Don’t listen to the media coverage

I visited some friends earlier this month.

I had a glorious time visiting famous sites like Yosemite and the Golden Gate bridge. I was treated to a blockbuster movie. And the food! I consumed fresh, tasty, organic food every day, most often eaten outside in picnic style.

I always pay attention to what lingers.

It is a habit of mine to pay attention to what continues to hang in my head long after something ends. After a month, what do I remember from that book, that class, that talk, or that conversation? What I remember 30 days out tells me something was valuable to learn, needs to be processed further, or might be a problem that needs to be resolved.

Well, it’s been nearly a month since my visit.

What is the absolute most precious time of my trip? What does my mind keep going back to? What do I keep reliving?

My tour of the UC Berkeley campus.

UC Berkeley is known for its beauty. I certainly have never seen a more beautiful campus with my own eyes. Its 307-foot tall Campanile (the Sather Tower) is the third-largest bell and clock tower in the world, which happened to have someone playing the bells the entire time I was receiving a tour!

UC Berkeley is known for its academics. There are parking spots reserved for Nobel Laureates!

UC Berkeley is known for its protests. We have all seen the news. I stood on the plaza that has been the scene of many protests the world has seen by television.

But media coverage has missed some things.

Major things! My friends, a husband and wife team, have been sharing Jesus on the Berkeley campus for over 40 years. While providing a professional tour of the campus — because they know the history of every nook and cranny — they also pointed out things like the International House in which each has had conversations about God with people from around the world. We passed a coffee shop that was narrated with, “We have had hundreds of cups of coffee with students there.” We were passing a green lawn near the bell tower when one said, “This is where I put a blanket down and have bible studies.” I was also driven to the top of a mountain to view the sunset. There I found out each has sat and overlooked the campus, bathing Berkeley in prayer.

I am not finished.

We ordered frozen yogurt from a place they have been frequenting for — again — 40 years. With cones in hand, we walked across the street to a dorm courtyard. My friend points upward as she says, “I received Christ in my dorm room. Look at the fourth row up of windows. Probably to the left of that balcony.” There I stood — frozen in time as my frozen dessert began to drip — staring at a sacred spot on the globe. This is where the 40-year love story at UC Berkeley began for my friends and is still being written today.

Through that courtyard and around the bend is First Pres Berkeley, a church that has been serving students for Christ since 1902. My friend reminds me, “This is where I attend the Bridges meetings that I tell you about.”

Sacred moments.

Holy ground. I can’t get it off my mind. I can’t stop remembering the honor it was to walk the campus grounds with those two saints.

I went to bed thinking about media coverage.

Yes, there are student protests at Berkeley. Yes, there is the tiny matter of the atom bomb. (Ahem) But all the while, saints have never stopped showing up on that campus to love people from around the world and to have conversations about spiritual realities. Seeds planted here, there, everywhere. Seeds planted for decades.

I am not going to tell you their names.

I don’t think they want me to tell. They only care about the name of Jesus. Besides, they aren’t the point of the story today. The point of this post is that there are saints all over the world who no one knows about. Saints who are planting gospel seeds in places the media can’t see, and quite frankly, might not care.

Seeds yield fruit.

I ate fresh black raspberries picked from bushes in my friend’s front yard, bushes that started as seeds and now yield delectable fruit. Our spiritual reality is the same. Every seed sown for God into the fertile soil of the heart, “produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matthew 13:23) Every time the Bible is opened, and the Word of God is read while sitting on those blankets or sipping coffee with a student, not one word “will return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it,” says God. (Isaiah 55:11)

What fun for my friends!

Oh, what fun it will be for my friends to see the hundred, sixty and thirty times what was sown! What a bumper crop they will enjoy! What a harvest! This is their future.

And this is in our future too.

At the end of time, God will reveal what He did with the seeds planted by faith for Him at UC Berkeley and it will not reflect what media has magnified and reported. In the same way, at the end of time God will report on what He did in our states, cities, towns, neighborhoods or families. Again, what God does with our seed planting will not reflect what the world reports.

To you. To me. To my Berkley tour guides.

To all the saints around the globe who are planting seeds out of the public eye in environments ofttimes filled with chaos, God will grow the seeds. God will glorify His name.

We just need to keep showing up!

Picture Explanation: UC Berkeley. May God be glorified.

Speaking of sowing seeds like a farmer does: If you are interested in being contacted to participate in a One Gritty Blink Bible study, click on the Oaks Ministries link below and send me an email so I can place you on a list to be contacted as online and face-to-face studies are planned. Let’s not just focus on things in this short life, but also what counts for eternity!

Note: No part of my posts are derived from A.I. Thoughts and writing stem from my mind and heart as I process life week-by-week and continue to grow in my understanding of God and how to apply His wisdom to the world around me.

© 2023 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

10 Responses

  1. Hi, Friend! Thank you for this encouraging post! I feel as if my life IS filled with chaos. I am grateful that He is faithful and that all chaos is in His hands! I don’t grow the seeds. He does! These are very encouraging thoughts to me as my day begins. Thank you!

      1. I must have hit delete or something. I did not mean to be anonymous😂
        I had to go back and see for myself. Thank you for letting me know❣️

    1. Glad you thought so. God says the same. I think some don’t keep up the faithful service in the shadows. If the lights and recognition don’t come, the service can fade away. That is what has struck me. You, also, are a faithful servant along with your husband. Be blessed today.

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Planting and Watering

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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