Edhird's Blog

Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit

Wisdom from the mysterious Isle of Crete

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By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

My wife and I went to Crete in order to work on my fourth book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit.  Crete is the largest of the Greek islands at 8,336 km² (3,219 square miles) and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean.  As the centre of the Minoan civilization (ca. 2600–1400 BC), Cretan culture was the oldest   form of Greek and hence European civilization. It is not surprising that there are over 2,000 scholars and archeologists on Crete.

Our first Sunday in Crete started with heavy rain, requiring us to take a taxi to the 7am service at Hagios Tito/Titus Church where Titus’ actual head is kept in the side chapel. The Hagios Tito service lasted 3 and 1/2 hours. For the first hour, there were more clergy and robed choir than congregation: about 8 including us. Time is no concern to Cretans. Every hour, more people wandered in, until three hours later the service was 80% full. Even the choir members wandered in and out over the three+ hour service.

There were no instruments. The two miked-singers/cantors who led the choir had excellent base voices. The congregation never sang. At the end of the service, any of the people who did not take communion were invited to receive a blessed piece of bread to eat on their way out. All the children took communion, plus many of the adults who felt spiritually connected that day.

The Greek Orthodox Archimandrite Makarios officially welcomed us to Crete and invited us to have coffee with him after the service. His English was excellent, so we had a great conversation. I was able to give him a copy of ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’ as a gift which he seemed pleased to receive. As he is also a medical doctor, he gave us a gift of his book on Orthodox bioethics.

After Church, we went for lunch with one of the young Cretan couples. It was a great opportunity to learn more about Crete, and how to not butcher the modern Greek language. Quite understandably, Greek has changed a bit in two thousand years.  For example,  the ‘eu’ in Eucharist/Thank you is currently pronounced as an ‘f’ as in ‘Efharista’.

In the afternoon, we went by bus to the famous Knossos archeological palace, where the ancient Minoans had their headquarters. After that, we went to the Venetian Port at Heraklion where the wind on the windbreaker was so strong that it almost blew us off our feet. We can understand how Paul in Acts 27:10 warned the ship captain not to leave Crete because of the winter danger of shipwreck. Even today Cretans do not do much fishing in the winter.

The next day, a taxi driver named Immanuel drove us to the Agaradou Monastery way up on a remote hill where we met the Abbot Erasmus who gave us a memorable tour of the monastery. Later that afternoon, we were fortunate to visit the National Museum of Crete, where we learned about the many times the Cretan people have been conquered, and yet how they reemerged after great persecution. All of their church buildings after the conquest of 1669 were closed, and converted to other purposes. Only 50 people in their main city of Heraklion (Chandax) were left after a continuous siege for twenty years, reportedly the longest siege in the history of the world.

The resilience and deep faith of the Cretan people is a lesson to others facing difficulties in life. My prayer for those reading this article is that we would show the same resilience and faithfulness when we face life’s disappointments.

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

P. S. Click this Amazon link to view for free the first two chapters of our new novel Blue Sky.

“I’m afraid there’s been an accident…”

12bdf6ff-3021-4e73-bccd-bc919398d1a0-7068-0000031133e7b4d9Sandy Brown and her family have just moved to Spokane, Washington where her husband, Scott, is pastoring a new church. With a fresh start, Sandy is determined to devote more time to her four children. But, within weeks of settling in their new life, the Brown family is plunged into turmoil.

Sandy receives shocking news that her children aren’t safe, which brings back haunting memories of the trauma she experienced as a girl. Then, the unthinkable happens…

A brutal attack puts Sandy on the brink of losing everything she’s loved. Her faith in God and the family she cherishes are pushed to the ultimate limit.

Is healing possible when so many loved ones are hurt? Are miracles really possible through the power of prayer? Can life return to the way it was before?

Blue Sky reveals how a mother’s most basic instinct isn’t for survival… but for family.

If you’re a fan of Karen Kingsbury, then you’ll love Blue Sky. Get your copy today on paperback or  kindle.

for better for worse-Click to check out our 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 Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

– 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 Ave, 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 

Author: edhird

I was the Rector of St. Simon's Church North Vancouver, B.C for 31 years, from 1987 to 2018. Ordained in 1980, I have also served at St. Philip's Vancouver and St. Matthew's Abbotsford. My wife Janice and I have three sons James, Mark, and Andrew. I was the Past President and Chaplain for Alpha Canada. While serving as the National Chair for Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada, I was one of three co-signers of the Montreal Declaration of Anglican Essentials For the past 31 years, I have been privileged to write over 400 articles as a columnist on spiritual issues for local North Vancouver newspapers. In the last number of years, I have had the opportunity to speak at conferences and retreats in Honduras, Rwanda, Uganda, Washington State, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and Ontario. My book For Better, For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship, coauthored with Janice Hird, can be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/Better-Worse-Discovering-lasting-relationship/dp/0978202236/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1535555614&sr=8-1 My sequel Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit, with a foreword by Dr JI Packer, is online with Amazon.com in both paperback http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/097820221X/ref=redir_mdp_mobile and ebook form http://tiny.cc/tanhmx . In Canada, Amazon.ca has it available in paperback http://tiny.cc/dknhmx and ebook http://tiny.cc/wmhmmx . 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: http://tiny.cc/vj3bmx . Indigo also offers the Kobo ebook version: http://tiny.cc/kreonx . You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook: http://tiny.cc/1ukiox The book 'Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit' 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 North Americans can embrace a holistically healthy life. In order to obtain a 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. For more info, please click on www3.telus.net/st_simons/nsnews030.html

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