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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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I Love You, I Love You, I Love You…

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Who can figure out this mysterious, intangible reality called ‘love’?  It won’t show up under a microscope, an ultrasound, or a CT Scan.  But most of us know in our heart of hearts that love is real and love matters deeply.  Without love, something dies inside.  With love, something miraculously comes alive.

In the mid-1970’s, my wife and I were part of a soft rock band called ‘Morning Star’ which played for five years throughout BC.  We were also part of a concert promotion group entitled ‘LivingStone Productions’.  One of our favorite rock musicians that we brought in to the Queen E Theatre was the late Larry Norman, the father of GodRock.  One of his songs ‘I Love You, I Love You, I Love You’ impacted us so deeply that my sister and future brother-in-law sang it to each other at our wedding.

“We can be together now and forever
I love you, I love you
Hey, can you hear me, I’ve got to have you near me
I love you, I love you
I was lonely till you came along
Now you’ve got me singing your love song
I love you, I love you, I love you….”

It is not enough to sing a love song once at one’s wedding.  We need to re-sing it every day in a thousand ways.  After 41 years of marriage, I have learnt that love needs to ‘have legs’.  Love needs to be practical.  Love is taking out the garbage.  Love is driving the kids to school .  Love is doing the dishes when you are feeling exhausted.

The Good Book says that it is not good for man to be alone.  I too can sing ‘I’ve got to have you near me…I was lonely till you came along’.  A loving marriage is a gift beyond description, a gift of intimacy, caring, and hope.  God knew what he was doing when he invented the miracle of marriage.

“Life is a mystery, love is a dancer
I love you, I love you
I had a question, you brought the answer
I love you I love you
Oh but I need you so
I could never let you go
I love you, I love you, I love you…”

No one can figure out love.  It just is, or it just isn’t.  Love brings a contentment that makes no sense.  Love is stronger than death.  Thirty-three years later I realize more than ever how deeply I need my wife, how much she calls forth the best in me and our children.  My wife, to put it frankly, is irreplaceable.

“I was lonely once but then you came along
And you gave me love so I wrote down this song
I wanna spend my life with you like the angels on high
You’re the morning star, you’re the Son in my sky.
I love you, I love you, I love you…”

All of Larry Norman’s music pointed to Love beyond love, Life beyond life, Hope beyond hope.  My wife and I have discovered again and again that the heart of our marriage is Love, the love of God found in Jesus Christ.  May each of us discover the heart of love, the morning star, the Son in the sky.

 

 

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. 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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Faithful Father-in-Law

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird Cline family2

My late father-in-law David was solid like a rock.  I have been married to his daughter for 41 years.  David joked that he has never quite forgiven me for taking his daughter away, as she was the lead soprano in his choir.  To make up for this ‘theft’, I have paid him back by ‘giving’ him three grandchildren.  The nicest thing about grandchildren, of course, is that you can fuss over them, and then send them back home!

Over the years, my father-in-law showed great wisdom in dealing with impossible situations.  When others give up, he kept on moving faithfully forward.  I experienced my father-in-law as someone who never stopped expecting the best from you.  Many times over the years, my father-in-law opened doors for me to speak in situations that would otherwise have been closed.  He has been a true Barnabas, a Son of Encouragement.

When I have faced enormous obstacles relationally, financially or spiritually, David was always someone that I could sit down with and pour out my heart.  I have been blessed with ‘stereo’ wisdom from my father-in-law and my own father, both of whom lived just ten minutes from each other.  We live in a culture that is often embarrassed by aging and gray hair, but the Good Book says that ‘Gray hair is a crown of splendor’ and a potential sign of wisdom that comes through often painful years of experience.  My father-in-law’s wisdom taught me to be less afraid of aging and gray hair!

‘With humility comes wisdom’, writes King Solomon in the Book of Proverbs.  My father-in-law was a very humble man, so much so that he wouldn’t recognize his own humility.  The Good Book says ‘Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.’ There was gentleness to my father-in-law that has drawn many hurting, broken people over the years.  People instinctively knew that David cares.  My father-in-law was both a true shepherd and a true gentleman.

I remember when I announced to my father-in-law that I was going to marry his daughter.  Because I said it with a smile, he thought that I was joking!  But after I got down on my knees, he got the point.  I am one of a rare breed of bridegrooms whose father-in-law actually performed the marriage ceremony.  My father-in-law was one of three brothers who became ordained as clergy.  So you can imagine all the speeches that we had at our wedding reception.  My wedding reception, by the way, was so long that we actually had to have an intermission!

One of the most refreshing things about my late father-in-law is that he didn’t take himself too seriously.  Being a wonderful storyteller, he always had a great joke that broke the ice, and opened people up to deeper spiritual truth.  With a twinkle in his eye, David would tell a hilarious story of some mishap that happened as children back on the family farm in Saskatchewan.

It was there in Saskatchewan that he met my future mother-in-law.  If there was ever a marriage made in heaven, their marriage was one of them.  Filled with much love and perseverance, their marriage inspired many other struggling couples to go the second mile and keep on forgiving.  Everything about David and Vera breathed the message of hope and steadfast endurance in the face of great obstacles.  Their faith in our Lord Jesus Christ was the open secret of their great love for each other, and for a hurting world.  Though it has been 19 years now since Vera passed on, she is still fondly remembered.*

My father-in-law was deeply impacted by the Christian Ashram Retreat movement.    I admire people who want to keep growing and learning even into their retirement years.  David always looked for ways to be more loving, more caring, more forgiving, more Christ-like.  The Christian Ashram movement is a big part of what made my father-in-law tick, of what kept him vital and joyful year after year.  If David had one wish for those of you reading this article, I am sure that it would be the desire that you might experience a transformed life through attending a Christian Ashram retreat.  My own life has been radically transformed through many years of spending each summer at a Christ-centered Ashram retreat with my father-in-law and family.  You are invited to join us this summer for an unforgettable three-day BC Christian Ashram retreat this July.   Click on the BC Christian Ashram website, or  give us a call at 604-533-5509 or ed_hird@telus.net .  You will never regret making that phone call.

* David was blessed to be given a dear second wife Una by the Lord who has joined faithfully into the Christian Ashram family.

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 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