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Restoring Health in the 21st Century

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Endorsement by Jane Harris-Zsovan of ‘Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit’

If you’re into self-centered, feel good, faddish Christianity; Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit will shake you out of your pew. Likening North American Christians to the untrustworthy, gluttonous pirates Titus met on the Island of Crete, Reverend Ed Hird challenges our ‘me first’ mantra, materialism and ‘feel good’ doctrines. If you want to remain physically flabby or morally ambivalent, this is not the book for you. But, if like the rapacious inhabitants of ancient Crete, you yearn to become a world changer, read on.

Jane Harris-Zsovan, Christian History Columnist, The Christian Herald; Author of Eugenics and the Firewall and Stars Appearing: the Galts` Vision of Canada.

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Endorsement by Canon William Beasley of ‘Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit’

Ed Hird writes –‘healthy leadership is about strengthening our spiritual sons and daughters in our common faith.’ –This captures the heart of his new book which will help us all strengthen a new generation of healthy leaders in the church as we learn from Paul’s discipling of Titus.


The Rev. Canon William Beasley

Oak Park, Illinois





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Endorsement by Dr. Irving Hexham of ‘Restoring Health: body, mind, and spirit’

On the whole, I don’t like reading Biblical commentaries unless I need clarification about some term or background issue that puzzles me. The one exception is William Barclay’s Daily Bible Studies series which is always informative and speaks to the present.


Therefore, when Ed Hird asked me to write an endorsement for his new book, I did so reluctantly. I enjoy Ed’s writings, but a commentary on Titus did not appeal to me. What a mistake I made.


This is one of the most fascinating books I have read in a long time and as a commentary rivals the work of Barclay. To expound the Biblical text, Ed brings in a wealth of contemporary examples that really bring it alive. Thus the book is a highly informative delight to read which I strongly recommend.


Dr. Irving Hexham, PhD, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Calgary and author of the website www.understandingworldreligions.com

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Say No to the Herd

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Every summer the Hird family goes away on a BC Christian Ashram retreat to Sumas Mountain.  The United Christian Ashram movement was founded in 1930 by Dr. E. Stanley Jones in India.  As a close friend of Mahatma Gandhi, Jones wrote twenty-eight books that sold millions, including Christ of the Indian Road and Abundant Living. As the most widely read spiritual author during his lifetime, Jones left a remarkable impact that is rapidly increasing in our social media world.  Jones’ short aphorisms are very quotable, being often reposted on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

For the last year, I have been rereading Jones’ book The Way to Power and Poise. Jones memorably warns us against the herd: “If we are herd-centered people, then we are insecure, for the herd is fickle and may quickly change.”  Teenagers, when facing peer pressure, are often tempted to be herd-centered.  When we give up self to the herd, we lose identity, focus and creativity.  The desire to be popular and to fit in can be very deadly.  It takes courage to be ourselves.  Jones taught that if we are dominated by the herd, we are doomed by the herd – doomed to a life of up and downness.

There are four possible attitudes, said Jones, to the herd urge.  We can 1) withdraw from the herd 2) defy the herd 3) succumb to the herd or 4) surrender the herd to God and then live within it.

The problem with the first attitude of withdrawal is that we are left in isolation and eccentricity.  All forms of separation, segregation or apartheid backfire upon themselves.  Emotional cut-off solves nothing.  We are called to be in the herd but not of the herd.

The second attitude of defying the herd leaves us on the defensive.  As Jones put it, you cannot live constantly objecting without becoming objectionable.  Defensiveness is negative and self-defeating.  Healthy people do not define themselves by what they are opposed to.

The third attitude of succumbing to the herd, said Jones, robs you of your voice: “you are an echo; you don’t act; you only react; you are not a person but a thing.”  Mindless conforming is ultimately deforming.  Giving up self to the herd leaves us flat and empty.  Mob mentality, as with the 2011 Vancouver Canuck riot, is rooted in the herd mentality. Many young people going to that Canuck game had no idea how destructive they would become.

The fourth attitude, said Jones, is to break the dominance of the herd by surrendering the herd to God.  Then we cease to be people-pleasers and become God-pleasers instead.  We become people who have the courage to speak, to risk, to be different.  Bullies and dictators no longer control us.  When God is God instead of the herd, then we receive a peace that passes all understanding.  We become non-anxious catalysts that change our families, workplaces and herds.

Only when we let go and let God can the herd become healthy.  The herd will drain you of life and energy, if you let it.  The herd is never satisfied.  You can never do enough to please the herd.  Jesus gives you the ability to transform the herd into a thing of beauty.  Say no to the herd, and yes to life.


The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

BSW, MDiv, DMin

St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in Canada

-an article for the September 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-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


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Governor James Douglas: Father of BC


On #BCDay, let us remember Governor James Douglas, a cofounder of BC

Originally posted on Edhird's Blog:

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

How often do we give thanks for Governor James Douglas, Father of BC?  BC still bears the mark of Douglas’ vision.  Douglas had little to work with in terms of men, money and materials; the only thing not lacking was Douglas’ determination.  Governor Douglas prophetically said: ‘It is the bold, resolute, strong, self-reliant man, who fights his own way through every obstacle and wins the confidence and respect of his fellows.  As with men, so it is with nations.’

Douglas had a vision of a great highway of commerce down the centre of the mainland colony.  In little more than two years, he was to achieve what seems almost a miracle: a wagon road, eighteen feet wide and four hundred miles long, connecting the wealthy new gold fields of the Cariboo to the older coastal settlements

Douglas was born in Guyana.  His mom Martha…

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An endorsement by Dr. Murray Moerman of ‘Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit’

Ed’s loving concern is for emerging Christian leadership in a fallen, “pirate” world. His desire for post-modernity is that we rise from a passive default cynicism to a vigorous, full-orbed Christ-like health.

With Titus as model of directness, a telling inner voice challenges us from one foundational sector of health – “Why wait for a stroke or heart attack before we embrace a healthy lifestyle?” – with an urgency for the whole.

With remarkable skill bringing rich scholarship within our reach, Ed produces a rich and practical learning experience to those who authentically want to do personal transformation rather than talk about it.

Rev. Dr. Murray Moerman

OC Global Alliance


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Foreword by Dr. JI Packer to ‘Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit’

Foreword Ji-packer

By the Rev. Dr. J.I. Packer

Think of Shakespeare.  Each of his plays is distinctive, having its own character and plot.  Some of them are grander than others.  But they all have the tang, so to speak, of Shakespeare, and it is hard to imagine any of them being written by anyone else.

So with Paul’s letters.  Each is different, and they are not all equally weighty.  But in each, we meet the same person: the apostle who lives under the authority of his risen Lord and Saviour, and of the divine message of which he has been made trustee; the teacher who calls constantly for faith in the truth of that message and in its Christ, God-man, sin-bearer, conqueror of death, discipler and coming judge; the pastor who insists that faith must show itself and unshakeable hope and conscientious, law-keeping love.  In all Paul’s letters, the flavour of his gospel is steady, sweet and strong, and that is as true of Titus as it is of any.

Titus is sometimes dismissed as a dull, possibly non-Pauline rehash of things that Paul says more vividly elsewhere, notably in his letters to his prize protégé Timothy.  But such a verdict is unperceptive, not to say perverse.  Titus was Paul’s second deputy after Timothy, and Paul had left him on the island of Crete to finish setting in order the congregations of first-generation converts there.  Was this a tough task?  Yes.  Cretan culture, so it appears, was casual, morally sloppy, undisciplined, self-indulgent, and self-absorbed.  It is true that in his letter to Titus, Paul spells out Christian essentials in a somewhat laborious way, but this does not mean that he doubts the adequacy of Titus’ grasp of the Christian basics; what it shows, rather, is that he is going over in his own mind the full and forthright terms in which the fundamentals needed to be impressed on the Christian believers.  Equally forthright statements, be it said, to young churches and church plants are sometimes needed today.

Ed Hird is a working pastor, a gospel veteran whose bailiwick for many years has arguably had something of Crete in it.  He recognizes the realism of this letter, and his exposition brings it out.  I heartily commend what he has written.

Dr. J.I. Packer 

Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College;

Prolific author, including Knowing God,

Named by Time Magazine as among the 25 most influential evangelicals in America


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