Cherry Winkle Moore http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com making divine images visible Mon, 25 Mar 2019 02:48:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 Letter to my son on faith and church http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2016/06/letter-to-my-son-on-faith-and-church/ http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2016/06/letter-to-my-son-on-faith-and-church/#respond Sun, 12 Jun 2016 01:13:49 +0000 http://cherrywinklemoore.com/?p=1367 The post Letter to my son on faith and church appeared first on Cherry Winkle Moore.

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I wrote this letter to my son after he and I visited a church a couple of years ago. I wanted him to understand certain opinions I hold. Now I share them with you.

Dear Son,

Here are some thoughts on the Affirmation of Faith at the website of the church we visited today.

First I want to say that my issues with the Affirmation of Faith (AOF) comes after more than 40 years of thinking theologically about things and forming opinions. Much of this may not matter to you or be at all important to you. I don’t reject people who disagree with me theologically. I have many dear friends who I know for a fact don’t agree with me. I think God loves us all. Anybody who “hates” in God’s name is not a Christian of any sort IMHO. They aren’t a true Muslim either. If I’m wrong about certain theological ideas (or any kind of idea) and I am shown to be wrong, I’ll change. I think it is a good, acceptable and totally wonderful thing that churches exist with lots of different quirks and a variety of worship styles. I feel a need to find “like-minded believers” with whom I can worship. That doesn’t mean that I think the others are “lost.” I’m sure if I hung around the church we visited awhile, I would find people I could love deeply. They and I are part of the Body of Christ.

It does bother me a little that certain things I think are theologically important, that are distinctive of certain churches, seem to be almost hidden at their website. I affirm their Core Values. It’s only when I dig deeper and read the AOF that these differences appear.

Here are some of the issues in the Affirmation of Faith that stand out to me:

  1. Inerrancy
  2. The “elect” are those who will be “saved”
  3. “Once saved; always saved”
  4. Spiritual gifts
  5. Proper officers of the church

This is not going to be research paper but here’s a few thoughts from your mother on the above points.

Inerrancy – The AOF says the original texts of the Bible are “without error in the original documents.” For one thing none of the original documents exists. We have fragments of texts dating from various early centuries. Our best translations are made up by biblical scholars and language experts who use the oldest texts that can be authenticated. Seeing the word “inerrancy” was the main thing that got my attention that first time I looked at the website there in the coffee shop. It’s one of those sign-posts or trigger words that indicates a very conservative theological view. They go on to say that they affirm the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978). I read somewhere this week that Billy Graham refused to sign it – not because he didn’t believe in inerrancy – but he thought it would be divisive within the Christian fellowship. He was certainly right about that. I think it is possible to take the Bible seriously without taking every word literally. You know that I take the Bible very seriously.

The “Elect” – The AOF says those who God chooses will be saved and calls these “the elect” or “His chosen.” If a person isn’t among the elect, they cannot be saved. If a person is among the elect, they cannot resist God’s call. I believe God loves and reaches out to ALL. Individuals have free will and are free to choose to respond to and accept God’s gift or reject it. (You may find some of these to be a distinction that does not connote a difference. Such is the work of theology. It is largely about words.)

“Once saved; always saved” – This is something most Baptists have said for centuries. Others might call it a Baptist distinctive. A seminary professor (at a Baptist seminary) articulated what I believe. He said God will hold you securely in God’s hand; God won’t drop you NOR will God stop you if you insist on jumping out. I think God will also not squash a person in that loving hand. I think it is the safest, most secure place I can possible be. God went to some great lengths to keep me from jumping out once when I came very close to making that choice but I believe I had the freedom to jump had I so chosen. (Many Baptists would say my belief about this proves I’m not a Baptist. I would take exception.)

Spiritual Gifts are not limited to the New Testament but are still in effect today. I agree with the AOF on this point. There are Christians who would say that this church and your mother are both wrong about this!

Proper officers of the church – What they say here is very interesting. As with all disagreements about what the Bible says this relies heavily on how one chooses to translate and interpret certain words. The word for “elder” and the word for “deacon” can be translated (from the Greek) in different ways. I suspect that if I knew more about what they really mean here I would find that the AOF here is used to exclude women from leadership roles in the church. (The same words are used for some women in the New Testament. It takes some tricky moves to get around that but lots of churches manage to do it very well.) You know that I strongly believe woman may be leaders in the church.

Anyway…what I think is important for you and me and every human is to set out on a quest to find out what WE believe. Is there a God? Does God care about me? Do I care about God? Does my answer to these questions change anything about how I live my life?

I read this great quote from an author named Kathleen Norris that goes something like this: “Most of us are content to spend the rest of our lives relying on what we believed about God in the seventh grade when we would not accept that level of belief and knowledge on any other subject.” Not her exact words but a deeply true idea.

Blessings, dear one, on your journey toward a grown up view of God and the world.

I love you.
Mom

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Ann’s Fountain: Poem written at Laity Lodge, 2011 http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2016/03/anns-fountain-poem-written-at-laity-lodge-2011/ http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2016/03/anns-fountain-poem-written-at-laity-lodge-2011/#respond Thu, 03 Mar 2016 03:23:22 +0000 http://cherrywinklemoore.com/?p=1369 Artist’s Retreat, 2011. Ian Cron asked us to go experience water and come back in about twenty minutes. This happened. It’s taken me six years to share it. ANN’S FOUNTAIN Go to water, he says. Listen to the water. Look at the water. I go to the fountain by the path on the way to […]

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Artist’s Retreat, 2011. Ian Cron asked us to go experience water and come back in about twenty minutes. This happened. It’s taken me six years to share it.

ANN’S FOUNTAIN

Go to water, he says. Listen to the water. Look at the water.
I go to the fountain by the path on the way to the studios.
It is the first place that comes to mind.
I realize that somehow I have always thought of it as “mine.”
I approach closer than I have before and notice the engraved stone:

Ann’s Fountain
Fiftieth Anniversary
March 2000

My own marriage recently saw its fortieth but will not see fifty. This is the year it ends.

Thank you, Ann, for sharing these stones, this water. Long after we and our marriages are history, these stones, this water will remain. Even if this fountain of ours should be dismantled, the stones and the water will go on.

Cherry Winkle Moore
Laity Lodge
Artist’s Retreat, October, 2011

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“Rooted and Grounded” – A Painting http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2016/02/rooted-and-grounded-a-painting/ http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2016/02/rooted-and-grounded-a-painting/#respond Tue, 01 Mar 2016 02:52:43 +0000 http://cherrywinklemoore.com/?p=1371 I attended a spiritual retreat sometime in the 90s. At the first meeting the retreat leader passed out index cards. Each one had a different scripture reference. “Throughout this retreat these verses will be ‘yours.’ Whenever we have quiet times, meditate on these verses.” My verses were Ephesians 3: 14-17. During the weekend this image […]

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I attended a spiritual retreat sometime in the 90s. At the first meeting the retreat leader passed out index cards.

Each one had a different scripture reference. “Throughout this retreat these verses will be ‘yours.’ Whenever we have quiet times, meditate on these verses.”

My verses were Ephesians 3: 14-17. During the weekend this image developed. It was pencil sketches then and later became this acrylic painting.

Key phrases from the passage are:

“Rooted and grounded in love.”

This person is kneeling and from the knees down their legs are roots.

“Strengthened in the inner person”

This person is becoming strong at their core, growing up and out.

“Filled with the Spirit of God.”

Artists have often depicted the Holy Spirit as a white bird.

The verses don’t mention the fruit of the Spirit but I painted fruit on this tree. I figure that if a person is nourished by love, growing in grace and filled with the Spirit, fruit will be present.

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“Redemption” – The Story of a Painting http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2016/02/redemption-the-story-of-a-painting/ http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2016/02/redemption-the-story-of-a-painting/#respond Sun, 28 Feb 2016 03:37:32 +0000 http://cherrywinklemoore.com/?p=1270 The Beginning of this Painting Every year in the week before Easter some churches in Houston sponsor an open art exhibit with a theme from the life of Christ. In 2015 the theme was “Redemption.” I spent a long time trying to come up with an image that fit the theme. One day at the […]

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The Beginning of this Painting

Every year in the week before Easter some churches in Houston sponsor an open art exhibit with a theme from the life of Christ. In 2015 the theme was “Redemption.” I spent a long time trying to come up with an image that fit the theme.

One day at the altar rail at St. Thomas Episcopal Church during the Eucharist, Rev. Rhoda Montgomery put the bread/wafer representing the body of Jesus in my hand and I saw the image I as looking for.

Redemption is the hand of God
(that day represented by Rhoda’s hand)
offering us the body and work and love of Jesus
(represented by the circular “host” used at St. Thomas)
Through the power and work of the Holy Spirit
(the shape that hovers between God and humankind.)

We have to open our hands to receive but the act of Redemption has been completed by the work of God and the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and is sustained in us by the Spirit.

Some trinitarian prayers identify the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as:

Creator – REDEEMER – Sustainer.

The Rest of the Story

I took the painting to Houston before I showed it to Rhoda but I showed her a photo of it. She loved it. I promised to show it to her when I got it back from the exhibit.

On a visit to Rhoda and Rob’s home after she came on the service of Hospice Brazos Valley where I am a chaplain, I took the painting with me. She was very tired that day but I offered to leave it and told her I planned to give it to the church later. For the last couple of weeks of her life the painting was propped on the bookcase at the foot of the bed.

In Rhoda’s memory I offered this painting to St. Thomas Episcopal Church.

Cherry Winkle Moore
Artist-In-Residence
January 29, 2016

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“Where I’m From” – a Poem http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2015/11/where-im-from-a-poem/ http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2015/11/where-im-from-a-poem/#respond Wed, 25 Nov 2015 02:39:16 +0000 http://cherrywinklemoore.com/?p=1271 I am from the King James Bible and the Singer Sewing Machine and the ’52 Chevy. I am from the hand-built house with a smokey fireplace, an outhouse, a grand piano, and hollyhocks by the front door. I am from catching fireflies in the evening and snapping string beans on the porch swing. I am […]

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I am from the King James Bible and the Singer Sewing Machine and the ’52 Chevy.

I am from the hand-built house with a smokey fireplace, an outhouse, a grand piano, and hollyhocks by the front door.

I am from catching fireflies in the evening and snapping string beans on the porch swing.

I am from Christmas Eve at First Baptist Church, Hamilton, Ohio and prayer before meals with Floyd and Eleanor and Jerry Winkle.

I am from “Grau-girl” width and the Winkle family nose.

From “God can use a sharp axe better than a dull one” and “when in doubt, don’t” and “you can be and do anything.”

I am from the church family who was always there and the last to leave. As a child I had a “drug problem” – I was drug to church on Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night and times in between.

I am from Ohio and German hard work, from veggies from the garden and a freezer full of beef raised by an uncle. From a dead end road between Hamilton and Middletown and just inside Fairfield Township.

From a quiet grandmother whose burial featured a perfect double rainbow and a great-grandmother who smoked a corncob pipe.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I am from a pump organ built by a great uncle with his father and dozens of photo albums made by my mother, the products of her Brownie camera.

I am from the dining table where we all gathered every night and now is mine.

Now write your own. Google “Where I’m FromTemplate” and you will find the format and many examples.

This is a fun activity that is likely to call up memories that have been long asleep. Enjoy!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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A “Lost” Painting is Found http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2015/11/a-lost-painting-is-found/ http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2015/11/a-lost-painting-is-found/#respond Sat, 21 Nov 2015 06:11:26 +0000 http://cherrywinklemoore.com/?p=1238 This painting was “lost” to me for 41 years. I painted it in 1974 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where I was a graduate student in the Fine Arts Department. When we were leaving Birmingham in 1976, I left it with a friend. I told her she could have it or take it to Baptist Church of […]

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This painting was “lost” to me for 41 years. I painted it in 1974 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where I was a graduate student in the Fine Arts Department. When we were leaving Birmingham in 1976, I left it with a friend. I told her she could have it or take it to Baptist Church of the Covenant and offer it to them.  I never knew what happened to it after that until recently.

In the summer of 2015 I got an email from a woman who was a member of Baptist Church of the Covenant. She also works in the area of speech and hearing and teaches American Sign Language. She said she had admired the painting for several years and decided to try to find me on the Internet. She wondered if I would be willing for her to acquire the painting. She would buy it if the church was willing to sell it. She would send me money if necessary. I told her that if the church was willing, I was willing for her to have it. After an email exchange with the current pastor, the painting now belongs to her and hangs in her office at The Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind in Talladega.

Sometimes paintings have interesting stories. I am grateful to know the next chapter of this one.

Image 11-21-15 at 12.19 AM

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FIRE: a poem by Judy Sorum Brown and a book page of mine http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2015/09/fire-a-poem-by-judy-sorum-brown/ http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2015/09/fire-a-poem-by-judy-sorum-brown/#respond Mon, 07 Sep 2015 23:07:53 +0000 http://cherrywinklemoore.com/?p=1240 A couple of years ago I took a page in a book called Creativity by Matthew Fox and made a “found word” poem. Story is fire, heat, warm, food. Creativity is essence, empowerment. This weekend I spent some time with Judy Sorum Brown’s poem on the same topic. I first encountered Judy Brown’s poem at the […]

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A couple of years ago I took a page in a book called Creativity by Matthew Fox and made a “found word” poem.

Story is fire, heat, warm, food.
Creativity is essence, empowerment.

This weekend I spent some time with Judy Sorum Brown’s poem on the same topic.

I first encountered Judy Brown’s poem at the Texas Baptist Women in Ministry Contemplative Retreat in 2012. That retreat was led by Dorisanne Cooper who prepared a small booklet with some poems and scripture texts. I found that booklet last week when filing some papers and decided to take it with me on a weekend trip to Austin. I knew there would be some “down time” when my son would be busy with other responsibilities and a visiting friend. I decided to take this book and to meditate on this poem and some of the scriptures.

FIRE by Judy Sorum Brown

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.

We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.

A fire
grows
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

Matthew Fox, Judy Brown and I are noticing similar things about the power of creativity and the value of nurturing it.

This weekend had “space between the logs”and the spaces made the time with my son – and my time with God – far richer.

Give the fire in you room to move and grow.

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Matthew 15:10-28; What defiles a person http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2015/02/matthew-1510-28-what-defiles-a-person/ http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2015/02/matthew-1510-28-what-defiles-a-person/#respond Fri, 20 Feb 2015 01:40:07 +0000 http://cherrywinklemoore.com/?p=1067 St. Thomas Episcopal Church, College Station, Texas – August 17, 2014 Artist -In-Residence Program, Cherry Moore, artist MEDITATION ON THE TEXT I read the text through twice with silence in between.  Before the second reading I encouraged people to visualize the expressions on the faces and to hear the tone of voice – especially the […]

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St. Thomas Episcopal Church, College Station, Texas – August 17, 2014

Artist -In-Residence Program, Cherry Moore, artist

MEDITATION ON THE TEXT

I read the text through twice with silence in between.  Before the second reading I encouraged people to visualize the expressions on the faces and to hear the tone of voice – especially the face and voice of Jesus. I asked them to imagine the things that come out of their mouths and the things that go in.

ACTIVITY

I gave each person a piece of 11″ X 15″ watercolor paper. On some of them I had already drawn a simple profile of a human head with it’s mouth open.

One of the challenges for me is that I never know from week to week how many to expect. I had enough paper for 30 people but had only drawn about 6 profiles. I drew a couple more, some drew their own and a couple did something else. I usually show an example but encourage them to not reproduce mine but to make theirs as unique as they are. I had watercolor, watercolor crayons, brushes and foam brushes, many kinds of pencils, crayons and markers and some stickers.

I encouraged them to think about the good and bad things that come from the inside of a person and go out into the world. Verse 15: 11 records Jesus saying “Not what enters into the mouth defiles the man, but what proceed out of the mouth, this defiles the man.”

SOME INSIGHTS THAT EMERGED

This one was done by the mother of an infant. What is coming out of her mouth and heart is love but notice that there is also some chaos around. She probably isn’t getting a lot of sleep. Her husband was sitting beside her holding the infant so she could paint.

Mother Love

This was by a woman who said what she has depicted coming into her mouth is water, bread and meat, fruits and vegetables and leafy greens. What is coming out of her mouth is her love, her financial concerns and her dreams.

Love Dreams Money

I love that this one depicts a lot of integration. The rainbow of colors in his head and in his chest match what is coming out his mouth. His young son was sitting beside him and said, “But see that thing coming out of his mouth? That’s how he sometimes talks to me!” I’m sure every parent can relate to that. I know I can.

Integrated

I love that there is always someone who departs from what the group is doing and does their own thing. This is a great example of that.

I am what I allow

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Some Thoughts on Hope and Mary http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2014/12/some-thoughts-on-hope-and-mary/ http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2014/12/some-thoughts-on-hope-and-mary/#respond Thu, 01 Jan 2015 03:02:35 +0000 http://cherrywinklemoore.com/?p=1092 We hope. We don’t have to give up hope but sometimes our hopes have to change. Mary probably hoped to marry Joseph, have some children and have a quiet life in Nazareth. That changed when the angel Gabriel shared the news with her about Jesus.  After that she may have hoped Joseph wouldn’t leave her […]

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We hope. We don’t have to give up hope but sometimes our hopes have to change.

Mary probably hoped to marry Joseph, have some children and have a quiet life in Nazareth. That changed when the angel Gabriel shared the news with her about Jesus.  After that she may have hoped Joseph wouldn’t leave her or have her stoned. As Jesus grew she may have hoped he would grow up into a wise and respected rabbi or some other kind of leader. I’m sure she hoped he would outlive her by many years. As she saw the religious and political forces growing against him in his thirties, she probably hoped he would somehow change them or at least escape them.

In the first chapter of the Book of Acts we are told that the disciples were “gathered continually in prayer” waiting as Jesus had told them to. We are told that Mary was there. They weren’t even certain what they were awaiting but they prayed and waited. Mary may have hoped he would show up again in bodily form as he had between the resurrection and the ascension. He had said he would return.  Her hopes had to change as the days passed but I doubt that she ever gave up hoping. After all, she was the only one who REALLY knew what happened back there at the beginning and she went from being his mother to being his disciple.

Our hopes may have to change, too. I see this pattern in many hospice patients and I expect I will have it, too. When the diagnosis is new, we hope to be cured and get this behind us. When the doctor says there is no cure or the last treatment option hasn’t worked, we have to change our hopes. We can hope for a long and pain-free time with the illness or condition. We may then be told the disease is gaining on us. We can hope for good care and pain management. Our hope changes but we don’t have to give up hope. We can hope for a final healing as we die and step into our next life with God.

What hopes have you had to change in the past? What hopes do you have for 2015?

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Matthew 14:22-33; Jesus Walks on Water and Calms the Storm http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2014/08/matthew-1422-33-jesus-walks-on-water-and-calms-the-storm/ http://www.cherrywinklemoore.com/2014/08/matthew-1422-33-jesus-walks-on-water-and-calms-the-storm/#respond Mon, 11 Aug 2014 03:32:20 +0000 http://cherrywinklemoore.com/?p=937  St. Thomas Episcopal Church, College Station, Texas – August 10, 2014 Artist-In-Residence Program. Cherry Moore, artist MEDITATION ON THE TEXT I read Matthew 14:22-33; Jesus Walks on the Water and Calms the Storm Silence ACTIVITY I introduced the idea of a line being able to impart an emotion. I referred to Drawing on the Artist […]

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 St. Thomas Episcopal Church, College Station, Texas – August 10, 2014

Artist-In-Residence Program. Cherry Moore, artist

MEDITATION ON THE TEXT

I read Matthew 14:22-33;

Jesus Walks on the Water and Calms the Storm

Silence

ACTIVITY

I introduced the idea of a line being able to impart an emotion. I referred to Drawing on the Artist Within by Betty Edwards. While some were familiar with Ms. Edwards’ other book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, no one were familiar with this book. I gave them each an 8 1/2″  X 11″ piece of white paper and asked them to fold it into four equal rectangles. I asked them to draw lines only in these spaces: no symbols, words or smiley faces. In the upper left space I asked them to draw a line that – for them – depicted peacefulness. In the other three space I lead them to use lines to depict fear, joy and anger. After they had done this, I showed examples from Betty’s book and shared her insight that – at least in Western culture – there seems to be a fairly universal language of line.

MEDITATION

I read the text again and asked them to focus on the emotions in the players in the scene: within Jesus, within the disciples, within Peter and even as expressed by the weather.

Silence

I asked what emotions they had noticed. What fears were in the boat? I generalized to asking what fears they were currently facing or had faced in their past.

ACTIVITY

I introduced the concept of  “stacked journaling.” I encouraged them to write about some fear from their present, past or future and then to write over what they wrote. I explained that this technique gives the one writing the opportunity to write serious and deep things they might not feel free to write in a regular journal. In this case there can be the therapeutic value of writing truly intimate things but then obscuring them so that no one – including the writer – would be able to read what was written. Since there were no children present, I shared a rather personal example from one of my Altered Books/Spiritual Journals.

I also offered some envelopes that could be sealed and put in the boat (given to Jesus) if someone wrote something very personal and didn’t even want to keep it.

After a period of silent working, I shared some research I had read about what hospice patients fear and we discussed that. Several people in the group asked for a copy of this one-page handout. I often find this handout helpful in facilitating a conversation about fears at the end of life but it could prove useful at other times as well.

SOME INSIGHTS THAT EMERGED

One woman in the group drew lines similar to those from the first activity as she listened to the second reading of the scripture. I thought this was brilliant. This idea could be the basis for a future activity.

Lines depicting emotions in Matthew 14:22-33

Lines depicting emotions in Matthew 14:22-33

One woman drew a simple boat and wrote the various emotions she heard in the story. Only after she was finished did she notice she had put more positive emotions at one end of the boat and things like fear, terror, anxiety at the other end. Due to the more private, inner nature of the content, not everyone showed me their work but no one sealed their work in a envelope and put it in the “boat” with Jesus. One of the most significant things I learned from this study is that this is the first time the disciples are said to worship Jesus. They had left their homes and families but until this experience they may have been more on a fact-finding mission. When Jesus and Peter got back in the boat and the storm ceased, the disciples worshiped Jesus.

I conclude the session with Isaiah 43: 1b-2b.

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the water, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.

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