baseball batter on field getting ready to swing with words 'batter up' Beth kennedy Verve Ministries GodisGoodStories.com

the upward call – batter up

With our floors being resurfaced at home, we travelled to our favourite holiday place, down on the Victorian coast. We needed to be out of the house for a week, and a brief holiday was on the cards.

On our arrival, we headed out for our inaugural wander on the beach. With plans to stop and have a Devonshire tea (scones, cream and jam) at the conclusion of our beach walk, the children were ready to stretch their legs and run.

On our way out, I saw a man and his wife waiting for the lift on the ground floor. He was not quite elderly, but he had a walking stick, so I called out to my then five-year-old to not hit the lift button since someone downstairs needed it more than he did (he used to love going up and down the lift even though it was quicker to take the stairs). I walked on through the foyer smiling at the couple and gathering together my two children, not noticing anything else in particular.

My husband had mentioned that we had forgotten something and so I said we would wait on the beach for him as he went back to the apartment.

We waited.

No husband.

We waited some more.

He was taking an extra amount of time, and I had hungry mouths to satiate.

Eventually, running onto the beach, he said he had stopped to pray for someone. I laughed knowingly and said,

‘It was the guy with the walking stick, wasn’t it?’

‘Yes,’ he responded.

Andrew went on to explain that he had noticed the gentleman with the walking stick, and immediately felt God’s prompting to pray for him. Trying to ignore it he came down the stairs, realised he had forgotten something, went back into the apartment and as he walked back out of the apartment, he walked straight into the guy and his wife who had got out at the wrong floor (or so they thought). Andrew knew better – it was a God appointment for him!

As he told the story, I said I had seen the guy but had thought nothing of it except that he needed the lift more than our son. In comparison, my husband had seen him and knew that God wanted him to pray, and even though he tried to ignore the prompt, God had set the encounter up in a way that was unavoidable, and so to not stop would have been blatant disobedience.

And so Andrew obeyed. He stopped and offered to pray, knowing that this one was definitely for him!

The couple happily agreed to prayer and so Andrew prayed what he felt God was prompting him to pray – that the gentleman would have lightness in his step and that their time would fill with unexpected favour.

Simple, but profound.

We are all being called to stop for the one. We will hear the call if we lean into the heart of the Father. I believe the call is becoming more incessant. It is not just the ones and twos that are called to release Heaven on earth, but all of us who believe. Jesus taught us how to pray,

‘On earth as it is in Heaven.’ (Matthew 6:10)

It’s easy, but challenging.

It will be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do.

There is a surge, a ground force, a wave arriving and hitting the Body of Christ. I knew it then. I know it even more so now.

People are choosing to display God’s love in tangible ways. People are taking a risk, (translated, they are walking in faith) by choosing to offer God’s goodness, His kindness, His blessings to the world at large.

As the Body of Christ rises to be all we are called to be, God’s goodness will show, atmospheres will change, with His glory, with His goodness, with HIs love, with His kindness.

When we stop, even if nothing seems to happen, we have at least, as Heidi Baker puts it, had a ‘love encounter.’ Those we stop for will know that God loves them enough to send someone to them to stop, go out of their way and offer to pray.

The results, the outcomes of those prayers, are God’s. It is our place to listen, stop and offer – their choice to accept or not.

A swing and a hit, or a swing and a miss is not the issue. Every attempt matters, every attempt is a success. To just swing (to listen, stop and obey the Father’s prompting) will affect the atmosphere. If enough of the Body swings (hit or miss) a nation will change. Just as a baseball or cricket bat swings, even if it misses the ball, it causes a shift in the surrounding air. So too our obedience in stopping for the one. Just stopping on God’s prompting and offering makes the difference. The outcome of the prayer is God’s business.

I believe, and I have seen, that as we offer, we scatter seed. The rest is up to a loving God. The results, no matter what we think, are always good, especially if we are acting out of obedience, because we serve a good God, a kind God, a loving God. We may never know the outcome of our obedience or the outcome of our display of love and compassion, but we can always be sure that through obedience, we change destinies, because we change people, and in changing people we change families, we change communities; we change regions and we change nations, all because…

God is always good!


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12 thoughts on “the upward call – batter up

  1. I love this….and had to chuckle at the scones. We desperately need our floors redone, but it is on a long list of desperatelies and not the squeekiest wheel at the moment. I keep throwing rugs over them!

    “Oh Lord, help me to listen and stop and offer. You are so good!”

    1. The irony … not my assignment … It was a bit if an in joke between my husband and I too … he always thinks they are my assignments … but they are not always for me … 🙂

      Floors were desperate … With the drought in Melbourne breaking a lot of repairs are required … the floor just one … Bedroom ceiling next on the list before it falls in 🙂 … while you have a little one or two as a priority over floors right now.

      And, your assignments are out there … just ask Him for some and He will give them to you … in the meantime, from what I can gather you are pretty good at hearing and responding 🙂

      Be blessed mighty woman of God!

  2. Obedience is the key to it all. Being willing to step out of the comfortable and let God do the work is important. The opportunities are endless, if we open our eyes. — Scones…well, some of them are alright I guess.

    1. Obedience is the key … And i believe through it we discover who we are … As for scones … I think American scones are different to English scones, or the ones i saw a friend eat with breakfast in Boston years ago were at any rate … English scones, which are what we eat here are slightly sweet and are very yummy with jam and cream and a cup of tea or a cafe latte … we may have some for morning tea … 🙂

      1. I guess there would be a difference. We like coffee here and scones can be dry, at least the ones I have had. Americans probably like donuts better anyway. Boston has some other pastry items, but I very rarely eat anything while in Boston. Of course, I am usually at the hospital with someone while I am there. I guess I need to explore a bit more.

      2. Devonshire tea scones should never be dry and crunchy (yuk) … they are a bit denser than donuts but not as sweet, a bit like fluffy bread, made from flour egg butter and milk … They rise in the oven like little cup cakes and warm with a little jam (your jelly or fruit preserves) and whipped cream they are delicious … although a really good cinnamon donut with coffee is always a treat too 🙂

  3. It’s funny how we’re hearing one things but it’s something else that God’s saying which seems to come clear with time. This frustrates me to no end and I don’t get why God does this, or rather allows it, but He does. I got another nudge to go talk to another neighbor this past week but I have no idea on how to approach it. Right now it’s to go over to their place of work but then what? I know to rely on God but at least last time I came bearing gifts and I knew that other neighbor cause we’d talked before. This time I’d go over cold turkey for someone who I have NO idea who it’d be or what for. Please pray for me about this. I felt that nudge again reading this post , being stretched or pushed out of my comfort zone, but I don’t know what to do at the moment. Thank you Beth! And thanks for that tea scone explanation you shared with the other post-er. Very informative.

    1. Hey Staci… welcome to the stretch! LOL. Good on you for leaning in, listening, and even contemplating how, when, what, where… I know you hear well, so you will work it out. Most people will just think youre kind for reaching out. I’d love to hear how it goes. And as for scones LOL. You Americans call a very different type of food scones. Our scone are light fluffy, slightly sweet, and go beautifully with jam, cream and a strong cup of tea (or coffee). Devonshire teas are named after the treat which may have originated from Devonshire in the UK – a very pretty part of England, and a place where I would dearly like to visit one day. Blessings, Beth XX

      1. Beth – Thanks for the reply and the Australian scone explanation. Yes, those sound very different from American ones. Will have to find a good recipe to make some Aussie ones. Lol! And I got ANOTHER nudge this weekend at a local mini market! And I’m telling you I could not figure out what to say! It was at the cash register and it for for the checker. And wouldn’t you know my card wouldn’t scan properly and someone had to some help with the machine which meant IMO the enemy causing distraction. And I left cause I just was blank screened on what to say. BUT I need to go back to get a specific item so we’ll see what God does. This is the second time I’ve had this happen in two months time, blank screen in my mind when presented with an opportunity. *sigh* I’ll let you know how they go. What do you say when you can’t think of what to say ? I don’t want to just blurt things out because I do that when I’m nervous and often it comes across as rude and people get mad at me. Which is not my intent, it’s just my brain doesn’t work well when I’m feeling pressured.

      2. 😊 I hear you ☺️
        I go blank … STILL!
        If I feel the nudge to offer to pray I often just say something like ‘hey, I’m a Christian, and I sense/feel that God would love for me to offer to pray for you. Is there anything you would love prayer for, a challenge, a concern etc?’ Or I just straight out say ‘I’m a Christian and I would love to pray for you, would that be ok?’
        If yes then great, if no (sometimes they are shocked too) just say ‘oh I’m sorry I must have got it wrong’. As you get more confidence you can always counter a no with oh could I pray for you anyway.
        I’ve only had 2 aggressive reactions (both times God said don’t pray for them 😂) and a few laughed said no but thanks anyway. One laughed, said no, but said ‘hey that’s really kind’.
        Really it about you being you.
        Learn to smile as you do it, and speak gently.
        The nerves can get to you.
        A think about it/missed the moment is a WIN 🙌 🏆 we’ll done!
        Think of Gods delight as you step into this as a little poppet learning to walk.
        Feel/know His pleasure and delight ♥️
        You’re amazing Staci … well done you 🙌♥️🎉

  4. Beth, Haha! Thank you for the encouragement! I very much appreciate it. Been feeling anxiety over having missed those opportunities. Thankfully though prayer is something that can be done anywhere or any time so I’ve been praying for those people , especially the one at the mini market. Have felt better after doing that. Will keep what you said here in mind. Thank you VERY much for your replies and help (and your blog)! So very encouraging. Thank you, Beth and God bless you.

    1. Be kind to yourself. Keep listening; and step through the fear factor ♥️ you’re so hungry and hear well … I look forward to hearing your next adventure ♥️

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