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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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How many of you remember the Da Vinci Code hoax?

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Dan BrownThe Da Vinci Code Movie bus ads boldly stated: “Seek the Truth”. I agreed, as only the Truth can set us free. Dan Brown had his ‘religion expert’ Leigh Teabing claim that, “almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false.” At the start of the ‘Da Vinci Code’ book, Dan Brown pledged, “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.” These remarkable allegations are at the heart of many scholars’ critique of an otherwise interesting page-turner. Historical accuracy was not the strong suit of the Da Vinci Code fad.

The Right Reverend Dr. Tom Wright, Anglican Bishop of Durham and former Oxford scholar, said at Seattle Pacific University that “it is a well-known fact of today’s culture that some people can’t tell fact from fiction.” One third of Canadians, since reading the Da Vinci Code, actually believe that descendants of Jesus are walking the earth today. Dan Brown claimed in his Da Vinci Code book that there really was a Priory of Sion to which Leonardo Da Vinci, Isaac Newton, and Victor Hugo belonged. Bishop Wright commented that this claim ‘can be shown very easily to be false.’ It is now Da Vinci Code bookbecoming well-known that the Priory of Sion documents that Dan Brown cites as evidence were ‘forgeries cooked up by three zany Frenchmen in the 1950s.’ In fact, said Bishop Wright, “they cheerfully confessed to this in a devastating television program shown on British television….” As well, CBS’s “60 Minutes” skillfully outed “The Priory of Sion” as a convoluted hoax, created by two Frenchmen, Pierre Plantard and Philippe de Cherisey, in 1956. “

Historical inaccuracies are found in virtually every chapter of the Da Vinci Code. As Bishop Wright notes, “(Dan) Brown…includes the Dead Sea Scrolls as documents about Jesus. They are nothing of the sort. Neither Jesus nor early Christianity is mentioned anywhere in the scrolls.” Most significantly “there is not the slightest sign, in Nag Hammadi (the gnostic Egyptian scrolls) any more than the Dead Sea Scrolls, of Jesus being married to Mary Magdalene and having a child by her.” Giving a holy kiss in the early church was not a sign of a secret marriage, but a mark of being fellow Christians. How many people, for example, would assume that modern Italians are married to everyone that they kiss on the cheeks?

The Last SupperThanks to Dan Brown, millions of people are scrutinizing Leonardo’s Mona Lisa and Last Supper paintings for evidence of secret mother-goddess worship. Yet Mona Lisa, rather than being an androgynous self-portrait and a secret name for Egyptian fertility goddesses, was actually Madonna Lisa, married to Francesco di Bartolomeo del Giocondo in March 5th 1495. Mona Lisa was a real life Florentine mother of five children, two of which became nuns.

And what about the long-haired, rather effeminate, beardless person in the Last Supper painting? Leonardo in his own notebooks clearly stated that the person closest to Jesus in the Last Supper painting was John the beloved disciple, not Mary Magdalene as an alleged secret mother-goddess and wife. Credible art historians tell us that John the beloved, as the youngest of the twelve disciples, was always painted by medieval painters as looking young, beardless, and somewhat effeminate from 21st-century standards. All one needs to debunk Dan Brown’s Last Supper allegations is to be able to count up to thirteen. As everyone knows that there were 12 disciples plus Jesus present at the Last Supper, the supposed addition of Mary Magdalene to the Last Supper painting would have required fourteen people in the painting. Count it for yourself: you will only find thirteen!

Did Leonardo’s journals include secret codes and messages, as the Da Vinci Code movie advertisements are telling us? Dr. Ward Gasque explains that Leonardo’s journals were written in common Italian, but from right to left instead of the opposite method employed today. This makes perfect sense as Leonardo was left handed. Leonardo’s journals are still on display today and can be read easily with the help of a bathroom mirror, but no secret codes or messages have ever been uncovered in his journals.

Dr. Stephen Andrews comments: “Why is it not obvious that The Da Vinci Code is meant for entertainment, not education? It has about as much historical credibility as Monty Python’s The Life of Brian.” Dr. Andrews elaborates that contrary to Dan Brown’s claims, “the Roman Catholic lay movement, Opus Dei, does not have monks; Westminster Abbey does not have spires; (and) the Christian habit of worshipping on Sundays was not a Constantinian accommodation to paganism, but predates Constantine by 200 years…”

Dan Brown claimed that the Emperor Constantine in the fourth century invented the concept of Jesus being God in order to consolidate his hold on the Roman Empire: “My dear”, Teabing declared, “Until that moment in history, Jesus was viewed by his followers as a mortal prophet…” “Not the Son of God?” (said Sophie). “Right”, Teabing said. In fact, as Bishop Tom Wright notes, “the divinity of Jesus was already firmly established by Paul within 20 to 30 years of Jesus’ death.”

Mona LisaThis claim to Jesus’ deity was not a 4th century ‘Johnny-come-lately’ invention. In 110AD, Ignatius of Antioch, Syria refers to Christ as God, saying “God Himself was manifested in human form”. In 150 AD, Clement of Alexandria, Egypt said “It is fitting that you should think of Jesus Christ as of God” In 180 AD, Irenaeus of Lyon, France said of Jesus that: “He is God, for the name Emmanuel indicates this”. In 235 AD, Novatian of Rome, speaking of Jesus, said”…He is not only man, but God also…”

Dan Brown rejected the trustworthiness of the New Testament by asserting in the Da Vinci Code (p. 256) that “history is always written by the winners.” But anyone who knows anything about Christian history knows that the early Christians were anything but “winners.” The early Christians were persecuted, outlawed and even murdered. Some Christians were thrown into the arena to be eaten by lions. Other were tied up on poles, drenched with fuel, and lit as streetlamps at night.

“We may safely conclude”, said Bishop Wright, “that the Da Vinci Code is fiction not just in its characters and plot but in most of its other details as well.” I encourage Christians in particular not to be defensive about the Da Vinci Code movie/book, but rather, as 1 Peter 3:15 puts it, to always be ready to answer those who ask us for the reason for the hope within us, always with gentleness and respect. I strongly commend Lee Strobel’s brilliant video-based website on the Da Vinci Code  and his book “Exploring the Da Vinci Code” which can be purchased online. The good news of Jesus Christ has nothing to fear from money-making hoaxes.

Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-an article previously published in the Deep Cove Crier.

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest 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.  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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Greetings from Saskatchewan

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

A number of years ago, my wife, three sons and I piled into our minivan and drove thousands of kilometers to Manitou Beach in Watrous. Saskatchewan is known as the land of the living skies. While I love the BC mountains and seashore, there is something unforgettable about a prairie sky that seems to roll on forever.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe magnet for this long trek to Saskatchewan was the rare opportunity to meet with 240 of my wife’s relatives. All six of the brothers made it from six different parts of Canada. Three of the six brothers are actually ordained clergy. There were so many relatives that we had to wear colour-coded name tag just to figure out who was who. I jokingly say that my side of the family could hold a family reunion in a telephone booth.

Manitou Beach, with its high mineral content, is famous because you can float on it, almost like the Dead Sea in Israel. While at Manitou Beach, we were able to have family dancing at the historic Manitou Beach Dance Hall, and then go to an old-fashioned Drive-in Theatre to see the hilarious Noah take-off movie ‘Evan Almighty’.

It was fun to visit the historic family farm on the rocky roads, but not fun to replace the windshield after it was smashed by rocks on the prairie road. It is amazing how good can come of difficulty (Romans 8:28). The smashed window gave me a chance to connect with a North Bay trucker, an Anglican Edmontonian, and an Los Angeles actor repairing Canadian windshields We were able to pray together and one of them even obtained a copy of my book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’.

Regina ACORWhile in Regina, I had the chance to meet with two of our sister churches. If food is the language of love, I felt very loved while visiting in Regina. One of our congregations in Regina is full of Nigerian and Sudanese new Canadians and recent immigrants who fed us delicious African food. We were also treated to African dancing and singing by a Regina priest’s lively children.

Regina has deep significant to my family roots. Due to the Canadian Pacific Railway, my great-grandfather Oliver Allen was shipped with the Toronto Militia to quickly defeat Louis Riel at Batoche.

Louis RielWhile conquering Riel, my great-grandfather Oliver met my great-grandmother Mary Mclean a Regina Leader news-reporter sympathetic to Louis Riel. Right before Riel’s hanging, my great-grandmother, who was fluent in French, disguised herself as a Catholic priest in order to interview Riel. Her newspaper editor had told her: “An interview must be had with Riel if you have to outwit the whole police force of the North-west.” Riel said to my great-grandmother on Nov 19th 1885: “When I first saw you at the trial, I loved you.” Shortly after, my great-grandparents Oliver and Mary married and relocated to start life anew in BC.

It interested me to discover that many Albertans and BCers are moving to Saskatchewan to take advantage of the cheaper housing prices and the country lifestyle. The Saskatchewan government is promoting this with large billboards in Alberta showing a husband, wife and two kids with the backdrop of a single-family home and a bike. The Saskatchewan billboard says in large letters: “More Life, Less Stress”. Some Saskatchewan residents that I met are worried about the Albertan/BC invasion because of the way that it is making housing prices unaffordable.

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What a vast and wonderful nation that we live in as Canadians. What a wonderful treat to be able to take family members to explore the richest of this amazing gift called Canada. I thank God as a loyal BCer that all of Canada belongs to all of us.

Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-an article previously published in the Deep Cove Crier.

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest 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.  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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Saying Goodbye…

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

DSCF1708Writing and books have a tremendous influence on all of our lives.  Sometimes the most powerful writing we do is when we say ‘Goodbye’.  Most eulogies at funerals are an opportunity to say Goodbye, to pay our last regards.  Most of us say ‘goodbye’ thousands of times in our lives.  Saying goodbye to our loved ones is always the hardest.  As most of us are immigrants to Canada within the past number of generations, we know the story of how hard it was for ourselves, our parents or grandparents to leave our homeland and come to this strange land named Canada.  My Nana Allen was born in Canada, but she still called England the mother country.  She longed deeply for a land that she never saw until she turned 80.   When the Irish left Ireland to come to the new world, many of their relatives had a wake, in effect burying them as dead.

Unless we learn to say goodbye from our hearts, we can never move forward in our lives.  Many people will never let go.  They easily become bitter, discouraged, and even physically ill.  Letting go and letting God is not just a slogan.  It is a vital key to restoring health in our lives.

Jesus said ‘Blessed are those who mourn/grieve for they shall be comforted.’  Saying goodbye is the heart of genuine, healthy living.  The term ‘goodbye’ is an English contraction of the phrase ‘God be with you!’   Why were our ancestors always saying ‘goodbye’ to each other? Because they wanted God to be with them.  What better gift can we give each other that the gift of God being with them?

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 Jesus had to say goodbye on Good Friday before he could say ‘hello’ on Easter Sunday.  Why did Jesus leave his best friends on Good Friday?  He left them because he loved them and wanted God to be with them.  As Jesus hung on the cross, he said ‘Goodbye’: “Into your hands I commit my spirit’.  Jesus knew that unless he let go and surrendered to the cross, there would be no way forward.  The resurrection joy of Easter Sunday is a direct result of Jesus saying goodbye on Good Friday.  My prayer for you is the words ‘goodbye’.  May you discover that God is really with you, that you are deeply loved.

Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-an article previously published in the Deep Cove Crier.

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest 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.  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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Sorry, not interested…

What a Girl Wants (2003)

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

In the movie What A Girl Wants, a fatherless North American 17-year-old flies to England looking for her British father whom she’s never met. When Daphne finally encounters her father, his initial response is ‘Sorry, not interested.’ As Daphne sadly picks up her bags to leave, her father has a sudden partial change of heart.

Sadly many young people feel disconnected from their fathers.  Some have never known their fathers.  Many feel a longing for a close relationship with their dad, but fear that this is impossible. Will their father really be interested?

I am so grateful to have a growing relationship with my own 94-year old Father. He has shown me time and again that he is deeply interested in my life and activities.  I remember when he volunteered to be our baseball umpire, one of the most painful jobs that a loving father can take on.

Canadians are so polite. I have noticed that many Canadians will politely avoid any conversations related to politics or religion. “Sorry, not interested”.  Imagine if one of us were having a crisis and decided to pray to God only to hear him say “Sorry, not interested.”.   We assume that God is naturally fascinated with our lives.  And we are right.  God never finds us boring, irrelevant, or stupid.  God cares for us as his own offspring, his own personal creation, made in his very own image. The Father is deeply interested in each one of us.

Thank God that we are not just a statistic, a number, an accident.  Our Father sees us as deeply valuable.  Each of us are people for whom Christ died.  Each of us are wonderfully and fearfully made.

Let us give thanks for our earthly fathers, but most of all for the Heavenly Father who loves us with an everlasting love.

Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-an article previously published in the Deep Cove Crier.

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest 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.  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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Lucy Smith of Deep Cove memory

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Twenty-nine years ago I first met Lucy Smith.  She wrote me a very kind letter about one of my first articles written for the Deep Cove Crier.  Most writers can live for two weeks on a single compliment.  Over the years, I visited Lucy Smith a number of times, and always been impressed by her good temper and her deep faith.  Lucy Smith lived right next door to Maplewood Farms, and right across the street from Maplewood School in North Vancouver, BC.

Lucy Smith

On Monday March 16th 2009, I had the privilege of sharing my brief reflections about Lucy at her funeral at West Coast Christian Fellowship.  The longer I live, the more I appreciate a well-done funeral. Pastor David Bornman, who has known Lucy for many years, weaved Lucy’s life story into a message of hope for others.  Pastor Bornman spoke of life after death, commenting that ‘Lucy has just transferred her address.’ One person mentioned the TV Show ‘I Love Lucy’ as an appropriate symbol of how others felt about Lucy Smith.

Lucy was raised on the North Shore in West Vancouver, and later moved to Maplewood where she lived until age 91.  Maplewood is a rather hidden part of the Seymour/Deep Cove Community.  Lucy was well known as a cat-lover. She was also a member of the Alpine Club of Canada. Remarkably Lucy once trekked to the eighteen-thousand-foot level of Mount Everest.

Much of Lucy’s passion for the outdoors came from her life-long involvement in Girl Guiding.  Many Guiding Commissioners attended the funeral, expressing their deep love and appreciation for all that Lucy did for the Guiding movement.

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Lucy was also a poet. She loved to write about the beauty of God’s creation. On Feb 5th 1982, Lucy wrote a poem while looking out at the North Shore mountains from the Stanley Park Seawall.  Nature brought Lucy closer to God. She wrote: “In those beautiful settings, the Lord seemed very near.  My heart responded in a way which only He could hear.”

Lucy worked for many years in the business world, so she was aware of how city life can swallow a person up.  She wrote: “How often is that true of us, in one way or another, do we blot out the still small voice and even one another?”

Lucy developed a strong prayer life that kept her from becoming negative or frazzled. She wrote: “Let’s try instead to lean on Him whose arms are always there, to steady us and give us peace, and all our burdens share.”  Whenever I visited Lucy, we always ended with a prayer. Many people just let the clergy pray, but Lucy always joined in with her own prayers as well.

The last time that I met Lucy was at Lions Gate Hospital where I was taking the Chapel Communion service. She was such a delight to be with. The love of Jesus beamed from her, even when she was frail. Lucy didn’t fear death, because she believed in the reality of Easter, that Jesus conquered death for our sake. My prayer for those reading this article is that each of us may be as prepared, as Lucy Smith was for the afterlife.

Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-an article previously published in the Deep Cove Crier.

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest 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.  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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Vote Today…

However you vote on the BC Referendum, make sure to vote. I voted no, because the process to me was too flawed, too politicized, and too rushed. It lacked the promised citizens assembly. It lacked a clear yes or no choice. It leaves 23 key post-referendum decisions to political bosses. Should up to 40% of our MLAs be chosen by the political bosses rather than our directly choosing our own local mlas? Click to find out more.