Vol 2 No. 50 A Story from the Heartland

Last week we had lots of prayer kind of news. The next two weeks I am going to tell some stories.   Personal ones.  Mine, and I hope by the Holy Spirit that they will have influence and encouragement for your own walk of faith in Christ.

The first is a story I told in the Heartland, “Listening to God, Listening to Each Other”.  Next week, on December 20, I shall tell a Christmas story from Calgary.

The Heartland Area’s Listening Sessions were a lovely experience for both the voices we heard around the room as we talked to each other and for the encouragement from the Holy Spirit as we prayed about what God would have us do this year.

Here is the story I told when I began to reflect in preparing for the remarks I made in Regina and Saskatoon on how much the wide open geography of Saskatchewan and its farming conditions influences what goes on there.


“Zero Till”

A Story from the Land

While I have always held a fascination for farming, I have not always been clear about the terminology.   My enamourment with farming went so far as to have a membership in the Sheep Breeders Cooperative of B.C. for a period of 10 years in the 1980’s.  I have been reduced to putting my home-made cinnamons buns in the Cobble Hill Fair as my main contribution to the rural life of Canada.

I thought I had a reasonable handle on rural lingo until I was faced with the term “zero till”.  For someone from Vancouver, the term “zero till” can only mean only one thing – an empty cash register.  (My apologies to Terry Summach of the Flexicoil Fraternity for my ignorance).  Zero till is a form of planting seed with out first tilling or plowing the ground.  It builds up organic matter, inhibits erosion and retains moisture among other things. (I actually knew this stuff, I didn’t research it).

It turns out that zero till (apart from the economic conditions of farmers, a comment from someone from Carlyle, Sask) has nothing to do with cash registers, but everything to do with farm implements and seeding.  Zero till means literally that the land is not plowed or tilled in order to prepare it for seeding. Zero till means that the seed is “shot” pneumatically into the soil. One of the technical terms to describe zero till is “pneumatic seeding”.  The root of the word pneumatic is” pneuma which means the Spirit.  I want my life and the life of the denomination to be a life of “seeding in the Spirit”.  The “Listening to God and Listening to Each Other Sessions” were about that whole process of seeding in the Spirit; the seed that is planted first dies, then is rooted to new life, “grows to maturity and is ready for harvest”. The life cycle of our lives in Christ imitates exactly that process.

So as we spend time in the next year listening to God and to one another, may we indeed celebrate what God is doing by His Holy Spirit, placing a seed within us that will take root and grow, waiting for the time that in the harvest, we can declare God’s goodness, presence and leading amongst us.


Thanks be to God

May you be strengthened in the midst of this Advent Season.

And may you know and experience the Spirit “seeding” you.



In Christ

Jeremy Bell