As my middle son Mark and I were playing tennis at the local tennis courts, I was reminded once again that tennis is a lot harder that it looks on TV! The proverb ‘It is better to give than receive’ applies well to my tennis game. Perhaps the reason why I do better at badminton than tennis is that tennis requires a remarkable speed to ‘receive’ incoming rapid-fire shots. On our ‘Island Hall Parksville’ honeymoon thirty-three years ago, my wife and I discovered that we love each other deeply, but tennis was not our secret to marital intimacy.
As I was recently out visiting, drinking tea and chatting, the famous tennis player Serena Williams appeared on the TV screen. Serena is a phenomenal tennis player who makes it looks so easy. There is an art and rhythm to her game that is gripping.
Watching Serena on TV reminded me of a promising young North Shore tennis player Rishan Kuruppa. A while ago, the North Shore News did a write-up on Rishan, as he trained at the North Shore Winter Club under the leadership of retired pro Grant Connell. Rishan has a deep passion for tennis that touches everything in his life. He eats, sleeps, and breathes tennis. I remember Rishan telling me how he daily ran up the Grouse Grind as part of his tennis workout. It left me feeling rather envious and relieved at the same time.
One of my favourite places to work out has been the Parkgate Gym. I’ve often run into Rishan there lifting weights and running backwards on the treadmill. One day we were both on parallel treadmills. I was on a fast walk at ‘4.2’ and Rishan was running at ‘7.5’. Having just received a tennis scholarship for the University of Tennessee, Rishan was determined to be fully up-to-speed before he left Deep Cove.
Rishan had often competed in the United States and began telling me, while on the treadmill, about some lively churches that he had visited in his tennis travels. I asked Rishan if he knew Jesus on a personal basis. Rishan said ‘no’ and genuinely asked me if I did. I shared my story of how I met Jesus on a personal basis while in Grade 12. Still fast-walking at ‘4.2’, I asked Rishan if he would like to ask Jesus into his life. Rishan, still running at ‘7.5’, promptly agreed, and so I led Rishan in a ‘treadmill’ prayer, to ask Jesus to be his Lord and Saviour. After prayer, Rishan said to me: ‘That’s great. I can feel Jesus’ peace.’
I believe that Rishan Kuruppa is a better tennis player today because of the inner peace that he received that day on the treadmill. Running, walking, or sitting, I believe that such inner peace is available to all those reading this article. Prayer anyone?
The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin
-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News
To have the 3508-hectare Mount Seymour Provincial Park right in our Greater Vancouver backyard is such a blessing. All of us, whether nature enthusiasts, hikers, skiers or mountaineers, would enjoy the serene forest cover of hemlock, Douglas fir and red cedar. My wife and I, along with our three sons, have enjoyed many pleasant hours hiking along the Mt Seymour trails, especially on the Baden Powell Trail that ends up down in Deep Cove. In the last number of years that we have been hiking on Mt Seymour, I have often wondered just whom Mt Seymour was named after.
After being given a fascinating book entitled ‘British Columbia Place Names’, I discovered that Mt Seymour is named after the first Governor of the united British Columbia colony, Frederick Seymour. Even though Frederick Seymour has been described as the forgotten governor, his namesake is found scattered all throughout our local community. Examples are Mt Seymour Lions, Mt Seymour Dry Cleaners, Mt Seymour Little League, Mt Seymour Soccer, Seymour Dental Centre, Seymour Animal Clinic, Seymour Golf & Country Club, Seymour Heights Elementary School, and the 11th & 13th Seymour Scouts, Cubs, and Beavers. Even SeyCove High School is a combined name involving Seymour, as well as Deep Cove.
The more I learned about the Seymour connection, the more curious I became about just who Frederick Seymour was and why so many things were named after him, including Seymour Creek, Seymour Arm, Seymour City, and Seymour Street in Vancouver. I discovered that Seymour was born in Belfast, Ireland on September 6, 1820 to a formerly wealthy family that had just lost its properties, position, and paycheck. Through a family friendship with Prince Albert, Seymour was appointed as assistant colonial secretary of Tasmania. Before being appointed as Governor of the mainland colony of British Columbia in 1864, Seymour also served in Antigua, Nevis, and finally as lieutenant governor of British Honduras for 16 years. The Duke of Newcastle chose Seymour for BC because he saw him as ‘a man of much ability and energy’. Seymour was thrilled at the ‘prospect of a change from the swamps of Honduras to a fine country’.
Frederick Seymour got along well with the citizens of the capital city of New Westminster. He upgraded their school, made personal gifts of books and magazines to their library, built a 200-seat ballroom, and encouraged the growth of cricket, tennis, & amateur theatre. He also ambitiously attempted to complete Sir James Douglas’ great highway to the interior of BC, but the financial costs of construction were staggering.
Seymour hosted 3,500 First Nations people at New Westminster for a weeklong celebration of Queen Victoria’s birthday. He also gained the support of a Chilcotin Chief in ending a violent inter-racial dispute at Bute Inlet. Seymour later reported that his ‘great object was to obtain moderation from the white men in the treatment of Indians.’
As the interior BC gold rush began to slump in 1865, Seymour went to England in a bid to cut costs by consolidating the two colonies of Vancouver Island and the Mainland. The British Government endorsed Seymour’s plan which resulted in the abolition of the Vancouver Island House of Assembly and the establishment of New Westminster as the sole capital of BC. Victoria was outraged that it ceased to be a capital and lobbied successfully to move the BC capital back to Victoria. Seymour grudgingly was forced to move from his beloved New Westminster to Victoria where he was deeply disliked by many locals. Despite such Islander animosity, Seymour was able to establish the BC public school system, improve the courts, draw up public health regulations, set standards for mining, and reduce the provincial debt.
During this period, some BCers petitioned that BC join up with the United States. Others began campaigning for BC to join Confederation, a move that Seymour opposed in numerous ways. Seymour initially ‘forgot’ to forward a number of pro-Confederation letters to the Colonial Secretary in London but, when he did, he included his own anti-Confederation messages. Seymour believed that Confederation was only wanted by a vocal minority of business people who were hoping that Confederation would solve BC’s economic woes. Prime Minister John A. Macdonald was outraged at Seymour’s opposition to Confederation, stating that Seymour should be recalled “as being perfectly unfit for his present position, under present circumstances. From all I hear, he was never fit for it.”
Seymour’s provincial recall campaign never had a chance to get off the ground, as Seymour was called up north to settle an inter-tribal war between the Nass and Tsimshian First Nations. Using the famous Anglican missionary William Duncan of Metlakatla as an interpreter, Seymour convinced the warring groups to sign a lasting peace treaty. On his way back, Seymour died in Bella Coola from one or more possible causes: dysentery, Panama Fever, and/or acute alcoholism. His convenient death paved the way for his opponents to sweep the memory of Seymour and his anti-Confederation feelings under the carpet. It is amazing to realize that when BC entered Confederation in 1871, BC had fewer than 40,000 people, of which almost 30,000 were First Nations people. Confederation for better or worse was the ‘watershed experience’ that defined our province. Seymour was an embarrassment to John A. Macdonald and friends. So Seymour the anti-Confederationist became the Forgotten Governor.
In the same way that Seymour was a forgotten governor in the civil realm, God is so often a forgotten governor in the spiritual realm. It is time that we re-establish Jesus Christ in his rightful spiritual place as governor of our land. My prayer is that God may keep our land glorious and free and that God the forgotten governor may have dominion from sea to sea.
Sandy Brown and her family have just moved to Spokane, Washington where her husband, Scott, is pastoring a new church. With a fresh start, Sandy is determined to devote more time to her four children. But, within weeks of settling in their new life, the Brown family is plunged into turmoil.
Sandy receives shocking news that her children aren’t safe, which brings back haunting memories of the trauma she experienced as a girl. Then, the unthinkable happens…
A brutal attack puts Sandy on the brink of losing everything she’s loved. Her faith in God and the family she cherishes are pushed to the ultimate limit.
Is healing possible when so many loved ones are hurt? Are miracles really possible through the power of prayer? Can life return to the way it was before?
Blue Sky reveals how a mother’s most basic instinct isn’t for survival… but for family.
If you’re a fan of Karen Kingsbury, then you’ll love Blue Sky. Get your copy today on paperback or kindle.
-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.