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Restoring Health in the 21st Century

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Preface to my sequel “Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit’

by the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird



We have all been painfully stuck.  Being at a key transition-point in our lives, we do not know how to move forward, finding ourselves immobilized.[i] I have been there many times.  My perfectionism makes it worse.   A key turning point for me was when as I attended a Leadership Conference at the University of Kent in England.[ii]  Walking into a seminar, God ‘whispered’ to me that I would be receiving a message. The Rev Freda Meadows suddenly called me out of the crowd and gave me a specific prophetic message, saying:

You don’t need to run in keeping up with others.  Enter into God’s rest.  Keep your eye on the finishing line which is Him.  You will be moving into new things, having words of knowledge. You will be gifted in this area.  You are in an apprenticeship time at present.  You will disciple others.  You are a man of God’s Word, things of the Kingdom. You are a person of vision, a long-range visionary.  God is going to put you in a key place and you will find yourself training and discipling others.[iii]

I had no idea how powerfully God was going to use the 1998 Pre-Lambeth Leadership Conference.  Most of us as North American Anglicans were still stuck in the ‘inside strategy’ mindset.  Being conflict-avoiders, we were going to ‘fix’ the North American Anglican churches while still inside the old institution.  This virus of institutionalism can slip inside the mind of even the most sincere believer, turning us toxic.  It is so easy to become the hollow, stuffed men of TS Eliot’s poem: “We are the hollow men. We are the stuffed men Leaning together…”[iv]  We Canadians were still quite ‘gung-ho’ at the Canterbury Leadership Conference, but the Americans were unusually quiet. They lacked their usual American ‘get-up-and-go’ attitude.  When Americans go quiet, you can tell that something is up.

At the official Canadian night, Bishop Eddie Marsh of Central   Newfoundland invited the Americans to come up and share.  I will never forget how our American colleagues Bishop Alex Dickson and Dr. (now Bishop) John Rodgers stood up and repented to our African colleagues for the shame that the USA had brought on the Anglican Church, and for Bishop John Spong’s castigating African Anglicans as just one step out of animism and witchcraft.[v]

“(Bishop Spong) has insulted you.  We are ashamed for him; we are ashamed for ourselves.  We ask your forgiveness and we assure you that he does not speak for us.”[vi]

Hundreds of African bishops and clergy spontaneously flocked forward and hugged the Americans, weeping and declaring God’s forgiveness.  Todd Wetzel of Anglicans United said that ‘this was one of the American Church’s finest moments in decades.’  This prophetic action of repentance and forgiveness was a new beginning for Anglican Christians around the world.

I am convinced that we are not to despise prophecy, and that the prophetic gift is still in operation today.  Prophecy does not just address the global picture.  It can also address our personal situations, even regarding writing a book.  Through prayer, I have received very clear direction about the topic of this current book.[vii]   Pushing through our toxic stuckness is key to restoring health, and key to strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders.

The purpose of prophecy is to encourage, build, and strengthen.[viii]  Yes, all prophecies have to be tested.  As children of the New Covenant, we only prophesy in part.[ix]  Prophecies help me push through my ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’.  In the 21stcentury, a sensitive use of the gifts of prophecy and exhortation will be essential to getting unstuck, to becoming a healthier and more Christlike leader.  As Paul said to Timothy, by following prophecies made about us, we leaders more effectively ‘fight the good fight’ and live out our daily lives.[x]  Out of these prophetic encounters, I have become convinced that North America desperately needs to recover from its toxicity, and that the key to restoring its health is found in strengthening  a new generation of holistically healthy leaders, as illustrated in the person of Titus.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector
BSW, MDiv, DMin
St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver
Anglican Mission in Canada


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 PAYPALusing the e-mailed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $9.99 CDN/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

[i] Terry B Walling, Stuck!, (ChurchSmart Resources, 2008),  p. XIII “Without transitions, and the paradigm shifts that occur, Christ followers would stay stuck!”,

[ii] This Pre-Lambeth Leadership Conference was jointly sponsored by Anglican Renewal Ministries/ARM and SOMA/Sharing of Ministries Abroad.  I was serving as the Chair of ARM Canada.

[iii] Freda Meadows ministers with the International New Wine Director Rev Bruce Collins http://www.new-wine.org; Ten years later, the Rev Freda gave further insight into the 1998 Canterbury prophecy, saying:

“…the underlying thrust was to trust God for the outcome of the plans He had in using you.  While you were to do all that was necessary, it was not for you to try and make anything happen.  But you were to follow the Lord’s leading using the gifts and skills He gave in the best way you knew and through what you had learned as your experience grew.”

[iv] http://poetry.poetryx.com/poems/784/

[v]  “African Christians? They’re just a step up from witchcraft: What Bishop Spong had to say about his fellow Christians, John Spong interviewed by Andrew Carey, Church of England Newspaper, July 10th 1998.  Newspaper & Andrew Carey. “They’ve moved out of animism into a very superstitious kind of Christianity. They’ve yet to face the intellectual revolution of Copernicus and Einstein that we’ve had to face in the developing world. That’s just not on their radar screen.”

[vi] Doug LeBlanc, Lambeth, 1998, “Episcopal Dissidenta, African Allies”, Dr Miranda Hassett,University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill,  http://anglicanhistory.org/academic/hassett2004.pdf

[vii] On October 17th Wednesday 2008 while at the Anglican Coalition Clergy Retreat at Cedar Springs, I received a distinct impression from the Lord while in deep quiet group prayer: “Yes, it is Titus.”  While attending the Henry Wright ‘Be in Health’ conference, I heard a still small voice saying: “Write 3rd book on Titus for North American Audience.”

[viii] 1 Corinthians 14:3

[ix]  1st Thessalonians 5: 19-21: Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.; 1 Corinthians 13:9.

[x] 1 Timothy 1:18, 4:14

Posted by Ed Hird+ at 12:29 No comments: Links to this post   

Labels: 1998AfricaAmericansAnglicanBishop Eddie MarshBishop John RodgersBishop John Spong,CanadianshealthyleadersleadershipNewfoundlandperfectionismPre-Lambethprophecyreststuck,TS Eliot

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An Endorsement by Dr. John Cline, M.D. of the book ‘Restoring Health: Body, Mind & Spirit’

In ‘Restoring Health: Body, Mind and Spirit, the Reverend Dr. Ed Hird takes us on an epic journey through the biblical book of Titus, Paul’s instruction manual for the pirates on the island of Crete.  Ed Hird develops the idea that we are all pirates, in need of salvation and holistic health in body, mind and spirit – in need of health in every area of our lives.  He reminds us that Healthiness = Godliness = Christlikeness.

In the church today there is a desperate need for holistically healthy leaders – just as Titus the Greek Christian was to the Cretan pirates.  The question remains – will we be available and accountable to God in choosing the way of health, of life and of godliness?  I highly recommend this book to all who desire to choose the healthy way of Christlikeness.


John Cline MD, BSc, IFMCP detoxify your system with Dr. Cline's book

-author of the book Detoxify for Life http://detoxifyforlife.com

Dr. Cline, Medical Director of the Cline Medical Centre in Nanaimo, is a licensed medical doctor in BC and certified by the International Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology. Dr Cline is also medical director of the Oceanside Functional Medicine Research Institute.

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Endorsment by Dr. Peter Davids on ‘Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit’

“The Rev. Ed Hird has not so much written a commentary on Titus as a meditation on Titus, although he has read the commentary literature. Full of personal and historical stories that illustrate the points he is making (which will not surprise anyone who knows Ed), the book reflects on the nature of Christian character and leadership, each meditation tied to a verse or half-verse of Titus with frequent reference to his overall theme of pirates turned into at least good people of faith, if not saints.

This makes the work a fascinating spiritual read rather than an academic treatise. And it is those who wish for such a spiritual uplift to whom I would recommend it.”

Peter H. Davids, Ph.D.

Visiting Professor of Theology, Houston Baptist University

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Endorsement by Dr. Kevin Orieux of ‘Restoring Health: Body, Mind and Spirit’

A very engaging book.  I especially have enjoyed the anecdotal stories that fortify your positions, not to mention the history lessons.  I am becoming educated while becoming inspired.

Dr. Kevin Orieux, President, Aararat Consulting http://www.aararat.com

Author of Survive, Thrive or Dive and What’s Your ROI?

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Endorsement by Dr. Peter Eppinga, M.D., of ‘Restoring Health: Body, Mind and Spirit’

Dr. Hird is a man of many talents. His writings are fun to read and are packed with knowledge that can be applied to our spiritual lives. I am very honoured to know him and to have read his books.

There are two things that can change your life, the people you meet and the books you read. This book will change your life for the better.

Dr. Peter Eppinga M.D.


Author of Your Brain

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An endorsement by Dr Gil Stieglitz of ‘Restoring Health: Body, mind and spirit”

ImageDr. Hird has done it again.  He has woven a thoroughly modern work in and through the Ancient Biblical text.  His insights on the modern life are powerful and his discoveries in the ancient text are fascinating.

Kudos to you Dr. Hird.  We appreciate your powerful pen.Image

Dr. Gil Stieglitz, www.gilstieglitz.com

author of Deep Happiness: The eight secrets – a powerful work exploring how to inject the Beatitudes into our life.

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Imperfectly Lovable

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

My doctoral advisor, Dr. Paddy Ducklow, recently alerted me to a remarkable woman Dr. Brene Brown. Her TED talk on The Power of Vulnerability went viral with over fifteen million people who have watched it so far. As a fellow Social Worker, I deeply appreciated Brene’s fascinating research on vulnerability, shame, and perfectionism. Many people miss the connection between shame and perfectionism.   Brene says that where there is perfectionism, there is always shame, because perfectionism gives birth to shame. Perfectionism keeps us from being our best self. It keeps us from showing up and being present. It keeps us from being loved and giving love to others.

Brene said that “perfectionism is a thought process that if I look perfect, live perfect, work perfect and do it all perfectly, I can avoid or minimize shame, blame, judgement and criticism.” Brene called perfectionism her favorite twenty-ton shield that she carried for many years. It doesn’t work though in protecting us. Perfectionism shuts down joy, love, and connection. It is rooted in our desire for external validity, rather than being true to ourselves.

Perfectionism is radically contagious and seductive. Brene, who describes herself as a recovering perfectionist, says that it is the greatest enemy of transformative leadership. We try to cure our perfectionist hangovers with yet more perfectionism. Many people are trying to painfully earn the love of other people through the futile search for perfectionism. Many of us think that we need to be perfect to be lovable.

Voltaire said that perfect is the enemy of good. That is why Brene said “If you want to avoid blame, shame, judgment and criticism, do nothing. It is part of the human experience.” Perfectionism tempts us to bury our gifts rather than make a lasting contribution. Wayne Gretzky notably commented that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Perfectionism keeps us stuck in procrastination. Brene said that “very few perfectionists ever publish books.” When writing my second book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’, I often felt tempted to give up. Why bother? It’s too much of a hassle. There are too many roadblocks to having it published. Every time I write a book, I have to push through my perfectionism. My coach Dr. Terry Walling has been a big encouragement to me in my book writing, saying: “My sense is that God is wanting you to hear his voice. It’s time for you to contribute. It’s time for you to write. It’s time for you to share your thinking and whether people agree with you or not, is not as important as you being able to trust him enough that he will take the things that you say to help advance his kingdom.”

God keeps sending people to me like Dr Terry Walling and Dr Brene Brown who remind me that I don’t need to be perfect. Jesus is the only one who is perfect, and he perfectly loves each one of us, even to the point of the cross. My prayer is that you know in the depth of your being that God is not waiting to love you. He is just waiting for you to accept how much he perfectly loves you.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

BSW, MDiv, DMin

St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in the Americas (Canada)

-an article for the July 2014 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 PAYPALusing 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 $9.99 CDN/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


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