Edhird's Blog

Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


Leave a comment

“I Don’t Believe in God…”

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Today’s new atheism has been popularized by Richard Dawkins, the late Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and Sam Harris.  Contemporary atheism reminds me of Alexandre  Dumas’ book ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’.  You may remember Jim Caviezel/ Edmond Dantes’ cry while in Chateau d’If prison: “I don’t believe in God”.  Edmond had suffered so deeply and so unfairly for so long that he had given up on the concept of a loving and just God.  His ‘cellmate’ Abbe Faria poignantly replied to Edmond: “God believes in you.”

Alexandre Dumas lived through many French revolutions during which belief in God became distinctly out-of-fashion or even dangerous to one’s health.  Dumas experienced much disappointment in his life, and was frequently either breaking the heart of a female acquaintance or having his own heart broken.  Yet in the midst of many setbacks, Dumas had a fascination with the God question that comes across in his over 250 novels, travel pieces, memoirs, and theatre productions.  Best known as author of ‘The Three Musketeers’, ‘The Man with the Iron Mask’, and ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, Dumas had a remarkable ability to touch deep into people’s souls.  As his friend Victor Hugo said after Dumas’ death, Alexandre “fertilizes the soul, the mind, the intelligence; he creates a thirst for reading; he penetrates the human genius and sows seeds in it.”

In the Dumas biography ‘Genius of Life’, we are told about young Dumas’ tragic loss of his father:

“Why should I not see (my father) any more?”

“Because God has taken him back”

“…I’m going to heaven”, said young Dumas, “I’m going to kill God who killed my papa.”

 

Dumas, being an avid reader, learned much sacred history from the Bible that later shaped many of his plays.  Dumas encouraged the studying of ‘the bible as a religious, historic and poetic book’. At one point, young Dumas was given funding in a will to go to seminary and become a priest.  This overwhelmed him, and he said “I am running away, because I do not want to be a priest.”  Receiving his first communion had a profound impact on Dumas: “When the host touched his lips, he became dizzy, burst into sobs, and fainted.  It took him three days to recover from this…Dumas would never again approach the communion table, except at the hour of his death.”

Our reactions to suffering and injustice can make or break us, turn us bitter or better.  So often we are insensitive to the deeper issues of life until we have personally ‘hit the wall’.  Edmond Dantes the Monte Cristo hero recalled that

‘the prayers taught him by his mother discovered in them a hidden meaning hitherto unknown to him.  To the happy and prosperous man, prayer is but a meaningless jumble of words until grief comes to explain to the poor wretch the sublime language that is our means of communication with God.”

 

Edmond Dantes miraculously escaped from prison and found hidden treasure on the Island of Monte Cristo.  Using resurrection language, Dumas commented,

“When (Edmond) was at the height of his despair, God revealed himself to him through another human being.  One day he left his tomb transfigured miraculously.

 

But Edmond was consumed by a need for revenge that threatened to destroy his own new freedom.  “I must have revenge, Mercedes!  For fourteen long years have I suffered, for fourteen years wept and cursed, and now I must avenge myself.”

Dantes admitted to Mercedes: “From being a kind and confiding nature, I made myself in to a treacherous and vindictive man…If you ever loved me, don’t rob me of my hate. It is all I have.”  She wisely responded, saying, “Let it go Edmond. Let it go.

Edmond’s reappearance after so many years in prison called forth this memorable statement from Mercedes:

“Edmond, I know there is a God above, for you still live and I have seen you. I put my trust in him to help me…Unhappy wretch that I am, I doubted God’s goodness… Cowardice was at the root of all my actions.”

Edmond responded to her deep repentance by saying: “you have disarmed me by your sorrow…God had need of me and my life was spared.”

At the end of the book, Edmond faces the Christ-like choice of mercy or revenge.  He painfully chose mercy which set him free from the root of bitterness that was eating him alive.  Mercedes commented: “I repeat once more, Edmond, it is noble, beautiful to forgive as you have done.”

Dumas said in ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ that ‘the wretched and miserable should turn to their Saviour first, yet they do not hope in Him until all other hope is exhausted.’

My prayer for those reading this article is that we not totally exhaust ourselves before we finally admit our spiritual need.

 

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

– previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

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

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. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 

 


Leave a comment

Working Out at the Gym

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

One of my strongest motivations for going regularly to the local gym is that it really helps reduce my intermittent neck pain.  It is interesting how often physical aliments have parallels in the spiritual realm.  Being stiff-necked can sometimes be both a physical and a spiritual reality.  Twenty-eight years ago while at a renewal conference in Anaheim, the Lord spoke to me about my need to repent over my stiff neck.  Rather than make excuses, I decided to agree with the Lord, and be willing to change.  God did a deep work in me that I will never forget, teaching me how to be more surrendered to God’s will in my life.

I had no idea how serious the spiritual ‘stiff-necked’ condition was, until I read through the bible, finding nine references to this affliction.

In Exodus 32:9, the Lord said to Moses: “I have seen these people, and they are a stiff-necked people”.  One of the main reasons why God made the Moses’ followers wait forty years before entering the Promised Land was the problem of their stiffneckedness (Deuteronomy 9:6)  God’s solution in 2 Chronicles 30:8 was “Be not stiff-necked as your fathers were, but rather yield yourselves to the Lord and enter his sanctuary.”  Being stiff-necked seems to be a generational condition, as Stephen mentioned in Acts 7:51 “You stiff-necked…, you are just like your fathers. You always resist the Holy Spirit.”

My family has physically suffered from stiff necks for generations. That is why we have often turned to physiotherapists and menthol rub.  Regularly going to the gym appeals to the frugal part of myself, because I estimate that I am actually saving money on medical bills by preventative maintenance.  By working out regularly and using a neck-stretching machine, I have significantly reduced headaches, and the need for aspirin or Tylenol.

The Good Book says in 1 Timothy Chapter 4: “Exercise daily in God: no spiritual flabbiness, please!  Workouts at the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today, and forever.”  The Bible is pro-exercise, but realizes that physical exercise will only take you so far.  That is why the famous YMCA Red Triangle stands for Spirit, Mind, and Body. All three parts needs exercising, not just the physical!

Bishop Tom Wright commented: “The last time I made a serious effort to get physically fit, I had a specific purpose in mind.  We were about to launch into a complicated move of house, and I knew that I was going to be on my feet all day for a long time, carrying boxes, books, pictures and goodness knows what else.  I was going to be climbing ladders and moving furniture, not to mention sorting out a garden.  I needed to go into training, and I did.  It worked.  I really ought to be doing it again now…”

 

I remember several years ago moving and unpacking what felt like a thousand boxes!  If it wasn’t for my years of training at the gym, I would have been stiff necked and aching everywhere. But instead I felt fit and free.

But it is not enough to be physically fit, while letting our spiritual life go flabby.  Have you ever thought of the Church as God’s Gymnasium?  Would you like God to remove a few kinks in your stiff neck? My prayer for those reading this article is that we would exercise the whole person, in Spirit, Mind, and Body.

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

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

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

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. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

 -Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


Leave a comment

Honouring Our Young Leaders

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

We don’t hear enough about the wonderful accomplishments of upcoming young leaders. In our ‘man-bites-dog’ media-saturated world, it is the ‘bad news story’ about youth that seems to get our attention.

 The ‘Good Book’ is full of memorable stories about young people who made a difference when no one expected anything from them.  Think about the young prophet Samuel in the Temple.  Think about young David with his slingshot in front of an older and much larger Goliath.  Goliath despised young David, saying: “Am I a dog that you come at me with sticks?”  And think about young Timothy, who was mentored by an older and wiser Apostle Paul.

 Timothy was in an impossible situation in Ephesus, a port city in Western Turkey.  The Apostle Paul had ‘parachuted’ Timothy into this troubled city to turn around a very confused and demoralized community.  The problem was that the older, more sophisticated Ephesian leaders didn’t want Timothy around.  They despised his inexperience, immaturity, and insecurity.  Paul had to say to Timothy: “Don’t let people look down on you because you are young, but rather be an example for them in speech, in conversation, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity.”

 As the historian Dr. JW Milne puts it, “Ancient culture generally admired age before youth.” Paul was saying to Timothy: “Don’t let anyone underestimate your worth and value.” As the well-known Dr. John Stott puts it, this “is a perennial problem.  Older people have always found it difficult to accept young people as responsible adults in their own right, let alone as leaders.   And young people are understandably irritated when their elders keep reminding them of their immaturity and inexperience, and treat them with contempt.”

 Now what age was Timothy anyways?  Scholars estimate that ‘young Timothy’ was probably around 35 years old.  Michael Griffiths commented that “Young in ancient culture meant anyone young enough for military service; ie under 40 years of age”.

 So how was young Timothy to get credibility with older people, as he attempted to exercise leadership?  The Apostle Paul was clear that Timothy’s authority was not to come by pushing his weight around, by bragging about his credentials, or by laying down the law.  Dr. John Stott wisely noted that “the great temptation, whenever our leadership is questioned, threatened, or resisted, is to assert it all the more strongly and to become autocratic, even tyrannical.”  The Good book defines healthy leadership as: “not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples.”  Rather young Timothy was to gain acceptance by setting an example in the way he not only ‘talked the talk’ but also ‘walked the walk’.

 One of the most powerful ways that young Timothy set an example was by not ‘throwing in the towel’ when he felt discouraged.  Sometimes Timothy was discouraged, disappointed and distressed, but like Winston Churchill, he never ever gave up.  Young Timothy had that essential leadership ingredient that some called ‘stickability.

 The Apostle Paul also encouraged Timothy by reminding him that he was very gifted.  “Don’t neglect the gift that God has given you”.  It is so easy to focus on our weaknesses and neglect our God-given gifts and abilities.

The Apostle Paul said to young Timothy that if he devoted himself to keep growing in his God-given gifts, then everyone would notice how much that he had matured and progressed.  One of the dangers with leadership is that we stop growing, and we lose that sense of teachability.  The word ‘progress’ in the Greek means to ‘cut in front’ and is used of armies advancing or ships cutting through water.  Progress contains the graphic picture of a pioneer cutting his way forward through obstacles by means of a strenuous effort, like a man blazing a trail through a tangled Canadian forest.

The late Bishop Chuck Murphy had us do an exercise to find out if we are more like pioneers or settlers.   Bishop Chuck concluded by saying that God is looking nowadays for innovative pioneers who are willing to be trail-blazers and ground-breakers.

My hope for those reading this article is that we may seek to honour the upcoming young leaders who will trail-blaze our future communities.

 

 

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

-previously published in the North Shore News

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

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. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


Leave a comment

Bill Good, Hockey, and the New Birth

 By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird 

 

Bill Good is undeniably one of the most, if not the most, popular Radio Talk Show hosts in BC.  I was privileged to be interviewed by Bill Good on CKNW*, and to find out what makes Bill tick.  What I have discovered is that one of the reasons Bill Good has a weekly listening audience of 256,000 people is that he listens deeply and very respectfully.

While waiting to be interviewed by Bill on the issue of Marriage and the Federal Government, I heard him passionately and extensively expound on the tragic demise of NHL Hockey.

When my turn came, I said the following to Bill: “I believe that Canada has two main core institutions.  One of those is hockey and the other one is marriage.  Hockey is in serious trouble.  Why dismantle our second core institution?”

Bill Good responded by saying: “ Now I am a serious hockey fan, but aren’t you minimizing the importance or the significance of this issue when you relate marriage to hockey?”

To which I responded:  “Not if you talk to my sons.  Quite frankly they are passionate. There is a passion about hockey that is greater than most people’s passion for marriage.  I am committed to marriage. Quite frankly our nation has lost the meaning and theology of marriage.  And the look-alike substitutions are crippling it.”

We chatted all over the map after that.  But I was eventually given an opportunity to talk about how Jesus affirmed the historic Jewish view of marriage.  Jesus, quoting from Genesis Chapter 2, said: “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife and the two will become one flesh”  Jesus then added his own insight by saying in Matthew 19:6: “What God has joined together, let no one put asunder.”

I then said to Bill Good: “I used to think that marriage was just a piece of paper. I was very secular. I skied on Sunday (mornings) on Mount Seymour.”

Bill Good’s openness and inquisitiveness was so remarkable that I am including a portion of the actual transcript in this article:

Bill Good: So you found religion?

Ed: Yes, I met Jesus on a personal basis, and when I met him, I started to read the Bible.  I had never read the bible before because I was a good Anglican.

Bill Good: How did you meet him? Were you skiing?

Ed:  I met him through High School.  I had friends who were happier than I was. They had joy, and I said to them: “Why are you smiling?”  They said: “Come watch a movie, and I realized that a relationship with Jesus Christ could fill me up.  So I took that chance and it made all the difference.

Bill Good:  Does that mean that you are born again?

Ed Hird:  Well, I was asked that question by (the TV Host) Laurier Lapierre: “Was I born again?” And I said: “What does that mean?” It means that you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  It’s the new birth.  It means that you’ve gone from death to life.  It means that you have said ‘yes’ to Jesus.  Yes, I’m born again.  It’s called the new birth. It’s a negative(…)People think it’s an American term.

Bill Good: No, I don’t. I don’t think that it’s a negative term.  And I’ve known other people who claim to be born again.  So I’m curious about what that process is, what it means.  I’m not negative about it.  I’m curious.

Ed: Well, all it means is you’re turning, as we say in baptism: turning from sin, from self-centeredness and turning to Christ, and making him your Lord.  You’re basically opening your heart.  He’s knocking at the door and you’re opening your heart.

Looking back on the interview, I am most grateful for the openness of Bill Good to allow me to share with his listening audience what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  He could have cut me off at any moment, and switched the subject.  My prayer for those reading this article is that all of us may show that same quality of deep listening and respect to one another particularly as we struggle with vital issues like hockey, marriage, and the new birth.

 

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

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

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

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. 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, Canada V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada 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 $9.99 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 


Leave a comment

Remembering Dear Nana

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Nana Allen, my maternal grandmother, died with her prayer book and bible by her bed. I was never successful in talking her out of using the “old-fashioned” Book of Common Prayer, and ‘getting with the program’.  Nana to me symbolizes the deep Judeo-Christian roots of our beloved Canadian nation.  She knew in her heart that I would one day become an Anglican priest, even when I was running from God on the top of Mount Seymour ski hill.  Nana, while outwardly a very gentle and proper ‘English’ lady, was inwardly a prayer warrior who never gave up on her family or her nation.  Nana’s passionate love for our nation came out most strongly when she watched Hockey Night in Canada, fervently cheering for her favorite team ‘The Montreal Canadiens’.

I love Nana very deeply, though she passed away 18 years ago in March 1982, just before my throat operation where I received my voice back.  It was hard for Nana to watch me lose my voice, as she was so deeply committed to my calling to the Anglican priesthood.  I remember her saying that she wanted to live until I became ordained as a deacon. Then after my first ordination, she decided that she wanted to live until I became priested which she did as well. Within a year of my priesting, she had gone to be with the Lord.

Why am I an Anglican priest today?  I believe in my heart of hearts that I am a priest because of my Nana’s powerful prayers and personal witness to a biblically faithful Anglicanism.  Nana’s life embodied to me the heart and soul of genuine Anglican Christianity.  Sadly most of the faithful congregations that my Nana attended have since been swallowed by other agendas.

Nana was also a devout Anglophile and royalist.  Though she had never been to England, it very much functioned for her as ‘the mother country’.  Nana was probably more English than the English.  My parents finally persuaded her at age 80 to fly to England with them.  While she enjoyed the trip tremendously, she felt that England had changed!

As someone who has been an ordained Anglican clergyman for 30 years, I must say similarly to my grandma’s comment that the Anglican Church has changed.  I value healthy, necessary change, but I grieve when the core values of the Anglican Church are discarded in the relentless search for temporary relevance.  I have sadly had to face that we are now often dealing with another gospel, another religion, another faith than the biblical Anglican Christianity that my dear Nana stood for.

I believe that the Anglican Church is the ‘canary in the tunnel’ for our great nation of Canada.   Our Canadian passivity has made us vulnerable to serious cultural meltdown of everything that made Canada great.  My grandparents’ and parents’ generation put everything on the line to defend our great nation in World War I and World War II.  How can we do any less in the current battle for the soul of Canada?

We say in the pre-amble to our Constitution that we acknowledge the Supremacy of God.  It is time for us as Canadians to turn our words into actions.  Our founding forebearers were determined in the words of Psalm 72 that ‘he would have dominion for sea to shining sea’.  Our original name “The Dominion of Canada” was chosen to deliberately reflect that spiritual commitment as the core of our nation.

My cry is that God would keep our land glorious and free, that God would have mercy upon our rebellious land, that mercy would triumph over judgement.  God’s heart of love is that we would repent of our turning away from our godly Judeo-Christian heritage and turn back before it is too late.

When I remember my dearly beloved Nana, I am reminded that we have a great heritage as Canadians.  Let’s not squander it.

 

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

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

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

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. 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, Canada V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada 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 


Leave a comment

Connections: The Christian Ashram Retreat Experience

By Rev Ed Hird, Bishop’s Chaplain for The Anglican Mission in Canada

Our Bishop Silas Ng and Rev Josh Wilton led us in a four-day retreat called the BC Christian Ashram.  Bishop Silas, who has completed his doctoral thesis on micro/macrodiscipleship, gave five helpful talks* on how to have a daily quiet time, and the difference which this discipline makes in our Christian walk.  A shocking discovery by our Bishop Silas is that less than 10% of Christians have a regular daily quiet time.  This serious lack, says Bishop Silas, must be addressed if we are to be effective in church planting and renewal.  To assist people in their daily quiet time, Bishop Silas is leading people through the entire bible one chapter a day in his daily prayer blog.

Rev Josh Wilton is the lead pastor of The Table in Victoria BC. Before being commissioned to churchplant, Josh+ served for four years as our St. Simon’s NV Newcomer Pastor and (later) as Assistant Priest. Josh+ taught on the relevance of the Ten Commandments for our everyday living, focusing on freedom from the idols in our life, and on the need for regular Sabbath rest in our workaholic North American culture.

There is a strong youth and young adult ministry at the BC Christian Ashram. One of the young adults at the Ashram told me that  they “enjoyed the chance to get away, to refocus on God, to reconnect with old friends.”  Basically, the Christian Ashram retreat is about connections: connecting with God and the people around you.

The United Christian Ashram movement has many summer retreats throughout North America and around the world, with the largest one drawing over 800 in the Maritimes. It was founded in 1930 by Dr. E. Stanley Jones in India where he served as a missionary for over 50 years.  Dr Jones during his life was the world’s most widely read spiritual writer, with twenty-eight books selling millions of copies.

My wife began attending the BC Christian Ashram in 1974 where she was powerfully impacted by the Holy Spirit.  Many members of her family have since given their lives to Christ through the Christian Ashram. I began attending 39 years ago, and now serve as the BC Director.  You are invited to have a vacation with God throughout North America.  To find out more about the BC Christian Ashram, click on the following link.

 

 

Rev Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

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

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. 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 Comment

Chief Joseph Brant: Canadian Hero

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

My wife and I had the privilege of attending the First Peoples Forgiven Summit in Ottawa.  During that time we were able to meet a number of Mohawk believers, including Jonathan Maracle of Broken Walls who led us in remarkable worship music.  Canada’s most famous Mohawk was Chief Joseph Brant.  Recently the Canadian Royal Mint produced a Canadian Loonie with the imprint of Chief Joseph Brant  (1742-1807).  More Canadians need to hear this story of this Canadian hero.  He was described by Mark Jodoin as having the mind of a statesman, the heart of a leader, and the soul of a warrior. Without the military and spiritual support of Chief Brant, Canada would have likely never survived.

Chief Joseph Brant’s Mohawk name was Thayendanegea which means “two sticks bound together for strength”.  Isabel Thompson Kelsay notes that “the most famous (aboriginal) who ever lived, has been for two centuries a virtual unknown.”   I suspect that he is unknown to most North Americans because he chose the side of Canada in the American revolutionary war.  As Canada’s premier First Nations leader, Brant had the privilege of meeting both Georges in person: King George III and President George Washington.

Brant learned to speak, read and write English at a New Hampshire school led by Rev Wheelock. Wheelock described Brant as being “of a sprightly genius, a manly and gentle deportment, and of a modest, courteous and benevolent temper.”  In 1772, Brant was then mentored by Rev John Stuart, being trained in the art of Bible and Prayer Book translation.  During that time, Brant developed a deep prayer life, becoming a committed Anglican Christian.

During the American Revolutionary war, Brant was falsely accused of committing atrocities in locations which he was not present, including the tragic Wyoming and Cherry Valley Massacres.  Those who knew Brant well testified that he often prevented atrocities through the use of his persuasive leadership. As a devout Anglican Christian, he exhibited compassion and humanity, especially towards women, children, and non-combatants. American Colonel Ichabod Alden commented that he “should much rather fall into the hands of Brant than either of them [Loyalists and Tories].”  It was frequently said of Joseph Brant that during the American revolution, he fought with a tomahawk in one hand, a copy of the New Testament in the other.

Joseph Brant’s father was one of the sachem/chiefs, known as the Four Indian Kings, who visited Queen Anne in 1710.  These chiefs asked ‘for missionaries to be sent to the People of the Longhouse to teach them more about Christianity.”  Queen Anne sent this request to the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, promising to build them a chapel. In 1711, Queen Anne’s Royal Chapel was built in the Mohawk Valley in New York State.  When the Mohawks relocated to Southern Ontario, the Mohawk Royal Chapel was rebuilt there in 1785.  Joseph Brant’s grave is located right next to the historic Mohawk Chapel, the oldest protestant church in Ontario. Just this past July, Queen Elizabeth, while visiting Ontario, presented the Mohawk Chapel with a set of eight silver hand bells engraved ‘The Silver Chain of Friendship 1710-2010’.

On each side of the Mohawk Chapel pulpit are two tablets in the Mohawk language of the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments.  Joseph Brant was a brilliant linguist translating the Bible and Anglican Prayer Book into Mohawk (of which there are microfiche copies at Simon Fraser University).  He also wrote a concise history of the Bible and a Mohawk language catechism. Brant spoke at least three and possibly all of the Six Nations’ languages.  When the Chapel was dedicated in 1788, each person was given a Mohawk book containing the Gospel of Mark and the Anglican Prayer Book.  At that celebration, sixty five Mohawks were baptized and three couples were married.

When Joseph Brant first visited England in 1775, he was described by a British commander as ‘His Majesty’s greatest North American subject.’, and painted in full aboriginal regalia by George Romney.  Receiving a captain’s commission, Brant met with the King on two occasions, with a dinner being held in his honour. Brant was honoured by the English leaders in the arts, letters and government, including James Boswell, the famed biographer of Samuel Johnson.

In 1779 Brant was commissioned by the King as ‘captain of the Northern Confederate Indians’ in recognition of his “astonishing activity and success’. Brant was described as “the perfect soldier, possessed of remarkable stamina, courage under fire, and dedicated to the cause, an able and inspiring leader and a complete gentleman.”

Joseph Brant’s Six Nations were tragically driven out of their homeland in Central New York.  Brant was hurt that in granting their Mohawk homeland in Central New York State to the Americans, England had ‘sold the Indians to the US Congress’.  Writing to King George III, he reminded the British that “we, the Mohawks, were the first Indian Nation that took you by hand and invited you to live among us, treating you with kindness…”  The Six Nations were eventually resettled by Governor Frederick Haldimand in the Grand River area around modern-day Brantford.  The British realized that locating the Six Nations in the Grand River area would be a natural protection against any future American invasion.  Initially the Mississauga First Nation resisted the concept of having their former foes on their land.  One Mississauga Chief Pokquan however persuaded his other chiefs by arguing that other aboriginals would be better neighbours than European settlers, and that Brant’s knowledge of the British could prove useful.

The term Brantford comes from Brant’s Ford, the shallow part of the Grand River that could be forded.  The first years at Brantford were difficult as there was a drought with game being hard to find.  Throughout all the challenges, Chief Brant’s deep faith sustained him.  Chief Brant’s sacrificial love for God and nation should inspire all of us.  He memorably said: “No person among us desires any other reward for performing a brave and worthwhile action but the consciousness of having served one’s nation.”

May all of us be willing to learn from the bravery and loyalty of Chief Joseph Brant.

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

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

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

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. 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.

– 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