I have never felt so grateful for rainfall than when recently watching the TUTS musical Oliver at the Stanley Park Malkin Bowl. Without our complimentary Theater Under the Stars panchos, we would have been cold and drenched. It is too easy to take rain for granted. The smoky Sechelt and Pemberton forest fires reminded us how much we need rain for our very existence. It was shocking to look up in the North Shore sky and barely see the sun through the thick smoke covering. A couple who live right near Panorama Park told me that Deep Cove had never been so smoky and covered over. I was reminded of the song ‘Smoke on the Water’ by Deep Purple.
Miriam Therese Winters wrote the song ‘Joy is Like the Rain’ at a very dark time in her life: “I saw rain drops on my window, Joy is like the rain. Laughter runs across my pane, Slips away and comes again. Joy is like the rain.” Little did she know that this song would end up being sung by millions of people around the world.
Many blessings in our life come in disguise. Only later do we realize how important they were to our development. Were you ever taught to count your blessings as a child? Sometimes that is easy. Sometimes that is very hard. Some families, like in Charles Dicken’s musical Oliver, seem to be flooded with tragedy and hardship. Oliver was born to a dying mother, sent to an orphanage, and tricked by a pickpocket gang. Yet in the middle of all this ‘rain’ and tragedy, Oliver’s grandfather Mr. Brownlow recognized a locket picture of his daughter, and realized that Oliver was actually his grandson. Joy is like the rain. Oliver had many blessings in disguise.
God has blessed each of us to be a blessing to others. The rain in our life is meant to bring a rich harvest in other people. Every blessing in our life is like a birthday present, just waiting to be unwrapped and shared generously with others. Don’t just store your blessings away in your attics. Blessings are meant to make a difference in the lives of your friends, family, coworkers and neighbours. Everyone needs to know that they are blessed and loved, that they have a heavenly Father who has a plan for their life. Jesus loves each of us dearly and wants us to know that no matter how hard life can get, he is for us and not against.
My prayer for those reading this article is that we may realize afresh that joy is like the rain, that the blessings in our life are sometimes right in front of our noses. What blessings can you be thankful in your life?
The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin
-an article previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News
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 firstname.lastname@example.org . Cheques are also acceptable.