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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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Risen: A delightful Easter movie

Last night my wife and I went on a date night to the opening night of the Risen movie.  I was pleasantly surprised by how entertaining and original the movie was about a familiar theme.  It is too easy to be jaded about faith-based films, as they have not always be of high production and creativity.  Seeing Easter through the eyes of a cynical Roman soldier works well for our postmodern culture.  Though I am already a believer in Jesus’ physical resurrection, this movie actually encouraged my faith and my confidence in the reasonableness of Jesus’ resurrection, in the face of the other explanations.  Do yourself a favour and give this movie a chance.  If you enjoy it, help send it viral.

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.


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Unwrapping Christmas

By Rev. Dr. Ed and Mark Hird

 

If the wise men at Christmas had been wise women, they might have brought Jesus practical Christmas gifts like baby toys, food or clothes (not myrrh, frankincense and gold).  These wise men had no idea how their initial gift-giving at Christmas would eventually fuel the world economy, helping many businesses go from red into the black in December.  Why is it that gift-giving at Christmas has become so entrenched in most people’s lives?  Why is it that many of us struggle to unwrap the gift of Christmas?  Why is it that Christmas, the most joyful time of year, is also the most depressing time of year for many?

As a child, I loved looking forward to opening Christmas presents waiting under the Christmas tree.  Our public school still had actual Christmas pageants in which I took my part as a Christmas shepherd.  As a teenager, opening Christmas presents was still fun, but it started to lose its Christmas wonder.  I still unwrapped the Christmas presents each December, but I never stopped to unwrap Christmas itself.  I never stopped to ask why we were making such a fuss about the Christmas season.  I will never forget when my mother had me go to church on Christmas day.  It felt like a radical intrusion into an important holiday time.   Why would someone go to church at Christmas?  Even though I had been raised in church, I had no idea that God came to earth at Christmas, that God became a little baby in manger.  I never rejected the meaning of Jesus’ birth at Christmas.  I just never thought about it.  It was so familiar to me that I was blind to Christmas.

Home blindness, the tendency to become oblivious to what is in front of us, is a phenomena recognized by social scientists.   People often say with regret that they never really appreciated what they had until they lost it.  Each Christmas, there are a myriad of Christmas movies that express the theme of loss at Christmas, and rediscovering the joy of Christmas.  The Christmas blockbuster ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ [originally called the Greatest Gift] went unnoticed at its 1946 release, so much so that the copyright license in the late 1970s was not even renewed.  This meant that television studios could show the movie for free at Christmas.  After a few years of this, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ became a cult classic.  Who can forget the conflict around the Christmas tree as Jimmy Stewart/George Bailey was close to committing suicide?  Who can forget the final scene around the Christmas tree when all his friends come together and unite in support?  Who can forget the joyful Christmas Carols sung by Jimmy Stewart, friends and family as they thanked the baby Jesus for the true meaning of Christmas? This Christmas, let not forget to unwrap the true gift of Christmas, the Christ Child come to earth to save us.

The Rev. Dr. Ed and Mark Hird

-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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Celebrating the Gift of Family

By the Rev. Dr. Ed and Janice Hird137

We fell in love forty three years ago, and have never looked back.  With three adult sons and two grandchildren, we are so grateful for the gift of family.  This past summer has been a time of family reunions for many of us.   We deeply appreciated the opportunities to hang out with our family members, particularly those who live far away.

Most families are complicated and messy.  Reconnecting with our family members during the summer can be challenging for many people.  Setting boundaries with people that we love is never easy.  Saying no to our family members, even when necessary, can sometimes be really hard. Even Jesus, who was never unloving, had problems at times with his family.  He said that sometimes there would be painful division even within our families.  Jesus said that family cannot be the ultimate, but rather a penultimate very high priority.  He said that if we sought first God’s kingdom, then everything would go better, including our relationships with our family.

40ae4-thegoodshepherdicon2One time Jesus was so involved with helping people that he did not have time to eat.  This so upset his family and friends that they decided that he must be out of his mind.  In some cultures, skipping a family meal is almost unforgivable.  Eating three square meals a day is on the same level for some families as following the Ten Commandments or the Golden Rule.  Because there was such a large crowd, his mother and brothers could not even reach Jesus.  You can imagine how their anxiety level would have been spiking.

In the midst of family anxiety, Jesus had a very clear idea of who he was and what he was called to do.  This gave him the courage to say no to his family, when they were trying to stop his important work.  He said the shocking phrase: “Who is my mother?  And who are my brothers?”  If we said that with our families, they would not likely be pleased.   They might say back to us, “What are you talking about, Ed and Janice?  We are your family.  We were there at your wedding thirty-eight years ago.”  Jesus went on to memorably say “ My family, my mother , brothers and sisters are those who do the Father’s will”.  Family for Jesus is bigger than just the physical 042nuclear family.  Jesus dearly loved his nuclear family, but he had to remind them that even our family cannot come first in our lives.   This is not an easy lesson to learn, because we love our families so dearly.   Our prayer for those reading this article is that we may learn to celebrate the gift of family in a way that still allows us the freedom to say no, to set healthy boundaries.

The Rev. Dr. Ed and Janice Hird, BMus. (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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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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The Gift of Honour on Mother’s Day

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

 

Mother Mary is the world’s most famous mother.  Her son Jesus  honoured her while being crucified by passing on the care of his mother to the Apostle John.  In one of the seven last words from the cross, Jesus said: “Dear woman, behold your son, and to John: “Here is your mother.”  What an amazing honour and privilege that Jesus was giving John: to look after his mother.  How would you like to have been asked to look after the blessed Mother Mary?

Jesus, who loved the Bible, rooted his life in the Ten Commandments.  At the heart of the Ten Commandments is the call to honour our mothers.  To honour is to love, to value and to cherish.  Mother’s Day reminds us that we need to honour our mothers 365 days a year, not just for 24 hours in May.  The Good Book tells us that if we honour our mothers, everyone wins.  Honouring our mothers even benefits ourselves by giving us a longer and better life.

Because Mother Mary was a widow, Jesus was especially concerned about protecting and providing for his mother.  The Good book says that taking care of widows is at the heart of genuine religion.  If we do not honour the widows in our family and community, our religion is nothing but an empty pretense.  It is too easy for widows to be forgotten and discarded particularly when their health is failing and they become shut-ins.  Perhaps Jesus at this moment is reminding you of a widow you know whom you need to give a call.  Mother’s Day is a great time to let widowed mothers know that they are important parts of our community.

When Mary became a mother, she faced rejection and misunderstanding, even from her own fiancé Joseph.  God had to speak to Joseph and tell him that everything was okay.  It is never easy being a mother, especially in our current high-pressure culture.  Children are too easily seen as an inconvenience and a financial burden.  Mother Mary chose to sacrificially welcome her baby son Jesus into the world with her arms of love.  Motherhood is a life of sacrificial love.  Mothers love their children with a depth and passion, similar to how much Jesus loves each of us.  Right before his crucifixion, Jesus stood on the Mount of Olives crying “How often I wished to take you into my arms like a mother hen would her chicks”.  The well-known song by Mark Lowry includes the line: “Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water? Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?”  This Mother’s Day, we can honour the Mother Mary for her courage in giving birth to the saviour of the world.  We can also honour our own mothers who showed the courage to give birth to and raise us to adulthood.  Thank you, Mom.  We love you dearly.  Where would we be without you?

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

-an article previously 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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Waiting for Christmas…

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird 

 

Every year I impatiently wait for Christmas.  I love Christmas, but I don’t like waiting.  The season of Advent (which starts this year on Nov 30th) teaches us a lot about waiting, not just to remember Jesus’ first coming in Bethlehem, but also to wait patiently for Jesus’ second coming.  Waiting in an age of instant gratification is hard.  That is why Advent rarely ever gets commercialized.

Impatience is one of those areas where God has been nudging me lately.  I am one of those people who like things to happen yesterday.  We Hirds are go-getter people who love to see things completed.  I am so often impatient with myself when writing a new book or newspaper article.   In my sequel Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit, I speak about Titus who was a first-century go-getter.  Titus reminds me of my father, Ted Hird, who always gets the job done.  At one of my father’s retirements, his company, Microtel, gave him a statue of a horse in memory of my father’s billing the company for a dead horse.  Working in Newfoundland for three months with the snowy roads sometimes impassible, my father hired a farmer’s horse to drag the telecommunications equipment up the hill. The microwave tower was finally finished, but the horse died.  Titus-like leaders make things happen against impossible odds.

Hidden in our strengths are our greatest weaknesses.  That is why we can’t see them, and often don’t want to change.  Persevering people rarely want to admit their stubbornness, and their need to be more flexible.  Administratively gifted people rarely see how painful they can be when they slip into micromanaging of others’ lives.  We Tituses are great people to have around when you need a job done. But we can be painful to be around when our impatience causes us to be too pushy, too controlling, and too anxious.

I remember impatiently waiting for Christmas as a little child.  I desperately wanted to see the Christmas presents waiting for me.  So we talked our grandmother into going into my parents’ bedroom to show us where they were hidden.  The famous passage 1 Corinthians 13, which is read at many weddings, reminds us that love is patient. True love waits.  Waiting makes Christmas that much better.  It is so hard to wait.  It is so tempting to take the matter into our own hands and prematurely solve things.  Recently doing my doctorate taught me that quick fixes fix nothing.  Genuine lasting transformation takes time.  Lasting change needs to be thoughtful and intentional.  We all want to be better people, especially at Christmas.  Becoming more Christlike however doesn’t happen overnight.   We can’t just wake up on December 25th and suddenly become the most patient loving person on earth.

What motivates me to become more patient this Christmas is realizing that my impatience has often hurt other people whom I care for deeply.  My wife has graciously chosen to forgive my impatience many times during our thirty-seven years of marriage.  I want to be a more gentle and kind person especially to my wife.  My impatience too often gets in the way of this desire.  God keeps telling me to give my impatience back to Him, to put my impatience on the altar, to let go and let God.  When I get out of the way, God often does things far beyond what I can ask or imagine.   God is remarkably patient and kind in a way that most of us don’t fully get.  Rather than pulling the plug on us when we are rebellious, God keeps on loving us, hoping that we will choose to return home.  God wants us to come home for Christmas.   God in a manger welcomes us home for Christmas.  The Christ child is patiently waiting for us this Christmas.  He really does love us beyond our wildest imagination.

My Advent/Christmas prayer for those reading this article is that we will all grow in Christlike patience and love.

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