Advertisement

Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity

Prayer Archives

I’d Like to Change My Job Description

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men . . . It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 4:23, 24 If you’ve heard enough church sermons, maybe you’ve […]

Advertisement

Eating with Sinners — It’s Not So Difficult

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’” (Luke 15:2) One of many accusations leveled against Jesus by religious leaders was that He consorted — and actually seemed to enjoy being […]

Advertisement

Why Political Activism Is Not the Christian Answer

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“John answered, ‘The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.”‘ Luke 3:11 Arguing with people rarely produces a result acceptable to either party, and arguing with […]

Advertisement

Is America Doomed?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Live a life worthy of the Lord and . . . please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power.” (Colossians 1:11) It’s difficult to take a […]

Apathy Is Worse Than Anger

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!” Revelation 3:15 The Biblical book of Revelation, despite assurances from those who make movies about it, is a complicated book, […]

If I Were Taller, I’d Look Thinner, and Other Bible Truths

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” Matthew 6:27 I ran into this verse the other day, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I’d never seen it before. Oh, I’ve seen one like it […]

Is God Keeping You on a Short Leash?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“You hem me in — behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.” (Psalm 139:5) Have you ever felt as if God were keeping you on a very, very short leash? I know, it’s not a good image, […]

The Christians Who Choose to Leave “Church”

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.” Hebrews 13:13 If you’ve ever done anything in contrast to the status quo, you’ve no doubt been shot with criticism by those who remain in the […]

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 […]

“Foreigners” Are God’s Children, Too

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.” (Ruth 1:16-17) As a Christian […]

Contemporary Corporate Christianity

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land […]

Deception is Brilliant and . . . Wrong

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“The men put worn and patched sandals on their feet and wore old clothes. All the bread of their food supply was dry and moldy.” (Joshua 9:5) It’s not necessarily a compliment to be called clever, cunning, canny and shrewd, […]

Three Things God Wants Us to DO

posted by Carolyn Henderson

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8) Those of us who attended church in the 1980s […]

Does It Bother You, That People Lie to Us?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong?” (Habakkuk 1:3) For many years, like many people, I was contentedly asleep, focusing the majority of my time on minor, day to day things, allowing those things to swallow up an […]

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (James 4:8) Whenever I tell an appalling church story, I am sure to be scolded. “Not all churches are like this!” is the general response. “You shouldn’t be so harsh […]

Where Does All the Tithe Money Go?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.” (Acts 4:32) If you attend conventional church for any time at all, you will […]

Walking in the Dark

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Recently, a friend sent me this Bible verse from Isaiah 50:10: “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? “Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of […]

Four Important Men You’ve Never Heard of

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Depending upon our interests, those of us who live in the world of mass media can rattle off names of note in the sports arena, TV land, cinematic Fantasia, network “news,” political affront, musical medley, or the religious circus, er, circuit. So […]

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 […]

What Chickens Teach Us about God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

There are two primary ways to learn about God: The first, and most obvious to all of us (even though we may not take advantage of the resource), is Scripture itself. Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, Gospels, Epistles, History, or […]

Corporate Christianity: 5 Ways to Stop Thinking Like Office Workers

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Family, teamwork, community — for years these words have circulated through our corporate business culture as a means of convincing people that the workplace is warm, caring, fuzzy, and cuddly. What’s intriguing is that the same words are employed within Christian […]

It’s Comforting to Be Wrong

posted by Carolyn Henderson

It is an never-ending source of comfort to be me that I am so frequently wrong. Never-ending, because on a daily basis I manage to miss the mark more than once, whether I’m talking about the weather or making a […]

You Don’t Belong to Any Church: You Belong to God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

You don’t have to be a student of political science to recognize that there is no perfect, man-made governing system. Even democracy — which is not what we live under in the United States — works better on paper, or […]

Psychotic Cats and God’s Love

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I am writing this with a psychotic cat sleeping on my lap. I recognize that, to people who don’t like cats (and even to many who do), ALL cats are psychotic, but this one is a rescue kitty, chosen by one […]

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 […]

Three New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The problem with New Year’s resolutions isn’t that they’re easy to make and difficult to keep — which is true on both counts — it’s that we feel like such failures when we fall, and give up, mid-February, on the […]

Four Thoughts about Thanking God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Saying Thank You to God does not have to be a chore — but then again, given the way we are instructed to do things within a cold, contemporary, corporate Christian environment, it is a bit difficult: “We must thank […]

Are House Cats Smarter Than Humans?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

It’s time to bring to a close the age-old debate about whether dogs or cats — and the people who prefer one to the other — are smarter. Not because the general populace has accepted the final resolution of the issue […]

The Inadequacy of Corporate Prayer

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Although it’s been years since I’ve been in a regular church situation, I can still conjure up the feelings of dread I felt at “prayer time,” sitting around a circle (we’re told it’s “intimate”) and sharing details about our lives. The worst part was […]

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, […]

Are We Being Manipulated? Let’s Just Say “No”

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Like many others who struggled through algebra and its highbrow cousins in school and wondered how they would ever be useful in my life, I have successfully lived that life without advanced mathematics. Not that it was totally useless — aside from being a mind-stretching exercise […]

Anxious and Troubled about Many Things

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-41 is a familiar one to many, especially women. The other day, I even ran across the term, “Martha Syndrome,” which I’m sure I have, because of a pronounced tendency (according to every […]

Are You the Only One Going Through What You’re Going Through?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I do not like dealing with mechanics, computer technicians, dentists, and plumbers, among other people — not because these professions are bad, but because for the most part, the people involved in them fix stuff — my stuff. And one sentence I’ve […]

What Kind of Vibes Do We Give Off?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I saw an old photo the other day of a man I never knew. What leapt out from the faded ink and crumpled paper was kindness, a sense of humor, and generosity of spirit. He looked like someone I would […]

Grasping the Goodness of God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

For many years of my young middle adulthood, life was smooth. Not perfect, obviously — when you raise a family of six on one ridiculously modest income, there’s always the stress of making the mandated property tax, insurance payments, and assorted […]

Why Standing up for Yourself — at Church — Is So Important

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Just how obedient are Christians expected to be — and who expects them to be this way? In recent posts, I’ve been discussing Christian submission toward leadership (Must We Obey Church Authorities? and Is It So Bad to Be a Lone Wolf […]

Must We Obey Church Authorities?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Obedience, subservience to authority, submission, docility, accountability — these concepts are so prominent, and so interwoven within many Christian circles, that you’d think they were the foundation upon which Christ taught. In other words, a good Christian does what he or she […]

Stay Alert — Burnt Toast Is the Least of Our Concerns

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We are the infelicitous owners of a truly dreadful toaster. It has one setting — burnt and black — no matter where we turn the dial, and lately it has decided that it only wants to toast one side of the bread. Those […]

We Don’t Need Celebrity Christian Permission to Stand up for Ourselves

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I don’t tend to keep up on “Christian News,” because it pretty much looks like the standard misinformation and disinformation that the rest of the media world puts forth, only with the words “Jesus” and “God” thrown in enough to […]

Confusing God with Santa Claus? Yes. And No.

posted by Carolyn Henderson

As Christians, we scold ourselves a lot, not the least of which is about prayer. Have you heard this one? “God isn’t Santa Claus, you know, and He gets tired of our putting a wish list in front of Him […]

Are Your Dreams — and Your Life — in Perpetual Limbo?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Dreams are great things. They push us, prod us, exhilarate us, give us hope for a brighter future. They also frustrate us to no end, especially when we have a dream, a desire, a longing, an aching — for years and years […]

Practical Christianity: Tangible Things We Can Do to Live Our Faith (Part 2 of 3)

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In Part 1 of this miniseries, we looked at the Great Commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30). It shouldn’t come […]

Practical Christianity: Tangible Things We Can Do to Live Our Faith (Part 1 of 3)

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Several times, I have had people write, or say to me, “I want to live my life for Christ, but I don’t know how. It seems too difficult.” It is, and it isn’t, and at base, living for Christ involves […]

Reading the Bible without Supervision

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Many Christians — myself included — have looked to various events and stories of the Bible as paralleling our own lives. We derive wisdom, teaching, instruction and comfort from the Exodus adventure and subsequent wanderings of the Israelites in the desert, […]

What If You’re Too Timid to Be “Bold for Christ”?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I became a Christian at 19. For the first 25 years, I diligently attended church services, which means that I came into regular contact with Christians comfortable in that setting, and for the last eight years, I have been transitioning […]

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, […]

Yes or No: Does God Hear Our Prayers?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We’ve all had days when we wish that we were back in bed, before we even climb out of it. Not long ago, I faced a situation — not a major one, but not so minor that it wouldn’t add its weight of stress […]

Christians: Let’s Admit That We Don’t Know It All

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I have to be in a certain mood to read the book of Proverbs, which consists, primarily, of pithy — yet wise, and true — statements in couplet form. Part of me always thinks, “Most of these were written by Solomon, […]

Negative Thoughts: Deny the Lie

posted by Carolyn Henderson

A good lie is 95 percent true — that’s what makes it good. After all, if it’s too obviously false, like, “Negative thoughts have a magnetic force that causes them to glow and pulsate. Attracted by the light, people gravitate toward […]

Some Days, We Feel Pathetic

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Just outside our dining room window is an extremely pathetic nectarine tree. Actually, when it comes to producing nectarines, it’s phenomenally successful. With its lack of leaves, hollowed out inner section, and floppy branches, however, it projects a wretched state of […]

Free Yourself from Bible Study Myths

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Why won’t you attend Bible study?” a man asked me once. “Do you hate studying the Bible?” Seriously, when you get a question framed like that, it’s best to just talk about the weather. The person asking will never understand […]

Looking for Your Ministry? 5 Ways to Find It

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Many Christians, especially in church settings, focus — obsess — about finding their ministry, and they pore through 1 Corinthians 12 searching for suggestions: “Do I have faith? or a message of wisdom? I’m pretty sure I don’t have the ability […]

The Purposeless, Driven Life

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Christians come in all shapes, sizes, and maturity levels, and the more honest we are, the more fun we are to be with, even if what we’re saying or working through is painful. The other day, someone told me: “I’m so […]

Christian Misfits: “You Have a Beautiful Face”

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I’m sure that most of you, at some time, have found yourself in public in a somewhat disheveled state. “Nobody I know will see me,” you tell yourself. And, of course, that’s when too many people you know do, indeed […]

Is Singing in Church the Only Way to Worship?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

If you’re a Christian, and you’ve attended church, then you probably recognize the term: “Worship Service.” This is the time, just after the announcements and immediately before the sermon, when the congregation corporately sings — from the hymnal or off the PowerPoint […]

“Why Are You So Afraid? Do You Still Have No Faith?”

posted by Carolyn Henderson

This last week on Facebook was one of general fear, anxiety, panic and despair, not so much because everyone was in and out of relationships, or because Lucky Slots wasn’t doing well, but because too many Christians are preparing for the imminent […]

Improving Your Meditation Skills

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Meditation is one of those words with multiple meanings, and some Christians are frightened by the concept because they think that meditating involves emptying their minds completely and allowing outside spiritual forces to fill the vacuum. (Interestingly, this is a good description of what happens when […]

Are We Dumbing Ourselves Down?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I have a friend who worked for the medical publication industry — which creates articles and circulars that enjoin: “Get your flu shot and eat those veggies!” Years ago, she explained, the written material was created at various reading levels, with the premiere offerings targeted to grade […]

Frightened, Freaked Out Christians

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Like various government, corporate, and financial agencies, I scroll through Facebook to get an idea of how the populace is thinking, and the other day someone posted a video clip of Retired Air Force Lt. General McInerney — somber, serious, […]

When Mighty Church Leaders Fall, Do They Crush the People Underneath?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In our younger years, my husband the Norwegian Artist and I bicycled through small-town America, and for housing, we often asked a local church if we could camp in their basement. Encountering everything from open-armed hospitality to outright hostility, we ultimately found […]

Are We Being Bullied to Think a Certain Way?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Think of the term, Judeo-Christian values. We bandy it about, especially we Christians, and the idea is that, because Jews and Christians share a common heritage (the Old Testament, and Abraham as our collective father), we should support one another, without question […]

Alone But Not Lonely

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I live in a society that is desperately afraid of being alone. So alarmed are we of solitude that we define normalcy by how many groups we belong to: “I go to church, Sunday School, and small groups.” “I volunteer through our Give-Back-to-Others program at […]

Five Steps to Achieving Your Impossible Dream

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Sixteen years ago, my husband the Norwegian Artist and I had an improbable dream: we wanted to find a place in the country and raise our kids there. I say improbable because 1) we had four kids and 2) we […]

Feeding Marshmallows to Our Minds

posted by Carolyn Henderson

When I was growing up, I heard the mantra, “You are what you eat!” all the time. It’s not said so much these days, which is ironic since much of what we eat is grown with pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides; […]

What Is Backsliding, and Are You Doing It?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Too many of us are acquainted with the word, “backsliding,” which, in its purest form, means to lose one’s resolve to follow a chosen path. A recovering alcoholic who re-enters the bar circuit is an example — surrounding oneself by temptation, and resuming behavior […]

Are You Qualified to Study the Bible?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We live in a time and place of people fascinated by degrees, credentials, and man-made accolades, to the point that, when unimaginative employers look for people to fill the cubicles, they are more concerned with a person’s university background than […]

Will We Ever Say Good-bye to the Legacy of the Vietnam War?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Anniversaries are supposed to be celebratory things, generally of weddings, when a couple starts a whole new life together. How odd that we use the same word, “anniversary,” to acknowledge — surely not celebrate? — the unwanted introduction of the Vietnam War […]

Once You’re Awake — Now What?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The other day, I found myself in the middle of a church picnic. It was totally unintentional, and I’ll tell you the story someday, but the upshot is, I was chatting with a safe woman from the group, when I tossed out […]

3 Reasons America Does Not Need — or Want — Prayer in Schools

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Christians, like all humans, fuss about things, and a central fussing point of the last many years is prayer in schools. “Our country is falling apart because we no longer have prayer in schools,” people say, emphasizing the point with […]

Near Death Experiences — Don’t Fall in Love with Them

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Did you read the book?” “Nope.” “See the movie?” “Nope.” “Then what makes you think you can have an opinion on the matter?” I grew up in a family of scientists, where not having a PhD in a discipline (and most 13-year-olds […]

Is It Enough — Just to Believe?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I’ll be the first to admit that I make things too complicated, and as an astute and thoughtful reader wrote me about a recent article, The Kingdom of Heaven — How Do We Get There?, “Isn’t it enough just to believe?” […]

The Power of Doubt

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Doubt is not so much a sin as it is a problem, and like most problems, it’s best to solve it, as opposed to letting it be a part of our continued existence. Too often, when a Christian asks a […]

Satan’s Three Lies

posted by Carolyn Henderson

If you read the Gospels at all, at some point you’ll run into the temptation of Jesus, by Satan, in the desert, since the story is in three out of four of the books (Matthew 4: 1-11; Mark 1: 12, 13; […]

The Gifts We Give to God — When We Have Nothing Acceptable to Give

posted by Carolyn Henderson

When I was a very young child, I wanted desperately to give my mother a proper present, but being a child, I was unable to buy or make something of the quality that she deserved. So I made regular raids […]

Bible Reading 101

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Christianity is all about being honest, and if most of us were honest with one another — say, about reading the Bible — more of us than we think would have conversations like this: “I know I should read the Bible, […]

False Leaders, Speaking in Our Name

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In our younger years, prior to children, the Norwegian Artist and I traveled through and lived in South America, where our most fervent hope was that we would be thought to be Canadians, Danes, Australians, or anything other than Americans, […]

Why You (Probably) Shouldn’t Pray for a Sign

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Signs and wonders: they fascinate us. We marvel at the crossing of the Red Sea, Jesus’ feeding of 5,000 and 4,000, even Gideon with his soggy sheep fleece. One part of us asks, “Is this really true?” while another part […]

5 Blessings You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Enjoy

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Years ago, I spoke with a new mom about being lonely, and mentioned that I had experienced my share of that painful condition. “Oh, I’m not LONELY!” she shot back, as if we were discussing leprosy or something. You get the same reaction when you admit, “I would […]

When Our Dreams Never Come True

posted by Carolyn Henderson

From the time we are schoolchildren, we are regularly assured, “You can be anything you want to be. Just dream it, and it will come true.” Do an Internet search on “following your dreams” and you’ll come up with everything […]

Four Lies Creeping into Today’s Christian Church

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Apostasy is nothing new in Christianity. Two thousand years ago Jesus warned that false prophets “come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” (Matthew 7: 15) Given that we, the people of God, are frequently referred to as […]

The Christian 401k Plan

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The Christian existence is filled with ludicrously shortsighted sayings that sound funny when we first hear them (too often, from the pulpit), but ultimately result in the weakening of our faith and approach to the throne of God. Like this […]

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 […]

When Your Feet Hit the Floor, Does the Devil Scoff?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We are a society that lives by one-liners and Facebook memes. The book of Proverbs, come to think of it, is filled with one-liners, but they’re not particularly funny, so we don’t see posts like this go viral: “When the […]

Sometimes, Normal Is Abnormal

posted by Carolyn Henderson

As Christians, we are exhorted to be “in the world but not of the world.” (John 15: 19, Romans 12: 2) This is far more difficult than Liking, or Sharing, a Facebook meme. Too many Christians are convinced that they no […]

Praying for Something BIG? Five Points to Ponder

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We serve a God who does impossible things. Abraham’s wife, Sarah, had a baby when she was 90 years old (Genesis 18, 21). The Israelites escaped the Egyptians by walking through the parted Red Sea — with the pursuing Egyptians drowning when […]

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 […]

We Say It All the Time, but What Does It Mean to “Follow Jesus”?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We Christians have a lamentable habit of using esoteric language, which is an erudite way of saying that we speak phrases understood by a small, like-minded group of people with a specialized knowledge or interest. Given that the gift of Christ is […]

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 […]

Does God Still Speak?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

For many people, hearing the audible voice of God — speaking directly to them —  is incredibly important. He isn’t “real” somehow if He isn’t physical, tangible, and accessible. They are encouraged in this belief by celebrity leadership and the […]

How NOT to Pray

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Prayer is one of those topics that is always in fashion. It doesn’t really matter whether or how you believe in God — even atheists these days aren’t amiss to tapping into the spiritual world, and in the name of science (or scientism), […]

How to Pray

posted by Carolyn Henderson

For many years, I learned how to pray by watching and emulating other people. Now frequently, learning from others is valuable: as a knitter, I have sat side by side with novices and walked them through what to do with two little sticks […]

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 […]

What’s So Bad about a Comfort Zone?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

If you haven’t heard the term “comfort zone,” then you must never attend church. Or work in a cubicle. Or listen to politicians. Comfort zones — that area of life where we operate, well, comfortably because we understand our circumstances, […]

If You’re Not Jewish, Why Do You Act as if You Are?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Because someone, somewhere will be quick to take offense, let’s waste the first paragraph of this article by stating that I have nothing against Jewish people, and if you are Jewish, I’m glad for you. I’m not out to convert […]

God: What Do You Want Me to Do Today?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We all want to do great things. For some people, it’s a matter of making a success of themselves, via money, power, fame, and name, and the ultimate goal is to be rich, well-known, secure, and powerful. King Solomon of […]

Money

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Christians aren’t supposed to freak out about money. Of course, Christians aren’t supposed to freak out about a lot of things, and we do, but there’s a difference between following what humans advise, and following God. If you listen to humans, it’s no […]

Despicable You? No, Not True.

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Are you a Mary? Or a Martha? Actually, it’s a dumb question, especially if you’re male, but if you’re female and you’re in an emotionally charged women’s Bible study focusing on your inhibitions and failures, doubts, anxieties, insecurities, and foibles, you might […]

The Work You Do for God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

You don’t have to be a Christian for very long before you start hearing the word “personal ministry,” as in, your personal ministry. You’re supposed to have one, you know. Now there’s nothing wrong with this concept; we all want […]

5 “Sins” That Aren’t Sins

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Christians frequently talk about grace, love, acceptance, and freedom, and indeed, these attributes are abundantly available to the person who follows Christ. Unfortunately, however, within Christian group settings (“community” is the latest buzzword), rules abound, all the more insidious because they […]

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 […]

Your Learning Curve, as a Christian

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“When God dies, does He fall down from the sky?” I’m sure it doesn’t take long to identify a few theological misconceptions in this question, but when you consider that the inquirer was a four-year-old, you have to admit a […]

When You Can’t Take It Anymore

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I don’t know about you, but I have been in particular life situations that go on so long, with so little change, that I simply want to give up. Only, I can’t. I mean, what am I supposed to do: […]

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 […]

Why Are Christians So Weird?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

On one of my blogs (not this one, so don’t freak out), I can see what phrases people type into the search engine to find me. One that frequently shows up is a variation of this: “Why are Christians so […]

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 […]

Do Negative Thoughts Affect Your Prayers?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

There’s a difference between the gods of the world and the one, true, eternal God. While that sounds like an obvious statement, it doesn’t seem so when you talk to many Christians who, purportedly, worship the latter. A colleague of […]

Me. Me. Me. And oh, You too, Lord

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Like many rural dwellers, we own a number of cats, most of which are “working kitties” that keep the rodent population down and out. They enjoy twice daily meals of fresh goat milk and an occasional visit to the Manor, […]

Shutting up the Voices in Our Heads

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I just returned from posting letters in our mailbox, 3oo feet from our house. It’s a cold, foggy day, and over the crunch of gravel under my feet I heard the sibilant song of a little bird. Five little notes. […]

“Reading the Bible Makes Me Fall Asleep”

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I was chatting with a gracious and dedicated person the other day who blurted out, “I can’t read the Bible for 20 minutes without falling asleep!” You know, not many people are this honest, and if more of us were, […]

Jesus Isn’t All You Need — He’s All You’ve GOT

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a social situation, somebody asks you how you’re doing, and since the most significant event in your life lately has been the loss of your job, or the diagnosis of a serious […]

Christianity, and the Problem of Hell

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Most people, Christians or not, don’t like to talk about hell. Many seekers abhor the subject because they ask, quite logically, “How can a God who professes to be loving, kind, faithful, and merciful toss anyone into hell? I mean, […]

Sleeping Christians: Wake. Up.

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Some days, I’d prefer to leave the amusement park and just go someplace else. It is on these days that I ask God, “Do you not care, anymore, about your people? Are you just going to let them die, asleep, […]

The U.S. Is not a Christian Nation — and It Never Was

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I was visiting a friend in the nursing home last week when I found myself trapped, holding my sleeping friend’s hand, forced to sit in the same room with a Christian television show. Those of you who read me regularly […]

God. God? GOD! Are You There?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Last month I regaled you with tales of my two hours in the Dentist Chair (God, the Dentist), and how we find spiritual lessons in the oddest places. This month found me in that chair again, for only an hour […]

Is It Okay to Talk to the Grave of Your Loved One?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Those of you who have read me for awhile can probably guess the answer to any question I posit that begins with, “Is it okay to . . .?” Yeah, the answer’s probably yes, unless the question is something like, […]

Christians: It’s Time to Read Grown-up Books

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I read very few designated “Christian” books. As a lover of thoughtful, well-written literature, I read for entertainment as well as for enlightenment, and find fiction to be a sublime means of conveying truth. It’s no accident that Jesus used […]

This Article Really Isn’t about Sex

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Let’s talk about sex! Oh, don’t shudder, or salivate, depending upon how the word — and the concept — affect you. Sex is a gift God gave us, and we’ve obviously used it, given the 7 billion of us wandering […]

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 […]

High Anxiety: Conquer Your Fear

posted by Carolyn Henderson

To depict me as High Anxiety is like describing coffee as black. Yep, it is, and yes, I am. But the beauty of coffee is that when you add milk, sugar, flavorings, whipped cream and sprinkles, these elements mitigate the […]

God, the Dentist

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Yesterday, I spent two hours in the dentist’s chair. Like many professionals these days, the dentist, and her crew, were all considerably younger than I. Maybe it’s because I remind them of their mothers that they were so solicitous, gently […]

When People Lie to Us

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Sometimes, the truth is so simple that it’s difficult to believe. Take manipulation, for example, which is to control another person’s behavior, generally without his knowledge, and in an unscrupulous manner. The word is not used in a positive sense. […]

Reading through the Bible in a Year (YAWN)

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I did the most deliciously naughty thing in the bathtub last night. There. I knew we couldn’t communicate until you put your coffee cup down and focused on me. I read a book while I was soaking, which isn’t naughty […]

Just How Naked Do I Have to Get?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

When you’ve been a Christian long enough, you start to see a theme in discussion material. One of the laments you frequently hear is, “There’s no UNITY! If we were truly one in Christ, there would be no denominations!” Another […]

When You’re Not as Happy as You Wish You Were

posted by Carolyn Henderson

It’s not wrong, unusual, or evil to want to be happy. If it weren’t such a basic human drive, the pursuit of it wouldn’t have been mentioned as an inalienable right in the U.S. Declaration of Independence. And yes, my […]

Money, Power, Fame, and Name

posted by Carolyn Henderson

It is a driving factor of human existence that we crave being loved and valued. We’ve got one shot through this life, and within the years we have been given, we ache to know that our lives have meaning — […]

Who’s Your Guru?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Before the world of Facebook, we’d find ourselves at a bridal shower, say, and The Person in Charge of Embarrassing Games generally began with something innocuous, like, “List your five favorite books about sex,” or, if this were a church […]

The Dissident Christian: Does This Describe You?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

It doesn’t take much to be a dissident to today’s society. All it involves are two things: 1) Asking questions and 2) Refusing to passively accept everything that we are told. At an art museum, a dissident viewer is one […]

Break away from Controlling People

posted by Carolyn Henderson

It’s not too late to give yourself the gift that you will treasure throughout your life, wrapping it up as a year-round, realistic New Year’s Resolution as well: Aggressively and unapologetically learn to think for yourself. In a society that […]

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 […]

Christianity Is Simpler Than You Think

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I know some people will jump all over this one, but I find my most effective time to pray is around 1 in the morning, when I have been awakened from a sound sleep and am still in a somnambulant state. […]

Your Right to Privacy: Protect It

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I’ve been a Christian for 31 years, and in that amount of time you see a lot of trends and fads: The Name It/Claim it Blab It/Grab It movement that damages the pure sense of trust we have in God’s […]

“I’m a Christian, but I’m not Religious”

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Have you ever said this? I have: “I’m a Christian, but I’m not religious.” Religious, as an adjective, isn’t a particularly complimentary word, because it implies that the person participating in it is too focused on outward trappings: saying Thee […]

Two Reasons Why the World Hates Christians

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Christians have a bad reputation for being unkind, intolerant, harsh, judgmental, and self-righteous. Oh, and uneducated. Now of course, anytime you speak about, or live, moral absolutes, you’ll get attacked by people who don’t want to be told — either […]

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 […]

Seminar Christianity

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We are a society with little time to read, reflect, think, or meditate. Increasingly, our dialogue with one another is limited to whatever one-liners we can fit onto a Tweet, a text, or a Facebook post, and while I love […]

Who are YOU to Speak for the LORD?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Any time you stand up, stand out, or do your hair in a different style, people notice. Some individuals are really good about it, saying things like, “Cool hair. It frames your face well,” or, “That style’s . . . […]

Quit Yelling at Your Brother

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In our family, we have lively discussions about everything, and because we love one another, we don’t let disagreements get in the way. This is fortunate, because if we did, we would all be living in separate houses. No, it’s […]

Downton Abbey, Mind Control, and Your Christian Life

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Because we do not subscribe to any television, cable, or satellite service, our family waits awhile to see the very, very few contemporary shows that are worth watching, and one of the events we have waited a year to experience […]

Put Your Money Where Your Beliefs Are

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Lately, the Norwegian Artist and I have been researching various Christian associations and noted speakers and leaders, specifically to find out if any of them have links to organizations that propound a political agenda that is repellant to us. “Globalism” […]

Surviving the Holidays

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Tradition is both a good thing and a bad. In a world, and a life, in which so much is out of our control, holiday traditions offer a secure, steady foundation of things that never change. Our employment situation may […]

Make a Difference, Every Day, as a Christian

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Theoretically there are millions of Christians in my home country, the United States, but for some reason, we are always looking for a major revival before we expect to see any significant changes made in our collective lifestyle. Things used […]

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 […]

Sham Christians: Don’t Be Fooled by Them

posted by Carolyn Henderson

This really shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of us, but just because somebody announces that he is a Christian, doesn’t mean that he’s telling the truth. And yet, this maxim is obviously not getting through to the general […]

Is Your Job Meaningless?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In this technological age, one of the means of entertaining ourselves is typing random sentences into search engines and seeing what comes up. So the Norwegian Artist, in a inexplicable fit of, well, even he can’t explain why he did […]

King Kong God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In a desperate foray to find something well made and worth watching, we have been revisiting movies of yesteryear, which in today’s society mean anything more than seven years old. Recently, we immersed ourselves in Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake of […]

Your Christian Mission Statement

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Have you noticed how everyone has a mission statement these days? Ironically, the central term (mission) has been applied for years by for-profit corporations, who have statements that look like this: “Our passion and goal is to provide quality products […]

The Atheist’s Cry to God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Recently, someone sent me this quote by Marc Barnes of Bad Catholic: “Somehow, a hostile hatred of God is closer to love than a bored and boring apathy, for it strives — at the very least — to meet His gaze […]

Baaaaaaaaadddd Christians — Redeemed!

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Within Christian circles, we enjoy stories about people who have really, really messed up and then, through Christ, turned their lives around. You know, former gang members, Mafia hit men, millionaires who lost it all and lived in the streets, […]

10 Ways to Be a Successful Christian

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I’m not a fan of bullet pointed lists, which is why most of my articles are not titled the way this one is. While it’s nice, and convenient, to see things in list form, life isn’t necessarily lived that way, […]

Should Christians Think?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I don’t mean for this to sound like the first line of a cheesy bar joke, but do you know how to get Christians reading your blog post, buying your book, or listening to your sermon? Use a title with […]

Only . . . BELIEVE!

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I love chick flicks, and if we’re going to have a long-term relationship, you’re going to need to accept this. In the 2010 flick, When in Rome, five people stuffed into a Vespa 400 microcar are careening toward the glass doors […]

Don’t Be Afraid of What You See

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Without my glasses, I’m as blind as a rock. The myopic gene with which my father gifted me is so bad (“How bad is it?”) that I got into an argument with an ophthalmologist once about when I first needed […]

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 […]

The Statement No Christian Should Make

posted by Carolyn Henderson

As a Christian and a human being, I avoid the word “should,” because it’s generally used by Person A against Person B, to get Person B to do what Person A wants. So when I use it, I’m serious. And […]

Praying: How Specific Must We Be?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I live in a household where the husband changes the light bulbs. It’s not that it’s beyond my job description; it’s just that I seriously don’t like ladders and I’m not particularly good at dismantling overhead light units without breaking […]

Previous Posts

Submission to Authority -- and the Gag Reflex
"Then Jesus said to them, 'Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." (Mark 12:17) On Facebook, which is as good a source of national news as any, I ran across a post lambasting our present president for doing what all ...

posted 1:36:33pm Jun. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Cucumbers, Jesus, and Deception
"If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost -- also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic." (Numbers 11:5) The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven are perplexing concepts, and depending upon ...

posted 1:38:43pm Jun. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Too Many People Are Going to Hell
"As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live." Ezekiel 33:11 I intensely dislike my phone company. [caption id="attachment_1702" ...

posted 11:59:18am Jun. 17, 2015 | read full post »

I'd Like to Change My Job Description
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men . . . It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 4:23, 24 If you've heard enough church sermons, maybe you've run into the joke about the man who ...

posted 4:11:08pm Jun. 12, 2015 | read full post »

The Obnoxious Jesus
"When Jesus saw their faith, he said, 'Friend, your sins are forgiven.' " (Luke 5:21) Jesus Heals a Paralytic. This is the chapter heading that one of my Bibles (NIV Study, 1985) uses to describe passages in Mark 2:1-12 and Luke 5:17-26, ...

posted 12:10:04pm Jun. 10, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.