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Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity Archives

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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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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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: […]

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, […]

“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, […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

“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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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, […]

Praying for Miley, Britney, and Lindsay

posted by Carolyn Henderson

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

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 […]

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

Are You a Brave Christian?
"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." (Ephesians 6:13) [caption id="attachment_1532" align="alignleft" width="361"] How many of us, in our minds, live a movie? It's more imp

posted 1:29:24pm Mar. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Is God Keeping You on a Short Leash?
"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? [caption id="attachment_1526" align="alignleft" width="349"] Reins are for horses and leashes are for dogs, but the principle is the s

posted 10:38:46am Mar. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Without God, We've Got 10 Minutes, Tops
"The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." (Genesis 2:7) I never see this verse without thinking of the AWANA program, regarding which, after 10 long years of heavily participating in it, I still

posted 2:09:55pm Mar. 18, 2015 | read full post »

The Christians Who Choose to Leave "Church"
"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 group, and are appalled that you would dare to leave. [caption id="attachment

posted 12:55:26pm Mar. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Are We Making Asses of Ourselves?
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 God." As used within Christian circles, it sounds like it's written, with capitals at the

posted 2:56:44pm Mar. 11, 2015 | read full post »

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