The first girl that I ever had a crush on was named Debbie. We were both only six at the time. Debbie or Deborah is a fascinating name. Deborah is actually a Hebrew word that means ‘bee’. You may remember the boxer Cassius Clay/AKA Mohammad Ali saying: “I float like a butterfly. I sting like a bee.” The original Deborah was aptly named as she stung like a bee to those who threatened her children. Who were her children? Deborah did not just stand up for her own nuclear family; she stood up for the whole community, for all God’s children. That is why Deborah received the title “Mother of Israel”.
I know that there are many Deborahs, many ‘Mothers of Israel’ reading this article, many women who will stand up to protect the lives and health of all the children in our local community. One Deep Cove Deborah is Janet Pavlik, who deeply cares for our local community and has invested heavily in serving others, especially through the Deep Cove Historical Society, the Lions Club, the Deep Cove Crier, and the Deep Cove Theatre. In the past twenty-three years, I have met hundreds of local Deborahs, many of them relatively unknown who selflessly dedicate their lives to serving their family and their community. To each of the Deborahs reading this article, I want to say ‘thank you’ . You are appreciated and deeply valued for the sacrifices that you have made so that our local community can be more healthy and safe. Without mothers creating healthy homes, chaos prevails on the streets.
My wife, my sisters, my late mother and my grandmothers have all been ‘Deborahs’ in my life. Their long-suffering devotion to family in good times and bad continues to inspire me to be a better person. Recently I received an e-mail from one of my ‘Deborahs’ reminding me that it was time to go to my GP for my regular checkup.
Deborahs fight for the significant men in their lives, for their sons, their husbands, their brothers, their fathers. They want them to win. They want them to thrive. They want them to fully live. Deborahs care deeply and can’t stop caring if they tried.
The first Deborah was a very powerful, courageous woman in fearful times. She used to sit under a palm tree and serve as the Judge for all of Israel, deciding the difficult cases that couldn’t be solved otherwise. She was also a prophet, who had unusual discernment about what to do in impossible times. Deborah had an unusually close relationship to God, and had really learned to listen for that still small voice. Judges Chapter 5 describes a song that she received which inspired her whole nation to action.
For over twenty years, the Children of Israel had been trodden down by Sisera, the Canaanite Army Commander with over nine hundred iron chariots, the top military technology of those days. It had become so bad that local town life had been decimated and no one could safely travel by road. Deborah knew that this had to stop. So she approached Barak, asking him to bring 10,000 men and confront this injustice.
Barak, who lacked the military hardware, answered with profound ambivalence, saying: “If you go with me, I will go. If you don’t go with me, I won’t go.” Because of Barak’s timidity, Deborah had to prod him until he finally took action. An unexpected downpour occurred, which landed the Canaanite iron chariots deep in the mud. After this great victory, Deborah led the Children of Israel through a time of peace for forty years.
The Song of Deborah says: ‘Wake up, wake up, Deborah! Wake up, wake up, break out in song!’ My heart-felt prayer for those reading this article is ‘Wake up, Wake up Deborah! Come into your destiny and calling. Don’t let the fear or ambivalence of others hold you back. Fight for both your family and your community. Stand up for what you know is right and just and fair. Show compassion to the widow and the orphan. Be a Mother of Israel in your local community.’
The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin
– previously published in the North Shore News/Deep Cove Crier
Sandy Brown and her family have just moved to Spokane, Washington where her husband, Scott, is pastoring a new church. With a fresh start, Sandy is determined to devote more time to her four children. But, within weeks of settling in their new life, the Brown family is plunged into turmoil.
Sandy receives shocking news that her children aren’t safe, which brings back haunting memories of the trauma she experienced as a girl. Then, the unthinkable happens…
A brutal attack puts Sandy on the brink of losing everything she’s loved. Her faith in God and the family she cherishes are pushed to the ultimate limit.
Is healing possible when so many loved ones are hurt? Are miracles really possible through the power of prayer? Can life return to the way it was before?
Blue Sky reveals how a mother’s most basic instinct isn’t for survival… but for family.
If you’re a fan of Karen Kingsbury, then you’ll love Blue Sky. Get your copy today on paperback or kindle.
-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.
I was the Rector of St. Simon's Church North Vancouver, B.C for 31 years, from 1987 to 2018. Ordained in 1980, I have also served at St. Philip's Vancouver and St. Matthew's Abbotsford. My wife Janice and I have three sons James, Mark, and Andrew. I was Past President and Chaplain for Alpha Canada. While serving as the National Chair for Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada, I was one of three co-signers of the Montreal Declaration of Anglican Essentials
For the past 31 years, I have been privileged to write over 500 articles as a columnist on spiritual issues for local North Vancouver newspapers. In the last number of years, I have had the opportunity to speak at conferences and retreats in Honduras, Rwanda, Uganda, Washington State, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and Ontario.
My book For Better, For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship, coauthored with Janice Hird, can be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/Better-Worse-Discovering-lasting-relationship/dp/0978202236/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1535555614&sr=8-1
My sequel Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit, with a foreword by Dr JI Packer, is online with Amazon.com in both paperback http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/097820221X/ref=redir_mdp_mobile and ebook form http://tiny.cc/tanhmx .
In Canada, Amazon.ca has it available in paperback http://tiny.cc/dknhmx and ebook http://tiny.cc/wmhmmx .
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: http://tiny.cc/vj3bmx . Indigo also offers the Kobo ebook version: http://tiny.cc/kreonx . You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook: http://tiny.cc/1ukiox
The book 'Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit' focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus' healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how North Americans can embrace a holistically healthy life.
In order to obtain a signed copy in North America of the prequel book 'Battle for the Soul of Canada', Blue Sky, or God's Firestarters, please send a $25 etransfer to email@example.com . Cheques are also acceptable.