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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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Growing In Intimacy Through Conflict

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

I never imagined that we can grow through conflict, that we can discover greater intimacy through facing the conflicts in our lives.  Many of us are conflict-phobic. Through taking a course with my doctoral advisor Dr Paddy Ducklow, I learned that conflict is not something to be avoided but rather to be celebrated.   Many of us have learned from our families of origin to emotionally cut ourselves off whenever anxious situations emerge.  But avoidance and emotional cutoff just make things worse.

It takes courage to face painful situations in our life, courage to listen, and courage to confront.  Dr Ducklow modeled on this course a non-anxious presence that cared but did not get swallowed by people’s issues.  It takes a lot of inner resilience to be able to stay present and calm when the storms of life blow in.

Jesus modeled this by how he acted on a Galilean boat during a storm. Rather than panic, he was totally relaxed and challenged his disciples to have more faith and inner peace.  Then he spoke to the wind and storms, saying ‘Peace.  Be still’.  In the midst of our storms, Jesus is still saying ‘Peace. Be still.’

I first met Paddy Ducklow in 1972 during the Jesus Movement when millions of young people came to a personal faith in Jesus Christ. Paddy at that time was leading the youth ministry at West Vancouver Baptist Church which had between 800 to 1,000 young people attending their Sunday evening service Salt Circus. I remember attending Salt Circus. The place was electric.  Paddy later founded the Burnaby Counselling Group before becoming the Senior Pastor of Burnaby Christian Fellowship.  Wherever Paddy has gone, he has had a lasting impact on the lives of many, helping them to know greater intimacy and peace through Jesus Christ.

In more recent years, Paddy became the Senior Pastor of Capilano Christian Community on the North Shore, before stepping down to become the Professor of Marriage and Family at Carey Theological College on the UBC Campus.  Over two years ago, I began to once again feel the call to do a part-time doctorate.  E-mailing Paddy, I asked his advice as to where I might go to do my doctorate.  Paddy responded, saying that he was being inducted at West Vancouver Baptist Church that very night Feb 26th 2009 as Carey Professor of Marriage and Family.  I attended his induction, during which Paddy gave a hilarious talk on ‘Marriage for Dummies’. God spoke to me that evening, convincing me that I was to ‘step out of the boat’ and move forward on my doctorate.  The exciting thing about the Carey Doctorate is that it is a part-time program designed specifically for full-time pastors.

 In the past two and a half years, I have learned and grown in so many ways at Carey.  Paddy’s own Doctoral Thesis was on how we process conflict.  Paddy is passionate about conflict.  I will be doing my Doctoral project on Strengthening Marriages, particularly looking at couple conflict and family systems theory.  My vision is that many marriages will become more intimate, more life-giving as couples learn to embrace and celebrate the inevitable conflicts in their lives.  I dream of couples who, instead of emotionally cutting off and running, choose to hang in there and learn how to really be present to each other in ways that do not take each out.

Marriages and families are worth fighting for. Marriages and families are building blocks of our very communities.  It is so easy for us to take each other out and then give up on each other.  My prayer for those reading this article is that we will find the strength to be ourselves, to embrace the gift of family and community, to forgive and reconcile at the deepest level.

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

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

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

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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Pastor Bob Birch on Father’s Day

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird 

Each Father’s Day we remember and give thanks for the fathers that have impacted our lives. Pastor Bob Birch is one of those fathers that has made me a stronger person, a more prayerful person, and a more hopeful person.

I still vividly remember Bob Birch in his mid-eighties leading a Good Friday Cross Walk procession down Lonsdale, carrying a huge cross on his shoulders. I had the privilege of interviewing Bob four years ago right before his death.   He passed away just three weeks short of his 100th birthday.  Perhaps his longevity comes in part from his passion for prayer-walking.  Bob loved to prayerfully hike up the North Shore mountains. Fittingly for Pastor Bob’s retirement, he was given a pair of walking boots.

As a father of spiritual renewal throughout BC and Canada, Pastor Bob has raised up many spiritual sons and daughters.  In 1966, he went down to hear the Rev Dennis Bennett, an Anglican priest in Seattle, Washington.  Pastor Bob was deeply transformed by an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  He described this new experience of praying in the Spirit as ‘this very sacred gift, of intimate spiritual communion with God’. His life story is loving recounted by Bev Carson in the biography ‘Pastor Bob’. 

One of the unexpected consequences of the spiritual encounter was that hundreds of hippies began to be attracted to Pastor Bob at St Margaret’s Church near the PNE.  They knew that he could help them in getting off drugs and putting their lives back together. His wife Margaret noted that Bob was ‘kind but firm’ in establishing healthy boundaries.  As a result, said Margaret, there are now ‘outstanding young people all over the world, proclaiming the Lord’.

Without healthy father figures, it is easy to default to cynicism and detachment. Bob Birch lived his life in a way that motivated others to strive for excellence.  Bob motivated me to seek first God’s Kingdom in every area of my life.  Bob showed me that prayer is not an optional extra, but rather is at the heart of a healthy, vibrant life.

Bob was someone who deeply cared. He was willing to get involved even when it was messy or awkward.  Healthy fathers are willing to be there in good times and in tough times.  Healthy fathers are willing to go the distance when others disappear.

Fatherhood is costly. Fatherhood is time-consuming. Fatherhood is worth it.  I thank God for all the fathers who sacrificially make a difference in the lives of their families. I thank God for Pastor Bob Birch who was willing to pay the price of being a father for many. Happy Father’s Day!

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

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

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

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