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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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Say No to the Herd

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Every summer the Hird family goes away on a BC Christian Ashram retreat to Sumas Mountain.  The United Christian Ashram movement was founded in 1930 by Dr. E. Stanley Jones in India.  As a close friend of Mahatma Gandhi, Jones wrote twenty-eight books that sold millions, including Christ of the Indian Road and Abundant Living. As the most widely read spiritual author during his lifetime, Jones left a remarkable impact that is rapidly increasing in our social media world.  Jones’ short aphorisms are very quotable, being often reposted on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

For the last year, I have been rereading Jones’ book The Way to Power and Poise. Jones memorably warns us against the herd: “If we are herd-centered people, then we are insecure, for the herd is fickle and may quickly change.”  Teenagers, when facing peer pressure, are often tempted to be herd-centered.  When we give up self to the herd, we lose identity, focus and creativity.  The desire to be popular and to fit in can be very deadly.  It takes courage to be ourselves.  Jones taught that if we are dominated by the herd, we are doomed by the herd – doomed to a life of up and downness.

There are four possible attitudes, said Jones, to the herd urge.  We can 1) withdraw from the herd 2) defy the herd 3) succumb to the herd or 4) surrender the herd to God and then live within it.

The problem with the first attitude of withdrawal is that we are left in isolation and eccentricity.  All forms of separation, segregation or apartheid backfire upon themselves.  Emotional cut-off solves nothing.  We are called to be in the herd but not of the herd.

The second attitude of defying the herd leaves us on the defensive.  As Jones put it, you cannot live constantly objecting without becoming objectionable.  Defensiveness is negative and self-defeating.  Healthy people do not define themselves by what they are opposed to.

The third attitude of succumbing to the herd, said Jones, robs you of your voice: “you are an echo; you don’t act; you only react; you are not a person but a thing.”  Mindless conforming is ultimately deforming.  Giving up self to the herd leaves us flat and empty.  Mob mentality, as with the 2011 Vancouver Canuck riot, is rooted in the herd mentality. Many young people going to that Canuck game had no idea how destructive they would become.

The fourth attitude, said Jones, is to break the dominance of the herd by surrendering the herd to God.  Then we cease to be people-pleasers and become God-pleasers instead.  We become people who have the courage to speak, to risk, to be different.  Bullies and dictators no longer control us.  When God is God instead of the herd, then we receive a peace that passes all understanding.  We become non-anxious catalysts that change our families, workplaces and herds.

Only when we let go and let God can the herd become healthy.  The herd will drain you of life and energy, if you let it.  The herd is never satisfied.  You can never do enough to please the herd.  Jesus gives you the ability to transform the herd into a thing of beauty.  Say no to the herd, and yes to life.

To learn more about the BC Christian Ashram retreat, click on the following link.

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

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

for better for worse-Click to check out on  Amazon our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship. 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