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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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An attitude of Gratitude: Thanksgiving

by Reverend Dr. Ed Hird

Life is messy. Family is messy. Marriage is messy. Church is messy.  How do we navigate through the complexities of daily life? A key to healthy sailing through life’s storms is gratitude.

The 19th century Cambridge resident, Charles Simeon, once said: “What ingratitude there is in the human heart.” It is so easy to end up as a complaining, grumbling person when things don’t go our way. The best therapy for a complaining or fearful attitude is to switch from grumbling to thankfulness, from moaning to praising, from bellyaching to belly laughing.

Dr. Patrick Dixon commented that someone who can never laugh is as emotionally imprisoned as someone who can never cry. Dr. Dixon notes that laughter alters the levels of various “stress” hormones such as cortisol, dopamine, adrenaline and growth hormone – all released when we are tense, working hard, worried or afraid. In typical office stress, all the hormones are released but no exercise follows and the body suffers. We develop stomach ulcers, arteries clog up, we become irritable and develop a host of other problems – all because the body is pumping out hormones we don’t need. Laughter, says Dr. Dixon, shuts down these hormone levels, keeping them low. Interestingly, endorphin levels (natural morphine-like substances) seem to remain the same, following laughter.

More and more research is coming to the forefront, showing that gratitude and joyful laughter are connected with healthy living, while grumbling is connected with diseased living. Dr. E. Stanley Jones once said: “If you are unhappy at home, you should try to find out if your wife hasn’t married a grouch.” Worry, fear, and anger are the greatest disease causers. We need to prune from our lives all tendencies to fault-find, blame and put down others. Instead we need to daily practice the healing therapy of “counting our blessings.”

I would encourage you to take 10 minutes today to write down 10 gifts that you have received in your life that you are thankful for. It might be your children, your work, your sense of humour, your spouse, your parents, the trees and mountains, or the country of Canada. Then practice saying thank you for these wonderful gifts. It always helps to have someone to whom to say “thank you”.  As the source of all good gifts, it only makes sense to express appreciation to the Creator of this mysterious universe. As someone once said, happiness is seeing a sunset and knowing who to thank.

I am more convinced than ever that each of us were born to be thankful. Ingratitude is like putting sawdust into our car engines. Through an attitude of gratitude, we are protecting ourselves from countless diseases that could otherwise come our way. Our immune system is a remarkably delicate mechanism that just cannot handle acidic emotions like bitterness, rage, or malice. I challenge you therefore to find out for yourself whether an attitude of gratitude will improve your emotional and physical health. Over our kitchen table is a wall plaque with the words: “in everything, give thanks.”

 

 One of the keys to ongoing vitality is the gift of gratitude. God has taught us that all things work together for the good for those who love the Lord. He has taught us that what was sometimes meant for evil, God means for good, even for the saving and helping of many other people.

May God give each of us the strength to develop an attitude of gratitude.  Gratitude is the key to everything healthy in our lives.  What are you grateful for on this Harvest Thanksgiving weekend?

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

-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. 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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2 Cups of Hot Apple Cider at House of James Abbotsford

Last night we had so much fun at House of James Abbotsford. If you have never been there, you will want to drop in. In an age when many Christian and mainstream bookstores are closing, House of James has morphed into a fresh entity, involving a coffeehouse, extensive music department, excellent food, and friendly relaxed atmosphere where you can just hang out while picking up a new book.

Some of people’s most favorite coffee shops would be Starbucks, Tim Hortons, and Bean around the World. The coffee is only half of the appeal. The other half is the atmosphere, the relaxed welcoming place to just be, the sense of community and connectedness that people are longing for. House of James Abbotsford is tapping into the holistic model. It is more than a bookstore, more than a coffeehouse, more than a music store. It is a place to be, to be yourself, to meet God.

Lando Klassen birthed House of James as a coffeehouse in 1973 during the Jesus Movement. All the essential DNA were there when it got off the ground: coffee, music, books, fellowship. Over the years,  House of James has morphed into a cutting-edge expression of the future of Christian bookstores.  Last night we did not just do a classic booksigning; we did a music concert with food and conversation and laughter.  Each of the 2nd Cup of Hot Apple Cider author had an opportunity to share from their portion of the book and from their life story. Dr Paul Beckingham and Bill Bonikowsky were hilarious and very insightful.   Fittingly I even drank a delicious 2nd cup of Hot Apple Cider before the evening was over.  My wife Janice and I shared from our chapter in 2nd Cup of Hot Apple Cider about our thirty-four years of marriage, and the principles that we have learned about life and love.

Dr Paul Beckingham is a military chaplain and former theological professor at Carey Theological College. He has been featured in both the first and second Cup of Hot Apple Cider books. Paul’s award-winning book Walking Towards Hope tells the story of how he recovered from brain injury while serving as a missionary in Kenya. Dr JI Packer comments: “My guess is that you have never read anything like this narrative before. My amazement is that it exists at all. My plea is: Don’t miss it! I covet for you what it gave to me.”  Dr Eugene Peterson, author of ‘The Message’ translation says that “Paul Beckingham’s Walking Towards Hope is a compelling and rigorously honest account of unimaginable suffering forged detail-by-excruciating-detail in Kenya and Vancouver into a whole and holy life. The magnificence of the story itself is matched by the magnificen ce of the writing, language, unblemished by cliches, luminous as an icon.”

Bill Bonikowsky, a long-term Alpha Canada staff member and former YFC leader, told an unforgettable story of a neighbour’s cat that became trapped in his floorboards during a bathroom renovation. Bill is such a gracious, humble, and encouraging person. It is a privilege to be featured in a book with him, especially one with an initial print run of 45,000 copies.

We were very pleased to have, at the booksigning, Steve Almond, the publisher of the new Christian ‘Light’ magazine,  which has filled a huge hole left by the closing of BC Christian news. Steve is passionate about doing a new thing, something that will help impact the local Christian community in Greater Vancouver/Vancouver Island.

I would recommend that you contact House of James online to purchase ‘A 2nd Cup of Hot Apple Cider’ by clicking on ‘2nd Cup’.

Alternately you can dial into Amazon  either in the USA or Canada and order a copy.  It is a remarkably well-produced books with many stories that will inspire you and often leave you in grateful tears.

Dr Paul Beckingham speaking at the 2nd Cup of Hot Apple Cider book-signing

Bill Bonikowsky, author, speaking at the 2nd Cup of Hot Apple Cider book-signing

Lando Klassen, House of James bookstore owner, speaks at the 2nd Cup of Hot Apple Cider book-signing evening

Ed and Janice Hird speaking about their marriage chapter in 2nd Cup of Hot Apple Cider

Tim Bonikowsky playing at the 2nd Cup of Hot Apple Cider booksigning

Dr Paul Beckingham is well worth listening to, a remarkable survivor and thriver.

Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

-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.  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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Renewing the Heart

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

-previously published in the Light Magazine

In the last month of Pastor Bob Birch’s almost 100-year journey of renewal, I had the privilege of interviewing him. Like Pastor Bob, many Canadians have sought to enter into personal and corporate renewal.  Many historians would say that England avoided the tragedy of the French revolution precisely because of the spiritual renewal that came through John and Charles Wesley.  Genuine renewal ultimately affects all spheres of life: personal, family, marriage, business, education, and society.

In 1991, I became part of Anglicans for Renewal Canada, serving as their Chair. Then the door opened to become the President of Alpha Canada, which has released deep renewal to hundreds of thousands of Canadians using the Alpha Course. Renewal to me is not just a nice luxury. It is the air that I breathe. Without daily personal renewal, I end up with a hardened heart, a jaded mind and a calloused conscience towards those that are hurting and broken.  Each day I need to pray “Breathe on me Breath of God, fill me with life anew”.

All of us can grow weary in well-doing. All of us need times of refreshing where our batteries are recharged. We live in such a busy non-stop culture that we sometimes neglect the principle of Sabbath, of taking time to rest.  Our bodies may let us get away with this in the short term. But in the long-term, our bodies will go on strike.  Our body, mind, and spirit crave renewal, rebuilding, refocusing.  We need to say no to the misconception that the only choice is between burning out or rusting out.  Through the renewal of the Holy Spirit, we can enter into an ‘active rest’ where we can be more effective and more alive than ever before.

Once while being prayed for at a renewal conference, the person sensed that my heart was melting and hardening several times. This was exactly what was occurring to me on the inside. As the prayer continued, my heart was immersed in liquid love.  Walking outside, I felt as if I was walking in an ocean of God’s love. Sadly the experience did not last, but it left a permanent impact on me, leaving my heart more sensitive, more caring, and more open.

One of the dangers in our Christian walk is that we can become callous and apathetic.  We can lose our first love, our original joy of knowing the Lord.  That is why God promises to renew our youth like an eagle. Even the youth grow weary. Even youth can become jaded, hardened, and tired.  That is why spiritual renewal is so indispensable, whatever our age or stage of life.

All of Greater Vancouver could benefit from experiencing a deeper measure of God’s life-giving renewal. That is why the Greater Vancouver Renewal Mission was held at Harvest City Church, 57th and Victoria Street in Vancouver.  The Renewal speakers were Rev David MacFarlane, Director of Initiatives for the Billy Graham Association of Canada, and Pastors Giulio & Lina Gabeli of Westwood Church, Coquitlam. There was no charge for students and youth workers attending the Renewal Mission.   Imagine what might happen to the Church in Greater Vancouver if we regained our first love?

GVRM 2011 Brochure (click to open)

 

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.  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