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The latest at Irvington United Methodist Church

Stay up to date with the happenings of Irvington United Methodist Church by visiting our blog. You'll find information such as announcements, sermon notes and thoughts from our pastor to encourage and challenge your walk with the Lord.

Holy Solitude

by: Denise Robinson

02/26/2021

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Eliminate noise. Thomas Merton wrote: "Physical solitude, exterior silence, and real recollection are all morally necessary for anyone who wants to lead a contemplative life." Lamentations 3:25-26: "The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."

Haverkamp writes about a movie I personally have never seen titled "...
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Holy Solitude

by: Denise Robinson

02/25/2021

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Catherine Doherty and the Poustinia. "The poustinia is a place where you are going to meet Christ in joyful solitude .. If there is anything the devil detests, it is the poustinia." (Encountering God in Solitude, Silence, and Prayer).

Catherine de Hueck was born in Russia and emigrated to Canada in 1921. She founded settlement homes in Toronto and New York City. In the 1940s, she married Eddie Doherty. They moved to rural...
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Holy Solitude

by: Denise Robinson

02/24/2021

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When God is silent. Job 30:20: "I cry to you and you do not answer me; I stand, and you merely look at me."

No matter how long we sit in silence and solitude, sometimes God is the one who is silent. We may sit in quiet, with a candle burning and beautiful music playing, and feel nothing of the divine presence whatsoever. In face, choosing to spend more time in silence and solitude might mean we more often feel that God is...
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Holy Solitude

by: Denise Robinson

02/23/2021

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Mary: The Theotokos. Luke writes in his gospel that Mary was perplexed by the words of the angel that she would bear and give birth to the Son of God, but also that she treasured those words and pondered them in her heart. There may be, Haverkamp writes, no one in the world who knows more about the miracles that can happen in silence and solitude than Mary. She knew the Savior was coming into the world before anyone else did. In Orthodox Christianity, she is call...
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Holy Solitude

by: Denise Robinson

02/22/2021

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1 Kings 19:11-13 tells us about Elijah on Mount Horeb: The Lord said, "Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by." Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after ...
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Holy Solitude

by: Denise Robinson

02/19/2021

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Thirst. "O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water." (Psalm 63:1). "Jesus said to her, 'Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give them will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.'" (John 4:13-14)...
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Holy Solitude

by: Denise Robinson

02/18/2021

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The Wilderness. Mark 1:13 tells us that Jesus was in the wilderness (some texts use the word "desert") for forty days, tempted by Satan and with the wild beasts. In Lent, we are reminded that we must spend time in the wilderness in order to receive the grace of God as we should. It is there that we empty ourselves, that we can drive away from us everything that is not of God, and leave all the room free for God alone. We need the silence of the wilderne...
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By Wisdom a House is Built

by: Denise Robinson

02/17/2021

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Good morning, all. I realize it's a little after 8:00 am in Indiana but I have finally made it to Phoenix where it's currently 7:00 am. Anyway, I love the imagery of the house in verses 3 and 4 for today.  Obviously Solomon is not speaking of a physical house, but I think the imagery applies whether the house is made up of one person or many. 

Do not envy the wicked, nor desire to be with them; for their minds dev...
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"Lingering" Over Wine

by: Denise Robinson

02/16/2021

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I am skipping a few verses in Ch. 23 about the discipling of children. We have similar verses previously; the only difference here is that Solomon clearly advocates beating a child if (notice I said "if") it will save them from death/hell. Instead, our verses for today speak to the overindulgence of alcohol and Solomon opens with a series of questions:

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who ...
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Be Wise

by: Denise Robinson

02/15/2021

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For some reason, the first verses of today's reading remind me of the 1983 Christmas movie classic, A Christmas Story. If you don't know the story, it's set around 1940 and Ralphie, who is 9 years old, has been drinking gallons of Ovaltine in order to get an Orphan Annie Secret Society decoder pin. Each night, on the Orphan Annie radio show, a secret message is broadcast and the decoder pin is needed to figure out the message. Well, the pin finally ar...
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The Eyes of the Lord Keep Watch

by: Denise Robinson

02/12/2021

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Today we have another miscellaneous collection of proverbs which begin with the importance of training your child(ren) in the way of wisdom. The Hebrew word used here might better be translated as "dedicate" than trained: "Dedicate a child in his (Yahweh's) right way, and when they old they will not stray." "Dedication" certainly encompasses training/educating, but it is much more than that - it is to make God's way your enti...
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The Lord is the Ruler of All

by: Denise Robinson

02/11/2021

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The first five verses of Chapter 22 deal with the dangers of wealth. But the verses are not so much about the having of wealth as the desire for it. We are challenged to consider our priorities and, most importantly, to keep our minds and hearts on God. 

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. The rich and the poor have this in common: the Lord is the maker of them all. Th...
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Finding Life and Honor

by: Denise Robinson

02/10/2021

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The first verses for this morning remind us of the benefits of wisdom. Then we return to those "qualities" that are contrary to wisdom: pride, laziness, selfishness, and perjury are all examples. Finally, we are reminded of the greatness of God and the superiority of God's wisdom over all other wisdom. 

Precious treasure remains in the house of the wise, but the fool devours it. Whoever pursues righteousness and ...
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Justice is a Joy to the Righteous

by: Denise Robinson

02/09/2021

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Today's verses contain more random words of wisdom. We begin with the premise that it's difficult to live with someone who is always ready to pick a fight. While it's written from the husband's perspective, the meaning can easy be flipped around to include any other person in the household. As has been the case before, as we read these random words relating to wise living, verses are included reminding us why living according to God's "wa...
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Do Righteousness and Justice

by: Denise Robinson

02/08/2021

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What is our relationship with God supposed to be like? Does God really know our inner thoughts and motives? What does God want from us or expect from us? Our first verses for today give us Solomon's thoughts on the matter. Then, Solomon continues to look at conduct - and how our conduct impacts our lives.

All deeds are right in the sight of the doer, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do righteousness and justice is more accepta...
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