Edhird's Blog

Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit

I Can Only Imagine: the hit new Christian Movie

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By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

janice and ed back cover photoMy wife Janice and I recently went to a great date movie “I Can Only Imagine”.  Many in Hollywood are amazed at how popular this Lions Gate Studios release is proving to be: #3 already in the box office.  Dennis Quaid, as the best-known actor in the movie, powerfully represented the violent, alcoholic, abusive father who rejected and drove everyone away, including Bart’s mom.  The father Arthur’s life motto was “Life hits me, I hit back harder.” Bart’s father memorably said to his son “I’m gonna teach you something, Bart. Dreams don’t pay the bills. Nothing good comes from it. All it does is keep you from knowing what’s real.” His father thought that crushing his son’s dreams was doing him a favour. Attempting to gain his father’s approval, Bart becomes a football player like him. Never good enough for his father, Bart ended up in the hospital and permanently out of football.  In the midst of this huge setback, a high school teacher discovered Bart’s hidden musical gift.  Music kept Bart alive when life was tearing him apart.

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Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

The “I Can Only Imagine” song is a triple Platinum song that has become well-known on both spiritual and mainstream radio stations.  Andrew Erwin, co-director & co-editor commented, “God’s hand has been on this song and on this story from the beginning. We are delighted to see a story about forgiveness and redemption connect with so many people. We are humbled for the privilege of telling Bart’s story.” The movie explores how Bart Millard, the lead for the band MercyMe, wrote such a gripping song.  It turns out that as Bart tapped into the deep wound around his relationship with his father, millions of people related to his trauma.  Bart was told: “You didn’t write this song in 10 minutes. It took a lifetime.”

The movie explores how Bart’s childhood trauma left him in emotional chains until he finally processed his anger and bitterness towards his father.  When Bart and the MercyMe band were rejected by top Nashville music producers, all the negativity from his dad’s earlier words began to poison him. Bart almost gave up on his dream.  In one parable, Jesus compared unforgiveness to being trapped in a prison that we can’t get out of until we choose to forgive.  The movie accurately described how painful it is to forgive people who have been violently abusive. Bart said to his father: “God has forgiven you, but I won’t.” Even though Bart’s father genuinely turned from his abusive ways, it was very difficult for Bart to accept that this change was genuine.  Bart had become infected with his father’s negativity and stubbornness, similarly pushing people away. Eventually Bart was able to say of his father, “I saw God transform him from a man that I hated into the man I wanted to become.”

Bart has had such healing that, as mentioned in the January 2018 Light Magazine, he is now investing in younger musicians at Trinity Western University in the Worship Arts Program. Bart’s life reminds us that nothing is wasted when put in the hands of God.


Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, co-author with Janice Hird of the new book For Better, For Worse:discovering the keys to a lasting relationship.

-previously published in the April 2018 Light Magazine and the April 2018 Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

-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.


Author: edhird

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 the 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 http://www3.telus.net/st_simons/arm05.htm For the past 31 years, I have been privileged to write over 400 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 newest 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 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. For more info, please click on www3.telus.net/st_simons/nsnews030.html

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