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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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Angus Reid: 85% of Canadians Still Pray

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Does prayer still have a future in Canada?  At the 50th BC Leadership Prayer Breakfast, Dr. Angus Reid the keynote speaker gave us the latest Angus Reid Institute results from polling 1500 Canadians on prayer.  Held at the Vancouver Hyatt Regency, dignitaries like our former Premier Christie Clark and former Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson brought greetings to over 1,000 BC leaders.  Angus Reid, a well-known Canadian pollster, informed us that while weekly church attendance has dropped from 56% in 1966 to 15%, 85% of Canadians still pray, at least occasionally.  Reid found that weekly prayer by 40% of Canadians (12 million people) has remained relatively constant over the past century.  70% of Canadians who pray frequently say that their prayers are answered always or often, in contrast to just 25% of Canadians who pray infrequently.  Frequent pray-ers, said Reid, focus more on thanksgiving than in just asking for help.  Contrary to some snobbish stereotypes, he also found that university-educated Canadians (33%) are more likely to pray daily than high school dropouts (26%).  Reid’s data showed that new immigrants are twice as likely to be frequently prayers as native-born Canadians. This confirms my experience that new immigrants are much more open to the gospel and attending church than often jaded Canadians who come from a Christian heritage. It is no wonder that, according to Jonathan Bird of the Vancouver Consultation, one third of Vancouver churches conduct their worship in languages other than English.

Of particular interest was Reid’s discovery that childhood prayer greatly shapes one’s likeliness for praying as an adult: “If you prayed frequently as a child, the chance that you would be a non-prayer today is 7 percent (i.e 93% would be praying adults). If you didn’t pray as a child, the odds that you would be a frequent prayer today is 6 percent (i.e. 94% would be non-praying adults).   This reminds me as to how faith survived in Russia during the seventy years of atheistic communism.  The key was grandparents who taught their grandchildren how to pray even when their children were officially forbidden to attend Sunday School.  Many Canadian parents have bought into the tragic idea that it is better to not expose children to religion or church until they are adults, when they can ‘make up their own mind’.

Even though I did not meet Jesus until age 17, I was blessed to be taught to pray as a child by my mom, as well as in Sunday School.  Prayer was something that I linked with remembering one’s family before going to sleep, and in saying grace at the dining room table when my nana came to visit.  Imagine how we might shape the future of Canada if we invested in helping the new generation learn how to pray.  If we will prayerfully strengthen the new generation, then prayer will have a Canadian future.   Lord, teach us to pray.

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

-an article 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 


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Tomorrow, Tomorrow I Love Ya Tomorrow…

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

While back in High School, my youngest son Andrew  had a tremendous experience as Daddy Warbucks in his BCCA school’s Annie musical .  He even shaved off his hair to really get into the part!  The entire school rallied around the musical, resulting in a great sense of school spirit and camaraderie.  Thanks to the hard work of the drama teacher Mrs. Birth and the music teacher Mrs. Gleimus, the participants blossomed and became a close-knit team.  I was very impressed by the quality performance of all the youth that put their heart and soul into the production.

The 9-year-old girl who played Annie was superb.  One person commented that she was as good as the original Annie!  Her fellow orphans were cute, endearing, and believable, especially in the song ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life”.  Another real star in the show was the orphanage director Miss Hannigan, who demonstrated a wonderful slapstick humour: “Why any kid would want to be an orphan, I’ll never understand”.  And who can forget the good-natured BCCA Principal Mr. Jarvie who surprised everyone when he was wheeled in as President Roosevelt!

The Annie musical was based on Harold Gray’s “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip.  Harold Gray invented Little Orphan Annie in 1924 for the Chicago Tribune.  Ironically Harold Gray did not start his comic strip with a little orphan girl, but rather with a boy named Otto (Little Orphan Otto!)

The Annie musical began at the Alvin Theatre on April 21, 1977. The New York show went for 2,377 performances, making it the third longest running musical of the 1970s. In 1982, the movie version was released starring Albert Finney, Aileen Quinn, Ann Reinking, and Carol Burnett.

One of my favorite songs from the Annie Musical is ‘Tomorrow’.  Going through a bitter 1930’s depression, it gave people great hope to remember that ‘The sun will come out tomorrow’.  It is easy to be stuck in the past, in fear and discouragement.  The ‘Annie’ musical reminds us to be future-oriented. To believe in the future gives us the courage to face each day’s challenges.  “Just thinkin’ about tomorrow clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow.”  Life can beat us down and make us want to give up.  The Annie musical reminds us that “ya gotta hang on ’til tomorrow come what may”.  The future can seem very mysterious and inaccessible.  The Annie musical reminds us that : “Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya Tomorrow! You’re always a day a way!”  Visionary people believe that there is hope for their future, that life is worth the struggle, that breakthroughs will come if we don’t give up.

The Annie Musical also reminds me that all of us feel alone at times; all of us can feel like orphans.  Life can sometimes feel very overwhelming.  The answer for Annie’s plea was adoption by Daddy Warbucks.  The answer for our pleas in the 21st Century is the Spirit of adoption.  All of us long for a father who will accept us and love us as we are.  Jesus said: “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”  Jesus reveals the heart of a true, loving Father, a Father who loves us beyond measure, a Father who longs to adopt us as his very own children.  God has a special place in his heart for the fatherless, the abandoned, and the rejected.  All of us at some level are little Orphan Annie.  All of us are waiting to be loved.

Daddy Warbucks sang to Orphan Annie: “Something was missing but dreams can come true; that something was no one but you”.  Just like Daddy Warbucks, the heavenly Father is longing to adopt you and give you a new silver locket, if you will just say ‘yes’.  The Father loves you beyond your wildest dreams.  The Father rejoices over you, and is saying, “It’s okay to come back home.  The table is set.  The Adoption Party is ready to begin!”  God’s family, the Church, would love to throw a party in your honour this very Sunday!  See you then.

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-previously published in the 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. 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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The Gift of Courage Can Be Imparted

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hirdcanadian_money

I remember when I lost my voice for 18 months back in 1980.  I will never forget resigning my job, going on sick leave, driving to the Employment Insurance office only to find out that my company did not have any long-term disability insurance.

In the midst of those devastating experiences, my strongest feeling was that I was disappointing my father.  However my dad was not feeling that way at all.  He was just concerned that I recover my voice and get back on track.  Deep within most of us is this inexpressible desire to please our fathers.

In the early 1980’s, I spent almost five years in Abbotsford, during which time we had our second child.  Each week I went to visit the sick in the local hospital.  While visiting the psychiatric ward, I met a man who had Anglican and Roman Catholic parents.  He said to me that he hadn’t seen a priest in thirty years.  Out of the blue, he told me that he never prayed to God.  ‘God was too angry’, he said. ‘You just couldn’t talk to him.  He would always blow up.’  The man went on to say that he only prayed to the Virgin Mary.  ‘She was kind, loving, gentle, and would always listen’, he said.

virgin-mary1I said to the man, ‘Does God ever remind you of your earthly father?’.  ‘Funny you should say that’, he said. ‘ They are just the same.  They never listen and they always blow up at me.’  I went on to say, ‘What about your own mother? Does she remind you of the Virgin Mary?’  His eyes brightened up, and he said to me, ‘You must know my parents.  My mother is just like the Virgin Mary.  She always listens to me’.

I said to the man, ‘Your problem is not with God.  It is with your earthly father.  If you are willing to deal with the pain of your relationship to your dad, you will find that you will be able to talk to God.’  A week later, a local psychiatrist phoned me up and informed me that this patient had experienced a major breakthrough in his counseling as a result.

In A.A., they say that you are as healthy as your (lack of) secrets.  I would agree, but also add that we are as healthy as our relationship with our fathers.  So many men nowadays are caught in painful ambivalence and confusion, because they have never really felt affirmed and blessed by their own fathers.

The gift of a healthy father is the gift of courage_under_firecourage.  The gift of a healthy father is the gift of being willing to lay down our lives, if necessary, for our families.  In this age of compromise, I give thanks for my own father who has not been afraid to stand up for his family and his convictions.

Without a father who believes in you, it may be very hard as a teenager to feel that you are going to make it through.  They say that teenagers experience most things far more intensely than many adults.  Their highs are twice as high and their lows are twice as low.  That is why premature sexual intimacy and the usual relational breakups are so deeply devastating for our teenagers.

A courageous father does more than just give a condom to his kid.  He explains to him the real risk of broken hearts and diseased bodies, as well of the benefits of waiting for real commitment.  By our faithfulness to our wives, despite the ups and down of life, we give our children courage to believe that they too can enter faithful lasting relationships.

The concept of future marriage for many teenagers and young adults has become filled with so much fear and uncertainty.  Yet as Dr. Laura put it, ‘Without commitment, there is no future.’  Courageous fathers give to their sons and daughters the courage to commit to the unknown future.

lynncanyon5One of the things I love the most about the North Shore is the beautiful trails that are woven throughout our area.  While out walking in the trails, I asked a neighbour, ‘What is a courageous father?’  He said, ‘Someone who holds down a job and cares for his children’.  Simple words, but very true.

In this age of compromise, in this pressure-cooker world, so many fathers are tempted to run away from it all.  The stress just becomes too much.  I thank God for my own father who never ran from our family during good times and bad, during sickness and health, for better or for worse.  I thank God for being the father of the fatherless, the one who gives me courage to not run from stress, who gives me the courage to stand my ground when everything else is falling apart, to stand for truth when many seem to be compromising.

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

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

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier

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 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