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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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Thirty Years Later in Deep Cove

 By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

I will never forget when Wilf Fawcett over thirty years ago asked me to write a spiritual column for the brand new Deep Cove Crier. As the new Rector of St. Simon’s North Vancouver, I had been living in the Seymour/Deep Cove community for less than a year.  He told me about Bruce Coney the dynamic founder and publisher of the Deep Cove Crier. Wilf, as founder of Fawcett Insurance, had been asked by Bruce to write an insurance column.  When I first met Bruce for coffee, he mentioned that his mom, while visiting from South Africa, had attended St. Simon’s and enjoyed it.

I had no idea when I agreed to this request that I would still be writing for the Deep Cove Crier almost thirty years later.  Life is full of surprises.  In an age when many things are discarded and forgotten, the Deep Cove Crier with its new editor Maria Spitale-Leisk has shown remarkable resilience.

Thirty years ago, there was a lot happening in our family.  We had recently moved to Deep Cove from serving in Abbotsford.  Born in Vancouver, I had never imagined living on the North Shore.  At the grand old age of 33, my wife Janice and I had experienced the birth of our third son.  You may be old enough to remember the hit show My Three Sons with Fred McMurray which ran for 380 episodes.

Our congregation St. Simon’s North Vancouver recently celebrated its 72nd anniversary, having been birthed in the Deep Cove Fire Hall, along with a few other congregations who also initially worshipped there.  Our oldest and longest member, Ashley Carr, age 96, returned to Deep Cove from World War II with his British war bride Rita.  It is not a co-incidence that St. Simon’s started in 1945 with the beginning of the baby boom.  Everyone wanted to get married and start a family, having had to wait four years while their men were away in Europe. Rita was part of the Sweet Adelines singers for many years.  She was one of the sweetest Deep Cove residents that I have had the privilege of meeting.  Rita and Ashley were always so good-tempered and kind to others.  Even in the worst of times, they always left me feeling better after visiting them. When Rita died, I wrote a Deep Cove Love Story article about her and Ashley in the Deep Cove Crier.

Four years later in 1949, the St. Simon’s youth group built the blue church building on 1384 Deep Cove Road. The blue colour was more recent, painted by the late Eric Johnson, a longshore man foreman, who did many generous renovations to our building, including redoing the roof and making the building wheelchair accessible.  From the very beginning, St. Simon’s has had a very active ACW women’s group which has given tens of thousands of dollars to missions locally and overseas. St. Simon’s has a deep passion to serve others, and gives partial support to a number of missionaries.  One missionary that we have supported for 24 years is Elsie Quick, the Executive Director of Partners in Hope, which works with people coming off drugs and getting out of prison.

In 1964, with the booming growth of Deep Cove babies, we ran out of room at 1384 Deep Cove, and purchased two and a half acres for $12,000, near the Seymour Golf & Country Club.  Sadly, our financial campaign fell short by $20,000, and the district was not willing to put in sewage to the new site. So, in 1972, we sold the property for $17,000, and used the money to add a full basement to the blue building. Up to that point, our ladies had to stamp hard on the stairs so that the rats would leave.

St. Simon’s was almost closed several times during these disappointing situations. In 1979, Fr. Bill Ferris came to St. Simon’s on a half-time basis. During his attempting to fix St. Simon’s, he had a heart attack and was put on an exercise routine at Ron Andrews Rec Centre. It was there in the sauna that Bill+ was touched by the Holy Spirit, changing his life forever. Maureen Harrison, who ran the Dollarton Hair Dressing Salon, had also recently been filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. The reason why St. Simon’s still exists with all the challenges it has faced can only be attributed to the Holy Spirit.  Maureen, our spiritual grandmother, now prays for us in Evergreen Extended Care.

Wilf Fawcett was raised Anglican, but hadn’t attended in years. One day in 1980, while driving on Deep Cove Road, God told Wilf to stop the car and begin to attend St. Simon’s and help them with their finances. In 1981, Bill Ferris was able to go full-time with St. Simon’s. The congregation grew so much that they again ran out of room, and unsuccessfully tried to rebuild on their site in 1985. I came in 1987 to the St. Simon’s church family. My vision was to build on the wonderful renewal foundations laid by Bill Ferris+. We adopted the motto “Praising, Serving, Sharing Christ in the Power of the Holy Spirit”. St. Simon’s began to grow, adding a traditional 9am Prayer Book service to our contemporary 10:30am service.  We led twenty-five Renewal Missions, bringing top speakers from around the world to Deep Cove. In 2004, we moved our 10:30am service to Maplewood School, followed six months later by our 9am service. In our 13 years of being there, we have seen major changes to the local Maplewood community.

1I thank God for Ashley & Rita Carr, Wilf & Marg Fawcett, Bill & Judy Ferris+, Maureen Harrison, and so many other great Deep Cove people that we have been privileged to know and serve in the past 30+ years.

Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

-an article for the Feb 2018 Deep Cove Crier 30th Anniversary Edition,

-published by the North Shore News

A Life Remembered: Billy Graham

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by Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

You will enjoy this delightful new 30-minute video remembering Billy Graham’s life and impact.

This video weaves in excerpts of Billy’s life that many of us have never before seen.  My late mother Lorna gave her life to Christ at a 1985 Billy Graham Crusade in Vancouver, BC.

Having gone home to heaven before Billy did, I am sure that my mother, with countless others, would have been excited to welcome Billy into heaven.  Many of us have Billy Graham stories, perhaps of attending a crusade, or of a relative or friend that met the Lord Jesus through Billy Graham’s ministry.

Feel free to share your Billy Graham story in the comments section to this posting.  You are also encouraged to repost this video and help send it viral as it contains the life-changing gospel. I am trusting that many will enter the Kingdom or return to the Lord after watching this 30-minute presentation.  Do you know any friends, family, neighbours or co-workers who needs Christ and might benefit from watching this video?

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

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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Seventy Years of Gratitude

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

photo of abstract painting
Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

Life is messy. Family is messy. Marriage is messy. Church is messy. How do we navigate through the complexities of daily life?  A key to healthy sailing through life’s storms is gratitude. 

The St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver community was birthed in 1945 seventy years ago in the Deep Cove Fire Hall. Many churches in the Seymour/Deep Cove area no longer exist.  One of the keys to St. Simon’s ongoing vitality is the gift of gratitude.  God has taught us that all things work together  for the good for those who love the Lord.  He has taught us that what was sometimes meant for evil, God means for good, even for the saving and helping of many other people.

On Harvest Thanksgiving Oct 11th 2015, the St. Simon’s NV community  celebrated its seventy anniversary with a joint 10am service, followed by a complimentary barbeque.   Here are some of the things that we are grateful for.  We are thankful for our faithfully serving ACW Women’s Group that has served so many over the years in outreach and hospitality.  Many of you will have attended an ACW Holly Tea or Garage Sale over the years. We are grateful for those women and men who have served others over the years at Lions Manor,  Kiwanis Care Centre, Lions Gate Hospital, and the new Cedarsprings residence.

 We are thankful for those who invested so much in working with our youth and young adults and in the local schools and rec centres, especially thinking of the Rev. Ken Bell,  the Rev. Josh Wilton, Rebecca Bailey, Jill Cardwell, Tyler Gibson, and Mark Hird.  St. Simon’s Church NV originally started as a Sunday school.  We are grateful for the countless number of Sunday School teachers and co-ordinators who have invested in serving the children of Seymour/Deep Cove decade after decade.

We are grateful for the many home groups that people have led and hosted over the past decades, bringing a deep sense of fellowship and learning.  We Image result for St Simon's Church North Vancouverare grateful for our music ministry which was led by Janice Hird with many choirs and worship bands over the years.  We are grateful for the faithful contribution of the late Charlotte Liberty who served as organist for twenty years.  Music is one of the best ways to express our gratitude.  We are grateful for those who are involved in our two Coffee Hours, for our faithful sidespeople, for our Flower Guild helpers, for our Sunday readers and Lay Administrators, for our Altar Guild ladies, for our St. Simon’s Prayer Chain, for our Church Council leadership, and for our Set-Up and Take-down teams.  Many hands truly make light work.

We are grateful for the various clergy that have served at St. Simon’s NV in the past seventy years, especially remembering the late Rev. John Lombard, and the Rev. Bill Ferris who served as my predecessor.   I often give thanks for Bill Ferris+ who laid such solid foundations that I was able to build on.   We are also most grateful for the support and encouragement of other clergy and churches involved in the North Shore Pastors Prayer Fellowship.  We are grateful for our  St Simon’s NV missionaries who serve locally and around the world. 

And last but not least, we are grateful for Bruce Coney and the Deep Cove Crier, for the great support they have shown to the Seymour/Deep Cove community over the years.  Gratitude is the key to everything healthy in our lives.  What are you grateful for on this Harvest Thanksgiving weekend?  Happy 70th!

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

-an article for the October 2015 North Shore News/North Shore News

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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Jackie Robinson: Number 42

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

close up photography of four baseballs on green lawn grasses
Photo by Steshka Willems on Pexels.com

My wife and I loved seeing the highly-acclaimed baseball movie 42.  When the movie was finished, no one left, and people began to spontaneously clap.  In the lobby, I met some long-lost friends who told me in great detail how much the movie meant to them.  We were all deeply moved by the costly courage of Jackie Robinson when facing intense hatred.  Robinson was a ground-breaker in both Canada and the United States.  Before playing with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Robinson played in Canada for the Montreal Royals farm team in 1946. Delirious Montreal fans mobbed Robinson after his scoring the final hit that won them the Little World championship. Sports Reporter Sam Maltin commented: “It was probably the only day in history that a black man ran from a white mob with love instead of lynching on its mind.” Mr. Robinson himself called Montreal “the city that enabled me to go to the major leagues.”

As the first Afro-American to play in Major League Baseball, Robinson faced much prejudice, but turned the other cheek, refusing to retaliate.  Robinson said: “There’s nothing like faith in God to help a fellow who gets booted around once in a while.”  Both Robinson and his Coach Branch Rickey, being committed Christians, knew that loving their enemies was key to a lasting breakthrough in the deeply racist baseball culture.  As Jesus commanded us, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Quoting Giovanni Papini’s book Life of Christ, Rickey called Jesus’ call to turn the other cheek the most stupefying of Jesus’ revolutionary teachings.

Rickey, played well by Harrison Ford, unforgettably said: “I’m looking for a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back.” At one point, Rickey pulled out hundreds of hate letters which had been sent to him with threatening messages.  It was consistent nightly prayer that kept Rickey and Robinson from succumbing to the relentless animosity they faced.  Rickey was told by a reporter that signing Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers would cause all hell to break loose. He replied, saying that signing Robinson would cause all heaven to rejoice.   Rickey memorably said: “Jackie, we’ve got no army. There’s virtually nobody on our side. No owner, no umpires, very few newspapermen. And I’m afraid that many fans may be hostile. We’ll be in a tough position. We can win only if we can convince the world that I am doing this because you’re a great ballplayer and a fine gentleman.”  Robinson led the Dodgers to their only championship in 1955. Signing Robinson proved to be literally a game-changer for the game of baseball.

Martin Luther King Jr. said that Robinson was a legend and a symbol in his own time, that he challenged the dark skies of intolerance and frustration.  King commented: “Back in the days when integration wasn’t fashionable, Robinson understood the trauma and humiliation and the loneliness which comes with being a pilgrim walking the lonesome byways toward the high road of Freedom.  He  was a sit-inner before sit-ins, a freedom rider before freedom rides.”  Dr Alveda King, Martin Luther King’s niece, commented that the movie 42  brings an inherent message of courage, compassion and composure that prevailed in the lives of Jackie and Rae Robinson as well as Dodgers Manager Branch Rickey.   Robinson once said: “I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me … All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”  This movie reminds us that we all are made in God’s image, we all are people for whom Christ died, and we all are of deep worth in God’s sight.

Robinson played in six World Series, was chosen for six consecutive All-Star Games, and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949.  He stole home nineteen times, more than any other player since WW2.  In 1962, Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  The number 42 is the only jersey number retired by all the Major League baseball teams.  Once a year in April, all the Major League players wear the number 42 in honour of Robinson’s breaking the colour barrier.

I thank God for Jackie Robinson’s sacrificial refusal to give in to bitterness and rage. May his example of forgiveness be a shining light to those of us reading this article.

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

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

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.

for better for worse

-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.

– 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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Thank God for Rear-view Mirrors

By The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird echoes across Seymour

Every New Year sends us on a new journey along the Highway of Life. Where do we want to drive? What do we want to see? What do we want to become? My forty years of driving in BC have shown me that I am better off when I check my rear-view mirror. Even though ICBC gives me one of the top categories for safe driving, I had a close call once when I neglected to check the rear-view mirror. Without a rear-view mirror, we are driving partially blind.

I am so grateful for all the hard work by Janet Pavlik, Desmond Smith and Eileen Smith in producing the brand-new ‘Echoes Across Seymour’ history book. Without a sense of history, we are driving blind. History makes us a safer driver on the journey of life. History helps us discover where we want to drive, what we want to see, what we want to become. History is our rear-view mirror.

The longer I live, the more that I love the gift of history. History is about story-telling, story-remembering, and story-celebrating. Janet Pavlik and her dedicated team remind us that life has meaning, pattern and flow. Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. Life feels chaotic and overwhelming. History helps us realize that we are not alone, that there is direction on the journey of life.

The book Echoes Across Seymour took six years to be born. There were many anxious times when it seemed like there might not be a way forward. Congratulations to Janet and team who kept going and never gave up. Janet’s team gave immaculate attention to each subneighbourhood in the Seymour/Deep Cove area. You will want to have your own copy, as it is a great conversation starter. Special thanks are due to Pacific Arbour for making it possible to have the book in colour. The photos make the book a real keepsake.

History is about real people. Literally hundreds of key residents had their stories told and their family history recorded for posterity. Anyone who has lived or worked for any time in the Seymour/Deep Cove area will recognize face after face of gifted dedicated people who have made a lasting difference. It is remarkable how many local residents have given hundreds of hours to serve their community. An example of such unselfish dedication is seen in the Mount Seymour Lions birthed under the leadership of Joe Thornley. We are a stronger and healthier community, thanks to the investing of the Lions in affordable housing for families and seniors. They do indeed live up to their motto: ‘We serve’.

I was very pleased to see the recognition given to Bruce Coney and the Deep Cove Crier, a unique community newspaper that has done so much to bring the Seymour/Deep Cove community closer together. Jesus gave us the famous Golden Rule, that we should do to others as we would have them do to us. I am thankful for so many people illustrated in Echoes Across Seymour who seek to do to others in practical ways. Thank God for the gift of this memorable ‘rear view mirror’, as we drive into a happy New Year.

p.s. The book can be purchased online or directly at

Deep Cove Heritage Society

Send to friend
4360 Gallant Avenue
North Vancouver
British Columbia
V7G 1L2
T: 604 929-5744

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

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

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 


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October Baby a Quiet Hit

By The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

How many of you are October babies or have October baby children?  My children’s birthdates are in March, June and November, and I and my wife am born in January and August. So no October babies for us.

                We were privileged to have the first BC showing of the acclaimed film October Baby.  We were pleasantly surprised by the great interest shown and wide variety of people who turned up for the first viewing.  It has been released as well in DVD and Blu-Ray edition.  You can obtain your own copy online .

                October Baby is a surprise hit opening at No. 8 against THE HUNGER GAMES and other big-budget movies, although opening on half as many screens.  October Baby ranked No. 3 in per screen average sales. The film earned more than $5.3 million at the box office, appeared on page A-1 of the New York Times and was named among Entertainment Weekly’s “15 Most Impressive Box Office Performances for 2012.” New York Times called October Baby a ‘quiet hit’.   Film directors and brothers Jon and Andy Erwin have been amazed at the strong response to their film.

                The movie begins with the heroine Hannah hesitantly taking part in her theatrical debut in college. Before her first lines, she collapses. Numerous medical tests all point to one underlying factor: Hannah’s difficult birth. This revelation is nothing compared to discovering that she was actually adopted  with complications for an early traumatic birth.

Hannah is frustrated and baffled that her medical doctor father never told her that she was adopted.  This cast Hannah into an identity crisis: “My parents are not my parents. I don’t know who I am.  They lied to me. Whom can I trust?”

Hannah goes on a road journey with Jason, her oldest friend.  Her dad was not pleased.  In the midst of her incredible journey to discover her hidden past and find hope for her unknown future, Hannah sees that life can be so much more than what you have planned.  I particularly appreciated the way that Rachel Hendrix played the part of Hannah.  It was engaging, believable and transformative.  My hunch is that Rachel has a great film career ahead of her.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Everytime I have watched October Baby, I found myself weeping.  It is an amazing story of healing, forgiveness and reconciliation.  Hannah was told: “You have the power to forgive, to choose to forgive. Let it go. Hatred is a burden you no longer need to carry. Only in forgiveness can you be free, Hannah…if the Son shall set you free, you will be free indeed.”  October Baby is really a love story with a surprising ending. If I tell you any more, I will spoil the story.

My prayer for the those reading this article is that we will all be reminded that life is beautiful.

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

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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Returning from Kigeme

By Rev Ed Hird

In our last two days in Rwanda, we travelled with Pastor Paul, Dean of Kigeme Cathedral, to visit Bishop Nathan in Butare. He shared about the way that the Holy Spirit touched lives at the recent Christ Awakening/Butare Convention where Rev William Beasley of Chicago and others spoke. Staying again at the Kigeme Cathedral guesthouse, we visited Bishop Louis, Pastor Samuel, and Rev Ron Browning and team with the All Saints AMiA Church in Pensacola, Florida. We also visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial site before we flew home from the Kigali International Airport.

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Bishop Nathan of the diocese of Butare was very gracious in his welcome to us, even showing us his cows.

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Pastor Paul also attended the Butare Diocesan Convention that so deeply touched so many lives. Click to view Bishop Nathan’s account of the Christ Awakening.

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It was such a blessing to have my wife Janice with me on the Rwanda trip.

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Rwandan hospitality is a great blessing.

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We met with three of the Rwandan Anglican bishops during our visit.

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Passing the Cathedral on our way to the bus station heading to Kigali.

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God is moving powerfully in the Kigali Cathedral, as they recover from many challenges in the past.

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It was great to meet with the Rev. Ron Browning and team from All Saints AMiA Church in Pensacola, Florida.  They are in a sister/sister relationship with an Anglican congregation in a very poor part of Kigali where 250 children and others worship in a building that doesn’t have a roof. Rev. Browning is hoping to raise the $10,000 needed to put a roof on that burgeoning work. Click to view the Greeting to Canada from Rev. Ron Browning.

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Janice meeting with one of the Anglican Mother’s Union workers.

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Visiting the Kigali National Genocide memorial site where over 260,000 victims were buried.

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A memorial to the children who were killed in the genocide 17 years ago.

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The mass graves from the Rwandan 1994 Genocide

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A photo at the Kigali Diocesan office of Archbishop Rowan Williams meeting with the African Primates.

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A closer look at the African Primates, including Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini. Click to view the Greeting to Canada from the Kigali Anglican Bishop Louis.

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The UN is very visible in Africa.

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Stopping but not getting out at the Entebbe Uganda International Airport.

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The bright Ugandan colours.

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Technically Janice and I have been to Uganda 😉

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The Ethiopian Airlines was a great place to be for the exhausting 22-hour flight back to Canada. We met on the airplane the only American Carl Wilkens who stayed in Rwanda during the 100-day Genocide. He just wrote a book about it, “I’m Not Leaving” which he signed for me on the airplane.

While on the Ethiopian Airlines plane, we were able to read in their inflight magazine about the Royal Honeymoon of Will and Kate which took place in Africa on the Seychelles Islands.  There were unlimited movies on the Ethiopian Airlines to help you deal with the stress of flying so long and far. We both watched again the moving Christian-based movie “Soul Surfer” which tells the story about how Bethany Hamilton lost her arm through a shark attack, but did not let that stop her from becoming a championship surfer.  The film reminded me that our Christian faith makes a practical difference when tragedy happens. Click to watch a short video clip of the movie.

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We loved Rwanda and miss it. But it was good to be back home in Deep Cove on the North Shore of Vancouver.

Rev Dr Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

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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1987 Deep Cove Crier on my St Simon’s Induction

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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Gratefully Remembering The Rev. John Lombard

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

The Rev. John Lombard helped many people become ready for the final transition of life.  He did not let the difficult disease of Parkinson’s defeat his feisty spirit.  John was ready to go, ready for the final phase of life on earth. John lived a full life, both in sickness and health.

John was a courageous, humorous, thoughtful, and compassionate man.  It was a privilege to get to know John on a personal level.  At his memorial service, many people shared about the deep humility that John displayed.  To know John was to love John.

His dear wife Bev stood faithfully with John ‘for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and health’ in their forty-five years of marriage.  During the difficult last phase of John’s life, Bev kept an online blog where she shared daily about her life with John.  Bev has been a great inspiration to many by the way that she has not let John’s chronic illness defeat her.  Her deep faith kept her going, because she knew that she was not alone.

As my honorary assistant priest at St. Simon’s North Vancouver, John was a tremendous help, covering for me when I spoke at various conferences.  In 2004 when I had an opportunity to take a three-month sabbatical, John ‘held the fort’, enabling me to be deeply refreshed and renewed.  Because of John’s covering at St Simon’s NV, I was able to travel to eighteen cities across Canada with 250 francophones and anglophones in a journey of reconciliation called La Danse.

In Nov 2004, our 10:30am contemporary service moved, because of overcrowding, to the Maplewood School.   This was made possible because John covered for me at Maplewood School until I could drive there from Deep Cove after our 9am traditional service.  John’s loyalty was a rare gift to me. I knew that you could depend on John through thick and thin.  John was a man of his word. His yes was yes and his no was no.

John was not a yes-man.  Many times when John saw a way that we could improve, he would freely share with me his insights.  As his voice became weaker because of Parkinson’s, I had to listen very carefully.  His mind remained sharp, even as his body faced serious challenges.  I remember John’s helpful suggestions about how we could improve the quality of reading scripture on Sunday morning.  His ideas resulted in a very informative Saturday morning Readers’ Workshop led by his wife Bev to about twenty of our readers.  There was a remarkable strength in John’s spirit, even in the final days of his being in hospice.  The last time I saw John, he really enjoyed viewing my iphone photos from our recent holiday in Hawaii.

One of my strongest memories of John was at the annual BC Christian Ashram retreats where John would tell funny stories and play harmonica during the talent show.  John was a very gifted harmonica player who with his quirky sense of humour intentionally played the wrong harmonica notes in one song.  John did this with a twinkle in his eye.

Born in Montreal and raised in Windsor Ontario, John spent most of his ordained ministry in southern Ontario.  Instead of merely retiring, John and Bev moved to Greater Vancouver to become missionaries with WEC international.  They served at the Gateway Intercultural Training Centre and led short-term mission trips to Fiji, Guatemala, and South Africa.  After St. Simon’s NV adopted John and Bev as part-time missionaries, John wrote wonderful updates about how God was using them in raising up young leaders around the world. As a member of the national leadership team for the Anglican Mission in Canada, John co-ordinated prayer initiatives for the Coalition, sending out regular prayer updates.  As a leader in VMTC, John prayed deeply for healing of others in body, mind and spirit. He gave and gave and gave.  We miss John deeply. But we are so grateful that he is now with Jesus in his nearer presence.

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

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

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

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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Who was Captain Robert Dollar anyways?

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

While visiting Dollarton, I met my good friend Keith Cameron who lives in the historic Dollar Mill Office built in 1918.  Keith pulled out the book Echoes Across the Inlet published by the Deep Cove and Area Heritage Association, and said to me: “You need to write an article about Captain Robert Dollar. He was a sparkplug for this whole area”.

The more that I have learned about Robert Dollar, the more fascinating I find his life-story. Captain Robert Dollar (originally spelt Dolour) was the founder of Dollarton and its first major employer with hundreds of local residents working at the Dollar Mill.  He was a very visionary individual who could see North Vancouver’s potential in terms of international trade and commerce.

Coming to Canada penniless from Falkirk in Scotland, Robert Dollar became one of Scotland’s fifty wealthiest individuals, amassing a fortune of over forty million dollars.  Leaving school at age 12 to work in Canadian logging camps, he saved up enough cash to buy into the lumber trade itself.  As most loggers spoke French, Dollar taught himself French and took over the camp’s accounting.  At their peak, Dollar’s mills produced fifteen million board of lumber.

As mentioned in Echoes Across the Inlet, even in the lumber camps, Dollar ‘always made it a practice on Sunday to take out (his) Bible to a quiet place and read it, even in the coldest of weather.” Dollar “attributed much of his success to the teachings received from this daily reading.” Dollar advocated “clean habits, clean thoughts, plenty of exercise, fresh air and plenty of sunshine…and plenty of work….Last, but most important, fear God and keep his commandments.”

In 1895, Dollar purchased his first ship in order to move his lumber down to American markets. His first boat became a huge success because of the number of people making their way to the Alaska Gold Rush. Out of this, he began the 40-vessel Dollar Steamship Company (later becoming American President Lines).

Known as the Grand Old Man of the Pacific, Dollar started three head offices in North Vancouver, San Francisco and Shanghai. Dollar’s ships bore the famous “$” on their smokestacks. During his lifetime he made some 30 voyages to Asia, being the first to bring North American lumber to Asia. While in China, Dollar built a Y.M.C.A., an orphanage, a school for the blind and a village school.

In 1923 at age 80, Dollar purchased seven “president” ships from the U.S. government which enabled him to pioneer round-the-world passenger service, being the first to publish scheduled departure and arrival times. In 1925, Dollar Line acquired the Pacific Mail Steamship Company and its trans-Pacific routes. Dollar was on the cover of the March 19th, 1928 Time magazine, and written up in the Saturday Evening Post in 1929.

Dollar was a family man with a strong work ethic and solid faith. His granddaughter remembers visiting her grandpa, saying: “We all arose at 6 a.m. and went to bed at 9 p.m.  Grandfather read a passage from the bible each morning and we joined in…Grandfather sat at the end of the table and said grace before each meal. At festive occasions he would tell us a story about his life in the Canadian north woods and have us all spellbound and laughing.”

Dollar’s mom died when he was nine; his grief-stricken father became an alcoholic.  Out of his family pain, Dollar developed four principles to which he clung to: 1. Do not cheat. 2. Do not be lazy. 3. Do not abuse. 4. Do not drink.

In Dollar’s 1920 diary, he wrote: ‘Thank God, from whom all blessings flow …we start the year with supreme confidence in the future, knowing that God is with us and hoping prosperity will enable us to aid humanity with our money, and that we will be permitted to leave the world a little better than we found it.”

Dollar never retired, saying: “It would have been nothing short of a crime for me to have retired when I reached the age of sixty, because I have accomplished far more the last twenty years of my life than I did before I reached my sixtieth birthday … I was put in this world for a purpose and that was not to loaf and spend my time in so-called pleasure … I was eighty years old when I thought out the practicability of starting a passenger steamship line of eight steamers to run around the world in one direction … I hope to continue working to my last day on earth and wake up the next morning in the other world.”

Robert Dollar died of bronchial pneumonia in 1932, at the age of 88.  Some of his final words were: “In this world all we leave behind us that is worth anything is that we can be well regarded and spoken of after we are gone, and that we can say that we left the world just a little better than we found it. If we can’t accomplish these two things then life, according to my view, has been a failure. Many people erroneously speak of a man when he is gone as having left so much money. That, according to my view, amounts to very little.”

May the example of Dollarton’s Robert Dollar inspire all those reading this article to make a God-given difference in our lives.

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


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Thanking God for godly mentors

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

The New Year season is a time for both remembering and anticipating.  This New Year, I particularly remember one of my mentors Ernie Eldridge who helped me more effectively spend the last 7,100 days on the North Shore.

Healthy mentors make the world of difference. The late Rev. Ernie Eldridge mentored me when I was just finding my way in the world. Ernie believed in me when I first came to faith in 1972 and reassured me that I had done the right thing.  Ernie gave me sage advice about relationship choices, even assisting at my wedding forty-one years ago.  When I was completing my Social Work degree at UBC, Ernie carefully listened as I shared my dream about becoming an Anglican priest.  After thirty years of ordained ministry, I am grateful that Ernie could see potential in a well-meaning, rather naïve young adult.

In the mid 1970s, we started a singing group called Morning Star and a parallel LivingStone Productions which organized contemporary music concerts at Queen Elizabeth Theatre and the PNE Gardens.  Thanks to Ernie Eldridge’s mentorship, Morning Star received a national grant that enabled us to sing throughout BC, including an extensive outreach to Vancouver Island.  During that period, we sang extensively on the North Shore, including Hillside Baptist, West Vancouver United, and St. Simon’s North Vancouver. After eighteen months going to the United States to a recording studio, we produced the Sanctuary Tapes album which you can listen to online.

A North Shore Newspaper photo of my working at the North Shore Neighbourhood House

As a social worker, I had the privilege of working for John Braithwaite in 1975-76 at North Shore Neighbourhood House.  But I had no idea that God would one day have me spend several decades living on the North Shore.  That was never on my radar screen.  After four & a half years serving as the assistant priest at St Matthew’s Anglican Church in Abbotsford, I knew in 1986 that it was time to become a Rector/Senior pastor. One of the first people that I asked for advice and prayer was Ernie Eldridge.  Ernie agreed that it was time to move on.   In ‘casting my bread on the waters’, I applied for two positions: St Thomas Chilliwack and St. Simon’s North Vancouver.  When I met with the St Simon’s selection committee on Badger Road in Deep Cove, they asked me a lot of challenging questions.  My answers did not always impress myself, but I left that meeting with a deep sense that I would be moving to the North Shore.

Ernie Eldridge always cheered for me when I was facing my next major transition.  One time he went to bat for me with my bishop at great personal risk.  Two of Ernie’s gifts to me that have been invaluable on the North Shore were his ‘Death & Dying’ and ‘Time Management’ courses.  He taught me the need to prepare for one’s death and to grieve the inevitable losses that we will all face. While writing my book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’, my wife and I were privileged to visit Ernie and Barb in Beaver Harbour New Brunswick before Barb died from ALS. Recently Ernie produced a thoughtful book ‘Hope, Help, Heaven’ on his last ten years with his dear wife Barb.

Because Ernie used a time management system, he was able to write his book in which he journals his thoughts and activities on a daily and weekly basis.  One of Ernie’s favourite verses was Psalm 90:12: “Teach us to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”  Through Ernie’s influence in 1982, I began using the Seven Star Diary system after my voice was restored through surgery.  For the past thirty-eight years, I have regularly recorded my work activities in a journal format.  As a result, I know exactly how many hours I have spent on any particular activity. Ernie taught me to ‘redeem the time’ because life is short and easily wasted (Ephesians 5:17, Colossians 4:5).

Through Ernie’s time management system, I am aware that I have now spent 7,100 days serving the North Shore.  Time flies when you enjoy your work. It is a great privilege to serve each of you. It has not always been easy.  In the past 31 years, I have been privileged to be involved in some of your baptisms, weddings, and funerals. Through the Deep Cove Crier and the North Shore News, I have been privileged to communicate with each of you in hundreds of diverse articles.  Over the last three decades, St. Simon’s NV has served many of your children, preteens, teens and young adults through our gifted young pastors, the Rev Ken Bell, the Rev Josh Wilton, Jill Cardwell, Tyler Gibson, and Mark Hird.  In the past 31 years, I had an opportunity to personally visit 10,000 of your homes, some three times, to see what you think and feel. In the same way that Ernie Eldridge has helped me make better use of my time, I pray that each of us reading this article will learn to more effectively redeem our time and become better stewards of this sacred gift of our fleeting days.

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