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Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity Archives

Must We Pray for Our “Leaders”?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“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 […]

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Fat Cat Christians — Why Do We Keep Feeding Them?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“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 […]

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A Rainbow of Silence — Why Christians May Not Want to Speak

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven . . . a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak.” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7 To […]

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Submission to Authority — and the Gag Reflex

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“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 […]

Too Many People Are Going to Hell

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“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. Every month they send […]

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 […]

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 […]

Isn’t the “Good News” Supposed to Be Good?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.” (2 Timothy 4:13) A central aspect of the gospel — which means “good news” — is that the news, indeed, should be […]

Why Do Some Christians Make So Much MONEY?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Jesus sent him away, saying, ‘Return home and tell how much God has done for you.’ So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” (Luke 8:38-39) Within polite Christian religious circles, […]

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 […]

It’s a Secret, but Many Christians Do Distrust God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 We all approach life from a certain world view. And while the dictators of politically correct doctrine decry bias as a bad thing, it’s really just a realistic thing. No matter […]

Not a Leader? Good! God Can Talk to You

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“The man answered, ‘Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes.” (John 9:30) A well-meaning Christian once loaned me a book by a highly promoted Christian woman leader. (I make a point of […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

Why Do We Follow These Leaders?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30) Jesus did […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

“If I Leave Church, Will I Lose My Friends?”

posted by Carolyn Henderson

For many people, the one thing that stands between their leaving a church situation that is not working for them, or staying within and being unhappy, is friendship. Understandably, wherever we spend our time is where we make friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and […]

Are You in the Process of Leaving Church?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Leaving church — whether a specific fellowship or the industrial model altogether — is not a decision people make lightly. Nor is it one that others take well, and if you are in the process of dropping out of a […]

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 […]

Mass Manipulation by the Mass Media

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Nowadays, dystopia is the rage. Books like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner seem written for the sole purpose of being turned into movies, with a concerted effort to engage today’s youth into the idea that life, and the future, are […]

God — Coming Out of the Closet

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Some unknown,  unnamed, presumably existent person, long ago, said that we should never talk about sex, religion, and politics. Aside from this eliminating pretty much everything interesting worth discussing — including the weather since, with the growing mantra of “Global […]

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 […]

Why Do We Follow Celebrity Christians?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I have spent a goodly portion of my life working past, and through, an impatient, calloused, uncaring, indifferent, and unlikable God, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only spiritual seeker with this issue. The Querulous God is regularly taught […]

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 […]

Rich Christian, Poor Christian — Which Are You?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I have just spent the last hour cleaning off my desk. To my left is a pile of papers that, if they were dollar bills, would buy me a weekend trip to Hawaii. And that’s just envelopes and circulars: the […]

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 […]

Is It So Bad to Be a Lone-Wolf Christian?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Self-defense is a good thing to know — many women wish we possessed enough simple martial arts skill that we could tumble an assailant to the ground, whimpering. But physically defending ourselves isn’t the only arena of importance, and even if we can’t find, or afford, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Questioning Convention: It’s Part of Growth

posted by Carolyn Henderson

One of the problems of formal, prescriptive Bible studies is that, frequently, they mooooooooooove soooooooooooo slooooooooooowly through the Scriptures, focusing on one or two verses at a time and haranguing the poor words until they collapse, exhausted, and pant out, […]

The CrossFit Christian

posted by Carolyn Henderson

On a recent visit to my middle daughter (note to self, and parents with three or more children: we MUST find a better term for “middle child”), I was convinced to join her, and a group of ridiculously fit others, at […]

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, […]

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, […]

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 […]

Is God Calling You?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In our church days, when I sat in an interlocking chair, stared ahead at the big white screen, and sang words that flashed by, I used to wonder, vaguely, if God was calling me to do something, and I wasn’t hearing. […]

Three Things Christians Don’t Say Enough

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Words are powerful, but not in the way prosperity preachers or New Age advocates claim. While words themselves do not convey any ability to create reality, simply because we utter them (e.g., “I CLAIM this blessing!”), they affect those around us because […]

Why Doesn’t God DO Something?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

On one of the Christian Google-Plus communities I follow, a perfidious little troll regularly posts photos of starving children, highlighting his point with accompanying commentary like, “Where is the good and gracious God?” Actually, he’s more verbally adroit than that — quite clever, actually — and to avoid confrontation or actual dialogue he […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

What Is the Christian Response to the Israel/Hamas Situation?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

When I returned home from work last week, there was a message from the bank on the answering machine: “Please give us a call at your earliest convenience.” That was it, and because of all the myriad of privacy laws protecting me […]

Three Encouraging Thoughts to Get You Through the Week

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Not everyone’s Monday is actually on Monday. But regardless of what day your week starts, it’s highly likely that it’s not a smooth transition from your day off to your day on. This low point of our week, when we grab […]

Letting Satan Win

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Fear is one of Satan’s best weapons, because it’s relatively inexpensive. For a minimal outlay, Satan — who generally works through the assorted people on this planet who love him, worship him, or have sold themselves to him for whatever […]

Afraid to Post on Facebook

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I have a cat named Xena the Warrior Princess, which is a diverting misnomer because she is one of the timidest animals alive. Admittedly, as far as staying alive, running away from trouble is a successful stratagem for Xena, who spends her days concealed in the bushes, wide-eyed and paranoid. When she does venture out, she […]

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 […]

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) […]

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 […]

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, […]

What Kind of People Leave Church?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Years ago, when we still attended weekly church services, a longtime acquaintance (that’s generally what we are in church situations — we’re rarely given time to freely mingle and get to know one another as friends) left. If you attend […]

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 […]

Are We Stuck with Our Bad Choices Forever?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Tough love. It’s an oxymoronic — or maybe just moronic — psychological phrase that has crept its way into Christian thought. We’ve been told it’s the solution to codependent relationships, another psychophrase bandied about more frequently than words like grace, mercy, charity, patience, or […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Wrong Gospel and How It’s Chasing People out of Church

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I know a lot — a LOT — of people who were raised in a church, no longer attend, and want nothing to do with God. Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, Methodist — it doesn’t matter the appellation, these people are on […]

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 […]

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 […]

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’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, […]

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 […]

Myths Christians Believe about Movies Like Noah

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The flood of media love for the Russell Crowe movie, Noah, awashes the brain. It reminds me of Mel Gibson’s 2004 Passion of the Christ, and people are saying the same things now, as they said back then. Let’s look at some […]

Desperately Need a Place of Rest? You’ve Got One

posted by Carolyn Henderson

One recent weekend, I made mental plans the eve before for gentle recreation: a little quilting, time in the sun with the strawberry plants and their weeds, a game or two of cribbage with whoever in the family isn’t afraid of my prowess […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Salvation Is Free. Our Time Is Not.

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Too many Christians have a thing about the word “free.” When it comes to the free gift of salvation that Jesus willingly hands us, we’re convinced that there’s a catch somehow, and it seriously can’t be as easy as it […]

Don’t Worry: It’s NOT All up to You

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Pretend, for a moment, that you’re a horse. Not an old plug, swaybacked and ugly, so derelict that nobody even wants you for free. I mean, seriously, God loves you as his beautiful, precious daughter or son, so once in […]

“God Helps Those Who Help Themselves.” Yuck.

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Okay, let’s find a Bible verse. Ready? “God helps those who help themselves.” I’ll give you a few minutes to look, but to save you time, you’ll find it in 2 Obligations 13: 36,  right before the “Cleanliness is next to […]

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 […]

Nasty, Biting — Unintentional — Things We Say

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Want to make a positive change in your world, today? It’s fast, it’s easy — okay, so it’s not necessarily socially convivial — but it involves nothing more than saying a simple sentence, along the lines of, “Wow. That was […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Christian Prosperity: What Does It Look Like?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

As an intelligent person, I know that the Make a Million NOW! type books only make a million for a limited number of people, not the least of which are the authors. Nonetheless, there’s always that little bit of aggressive, […]

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, […]

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 […]

Christian Leadership and Ordinary People

posted by Carolyn Henderson

As an ordinary person, I notice trending news and articles with words like “ordinary” and “people” in them, especially when the two words are put together. Lately I am seeing ordinary people being addressed more frequently by major Christian leadership […]

Eliminating Creativity

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Creativity is a funny thing. It’s not something you hold in your hands and squeeze, but it is something that you can destroy by handling too much and forcing to behave a certain way. Lately, the familia has been re-watching […]

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 […]

Unchurched, or Church Free?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We are a society that parses words, and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing — consider the difference of implications between “anti-abortion” and “anti-choice” — and how we phrase things makes a huge difference in how our listeners or readers […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Sinless Christian

posted by Carolyn Henderson

You know, for a society absolutely saturated in violence, sexuality, and offensive language, we’re remarkably oversensitive  at the oddest times, and statements that were a joke ten years ago approach secular blasphemy today. Specifically, I’m thinking of the no-win question, […]

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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