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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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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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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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Catharine Parr Traill: Pioneer Canadian Mother

By the Rev. Dr.  Ed Hird

Catharine Parr Traill was a pioneer Canadian mother who made a phenomenal impact on the life of our nation.

England in the early 1830s was caught in a Canada-mania.  In the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars, England was thrown into an economic depression.  Thomas Strickland, the father of Catherine Parr Traill, was caught in the economic downturn, resulting in near-bankruptcy and his premature death.  He left behind an impoverished widow and six unmarried daughters whose chances of marriage were seriously limited.

Both Catherine Parr Traill and her sister Susanna married economically-challenged Scottish soldiers who were offered land grants in the colonies.  Canada began to be seen as the land of milk and honey!  Altogether 655,747 people sailed away from British shores between 1831 and 1841 (almost three times as many as had moved abroad during the previous ten years).

The two key Canada-promoters William Cattermole and Captain Charles Stuart were being paid so much per head for every Brit that they could recruit for Canada.  In their glowing description of Canada, Cattermole and Stuart forgot to mention the backbreaking work required to clear the forests, the total absence of household comforts, the aching loneliness, and the grinding poverty of most early Canadian pioneers.  Catharine Parr Traill and her sister Susanna, being gifted writers, were able to record a vital part of our Canadian pioneering history.  In Catherine Parr Traill’s book ‘The Canadian Settler’s Guide’, she insightfully wrote:

“In cases of emergency, it is folly to fold up one’s hands and sit down to bewail in abject terror: it is better to be up and doing.”

Catharine’s book “The ‘Backwoods of Canada quickly sold its first printing of eleven thousand copies, being translated into German in 1838 and French in 1843.

Of the six Strickland daughters including Catherine, five of them became published authors!  Catharine’s older sister Agnes in England was the leading royal biographer of the 19th century.  Sister Agnes caustically commented: “Who in England thinks anything of Canada?” and “Nothing that is first published in Canada will sell well in England”.

 In Charlotte Grey’s book ‘Sisters in the Wilderness’, Catharine Parr Traill and her sister Susanna are described as laying “the foundation of a literary tradition that still endures in Canada: the pioneer woman who displays extraordinary courage, resourcefulness and humour.  This ‘Canadian character type’, as critic Elizabeth Thompson calls her, is a pragmatist who discovers her own strength as she overcomes adversity.”  Sir Sandford Fleming, inventor of one-hour time zones, and the engineering genius behind the Canadian Pacific Railway, said of Catharine: “She has rendered service of no ordinary kind in making known the advantages offered by Canada as a field for settlement, and by her very widely read writings she has been instrumental in inducing very many emigrants from the United Kingdom to find homes in the Dominion.”

Catharine Parr Trail had a remarkable ability to rise above adversity and make the best of every situation.  Charlotte Grey: writes in her book about ‘the stamina, talent and determination that allowed two English ladies to overcome the hardships of pioneer life and leave a powerful legacy to Canadian culture.’  It is hard for us almost two hundred years later to fully imagine the miseries of hunger, disease, cold, and disappointment faced by our early Canadian pioneers.  I was shocked to discover that both Catharine and her sister’s families came down with malaria, a widespread problem in Canada as pioneers were struggling to drain mosquito-infested swamps.

Catharine Parr Traill commented in the early days: “I have not seen a woman except those in our company for over five months….”  As Charlotte Grey put it, “Being wrenched from one’s homeland leaves deep scars in the psyche of every emigrant in any era:  Susanna and Catharine bore these scars for the rest of their lives.”

Catharine’s motto was ‘Hope! Resolution! And Perseverance!’.  She would assure her relatives back home that Canada is the ‘land of hope.’ Her sister Sarah spoke of Catherine/Kate: “Her blue eyes always sparkled with happiness and curiosity about the world.  She had a warm smile and an air of stolid contentment, and even as a baby, Catharine ‘never cried like other children –indeed we used to say that Katie never saw a sorrowful day – for if anything went wrong, she just shut her eyes and the tears fell from under the long lashes and rolled down her cheeks like pearls into her lap.  We all adored her.”

 Charlotte Grey commented how Catharine loved “the wild and picturesque rocks, trees, hill and valley, wild-flowers, ferns, shrubs and moss and the pure, sweet scent of pines over all, breathing health and strength.”  Nature, for Catharine, was saturated with divine meaning – its splendor and concord displayed the authority and goodness of its Creator.  That is why Catharine wrote many “books that reflected sheer love of nature’s bounty and admiration in God’s handiwork.”  The flowers of the field, for her, were good reminders of the teachings of Christ.  Catherine often illustrated her dried specimens with biblical quotes, particularly from the Psalms or the book of Revelation.

Charlotte Grey commented that in future years, Catharine would rely on her love of nature, the beauties of which she saw as the expression of God’s will, to carry her through one disaster after another:
“Strength was always given to me when it was needed.” As she dug and weeded in the kitchen garden, or lifted heavy cast-iron pans of porridge from the stove, she would pause briefly, straighten her aching back, close her eyes and utter silent prayers.  She noted at the end of her life: “In great troubles and losses, God is very Good.”

In the midst of her very busy writing and pioneering, Catharine never neglected her family.  As Charlotte Grey put it, “Motherhood came as naturally to Catharine as breathing.  It was the most meaningful activity in her life.  She was always prepared to give more love than she took, and she saw no conflict between her family and her impulse to write.”

My prayer is that every mother reading this article would receive that same strength as Catharine Parr Traill in the challenges of life.

 

 

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