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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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How Thankful are you?

Image result for Harvest ThanksgivingBy Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

October in Canada (and November in the USA) is that special time of year when farmers harvest their crops of corn, pumpkins, squash, and winter potatoes. Nowadays in our high tech urbanized world we forget where our food comes from. In the old days farmers waited anxiously for a good harvest, knowing that their very future depended on it. Crop failure could mean poverty or even starvation. Much of our early immigration consisted of the victims of European famines, such as the Irish potato famines. There was no Government welfare in those days to buffer a bad crop. As a result, a good crop in the Fall brought heartfelt thanksgiving.

Image result for Harvest ThanksgivingThe farmers felt so grateful that they would take part of their crop and rush into the nearest church to give thanks to the Lord of the Harvest. To celebrate a successful wheat harvest, the grain would be ground into fine flour, made into bread and eaten at the communion service. Children, in particular, enjoy seeing the fruit, flowers and vegetables decorating the church. The whole emphasis of the Harvest Thanksgiving weekend is to say “Thank you, Thank you, Thank you”. The very word “Eucharist” in the Christian Communion Service means “Thank You”.

Thankfulness is the secret to a happy and fulfilled life. Image result for Harvest ThanksgivingIt is so easy to complain, so!, easy to become bitter, so easy to become cynical about life.’ The best antidote for cynicism is thanksgiving. Instead of grumbling about your spouse, try thanking God for them. Instead of complaining about your work, try thanking God that you have a job. instead of resenting your children when they’re noisy, thank God that they are alive and well. This Harvest Thanksgiving, let’s develop an attitude of gratitude. As one poster put it, “Happiness is seeing a sunset and knowing who to thank”.

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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All we are saying is ‘give peace a chance’

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Image result for peaceThe Beatles wrote many songs about love and peace, but ultimately broke up.  President Herbert Hoover once said “Peace is not made at the council tables, or by treaties, but in the hearts of men and women.” Benjamin Franklin said “He who would live in peace and at ease, must not speak all he knows, nor judge all he sees.” All of us want peace. All of us want harmony and understanding and love. The problem with such noble desires is that they conflict with other less noble desires. For example, we all prefer to have things our own way. We don’t want our privacy invaded. We don’t want anyone to infringe upon our rights. Such notions may be well and good until my rights and freedoms becomes your oppression and injustice.
Most of us in today’s society have been raised to deeply value freedom of choice. Some people tend to, live as if there should be no limits whatsoever to their freedoms and choices. Where does one’s freedoms end in a democratic society? Where does my right to swing my fist end? Where your nose begins…  It is so easy for people to get their nose out of joint It is easy for one person or group within this area to offend another person or group. At such times, forgiveness, humility, and active listening are essential to genuine peacemaking.

Image result for prince of peaceThere was a Jewish fellow many years ago who didn’t like all the fighting and bickering that people did. He stood up for peace and love and forgiveness. As a result, even his friends deserted him as he was mocked and lynched by an angry mob. He died because he was a peacemaker. He died at the hands of amateur politicians who saw him as a disturbance. But before he died, he taught the people “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God.”

My prayer for each person reading this article is:
“Make me a channel of your peace …
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.” (St. Francis of Assisi)

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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What is it about Eggs at Easter?

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

white and multicolored egg lot

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

The first thing that comes to mind as soon as you say Easter, is eggs. One of the customs most popular with children is hunting Easter eggs. I’ll never forget the fun I had as a school-age boy running around my back yard collecting hidden Easter eggs. My sisters loved to eat their chocolate eggs. I loved to hoard mine. Sometimes I sold my left over eggs to them in exchange for money or comics.

In Italy, many children receive a loaf of rich bread shaped like a crown and studded with coloured Easter egg candies. In some parts of Germany, it is customary for village girls to present their suitors with red eggs at Easter. In Northwestern Europe, peasants have formal egg devouring contests. Others have egg stabbing contests in which they try to smash each other’s Easter egg.

Why this obsession with eggs at Easter? The reason is because eggs hold the germ of new life. Easter represents new life through Jesus’ resurrection. So naturally eggs became the perfect symbol of new life and resurrection for the Christian world. The bright colours painted on the eggs became symbolic of the joy and happiness over Jesus’ return from the grave.

Easter became known as the “Sunday of Joy” (Dominica Gaudii). People were so exuberantly joyful over Jesus’ resurrection that they celebrated with dancing, sports, and even joke telling from the pulpit. All labour ceased, all trades were suspended. The Law Courts were closed. Money was given to the poor, slaves were freed. People exchanged the Easter kiss and everyone would greet each other with the phrase “Christ is risen” and the response, “He is risen indeed!” Easter in the old days was a joyful, happy, unforgettable party that changed people’s lives.

Easter Stones
One final symbolism of Easter eggs is based on their resemblance to a small stone. Eggs came to represent in a miniaturized way the stone rolled away from Jesus’ tomb. Easter eggs therefore became a powerful reminder that Jesus burst forth from the tomb on Easter morning.

In Denmark, children have contests with dyed Easter Image result for the White houseeggs, which they roll down hills. The boy or girl whose egg rolls the longest distance without breaking wins his opponent’s egg and keeps his own. The first annual White House Easter Egg Roll began on April 22, 1878 after President Rutherford B. Hayes agreed to open the White House grounds on Easter Monday to children who want to roll Easter eggs. Rolling Stones and rolling eggs are one more way to say ‘He is risen indeed, Alleluia!’

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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Canada and Reconciliation

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

‘Quebec Sovereignty within 1,000 Days!’, promised the late Premier Bernard Landry in 2002. As someone who lived in Montreal during the time of Expo 67, I love the people and province of Quebec. I love their flair and passion for life, their joie de vivre. Canada would be a much weaker country without our francophone neighbours.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, outdoor and natureOne day before the infamous 1995 Quebec referendum, David Richardson of African Enterprise spoke in North Vancouver on the topic of Canada and Reconciliation. David was born in Geraldton, Ontario, and, at age 8, went to spend over 40 years of his life in South Africa. David mentioned: “I have lived as a Canadian in a foreign land, and yet in many ways have returned to Canada as a foreigner…a strange paradox that I should feel like that. But I do.” When David came back to Canada, he felt a very clear calling to come back: “I didn’t come back because of Canada or because of South Africa. I came very clearly because the Lord called me to go home…because of lostness. I felt God say ‘I want you to be part of my Church in Canada to deal with the lostness of Canada’.

David sensed that in returning to Canada, he has been given two basic messages to share: 1) The message of reconciliation & 2) The message of accountability. David intuitively feels that Canadian reconciliation can be best lived out by following the pattern of 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.” He emphasized that it is not finally in the hands of the Quebec government or the federal government or the provincial government to bring about the healing of this land. It is in the hands of God’s people. “I don’t think that any of us have any doubt that our land needs healing. We could take a referendum on it if you like, but I don’t think it’s necessary…”

David also draws people to 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 where we as believers have been given both the ministry and the message of reconciliation. That is a directive from God himself to the Christian Church.  We should not be looking to the government to lead the way in reconciliation. That is our job as God’s people.

I don’t believe that there will ever be healing between francophones and anglophones in Canada, until we face our lostness as a nation. We have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten where we came from. We have forgotten how to love and forgive our neighbours as ourselves. Reconciliation with Quebec is not a matter of tolerating each other and using each other economically. Reconciliation is about repenting over how we have so often crushed each other’s culture and treated each other like dirt. Reconciliation is about turning from our endless regional grumbling and learning to fall in love with the amazing gift that God has given us in Canada. Quebec is not a problem to be solved. Quebec is a sibling to be embraced and treasured. Reconciliation is not about mere tolerance; it is about learning to love and embrace one another.

Image result for alpha courseOne of the ways that anglophone and francophone Canadians are beginning to embrace each other is through the remarkable gift of the Alpha Course. As the former National Chair for Alpha Canada, I am thrilled by the growth of Alpha Courses among francophone Canadians. If a person wants to grow spiritually, one of the best ways to do this in one’s heart language. When a francophone learns how to be spiritually intimate en francaise, doors open, life bursts forth, chains come off. I believe that the recovery of francophone culture is a gift from God to reach the heart. And at the end of the day, if you haven’t touched a person’s heart, you haven’t touched them at all.

Francophones are a very spiritual people but many of their hearts have been covered spiritually over by pain and rejection. I believe that as francophone Canada rediscovers its heart, then the rest of Canada will rediscover who we really are as well. All of us in Canada, not just Quebec, need to admit our lostness and our need for genuine reconciliation. The heart of Alpha is reconciliation, reconciliation with our neighbours and most importantly with our Maker. With dozens of Alpha Courses being offered across Canada, you too can choose to be part of the miracle of reconciliation.

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

-an article previously published in the 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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Do you love cross-word puzzles?

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

text on shelf

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Some people love cross-word puzzles. Others get cross at the mention of them. One of the puzzles that fascinates me is how often the cross is planted at the crossroads of everyday conversation. Everywhere I look, I find cross-words. Lawyers cross-examine their witnesses. Children sit cross-legged in gym classes. Thieves double-cross each other at a moment’s notice. Referees penalize hockey players for ‘cross-checking each other.’ Political and military leaders warn their enemies against ‘crossing the line’. Since the infamous 9/ 11, I have crossed the border many different times. Courageous soldiers are awarded with the Victoria Cross.

Families going through great turmoil are described as bearing their cross. The term ‘excruciating’ comes directly from the Latin term for cross (crucis or crux). The crux of Easter which we are celebrating on March 31st is the mystery of the cross, the mystery of how Life double-crossed Death, and brought good out of evil. There was no more excruciating way to die than in the unspeakable agony of the Good Friday cross.

Good Friday was the most evil day in human history. Yet the Good Friday cross functioned like a cosmic vacuum cleaner sucking all the evil, sickness, pain, and hatred into itself and then imploding it into oblivion. Pontius Pilate the Roman Governor in Israel cross-examined Jesus and could find no fault in him. Pilate forced Jesus to carry his own cross to the Calvary hill. After shoving eight-inch spikes into Jesus’ wrists and ankles, Pilate ordered the nailing of a sign at the top of Jesus’ cross which said ‘King of the Jews’.

Image result for Crossword puzzlesJesus wasn’t cross at Judas who betrayed him with a kiss. He wasn’t cross at Peter who denied him three times. He wasn’t cross at his other disciples who all ran for their lives. He wasn’t even cross at the Roman soldiers who took great delight in torturing and humiliating him before his final execution. Instead Jesus cried out from the cross: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing”. The heart of the Cross is forgiveness, forgiving the unthinkable, forgiving the unforgivable.

Our government leaders, our business leaders, and our labour leaders all struggle daily with making crucial decisions. The term ‘crucial’ is another cross-word term, coming from the French word’ cruciale’ for ‘cross’. Medical doctors describe the cross-shaped anatomy of the knee as the crucial ligaments of the knee joint. Everywhere we look in life, we come across the Cross. Life at the core of its being is cruciform, cross-shaped in its genetic structure, its social structure, its scientific structure. Dr. E. Stanley Jones of the United Christian Ashram taught that our genes, our biochemistry, our very DNA are designed by our Creator to work on the basis of the Cross, on the basis of sacrificial love. The heart of the cross is laying down one’s life in servant love for others. Slowly but surely, people are beginning to discover that Life either goes the way of the Cross, or the way of self-destruction.

RMS Titanic 3.jpgYou may have heard how the band on the sinking ship Titanic played ‘Nearer My God to Thee..Even though it be a Cross’. Dr. ES Jones knew an author on the Titanic who plunged into the icy sea with a precious manuscript that he had been writing for years. He saw a child in the water –the manuscript or the child? He dropped the manuscript and swam to the child. It was dead. He found another child, alive, held it up, tried to get into a lifeboat, but the boat was too full. He grasped a nail on the side of the lifeboat. It pierced his hand, and there he hung by that nail, saving the little child. That author sacrificed his precious manuscript to go the way of the cross. His nail-scarred hand brought life to a precious little one.

Image result for cross

Only the servant leadership of the Cross has the authority to truly transform our hurting world. We are at a crossroads in our modern culture. My cross-word prayer for those reading this article is that we may choose to carry our crosses, like Jesus, as servant leaders in a broken world.

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