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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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Unwrapping Christmas

By Rev. Dr. Ed and Mark Hird

 

If the wise men at Christmas had been wise women, they might have brought Jesus practical Christmas gifts like baby toys, food or clothes (not myrrh, frankincense and gold).  These wise men had no idea how their initial gift-giving at Christmas would eventually fuel the world economy, helping many businesses go from red into the black in December.  Why is it that gift-giving at Christmas has become so entrenched in most people’s lives?  Why is it that many of us struggle to unwrap the gift of Christmas?  Why is it that Christmas, the most joyful time of year, is also the most depressing time of year for many?

As a child, I loved looking forward to opening Christmas presents waiting under the Christmas tree.  Our public school still had actual Christmas pageants in which I took my part as a Christmas shepherd.  As a teenager, opening Christmas presents was still fun, but it started to lose its Christmas wonder.  I still unwrapped the Christmas presents each December, but I never stopped to unwrap Christmas itself.  I never stopped to ask why we were making such a fuss about the Christmas season.  I will never forget when my mother had me go to church on Christmas day.  It felt like a radical intrusion into an important holiday time.   Why would someone go to church at Christmas?  Even though I had been raised in church, I had no idea that God came to earth at Christmas, that God became a little baby in manger.  I never rejected the meaning of Jesus’ birth at Christmas.  I just never thought about it.  It was so familiar to me that I was blind to Christmas.

Home blindness, the tendency to become oblivious to what is in front of us, is a phenomena recognized by social scientists.   People often say with regret that they never really appreciated what they had until they lost it.  Each Christmas, there are a myriad of Christmas movies that express the theme of loss at Christmas, and rediscovering the joy of Christmas.  The Christmas blockbuster ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ [originally called the Greatest Gift] went unnoticed at its 1946 release, so much so that the copyright license in the late 1970s was not even renewed.  This meant that television studios could show the movie for free at Christmas.  After a few years of this, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ became a cult classic.  Who can forget the conflict around the Christmas tree as Jimmy Stewart/George Bailey was close to committing suicide?  Who can forget the final scene around the Christmas tree when all his friends come together and unite in support?  Who can forget the joyful Christmas Carols sung by Jimmy Stewart, friends and family as they thanked the baby Jesus for the true meaning of Christmas? This Christmas, let not forget to unwrap the true gift of Christmas, the Christ Child come to earth to save us.

The Rev. Dr. Ed and Mark Hird

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

P. S. Click this Amazon link to view for free the first two chapters of our new novel Blue Sky.

“I’m afraid there’s been an accident…”

12bdf6ff-3021-4e73-bccd-bc919398d1a0-7068-0000031133e7b4d9Sandy 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.

-Click to check out our 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.

-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 

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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Dr John B. MacDonald’s review of Restoring Health

Restoring Health: Body, Mind and Spirit by Ed A. Hird.

This book is part of the author’s focus on restoring health to the North American church by strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Paul’s letter to Titus is the biblical text for this project.

The book begins with a foreword by the respected theologian, J. I. Packer, and no fewer than eight pages of endorsements.

Paul had some harsh words to say about the people of Crete where Titus was serving: “one of themselves, a prophet of their own said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’ This testimony is true” (Titus 1:12-13a; pp. 29-30). Dr. Hird expands on this assessment by drawing from Crete’s ancient history as a habitation for pirates.

Hird then makes a comparison between the cultures of ancient Crete and modern North America. He concludes that our North American culture has many characteristics of a culture of “pirates.” Using this thesis, he then demonstrates the relevance of Paul’s instructions to Titus for today: “If the Cretans can be delivered from piracy through Titus, there is hope for even North Americans” (49).

Those expecting an exegetical commentary of Titus will not find it in this book. Instead, as Hird walks with us through Titus, verse-by-verse, he provides basic explanations of the text. These explanations are liberally illustrated by the use of interesting and useful anecdotes, many drawn from his personal experiences.

Here are a couple of examples. Discussing the issue of drunkenness (1:7), Dr. Hird uses the life of Johnny Cash as an extended illustration of God’s power in battling addiction (37-40). Titus 1:10 becomes an opportunity to address the modern North American phenomena of yoga and labyrinth-praying as spiritually dark, deceptive, and dangerous practices (49-53).

The actual text is relatively short – fewer than 70 pages. A bibliography (3 pp.) and extensive endnotes (11 pp.) are provided.

Overall I found this book readable, enjoyable, and profitable.

Dr. John B. MacDonald41e4vv1ejtl. ss218

My purpose

My goal through living theology is to equip and encourage you to become more like Jesus Christ and to live all of life with God-honoring competence and joy.

My content

To further that goal, I focus on providing you with practical resources for disciple-making and church health.

By ‘church health’ I do not mean ‘church’ as an institution. Rather I have in view communities of Christians – ‘Jesus communities’ – living out the values of the Kingdom of God in their ‘here and now’. The same goes for disciple-making – living and growing as followers of Jesus in all of life.

My biography

I became a follower of Jesus in my university years.

I had practised law for over 27 years when I accepted an invitation to pastor and teach within a Jesus community in Metro-Vancouver, Canada. More than 12 full and interesting years have passed. I’m an associate with Outreach Canada with a strong desire for the health of churches and the making of disciples – and I’m back practising law a couple of days a week. I’m also writing, speaking, and teaching in areas of practical theology with an emphasis on living theology.

Over the years I’ve completed an M.A. in Biblical Studies at Regent College (Vancouver), and a Doctor of Ministry. My doctoral thesis was at the intersection of leadership, conflict, and spiritual formation. I’ve taught in universities, colleges, churches, conferences, retreats, and seminars in North America, Europe, and Latin America.

One exciting project I’m working on is the re-discovery of Matthew as a practical and effective paradigm for making disciples. The research, field-testing, and development of this resource is still a work-in-progress.

Sharon and I have been married for 37+ years and have been blessed with four grown children, two sons-in-law, and two grandchildren – so far.

Disclosure: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

P. S. Click this Amazon link to view for free the first two chapters of our new novel Blue Sky.

“I’m afraid there’s been an accident…”

12bdf6ff-3021-4e73-bccd-bc919398d1a0-7068-0000031133e7b4d9Sandy 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.

-Click to check out our 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.

-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 

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