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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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Eric Liddell’s Fiery Chariots

By Rev Dr Ed & Janice Hird

– published in the July 2019 Light Magazine

How often does a Chinese-born missionary to China become the subject of an academy award-winning movie?[1] The people of China see Eric Liddell as their first Olympic gold medalist, even recently unveiling a statue of him.[2]  His daughter Patricia Liddell commented, “My father was multi-faceted, he didn’t just appeal to religious people. He was born in China, he worked in China, he died in China. He’s their Olympic hero.”  Duncan Hamilton poignantly commented, “In Chinese eyes, he is a true son of their country; he belongs to no one else.”[3]

In Chariots of Fire, he is shown running for the glory of God in the 1924 Olympics.[4] Eric commented, “I never prayed that I would win a race. I have of course prayed about the athletic meetings, asking that in this too, God might be glorified.”[5] A leading sports reporter summed him up as ‘probably the most illustrious type of muscular Christianity ever known.’[6]  Nicknamed the flying Scotsman, he famously said: “God made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure.”[7] When asked how he ran so quickly, he often said that he ran as fast as he could for the first half of a race, and then asked God to help him run even faster for the second half.[8]  Eric won so much gold and silver that his mother hid his trophies under her bed at night, in case of burglary.[9]

Missionary families often make great sacrifices for the sake of the lost.  Born in 1903 at Siao Chang on the Great Plain of Northern China, Eric and his older brother Robert were sent in 1912 to the Eltham missionary boarding school in London. While at Eltham, Eric earned the Blackheath Cup as the best athlete of his year, becoming the captain of both the cricket and rugby union teams.[10]  Eric did not see his mother again for seven years, and his dad for thirteen years.[11]  Since Eric only knew Chinese culture, he experienced enormous culture shock in his parents’ homeland of Scotland.

While earning a chemistry degree at the University of Edinburgh, he was not only a track and field runner, but also became an award-winning rugby player for the Scottish national team.[12]  Being painfully shy, Eric never could have imagined that he would become the most famous person in Scotland.[13]

Eric Liddell.jpgChemistry Professor Neil Campbell at Edinburgh commented, “No athlete has ever made a bigger impact on people all around the world, and the description of him as ‘the most famous, the most popular, and best-loved athlete Scotland has ever produced’ is no exaggeration.”[14] Dunky Wright, Scotland’s greatest long-distance runner, said of Eric: “he was without doubt the most glorious runner I have ever seen …with such a high moral Christian character…”[15]

Eric had a unique running style that coaches tried to cure without success.  The New York Times noted that he seemed to do everything wrong.[16]  The Daily Mail sketched him in a cartoon as if he were a rubber contortionist.  Throwing his head back, he swayed and rocked like an overloaded express train.[17]  Eric was compared to a startled deer, a windmill with its sails off kilter, a terrified ghost, and someone whose joints had never been oiled.[18] Jack Moakley, the wisest and oldest of the American Olympic running team, said, “That lad Liddell’s an awful runner, but he’s got something. I think he’s got what it takes.”[19]

It hurt Eric deeply when many called him a traitor for being unwilling to run on Sunday at the Olympics.[20] His strong Christian convictions led him to refuse to work on Sundays, including winning gold medals.  His stunning gold Olympic win in the 400 metres turned him from a national embarrassment to a celebrated hero.[21]  The closest parallel to his new fame was Beatlemania, complete with an actual Eric Liddell fan club.[22]

For Eric, the 1924 Olympics was just a brief diversion on his way to serve as a missionary in China. Before he boarded the boat to China, enormous crowds came to hear him speak in churches.  Over a thousand people had to be turned away sometimes because there was no more room.[23]

Eric served in China as a missionary chemistry teacher from 1925 to 1943, first in Tientsin (Tainjin) and later in Siaochan.  During a first furlough in 1932, he was ordained as a minister.[24]

In 1941, the fighting between the Chinese and invading Japanese forces became so dangerous that he was forced to send his Canadian wife Florence and their three children back to Canada.[25] Kissing his wife goodbye, he whispered in her ear ‘Those who love God never meet for the last time.’[26] The Sino-Japan War was often referred to as the ‘Forgotten War’ because so few foreigners took any interest in it.[27] The Japanese occupiers did not allow Eric to hold church services with any more than ten people present. So Eric met nine people for afternoon tea, giving out copies of his sermon. These nine people then each met nine other people giving them copies of the sermon until everyone was reached. This became known as the Afternoon Tea Church.[28]

The Japanese had sworn that before 1942 had ended, they would grant approval for anyone to leave.  On March 12th 1943, the Japanese declared that no ‘enemies’ would be allowed to leave China. All British & American ‘enemies’ were to report to Weidendorf Internment Camp, the former Presbyterian Church compound, in the center of Shantung Province, four hundred miles southeast of Tientsin.[29]  The Japanese called it a Civilian Assembly Center.[30]  Some of the wealthy British business people on the way to the Internment camp brought along beach chairs, silver cutlery, and even a set of golf clubs.[31]  Over 1,000 missionaries were imprisoned by the Japanese, many of whom died.[32]  In 1943, Eric was sent to the Weixhan Internment Camp in modern-day Weifang, Shandong, with 1800 other prisoners, including 100 other missionarys’ children.  While interned in this 150 by 200 yard camp, he helped the elderly, taught Bible classes at the camp school, arranged games, and taught science to the children, who referred to him as Uncle Eric.[33]  David J Michell, a child internee, remarked, “He had a smile for everyone.”[34] He was the hardest worker in the internment camp.[35] Sports Writer A.A. Thomson said of Eric: “During the worst period of his imprisonment, he was, through his courage and cheerfulness, a tower of strength and sanity to his fellow prisoners.”[36] Sometimes he ran races against the Japanese guards in order to allow food and medicine to be smuggled in for the starving inmates.[37]

Influenced by his missionary mentor Dr. E Stanley Jones, Eric wrote a book The Disciplines of the Christian Life.[38]  At that time, there was little written material available to instruct Chinese pastors.  Eric was passionate about absolute surrender to the will of God.[39] In Eric’s 1942 book Prayers for Daily Use, he wrote, “Obedience to God’s will is the secret of spiritual knowledge and insight. It is not willingness to know but willingness to do (obedience) God’s will that brings certainty.”[40]  His major sermon topics in the internment camp were the Sermon on the Mount and 1 Corinthians 13.[41]  In Eric’s booklet “The Sermon on the Mount for Sunday School Teachers”, he wrote “Meek is kind and gentle and fearless…Meek is love in the presence of wrong.”[42]

Image result for eric liddell in china   One internee said, “He wasn’t a very good preacher, but he certainly had us all listening to him because his personality or his sincerity or whatever it was came across so strongly.”[43] In a letter to a friend, the Rev Howard-Smith wrote, “I never saw Eric angry. I never heard him say a cross or unkind word. He just went about doing good.”[44]  Eric was a friend, if you needed him, particularly in times of relationship conflict.[45]  A fellow internee said, “Of all the men I have known, Eric Liddell was the one in whose character and life the spirit of Jesus Christ was pre-eminently manifested.”[46]  He became the camp’s conscience without being judgmental or critical of others.[47]  He lived his Christianity.[48]  Norman Cliff, in his book Courtyard of the Happy Way, described Eric as : “the most outstanding Weihsien personality…in his early forties, quiet-spoken and with a permanent smile. Eric was the finest Christian man Idfazt have had the privilege of meeting.”[49]

Eric never saw his family again, dying at age 38 in the internment camp of a brain tumour, just months before the WW II liberation.  His last words were, “It’s complete surrender.”[50] Langdon Gilkey wrote, “The entire camp, especially its youth, was stunned for days, so great was the vacuum that Eric’s death had left.”[51] Adopted by the Chinese as their very own, he is commemorated in a monument in Weifang, featuring these words from Isaiah: “They shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary.”[52] Like Eric Liddell, what might it take for us to feel God’s pleasure for the sake of the nations?

Rev. Dr. Ed and Janice Hird

[1] Chariots of Fire took four Oscars in 1982, including best picture.

[2] Movie: On Wings of Eagles: The Eric Liddell Story (Goodland Pictures, 2017) Excerpt: “Eric Liddell – China’s first gold medalist and one of Scotland’s greatest athletes – returns to war-torn China.”; ”Joseph Fiennes’ Chariots of Fire Sequel” “ He became a hero to the Chinese people, partly due to his athletic achievements – some consider him the first Chinese gold medallist.”  https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/may/15/joseph-fiennes-chariots-of-fire-sequel (accessed 05/27/2019); https://churchleaders.com/daily-buzz/261525-chinas-hero-eric-liddell-honored-statue.html (accessed 06-10-2019)

[3] Duncan Hamilton, For The Glory (Random House Canada, 2016), p. 6.; p. 14 “The Chinese, wanting no one to forget Weihsien’s woes, have created a museum…Liddell has a commemorative corner to himself.”

[4] Hamilton, p.10 “Chariots of Fire captures the inherent decency of Liddell.”

[5] John W Keddie, Running The Race: Eric Liddell — Olympic Champion & Missionary (Evangelical Press, Darlington, England, 2007, p. 47.

[6] Sally Magnusson, The Flying Scotsman (Quartet Books, Inc, New York, NY, 1981), p. 177.

[7] https://www.epm.org/blog/2018/Feb/12/olympian-eric-liddell

“My favorite lines from the movie are when Eric’s character, played by actor Ian Charleson, says, ‘God…made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.’” (accessed 05/29/2019)

[8] Janet & Geoff Benge, Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold (YWAM Publishing, Seattle, WA, 1999), p. 43.

[9] Benge, p. 33.

[10] “On Wings of Eagles: the sequel to Chariots of Fire”

https://sonomachristianhome.com/2017/11/on-wings-of-eagles-the-sequel-to-chariots-of-fire/

(accessed 05/26/2019)

[11] Benge, p. 21-22.

[12] Benge, p. 34.

[13] Benge, p. 26.

[14] Magnusson, p. 35.

[15] Magnusson, p. 178.

[16] Hamilton, p. 13.

[17] Hamilton, p.13 “There was an ungainly frenzy about him. Liddell swayed, rocking like an overloaded express train, and he threw his head well back, as if studying the sky rather than the track.”

[18] Hamilton, p. 42.

[19] Magnusson, p. 66.

[20] Benge, p. 46.; Magnusson, p. 14.

[21] Benge, p.68 (After winning in the 1924 Olympics) he was Scotland’s greatest sports star.; Keddie, p.11 “Eric Liddell took just 47.6 seconds to win the 400 metres race at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games…(but his victory has become a timeless moment in modern sporting history and achievement).”

[22] Magnusson, p. 12.

[23] Benge, p. 72.

[24] https://sonomachristianhome.com/2017/11/on-wings-of-eagles-the-sequel-to-chariots-of-fire/ (accessed 05/28/2019)

[25] David McCasland, Eric Liddell: Pure Gold (Lion Hudson, Oxford, UK, 2001),, p. 295 “Florence Liddell remained in Canada where she married Murray Hall, a widower, in 1951…Eric and Flo’s three daughters, Patricia, Heather, and Maureen, have nine children among them and make their homes in Canada.”

[26] Benge, p. 162 “Escorting Flo and his daughters to the ship that would take them to Canada was probably the most difficult thing Eric Liddell ever had to do in his life.”

[27] Benge, p.164.

[28] Benge, p. 165.

[29] Benge, P. 167.; Hamilton, p.7 Born at Weihsien was the Nobel laureate Pearl S Buck of The Good Earth book fame. Henry Luce, founder of Time Magazine, lived in the compound as a boy.

[30] Hamilton, p. 7.

[31] Benge, p. 169.

[32] https://sonomachristianhome.com/2017/11/on-wings-of-eagles-the-sequel-to-chariots-of-fire/ (accessed 05/28/2019)

[33] Benge, p. 184 P.184 “(In the internment camp) Eric ran a Friday night youth group with square dancing, chess tournaments, puppet plays, and quiz shows…Eric was probably the most popular person in the whole camp.”; Eric Liddell, The Disciplines of the Christian Life (Abingdon Press, Nashville, TN, 1985), p. 15.

[34] Liddell, The Disciplines of the Christian Life, p. 12.

[35] Hamilton, p. inside cover.

[36] Magnusson, p. 180.

[37] https://dove.org/review/12605-on-wings-of-eagles/; Magnusson, p.167 “The inhabitants of Weihsien were slowly starving.”

“In one scene of Wings of Eagles, Liddell, nearly starved, is forced to race against a Japanese soldier when he falters and falls. Later, in order to secure medicine for a man that is dying, he agrees to race again.”  (Accessed 05/25/2019)

[38] Benge, p. 163.; Liddell, The Disciplines of the Christian Life.; McCasland, p .192 “(one) of his favourite books The Christ of the Mount by E. Stanley Jones.”

[39] Magnusson, p.166 “What was the secret of his consecrated life and far-reaching influence? Absolute surrender to God’s will as revealed in Jesus Christ. His was a God-controlled life…”; p.176 Rev A.P. Cullen stated that “He was literally God-controlled in his thoughts, judgement, actions, words, to an extent I have never seen surpassed, and rarely seen equalled.” …”First of all, absolute surrender to the will of God. Absolute surrender —those words were often on his lips, the conception was often in his mind; that God should have absolute control over every part of his life.”

[40] Magnusson, p. 165.

[41] Magnusson, p. 163.

[42] Magnusson, p. 165.

[43] Magnusson, p. 163.

[44] Benge, p. 166.

[45] Magnusson, p. 162 “Most of all he was the person we turned to when personal relationships got just too impossible.”

[46] Magnusson, p. 174.

[47] Hamilton, p. 8 “Liddell’s forbearance was remarkable. No one could ever recall a single act of envy, pettiness, hubris, or self-aggrandizement from him. He badmouthed nobody. He didn’t bicker…Liddell became the camp’s conscience without ever being pious, sanctimonious, or judgmental.”

[48] Magnusson, p. 163.

[49] Benge, p. 198.

[50] Another fellow missionary said that Liddell’s last words “It’s complete surrender” referred to his relationship with God. https://sonomachristianhome.com/2017/11/on-wings-of-eagles-the-sequel-to-chariots-of-fire/ (accessed 05/28/2019)

[51] https://sonomachristianhome.com/2017/11/on-wings-of-eagles-the-sequel-to-chariots-of-fire/ (accessed 05/28/2019)

[52] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Liddell

“In 1991 the University of Edinburgh erected a memorial headstone, made from Isle of Mull granite and carved by a mason in Tobermory, at the former camp site in Weifang. The simple inscription came from the Book of Isaiah 40:31: They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary.” (Accessed 05/29/2019).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Click to check out our marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  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.

-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 

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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Billy and Ruth Graham’s Love Story

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

001.jpgPrime Minister Lester Pearson’s wife Maryon once famously quipped “Behind every successful man is a surprised woman.”[1] The late Billy Graham, who died at age 99, was recently named for the 60th consecutive year in a Gallup poll as one of the ten most admired people in the world, along with Bernie Sanders, Pope Francis, and Bill Gates.[2]  It was Ruth Graham his devoted wife for sixty-three years who enabled Billy Graham to be healthy in the midst of relentless international attention.  Without Ruth’s loving care for their five children, it would have been impossible for Billy Graham to have taken part in 417 city-wide celebrations in 185 countries, speaking to live audiences of nearly 215 million people.[3]  Billy and Ruth Graham were a Valentine’s love story that we can all learn from.

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

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

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

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

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

Executive Member, Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope 

-an article published in the Light Magazine and the North Shore News/Deep Cove Crier

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

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

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

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

[5] Cornwell, 61.

[6] Cornwell, 63.

[7] Cornwell, 65.

[8] Cornwell, 67.

[9] Cornwell, 72.

[10] Cornwell, 155.

[11] Cornwell, 78.

[12] Cornwell, 78.

[13] Cornwell, 79.

[14] Cornwell, 194.

[15] Cornwell, 149.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Click to check out our marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you. 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  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.

-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 

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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The Unforgettable Henry Luce, Publisher

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Since becoming a professional writer in 2007 with The Word Guild, it has been fascinating to learn more about how the world of publishing actually works.  Alan Brinkley produced an intriguing book The Publisher which explores the life of Henry Luce.  As the founder of TIME, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated magazines, Luce, says Brinkley, is ‘arguably the most important publisher’ of the last hundred years. I remember ‘cutting my teeth’ as a child on TIME and Life magazines to which my parents subscribed.

Luce’s parents sacrificially devoted their lives as missionaries in China.  Being sent to boarding school robbed Luce of a healthy family upbringing, leaving him feeling alone and driven to impress others. Luce described his boarding school experience as a ‘hanging torture’, commenting: “I well sympathize with prisoners wishing to commit suicide.” Many missionaries, in hindsight, have regretted sending their children to boarding schools. The high valuing of academic education has sometimes caused well-meaning parents and their children to lose those vital family connections.

Born in Penglai City in China, Luce first came to North America at age 15.  Everything was strange and different to him.  Luce had an insatiable curiosity to understand unfamiliar settings.  The novelist John Hersey who worked for Luce said that “the most attractive thing about Luce was that he was relentlessly curious about absolutely everything; he was delighted to learn any fact that he had not known before.” This curiosity was at the heart of the inventiveness of the four magazines that he birthed.

Luce inherited his parent’s missionary zeal to connect with a foreign culture and make a helpful difference.  North America for Luce was always a foreign culture that he strove to understand.  He always felt like an outsider.  No matter how hard he strived, he never really felt like he fit in.  Brinkley describes Luce as a “fundamentally shy, lonely and somewhat awkward man with few true friends… (yet he) had the ability to connect publicly with millions of strangers”.  In many ways, Luce was an emotional orphan.  He once said that he did not have a high regard for ‘feelings’, that they were ‘secondary’ to thought.  One colleague described Luce as ‘the loneliest man I’ve ever known.’

While at Yale, Luce worked endlessly seeking to be accepted by the other students.  As a missionary’s child, he lacked the money and position of other Yale students.  Instead he gained acceptance through his keen inquisitive mind, and his involvement in helping produce the Yale Daily News.  In partnership with fellow Yale Editor Britton Hadden, Luce birthed an unlikely newsmagazine in 1923 called TIME. Seventy percent of TIME subscribers were younger business executives under age 46.   Brinkley says that Luce’s magazines contributed to ‘the birth of a national mass culture to serve a new and rapidly expanding middle class.’

Sadly Luce’s career success was often at the cost of his family life.  Divorcing his first wife, he turned to the glamorous Clare Boothe, having what Brinkley described as a marriage made in hell.  Philip Seib said that they were ‘both intensely self-centered and exceptionally ambitious…a perfect formula for making each other miserable.”

Luce always believed that his magazines could make a positive difference and shape a better world.  The image of the Good Samaritan was a strong motivator in Luce’s thinking. In 1954, Luce put Billy Graham on the front cover of TIME magazine, and invited Billy Graham and six other leaders to write essays in Life magazine on the theme of National Purpose. The late Billy Graham said in Life: “We must recapture our moral strength and our faith in God.”  Luce re-explored his faith and became a regular attender at Madison Presbyterian Church.  TIME became an active supporter of civil rights and desegregation, with TIME reporters occasionally being beaten and injured.

As Alan Brinkley put it, “Henry Luce –for all his many flaws and sometimes noxious biases – was an innovator, a visionary and a man of vast and daunting self-confidence.”  In this time of great technological and cultural change, we can all learn from the relentless curiosity, inventiveness and missionary zeal of Publisher Henry Luce.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Click to check out our marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  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.

-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 

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


9 Comments

Taekwondo and the Martial Arts: Mere Exercise or Trojan Horse??

By the Rev. Dr.  Ed Hird

I was personally involved in Martial Arts, Karate in particular, for a number of years between the period of 1971 to 1991.  My enthusiasm for martial arts even led me to successfully recruit other Christians to join me.  Through the prayer ministry of the group Wholeness Through Christ, I chose to renounce my previous involvement in the martial arts.  Previously, I was opposed to some of my friends dabbling in community centre yoga, but had rationalized my involvement in the martial arts as something innocuous.

In the spring of 1999, my sons discussed with me the expectation that they would take part in Taekwondo as part of their Christian school gym class.  In discussing our concerns with their principal, it was agreed that my sons would be exempted from this expectation.  It was also agreed that I would do some research regarding our concerns about Taekwondo, and present my findings in a paper to the principal and the school board.

As a renewal-oriented Anglican, I believe that it is vital that the charismatic gift of discernment (1 Corinthians 12:10) not be neglected in this neo-gnostic, confused age.  As part of the discernment process, I carefully researched dozens of pro-martial arts books, with a special emphasis on taekwondo books.  I also consulted extensively with a good number of taekwondo and Martial Arts instructors from North America and around the world.  My research led me to believe that taekwondo and the Martial Arts (MA) are far more than just physical gym exercises.  Rather Taekwondo and MA are Zen Buddhist meditational techniques designed to bring a person into the experience of satori or Buddhist enlightenment.[1]  As Buddhism essentially is reformed Hinduism, so too the Martial Arts are essentially Martial Yoga.  Few westerners have enough experience with Zen Buddhism to initially notice the hidden religious nature of martial arts.  Chuck Norris, famous for his role as Walker on the TV show Texas Ranger, holds unreservedly that ‘the ancient system of Zen (is) the core philosophy behind the martial arts.’[2]  It is no coincidence that the occult circular symbol of Ying-Yang constantly appears on even many innocuous-looking Taekwondo websites and brochures.[3] One of the goals of Taekwondo and other martial arts is to enter a zazen meditational state so that ‘the everyday experience of the dualism of subject and object vanishes.’[4]

In the Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs , John Ankerberg and John Weldon state that “Because most (martial arts) methods incorporate eastern teaching and techniques, the martial arts are easy doorways into Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and other non-Christian religions.”[5]  They went on to comment that “Traditionally, martial arts are forms of spiritual education that function as means towards self-realization or self-enlightenment.  It is true that the spiritual dimension of martial arts can be downplayed or ignored, but that is not consistent with their ultimate purpose historically.”[6]

Taekwondo and other martial arts can be traced to a 6th century Buddhist monk Bodhidharma who travelled from India to China and established Zen Buddhism at the Shaolin temple of Ko San So Rim.  There he taught them both sitting meditation and the martial arts (moving meditation) to enable his disciples to free themselves from all conscious control in order to attain enlightenment.[7]

Since Taekwondo’s Olympic debut in 1988, its popularity has spread like wildfire across the world.[8] Taekwondo means ‘ Hand (Tae) and Foot (kwon) Way (do).  According to the official WTF Taekwondo book, Taekwondo ‘is now the national sport of Korea.’[9]  Eddie Ferrie holds that ‘every child in (Korean) school is compelled to practise Taekwondo…’[10]  David Mitchell notes that Taekwondo ‘is taught to all members of the Korean armed forces’.[11]  It is estimated that 20 –30 million people worldwide now have been initiated into Taekwondo.[12]

One of the major concerns by Christian researchers is the sitting meditation commonly done in Taekwondo and most Martial Arts.  The Fighting Back Taekwondo book describes the Chung Shin Tomil or sitting meditation as ‘another essential part of your taekwondo training’.[13] “Before and after any taekwondo class, the students meditate…first, you may be asked to clear your mind of all thought and to relax completely…The 2nd method of meditation is related to visualization.”[14]  Mitchell claims that ‘…the empty mind (is) needed to master taekwondo.’[15]  Key to both Buddhist and Hindu occult meditation is manipulation of one’s breathing, which is described as Hohup chojul and Jiptung (synchronized breathing) in Taekwondo.  In contrast, biblical meditation is meditating on God’s written Word the Bible, rather than meditating on the empty mind by using occult breathing and visualization techniques.

Another area of concern relates to the ritual forms or poomse used in Taekwondo.  The karate equivalent to the poomse is the kata patterns.  As the Taekwondo author and instructor Eddie Ferrie puts it, “Many of the patterns of taekwondo are rooted in semi-mystical Taoist philosophy and their deeper meaning is said to be far more important than the mere performance of a gymnastics series of exercises.  This is not immediately obvious, either when performing or watching the poomse being performed…”[16] The eight Taegeuk poomses performed in taekwondo are derived from the eight triagrams of the occult I’Ching.[17] Richard Chun holds that ‘the forms of Taekwondo…are more than physical exercises: they are vehicles for active meditation.’[18]

One of the most questionable poomse patterns is the Ilyo or Ilyeo poomse.  Ferrie teaches that the “Ilyo is a pattern which has a spiritual orientation containing 24 movements.  The title of the pattern refers to the development of a state of spiritual enlightenment which is one of the ultimate aims of the disciple of taekwondo.  The student who has attained Ilyo is capable of completely spontaneous reaction without any interference from the conscious mind.”[19] I was surprised to find out that the Ilyo poomse is done in the shape of an actual swastika.  Hitler stole this ancient occult symbol from the Buddhists and Hindus who had used it for centuries as a symbol of monism (all is one, and all is God).[20]  The Taekwondo Textbook teaches that ‘The line of poomse symbolizes the Buddhist mark (swastika) in commemoration of Saint Wonho (or Won Hyo), which means a state of perfect selflessness in Buddhism where origin, substance, and service come into congruity.’[21] The Buddhist swastika in Taekwondo ‘teaches that a point, a line, or a circle ends up after all in one.  Therefore the poomse Ilyeo represents the harmonization of spirit and body which is the essence of martial arts.’[22] The swastika in Taekwondo has the occult (i.e. Hidden) purpose of teaching the higher-level students that all is one and all is God.

In conclusion, my research and personal experience has led me to the conviction that Taekwondo and the Martial Arts are not merely physical exercise, but in fact are Zen Buddhist meditational practices, both in their sitting and moving forms.  Taekwondo and MA are a Trojan Horse in the House of the Lord, eroding the spiritual barriers between Zen Buddhism and the Christian Gospel, and potentially leading vulnerable children and teens into the early stages of eastern occultism.  As a result of this research, our Christian School Board decided to no longer offer Taekwondo or other Martial Arts.  The good news about religious syncretism is that it is never too late to repent and start afresh, serving one Master and one Master alone, Jesus Christ our Lord (Matthew 6:24)

 p.s. To explore more about the Yoga connection, click on my article Yoga: more than meets the Eyes?

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

Past Chair, Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada

   -previously published in the February 2,000 Anglicans for Renewal Canada Magazine

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

[1] Karate* Tool for Christian Evangelism or Zen Buddhism?

[2] Chuck Norris, The Secret Power Within: Zen Solutions to Real Problems, Top Kick Productions, 1996, inside cover; ‘…Zen is integral to the Oriental martial arts…(p. 23)’

[3] Taekwondo Textbook, Oh Sung Publishing Company, Kukkiwon Edition, p. 235; The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Taekwondo, Karen Eden & Keith Yates, Alpha Books, New York, 1998, p. 22

[4] Encyclopedia Brittanica, 15th Edition, ‘Martial Arts’, p. 886

[5] John Ankerberg & John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, Harvest House, 1996, Oregon, p. 351

[6] Ankerberg and Weldon, Op. Cit., p. 356

[7] Richard Chun, Tae Kwon Do: The Korean Martial Art, Toronto, 1976, p. 2

[8] Fighting Back: Taekwondo for Women, YH Park Publications, 1993, p. 8

[9] David Mitchell, Official WTF Taekwondo, Antler Books, London, 1986, back cover

[10] Eddie Ferrie, , Taekwondo: Traditional Art and Modern Sport, The Crowford Press, UK, 1989, p. 101

[11] Mitchell, Op. Cit., p. 9

[12] J.S. Eldon, Essential Taekwondo Patterns, Paul Crompton Ltd, London, 1994, p. 5; The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Taekwondo, Op. Cit., p. 18

[13] Fighting Back, Op. Cit., p. 150

[14] Op. Cit., p. 150

[15] Mitchell, Op. Cit., p. 12

[16] Ferrie, Op. Cit., p. 99

[17] Ferrie, Op. Cit., p. 99, p. 100

[18] Chun, Op. Cit., p. 34

[19] Ferrie, Op. Cit., p. 100

[20] Taekwondo Textbook, Op. Cit., p. 235, p. 506

[21] Taekwondo Textbook, Op. Cit., p. 506 “Won Hyo is a 28 movement form or poomse which is named after the 7th century monk who purportedly introduced Zen Buddhism to Korea. (Ferrie, p. 101)”

[22] Ferrie, Op. Cit., p. 506

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Click to check out our marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  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.

-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 

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


2 Comments

Sir Martin Frobisher: the first Canadian Pirate

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

How many of us have realized that the Canadian North was first ‘discovered’ 434 years ago by an English pirate?  A pirate, of course, is in the eye of the beholder.  Sir Martin Frobisher was arrested at least four times for high-sea piracy, but was let go with a scolding by Queen Elizabeth I.  Confiscating Spanish ships was one thing, but a good English ‘sea-dog’ was always supposed to keep his hands off English goods.  Frobisher ended up spending time in jail for confiscating English wine vats that had been on a French ship.  Upon release from prison, Frobisher decided to sail over the top of Canada through the mythical Northwest Passage to China.  His goal was to become rich by finding an alternative route for Asian pepper.  Because there was no refrigeration in those days, pepper was in high demand, being used by Europeans to make their meat palatable.

One of Frobisher’s specialties as Captain was to punish sabre-duelling crewmates by chopping off their right hands.  Frobisher was also a brave leader who thought nothing of diving into iceberg-strewn waters to rescue drowning sailors.  Once while on their way to Baffin Island, his ship Gabriel fell over on its side and began filling up with water.  Without a moment’s hesitation, Frobisher grabbed an axe and hacked off the foresail, enabling the ship to right itself.  Though a rough-and-tumbles privateer, he never went anywhere on his daring voyages without his bible.  Upon returning to England with three Inuit hostages and a mysterious black rock, Frobisher kicked off Canada’s first Gold Rush.  The Russian Tsar officially protested this kidnapping of Asian Siberians!  Frobisher claimed that his Inuit hostages were being held to seek the release of five of his crewmembers that had disappeared.  Before dying from English fog and food, the 3 Inuits thrilled the Queen by shooting royal birds and kayaking down the Avon River.

All the credible scientists told Frobisher’s financial backer, Michael Lok, that the black rock was worthless ‘fools gold’.  But Michael Lok, being an early stock promoter of the less reputable kind, ignored their advice and instead consulted an Italian alchemist, Giovanni Agnello, who used ‘black magic’ to discern that Martin Frobisher’s rock was indeed gold.

The English business community, backed by Queen Elizabeth I, became so excited about the first Canadian Gold Rush, that they sent 15 Ships to Frobisher Bay on Baffin Island.  The Queen even lent her own 200-ton ship AID.  Gold Rush fever brought together the largest Armada of English ships ever assembled until World War II.  Frobisher’s public image was rapidly transformed by his stockpromoter, Michael Lok, from that of an uncouth pirate to that of the ‘rare and valiant’ Captain General embarking on a heroic mission. Everyone, including Martin Frobisher himself, believed that he had discovered the Northwest Passage to China, and that Baffin Island contained King Solomon’s hidden mines.  In this first English attempt to colonize the New World, Frobisher brought 120 would-be settlers, miners, carpenters, and an Anglican priest named Rev. Robert Wolfall.

On their way to Baffin Island, they faced desperate circumstances due to mountainous icebergs that could crush their ships like matchboxes.  The hardened sailors knelt down on the decks and prayed for God’s mercy. Two of the sailors’ prayers recorded for posterity by Captain Best were ‘Lord help us now or never’ and ‘Now Lord look down from heaven and save us sinners, or else our safety will come too late’.  With no radar or telecommunications to guide them in the fog, they saved the sailors on the sunken ‘Dennis’ by using trumpets, drums, canons and the two passwords: ‘Before the world was God’, to be answered by ‘After God came Christ His Son’. Captain Best recorded that Rev. Wolfall encouraged Frobisher’s men ‘to be thankful for their strange and miraculous deliverance’ at sea.  To celebrate their safe arrival on Baffin Island, Rev. Wolfall celebrated the first Anglican Communion service ever held in Canada, just 420 years ago.

After three Frobisher Bay expeditions costing over 20,000 pounds, including 3,500 pounds of the Queen’s money, Martin Frobisher brought back 2,300 tons of alleged gold to England.  This ‘gold rush’ treasure was promptly secured with 4 padlocks in the Tower of London and Bristol Castle.  Once the geologists found out that the Baffin Island gold was fool’s gold, Frobisher and many of his investors went into bankruptcy.  His financial backer, Michael Lok, was sent to jail.  To cover the embarrassment of Canada’s first Bre-X-style disaster, the 2,300 tons of fools gold was dumped into the Bristol Harbour and also used to pave roads.  Yet Frobisher never stayed defeated for long. Within a few years, he joined the British navy and ended up being knighted by Queen Elizabeth for defeating the Spanish Armada.

Sir Martin Frobisher’s story teaches us that all of us are on a journey, that sometimes our hopes and dreams turn out to be fools gold, but that God can even use our mistakes and turn them to a higher good.  My prayer for those reading this article is that God may turn everything that is against us to our advantage.(Romans 8:28)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Click to check out our marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  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.

-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 

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