The Fisherman

Hello everyone,
This poem is about the calling of the disciples. I focused on the story of Peter, found in the Gospel of Luke. Peter and his fellow fishermen hadn’t caught any fish all day, but when they listened to Jesus’ instructions, they suddenly had a huge catch. The miracle made Peter realize who Jesus was. I explored Peter’s internal reaction to the miracle and the call to follow Jesus.
God bless

“The Fisherman”
By Morgan Prettyman
Luke 5:1-11
at the word of a stranger
    I sail to the deep water
      that has done nothing for me all night
  but disappoint.
        my fine fishing nets hang empty, arms drag
     exhausted, shoulders sag.
 there is nothing here.  I will prove it
    to him. 
I do as he says and 
    cast the nets again.
but as I throw them over the side
   my heart
        plunges in shock at the weight
   of the unexpected catch,
      the unexpected understanding. 
I am in the net, flapping in and out
     of the water in surprise
         at my first breath of real air,
dying to my old world and
      rising up to the new.
hauling in the shaking nets,
   I turn to the stranger on my boat
and see the Fisherman 
     smiling at his catch.

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The Fisherman by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


the yellow light

Hello everyone,
I found and updated another old poem to share for this week – a call to slow down and give the busyness to God when it is too much for us.
God bless

“the yellow light”
jangled jostled jarring
i am riding on this
busy road of a day
until the red light
at the end
when my fuel runs out
and i 
the horns are blaring bleating blinding
from every which way
and there are too many
ways to go
signs to read
and all i want is my
reaching over i
turn down the radio
with its voices of sad stories
angry people and advertisements,
turn it down so i can
thinking turns to praying
because my list 
of places to go and 
errands to run
has gotten too long.
i hand it over
peace-bringing prayer
echoes in my mind like
soft songs in a cathedral.
the busy road becomes
straight and narrow
and i see now only 
                             by headlights.
softly singing simple songs
from sunday school days 
of simplicity,
i slow down to wait in
the golden light
                at the crossroads.

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the yellow light by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The Long Dream

Hi everyone,
I recently graduated with my master’s degree, and I wanted to reflect on the crossroads that many of us face as we choose our next steps. We may be applying to colleges, looking for work, or starting our first fulltime jobs, or we may be later in life facing job loss, sudden change, or dissatisfaction. We often feel like we’re hovering between events, lost.
This poem is about feeling like we’re in limbo, but it is also about moving toward our full potential. I think often of Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” The word “know” strikes me in this verse: it isn’t ‘God’s working on the plans’ or ‘God’s thinking about the plans’ – He sees the way forward, and He is confident. Through Him, we can share in that confidence, too.
God bless!


“The Long Dream”

Tonight I am dreaming a long dream.
It starts with me sitting in a knickknack shop
  cluttered with baubles, books, tools, toys,
     electronics, paintings, shoes, and countless
  wonders – and I am told by the cashier to pick
the one that is mine.

I am still not sure
       when I put my choice on the counter,
but I leave with it and don’t let go.
     I walk through a town then, and it is
          crammed with buildings, people, cars, noise,
          streetlights, fears, hopes, and wishes
          and I almost can’t breathe in it all.
I carry my prize from the shop.
  At every road, corner, and door, I look for a place
      where I can use it.

I am still dreaming the long dream of the town.
I am still dreaming because
         I won’t give up.
    Like all dreams, this one throws at me
          chaos, people, places,
        unexplainable events, and pain—
   but I know if I wait long enough, I’ll also find 
      the joy of flying,
and it is then that I will wake up 
    holding my choice firmly in my hand 
    and knowing my place in the town.

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The Long Dream by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Hi everyone,
This poem was inspired by the different connotations of the word “still.” When exploring those meanings, I focused on the stillness I think of in Psalm 23 (“He leads me beside still waters”) and the enduring hope I saw in cancer survivors and affected families of those lost to cancer during my experience at Relay for Life (a fundraiser walk for cancer research). One of the laps we walked was after dark, during which we walked in silence “toward a cure” next to luminarias for survivors and the people who have died because of this disease. In this poem, stillness is strength and peace, which we find in the One who told us, “Be still, and know I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
Thanks to Rev. Mary Haggard, who gave me the idea for this poem.
God bless
dawn hovers, tiptoeing on the edge
of cool waters, its one eye
watching dreamers hang onto sleep.
the world hovers, not breathing,
caught in the gray light like
an old photograph.
candles glow by the dark path,
burning onward while quiet feet
step beside their light: feet
moving toward a new future, heedless of
midnight’s clutches, carrying each candle flame
still hoping.
in dawn’s soft air,
you can touch the peace that calms,
the peace that carries.
no matter how much time passes,
if you lift your eyes
it is there, strong.
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Still by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Hi everyone,
This new poem was inspired during my mission trip to Crisfield, Maryland, which I talked about in the previous post. Our theme was storms, and one day we focused on the Noah story in Genesis. The devotional that day reminded me that Noah had to put a lot of trust in God and His design of the ark to survive the flood that destroyed the earth. This is a lesson for us, too, in our own difficult times.
God bless!


i need to
      for a while.
i need to lay on my back
   and trust the water
      to hold me up
   like a cupped palm
      under a flower petal.
i need to stand on
     an ark
  built sturdy according to
     God’s direction.
i need to stand on the deck,
   stare out at the flood
and wait for the dove
     to return with an olive branch
  of hope:
     wait, float, pray
  in the silence over the flood.
i need to trust
    for a while
that when the waters recede
   there’s dry ground beneath,
that there’s life waiting to grow,
   that there’s more journey to go.
i cannot learn to trust and walk
    when the ground is easy to see.
i must learn when i’m floating above
   the storms of the raging sea.

Acknowledgment to the following devotional and the awesome people on the mission trip who assembled the great collection of readings for the week!
Lessons From Noah’s Ark. Published January 9, 2000. Accessed April 16, 2013.
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Float by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Step by faith

Happy New Year everyone!
Last Sunday, the 6th, was Epiphany. This is the day we celebrate the coming of the magi, who traveled from the east following a star to find the newborn Jesus Christ. I was inspired by the story of their faith and wrote this poem. (You can read the story in Matthew 2:1-12.)
I like to plan things out and know exactly what’s on my schedule. It’s hard to imagine taking to the road with no road map but a star in the sky, and no idea of how you’ll reach your destination. Yet, this is what the magi did. May we all have their faith and trust to follow God’s signs on our journeys in life.
God bless!

“Step by faith”

Sitting on my porch step,
i study the road beyond
as if i could read its story
from all the way over here.
i dream of having the faith
to step out onto that road,
of having the trust
to leave my comfortable world

thousands of years ago
wise men stepped
onto an uncertain road,
each step taken in faith
as they followed a star
to meet the King of Kings.

no journey is perfectly sure,
but each one of us is called
to find our stories on the road,
to trust God beyond
our comfortable worlds,
to take all steps in faith,
to be brave enough to follow a star
on the road to the King.
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Step by faith by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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