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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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Say No to the Herd

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Every summer the Hird family goes away on a BC Christian Ashram retreat to Sumas Mountain.  The United Christian Ashram movement was founded in 1930 by Dr. E. Stanley Jones in India.  As a close friend of Mahatma Gandhi, Jones wrote twenty-eight books that sold millions, including Christ of the Indian Road and Abundant Living. As the most widely read spiritual author during his lifetime, Jones left a remarkable impact that is rapidly increasing in our social media world.  Jones’ short aphorisms are very quotable, being often reposted on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

For the last year, I have been rereading Jones’ book The Way to Power and Poise. Jones memorably warns us against the herd: “If we are herd-centered people, then we are insecure, for the herd is fickle and may quickly change.”  Teenagers, when facing peer pressure, are often tempted to be herd-centered.  When we give up self to the herd, we lose identity, focus and creativity.  The desire to be popular and to fit in can be very deadly.  It takes courage to be ourselves.  Jones taught that if we are dominated by the herd, we are doomed by the herd – doomed to a life of up and downness.

There are four possible attitudes, said Jones, to the herd urge.  We can 1) withdraw from the herd 2) defy the herd 3) succumb to the herd or 4) surrender the herd to God and then live within it.

The problem with the first attitude of withdrawal is that we are left in isolation and eccentricity.  All forms of separation, segregation or apartheid backfire upon themselves.  Emotional cut-off solves nothing.  We are called to be in the herd but not of the herd.

The second attitude of defying the herd leaves us on the defensive.  As Jones put it, you cannot live constantly objecting without becoming objectionable.  Defensiveness is negative and self-defeating.  Healthy people do not define themselves by what they are opposed to.

The third attitude of succumbing to the herd, said Jones, robs you of your voice: “you are an echo; you don’t act; you only react; you are not a person but a thing.”  Mindless conforming is ultimately deforming.  Giving up self to the herd leaves us flat and empty.  Mob mentality, as with the 2011 Vancouver Canuck riot, is rooted in the herd mentality. Many young people going to that Canuck game had no idea how destructive they would become.

The fourth attitude, said Jones, is to break the dominance of the herd by surrendering the herd to God.  Then we cease to be people-pleasers and become God-pleasers instead.  We become people who have the courage to speak, to risk, to be different.  Bullies and dictators no longer control us.  When God is God instead of the herd, then we receive a peace that passes all understanding.  We become non-anxious catalysts that change our families, workplaces and herds.

Only when we let go and let God can the herd become healthy.  The herd will drain you of life and energy, if you let it.  The herd is never satisfied.  You can never do enough to please the herd.  Jesus gives you the ability to transform the herd into a thing of beauty.  Say no to the herd, and yes to life.

To learn more about the BC Christian Ashram retreat, click on the following link.

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

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

for better for worse-Click to check out on  Amazon our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship. 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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Head-over-heels in love…

DSC_0621By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

 In the spring of 1975, I fell head-over-heels in love with my future wife.   Janice and I used to take the bus home together from UBC.  I noticed that something was different. Her eyes sparkled.  It turns out that she had been powerfully touched by the Holy Spirit at the previous BC Christian Ashram retreat.

That year on the bus, we discussed the person and work of the Holy Spirit.  She would often let me ‘win’ the conversation.  Seeing her as just a good friend, I had no idea that Janice was pursuing me. When Janice invited me to attend the Summer BC Christian Ashram retreat, I naturally said yes.  Being young and impetuous, the discipline of the Christian Ashram of maintaining silence from 11pm to 8am was difficult.

Over the years, I have read all 28 books of the Christian Ashram founder Dr. E. Stanley Jones.  Initially I wondered why Dr. Jones seemed to take a while to get to the point. Later I realized that like Nicky Gumbel of the Alpha Course, his focus is helping the unchurched to find Jesus at their own pace.  Because Dr. Jones spent over fifty years as a missionary in India, he learned how to be gentle and respectful to other religions without compromising on the essentials of the Gospel.

BC Christian Ashram pictureJones’ first book was called ‘Christ of the Indian Road’. In 1930 he organized the first Christian Ashram with just three people in attendance. Since then, the Christian Ashram has spread all around the world, especially in North America.  The largest Christian Ashram in the world in held in Berwick, Nova Scotia with over 800 participants.  The theme of every Christian Ashram is ‘Jesus is Lord!’

In Canada, we have six Christian Ashrams from coast to coast, including BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.  There are many renewed Anglicans that take part on an interdenominational basis.  My wife and I DSC_0623have had the privilege of either speaking at or attending four different Canadian Christian Ashrams. While all Christian Ashrams are unique, they share a common framework of   Christian community and the disciplines of the Holy Spirit.

Our original speaker, The Rev David Rich, an Anglican priest from Mississippi, was forced to cancel unexpectedly, in light of an unavoidable need for a hip replacement. We were so blessed that our good friend Pastor David Carson stepped in at the last minute as our keynote speaker for the 36th Annual BC Christian Ashram retreat.  David Carson’s theme was “Jesus the High Priest: The New and Living Way” from the Book of Hebrews. David is a very dynamic

Rev Rod Ellis & Pastor David Carson

and insightful speaker who left us with many fresh insights into God’s Word.  The joy and power of the Holy Spirit was bubbling from David the whole weekend. I have never met anyone so contagiously excited about Melchizedek, and how it relates to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  The Rev Rod Ellis of the Church of our Lord, Victoria, our Bible teacher, taught on Nehemiah. He made Nehemiah come alive, showing us how we all need to play our part in ‘rebuilding the walls’.

Throughout the entire four days, there is a 24-hour Prayer Vigil that everyone is invited to take part in for an hour at a time.  This non-stop prayer focus seems to really soften DSCF3266our hearts to God’s Holy Spirit.  The two ‘pillars’ of the Christian Ashram are the initial ‘Open Heart’ session where people are invited to share three things: “Why have I come? What do I want? What do I need?”  At the end of the Ashram, we have the ‘Overflowing Heart’ session where people are invited to share what Jesus has done for them during the retreat. In their testimonies, the adults, youth and children were overflowing with love and gratitude to Christ. Many had experienced significant physical and/or emotional healings through the work of the Holy Spirit.  I have never been to a Christian Ashram where people were not powerfully healed in body, mind and spirit.

DSCF1675As Director of the BC Christian Ashram retreat, I am so grateful for God’s sovereign hand from coast to coast, renewing and refreshing his people. You are encouraged to click on our BC Christian Ashram website.

 

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

author of best-selling book Battle For the Soul of Canada

-previously published in the Anglicans for Renewal 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. 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, Canada V4A 0A5.

– 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, Canada V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can be done by PAYPAL, using the email 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