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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

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

-an article 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.  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
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

-an article 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.  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

-an article previously 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.  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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Four Building Blocks of Faith

-a guest article by Heather Kendall, a fellow author with The Word Guild.                                                                                                                                         Christian parents hope their children will remain true to the faith when they leave home. Many churches have large youth groups. But will those young people continue to attend in their twenties? Will they stand firm in the faith when they meet the troubles and trials of life or when they encounter persecution? Will they succumb to peer pressure? Are they knowledgeable enough to refute false belief? This is a subject dear to my heart. Sadly, between 25 and 33% of youth fall away permanently. Most pastors agree.

The Barna Research Group in southern California has concluded that the problem is a failure for those in youth ministry to disciple new believers properly. Before trying to help others, let us make sure that we know what we believe and why. We need the four building blocks of faith: prayer, the gospel, the biblical worldview and the big picture in the Bible.

The most basic prayer acknowledges who God is, expresses our need, and believes in his ability to answer that need. However, if those are the only elements in our praying, prayer can degenerate into a grocery list of requests. The most important aspect of prayer is time spent in praising and adoring the Lord with a thankful heart. This pleases him.

The second block in our tower of faith is the gospel. Do we believe that we are sinners who have rebelled against the one and only God? Do we agree that we deserve eternal punishment? Are we able to tell others the good news that Jesus is the Son of God who left the glory of heaven and took the punishment that we deserve? What love and grace to undeserving sinners!

The third block is a biblical worldview. There is a negative and a positive aspect to a believer’s worldview. The negative aspect is a reality check on the difficulties and pitfalls that we face as believers: Satan is real and wishes us ill; the world always opposes us; our own fleshly desires hinder our spiritual growth. The positive aspect is: The Bible is God’s book and is accurate in all it teaches; Jesus is the only Son of God and is the only Saviour; Jesus will never forsake his believers; Jesus is able to take all the misfortunes of believers and turn them into good; Jesus hears the prayers of his children.

The fourth block is the big picture in the Bible. In my first book, A Tale of Two Kingdoms, I trace God’s plan of salvation throughout the whole Bible and show that from the beginning God planned to send Jesus as the promised Seed. When Jesus died and rose again, he became the victor over Satan. It pays close attention to the timeline of the Bible and is suitable for older teenagers and adults who know the major Bible stories but cannot put them into chronological order. My second book, God’s Unfolding Story of Salvation: The Christ-Centered Biblical Storyline, is a Bible study based on the first book. An application at the end of each lesson in the Old Testament states: The Old Testament points to Jesus through preparation for his birth, direct prophecy, pictures or types, and anticipation. Which of these apply in this lesson? For more information check out http://www.tale2k.com.

Heather Kendall, author of A Tale of Two Kingdoms (2006) and God’s Unfolding Story of Salvation: The Christ-Centered Biblical Storyline (2012). In the 2013 Word Guild Awards, Heather is the winner in the Book-Biblical Studies category  — A Christ-centered approach to the biblical storyline.

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.