included it here.

Let every heart prepare him room!

How could there possibly be anything more mysterious and wonderful than the incarnation of Jesus Christ? God became a man. God took on mortal human flesh and became subject to all the things that every other mortal is subject to. He sneezed. He coughed. He got headaches and an upset stomach. Every morning he got up, shook the dust out of His hair, and put his hand to the plow in his Father’s field.

Jesus Christ was not only subject to sickness, but also to death. The eternal Son of God was die-able. In fact, he did die. And three days later, what was mortal became swallowed up by immortality in the resurrection.

Even now, the resurrected Christ sits at the right hand of God in glory. As I type these words, the incarnate God intercedes in the flesh for His people before the Father (Romans 8:34). And it all began in a manger 2,000 years ago. No, actually, we have to go nine months before that—when Jesus Christ was first conceived by the Holy Spirit within the virgin Mary, when the God-Man was an embryo. “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. . . The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:30, 35).

How can it be that God has come in the flesh? How can it be that he is in the flesh now? Yet this is precisely what the Bible teaches. “Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).

As we ponder the imponderables of God, let us never cease to be amazed at the manifold mercies of God that have come to us through the incarnation of King Jesus. Let every heart prepare Him room.

Merry Christmas!

The remarkable woman behind “In the Bleak Midwinter”

Last year, Karen Swallow Prior had a fascinating piece at TGC about the author of “In the Bleak Mid-Winter.” Her name is Christina Rossetti (1830–1894), and Prior writes that she was a woman of “deep Christian conviction.” Prior concludes:

The paradox of Rossetti’s life is that her “spirit of self-postponement” produced some of the finest Christian poetry written—the gift of herself, given to her Savior and received by the world.

I commend to you the rest of Prior’s essay, which you can read here. I also recommend two versions of the song that are staples around my house during this time of year. My favorite version is Shawn Colvin’s, and a close second is from the Indigo Girls. The audio and lyrics are below. Enjoy. Continue Reading →

A drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business

In A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge has a startling conversation with the ghost of his dead business partner, Jacob Marley. Jacob is damned in death for his misdeeds in life, and he appears to warn Scrooge that he is headed for the same fate. Scrooge resists the suggestion that Jacob’s life was damnable. Scrooge understands that if Jacob’s life is damnable, then so is his own. So this exchange ensues:

“But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,” faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.

“Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing his hands again. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

Well done, Mr. Dickens. Well done. Lord, help us to understand what is the comprehensive ocean of our business.

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8

Why all the excitement about the movie “Dunkirk”?

Today, Warner Brothers released the first full-length trailer for the forthcoming movie Dunkirk (see above). I assume that most of you reading this know why this film is so highly anticipated. But I am writing for those of you who may not. The story of the evacuation from Dunkirk during World War 2 is one of the most riveting true stories that you will ever hear. It is a story of heroes, common and uncommon. It is a story of national valor and courage, and for that reason the story is beloved and cherished. What happened at this little fishing village in the north of France in 1940? Continue Reading →

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes