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Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity Archives

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Previous Posts

Eating with Sinners -- It’s Not So Difficult
"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 ...

posted 1:21:05pm May. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Why Many Christians Doubt That God Loves Us
"If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well." (John 14:7) The 1980s was a big time in establishment Christianity, and as college students, my husband the Norwegian Artist and I attended the closest thing to a mega-church the ...

posted 11:05:23am May. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Why Political Activism Is Not the Christian Answer
"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 a determined, ...

posted 11:29:52am May. 22, 2015 | read full post »

Watered Down, Weak Tea, Tepid Beer, Corked Wine Christianity
"'What should we do then?' the crowd asked." Luke 3:10 If you're a Christian, and you've got a question about the Bible, your place in the world, or what our Father wants you to do with your life, be assured that, no further than your local ...

posted 11:14:46am May. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Isn’t the “Good News” Supposed to Be Good?
"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 good. Believing ...

posted 1:09:17pm May. 15, 2015 | read full post »

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