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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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Rising Faith: Just As I Am

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

My grandmother and mother knew that I would become an Anglican priest.  I dismissed this expectation, being convinced that I would become an electrical engineer like my father.  In my family system, there were no adult males that attended church.  In 1965, my mother had a spiritual encounter at a Billy Graham event at the Pacific National Exhibition.  Fifty-two years later, my mother’s family faithfulness has had a huge impact on my life.  I am a more loving, forgiving person today, because of my mother’s faithful example and prayers.

Similarly, Billy Graham’s family faithfulness at age 98 has had a huge impact on countless people.  President Eisenhower memorably said: “Billy Graham is one of the best ambassadors our country has but he told me, ‘I am an ambassador of heaven.’”  How has Billy Graham continued for the past sixty years of Gallup polling as one of the ten most admired people in the world?  My hunch is that it has to do with humility and not taking himself too seriously. Henry Kissinger commented: “To my surprise, I found myself not only impressed but deeply moved by how he touched some profound spiritual yearning…I have an immense regard for Billy Graham. He is a strong but humble man, with a generous and compassionate heart that is open to every human being of every religious faith and to those who profess to have none.”[1]  It is not easy to finish well as a high-profile public figure.  Everything that they say and do is constantly scrutinized.  They and their families are living in a public goldfish bowl.

Family faithfulness does not mean that a person never makes mistakes.  Faithfulness means being willing to humbly admit one’s mistakes and being willing to grow and change.  During a Newsweek interview in 2006, Graham commented: “Much of my life has been a pilgrimage—constantly learning, changing, growing and maturing.” Part of the way that Billy Graham has coped with unceasing public attention has been through his self-effacing humour.  In his autobiography Just as I am, Billy was always transparently telling hilarious stories about his foibles and mistakes.  He is famous for having personal access to every American president since Harry Truman in 1950.  The opening sentence of Billy’s autobiography is “It was July 14th 1950, and I was about to make a fool of myself.”[2]  Unschooled in presidential protocol, the 31-year old Billy Graham innocently told the reporters the content of his conversation with the President.  Truman was so offended that he dismissed Billy Graham as a counterfeit.[3]  Later Billy Graham visited President Truman, apologizing profusely for his ignorance and naivete.  “Don’t worry about it”, replied Truman, “I realize that you hadn’t been properly briefed.”[4]  Billy Graham vowed that such a mistake would never happen again if he was ever given access to a person of rank or influence.

I have been privileged to serve on the Executive of the Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope.  During this time, I have met both the Billy Graham family and the Billy Graham team.  Are they perfect? No.  Do they make mistakes? Yes.  I do sense a family faithfulness, a willingness to humbly admit where they need to grow and learn.  My prayer for the March 3rd to 5th Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope is that tens of thousands will come to hear the Good News and that thousands will experience rising faith for themselves.

 

Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector,

St. Simon’s North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in Canada #BGFEST

Executive Member, Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope 

-an article published in the March 2017 Light Magazine and the March 2017 Deep Cove Crier

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback andebook 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, 1008- 555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC, V7N 2J7, Canada.

– 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’, #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

[1] Chicken Soup for the Soul: Billy Graham and Me (CSS, 2013), 203

[2] Billy Graham, Just As I Am (Harper & Collins Publishers, Toronto, Ontario, 1997), xix.

[3] Stephen Rankin, “Confessor-in-Chief”, Christian History Institute, Issue 111, https://www.christianhistoryinstitute.org/magazine/article/confessor-in-chief/ (Accessed February 15th 2017)

[4] Graham, Just As I Am, xxiv.


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Join us in person or online on March 3rd to 5th

Dear 5,962 friends in Christ,

It is only three weeks until the Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope, an event that only occurs every couple of decades.  You are invited to check out and repost a one-minute video clip which can give you a taste of what to expect.  Much of the footage is from the Greater Toronto Festival of Hope which I attended in September 2014.  The Festival will be streamed online for those who are too far away to attend in person, making it possible for people from hundreds of nations globally to attend via the internet.  Prayer is the key to see this kind of harvest breakthrough in Greater Vancouver and globally online.

Blessings,  Ed Hird+ #BGFEST


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Rising Love: A Valentine’s Love Story

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Prime Minister Lester Pearson’s wife Maryon once famously quipped “Behind every successful man is a surprised woman.”[1] Billy Graham, aged 98, was recently named for the 60th consecutive year in a Gallup poll as one of the ten most admired people in the world, along with Bernie Sanders, Pope Francis, and Bill Gates.[2]  It was Ruth Graham his devoted wife for sixty-three years who enabled Billy Graham to be healthy in the midst of relentless international attention.  Without Ruth’s loving care for their five children, it would have been impossible for Billy Graham to have taken part in 417 city-wide celebrations in 185 countries, speaking to live audiences of nearly 215 million people.[3]  Billy and Ruth Graham were a Valentine’s love story that we can all learn from.

Ruth, who lived her first seventeen years in China, never wanted to marry, intending instead to become a missionary in Tibet.  After going to school in North Korea, she moved to Wheaton College in Illinois.  There in 1940, she met her future husband Billy who instantly fell in love with her.  Ruth was slightly startled by his intense blue eyes.  As her biographer Patricia Cornwell put it, “Billy was unlike anyone Ruth had met….earnest, quietly confident, and personal. Clearly he spoke as one who knew God and knew him well…But what interested Ruth was that as Billy escorted her…,he seemed completely unaware of his uniqueness, his poignancy, his gift.”[4]  Billy was very nervous around Ruth, but eventually invited Ruth to hear Handel’s Messiah with him.  That night Ruth knelt on the carpet by her bed and prayed, ‘God, if You let me serve with that man, I’d consider it the greatest privilege in my life.’[5]  Ruth wrote to her medical missionary parents in China, saying: “Despite Bill’s fearlessness and sometimes sternness, he is just as thoughtful and gentle as you want a man to be…he makes you feel perfectly natural and looked after without being showy or obnoxious. Sounds like I’m in love, doesn’t it? Don’t get worried. I’m not.”[6] Both Billy and Ruth were independent and very determined people which led to some early challenges in their relationship.  It was normal in Ruth’s family for women to be strong and outspoken, something that Billy had to get used to.  In writing to her parents in 1941, she said: “(Billy) isn’t easy to love because of his sternness and unwavering stand on certain issues.  Many a night I have come in almost hating the man because I wanted my way in some little thing that was either unwise or foolish or something, and he wouldn’t give in even if it meant losing my love…”[7]  Sometimes Billy and Ruth could be the immovable object and the irresistible force.   Writing to her parents later in 1941, she said: “(Billy) has his faults and some people object to his fearless, uncompromising presentation of the gospel. But that was the first thing about him that commanded my attention and later my admiration –as I grew to know him better, my trust.”[8]

After accepting his marriage proposal, she visited her sister Rosa in a New Mexico TB Sanitarium.  While there suffering from exhaustion, she wrote Billy a crushing letter, telling him that she didn’t think that she was in love with him and that marriage was perhaps unwise.[9]  Her sister miraculously recovered, and Ruth went ahead with the wedding.  Cornwell commented: “What Ruth would do next, no one could predict, for she was as quietly stubborn as the sphinx and just about as inscrutable…She didn’t necessarily do the practical or the expected.”[10]

One of the greatest challenges to their marriage was how much Billy was away. Ruth often said: “I would rather have a little of Bill than a lot of any other man.”[11]  Many of Billy Graham’s sermon illustrations came directly from Ruth’s voracious reading of biographies, histories, novels, books about art and foreign countries.[12] It was Ruth’s deep faith in God that kept her going through many trying times.  One time after Billy unexpectedly went with his buddies to Chicago without Ruth, she tearfully prayed: “God, if you forgive me for marrying him, I’ll never do it again.” When he realized how much he hurt her, he was full of tender apologies.[13]  Ruth often said: “Sometimes beautiful women develop from adjusting to difficult men.”[14] By all accounts, Ruth was a beautiful woman in body, mind and spirit. Her medical missionary dad, her evangelist husband Billy and her beloved ‘prodigal’ son Franklin all helped her become more beautiful.

In 1963, Billy wrote to Ruth: “How can I find words to express my appreciation for all you have meant to me. Your love and patience with me in my ups and downs…have meant more to me than you will ever know. Your counsel, advice, encouragement, and prayer have been my mainstay….It seems in the recent months my capacity to love you has deepened…I love the wife of my youth more every day!…Yes, I am thankful to God for you…No child ever had a greater mother than our children.”[15]

Rev Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission In Canada #BGFEST

Executive Member, Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope 

-an article published in the February 2017 Light Magazine and the February 2017 Deep Cove Crier

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback andebook 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, 1008- 555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC, V7N 2J7, Canada.

– 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’, #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

[1] Maryon Pearson spoke her mind”. Toronto Star, December 28, 1989.

[2] “Sweet 60: Billy Graham one of 10 ‘Most Admired Men’ again”, One News Now, January 8th 2017, https://www.onenewsnow.com/culture/2017/01/08/sweet-60-billy-graham-one-of-10-most-admired-men-again (Accessed January 16th 2017)

[3]Billy Graham -Biography, http://www.biography.com/people/billy-graham-9317669 (Accessed January 16th 2017)

[4] Patricia Daniels Cornwell, A Time for Remembering: The Ruth Bell Graham Story (Harper & Row, San Francisco), 60.

[5] Cornwell, 61.

[6] Cornwell, 63.

[7] Cornwell, 65.

[8] Cornwell, 67.

[9] Cornwell, 72.

[10] Cornwell, 155.

[11] Cornwell, 78.

[12] Cornwell, 78.

[13] Cornwell, 79.

[14] Cornwell, 194.

[15] Cornwell, 149.


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Check out David Ingram’s message about the Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope

We were blessed to have David Ingram preach at 9am and 10:30am services this Sunday, in which he shared on Facebook Live about the exciting Festival of Hope story and how we can all become involved.  He told us that half the people in Greater Vancouver were born outside of Canada.  Only Toronto is similar in this way.  Dubai and Brussels have over half from outside, but these people are temporary workers rather than those coming to permanently live.  In Greater Vancouver and Toronto, we have a unique opportunity to reach the nations without even changing our postal code.  Click on the following link to watch David powerfully share on Facebook Live.

David Ingram Director of Greater Vancouver Festival of Hopes shares good news
To the Nations #BGFest


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More Live Endorsements of the Festival of Hope

 FOH Stats2


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Live Endorsements of the Festival of Hope

It is hard to believe that the Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope is just a month and a half away.  The Billy Graham people, as I saw at the Greater Toronto Festival of Hope, are such a quality team, particularly in the music teams, the relationships between churches, and the media communication.  David Ingram, the Director of the Festival, along with Pastor Giulio Gabeli, the Festival Chair, have been giving remarkable, thoughtful leadership over the past two years.  It has been a joy to hear the following endorsements of the Festival of Hope from key Greater Vancouver pastors and leaders:

Pastor Giulio Gabeli, Pastor of Westwood Church and Chair of the March 3rd to 5th Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope, shares his excitement. http://festivalofhope.ca #BGFEST  Click on this link to watch the Facebook Live video, already viewed by over 1,000 people since Thursday.

Pastor David David Carson, Chair of the Vancouver Pastors Prayer Fellowship and Hope
Vancouver and key Festival Executive member, shares his excitement about the March 3rd to 5th Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope  Click on this link to watch the Facebook Live video. 

Pastor Sandro and Rebecca Di Sabatino of Glad Tidings Church, Festival Executive
members, share about the March 3rd to 5th Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope.  Click on this link to watch the Facebook Live video.

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