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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit

Do you love cross-word puzzles?

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By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

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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 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 North Shore News/Deep Cove Crier

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 personally signed copy of any of our books within North America, just etransfer at ed_hird@telus.net, giving your address. Cheques are also acceptable.

-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.

-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 

To purchase any of our six books in paperback or ebook on Amazon, just click on this link.

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 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 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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