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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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. . . And a Happy New Year!!

 By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird 

Every January we get to grapple with the implications of the second half of that familiar Christmas Greeting: “…and a Happy New Year!”  Alexander Pope said in 1733: “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.” Pope suffered from childhood tuberculosis that left him hunched over, reaching a height of only 4 feet 6 inches. But he never let this steal his hopefulness and his joyfulness.

“Happy” comes from the old Norse word “Happ”, which means chance, luck, or lot.  Happiness is just that which happens to you by chance occurrence.  Many people are desperately trying to be happy.  But happiness, by definition, is haphazard, arbitrary, and temporary.  As a teenager, I tried to be happy, and to make my personal happiness the purpose of my life.  What I discovered is that chasing after the elusive goal of happiness is guaranteed to make one unhappier than ever.

Rather than aiming for temporary happiness, I have learned to value the more lasting quality of joy.  Joy has such depth that I have found that I can be joyful when unpleasant unhappy things happen haphazardly to me. Simon Peter taught that it is possible to be joyful with an unspeakable joy.  Joy is described in the Concise Oxford Dictionary as a “vivid emotion of pleasure, gladness, thing that causes delight”.  What causes gladness and delight in your life? The birth of a baby? Graduating from High School or University?  Attending your son or daughter’s wedding?

I have found that joy is a choice.  I can choose to rejoice always, even in the midst of great suffering and setbacks. James, Jesus’ brother, said that we should count it all joy when we face challenges. It is not easy to be joyful in all circumstances.  The good book teaches that joy is a fruit of God’s Holy Spirit.  When the Christmas angels turned up at the Bethlehem manger, they proclaimed glad tidings of great joy for all people.  Jesus, right before his crucifixion, said that he wanted His joy to be inside of us, and our joy to be full.   In other words, he wants us to be inwardly joyful: full of joy, overflowing with joy.  Without the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, this is impossible.  Joy needs to be like an artesian well springing up from within.  It can’t be artificially produced or induced.

All of us need more joy in our lives. Joy is the secret of a genuinely happy New Year.  Joy keeps the stresses and pressures of life from burying us before we are dead.  Thirty-nine years ago in January 1972, at age 17, I encountered a joy that changed me from the inside out.  This joy was so joyful that it made me full of joy! Without trying, I developed a smile that wouldn’t go away.  I really became a different person, so much so that my friends at High School noticed the difference.  Some even wanted in on the action.

My parents initially were a bit worried.  Having a joyful, peaceful teenager in their family took a little getting used to.  But eventually they too saw a permanent change in their son that made them joyful too.  There is something about an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ that connects us deeply to the gift of joy.  No wonder that C.S. Lewis, the atheist turned believer, entitled his autobiography “Surprised by Joy”. My New Year’s prayer for those reading this article is that joy may spill into all of our lives in surprising and life-changing ways.

 

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.


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Alexander Graham Bell: Inventing the future

By  the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Like many Canadians, Alexander Graham Bell moved to the United States to get his big break, but always longed to return to the beauty and peace of Canada.  Both Alexander’s mom and wife had serious hearing impairments, a challenge that directly aided Alexander in his development of the first workable telephone.  It was while Alexander served as a teacher of the hearing-impaired that he began to really understand the fundamental principles of communication and speech.

One of Bell’s most famous pupils was Helen Keller who came to him as a child unable to see, hear or speak.  Helen Keller later said of Bell that he dedicated his life to the penetration of that ‘inhuman silence that separates and estranges.’  Dedicating her autobiography to Bell, she said: ‘You have always shown a father’s joy in my success and a father’s tenderness when things have not gone right.’

Like many millions of Canadians, Alexander Graham Bell was not born in Canada.  Rather his family fled to Canada after the tuberculosis deaths of their two other sons in Edinburgh, Scotland.  They naively believed that the pure air of Canada would save the life of Alexander who was also afflicted with tuberculosis.  While Alexander did live until age 75, he was never that well and often suffered from severe headaches.  But Alexander never let his problems hold him back from being creative.

Alexander had a pioneering mind and great vision.  He defined an inventor as someone “who looks around upon the world and is not contented with things as they are.  He wants to improve whatever he sees; he wants to benefit the world; he is haunted by an idea.”  “We should not keep going forever”, said Alexander, “on the public road, going only where others have gone.  We should leave the beaten track occasionally and enter the woods.  Every time you do that, you will be certain to find something that you have never seen before.”

While Alexander became famous from his invention of the first workable telephone, his inventive genius reached much farther.  He was the first in North America to show how x-rays could be used to treat cancers inside the body.  He invented a probe that discovered where bullets were lodged inside people.

Through creative experimenting with kites, he built the first successful airplane in the British Empire.  His Canadian airplane flew almost a kilometre at 64 kilometres per hour on February 23rd, 1909 at Beinn Bhreagh, Cape Breton.  Alexander’s hydrofoil built in 1915 reached speeds of 70 mph (112 kph).

After the death of his son from weak lungs, Alexander invented the first respirator.  To assist shipwrecked sailors, he created a machine that turned the moisture in air into drinking water.  His endless inventions also included the first practical phonograph, the first flat-disk record, an iceberg-locating device, a water purifier that removed salt from seawater, an air conditioner, and an audiometer to test people’s hearing.

But it was Bell’s invention of the telephone that caused the greatest controversy.  Some wrote Bell off as a mad scientist who was challenging the laws of nature.  Others tried to argue that telephones were somehow of the devil and against the bible.  There were widespread fears that telephones would spread disease and even insanity over the telephone wires.  During an 18-year period, Bell faced and won over 600 lawsuits challenging his telephone patent.

The first business use of the telephone began in 1877.  By 1888, there were over 150,000 users in North America.  The cost of having a phone installed in 1888 was $10, the equivalent of a whole year’s wage for a servant.  As of 2010, there are literally hundred of millions who might find it hard to imagine life without a phone.

When Bell’s body was buried in 1922 on top of a Cape Breton Island mountain, every telephone in North America observed a minute’s silence.  Thomas Edison, a rival and friend, said at that time: ‘My late friend Alexander Graham Bell,  whose world-famed invention annihilated time and space, and brought the human family in closer touch.’

The word ‘telephone’ means ‘sound over a long distance’.  Bell brought good news to many through a physical device.  May God use each of us as pioneers to bring the sound of good news throughout the world.

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