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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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Going to the Heart

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

art carving close up crown

Photo by Mikes Photos on Pexels.com

It is far too easy to look at outward appearances, and miss the heart of the matter.  The Hebrew prophet Samuel, before choosing King David, was told: “People look at the outward appearances but God looks at the heart.”  In North America, we can easily be three thousand miles wide and one inch deep.  We can easily be swallowed by the latest cultural fad, and never discover who we really are.  I love going to the gym, and keeping healthy.  But as mentioned in my recent book Restoring Health, it can’t just be about the outer appearances.  We need to look at health holistically in body, mind and spirit.

The Good Book says ‘Above all else, guard your heart for out of it are the issues of life.’  Our ‘heart’ refers to the core of our personality, our identity, whom we really are.   Many people have invested so much into keeping other people happy that they have very little idea whom they really are.  They confuse their core identity with their latest job, their education, their bank account or relationships, all of which may be very transitory.  The Good Shepherd said “Out of the heart, the mouth speaks”.   Sometimes in the disappointments of life, our heart can turn hard, like a stone.  Our hearts need melting, so that they can become soft again.  When our heart shuts down, we stop caring.  We slip into cynicism and bitterness.  God does not care about how good we look on the outside.  He goes to the heart of the matter.  God wants a genuine relationship with each of us.  It has been said that Jesus died on the cross from a broken heart.  He poured out his heart of love for each of us from Calvary’s tree.  Most Canadians believe in God, but we can easily keep God at a distance.  God is into intimacy.  God wants us to open our hearts to his love.   This love can never be forced.  It can only be offered.  When we open our hearts to the Father’s love, something happens at the core of our being.

When I was age 17 in the last few months of Grade 12, I had a life-changing encounter with the Father’s love.  Suddenly my heart, my core personality, was powerfully changed.  I was a new creation in Christ.  I had a new purpose and reason to live.  Within a week, I felt a call to be an Anglican priest.  My grandmother and mother had known for years that I would become a priest.   I was going to become an electrical engineer like my father.  God touched me at a heart level.  I had been going to church for many years, but nothing had connected.   Love changes everything.  When I finally understood that God loved me deeply, I was undone.  My whole world was turned undone.  God loves you just as much as he loves me.  God is waiting to touch each of us at the heart level.  The heart of the matter is our heart.  My prayer for those reading this article is that each of us will open our hearts to God’s amazing love for each of us.

The 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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Kings of Hearts now available

by Rev Ed Hird

 

My good friend, The Rev Dr Rod Ellis, has been actively involved in ministry for over 35 years.  We had the privilege of leading a Renewal Mission at his congregation a few years ago.

 

He is the former Rector of Church of Our Lord in Victoria, British Columbia where he served for many years. Rod is married to Lynne and they have three adult children, a son-in-law and daughter-inlaw, and a grandchild.  His book ‘King of Hearts’ was  published by Elation Press, Victoria, British Columbia

King of Hearts: David: Man of Devotion, Living with Passion, Power and Purpose of two

kings, one who was a shepherd boy who became

– a story of two kings of Israel, one the King of Israel, the other, King of Kings, born in a lowly manger as our Saviour and how their lives are inextricably linked. Drawing from the wisdom and experience of nearly four decades of ministry, this work examines the life of King David and his unique relationship with God. As a man, David has his failings, but he is most noted for his triumphs. Dr. Rod Ellis looks at how we can have a relationship with God like the enigmatic King David. Wholly human, yet larger-than-life, David is complex and competent, yet completely full of imperfections. This in-depth study of David takes the reader on a journey where Dr. Rod Ellis shares his own personal accounts of struggles and successes.

Uplifting and challenging oneself with thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter, King of Hearts is a quest to unlock the love and greatness that God has gifted us with.

To order the book, please contact Rev Rod Ellis.


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Making Love Last Forever with Gary Smalley

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

One of the most encouraging books that I have read on marriage and relationships is by the best-selling author Gary Smalley, who has  sold millions of videos on how to strengthen our vital relationships.  John Gray, the well-known author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, comments: “If you want a lasting love relationship, I highly recommend Gary Smalley’s guide to forever love”.

One of the keys to his memorable books is that Gary teaches you how to fall in love with life all over again.  Everything he writes has to do with the age-old struggle between the life-giving principle of honour and the life-draining emotion of destructive anger.  The average person, says Smalley, has little or no idea how damaging that forgotten or ignored anger can be.  Worse yet, most people don’t even know how much destructive anger they have buried inside, much like unexploded landmines left in the middle eastern sands.  Once buried, our anger does its worst damage, wreaking havoc on our physical and emotional well-being.  Facing our anger is indispensable to Making Love Last Forever.

Anger, says Smalley, is a secondary emotion, not a primary feeling.  It arises out of fear, frustration, hurt, or some combination of these three.  Anger is actually a coping strategy to attempt to banish fear from our lives.  Sometimes our parents have non-verbally taught us that perfect anger casts out all fear, when the truth is that only perfect love casts out all fear.

Smalley comments that anger can be thought of as a sticky, bad-smelling dangerous substance that can be compressed and stuffed into something like a spray can.  Angry people tend to go around spraying their anger on other people.  The spray is felt by others as meanness, insensitivity, and general offensiveness.  Most angry people have no idea that their angry spray stings others like hydrochloric acid.  Unresolved anger is the No. 1 enemy of Making Love Last Forever.

Some of us as men pride ourselves that we are not as other husbands, who physically beat up their wives in drunken rages.  Yet even if our anger never turns violent or illegal, unresolved anger can still prove destructive.  All of us want to feel connected in our primary relationships.  But one of the most common results of deep anger is relational distance, an unwillingness and inability to let others get close.  It is as if we are living inside a relational box of thick plate glass.  Yet we keep wondering as men why our wives won’t become more intimate.

Unresolved anger, says Smalley, is not only destructive to our families.  It is also destructive to our personal health. Many of the backaches, neckaches, and headaches that send us complaining to our GPs are actually the outworking of buried anger.  Anger studies were done on medical doctors and lawyers over a 25 year period.  By the age of fifty, only 4 percent of the low-ranked easy-going lawyers and 2 percent of the doctors had died.  Lawyers who had ranked high on anger had a 20 percent mortality rate;  doctors 14 percent.  Studies are also showing that angry people are more susceptible to heart attacks – the leading cause of death in North America.  Hostile anger can boost heart rates, raise blood pressure and lead to increased clogging of the arteries.  What’s worse, says Smalley, is that the risk of heart attack seems to be greatly increased during the two hours following a bout with anger.

Why do we get angry anyways?  Smalley suggests that we get angry because either someone is taking something away from us that we don’t want to lose, or else we’re being denied something we want to gain.  By facing and grieving our losses, we break the power of anger to make our lives miserable.

Part of healthy grieving is the willingness to lay aside bitterness, the willingness to say like Jesus: “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.”  Another key to grieving, says Smalley, is to search for “hidden pearls” in any offense committed against you.  The idea here is that some good can come out of any bad situation – if you’ll just look for it.  That’s why the Good Book says that all things work for the good for those who love the Lord.  Grieving our losses is an irreplaceable key in Making Love Last Forever.

I recently watched a most disturbing and enlightening movie entitled “The Field”.  It was about an Irish farmer who dedicated his life to providing for his family’s future.  But again and again his anger rose up to destroy everything and everyone that he loved.  Given my Irish heritage,  it was a strong warning to me that I had to face the anger in my life, or it would one day destroy me.

Unresolved anger can cripple us in so many ways.  Anger keeps us distant from the very people we want to care for.  In contrast, love builds bridges of trust and forgiveness.  Sometimes anger even keeps us distant from God himself.  Smalley has found that the greater the unresolved anger, the more difficulty that person has in developing a meaningful spiritual life.  Studies after studies are confirming that a healthy spiritual life in a marriage reduces divorce rates, increases marital satisfaction, and lowers the level of relational conflict.

My prayer for those reading this article is that each of us may discover the keys to Making Love Last Forever.

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

-author of the award-winning 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, 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 


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Dr AW Tozer: God’s Heart Surgeon

By Rev. Ed Hirdtozer

 

One of my favorite authors is Dr. A.W. Tozer.  I appreciate him because he stirs me to think, to feel, to hope, and to search.  In this information age of ever-increasing data, Tozer gave us more than just more knowledge; he gave us wisdom to live by.  He believed that the widest thing in the universe is not space: it is the potential of the human heart.

Tozer saw it as one of the world’s worst tragedies  that we allow our hearts to shrink until there is room in them for little besides ourselves.  There are times in my life when my heart has shrunk and hardened.  Dr Tozer has been like a ‘heart surgeon’ to me,  performing spiritual angioplasty when I have needed it the most.  He has helped me keep my heart open and soft towards my family, my community, and my God.

Tozer’s final years of life were spent in Toronto. On May 12, 1963, he died of a heart attack at age 66.  Some wonder why Tozer’s writings are as fresh today as when he was alive.  It is because, as one friend commented, “He left the superficial, the obvious and the trivial for others to toss around. . . . His books reach deep into the heart.”

Tozer’s love for words also pervaded his tozer1family life. He quizzed his children on what they read and made up bedtime stories for them. “The thing I remember most about my father,” reflects his daughter Rebecca, “was those marvelous stories he would tell.”

His humor, written and spoken, has been compared to that of Will Rogers–honest and homespun. People could one moment be swept by gales of laughter and the next sit in a holy hush.  Tozer believed that the essence of true religion is spontaneity.

Tozer held that one way society destroys people is by preventing them from thinking their own thoughts.  As Canadians with our emphasis on accepting all views, we are particularly susceptible to being programmed by our media.  Our ‘vastly improved methods of communication’ of which the shortsighted boast so loudly now enable a few people in strategic centers to feed into millions of minds alien thought-stuff, ready-made and pre-digested.  A little effortless assimilation of these borrowed ideas and the average person has done all the thinking he will or can do.  Tozer believed that the mind should be an eye to see with rather than a bin to store facts in.  Every time I read Tozer,  I feel like the fog has lifted from the tops of the forests, and I can see clearly again.

In Greater Vancouver, there are many very Tozer pursuit-of-godsuccessful people.  Sometimes the most successful outwardly are the most wounded inwardly, especially in one’s primary relationships.  “Not the educators nor the legislators nor the scientists can give us tranquillity of heart, and without tranquillity, whatever else they give us is useless at best.”  Tozer commented that in this world people are rated by what they do.  They are rated according to the distance they have come up the hill of achievement.

 

Tozer believed that excessive preoccupation with the struggle to win narrows the mind, hardens the heart, and blots out a thousand bright visions that might be enjoyed if there were only leisure to notice them.  No one, said Tozer, is worthy to succeed unless he is willing to fail.  Jesus died an apparent failure, discredited by the leaders of established religion, rejected by society, and forsaken by his friends.  We can afford to follow Jesus to failure.  Faith, says Tozer, dares to fail.  Jesus’ resurrection is the ultimate reason why failure and crosses need not intimidate us.

One hundred and twelve years after his birth, Dr. A.W. Tozer still serves as a symbol of resurrected hope and wisdom in our fragmented age.

The Reverend Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

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

-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. 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