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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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Thanking God for the Angus Reid Institute

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Faith and Religion in Public Life: Canadians deeply divided over the role of faith in the public square

On this 150th Anniversary of Canada, I am grateful for the role of Angus Reid and the Angus Reid Institute in helping Canadians understand themselves better.

Image result for angus reid

Most research on Faith and Religion has been drawn from American sources which is often a different socio-economic and religious mix.  Because Canada is both 1/10th the population of the USA while geographically larger, there are unique challenges in measuring the Canadian mindset.  While we have many similarities to Americans, it often plays out differently. Americans often feel closest to Canadians, but sometimes miss our uniqueness, assuming that American values are fully expressed in Canada.  Part of the reason why Americans often know less about Canada is because Canadians are seen as relatively harmless and peaceful, in contrast to other more troubling areas of the world. I particularly valued the measuring by province, having lived in both BC and Quebec.

To learn more about the Angus Reid Institute’s latest research on Faith and Religion in the Canadian Public Square, click on Faith in the Public Square.

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in Canada

-an article for the October 2017 Deep Cove Crier and Light Magazine

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback andebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book 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 we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

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 Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, 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, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, 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 

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Bruce Cockburn: Restless Virtuoso

 By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

While at the local library with my wife, I ran across Bruce Cockburn’s fascinating new autobiography and spiritual memoirs Bruce Cockburn: Rumours of Glory[1].   A true Canadian icon, Cockburn ironically gets more airtime now on US radios than in Canada.  Until recently, he has been called one of Canada’s best kept secrets.[2]  Over the past five decades, he has released thirty-one albums, selling over seven million copies worldwide, including one million copies in Canada.[3]  The New York Times has called Cockburn a virtuoso on guitar.[4]  His accomplishments include 12 Juno Awards and 21 gold/platinum certifications. As well as being a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame, Cockburn is an Officer of the Order of Canada and recipient of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.[5]  He even has his own postage stamp![6]  It is easy to put famous people up on pedestals, only for them to come crashing down.

Cockburn noted: “What doesn’t kill you makes for songs.”[7]  He is very transparent in his memoirs about the ‘cage of reticence’ that he has been trapped in, saying that it took him decades to open up enough to allow another human beyond the courtyard of his heart.[8] Due to the flat lining of emotional content, he bottled up his feelings and failed to connect.[9]  Cockburn commented: “It was almost impossible for me to communicate from the heart, especially if the subject required deep openness….I remained too trapped inside myself…”[10]  Even positive attention could be off-putting to him.[11]  Being terrified of audiences, he initially pretended that they were not there.[12]  Through his music, Cockburn temporarily came out of hiding: “Music is my diary, my anchor through anguish and joy, a channel for the heart.”  His self-described penchant for withdrawal led to several painful relational breakups: “Relationships of the heart though require exposure of the soul.”[13] Being a travelling musician can be very hard on relationships.  In his memoirs, Cockburn notes:

…a long history of failing to communicate our deepest fears, resentments, and longings was at the core of our unraveling….Neither of us would entertain for a moment the notion of going for counseling…I’d leave on tour. My wife would be left in a stew of resentment and loneliness.[14]

There are endless internet interviews with Cockburn about his spirituality.  Few authors are willing to be interviewed in such detail about their spiritual journeys.  Cockburn’s spiritual reflections are very paradoxical, evocative, and nuanced: “Anyone who has spent any time exploring Bruce Cockburn’s music knows what a complex artist he is. He is as spiritual as he is political, and as much a master musician as a lyrical poet.”[15]  He is a free spirit who cannot be boxed in.  Bruce has a strongly developed social conscience and passion for justice that is expressed through his music, particularly in the 1980s.[16] The more interior 1970s led to a more exterior 1980s, focusing on the love of oppressed neighbours in the Global South. [17]

While raised in the United Church by agnostic parents, his first spiritual encounter occurred while taking communion in St George’s Anglican Church in Ottawa: “it felt like something happened.”[18] He called it a wondrous shiver of contact, of connection.[19]  At his wedding at St George’s, all of a sudden there was someone there “as vivid as I could see them, but I couldn’t see them, this loving presence…So I started taking Jesus very seriously at that point…that image has never left.”[20] Sadly, in moving to Toronto, Cockburn ‘didn’t find another church that had the same spirit attached to it.”[21]

It has been said that Cockburn has a spiritual GPS in him that doesn’t want to shut off: “I’m trying to get people to be aware of how much more there is to life than just what they see.” [22] There are people who love Bruce Cockburn just for his music,” said Mr. Brian Walsh, explaining each has their reasons be it his guitar virtuosity, his lyrics or his political stance. “They don’t always get the spirituality.”[23]  Cockburn’s quest for deeper meaning is a lifelong spiritual journey: “I believe that my relationship with God is central to my life. It is the most important thing in my life.”[24] “Eventually, through a series of personal stuff in the early ’70s, I ended up giving myself to Christ and asking for help, and I figured at that point I better start calling myself a Christian,” said Cockburn. “I think a personal relationship with God is what we’re supposed to be after and what God is after. That experience was a very crucial part of discovering and attempting to develop that relationship,” said Cockburn.[25]  The song All The Diamonds was written on the night of Cockburn’s conversion: “When Jesus came into my life, in 1974, he also came into my music.”[26] Only God, said Cockburn, can fill that hole inside of us.[27]

 My three favorite Cockburn songs are Lord of the Starfields, All the Diamonds, and Wondering Where the Lions Are.[28]  The autobiography gave a fascinating backdrop to Cockburn’s life and songs, illuminating the rumours of glory.  Bruce is very experimental, experiencing himself into faith and relationship with God.  Then he reflects on it later, sometimes in very confusing and ambiguous ways.

Cockburn has always been a restless spirit: “I craved adventure. I needed to throw myself into something unknown, travel with only vague destinations, expose myself to the elements, sail the seas.”[29]   He says that a lot of his nomadic rootlessness and constant longing for home comes from mistrust when his father destroyed his first poems: “I have a great deal of mistrust. I have a mistrust of authority. I have a mistrust of things I don’t know intimately.  I have a mistrust that takes the form of “OK, God, I am here for you and you are here for me. But I don’t want to go all the way because you might ask something of me that I am not capable of giving or don’t want to give. So I hold myself back from that piece because of that.  I am working on that piece…”[30]  May Bruce Cockburn continue to inspire others to seek for home.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in Canada

-an article for the April 2015 Deep Cove Crier

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback andebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book 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 we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

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 Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, 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, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, 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 

[1] Bruce Cockburn: “It’s supposed to be a spiritual memoir, so whatever that means. I’m not even sure what that really means, but that’s what the publisher asked for.” Bruce Cockburn by Dan MacIntosh on February 22, 2013. http://stereosubversion.com/interviews/bruce-cockburn-2  (accessed March 6th 2015)

[2] Terry Roland, “Bruce Cockburn Brings His Slice of Life”, L.A. Acoustic Music Festival, “Bruce Cockburn may be one of Canada’s best kept secrets.” http://folkworks.org/features/feature-articles/96-may-2009-articles/35983-bruce-cockburn   (Accessed March 6th 2015)

[3] http://www.cashboxcanada.ca/5136/proudly-canadian-bruce-cockburn  (Accessed March 6th 2015)

[4] http://brucecockburn.com  (Accessed March 1st 2015)

[5] http://brucecockburn.com (Accessed March 1st 2015).

[6] “Canadian Music Hall of Famer Bruce Cockburn gets stamped”, May 5, 2011 http://brucecockburn.com/tag/cockburn-stamp ; http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/januaryweb-only/brucecockburn-january24.html  (accessed March 7th 2015).

[7] Bruce Cockburn, Bruce Cockburn: Rumours of Glory (HarperCollins, New York, NY, 2014), p. 419. ; p.137 “Anything that touches me with a sense of meaning is likely to make its way into a song…”

[8] Bruce Cockburn: Rumours of Glory, p. 103, p. 105 “…trapped forever in a cage of reticence.”

[9] Bruce Cockburn: Rumours of Glory, p.104 “Forging close ties has been particularly hard for me, given the flat lining of emotional content that was the unstated rule in my childhood home….I learned how to bottle up feelings which would later lead to psychic capitulations and failures to connect, sabotaging deeper relationships with others.”

[10] Bruce Cockburn: Rumours of Glory, p. 129.

[11] Bruce Cockburn: Rumours of Glory, p. 19 “I didn’t like attention anyway, except on my own terms. I still don’t. Even positive attention can be oppressive.”

[12] “In the beginning, I was terrified of audiences. The only way that I could deal with it was to pretend that they were not there. “ Brian Walsh Interviewing Bruce Cockburn 4 – “Kicking at the Darkness”  May 20, 2012 at the recent Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing (April 19th 2012) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv5OveKtPSQ&spfreload=10  (Accessed March 6th 2015)

[13] Bruce Cockburn: Rumours of Glory, p. 4, p. 84, p. 106.

[14] Bruce Cockburn: Rumours of Glory, p. 183.

[15] Bruce Cockburn by Dan MacIntosh on February 22, 2013. http://stereosubversion.com/interviews/bruce-cockburn-2 (Accessed March 6th 2015)

[16] Bruce Cockburn: Rumours of Glory, p.119 “An honest reading of 1 Corinthians 13 and other beautiful passages in the Bible speaks to a humanity dedicated to serving all creation through active benevolence, through love.”; Bruce Cockburn: Rumours of Glory, p. 41 “Jesus instructs us to love, to seek the Divine in the everyday, to foment real peace and real freedom, to share bounty among the poor, and to challenge malevolent forces even if it means placing yourself at great risk.”

[17] Bruce Cockburn: Rumours of Glory, p. 198 “If the seventies were marked by a deep introspection, the eighties were largely characterized by a more exterior orientation….This redirection reflected the teachings of Jesus – reach out to your fellow human, love your brother and sisters and serve them…”; Stephen Bede Scharper,  “Bruce Cockburn: Faithful troubadour of a dangerous time”, Nov 03 2014, “Such a stance has led him to trouble spots around the globe, including Guatemala, Mozambique and Afghanistan, performing and speaking out on crushing Third World debt, native rights, landmines and the environment.” ; “…The amalgam of Cockburn’s activism, Christian belief and musical virtuosity led him to work with many international human rights and eco-groups such as Oxfam, Amnesty International, Friends of the Earth and Doctors without Borders.” http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/11/03/bruce_cockburn_faithful_troubadour_of_a_dangerous_time_scharper.html  (accessed March 5th 2015)

[18] Bruce Cockburn: “I was raised going to Sunday school, with the obligation to wear grey flannels on Sunday mornings, which was horrible.”  The United Church of Canada: It’s one of the least attended churches in existence…” “My parents are agnostics and the only reason we went to Sunday school was that, well, my great aunt would be unhappy and the neighbors would talk. This was the 50s. You don’t buck the system in the 50s. We did what we were supposed to do. And that basically was kind of clear from the beginning that that was what we were doing. Because my parents would go to church from time to time but we didn’t hear any talk of religion in the home at all.” Lori E. Pike , “The Thinking Christian Man and His Music: Bruce Cockburn”, http://www.todayschristianmusic.com/artists/bruce-cockburn/features/the-thinking-christian-man-his-music/  (Accessed March 5th 2015); Brian Walsh Interviewing Bruce Cockburn 4 – “Kicking at the Darkness”  May 20, 2012 at the recent Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing (April 19th 2012) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv5OveKtPSQ&spfreload=10  (Accessed March 6th 2015)

[19] Bruce Cockburn: Rumours of Glory, p. 190.

[20] Brian Walsh Interviewing Bruce Cockburn 4  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv5OveKtPSQ&spfreload=10  (Accessed March 6th 2015)

[21] Brian Walsh Interviewing Bruce Cockburn 4  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv5OveKtPSQ&spfreload=10  (Accessed March 6th 2015); Cockburn: Rumours of Glory, p. 192 “I never found a church that had the same feeling of community, of being filled with spirit, as St George’s. That church, with its healing services and its congregation half made up of ex-cons, was more special than I had realized. Gradually the habit of attending worship services gradually faded away.” Ed: St. George’s since left the Diocese of Ottawa, and is now called St. Peter’s & St Paul’s.

[22] Drew Marshall to Bruce Cockburn: “You have this spiritual GPS in you that doesn’t seem to shut off.” April 14th 2012 on the Drew Marshall Online show. http://drewmarshall.ca/show/120414  (Accessed March 7th 2015);  http://www.todayschristianmusic.com/artists/bruce-cockburn/features/the-thinking-christian-man-his-music/  (Accessed March 5th 2015)

[23] “Music helps reveal Christian imagination”, Mykawartha.com,  Jan 30, 2012  http://www.mykawartha.com/whatson-story/3697209-music-helps-reveal-christian-imagination (accessed March 7th 2015).

[24] “Bruce Cockburn” By Dan MacIntosh, February 22, 2013. http://stereosubversion.com/interviews/bruce-cockburn-2  (accessed March 6th 2015)

[25] Allison, Hunwicks, The Catholic Register, April 26th 2012, “Bruce Cockburn and his longing for home” http://www.catholicregister.org/item/14360-bruce-cockburn-and-his-longing-for-home (accessed March 6th 2015); Bruce Cockburn: Rumours of Glory, p.133 “I wanted a healthy relationship with Kitty. It wasn’t long before I was begging on my knees, consciously asking Jesus to help me, to fortify my mind and salve my soul, to make me the person he wanted me to be. I prayed like a child without reserve. Suddenly it was there, the same presence I had felt during our wedding ceremony, in the room with me, its energy filling the air.  I felt my heart forced open. He was there! … I made a commitment to Jesus. From that moment I saw myself as a follower of Christ.”

[26] Bruce Cockburn: Rumours of Glory, p. 2; “A boat ride through the Stockholm archipelago – barren islands, sun on waves – the balance tipping toward a commitment to Christ. ” – from “All The Diamonds” songbook, edited by Arthur McGregor, OFC Publications 1986. http://cockburnproject.net/songs&music/atd.html (Accessed March 1st 2015); “The song ‘All the Diamonds in the World’ was the song that sort of marked that turning point.”- “Bruce Cockburn – A Burning Light and All the Rest” by William Ruhlmann, Goldmine magazine, 3 April 1992. Anonymous submission. (Accessed March 1st 2015)

[27] Bruce Cockburn: Rumours of Glory, p.106.

[28] Bruce Cockburn: Rumours of Glory, p.151 ”I wrote the song Lord of the Starfields as an attempt at a Psalm. One clear summer night, walking on a gravel road…Deep space overhead, far from urban light spill, blazed with millions of distant nuclear furnaces. All the way to the edge of everything, love resounded.”

[29] http://brucecockburn.com/about  (Accessed March 1st 2015); Bruce Cockburn: Rumours of Glory, p. 45.

[30] The April 14th 2012 Drew Marshall Online show. http://drewmarshall.ca/show/120414http://www.catholicregister.org/item/14360-bruce-cockburn-and-his-longing-for-home  (Accessed March 7th 2015);  Lou Fancher, Correspondent,  “Bruce Cockburn peels back the protective shell in his memoir ‘Rumours of Glory’”, 10/27/2014, “When Cockburn was a teen, his father destroyed a notebook of his first poems — an act he says annihilated his trust of authority.” http://www.mercurynews.com/entertainment/ci_26787017/bruce-cockburn-peels-back-protective-shell-his-memoir (accessed March 7th 2015)


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Colonel Moody and The Port Next Door

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Have you ever given thanks for Colonel Richard Moody and the Royal Engineers who defended us in BC’s first war? Have you ever even heard of BC’s first war?

In 1858, Colonel Moody’s troops steamed north along the Fraser River to Yale on the Enterprise.  Ned McGowan had led a vigilante gang to falsely imprison the Yale Justice of the Peace, PB Whannel.  Ned McGowan had great influence with the vigilantes, as he was both a former Philadelphia Police superintendent implicated in a bank robbery and a former California judge acquitted on a murder charge.  Without Moody’s intervention, the fear was that BC would be quickly annexed to the USA by Ned McGowan’s gang.

Upon arriving in Yale, Colonel Moody and his Sappers from Sapperton were unexpectedly received with ‘vociferous cheering and every sign of respect and loyalty’.  No shots were even fired!  Matthew Begbie the so-called ‘Hanging Judge’, in his first-ever BC Court case, fined McGowan a small amount of £5 for assault, after which he sold his gold-rush stake and promptly returned to California.  BC Premier Armor de Cosmos said of ‘Ned McGowan’s War’  that BC had ‘her first war- so cheap- all for nothing…BC must feel pleased with herself.’

Born on Feb 13 1803 in Barbados, Colonel Moody became the second-most important leader in the formation of BC.  Like our first BC Governor James Douglas who was born in British Guyana, Moody brought Caribbean ingenuity and vision to the frontiers of Western Canada.

Moody had entered the army at an early age.  Moody’s father Thomas was also a Colonel in the Royal Engineers. A graduate of the Royal Academy at Woolich, Moody joined the Royal Engineers in 1830 and served in Ireland and the West Indies, as well as a professor in Woolich.  After Moody had been sick twice from yellow fever, he drew plans submitted to Queen Victoria for restoring Edinburgh Castle.

In 1841 he went to the Falkland Islands as Lieutenant Governor, later Governor where he stayed until 1849.  In 1858 Moody was appointed Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works and Lieutenant Governor of the new colony of BC.  Moody was soon sworn in as Deputy to Douglas on the mainland and empowered to take his place, if anything should happen to the Governor.

Moody’s role in the colony was two-fold: to provide military support and to carry out major building projects with the Government considered necessary to keep up with a sudden growth in population and commerce.

Moody’s Sappers were specially trained in surveying, reconnaissance, and constructing roads, bridges, and fortifications.  They represented many trades such as printers, draughtsmen, photographers, carpenters, blacksmiths, and masons.

Colonel Moody and his sappers were sent to BC because of the 1858 BC Goldrush.  On April 25th 1858, 495 gold-rush miners arrived in Victoria.  Governor James Douglas commented that ‘they are represented as being with some exceptions a specimen of the worst of the population of San Francisco – the very dregs in fact of society.’  By the middle of July 1858, the number of American miners exceeded 30,000.  Rev. Lundin Brown held that ‘never in the migration of men had there been seen such a rush, so sudden and so vast.’

Colonel Moody personally chose BC’s first Capital New Westminster, established the Cariboo Wagon Road, and gave us the incalculable gift of Stanley Park.  Moody also named Burnaby Lake (of Burnaby City) after his private secretary Robert Burnaby, and named Port Coquitlam’s 400-foot ‘Mary Hill’ after his dear wife ‘Mary’.

Thanks to Captain George H. Richards who thoroughly surveyed the BC Coast, Colonel Moody’s name has been immortalized in BC history with the city of Port Moody.  The city was established from the end of a trail cut by the Royal Engineers, now known as North Road to connect New Westminster with Burrard Inlet.  Port Moody was developed to defend New Westminster from potential attack from the USA. The town grew rapidly after 1859, following land grants to Moody’s Royal Engineers who then settled there.  All of the officers returned to England, but most of the sappers and their families chose to remain, accepting 150-acre land grants as compensation.  Port Moody was the Canadian Pacific Railway’s original western terminus.

In 1863 Colonel Moody planned to cut a trail from New Westminster to Jericho Beach due west, but Lieutenant Governor Douglas was very much in opposition.  Of this venture, the matter was taken to the Colonial House, London, England, and permission was granted for Colonel Moody to proceed with the trail.  Unfortunately he ran out of money before completion and the trail ended at Burrard Inlet.

Moody’s Royal Engineer detachment was disbanded by Governor James Douglas in 1863.  Only 15 men accompanied Colonel Moody back to England, with the remainder settling in the new colony. These men formed the nucleus of the volunteer soldiers that led to the formation of the BC Regiment twenty years later.

Colonel Moody left his mark not only in the physical but also in the spiritual.  At the conclusion of BC’s ‘Ned McGowan War’, as it was Sunday morning, Colonel Moody invited forty miners to join him at the courthouse for worship.  As no clergy was present, Colonel Moody himself led worship from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.

“It was the first time in British Columbia that the Liturgy of our Church was read,” wrote Moody.  “To me God in his mercy granted this privilege.  The room was crowded with Hill’s Bar men…old grey-bearded men, young eager-eyed men, stern middle-aged men of all nations knelt with me before the throne of Grace…”  My prayer for those reading this article is that like Colonel Moody, each of us may leave a lasting impact not only in the physical but also the spiritual.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

BSW, MDiv, DMin

St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in Canada

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier

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

-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, 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


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Sunny Deep Cove Days

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

I love sunny Deep Cove days!  One sunny day in Deep Cove is worth a hundred rainy ones.  The brilliant green trees, the sun on the water, the sense of being at home, all beckon us back to Deep Cove again and again.  Within five minutes in either direction, there is an abundance of beaches, mountains, forests, and parks.  There is something about Deep Cove that allows one to feel totally freed from the stress of urban madness, while only being just across the bridge from Vancouver, the third largest city in Canada.  Described by one California mountain biker as the ‘sleepy sea side village of Deep Cove’, it was birthed in the early 20th century as a summer vacation resort, only accessible by water.  Despite easy road access, the Cove still carries that ‘genetic code’ of ‘letting go of one’s work-a-day world’.  Unlike many suburbs, Deep Cove has such a deep sense of roots that it even has a thriving Deep Cove Heritage Society , a Deep Cove Cultural Centre, two Deep Cove history books, and even our well-known annual Deep Cove Daze.

There is something about the Cove that calls forth the artist, the painter, and poet deep within us. Michael Hayward, an SFU Computer expert and Deep Cove resident, reminds us in his striking Quicktime VR Panorama of Deep Cove of the fascination that so many of us experience in the midst of such beauty and peace.

Maurice Jasaak in his beautiful photographic website of Deep Cove comments that “Deep Cove is as much a concept as it is a location.” “There is no community in the lower Mainland”, says Jasaak, ” with more of a mystique. Deep Cove is that place that seems forever shrouded in clouds and mists, getting the highest rainfall totals in the region. It is where two bodies of water meet, Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm. It has more recreational opportunities within reach than most other communities. Residents are very possessive of this image. All things considered it is one of my favourite destinations when getting away for a short while is the goal.”

At the visual heart of Deep Cove is the striking Deep Cove Yacht Club which has been in existence since July 31st 1936. During World War II, the clubhouse was requisitioned as an elementary school and it also served as a meeting place for the local Red Cross and Air Raid Precaution organizations.  During its early years, the clubhouse was the focal point for most of the Cove’s social and recreational activities and present Cultural Centre.

Deep Cove is the starting point for hikes along the Baden-Powell Trail that cross the North Shore to Horseshoe Bay, as well as canoe and kayak excursions on Indian Arm. Its waterfront location, only 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver, makes the Deep Cove Canoe & Kayak Centre defined. a favorite departure spot for people wishing to enjoy the relatively still waters of the Indian Arm.  Everything about Deep Cove is laid back and yet pushing the boundaries.

As I wrote in the Deep Cove Crier 19 years ago, “Everywhere I look from Panorama Park, my eyes are pierced by trees, a ring of unending trees like a green cocoon that encircles and protects Deep Cove from the intrusions of that other world. There is a stillness about Deep Cove that grips me and will not let go.”  I have been privileged to baptize two groups of people at Panorama Park in Deep Cove.  What a beautiful place to worship God.  How the heavens declare the glory of God at Deep Cove. (Psalm 19).  I thank you, Father, for ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ in this irreplacable setting.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

BSW, MDiv, DMin

St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in Canada

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier

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

-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, 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


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Basking on the Sunshine Coast

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

One day of sunshine in Deep Cove/Seymour is enough to make me forget all the other kinds of days.  I was raised in the days before skin cancer totally changed our views of sunbathing.  Suntan lotion in the 1960’s had little to do with the ozone layer and everything to do with looking more pleasantly roasted.  I remember feeling guilty if I didn’t burn!  One of my favorite places to catch the rays was on the Sunshine Coast in a little place called Roberts Creek.

My paternal grandparents had left Vancouver in 1959 to becoming a ‘pioneering family’ in a community that didn’t even having running water or electricity.  Grandpa Vic Hird, who was a 60-year-old master mechanic and second-generation blacksmith, decided to tent out with his wife Olive while building their own house in the Roberts Creek woods.  Each morning they trekked down to Flume Creek with the other pioneers to collect their daily water.

To help his parents build their house, my engineering father, accompanied by his young family, would take the Langdale Ferry many weekends to the Sunshine Coast.  My strongest memory of  the Sunshine Coast house-building spree was when I stepped on a long construction nail and had to be driven to my Grade One class for the first two months.  My Grandfather worked so hard building his house and digging a well through ‘hardpan’ that he suffered a heart attack and promptly decided that he would be dying within a year.  For the next 32 years of Grandpa’s life on the Sunshine Coast, we ‘knew’ that Grandpa would be dead within about a year.  Surprisingly all the healthy people died before Grandpa Hird.

All throughout my childhood and teenage years, we made our regular Sunshine Coast pilgrimages to visit my grandparents.  My grandpa loved the Sunshine Coast for the fishing, and often took us out in the early mornings to catch ‘a big one.’  While I found fishing rather boring, I loved strolling down to Henderson Beach to lay on the sand and swim out to the float.  This summer had a surreal feeling as we took our three boys there to ‘re-enact’ my childhood.  Dozens of rich memories came flooding back as I watched my boys run up and down the beach, climbing on the endless logs and looking for crabs under the barnacle-covered rocks.  I find that there is still something indescribably peaceful about sticking one’s toes in the nice warm sand and counting the sailboats floating by.

When my grandparents both died, we lost the ‘magnet’ that drew our family to the Sunshine Coast again and again.  In the past few years however, a number of our Deep Cove friends made the move to the Sunshine Coast, giving us the perfect excuse to resurrect our ‘family pilgrimage’.  Our transplanted Deep Covers on the Sunshine Coast also tell me that once you have lived in Deep Cove, you never get it out of your blood.  In some strange wonderful way, you never really leave Deep Cove.

Because Deep Cove was birthed originally as a vacation get-away only accessible by boat, Deep Cove still feels a lot like the laid-back Sunshine Coast to me.  The miracle of Deep Cove is that being only ten minutes from one of the busiest Metropolises in Canada, Deep Cove still gives one the sense of being countless miles away from anywhere.

Many of us remember the Travel Industry jingle where they sang: ‘I need a vacation, I’ve got to get away!’.  I recently learnt that the word vacation comes from the word ‘vacate’….to go away from so as to leave empty or unoccupied.  All of us need times to be able to get away, to leave our worries and stresses behind.  All of us need to be able to cut off our cells phones and leave our minds and hearts unoccupied with the unending busyness of business.  Deep Cove’s laid-back ‘genetic code’ can help us vacate our worries and really ‘let go and let God.’

No matter how dedicated to our careers, all of us need holidays…all of us need times of recreation.  When the rush and tumble of September arrives, how quickly our sunny holidays can seem like distant memories.  Holidays (or holy days in the original meaning) are not a luxury or an option.  They are at the heart of what it means to be re-created through recreation.  As created beings of a wonderful Creator, all of us tend to wear out.  All us literally need to be re-created on a regular basis.  The actual dictionary meaning of going to a local Rec Centre is that we might be re-created, re-newed, re-freshed.  My prayer for those reading this article online is that Jesus Christ our ‘Sun of Righteousness’, in whom we were created, will recreate us in body, mind and spirit.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

BSW, MDiv, DMin

St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in Canada

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

-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, 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


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Alexander Graham Bell: Inventing the future

By  the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Like many Canadians, Alexander Graham Bell moved to the United States to get his big break, but always longed to return to the beauty and peace of Canada.  Both Alexander’s mom and wife had serious hearing impairments, a challenge that directly aided Alexander in his development of the first workable telephone.  It was while Alexander served as a teacher of the hearing-impaired that he began to really understand the fundamental principles of communication and speech.

One of Bell’s most famous pupils was Helen Keller who came to him as a child unable to see, hear or speak.  Helen Keller later said of Bell that he dedicated his life to the penetration of that ‘inhuman silence that separates and estranges.’  Dedicating her autobiography to Bell, she said: ‘You have always shown a father’s joy in my success and a father’s tenderness when things have not gone right.’

Like many millions of Canadians, Alexander Graham Bell was not born in Canada.  Rather his family fled to Canada after the tuberculosis deaths of their two other sons in Edinburgh, Scotland.  They naively believed that the pure air of Canada would save the life of Alexander who was also afflicted with tuberculosis.  While Alexander did live until age 75, he was never that well and often suffered from severe headaches.  But Alexander never let his problems hold him back from being creative.

Alexander had a pioneering mind and great vision.  He defined an inventor as someone “who looks around upon the world and is not contented with things as they are.  He wants to improve whatever he sees; he wants to benefit the world; he is haunted by an idea.”  “We should not keep going forever”, said Alexander, “on the public road, going only where others have gone.  We should leave the beaten track occasionally and enter the woods.  Every time you do that, you will be certain to find something that you have never seen before.”

While Alexander became famous from his invention of the first workable telephone, his inventive genius reached much farther.  He was the first in North America to show how x-rays could be used to treat cancers inside the body.  He invented a probe that discovered where bullets were lodged inside people.

Through creative experimenting with kites, he built the first successful airplane in the British Empire.  His Canadian airplane flew almost a kilometre at 64 kilometres per hour on February 23rd, 1909 at Beinn Bhreagh, Cape Breton.  Alexander’s hydrofoil built in 1915 reached speeds of 70 mph (112 kph).

After the death of his son from weak lungs, Alexander invented the first respirator.  To assist shipwrecked sailors, he created a machine that turned the moisture in air into drinking water.  His endless inventions also included the first practical phonograph, the first flat-disk record, an iceberg-locating device, a water purifier that removed salt from seawater, an air conditioner, and an audiometer to test people’s hearing.

But it was Bell’s invention of the telephone that caused the greatest controversy.  Some wrote Bell off as a mad scientist who was challenging the laws of nature.  Others tried to argue that telephones were somehow of the devil and against the bible.  There were widespread fears that telephones would spread disease and even insanity over the telephone wires.  During an 18-year period, Bell faced and won over 600 lawsuits challenging his telephone patent.

The first business use of the telephone began in 1877.  By 1888, there were over 150,000 users in North America.  The cost of having a phone installed in 1888 was $10, the equivalent of a whole year’s wage for a servant.  As of 2010, there are literally hundred of millions who might find it hard to imagine life without a phone.

When Bell’s body was buried in 1922 on top of a Cape Breton Island mountain, every telephone in North America observed a minute’s silence.  Thomas Edison, a rival and friend, said at that time: ‘My late friend Alexander Graham Bell,  whose world-famed invention annihilated time and space, and brought the human family in closer touch.’

The word ‘telephone’ means ‘sound over a long distance’.  Bell brought good news to many through a physical device.  May God use each of us as pioneers to bring the sound of good news throughout the world.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

BSW, MDiv, DMin

St. Simon’s Church, North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in Canada

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

-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, 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


2 Comments

(Mount) Frederick Seymour The Forgotten Governor

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

To have the 3508-hectare Mount Seymour Provincial Park right in my backyard is such a blessing.  All of us, whether nature enthusiasts, hikers, skiers or mountaineers, would enjoy the serene forest cover of hemlock, Douglas fir and red cedar.  My wife and I, along with our three sons, have enjoyed many pleasant hours hiking along the Mt Seymour trails, especially on the Baden Powell Trail that ends up down in Deep Cove.  In the last number of years that we have been hiking on Mt Seymour, I have often wondered just whom Mt Seymour was named after.

After being given a fascinating book entitled ‘British Columbia Place Names’, I discovered that Mt Seymour is named after the first Governor of the united British Columbia colony, Frederick Seymour.  Even though Frederick Seymour has been described as the forgotten governor, his namesake is found scattered all throughout our local community.  Examples are Mt Seymour Lions, Mt Seymour Dry Cleaners, Mt Seymour Little League, Mt Seymour Soccer, Seymour Dental Centre, Seymour Animal Clinic, Seymour Golf & Country Club, Seymour Heights Elementary School, and the 11th & 13th Seymour Scouts, Cubs, and Beavers.  Even SeyCove High School is a combined name involving Seymour, as well as Deep Cove.

The more I learned about the Seymour connection, the more curious I became about just who Frederick Seymour was and why so many things were named after him, including Seymour Creek, Seymour Arm, Seymour City, and Seymour Street in Vancouver.  I discovered that Seymour was born in Belfast, Ireland on September 6, 1820 to a formerly wealthy family that had just lost its properties, position, and paycheck.  Through a family friendship with Prince Albert, Seymour was appointed as assistant colonial secretary of Tasmania.  Before being appointed as Governor of the mainland colony of British Columbia in 1864, Seymour also served in Antigua, Nevis, and finally as lieutenant governor of British Honduras for 16 years.  The Duke of Newcastle chose Seymour for BC because he saw him as ‘a man of much ability and energy’.  Seymour was thrilled at the ‘prospect of a change from the swamps of Honduras to a fine country’.

Frederick Seymour got along well with the citizens of the capital city of New Westminster.  He upgraded their school, made personal gifts of books and magazines to their library, built a 200-seat ballroom, and encouraged the growth of cricket, tennis, & amateur theatre.  He also ambitiously attempted to complete Sir James Douglas’ great highway to the interior of BC, but the financial costs of construction were staggering.

Seymour hosted 3,500 First Nations people at New Westminster for a weeklong celebration of Queen Victoria’s birthday.  He also gained the support of a Chilcotin Chief in ending a violent inter-racial dispute at Bute Inlet.  Seymour later reported that his ‘great object was to obtain moderation from the white men in the treatment of Indians.’

As the interior BC gold rush began to slump in 1865, Seymour went to England in a bid to cut costs by consolidating the two colonies of Vancouver Island and the Mainland.  The British Government endorsed Seymour’s plan which resulted in the abolition of the Vancouver Island House of Assembly and the establishment of New Westminster as the sole capital of BC.  Victoria was outraged that it ceased to be a capital and lobbied successfully to move the BC capital back to Victoria.  Seymour grudgingly was forced to move from his beloved New Westminster to Victoria where he was deeply disliked by many locals.  Despite such Islander animosity, Seymour was able to establish the BC public school system, improve the courts, draw up public health regulations, set standards for mining, and reduce the provincial debt.

During this period, some BCers petitioned that BC join up with the United States.  Others began campaigning for BC to join Confederation, a move that Seymour opposed in numerous ways. Seymour initially ‘forgot’ to forward a number of pro-Confederation letters to the Colonial Secretary in London but, when he did, he included his own anti-Confederation messages.  Seymour believed that Confederation was only wanted by a vocal minority of business people who were hoping that Confederation would solve BC’s economic woes.  Prime Minister John A. Macdonald was outraged at Seymour’s opposition to Confederation, stating that Seymour should be recalled “as being perfectly unfit for his present position, under present circumstances.  From all I hear, he was never fit for it.”

Seymour’s provincial recall campaign never had a chance to get off the ground, as Seymour was called up north to settle an inter-tribal war between the Nass and Tsimshian First Nations. Using the famous Anglican missionary William Duncan of Metlakatla as an interpreter, Seymour convinced the warring groups to sign a lasting peace treaty.  On his way back, Seymour died in Bella Coola from one or more possible causes: dysentery, Panama Fever, and/or acute alcoholism.  His convenient death paved the way for his opponents to sweep the memory of Seymour and his anti-Confederation feelings under the carpet.  It is amazing to realize that when BC entered Confederation in 1871, BC had fewer than 40,000 people, of which almost 30,000 were First Nations people.  Confederation for better or worse was the ‘watershed experience’ that defined our province.  Seymour was an embarrassment to John A. Macdonald and friends.  So Seymour the anti-Confederationist became the Forgotten Governor.

In the same way that Seymour was a forgotten governor in the civil realm, God is so often a forgotten governor in the spiritual realm.  It is time that we re-establish Jesus Christ in his rightful spiritual place as governor of our land.  My prayer is that God may keep our land glorious and free and that God the forgotten governor may have dominion from sea to sea.

 

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

BSW, MDiv, DMin

St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in Canada

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

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier

-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, 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