December 16, 2011
Thanks for all your support in 2011 through visiting my blog. As of today, 300,000 of you have dropped in to read some of the 385 online articles. Five days ago, almost 1200 people paid the blog a visit, the most in the past two+ years that the blog has existed.
I encourage you to tell your friends about this blog.
Blessings, Ed Hird+
January 15, 2011
Valentine’s Day’s full title is St. Valentine’s Day, because it was named after two St Valentines. They were both Italian clergy martyred in the 3rd century AD for their Christian faith. Because of their sacrificial love, it has become one of the most popular annual events celebrated by hundred of millions around the world. It has become a traditional date night where a wise husband remembers to take his wife out for dinner, followed perhaps by a movie or theatre production. (Husbands, please note that such dates are much less expensive than divorce lawyer’s fee; so put Feb 14th in your IPhone or Blackberry).
Nineteen years ago in a Deep Cove Crier article about marriage, I wrote the following words: “Inside the heart of each and every one of us there is a longing to be understood by someone who really cares. When a person is understood, he or she can put up with almost anything in the world.” After being posted (unbeknown to me) on hundreds of Romance websites, I was approached to write a chapter for the upcoming Canadian anthology “Hot Apple Cider 2’ about this romantic quote. In Hot Apple Cider 2, I commented that my beloved wife “Janice and I are learning afresh the joy of ordinary pleasures: taking regular time together for peaceful walks, chatting over a cup of tea, listening to each other’s daily experiences, watching a video together, going out for dinner, and even reading together.”
Recently I picked up the North Shore News, read Martin Millerchip’s article about Presentation House, and on a whim said to Janice: “Let’s go out on a date night to see Antony Holland’s St Mark’s Gospel.” Being remarkably adaptable, Janice agreed. What a wonderful evening. Unplanned, unexpected, and totally memorable. Happy marriages need to have that sense of adventure, of the unexpected. Boredom in marriage is the devil’s best tool.
Sadly many husbands stop dating their wives after they marry them. “What happened to the man I married?”, many wives wonder. Why was he so attentive before marriage, and now he would rather hang out on the golf course or stay late at work? Our wives deeply need to be romanced, pursued, won over every week. That is one reason why the romance novels are a Billionaire dollar industry, because we husbands are not always putting our wives first. My wife Janice needs to know that she is more important than my work, my hobbies, my writing, my sports. She needs to be Number One under God in my life.
I love to hold my beloved Janice’s hand when we are out on a date. Sitting there in Presentation House, watching Antony Holland perform St Mark’s Gospel, I often reached out to her and gently squeezed her hand when something was really moving. Many people don’t know that Mark’s Gospel is high drama, and when done by a gifted artist, can bring you to tears. Antony Holland, at age 91, is literally North America’s oldest leading actor. If I have half as much energy when I am in my nineties, I will be deeply grateful. As Martin Millerchip of the North Shore News put it, Holland’s ‘hard to resist, perhaps like Jesus’. Holland directed plays throughout the Middle East for the WWII Allied forces, and founded Studio 58 at Langara College where my parents attended his plays for many years. (My mother tells me that Studio 58 initially rehearsed its play in our St. Matthias Oakridge church basement.)
I first became aware of Antony Holland from watching his phenomenal acting in ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’. No one dances quite like Holland in the final ‘Morrie’ scene. Antony Holland is the quintessential actor. He loves what he does. At age 91, he has just started. Love is what motivates him. Love of acting and love of people. In both St Mark’s Gospel and Tuesdays with Morrie, the love of God overflows through Holland.
This Valentine’s Day, may I love my wife even more deeply than Holland loves acting and loves his audience. May my beloved wife know that she means everything to me, that she must never come second, that my heart is still aflame with tenderness for her, thirty-three years after I said ‘I do’. May this gift of tender romance be real and life-changing this Feb 14th for your marriage, for your family, for your community.
The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector, BSW, MDiv, DMin
St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver
Anglican Mission in the Americas (Canada)
-award-winning author of the book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’
-published in the February 2011 Deep Cove Crier
p.s. In order to obtain a copy of the book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD. This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $9.99CDN/USD.
-Click to download a complimentary PDF copy of the Battle for the Soul study guide : Seeking God’s Solution for a Spirit-Filled Canada
You can also download the complimentary Leader’s Guide PDF: Battle for the Soul Leaders Guide
July 21, 2010
I share my father’s fascination with history. My father loves to read, research, and learn. ‘Like Father, like Son’ is true in so many unexpected ways. Like my father, I want to keep learning and growing until I leave this planet earth. I believe that we either grow or shrink. You can’t remain static.
Like my dad, I have become involved in the area of writing and journalism. My father was a writer and then the editor of the Telecom Advisor for over 15 years. Since 1988, I have been privileged over the past 22 years to write over 270 articles for the Deep Cove Crier, and for the past ten years co-ordinated the ‘Spiritually Speaking’ column for the North Shore News.
It is wonderful to have a father who models helpful skills. Whether it was helping my father to cut wood with his skillsaw or to cut the grass, my dad has always been a coach, a mentor, and an equipper who loves to help me discover new abilities. If my dad is excited about a new book or a new movie, he eagerly shares his enthusiasm and invites our participation. I also find myself being that way with my own three sons!
One of my father’s trademarks is that whenever the family gathered for holidays or birthdays, out comes his video camera! In the early days, video cameras required painfully bright backdrop lights. We would all groan when the bright lights came out, but later be thrilled by the immortalized visual memories.
My family and my father are wonderful gifts that I appreciate more and more as I become older. Family for me is inextricably connected with thousands of unforgettable and often hilarious memories. It is also connected with times of great sorrow and loss, great joy and celebration. Family is birthdays, weddings, funerals, baptisms, anniversaries, graduations, Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, and yes, Father’s Day. My life would be much less rich without the gift of my family and my father.
One of my father’s most memorable projects has been his family memoirs. The term ‘memoir’ comes from the French ‘memoire’ for memory. We as Canadians are a nation that often suffers from cultural and spiritual amnesia. We so quickly forget the wonderful stories of our pioneering ancestors who helped make Canada what it is today. My dad often comments how he wished that he had listened more closely as a teenager when his now deceased aunts and uncles would talk about family history.
Just like the famous Afro-American ‘Roots’ Book & TV –mini-series, my father’s memoirs are helping me understand better who I am and where I have come from. My Dad, as an electrical engineer, loves anything to do with computers and telecommunications.
Through the use of a scanner and PhotoShop, my Dad has incorporated in his memoirs over a hundred pictures that capture the essence of our family life.
So much family history functions as oral tradition that can easily be lost or muddled within one generation. Much of Canada’s rich Christian heritage is being lost precisely that way. Psalm 102 says: ‘Let this be written for a future generation…’. By my father’s writing down his memoirs, I will be able to pass this gift of history onto my children and future grandchildren. They too will be able to learn the exploits of their grandfather being raised in a coal-mining town outside of Edmonton, helping his blacksmith father shoe horses, serving as an Air Force WWII wireless radio mechanic in the Queen Charlotte Islands, becoming an electrical Engineer at UBC, becoming President of Lenkurt Electric, before becoming a hi-tech communications consultant. The inspiring thing about my father is that he has always been able to ‘re-invent’ himself. When one door closed in his life, he would always find another door that would open. Like my hero Winston Churchill, my father never, never, ever gives up! He also hasn’t given up on writing his memoirs.
The Good Book says: ‘What we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us, we will not hide them from our children; we will tell the next generation…’ (Psalm 78). My Father Day prayer for fathers reading this article is that each of us will have the courage to never give up, and the wisdom to transmit the cultural and spiritual gifts of our family history to the emerging generation.