Changes are always rolling our way. Some we know about, some we don’t. After Jesus had gone, the disciples waited for the promised coming of the Holy Spirit, God’s presence and power with them for all the times to come. They had gone through a lot of changes, and more were to come, but rather than ignoring or hiding from these changes, I noticed that they spent time praying (see Acts 1:12 – 2). This poem is about following the disciples’ example to pray about change and seek ways we can be transformed positively by it, as they were by the Holy Spirit when it arrived in wind and fire.
God bless
we wait in the shadow
of the upper room.
We have been told that change
is coming again. I duck my head
and hold my breath.
pages from the past tell of
men who waited for change
in the upper room, but they
did not neglect the air they
needed. They
I hear it coming now, a bellow
to rattle the fragile and the new
stones I assembled in the wake
of the last blow. At last I look up and
It is here, a crash into my heart—
a shifting, a whirling, a pain.
I am not ready, but I am open now
to God’s Spirit, for when I learned to
breathe prayer in the waiting, I also learned
to speak in the wind. Standing in the blowing change,
I become a tongue of fire
and voice.
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Breathe by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Wings Will Come: Journey – Part 6 “Heralds”

My parents began to get ready for the move, but the enormity of the task soon made us question this decision. It was in those moments God spoke to us in unexpected ways, encouraging us forward. In your dark times, listen hard to the night, and you may find the message of hope you need.
Next week, I continue the story of my family’s move and God’s goodness in the change in the seventh poem of my collection, “Wings Will Come: Journey.”
God bless
preparations chew into
busy hours and restless weekends.
tasks climb on top of each other
to beg our attention.
exhausted, we stare into the shadow
they cast over the dream.
in the shade of the movement,
questions stitch themselves
to our skin and hide the
true muscle and bone beneath.
in a weary ride home
of a shadow-day
you speak to my father
in a radio song calling
for change.
When he looks ahead
he sees a license plate
for his destination
hanging in plain view.
today a song of change
and Arizona-tags leap to the top
of the shady mountain
to proclaim direction.
we follow unassuming heralds
and shed our doubting scales.
(For more on the doubting scales reference, see Act 9:1-19)
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Heralds by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Hi everyone,
This poem was inspired by the story of Pentecost, the day that the disciples received the Holy Spirit and “began to speak in other tongues” (NIV Acts 2:4), which means that everyone knew what they were saying, no matter what language they spoke. Peter used this opportunity to share the Gospel with the crowd that had gathered when they heard the rushing sound of the Holy Spirit’s arrival (“like the blowing of a violent wind” NIV Acts 2:1). The full story of Pentecost is in Acts chapter 2.
Like the disciples speaking in tongues, we all have ways we can “speak” the Gospel across language and cultural barriers. All we have to do is live in love.
God bless

speak in tongues today, 
so everyone understands you.
speak loudly, 
so others turn to look.
speak with passion, 
so your message is clear.
speak wisely, 
so your words bear good fruit.
speak often,
so you’re never out of practice.
          speak, but do not say any words.
          speak in tongues today:
                              love someone.

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Tongues by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.