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Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity

Parenting Archives

Abusive Christianity

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) Any time we are in an abusive or controlling relationship, it takes effort to emerge from it, our independence and self-worth repaired and brought back to health and normalcy. Information that we […]

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Are We Making Asses of Ourselves?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. (Psalm 32:9) I’m sure you’ve heard the term, “The Perfect Will of […]

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Family and Friends Are Not Dysfunctional

posted by Carolyn Henderson

People matter. “Of course they do,” we all nod our heads emphatically.  A ridiculously easy way to bring people to tears is to show them a clip of a politician, movie celebrity, or extraordinarily rich and famous businessperson wiping their eyes and […]

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Finding the True God When We’re Worshiping the Wrong One

posted by Carolyn Henderson

There is a tiresome joke among Christians about patience that goes like this: “I don’t want to pray for patience, because by golly, God will send me all sorts of circumstances to try it!” Ha Ha. What’s not so funny […]

Forgiveness Is a Promise, Not a Contractual Agreement

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Too many Christians spend too much time trying to placate a God who will not be satisfied with anything they do, simply because He dislikes them so much. Despite this being an inaccurate understanding of the intimate relationship between a loving, […]

5 Things to Know about Forgiveness

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The first time I heard this sentence: “Jesus talked about hell more than anything else,” I knew it was inaccurate, but hadn’t read the Bible enough to say so with confidence. Now that I have grown up, as a Christian, […]

No Fear — Experience Christ’s True Love

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Jesus is love.” How often do we hear this? If we’re around Christians, or within Christian circles, then we’ve probably heard it a lot. At the same time, however, it wouldn’t be unusual if we were confused, because, though people talk about Jesus, and […]

Silly Little Rules

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In a recent conversation with a five-year-old, it came out that using a pen, in kindergarten, is a prohibited activity. Violation of this particular law results in the punishment of putting one’s head down on the desk. What strikes me most about […]

Why Ordinary Christians Can — and Should — Speak up

posted by Carolyn Henderson

When you live in a small town with a major employment base being the school district, you’re not particularly popular when you speak against the party line. But since the friends you make by constantly agreeing with others aren’t real […]

The Discipline of God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Discipline is an ambiguous word, easily misunderstood because its two major applications are so at variance with one another. In a good sense, discipline is what athletes do — training their bodies to achieve top performance through practice, hard work, persistence, […]

How Long Will We Let Other Christians Call Us Dogs?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Those of you who have lived with, or through, a fifteen-year-old girl know that adolescents of this age generally fight self-esteem issues. Call it hormones, peer pressure, society, or fat days, 15-year-old girls need a lot of love and reassurance […]

Should You Question Authority?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Should you question authority? You bet. Generally I avoid words like “should,” “ought,” and “must,” because they are frequently misused to manipulate people into doing things that they don’t want to do, as in, “You should go to Sunday School.” […]

Do You Long for the Love Christianity Promises?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

This weekend I enjoyed the company of three out of four of my adult children. It is impossible for me to describe to you how much I love these four progeny of mine — whenever I talk to them, play […]

Accidents Happen, but You’re Not One of Them

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In case you’re wondering why my typing is all off and squiggly, I cut my finger last night while I was slicing bread. Like most accidents, it happened quickly and was definitely unintentional, and yes, I know that it was […]

The Kingdom of Heaven — How Do We Get There?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

How to get to heaven is a piece of information that from the beginning of time, humanity has wanted to know. The rich young ruler of Matthew 19:16 – 29 (Mark 10: 17 – 30, Luke 18: 18 – 30) […]

How to Be Great, Important, and Significant

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I love reading about the disciples. They’re so refreshingly human, constantly expressing fear and doubt and selfish ambition. One of the greatest gifts the Bible gives us is that it’s written honestly, and doesn’t — like we do — provide […]

Trust God, and Get Your Jammies on

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Life happens in grocery stores. I was in line yesterday with my loaf of English muffin bread when I overheard a deep, male voice rumbling behind me: “After this, I’m going home and getting my jammies on.” I sincerely admire […]

God Is Not as Inept as We Think He Is

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Lately, I have been working on a bad habit, and if you have teenagers, you probably know what I’m talking about: I remind people, frequently, of obvious things to be done, and it drives them nuts. Like this, to Tired […]

Is Your “Personal Relationship with Jesus” Dysfunctional?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Dysfunctional relationships are all the rage these days. Thanks to a satiety of psychology (“Christian” and secular), self-help books, surreality talk shows, and overreaching government agencies fumbling about our private lives, we’re convinced that there’s no such thing as a normal relationship. Of course there […]

When the Prodigal Son (or Daughter) Is Yours

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15: 11 – 31) is a familiar one to many — sometimes because we’ve been the person who has broken our parent’s heart ourselves, other times because we are that hurting parent. The principle message […]

What Mom REALLY Wants for Mother’s Day

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Mother’s Day is one of those holidays that sound good, but get so taken over by marketers and manufacturers that its true meaning gets lost. People are subtly, or not so subtly, nudged into buying the perfect gift, and celebration turns […]

The Confident Christian, and Why He’s So Dangerous

posted by Carolyn Henderson

When I was a young woman and a new Christian, I used to swoon in the presence of the Confident Christian Male. I’m sure you’ve met these Alpha Omega types: they command a room as soon as they effect their […]

Lessons from the Easter Bunny

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Full disclosure: we do Easter egg hunts. But then again, we also do Halloween and Santa, and have been remarkably able to separate these particular family traditions from our theological viewpoints. As Christians, it’s important to not only talk, and talk, and talk […]

Einstein Said That! Or Was It Jesus?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

You know, for a dead guy, Albert Einstein posts a lot of quotes on Facebook. The latest on my wall is, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more […]

Child of God: You Are Much Beloved

posted by Carolyn Henderson

My niece has a friend whose son has tumors. At a recent visit to the children’s hospital, they passed by a little girl — 3 years old — surrounded by her stuffed animals. As my niece wrote on Facebook: “She […]

Angry Jesus: I Don’t Want to Follow Him, Either

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I ran into a statement the other day that knocked me back on my fundament (isn’t that clever? I managed to not use the words, “butt,” or worse, “ass,” and thereby avoided offending anybody). The discussion had to do with […]

How Many Friends Do You Have?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In the highly controlled, conformist society into which I was born (the United States), how successful — and normal — you are depends on certain factors, many of which have to do with participating in groups. Indeed, one of the […]

We’re Not All Extroverts — and Introverts Aren’t Abnormal

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We live in a society fascinated by psychology, and every week there’s a new mental aberration to add to the list, buy medication for, and wonder if we have. And while actual diseases and issues exist, there are undeniably natural […]

A Nobody Who Was Somebody (Like You, or Me)

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Some bargains look better than others. Recently, at a consignment shop, I was drawn to a gorgeous Nativity set of tall, willowy statutettes, gilded with gold. That they were half-off because Christmas was over made them even more attractive. Of […]

Self-Acceptance: Why Is This So Difficult?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Self-acceptance is one of those universal human issues that Christians aren’t supposed to talk about because, as we all know, we shouldn’t be worried about “self” anymore. And therein lies the problem — not the worrying about ourselves, but in […]

Feeling Abandoned?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Let’s face it. Most of us wandering around on the planet today have not seen Jesus in person, nor have we audibly heard his voice, emanating from the sky or from the back of the laundry room. The vast majority […]

The Four-Year-Old Christian

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We were building sandcastles at the beach — the Norwegian Artist, Tired of Being Youngest, Small Person, and I — when an argument arose about the green and red plastic seahorse molds. Other than the colors, they were identical, but […]

Praying for Miley, Britney, and Lindsay

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan — Hollywood’s sweethearts have their issues, and we, for some reason, feel as if we have to deal with them. “We need to pray for these young women,” I have heard, and read, over […]

Three Halloween No-No’s for Christians

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays (see, The Big Halloween Bash), not only because it’s always been a truly fun, family affair in our household, but because so many legalistic Christians decry it. I know, it’s naughty of me […]

Not All Homeschoolers Are Christian

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I garden, and knit. In case you were concerned, I wash my hands after weeding the zucchini and before I pick up the cashmere. As a well rounded person who gardens and knits, I do recognize and accept that some […]

The Big Halloween Bash

posted by Carolyn Henderson

It’s Holiday kick-off season, and the way I know is the proliferation of, “Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?” articles, blogs, and sermons. Of course, we all know that the answer is, “No, TRUE Christians don’t celebrate Halloween,” and I was expecting […]

Snipping and Sniping at God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

My most recent bureaucratic nightmare involved securing a piece of paper from the local school district. As a homeschooler, I have fortunately not had to often enter the establishment’s hallowed halls, but this last week made up for years of […]

Previous Posts

Must We Pray for Our "Leaders"?
"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone -- for kings and those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." (1 Timothy 2:1-2) Scrolling ...

posted 1:35:44pm Jul. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Fat Cat Christians -- Why Do We Keep Feeding Them?
"He catches the wise in their craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are swept away." (Job 5:13) Years ago, when my husband the Norwegian Artist attended a private, Christian school, one of the major benefactors of the institution dropped in ...

posted 1:47:04pm Jul. 17, 2015 | read full post »

What Does "Real" Church Look Like?
"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another." (Hebrews 10:25) What does "Real" church look like? Those of us who have given up on traditional, weekly meetings in a ...

posted 12:13:24pm Jul. 15, 2015 | read full post »

The Comfort Zone Myth
"No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed." (Luke 8:16) God has a plan for your life. Do people still say that? [caption id="attachment_1737" align="alignleft" width="353"] Our journey with God will take us new ...

posted 1:01:34pm Jul. 10, 2015 | read full post »

It Is Easy to Follow a False Christ
"Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many." (Matthew 24:5) Interpreting prophecy is profitable, and more than one person has made a generous living by "explaining" ...

posted 12:49:22pm Jul. 08, 2015 | read full post »

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