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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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The Lenten Discipline of Flossing Your Teeth

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

The forty day warm-up for Holy Week and the Easter season is known as Lent, an ancient word for ‘spring’.  Some people have not heard of Lent, but know about Mardi Gras, which in English is Fat Tuesday.  Certain places like New Orleans and Rio are famous for celebrating Mardi Gras.  The original purpose of Mardi Gras was to consume all the luxuries like eggs by making pancakes, so that Lent could be a time of balance and moderation.

Similar to how people go in training for an upcoming marathon, Lent is spiritual training for Easter.  For things in life to be really enjoyed, it usually takes preparation and anticipation.  So what does Lent have to do with flossing one’s teeth?  There are six Lenten disciplines that help people prepare for Easter: 1) Prayer 2) Fasting 3)Self-examination 4) Repentance 5) Bible-reading 6) Generosity to the poor.  These six Lenten disciplines are not meant to be done only during Lent, but rather especially through Lent.  If one only flosses one’s teeth for forty days of the year, their dentist will not be pleased. The purpose of doing something for forty days in a row is to develop new good habits, whether one is going to the gym or changing one’s diet.

Many people believe that prayer is a good thing.  Lots of Canadians pray when they are in crisis. But prayer is most effective when it is done daily, in season and out of season, just like with flossing one’s teeth.  For many years, I had a mental block about flossing my teeth.  I didn’t like how my gums would bleed afterwards.  To impress my dentist, I compromised by flossing just before my dental appointments.  As dentists can tell the difference, I am sure that my half-hearted flossing impressed no one.  Only when I adopted flossing as a daily discipline did my gums stop bleeding, and my dental care improve.  Years later, I now floss religiously, first thing in the morning.  My teeth don’t feel right until I have flossed.

If I had waited until I was in the mood for flossing, I would still be avoiding the discipline of flossing.  That is why I am calling flossing a Lenten discipline.  Flossing gets me in shape, just like prayer, fasting, self-examination, repentance, bible-reading and generosity to the poor.  I don’t always feel like doing any of them, but I become a healthier person when I discipline myself in these patterns.  How many people realize that fasting, while initially uncomfortable, can be a key to major spiritual breakthrough?  A while ago I wrote about BJ McHugh, an eighty-seven year old marathoner.  She tells me that she doesn’t always feel like getting up in the morning and going for a run.  Because she disciplines her body, she was able to recently run in the Hawaii Marathon with her son and granddaughter.  God wants to renew our youth like an eagle, but we need to co-operate by practicing healthy daily discipline.

Self-examination is another vital Lenten discipline.  It is so easy to deceive ourselves that everything is okay.  Self-examination shows us where we need to change, perhaps by cutting back on the carbs or by getting out walking on a daily basis. Repentance is about facing the facts about one’s self, the good, the bad and the ugly, and being willing to make systemic painful changes.  Perhaps there is someone that we need to forgive whom we have been holding a grudge against.  Lent is a good time to reconcile with that person and perhaps even make amends.  Everyone believes in forgiveness until it comes time to do it.  Forgiveness is a painful part of repentance.

Bible-reading is another vital Lenten discipline.  Most Canadians have a bible somewhere in their home, perhaps handed down from their parents or given to them by the Gideon’s.  Most Canadians have floss somewhere in their house.  Only when we start using the floss, only when we start reading our bibles does anything change.  I was raised in a generation that believed that if it feels good, you do it.  If I wait until I am in the mood for flossing or bible-reading, my gums will recede and my bible will stay dusty.  Discipline saves us from the folly of good intentions.

Canadians are some of the most generous people on earth.  Our Judeo-Christian heritage encourages people to be cheerful givers, knowing that it is more blessed to give than to receive.  Only the generous are really satisfied with their lives.  The more greedy we are, the more grumpy we become.  Don’t wait until you are in the mood to be generous to the poor.  Don’t wait until you are in the mood to floss your teeth.  My prayer for those reading this Lenten article is that we might grow in generosity, in prayerfulness, in bible-reading in ways that will make us all more healthy.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-an article previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-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.

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 paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. 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 $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


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Book review by Michael Donahoe of ‘Restoring Health’

4.0 out of 5 stars Restoring Spiritual Health, February 10, 2015 
The author uses teachings from Titus to show that Christians, especially North American Christians, need to focus on Christ and God’s love to live physical, mental and spiritual healthy lives.

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-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.

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 paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. 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 $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


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Check out Praise Moves, a Christian alternative to yoga

Laurette Willis​ knows what she is talking about, as she was formerly into yoga and the New Age Christian Alternative to Yoga - Praise Movesmovement for 21 years from the age of 7.  Her booklet and webinair are very instructive.  I encourage you to send this viral to your  friends. Praise Moves is offering a Christian alternative to #yoga, doing healthy stretching and calisthenics without serving two masters.

http://40day.weebly.com/truth.html

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 


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Ten Valentine’s Day Tips

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

What is Valentine’s Day without love? Dr. Gil Stieglitz, author of Marital Intelligence, says that love is meeting needs.  We feel loved when someone else meets our needs.  They feel loved when we meet their needs.

Without love, relationships don’t last.  The Great Physician taught that the greatest commandments are all about love: love God and love our neighbour.  Without loving people, we can’t really love God, because God is love.  All the commandments are fulfilled when we love each other.  We are called to do everything in love, to serve one another humbly in love.  Love is called the Royal Law.  Jesus taught that the Ten Commandments given us by Moses are about love.  When we keep the Ten Commandments from our heart, we are being loving. When we break them, we are being unloving.  The Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have them do to you” is once again about showing love.  The greatest love, said Jesus, was to sacrificially lay down our life for another.   Because Jesus was so full of love, he gave us a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you.   Love, says the Good Book, is patient and kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  The greatest is love.  Imagine how our world might be different if it was more about giving than taking, more about putting others first ahead of ourselves.  How might that affect Valentine’s Day?

How might love and God’s Ten Tips give us a better Valentine’s Day?  The first two of the Ten Commandments teach us to lovingly say no to idolatry.  When we put another person on a pedestal, they never stay there. They fall off.  On Valentine’s Day, love is about honouring and valuing another person without expecting them to be perfect.  Other humans make poor idols.  They will always disappoint you once the Valentine’s buzz wears off.  They are not God and neither are you.  We’re just human.  A key to a healthy Valentine’s Day is forgiving other’s imperfections.

The third of the Ten Commandments lovingly teaches us to not misuse God’s name.  It is interesting how easily we can be tempted to misuse God’s name when life doesn’t go well.  How we treat God shapes how we treat others.  We need to respect other people’s names, personalities, and unique histories.  Putting down others to make ourselves look better always backfires, especially on Valentine’s Day.

The fourth of the Ten Commandments teach us that workaholism kills relationship both with our spouse and our Creator. Busyness is often relational avoidance.  If we never fully stop, we can never fully be.  We just end up as restless and shallow.  Having a day of rest is key to Valentine’s Day breakthrough.

The fifth of the Ten Commandments teaches us to show love through honouring our father and mother.  Through forgiving our parents when they make mistakes, we are more able to show love to others on Valentine’s Day.  Disrespect is contagious.  So is honour and respect for others.

The sixth of the Ten Commandments teaches us that murder is not loving.  We can murder people’s reputations through gossip and slander.  Love rejects violence to others from the youngest to the oldest, especially on Valentine’s Day.  Sadly video games and pornography are becoming more violent, desensitizing many of our younger generation to the importance of gentleness and kindness in our male/female relationships.

The seventh of the Ten Commandments teaches us that adultery is not loving.  We show love through rejecting pornography and sexual exploitation.  All humans, being made in God’s image, are of equal worth and value, regardless of background.  Faithfulness particularly in marriage builds loving families and healthy communities.

The eighth of the Ten Commandments teaches us that stealing is not loving.  On Valentine’s Day, we want to be people that can be trusted.  We will not take advantage of others.  We are here to bless and not to hurt.

The ninth of the Ten Commandments teaches us that telling the truth in love is the way to healthy relationship.  When we are deceitful and dishonest, everyone loses, especially on Valentine’s Day.  No one wants to marry someone who can’t be trusted.

The tenth and final of the Ten Commandments teaches us that coveting destroys loving relationship.  As the Beatles sang, Money can’t buy you love.  Greed dehumanizes and destabilizes.  Love frees, releases, and strengthens.  My Valentine’s Day prayer is that those reading this article will choose the way of love, the way of Christ, the way of the Ten Commandments.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-an article previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapter for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-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.

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 paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. 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 $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca