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Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity Archives

Christian Sheep: We Can Learn from Goats

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I’ll never forget the first time I milked a goat. My best friend from college, whose degree was in animal husbandry but who more importantly kept goats and milked them herself, was convinced that my family needed two of the […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Silly Little Rules

posted by Carolyn Henderson

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

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

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In the first two parts of this miniseries on how to practically apply Biblical wisdom to our lives, we looked at the two Great Commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and […]

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 […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

I Was Born in Babylon

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The 6th century, B.C., was a tumultuous one for the Hebrew people. Always beset and troubled by enemies, the Jewish state, barely holding out in the territory of Judah and its capitol city, Jerusalem, was finally and fully conquered by […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

“We Have Worms!”

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I was on the last hour of a boring, four-hour drive when I passed one of those stores that sell everything: gas, Chinese food, Pepto Bismo, tax preparation services, and on the reader board they proudly announced: “We have worms […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

People Call Us Stupid, You Know

posted by Carolyn Henderson

If you’re a Christian, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that many people out there think we’re stupid. After all, playground tactics, in which Child A calls Child B “Stupid!” for daring to disagree, extend far into adulthood. (Although, come […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 »

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