Edhird's Blog

Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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The Summer Pause that Refreshes

By the Rev. Dr.  Ed Hird

As summer rolls into August, we know that we are entering the home stretch of the holiday season.  Most of us really enjoy our summer holidays, particularly when the weather co-operates.  Earlier this summer it seemed like summer was never going to start.  Then suddenly it felt too hot but people didn’t want to complain because we were so grateful to see the sunshine.  There is something about a sunny day that can help with a sunny personality.  That is why so many people move to California.  But good weather alone does not guarantee the summer pause that refreshes.

                I remember when I first went to Hawaii.  The weather, surfing, swimming, and sights were great.  The only problem with Hawaii was that I was there.  I

low angle photography of coconut trees

Photo by Michelle Clement on Pexels.com

brought with myself that same sense of emptiness, that something was missing from my life.  Last year, when I once again visited Hawaii, I happened to stumble upon a bagpipe ceremony for a person who had died tragically young.  Just a few feet from a beautiful Hawaiian beach, I was reminded that all the beauty of creation doesn’t ultimately satisfy our inner longings.  I love the beauty of creation particularly on a beautiful summer day, but the beauty of creation is meant to point beyond itself to the beauty of its Creator.

                I come from a long line of overfunctioners and hard workers.  Sometimes people in my family of origin have neglected the summer pause that refreshes.  Sometimes they have attempted to keep going in their own strength.  Sooner or later the body gets its revenge.   Either we enter into the pause that refreshes or our body will force us to stop, sometimes in a rather shocking way.  The Creator of this amazing world designed our bodies so that they worked best if we took pauses that refresh.  That is why healthy people take regular days off.  That is why summer holidays are so vital to our health.  The Good Book calls the pause that refreshes the Sabbath.  Similarly academics call their pause that refreshes a sabbatical.  No one can function at their best on a 24/7 basis.

                Because of our workaholic culture, some people do summer holidays with the same frenetic intensity, leaving them more exhausted than they started.  They never pause to reflect, to enjoy, to observe, and to renew.  No wonder that so many people half-jokingly say that they need a holiday just to recover from their holiday.  What if in the final portion of the summer holidays, we actually rested?  The heart of the Hebrew word ‘sabbath’ is ‘rest’.  The Great Physician once said ‘Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’  So often our souls are weary, burdened, and restless.  What if this summer we embraced the pause that refreshes?  What if during this holiday season we actually rested?  What if this summer we allowed the beauty of creation to point us back to the author of creation?  My  prayer for those reading this article is that we would each become deeply refreshed and renewed in our body, soul, and spirit.

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.  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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Mountaintop Renewal

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

 As a teenager, I first began skiing in the North Shore Mountains.  Mountaintop views from Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress are often stunning.  Mountains cause us to realize that the world is so much bigger than our compartmentalized life.  They are a way to get away, to recover perspective, to remember who we are in the frantic busyness of North Shore life.

While I loved skiing the North Shore Mountains as a teenager, I still felt an inner emptiness.  Something was missing that I could not put a finger on.  I had no idea that I was on a spiritual journey.  At age 17, in the final months of Grade 12, I had a mountaintop spiritual experience where I met God and within a week felt called to ordained ministry.  My maternal grandmother and mother, who were more discerning than me, both knew already that I would end up as an Anglican priest.  My plan had been to be an electrical engineer like my father.  Instead I became a social worker before becoming a priest.  As of this May, I will have been ordained now for thirty-two years.

I love the Anglican way, even with its challenges.  I also deeply love the wider Church, with its rich interdenominational flavours.  It is good to appreciate the strengths of one denomination, without being narrow or rigid about it.  Anglicans do not have the corner on biblical truth, but we do have a contribution to make in the wider picture.

In January this year, I had the privilege of having a one-month mountaintop sabbatical.  As I had done eight years ago, I went to a small cabin on top of Mount Sumas where I had the opportunity to spend time in solitude with God.  Many people in the bible went to mountains when they wanted to deepen their walk with the Lord.  Moses is one of the most famous examples.  The Good Book tells us in Exodus 19:20 that “the LORD descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up.”  Moses spent forty days and nights with God face to face, coming down with the Ten Commandments.  Mountaintops were also one of Jesus’ favorite places to pray (Mark 6:46)

While on Mount Sumas,  I journaled on my IPhone what I was hearing from the Lord.  While none of these impressions were ‘written in stone’, I sensed God speaking to me many times during that month.  God reminded me many times that I am his adopted son, that I am loved and accepted.  A prayer sabbatical is a wonderful way to slow down and just listen to the still small voice.  God showed me that I don’t need to rush ahead of him, that he is in charge, and I need to surrender afresh to his will and purposes.   While on Mount Sumas, God was renewing and refreshing my heart.  Many times he reminded me of that original mountain top experience that I had with him in Grade 12.

My prayer for those reading this article is that we may be reminded that he is humble and gentle in heart, and that he loves to give rest to our souls when they are weary and burdened (Matthew 11:28-30).

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

-an article 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.  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 


1 Comment

Gratefully Remembering The Rev. John Lombard

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

The Rev. John Lombard helped many people become ready for the final transition of life.  He did not let the difficult disease of Parkinson’s defeat his feisty spirit.  John was ready to go, ready for the final phase of life on earth. John lived a full life, both in sickness and health.

John was a courageous, humorous, thoughtful, and compassionate man.  It was a privilege to get to know John on a personal level.  At his memorial service, many people shared about the deep humility that John displayed.  To know John was to love John.

His dear wife Bev stood faithfully with John ‘for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and health’ in their forty-five years of marriage.  During the difficult last phase of John’s life, Bev kept an online blog where she shared daily about her life with John.  Bev has been a great inspiration to many by the way that she has not let John’s chronic illness defeat her.  Her deep faith kept her going, because she knew that she was not alone.

As my honorary assistant priest at St. Simon’s North Vancouver, John was a tremendous help, covering for me when I spoke at various conferences.  In 2004 when I had an opportunity to take a three-month sabbatical, John ‘held the fort’, enabling me to be deeply refreshed and renewed.  Because of John’s covering at St Simon’s NV, I was able to travel to eighteen cities across Canada with 250 francophones and anglophones in a journey of reconciliation called La Danse.

In Nov 2004 our 10:30am contemporary service moved, because of overcrowding, to the Maplewood School.   This was made possible because John covered for me at Maplewood School until I could drive there from Deep Cove after our 9am traditional service.  John’s loyalty was a rare gift to me. I knew that you could depend on John through thick and thin.  John was a man of his word. His yes was yes and his no was no.

John was not a yes-man.  Many times when John saw a way that we could improve, he would freely share with me his insights.  As his voice became weaker because of Parkinson’s, I had to listen very carefully.  His mind remained sharp, even as his body faced serious challenges.  I remember John’s helpful suggestions about how we could improve the quality of reading scripture on Sunday morning.  His ideas resulted in a very informative Saturday morning Readers’ Workshop led by his wife Bev to about twenty of our readers.  There was a remarkable strength in John’s spirit, even in the final days of his being in hospice.  The last time I saw John, he really enjoyed viewing my iphone photos from our recent holiday in Hawaii.

One of my strongest memories of John was at the annual BC Christian Ashram retreats where John would tell funny stories and play harmonica during the talent show.  John was a very gifted harmonica player who with his quirky sense of humour intentionally played the wrong harmonica notes in one song.  John did this with a twinkle in his eye.

Born in Montreal and raised in Windsor Ontario, John spent most of his ordained ministry in southern Ontario.  Instead of merely retiring, John and Bev moved to Greater Vancouver to become missionaries with WEC international.  They served at the Gateway Intercultural Training Centre and led short-term mission trips to Fiji, Guatemala, and South Africa.  After St. Simon’s NV adopted John and Bev as part-time missionaries, John wrote wonderful updates about how God was using them in raising up young leaders around the world. As a member of the national leadership team for the Anglican Mission in Canada, John co-ordinated prayer initiatives for the Coalition, sending out regular prayer updates.  As a leader in VMTC, John prayed deeply for healing of others in body, mind and spirit. He gave and gave and gave.  We miss John deeply. But we are so grateful that he is now with Jesus in his nearer presence.

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