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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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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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Marie-Anne Lagimodiere, Louis Riel’s Grandmother

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Mother’s Day always bring to mind exceptional mothers who have made a difference.  Well-known author Maggie Siggins holds that the most exceptional Canadian mother of the 19th Century was Marie-Anne Lagimodière (née Gaboury). Her home town was Maskinongé, a small village near modern-day Trois-Rivières in Quebec. In 1807, Marie-Anne became the first women of European background to permanently settle in Canada’s far west.  It would take another forty years before another European woman joined her.

With the death of her father when she was 12, Marie-Anne spent the next fifteen years as a housekeeper to a priest who taught her to read and write French, Latin, and do basic math.  Such education was rare for women in those days.  Marie-Anne did not marry until late in life, from a 19th Century Quebecois perspective. She rejected suitor after suitor until the grand old age of 26. Doing the unthinkable, she married a voyageur Jean Baptiste, and then accompanied him back into the hinterlands of western Canada.  They broke the cardinal rule that under no circumstances were Eastern Canadian wives to be involved in the fur trade.  Wives in the fur trade were known as ‘fur widows’, only seeing their husbands every four or five years.

Travelling almost 3,000 kilometres by canoe, Marie-Anne faced violent rapids, portages, and deadly storm on her way west. Upon arriving at Pemina, her husband’s ‘country wife’ tried to poison Marie-Anne with a plum pudding. Her hungry dogs ate the pudding instead of Marie-Anne, and all the dogs died!

Living until age 96, Marie-Anne never returned to see her family in Eastern Canada.  It is said that she was healthy and wise up till the end.  Instead of her dainty dresses, she adopted caribou-skin leggings and embroidered moccasins. Along with learning to make pemmican, Marie-Anne became fluent in Ojibwe and Cree, and helped establish the city of Winnipeg.

She was described in Maggie Siggins’ book Marie-Anne as being ‘one tough cookie’ in order to survive her Western adventures. Shortly after her horse rushed towards a herd of buffalo, Marie-Anne gave birth to her second child in the middle of a prairie field.  Another time when a large bear attacked her companion, Marie-Anne fought back and shot the bear dead.  Once she and her husband were captured by the Tsu Tinna. Upon escaping, they were chased for five days until reaching the safety of Edmonton.  Marie-Anne lived through terrifying conflict between the Hudson Bay Company and the North West Company, in which many forts were burned to the ground.  For four summers in a row, swarms of grasshoppers were so thick that the sky was pitch black.  All crops, gardens, and greenery were ravaged within a few short hours.  During the Great Flood of 1825, Marie-Anne’s house was swept away by the river surge. Trees and cattle were swallowed up.  Marie-Anne begged her husband to leave this ‘God-forsaken’ land, but Jean Baptiste replied that if the local clergy refused to leave, they too would hang in there.  Remarkably all of her seven children lived to adulthood, with her four sons becoming involved in the thriving family businesses.

Her favorite grandchild was one of Canada’s most famous leaders Louis Riel.  He was deeply influenced by the passion and courage of his dear grandmother.  She taught him to speak the various first nations languages. She taught him to be willing to risk.  As Marie-Anne was grieved by the alcoholic debauchery that she saw at Fort Williams, Louis Riel likewise rejected alcohol abuse.  Dying in 1875, Marie-Anne lived long enough to see her grandson Louis’ dream come true: that Manitoba become a province, not just a territory in the Canadian Confederation.  This Mother’s Day I pray that like Louis Riel, we may be inspired by our mothers and grandmothers to be pioneers and explorers of Canada’s future.

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

-award-winning author of the 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.  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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Honouring our Moms on Mother’s Day

 By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

For thirty Mother’s Days, I was privileged to write articles in the Deep Cove Crier.

In my first May 1989 DCC issue, I commented that “No computer, no microchip, no hi-tech invention can ever replace that very special person in a child’s life.  Motherhood is one of the most demanding, time-consuming, diversified roles in our modern culture.”  On Mother’s Day 1990, I prayed that “many moms may feel loved by their husbands in a way that they have never before experienced, that the mothers of our children may feel listened to and cared for not only on  the 2nd Sunday of May, but all year round.” On Mother’s Day 2,000, I gave thanks for mother-in-laws, especially my own mother-in-law Vera who passed away that summer. On Mother’s Day 2003, I wrote: “Where would we be without our mothers?  Mothers keep the world on track.  Mothers never stop caring.  Mothers never stop giving.”

red roses close up photography

Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

Those of you who have been reading my Deep Cove Crier articles for twenty-three years will know that I am a big Mother’s Day fan.  God knew what he was talking about when he built the honouring of Mothers right into the 10 Commandments itself.  God said in the 10 Commandments that honouring our mothers (and fathers) would actually affect how long and how well we lived out our lives.

Mothers are mentioned 226 times in the bible. The first mother, Eve, was called the mother of all living.  Sarah, the wife of Abraham, was called the mother of nations.  Moses’ mother gave her own child away to an Egyptian princess just to spare his life.  Samuel’s mother dedicated her son to the Lord at a very young age.  King Solomon reminded young people in Proverbs 4 not to forsake the law of their mother.  Young Timothy’s leadership was based on the prayers of his faithful mother Eunice and grandmother Lois.

Why does God want us to honour our mothers?  God knows that when we honour and love our mothers, everyone wins.  God wins, our mothers win and we win. Proverbs 10:1 teaches that when we foolishly do not honour our mothers, we bring grief to them.  Many mothers literally die of broken hearts because of the selfishness and waywardness of their adult children.  The Good Book teaches that there is a spiritual law of reaping and sowing.  As the famous movie “Gone With the Wind” reminds us, the person who brings trouble on his family will only inherit the wind. (Proverbs 11:29).  Honouring our mothers is in our own best interests.

It is very easy to focus on our parent’s flaws.  Proverbs 15:20 says that the foolish man despises his mother. Have you ever noticed the number of interesting swear-words that involve the use of the term ‘mother’?  There is so much anger and hatred in our culture towards the feminine.  Proverbs 30:17 symbolically says that those who dishonour their mothers will have their eyes pecked out by the ravens and vultures.  To reject motherhood is to go blind to the things that really matter in life.  I believe it is time for us to rediscover the ancient wisdom of the Ten Commandments, the very foundation of our Canadian legal and moral system.  Honouring our mothers is not a multiple-choice option.

Our culture has a tendency to make fun of women when they are older, calling them disparaging names and treating them as irrelevant.  It is no wonder that so many women feel afraid to admit their real age.  Proverbs 23:22 says: “Do not despise your mother when she is old.”  Blessing our mothers is a wonderful privilege that we should not miss.  Many people sadly save all their blessings for the funeral eulogy.  My challenge to you is to not wait until your mother is dead and buried.  Bless her today before it is too late.  Give thanks for her this week, because life is so short.  And make a fuss of her this coming Mother’s Day. She deserves it and needs it.  Happy Mother’s Day.

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

-award-winning author of the 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.  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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Thank God for loving Mothers!

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Where would we be without our mothers?  Mothers keep the world on track.  Mothers never stop caring.  Mothers never stop giving.

Sometimes our generous mothers suffer from exhaustion.  The gift of Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to give back to the irreplaceable mothers in our lives.  One of the best gifts we can give is the gift of gratitude, the gift of thanksgiving, perhaps even the gift of doing the dishes!

My mother has often shown her love to me in delicious, unforgettable meals.  Love and food are intricately linked.  Can you think of anyone you really love that you have not eaten a meal with?  Mother’s Day itself is a major time for families to gather with their mothers and eat together.

My father keeps video records of our family gatherings.  From looking at our family videos, you would think that all we ever do is celebrate and eat together.  Good food is wonderful but without the presence of family and especially the mothers in our lives, food can leave you rather empty inside.  Experts tell us that a lot of over-eating and under-eating has to do with deep love-deficits in our lives.

When my father showed his appreciation to my mom, he would often express it by taking the whole family out to the White Spot restaurant.  The White Spot for me symbolized quality, caring, and family.  The second favorite spot that my father brought us to was Yen Lock’s in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown.  I initially used to stay at home with my grandmother, as I didn’t like Chinese food.  Eventually I overcame my culinary aversion and joined my mother and family for the Yen Lock celebrations.  Ironically Chinese food, especially chicken chow mein, is now my favorite meal!

One of my favorite food-inspired paintings is the famous Holman Hunt painting of Jesus standing with a lantern and patiently knocking on a weed-covered, closed door.  Holman Hunt’s inspiration for the painting came straight from Revelation 3:20: “Behold I am standing and knocking at your door. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will eat together”.  I was often puzzled why Jesus would want to eat with me, if I would open the door of my heart.  One day I realized that all true love, all true relationship involves food.  No wonder one of the highest act of worship involves bread and wine, eaten in remembrance of this wonderful relationship with Jesus.

IMG_3935My mother, like her mother before, is a true worshipper.  Her faith has been a great inspiration to me.  Thank you mother for inviting me to supper with Jesus, when I was wandering in the wilderness, lost and hungry.  Thank you mom for all those great meals year in and year out.  I now see more than ever that every portion was prepared with heart-felt love.  I am a better person today because of that unfailing love.

Food is love!  No wonder so many people around the world are discovering the meaning of love as they sit down for dinner at an Alpha course.  Lovingly prepared by mothers and others, Alpha dinners are becoming the highlight of many people’s weeks. Through Alpha dinners many mothers and others are discovering authentic, lasting community in a fragmented world.  After my own mother attended an Alpha Course dinner, she couldn’t stop raving about it!

My prayer for this Mother’s Day is that each of us will sit down for dinner with Jesus, the lover of our souls.

 

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

-award-winning author of the 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.  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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Motherhood and Apple Pie

by the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Mother’s Day stirred up a favourite memory from my childhood: going on the Horseshoe Bay Ferry over to the Sunshine Coast, where my Grandma always served us  freshly baked, hot apple pie.  Grandma Hird baked some of the tastiest apple pies that I’ve ever eaten.  But she always apologized about her apple pies, saying that the pastry didn’t turn out just right, or that she hadn’t baked enough pies for us.  Our family usually needed to go on a diet for three weeks, just to recover from a weekend of Grandma Hird’s delicious cooking!  Grandma always would tell us how fortunate she was to have such wonderful neighbours.  She would comment on how caring and friendly they were to her.  Whoever you were, Grandma Hird always made you feel special.  With such a gift of hospitality, it was no wonder that so many young children in the neighbourhood  ‘adopted’ her as their own grandma.

Even though she couldn’t read a note of music, Grandma Olive was an excellent pianist.  As her eyesight became worse and she went into a care facility,  her greatest regret was that she couldn’t play the piano any more, or bake apple pies for us.  Grandma was such a loving person that she loved to give generously to others, and it hurt when she couldn’t.  When my family and I would visit Grandma in the nursing home, she used to give our 3 boys money to go to MacDonald’s.  She’d say: “I so miss not being able to cook apple pies for you, like when Grandpa was alive.”  Grandma Hird really missed her husband since he’d passed away.

Grandma Olive didn’t have an easy life.  She had to quit school at age 15 to look after her 3 younger brothers.  Her mother, who was an Ensign in the Salvation Army and knew William & Catherine Booth personally, had died suddenly in the 1918 flu epidemic.  Her father was away overseas at war.  So Grandma Olive had to function as “the mother” to her younger brothers for the next six years until her father remarried.  She had a tough time understanding why such a wonderful woman as her mother would be taken from her.  But she never stopped trusting that she would meet her Mom some day in heaven.  Years later, when my Grandma’s sight was going, she gave me her mother’s bible.  I have always treasured this gift, as it includes some actual sermons and poems written by her mom.  ‘The cross is a mystery’, wrote her mother, ‘until you take it up.’  Grandma Olive knew from personal experience that being a mother often involves taking up unexpected crosses in one’s life.

When Grandma Olive died in 1990, I had the unique privilege of taking her funeral service.  It was a hard thing to do, but also very meaningful.  Years later, I give thanks for what a loving, gracious grandmother she was to me.  When I wonder why my father learned to respect women, I know that it came from his deep respect for his mother Olive who totally devoted her life to her family.  I firmly believe that much of my father’s self-confidence as an adult came from the unshakable conviction that he was unconditionally loved by his mother.  As Grandma Olive was gradually dying, her Doctor often visited her. He said that she was a majestic lady, and that whenever he came to see her, he went away feeling better.  Even in the last stages of death, Grandma Olive had the ability to comfort and calm those around her.

I will always remember the last private communion service that I had with Grandma Olive, a week before she died..  She participated very intensely in the service, although greatly weakened physically. As I spoke of Jesus’ loving death for us, she nodded her head continually and then said: “I’m ready to go.  I want to be with Grandpa, my parents, and my friends.”  One of her last few words were: “I am so fortunate.  I have such a good  family and friends”.  Then she said, “I love you very much.”  Grandma Olive was not afraid to die, because she believed in the truth of Easter.  Grandma knew that love was stronger than death.  This Mother’s Day,  I want to thank God for all the mothers, like Grandma Olive, who unselfishly devote their lives to their families.

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

-award-winning author of the 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.  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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Courageous Women in Challenging Times

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

 

The first girl that I ever had a crush on was named Debbie. We were both only six at the time.  Debbie or Deborah is a fascinating name.  Deborah is actually a Hebrew word that means ‘bee’.  You may remember the boxer Cassius Clay/AKA Mohammad Ali saying: “I float like a butterfly. I sting like a bee.” The original Deborah was aptly named as she stung like a bee to those who threatened her children. Who were her children? Deborah did not just stand up for her own nuclear family; she stood up for the whole community, for all God’s children.  That is why Deborah received the title “Mother of Israel”.

I know that there are many Deborahs, many ‘Mothers of Israel’ reading this article, many women who will stand up to protect the lives and health of all the children in our local community. One Deep Cove Deborah is Janet Pavlik, who deeply cares for our local community and has invested heavily in serving others, especially through the Deep Cove Historical Society, the Lions Club, the Deep Cove Crier, and the Deep Cove Theatre.  In the past twenty-three years, I have met hundreds of local Deborahs, many of them relatively unknown who selflessly dedicate their lives to serving their family and their community.  To each of the Deborahs reading this article, I want to say ‘thank you’ .  You are appreciated and deeply valued for the sacrifices that you have made so that our local community can be more healthy and safe.  Without mothers creating healthy homes, chaos prevails on the streets.

My wife, my sisters, my late mother and my grandmothers have all been ‘Deborahs’ in my life. Their long-suffering devotion to family in good times and bad continues to inspire me to be a better person.  Recently I received an e-mail from one of my ‘Deborahs’ reminding me that it was time to go to my GP for my regular checkup.

Deborahs fight for the significant men in their lives, for their sons, their husbands, their brothers, their fathers. They want them to win. They want them to thrive. They want them to fully live.  Deborahs care deeply and can’t stop caring if they tried.

The first Deborah was a very powerful, courageous woman in fearful times.  She used to sit under a palm tree and serve as the Judge for all of Israel, deciding the difficult cases that couldn’t be solved otherwise.  She was also a prophet, who had unusual discernment about what to do in impossible times.  Deborah had an unusually close relationship to God, and had really learned to listen for that still small voice. Judges Chapter 5 describes a song that she received which inspired her whole nation to action.

For over twenty years, the Children of Israel had been trodden down by Sisera, the Canaanite Army Commander with over nine hundred iron chariots, the top military technology of those days.  It had become so bad that local town life had been decimated and no one could safely travel by road.  Deborah knew that this had to stop.  So she approached Barak, asking him to bring 10,000 men and confront this injustice.

Barak, who lacked the military hardware, answered with profound ambivalence, saying: “If you go with me, I will go. If you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”  Because of Barak’s timidity, Deborah had to prod him until he finally took action.  An unexpected downpour occurred, which landed the Canaanite iron chariots deep in the mud. After this great victory, Deborah led the Children of Israel through a time of peace for forty years.

The Song of Deborah says: ‘Wake up, wake up, Deborah!  Wake up, wake up, break out in song!’  My heart-felt prayer for those reading this article is ‘Wake up, Wake up Deborah! Come into your destiny and calling.  Don’t let the fear or ambivalence of others hold you back. Fight for both your family and your community. Stand up for what you know is right and just and fair.  Show compassion to the widow and the orphan.  Be a Mother of Israel in your local community.’

 

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

– previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/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 Ave, Surrey, BC 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 Ave, 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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Thank God for Loving Mothers

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Where would we be without our mothers?  Mothers keep the world on track.  Mothers never stop caring.  Mothers never stop giving.

Sometimes our generous mothers suffer from exhaustion.  One of the best gifts we can give to the mothers in our lives is the gift of gratitude, the gift of thanksgiving, perhaps even the gift of doing the dishes!

My late mother showed her love to me in delicious, unforgettable meals.  Love and food are intricately linked.  Can you think of anyone you really love that you have not eaten a meal with?  Mother’s Day itself is a major time for families to gather with their mothers and eat together.

My father keeps video records of our family gatherings.  From looking at our family videos, you would think that all we ever do is celebrate and eat together.  Good food is wonderful but without the presence of family and especially the mothers in our lives, food can leave you rather empty inside.  Experts tell us that a lot of over-eating and under-eating has to do with deep love-deficits in our lives.

When my father showed his appreciation to my mom, he often expressed it by taking the family out to the White Spot restaurant.  The White Spot for me symbolized quality, caring, and family.  The second favorite spot that my father brought us to was Yen Lock’s in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown.  I initially used to stay at home with my grandmother, as I didn’t like Chinese food.  Eventually I overcame my culinary aversion and joined my mother and family for the Yen Lock celebrations.  Ironically Chinese food, especially chicken chow mein, is now my favorite meal!

One of my favorite food-inspired paintings is the famous Holman Hunt painting of Jesus standing with a lantern and patiently knocking on a weed-covered, closed door.  Holman Hunt’s inspiration for the painting came straight from Revelation 3:20: “Behold I am standing and knocking at your door. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will eat together”.  I was often puzzled why Jesus would want to eat with me, if I would open the door of my heart.  One day I realized that all true love, all true relationship involves food.  No wonder one of the highest act of worship involves bread and wine, eaten in remembrance of this wonderful relationship with Jesus.

My late mother, like her mother before, is a true worshipper.  Her faith has been a great inspiration to me.  Thank God for my mother inviting me to supper with Jesus, when I was wandering in the wilderness, lost and hungry.  Thank you God for all my mother’s  great meals year in and year out.  I now see more than ever that every portion was prepared with heart-felt love.  I am a better person today because of that unfailing love.

Food is love!  No wonder so many people around the world are discovering the meaning of love as they sit down for dinner at an Alpha course.  Lovingly prepared by mothers and others, Alpha dinners are becoming the highlight of many people’s weeks. Through Alpha dinners, many mothers and others are discovering authentic, lasting community in a fragmented world.  After my own mother attended an Alpha Course dinner, she couldn’t stop raving about it!

My prayer for those reading this article is that each of us will sit down for dinner with Jesus, the lover of our souls.

 

 

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

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/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, 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