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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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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 


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Forgetting Valentine’s Day…

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Valentine’s Day rolls around every year without fail.  Husbands forget Feb 14th at their peril.  Somehow our wives interpret our forgetting Valentine’s Day as a sign that we don’t care, that we may be putting other priorities like work and sports above them.  So, husbands, be warned.  Flowers are much cheaper than lawyers.

 

After forty-one years of marriage, I love my wife more now than I have ever loved her.  To celebrate our 30th Anniversary, we flew to England to visit with our youngest son, serving then as a youth missionary in Newcastle.  It is an amazing gift to be married to someone whom you really like to be with.  My wife has been that gift to me.  She has been so loyal in supporting our 31-year ministry at St. Simon’s North Vancouver from 1987 to 2018.  That is why I dedicated my book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’ “with gratitude to my dear wife who has been married to me for almost thirty years, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.”  You can imagine that it is not easy to be married to a clergyman, especially with the challenges that faithful Anglicans have been facing in North America.

 

My wife served as our St. Simon’s NV Music Director, co-ordinating several different choirs and contemporary worship bands.  Archbishop David Somerville, who first ordained me, once said that if the devil ever gets into the church, he will come in through the choir.  Because music is so closely connected to worship, it makes sense why music can easily be contentious.  Sometimes people have worship wars over contemporary songs vs. traditional hymns.  At St. Simon’s NV, we decided in 1996 to honour both expressions by offering both a traditional 9am BCP service and a contemporary 10:30am service.  Because my dear wife is musically bilingual, she is able to encourage both expressions with integrity.  Unlike many church choir directors who are always quitting and creating havoc, my dear wife has been a source of musical stability for the past two decades.  Dynamic music is a key to a vibrant, healthy Church.

 

My wife and  I went to Winston Churchill High School in Vancouver, both graduating thirty-nine years ago in 1972.  But we only really noticed each other from a distance.  We became friends while taking the bus home from the University of British Columbia.  She was in Music naturally, and I was in Social Work, dreaming about becoming an Anglican priest.  For around a year, we were only good friends.  But eventually the penny dropped and I saw the light.  My wife really impressed me with her great listening skills, her good sense of humour, and her hard work.

Finally one day in 1975, I invited her to go bike-riding to Little Mountain in Vancouver.  The rest is history.  Coming back from our second bike ride, I said to her, “Don’t take me too seriously, but relative to two days, I would like to spend the rest of my life with you.”  For some reason, this shocked her.  But she got over it, and we quickly moved to become engaged.  When I introduced her to my mother, my mom said something that she had never said before: “The woman who marries Ed will need to have quarters for the bus”.  What she meant is that while I have strong leadership giftings, I work best when I am complimented by someone with strong administrative giftings, who pays attention to the details.

 

In my first Valentine’s Day article for the Deep Cove Crier thirty years ago, I wrote: “Why do I still enjoy Valentines Day?  It’s because all of us have a need to feel loved, even when you’re married.  So often romantic love can fade imperceptibly from a marriage.  In the busyness of children, work, school and sports, our marriage can easily get lost in the shuffle.  Marriage Counselors tell us that romantic love is one of the greatest lacks in modern marriages.  The bible reminds each husband to love his wife as his own body, to love his wife as he loves himself, to love his wife just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5).

 

Husbands, let’s surprise our wives on February 14th and make our family homes the most romantic spot on Planet Earth!”

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.


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Thanking God for godly mentors

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

The New Year season is a time for both remembering and anticipating.  This New Year, I particularly remember one of my mentors Ernie Eldridge who has helped me more effectively spend the last 7,100 days on the North Shore.

 

Healthy mentors make the world of difference. Ernie Eldridge mentored me when I was just finding my way in the world.

 

Ernie believed in me when I first came to faith in 1972 and reassured me that I had done the right thing.  Ernie gave me sage advice about relationship choices, even assisting at my wedding forty-one years ago.  When I was completing my Social Work degree at UBC, Ernie carefully listened as I shared my dream about becoming an Anglican priest.  After thirty years of ordained ministry, I am grateful that Ernie could see potential in a well-meaning, rather naïve young adult.

 

In the mid 1970s, we started a singing group called Morning Star and a parallel LivingStone Productions which organized contemporary music concerts at Queen Elizabeth Theatre and the PNE Gardens.  Thanks to Ernie Eldridge’s mentorship, Morning Star received a national grant that enabled us to sing throughout BC, including an extensive outreach to Vancouver Island.  During that period, we sang extensively on the North Shore, including Hillside Baptist, West Vancouver United, and St. Simon’s North Vancouver.

As a social worker, I had the privilege of working for John Braithwaite in 1975-76 at North Shore Neighbourhood House.  But I had no idea that God would one day have me spend several decades living on the North Shore.  That was never on my radar screen.  After four & a half years serving as the assistant priest at St Matthew’s Anglican Church in Abbotsford, I knew in 1986 that it was time to become a Rector/Senior pastor. One of the first people that I asked for advice and prayer was Ernie Eldridge.  Ernie agreed that it was time to move on.   In ‘casting my bread on the waters’, I applied for two positions: St Thomas Chilliwack and St. Simon’s North Vancouver.  When I met with the St Simon’s selection committee on Badger Road in Deep Cove, they asked me a lot of challenging questions.  My answers did not always impress myself, but I left that meeting with a deep sense that I would be moving to the North Shore.

Ernie Eldridge always cheered for me when I was facing my next major transition.  One time he went to bat for me with my bishop at great personal risk.  Two of Ernie’s gifts to me that have been invaluable on the North Shore were his ‘Death & Dying’ and ‘Time Management’ courses.  He taught me the need to prepare for one’s death and to grieve the inevitable losses that we will all face. While writing my book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’, my wife and I were privileged to visit Ernie and Barb in Beaver Harbour New Brunswick before Barb died from ALS. Recently Ernie produced a thoughtful book ‘Hope, Help, Heaven’ on his last ten years with his dear wife Barb.

Because Ernie uses a time management system, he was able to write his book in which he journals his thoughts and activities on a daily and weekly basis.  One of Ernie’s favourite verses was Psalm 90:12: “Teach us to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”  Through Ernie’s influence in 1982, I began using the Seven Star Diary system after my voice was restored through surgery.  For the past twenty-eight years, I have regularly recorded my work activities in a journal format.  As a result, I know exactly how many hours I have spent on any particular activity. Ernie taught me to ‘redeem the time’ because life is short and easily wasted (Ephesians 5:17, Colossians 4:5).

 

Through Ernie’s time management system, I am aware that I have now spent 7,100 days serving the North Shore.  Time flies when you enjoy your work. It is a great privilege to serve each of you. It has not always been easy.  In the past 31 years, I have been privileged to be involved in some of your baptisms, weddings, and funerals. Through the Deep Cove Crier and the North Shore News, I have been privileged to communicate with each of you in hundreds of diverse articles.  Over the last three decades, St. Simon’s NV has served many of your children, preteens, teens and young adults through our gifted young pastors, the Rev Ken Bell, the Rev Josh Wilton, Jill Cardwell, Tyler Gibson, and Mark Hird.  In the past 31 years, I had an opportunity to personally visit 10,000 of your homes to see what you think and feel. In the same way that Ernie Eldridge has helped me make better use of my time, I pray that each of us reading this article will learn to more effectively redeem our time and become better stewards of this sacred gift of our fleeting days.

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

– previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore Mews

-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, 1008- 555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC, V7N 2J7, 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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Trouble Right Here in River City

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

There are few things that thrill me as much as seeing young people pull together and put on a high-quality school musical.  My own ‘Winston Churchill High School’, which I graduated in 1972, was famous for two things: an excellent ‘British Bulldogs’ basketball team and an unforgettable drama/music program by Mrs Norman.  The year I graduated, our school put on a smash-hit version of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’.  As I had just had a profound spiritual encounter with Jesus Christ that spring, my interest level was high in the school musical.

I remember when my youngest son Andrew had the privilege of playing the part of Professor Harold Hill in his BCCA School’s  The Music Man production  .  If I say so myself as an unbiased parent, he was thoroughly believable.  My favorite song in the production was ‘Trouble Right Here in River City’. What impressed me most in seeing the play was the self-sacrificing attitude of the entire cast.  No one tried to be a prima donna.  No one gave a half-hearted performance.  Everyone, and I mean everyone in the entire cast, poured out their heart, mind and soul night after night at the Evergreen Theatre.  The sense of school spirit and teamwork was palpable and real.  I  particularly enjoyed the performances of Marian Paroo (Ligia Cota), Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn (Alale Beheshti), and Marcellus Washburn (Robson Liu). But the truth is that everyone in the cast gave it their best.

I have been ordained as an Anglican clergyman now for 38 years.  My undergraduate degree is in Social Work from UBC.  While training in Social Work, I was paid by the North Vancouver Royal Bank to help ‘high-profile young people’ through the North Shore Neighbourhood House.  One of the things I discovered in working at the Neighbourhood House is that teamwork was the key to break-through in the young people’s lives.  Our culture is swallowed by what Dr. Don Faris calls self-regarding individualism.  So often good intentions become neutralized by the ‘unholy trinity’ of ‘I, me, and myself’.  In attending my son’s ‘Music Man’ performance, I was reminded of the wonderful gift of teamwork.  Teamwork brings out the best in all of us. Teamwork reminds us that no one is an island.

The Bible uses the image of a body in which one of us is a foot, another an arm, another an eye.  Everyone needs everyone else in order to become all that we are meant to be.   The leader of my son’s BCCA Fine Arts program, Mrs. Birth, had a passion to call forth the best in every one of their students.  This remarkable instructor led the way in giving and giving and giving until every student wants to also be a giver.  Out of this remarkable dedication was birthed a musical/drama team that literally transformed the lives of its young people.

 Suicide is the biggest killer of teens in our 21st century.  Everyone needs hope for their future to keep going.  Music and drama at its best can be full of hope, full of life, full of new beginnings.  I thank God for teachers like Mrs. Birth who give so generously to raise up teams that actually work. Teamwork is a real solution to ‘trouble right here in River City.’

 

 

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

-previously published in the 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 


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Restoring Community in the 21st Century

by the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

 

Atlantic Christian Ashram

I’ll always remember big Glen and little Glen, Paul, Jimmy, Steven, and Brian. We all grew up in the Arbutus area in Vancouver in the early 60s. We played football together on our front lawns. We built tree forts together in the bush across the street. We even tried to “Dig to China” together around the side of our houses. Everyone in our neighbourhood knew each other (even the adults!). There was a warmth and community feeling that I took for granted until I moved to Montreal in 1965.

Suddenly I lived in a city where no one knew their neighbours, where French and English people rarely spoke to each other, where wealth and success swallowed up all the time people used to have for their neighbours. I enjoyed the excitement of Montreal and Expo’67, but I missed the intimacy and warmth of the local Arbutus neighbourhood.

 

While obtaining a degree in Social Work, I worked for the North Shore Neighbourhood House with “high profile pre-teens”. During that time, I became aware of many groups on the North Shore using the word Community.  There were Community Schools, Community Centres, Community Health Clinics, Community Cable Companies, Community Resource Boards, Community Recreation Programs, etc., etc. It always puzzled me as to why with so many community agencies, there was often so little sense of real community  at the neighbourhood level. Why had it become so hard to even know who your neighbours were, let alone “Love Your Neighbour as Yourself”?

 

DSCF1492In reading Lewis Drummond, part of the “Community” puzzle began to fit together. He said that for most of humanity’s history, people lived in small, rural close knit (even tribal) communities. They fished, hunted, worked, farmed, and played together. Communication and community came easily in such an intimate environment. But since the industrial and high tech revolution, over 90 percent moved to the burgeoning cities. In these massive urban areas, our neighbours are no longer our fellow workers or even necessarily our acquaintances. With the advent of television, radio and the Internet, the need for and the interaction with one’s community has been further reduced. Leisure time can now be spent inside the four walls of one’s own castle, the home. Humanity, as Gavin Reid puts it, has moved into the “Post Community” era.

 

Some have seen urbanization with the breakdown of community as a blessing. At last, they say, we can be alone and live our own lives without the gossip or interference of others. But in losing community, we lose a sense of belonging and security. Worst of all, when community collapses, so does genuine communication. For real communication is only possible in the context of a genuine community where trust and caring exist.

 

Each of us must play our part in this fragmented world to rebuild genuine community, to reach out to the lost and the lonely. Each of us can decide to live by the Golden Rule: to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Each us of us can choose to truly love our neighbour as ourselves.  The world can change, if we begin with ourselves. What are you willing to do this week to help restore community?

 

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

-author of the award-winning 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. 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