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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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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.

http://drpetereppinga.com

Author of Your Brain


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Renewing the Mind, Strengthening the Brain

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird  DrPeterEppinga book

 

Dr. Peter Eppinga, author of Your Brain, fell in love with the brain during his medical training.  We were privileged to have him speak at St Simon’s on the impact of prayer on the human brain.  Stuart Spani our resident film producer made an amazing DVD with Dr Eppinga entitled “Your Brain and Prayer.”

The brain has not always been seen as that significant.  Aristotle thought that it was merely a radiator to cool the blood.  The Egyptians carefully embalmed the heart while discarding the brain in their mummies.  The brain, says Dr. Eppinga, is the new frontier, making 400 million actions per second.  This three pounds of fat has four million pain sensors, 500,000 touch detectors, and 200,000 temperature gages that keep us from freezing or boiling.  Our brain has no moving parts: “It isn’t hardware or software. It’s wet ware and very messy.”  Our brain feeds on glucose for its fuel source.  Though the brain is only 2% of our body’s weight, it takes up a staggering 20% of our body’s glucose supplies.

Dr Peter EppingaDr. Eppinga says that due to neuroplasticity, you can sculpt your own brain by what you put inside of it. Research indicates that Braille readers and taxi drivers both have measurable growth in their motor cortex and hippocampi, related to their sensory and memory activities. Through exercising twenty minutes a day by walking or going to the gym, you can decrease your chances by 60 percent of getting Alzheimer’s disease or by 57 percent  of having a stroke.  Bible reading and prayer both renew our minds and strengthen our brains.  Prayer activates our frontal lobes and anterior cingulate gyrus, resulting in increased compassion, memory function, and stress reduction.  Dr. Newberg, through the use of a SPECT scanner, found that focused prayer increased activity in our frontal cortex, which is connected with creative thinking and decision making.  Prayer also reduces chronically elevated levels of cortisol, which are linked with increased bone loss, reduced muscle mass, impaired immune function, and reduction in glucose utilization.  Through the calming benefits of prayer, our body and mind become more resistant to disease.  Prayer, said Dr. Eppinga, is the most powerful force in the universe: “God can do more through one prayer than you can do in a lifetime.”

Dr Peter Eppinga2Dr. Eppinga, from a very young age in his home town of Old Masset, Haida Gwaii, wanted to become a medical doctor, but his mother and father were unable to help him academically.  As a teenager, he became a drug dealer.  While intoxicated with alcohol in the back seat of a racing car, he ended upside down, drowning in a swamp.  Choking on water, he prayed: “If you ever let me out of this car tonight, God, I promise I will live for you.”  As Dr. Eppinga put it, “I put down the beer bottle and picked up a text book and God gave me strength to make it through.”  Looking back, he believes that his parents’ persistent prayers made all the difference.  He and his father now have a ministry, called Christ for First Nations, bringing healing to other aboriginal people.  Dr Eppinga is living proof that prayer and medicine work well together in renewing the mind and strengthening the brain.

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 August 2013 Deep Cove Crier

-award-winning author of the book ‘Battle for the Soul of 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 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 $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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Visiting Kigeme, Rwanda

By Rev. Ed Hird

Having spent the first day at Rwanda’s capital of Kigali, we took a sardine-packed bus to the southwestern town of Kigeme. 20110813-024549.jpg

Before leaving Kigali, we met Bishop Mpango, a retired Tanzanian bishop staying at the Kigeme Cathedral guest house. He is very interested in helping launch people in businesses that can sow back into God’s Kingdom work.

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Meeting with Kigeme diocesan staff.

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Janice Hird, my wife, led four music workshops during the week at the Kigeme Cathedral.

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Upon arriving at Kigeme, we stumbled in on a music practice in the Cathedral. Their passion and giftedness was most enjoyable.

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This is a view of the choir from the back of the Kigeme Cathedral.

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Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say ‘rejoice’.

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Janice enjoying being in Kigeme.

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Esther sharing about the Healthy Mums Project in which Hilary King has been giving leadership.

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Bishop Augustin of the Kigeme Diocese at the All Africa’s Bishops Conference

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Anglican Educational Leaders in the Kigeme diocese

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Esther has been a key leader in the Healthy Mums Project, which has greatly reduced the infant mortality rate.

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Janice Hird with Jeanne D’Arc, Leader of the Anglican Schools

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Education, health, and church planting were core values of the original Anglican missionary who came to Kigeme in 1932.

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Preaching the good news throughout the Kigeme area.

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Meeting the Anglican High School students.

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Muraho means ‘hello’ in Kirywandan.

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Key diocesan leaders in the Kigeme area. Rev Jean Chrysostom organized our overall schedule for the week and kept in touch by e-mail during our preparations in Canada.

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Rwanda is truly the land of a thousand hills.

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Logging is often done by hand.

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The Kigeme Anglican Hospital was birthed from the original 1932 vision for medical care and healing through prayer.

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We had an opportunity to meet the Director of the Kigeme Anglican Hospital. The love of Jesus has been rooted into the DNA of this hospital. The staff starts every day with a half hour of worship.

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Ananias is the director of Human Relations at the Hospital. He is also a senior Catechist leading an Anglican Chapel.

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A mission team from the Anglican congregation in Maidenhead, UK, came to do many tasks, including rewiring the Kigeme Anglican Hospital.

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Thank God for people with electrical skills who can use them for the Kingdom.

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Janice Hird being given a tour of the Anglican Kigeme Hospital.

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We were also given a tour of the Maternity Ward.

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Pastor Samuel is the Chaplain for the Kigeme Anglican Hospital. I found him to be very godly and Spirit-filled.

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Pastor Paul Karangwa and Janice Hird in front of a hospital ambulance.

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The Anglican investment in health has made a significant difference for local Rwandans in the Kigeme area.

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A calendar on the wall showing the Rwandan bishops in both Africa and North America.

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It was great to see our previous Bishops for Canada being listed, Bishop TJ Johnston and Bishop Sandy Greene. Bishop Silas Ng is our first Canadian bishop covering Canada.

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This poster summed up what the Anglican diocese of Kigeme is seeking to accomplish. Their goal is that everyone plays their part in extending God’s Kingdom and rebuilding their nation.

The Rev. Ed Hird, Rector

St Simon’s Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in the Americas (Canada)

-award-winning author  of the book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’

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


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Doctors make a difference

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

 Doctors make a difference. Prayer makes a difference.  There is no competition between medicine and prayer.  They fit together, hand in glove.

I have been writing monthly for the Deep Cove Crier for the past 23 years.  Sixteen years ago, I wrote an article in the Feb 1994 Deep Cove Crier about the medical condition “Spasmodic Dysphonia” that I have successfully battled with.

An article in a North Shore-wide newspaper commented about myself: “He seems to be always smiling and is said to be ‘very funny’, despite a serious speech impediment.”  As many of you know, I lost my voice 30 years ago in 1980 for 18 months in the early days of ordained ministry. The condition is called ‘spasmodic dysphonia’  .  It was caused by a rare viral throat infection which happens statistically to one in five million people, something like winning the lottery in reverse. Spasmodic Dysphonia causes the vocal chords to overadduct (overshut) on a spasmodic or intermittent basis, cutting off words or parts of sentences. Spasmodic Dysphonia is not caused by stress, but sometimes is more noticeable under stress.

Twenty-eight years ago, I had surgery at VGH by Dr. Murray Morrison in a successful operation that allowed me to speak again and go back preaching after being off for a year. My GP thought that I would never preach again, and he would have been correct, except for having had this surgery on May 25th 1982. They cut the left laryngeal nerve of the left vocal chord, which stopped the adducting/shutting of that chord. As the right chord still overadducted/overshut, it balanced out. After my surgery, my voice was free of the spasms, but was initially much quieter and more breathy.

This successful surgery was still proving effective until August 2003 when I developed laryngitis that wouldn’t go away.  To deal with the laryngitis, I took nine months of helpful speech therapy with Margy Smith, a very gifted speech therapist on the North Shore.  She took me a long way along the road of recovery, but finally my otolaryngologist (ear, nose & throat specialist) Dr. Murray Morrison recommended that I take the botox treatment to loosen the overtightness of the vocal chords.  Dr. Morrison’s investigation showed that my left laryngeal nerve has re-enervated or regenerated itself and thereby contributed to an overshutting of the vocal chords once again. This was the reason for my susceptibility to laryngitis over the past year. The overshutting of the vocal chords is like a door continually slamming shut.

After careful research, prayer, and reflection, I went ahead with the botox treatment at VGH (Vancouver General Hospital). It took about 5 minutes!  The botox treatment by Dr. Murray Morrison allowed a fine-tuning of the benefits of my previous 1982 surgery. The botox was injected into both laryngeal nerves, thereby loosening the vocal chord shutting (adducting) on both sides.  When I told people that I had a botox treatment, some people assumed that I was worried about middle-age wrinkles!  But in fact botox is primarily a medical therapy to deal with a range of dystonias, including vocal chord spasming.

My wife and parents were thrilled by the elimination of the spasming through the botox treatment. My mother didn’t initially recognize my voice on the phone. The botox treatment lasts for three months, and then is redone by Dr. Morrison at VGH.  It initially overloosens the vocal chords a bit, with the result that my voice will be somewhat breathy and quieter to start with. The treatment greatly enhances my ability to read out loud the liturgy and scriptures, which has been more difficult than spontaneous preaching. Over the next few weeks, the vocal chords are gradually tightening again, resulting in a less breathy voice and less quiet voice.

I am so grateful to God for advances in modern medical science that help people like myself in such practical ways.  I am so grateful to God for people like you reading this article, many of whom I know have been praying for me.  I have had several people specifically pray: “Ed Hird will not be silenced”.  I am very happy with this new medical step.  It is so exciting to be able to speak freely without being cut off in mid-sentence.  Thank God that prayer and medicine can be best friends.

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

BSW, MDiv, DMin

St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in the Americas (Canada)

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier

-award-winning author of the book ‘Battle for the Soul of 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 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 $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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Thank God for Mothers-in-Law

By Rev. Ed Hird

How often do we celebrate the gift of our mothers-in-law?  Marriage counselors tell us that there are three primary areas of stress in marriages: money, marital intimacy, and in-laws.  Mother-in-law jokes tend to express the ambivalent nature of this most important relationship.  I would like to state uncategorically that I have been blessed with the gift of the mother-in-law that God gave me. It has been fourteen years now since Vera went home to heaven, but her impact is still deeply felt.

My mother-in-law found me before my wife did.  By God-incidence, we met each other at a 1974 weekend conference.  She was quite impressed with me, despite my 1970’s longish hair and embroidered overalls.  My mother-in-law really enjoyed the movie ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, and could sing ‘Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match’ by heart.  Unfortunately, when my future mother-law/matchmatcher commended me to my future wife, the assessment was not mutual.  My wife and I had been in the same High School for Grade 12.  We all know what familiarity can breed.  My wife did remember however that even in Grade 12, I had nice eyes.

Vera and David 1944When I reconnected with my future wife at UBC in 1975, I also rediscovered my future mother-in-law.  I was most impressed by the warm hospitality that I always felt in my future mother-in-law’s home.  Some people make you feel stressed by how they fuss over you as a guest.  With my mother-in-law, it all felt very natural and relaxed.  She had that gift of making one feel right at home.

When I lost my voice for 18 months back in 1980, my mother-in-law was one of the people who stood with me in practical and prayerful ways.  She introduced me to the Order of St. Luke the Physician where I learned how to combine the dual benefits of medicine and prayer.  When I am tempted to be cynical about the power of prayer, I think of my mother-in-law who never gave up praying for seemingly hopeless situations.  Once when my wife’s sister was running from the Lord, my mother-in-law recruited people from all around the world to pray without ceasing for her daughter.  As a result of that passionate prayer, the prodigal daughter ‘returned home’ and became a Christ-like example to other seekers.  My mother-in-law symbolizes the call to ‘never, never give up.’

“Like mother, like daughter” goes the familiar saying.  Thirty-three years into my marriage, I am now more aware than ever how much a mother influences her daughter.  I have counseled various women whose experiences with their mothers have left them emotionally crippled and unable to share love.  I give thanks to God that my mother-in-law raised my wife in an atmosphere of love and caring.  I know that without that foundational nurturing, my last thirty-three years of marriage would have been a very different experience indeed.  I am grateful to be married to a loving wife and mother who learned mother-love from someone who really cares.

Vera and David 1945My mother-in-law has had some real setbacks in her life over the years, but she never let it defeat her.  She always bounced back.  Family and faith mean the world to her.  Day in and day out, she was always looking for ways to comfort and encourage other people, both young and old.  Even on her hospital bed near the end of her life, she was still counselling people.   Rather than moaning about her own problems, she was remarkably other-centered, truly loving her neighbours as herself in a very Christ-like way.

One of her greatest contributions in my life has been her encouraging my involvement in the Christian Ashram retreat movement http://www.christianashram.org .  For 36 years now, I have attended the BC Christian Ashram each summer spending time learning how to be a healthier and more whole person.  I can honestly say that the renewal that I have experienced in the 40 Christian Ashram retreats that I have attended have made me more peaceful, more forgiving, and more restful.  I would commend this upcoming  July 25th to 27th 2014 BC Christian Ashram Retreat  to anyone who is really seeking.

What more can I say except ‘thank you’ for my irreplaceable mother-in-law?  My prayer for those married couples reading this article is that we will take time to express our gratitude to our mothers-in-law.  Life is shorter than we think.

The Reverend Ed Hird, Rector

St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in the Americas (Canada)

-award-winning author of the book ‘Battle for the Soul of 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 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 $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

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