Edhird's Blog

Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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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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Basking on the Sunshine Coast

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

One day of sunshine in Deep Cove/Seymour is enough to make me forget all the other kinds of days.  I was raised in the days before skin cancer totally changed our views of sunbathing.  Suntan lotion in the 1960’s had little to do with the ozone layer and everything to do with looking more pleasantly roasted.  I remember feeling guilty if I didn’t burn!  One of my favorite places to catch the rays was on the Sunshine Coast in a little place called Roberts Creek.

My paternal grandparents had left Vancouver in 1959 to becoming a ‘pioneering family’ in a community that didn’t even having running water or electricity.  Grandpa Vic Hird, who was a 60-year-old master mechanic and second-generation blacksmith, decided to tent out with his wife Olive while building their own house in the Roberts Creek woods.  Each morning they trekked down to Flume Creek with the other pioneers to collect their daily water.

To help his parents build their house, my engineering father, accompanied by his young family, would take the Langdale Ferry many weekends to the Sunshine Coast.  My strongest memory of  the Sunshine Coast house-building spree was when I stepped on a long construction nail and had to be driven to my Grade One class for the first two months.  My Grandfather worked so hard building his house and digging a well through ‘hardpan’ that he suffered a heart attack and promptly decided that he would be dying within a year.  For the next 32 years of Grandpa’s life on the Sunshine Coast, we ‘knew’ that Grandpa would be dead within about a year.  Surprisingly all the healthy people died before Grandpa Hird.

All throughout my childhood and teenage years, we made our regular Sunshine Coast pilgrimages to visit my grandparents.  My grandpa loved the Sunshine Coast for the fishing, and often took us out in the early mornings to catch ‘a big one.’  While I found fishing rather boring, I loved strolling down to Henderson Beach to lay on the sand and swim out to the float.  This summer had a surreal feeling as we took our three boys there to ‘re-enact’ my childhood.  Dozens of rich memories came flooding back as I watched my boys run up and down the beach, climbing on the endless logs and looking for crabs under the barnacle-covered rocks.  I find that there is still something indescribably peaceful about sticking one’s toes in the nice warm sand and counting the sailboats floating by.

When my grandparents both died, we lost the ‘magnet’ that drew our family to the Sunshine Coast again and again.  In the past few years however, a number of our Deep Cove friends made the move to the Sunshine Coast, giving us the perfect excuse to resurrect our ‘family pilgrimage’.  Our transplanted Deep Covers on the Sunshine Coast also tell me that once you have lived in Deep Cove, you never get it out of your blood.  In some strange wonderful way, you never really leave Deep Cove.

Because Deep Cove was birthed originally as a vacation get-away only accessible by boat, Deep Cove still feels a lot like the laid-back Sunshine Coast to me.  The miracle of Deep Cove is that being only ten minutes from one of the busiest Metropolises in Canada, Deep Cove still gives one the sense of being countless miles away from anywhere.

Many of us remember the Travel Industry jingle where they sang: ‘I need a vacation, I’ve got to get away!’.  I recently learnt that the word vacation comes from the word ‘vacate’….to go away from so as to leave empty or unoccupied.  All of us need times to be able to get away, to leave our worries and stresses behind.  All of us need to be able to cut off our cells phones and leave our minds and hearts unoccupied with the unending busyness of business.  Deep Cove’s laid-back ‘genetic code’ can help us vacate our worries and really ‘let go and let God.’

No matter how dedicated to our careers, all of us need holidays…all of us need times of recreation.  When the rush and tumble of September arrives, how quickly our sunny holidays can seem like distant memories.  Holidays (or holy days in the original meaning) are not a luxury or an option.  They are at the heart of what it means to be re-created through recreation.  As created beings of a wonderful Creator, all of us tend to wear out.  All us literally need to be re-created on a regular basis.  The actual dictionary meaning of going to a local Rec Centre is that we might be re-created, re-newed, re-freshed.  My prayer for those reading this article online is that Jesus Christ our ‘Sun of Righteousness’, in whom we were created, will recreate us in body, mind and spirit.

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

-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