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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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The Summer Pause that Refreshes

By the Rev. Dr.  Ed Hird

As summer rolls into August, we know that we are entering the home stretch of the holiday season.  Most of us really enjoy our summer holidays, particularly when the weather co-operates.  Earlier this summer it seemed like summer was never going to start.  Then suddenly it felt too hot but people didn’t want to complain because we were so grateful to see the sunshine.  There is something about a sunny day that can help with a sunny personality.  That is why so many people move to California.  But good weather alone does not guarantee the summer pause that refreshes.

                I remember when I first went to Hawaii.  The weather, surfing, swimming, and sights were great.  The only problem with Hawaii was that I was there.  I brought with myself that same sense of emptiness, that something was missing from my life.  Last year, when I once again visited Hawaii, I happened to stumble upon a bagpipe ceremony for a person who had died tragically young.  Just a few feet from a beautiful Hawaiian beach, I was reminded that all the beauty of creation doesn’t ultimately satisfy our inner longings.  I love the beauty of creation particularly on a beautiful summer day, but the beauty of creation is meant to point beyond itself to the beauty of its Creator.

                I come from a long line of overfunctioners and hard workers.  Sometimes people in my family of origin have neglected the summer pause that refreshes.  Sometimes they have attempted to keep going in their own strength.  Sooner or later the body gets its revenge.   Either we enter into the pause that refreshes or our body will force us to stop, sometimes in a rather shocking way.  The Creator of this amazing world designed our bodies so that they worked best if we took pauses that refresh.  That is why healthy people take regular days off.  That is why summer holidays are so vital to our health.  The Good Book calls the pause that refreshes the Sabbath.  Similarly academics call their pause that refreshes a sabbatical.  No one can function at their best on a 24/7 basis.

                Because of our workaholic culture, some people do summer holidays with the same frenetic intensity, leaving them more exhausted than they started.  They never pause to reflect, to enjoy, to observe, and to renew.  No wonder that so many people half-jokingly say that they need a holiday just to recover from their holiday.  What if in the final portion of the summer holidays, we actually rested?  The heart of the Hebrew word ‘sabbath’ is ‘rest’.  The Great Physician once said ‘Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’  So often our souls are weary, burdened, and restless.  What if this summer we embraced the pause that refreshes?  What if during this holiday season we actually rested?  What if this summer we allowed the beauty of creation to point us back to the author of creation?  My  prayer for those reading this article is that we would each become deeply refreshed and renewed in our body, soul, and spirit.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

BSW, MDiv, DMin

St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in the Americas (Canada)

-an article for the August 2012 Deep Cove Crier

-award-winning author of the book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’

-Ed’s brand-new sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.  Indigo also offers the Kobo ebook version.

 

- In order to obtain a copy of the book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mailed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $9.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to download a complimentary PDF copy of the Battle for the Soul study guide :  Seeking God’s Solution for a Spirit-Filled Canada

You can also download the complimentary Leader’s Guide PDF: Battle for the Soul Leaders Guide


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The Love Affair

 By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

On New Year’s Eve in 1976, the well-known author Michael Harper was sailing solo on Lake Taupo in New Zealand. Suddenly his boat capsized in a particularly violent squall about a mile offshore. Clinging to the side of the boat and unable to right it, Michael was rescued after an hour in the chilly glacial waters. He nearly died of hypothermia.

When Michael recovered, he asked God why He had saved him and what God wanted him to do. The reply came something like this: “I want you to learn how to love people the same way as I do.” Michael learned that very day that life is meant to be a Love Affair, that life is meant to be dedicated to learning how to really love each other in a genuine way. The famous ethicist Joseph Fletcher wrote that the opposite of love is not “hate” but rather “indifference”. Fletcher writes, “… There is one thing worse than evil itself, and that is indifference to it.” The lowest point to which our society often seems to sink is when it says, I couldn’t care less.’

As Michael Harper struggled with learning how to really love people, he became aware that there are few words in the English language that are more open to abuse than the word “love”. “Love is swampy” is how Joseph Fletcher describes the problem. Much of what is called love today is little more than making sure that our needs are met. Need-centered love, however, is self-centered and narcissistic. True love, said Karl Barth, is when a person gives them self to another with no expectation of a return, in a pure venture, even at the risk of ingratitude, and of that other person’s refusal to make a response of love. That kind of love is very scary because it involves the possibility of being rejected and hurt. That is why we so often prefer self-centered love to other-centered love.

Harper comments that “the widespread identification of the word love with sex indicates that most people think that sex ought to be an experience of love … and that is where the frustration comes in. People feel cheated because sex has not delivered the goods.” A good marriage, says Harper, in which both husband and wife delight to give each others pleasure, and thereby reassure one another of the love that they have for each other, does more for the reestablishment of true love than almost anything else. The bible calls this kind of true love “AGAPE LOVE”. Most of us have been to weddings where a passage is read from the bible telling us about true love: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud it is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13).” it would be helpful for all of us, whether churchgoers or not, to regularly measure our marriage relationships against that standard of Christian love.

I am more convinced than ever that love is what it is all about. That is why the bible even says that God is love … not self centered love, but rather other centered love. Harper reminds us that “Jesus did not come to present a new set of ideas to us. He came to show us the meaning of love. He revealed what love is. He manifested love. The secret of Jesus’ revolution was not the love of power but the power of love.” When Jesus, hung on the cross, he stretched out his arms and said, in effect, “this is how much I love you.” And most amazingly when the Roman soldiers were torturing him and humiliating him, Jesus cried out, “Father, forgive them for they ‘don’t know what they are doing.” Jesus has taught me that the finest quality of true love is its power to forgive. As the late Michael Harper puts it, love without forgiveness is meaningless.

My prayer for those reading this article is that true love may so invade our lives that costly forgiveness will become normal for us in our daily lives.

The Rev.  Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

BSW, MDiv, DMin

 St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in the Americas (Canada)

-award-winning author of the book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier

-Ed’s brand-new sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.  Indigo also offers the Kobo ebook version.

- In order to obtain a copy of the book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $9.99CDN/USD.

-Click to download a complimentary PDF copy of the Battle for the Soul study guide :  Seeking God’s Solution for a Spirit-Filled Canada

You can also download the complimentary Leader’s Guide PDF: Battle for the Soul Leaders Guide


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Howard Hughes the Tortured Aviator

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

One of the most fascinating and tortured movies I have  watched is ‘The Aviator’, a look at the life of Howard Hughes.

 Howard Hughes’ father invented a revolutionary drill bit that, within ten years, was used in 75 percent of the world’s oil wells, allowing them to drill deeper to previously unreachable oil fields.  Standard Oil used fifteen thousand of these Hughes drill bits, leased out from Hughes at $30,000 per well.

 At age eleven, Howard built the first wireless broadcasting set in Houston so that he could communicate with ships in the Gulf of Mexico.

With the ‘Hells Angels’ talking movie, Hughes created the first ‘talking movie’ blockbuster, astounding his critics who were convinced that this Texan upstart would lose his shirt.

 Hughes once said to his top assistant Noah Dietrich: “I intend to be the greatest golfer in the world, the finest film producer in Hollywood, the greatest pilot in the world, and the richest man in the world.”  On his death bed, Hughes commented: “I want to be remembered for only one thing – my contribution to aviation.”

 As I watched ‘The Aviator’ movie and read several biographies on Howard Hughes, I kept being reminded of Jesus’ comment: ‘What does it profit a person to gain the whole world and yet lose your soul?’ What can a person give in exchange for his soul? (Mark 8:36-37)  Brown & Broeske noted in their HH biography, “Hughes acted as if he owned the whole world.”

 Hughes ordered RKO Film Executive, William Fadiman, to cut his staff by 25 percent.  When Fadiman started to protest, Hughes quickly cut him off.  “I know what you’re going to tell me.  You’re going to tell me, probably, that you know someone who has cancer or someone who just got married or just had a baby, and that you can’t do that to those people…A corporation has no soul. I can’t know about those things and be a corporation.”

 “We brought nothing into this world and it is certain that we can carry nothing out”, intoned Reverend Robert T. Gibson during Howard Hughes funeral at Houston’s Christ Church Cathedral. Howard Hughes was baptized in an Anglican/Episcopal Church, married in an Anglican/Episcopal Church, and buried in an Anglican/Episcopal Church. He was truly part of the hatched/matched/&/dispatched crowd.  But nowhere is there any clear indication that a living faith in Jesus Christ ever impacted Hughes’ soul.

Howard Hughes, as North America’s first billionaire, had everything, and yet was deeply lacking.  Brilliantly gifted technologically, he was profoundly crippled in his abilities to sustain the very relationships that make life worth living.  Tragically enmeshed in his mother’s apron strings well after her death, Hughes was never able to leave and cleave, never able to commit to a lifelong relationship. It was a dark, troubling relationship that a counselor would later describe as ‘emotionally incestuous’.

Much like Howard Hughes’ womanizing father, Howard found it difficult to connect with women as real human beings. Brown & Broeske wrote that Hughes ‘saw women as possessions.  He had to have total control. They were under his command like prisoners’. Faith Domergue, one of his younger conquests, said of herself: “I felt like a butterfly on a pin – beautiful, vibrant, and utterly trapped.”  Noah Dietrich his right-hand man said of Hughes that “When it came to women he really cared for (like Kate Hepburn or Ginger Rogers), he sabotaged every time.  He simply could not be faithful.” In the divorce petition by his first wife Ella Hughes, she called Hughes ‘irritable, cross, cruelly critical, and inconsiderate, rendering living together inappropriate.’ Brown & Broeske commented that “Hughes always believed that the problems (with women) could all be solved by externals: fur coats, new houses, expensive cars, and showers of jewelry.” For all of Hughes’ money and all of his lovers, Howard Hughes became lonelier and lonelier. Kathryn Grayson one of his Hollywood paramours said that Hughes seemed to be ‘the loneliest man in the world.’

Howard Hughes’ life is living proof that possessions and things are not where it is at.  It has been said that life’s temptations can be summarized in three categories: sex, money, and power.  None of these are wrong in themselves, but all of them can be destructive if we forget their purposes and parameters, such as family, marriage and service to our community. Jesus in Luke 14:33 memorably said that ‘anyone who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.’  Howard Hughes’ tortured life reminds us that anything that we cling to will ultimately destroy us.  Everything needs to be surrendered back to our Maker.  As we choose, no matter how painfully, to ‘let go and let God’, we rediscover our soul.  And as the Great Physician puts it, what can a person give in exchange for his soul?

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

BSW, MDiv, DMin

St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in the Americas (Canada)

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier

-award-winning author of the book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’

-Ed’s brand-new sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.  Indigo also offers the Kobo ebook version.

- In order to obtain a copy of the book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $9.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to download a complimentary PDF copy of the Battle for the Soul study guide :  Seeking God’s Solution for a Spirit-Filled Canada

You can also download the complimentary Leader’s Guide PDF: Battle for the Soul Leaders Guide


Leave a comment

More Blessed To Give

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Worry, fear, and anger are the greatest disease-causers.   They can literally eat us alive, from the inside out.  The root of most anger is fear.  Many males feel safer and more powerful being angry than in facing their fears.  Dr. E. Stanley Jones, best-selling author of 28 books, spoke of the law of self-abandonment by which we are able to say: ‘I do not want anything, therefore I am afraid of nothing.’  Similarly he said that ‘there are two ways to be rich – one in the abundance of your possessions and the other in the fewness of your wants.’

 

“People”, said ES Jones, “retire to enjoy their wealth.  Nothing is more elusive and fatuous.  You cannot enjoy your wealth.  Your wealth must be creative in creating and in augmenting the joy of others, or else it is ill-th, not weal-th.”  Mammon/money drives the driven and lashes the tired.  At age sixty-five there are twice as many women alive as men.  The medical verdict is ‘high blood pressure’, but E. Stanley Jones saw it as ‘high blood-money pressure’ which drives men mad or to the mortuary.

 

ES Jones spoke of ‘the two greatest problems of life, namely, money and women’ (i.e. male-female relationships). Counselors tell us that the three greatest causes of marriage breakup are sex, money, and in-laws!  Jones believed that ‘our greatest sins are economic sins, sins so hidden under respectability and under custom that we are scarcely aware of them.’  Quoting the counselor Dr. Alfred Adler, Jones commented: “All the ills of personality can be traced back to the fact that people do not understand the meaning of the phrase: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.

 

Jones humorously commented that some people suffer from a spiritual headache because unsurrendered wealth is pressing on the nerve that leads to the pocketbook.  He tells the remarkable story of Asa G. Candler.  Candler kept struggling unsuccessfully with his addiction to alcohol until he heard a Voice tell him to surrender himself.  From that hour, he was delivered not only from the desire to drink, but also from the love of money.  Asa Candler, who founded the Coca Cola Company, was so grateful to Jesus that he consistently gave seventy-five percent of his vast income to God’s work.  Candler believed that ‘the central thing in Christianity is the final and total yielding of the self, its renunciation and rejection and the entire surrender of the life to the will and way of God.’

ES Jones believes that “the greatest singlefactor that keeps people from going on to perfection is the deceitfulness of riches, for no one ever feels that it is a danger to him.”  It has been said that we need two conversions: one of our heart and a second one of our wallet.  ES Jones told the story of a poverty-stricken boy named Colgate met a steamboat captain who encouraged him to give his heart to Jesus and give one tenth of all he made to Him.  The boy promised both, and through his Colgate Toothpaste Company, ended up giving millions to serving others.

Jones believed that abundant living depends upon abundant giving.  He knew that outflow determined inflow.  If we don’t breathe out, we can’t breathe in and we will literally smother.  Similarly, said Jones, if a cow is not milked, it will go dry.   How many of us may have gone through times of spiritually dryness because our financial udder needed milking?

Jones once said that ‘wealth is like manure: put in one pile it is a stinking mass, but distributed across the fields it produces golden grain.’  Jones took seriously the biblical call in 2 Corinthians 9:7 to be a ‘hilarious giver’.   He knew that it is wrong to give out of fear, guilt, or pressure.  Only joyful gratitude to God will do.  God is always more generous, more self-giving, more loving than we will ever be.  I thank God for the many generous people I know who have discovered that it is truly more blessed to give than to receive.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

BSW, MDiv, DMin

St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in theAmericas (Canada)

-previously published in the North Shore News

-award-winning author of the book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’

-Ed’s brand-new sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.  Indigo also offers the Kobo ebook version.

- In order to obtain a copy of the book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $9.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to download a complimentary PDF copy of the Battle for the Soul study guide :  Seeking God’s Solution for a Spirit-Filled Canada

You can also download the complimentary Leader’s Guide PDF: Battle for the Soul Leaders Guide

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