Does Prayer Work?

Does Prayer Work?

by Claire Berger

Houston knows about work. Many people move to Houston for it. As the fourth biggest city in the United States, only New York City is home to more large public companies. We have the largest concentration of health care and research institutions. The Port of Houston ranks first in the U.S. in international waterborne tonnage handled. We don’t just do industrial: Forbes observed how 7 million people each year come through our Museum District. Houston gets results. Houston knows about work. 

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Meditation

Meditation

by Claire Berger

The Year of Magical Thinking chronicles an agnostic’s grief after the death of a husband and ailing of a daughter. Joan Didion, author of The Year of Magical Thinking, upon first hearing that her daughter was in brain surgery told herself: “Read, learn, work it up, go to the literature. Information is control.” 

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What Does Generosity Mean?

What Does Generosity Mean?

by Claire Berger

A food critic recently reported on a tale of two restaurants. One restaurant, two different nights, one week apart. It was a restaurant atop a hotel—a hospitality double feature. After her first evening, she wrote the type of review restaurant owners have framed by the entrance: delightful adjectives about the marble in the lobby, the view with binoculars, the farm-to-table menu. Restaurants want, “it hit the mark,” and that was her reaction after the first visit.  If only she hadn’t gone back the next week and left saying, “give me Shake Shack on solid ground.” 

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Lent Tools For Families

As we enter the Lenten season, I am making it a personal priority to reflect on Lent’s purpose in our lives as we engage the younger generation at City Church. My deepest hope for our children and students is that they will take advantage of the opportunity for spiritual renewal presented throughout this season, reflect on the beauty of the cross, and practice spiritual disciplines.

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What is Communion?

What is Communion?

by Claire Berger

Lent is a fitting time to explore the gathering of people to hear the Word of God preached and receive bread and wine. This last part goes by a few names: the Eucharist; the Lord’s Supper; communion . . . And while different groups of Christians have believed different things about exactly what it is and what it does, the science of it, this practice established by Jesus fosters gratitude, community, a longing for a future feast to come—Christianity believes history ends with a feast. The Eucharist in Greek means “giving thanks,” and this is the mysterious texture of it. 

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Life on Mission

Life on Mission

by Claire Berger

Do you still have ashes on your forehead? It’s okay to wash them off. Yesterday was Ash Wednesday; Lent is upon is.

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Tools for Knowing God

Lent is a season of spiritual renewal that prepares us for Easter. It lasts forty days and reminds us of Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness (it’s actually the forty-six days before Easter, but Sundays in Lent are not counted). For followers of Christ, all life should be characterized by devotion to him. Lent, however, is an opportunity to give focused attention to soul care. The Old English word, Lent, means spring. Think of it as a sort of spiritual spring cleaning or spring training (go Astros!). It’s a season for sharpening our spiritual senses so we might grow in our knowledge of the Lord.

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What is Ash Wednesday?

What is Ash Wednesday?

by Claire Berger

Observing Lent can be an activity filed under, ancient practices. It began with early Christians as the season before Easter to prepare new believers for baptism, and developed into a historic and church-wide practice. Lent starts with Ash Wednesday, where ashes get smeared on your head and you are reminded, “you are dust and to dust you shall return.” 

What a sales pitch. 

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This Sunday: Friendship of God

This Sunday, March 3, we’ll explore the friendship of God in the final lesson in our series, Experiencing God’s Beauty. While friendship is one of the most important and powerful gifts on earth, it can prove to be elusive. Studies show only about half of our perceived friendships are mutual. Life’s sweetest and most sorrowful moments often involve friends.

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