Edhird's Blog

Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


Leave a comment

Canon Dr Chris Sugden on Blue Sky

Canon Dr Chris Sugden’s book review of Blue Sky:

“An intriguing and complex case study of family relationships explored through a fast-moving narrative of danger, tragedy and disappointment interwoven with prayer and Christian witness. The story sets up a series of discussion questions related to Family Systems Theory which will provide fertile ground for church home groups to wrestle with the need and guidelines for forgiveness. It will make those little grey cells work overtime. “

Canon Dr Chris Sugden, Co-Dean. Mission Studies and Ethics Read a graduate of Oxford in classics and theology, is married to Elaine, a retired cancer consultant. They have three married children and eight grandchildren. After six years in India, with his senior colleague, Canon Dr Vinay Samuel, he helped establish the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies from 1983. He has been an elected member of General Synod of the Church of England and was conference director for the 2008 Jerusalem Conference of GAFCON. His postgraduate research has covered Liberation Theology, Christianity and Violence, and Christian Social Ministries in India and Indonesia. He holds canonries in Nigeria and Ghana. He is co-dean of the OCRPL Graduate Programmes with Stellenbosch and Pretoria Universities.

Faculty

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 


1 Comment

Dr JI Packer: Knowing God

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Have you ever read Dr JI Packer’s classic Knowing God? Click to check out the Light Magazine article on Dr. JI Packer: Firestarter in Knowing God.

Analyzing the Global Impact of Dr. J.I. Packer

By Rev. Dr. Ed and Janice Hird

-published in the April 2010 Light Magazine

Do you long for a reviving of your knowledge of God, not just intellectually but intimately? The late Dr. J.I. Packer wrote an unforgettable book Knowing God that has transformed and revived the hearts and minds of millions of readers, perhaps including yourself.[1]  Christianity Today readers named him one of the most influential theological writers of the last hundred years, second only to CS Lewis.[2] Dr. Alister McGrath called Packer a theological and spiritual giant[3]: “Packer is a rare example of an original thinker with a genuine gift for teaching…”[4] His legacy includes writing thirty books and over three hundred major articles.[5] Timothy George commented that “his writings are so voluminous that it is hard to imagine that they have come from the pen of one person.”[6]

Packer never let his fame and success get to his head.  Born on July 22nd 1926, he was raised in humble circumstances in the village of Twyning, near Gloucester, in southwest England. McGrath comments about Packer: “Even at an early age, he realized that he was something of a loner, a shy and awkward boy who found it difficult to relate to other children.”[7] While chased at age seven by a schoolyard bully, he was struck by a passing bread van, causing a serious head injury, requiring brain surgery.[8]  The medical diagnosis was…’a depressed compound fracture of the frontal bone on the right-hand side of his forehead.’[9]  This brain injury closed the door to his socializing through playing sports. Because of his fragile health, his parents wisely bought him a massive typewriter rather than a bicycle.  During his long recovery, the naturally shy Packer read widely, typing his earliest essays.  At age 17, Packer described himself as a Dostoevsky addict.[10]  When asked in his eighties about his strongest childhood memories, he replied, “Solitariness.”[11]  He was required to wear a black aluminum plate on his head, held in place by an elastic band. At age 15, he ‘went on strike’, refusing to wear the head plate any longer.[12]

Though raised Anglican, Packer did not know Christ personally.  While attending Crypt High School, he read C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity and Screwtape Letters.[13]   CS Lewis’ two books, said Packer, ‘brought me, not indeed to faith in the full sense, but to mainstream Christian beliefs about God, man, and Jesus Christ, so that I was halfway there.”[14] Because of his head injury, Packer was exempted from World War II military service. He became one of the very few who attended Oxford University during that time. On October 22nd 1944, while attending an Oxford Christian Union meeting (IVCF), Packer was soundly converted, singing Just as I Am: “I had given my life to Christ…When I went out of the church, I knew that I was a Christian.”[15] Over fifty years later, he said “I remember the experience as if it were yesterday.”

Over the next few weeks of being discipled, he stopped viewing the bible as just “a mixed bag of religious all-sorts, of which one could not accept more than the general outlines.”[16] Packer commented: “I can still remember the feeling of surprise -and gladness, as I left the meeting because I knew that I knew that the Bible is the Word of God.” Over the next sixty-six years, he took many courageous stands, drawing others back to the Lordship of Jesus and the authority of the Bible.  Packer valued tradition and history when seen through the lense of Holy Scripture: Scripture must have the last word on all human attempts to state its meaning, and tradition, viewed as a series of such human attempts, has a ministerial rather than a magisterial role.”[17]

Reacting against the ‘victorious living’ emphasis of the Keswick movement, Packer turned to the spiritual wisdom of the largely forgotten Calvinist Puritans.[18] McGrath observed that “while an older generation looked back on Keswick Conventions for their fellowship and teaching, an emerging generation looked instead to the Puritans.”[19] George Whitefield (1714-1770) and the earlier John Owen (1616-1683) became significant mentors in Packer’s spiritual maturing.[20]  He even did his Oxford doctorate on Richard Baxter, who symbolized the best of the Puritans.[21]  Baxter (1615-1691) showed how to be a puritan without being puritanical in the negative sense.[22] Packer’s Knowing God, published in 1973, is a popularization of his doctoral thesis on Baxter. 

Knowing God was originally written as a series of articles for the UK-based Evangelical Magazine. Packer said, “I wrote Knowing God over a period of years during which I was deeply concerned, as I still am, to help people realize God’s greatness.[23]  Intervarsity Press UK (IVP) passed up the chance to publish it, because they wanted Packer instead to write a book about charismatic renewal. Hodder and Stoughton UK initially published it instead.  It was in North America however that Knowing God would have its greatest impact, where IVP USA published it.[24] McGrath said that Packer’s personal opinion was that the book succeeded because it allowed its readers to find and experience the reality of God.[25]  Best-selling author Dr. John RW Stott reviewed Knowing God, saying “The truth he handles fires the heart.  At least it fired mine, and compelled me to turn aside to worship and to pray.”[26] Dr. Alister McGrath commented that reading Knowing God “is like going on a long walk along a forest trail, rich in flora and fauna, nestling under the shadow of the great Rocky mountains.”[27]

McGrath commented that Packer “greatly admired the preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, particularly its expository thoroughness.”[28] Through the influence of Lloyd-Jones, Packer developed a passion for revival.  In 1949, Packer and Lloyd-Jones birthed the very influential Puritan Conferences, which continued at Westminster Chapel in London until 1970.[29] McGrath commented that the ‘Puritan Studies Conference’ “offered a powerful and persuasive vision of the Christian life, in which theology, biblical exposition, spirituality and preaching were shown to be mutually indispensable and interrelated.  It was a vision of the Christian life which possessed both intellectual rigour and pastoral relevance.  It was a powerful antidote to the anti-intellectualism which had been rampant within British evangelical circles in the immediate post-war period.”[30]

In the foreword to Lloyd-Jones’ Revival book, Packer said, “No concern was dearer to his heart nor to mine.”[31] Packer observed, “Dr Lloyd-Jones hoped for revival until he died. He is gone. The prophets are gone, but we should still be hoping for revival. Revival is a sovereign work of God. He fixes the time table. The schedule is his, not ours.” As Calvinist puritans, both Lloyd-Jones and Packer taught that revival is a sovereign act of God.[32] We cannot produce it through our organizational skills.[33]

Before moving to Vancouver’s Regent College in 1979, Packer taught in several English theological settings including Oak Hill College, St. John’s Birmingham, Latimer House, Tyndale Hall, and Trinity College Bristol.[34] The pull of North America became stronger after Packer began lecturing during the summers in USA and Canada.[35]  As McGrath put it, Packer liked Vancouver, and he liked Canada, which seemed to him to be halfway between Britain and the United States.[36]  Regent offered Packer a much greater opportunity to write and to speak at North American conferences.[37]  Leland Ryken noted that there has been no more famous teacher at Regent College through the years than Packer.[38] During Packer’s time at Regent, the student body has grown from 140 to over 800.[39]  

Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, stated that “…this will be known as the Packer Era because J.I. Packer has been the towering figure of this era – defending truth, defending orthodoxy, and defending great preaching.”[40]  In 1994, Packer was the chief architect of the Anglican Essentials movement in Canada which ultimately realigned many with the revival in the Global South.[41] The Montreal Essential Declaration is shaped by Richard Baxter’s maxim “In essentials, unity; In non-essentials, diversity, and in all things charity.”[42] In 2,000, he chaired the theological track at the World Conference on Evangelism convened by Billy Graham in Amsterdam.[43]  He served for many years as general editor in producing the 2001 English Standard Version Bible.[44] Packer had a passion for the revival of catechism, for teaching how to live out biblical truth.[45] Revival, said Packer, means “power, constant sustained power from God’s Holy Spirit for life and service.”[46] Revival means struggle for truth.[47]  Revival is about knowing God.[48]  What might it take for us, like J.I. Packer, to long for the fire of revival?

Rev. Dr. Ed and Janice Hird

Co-authors, Blue Sky novel


[1] Alistair McGrath, J.I. Packer: A Biography (Baker Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, 1997), 179 “…one of the twentieth century’s most influential and admired Christian books –Knowing God.”; McGrath, 256 ”Packer’s bestseller Knowing God represented a classic statement and justification of the intimate relationship between knowing correct ideas about God and the relational activity of knowing God.”

[2]McGrath, xi  “James Innell Packer is one of the best-known names in modern Christianity.”

[3] McGrath,  xi   “….one such person who has made a major long-term contribution to the shaping of Christianity in the modern world.”; J.I. Packer and the Evangelical Future: The Impact of His Life and Thought, edited by Timothy George   (Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, MI, USA, 2009), back cover “J.I. Packer is one of the most significant evangelical theologians of the last one hundred years.” (Timothy George is the Executive Editor for Christianity Today.)

[4] George, 20.

[5] McGrath, 290.

[6] George, 10.

[7] McGrath, 3.; 45 “His parents were poor, and he had no private means.”; Ryken, 20. “…J.I. Packer came from humble roots.  …he has never lost his common touch.”

[8] McGrath, 1.

[9] Ryken, 23.

[10] Ryken, 24 In a Christianity Today polling of their contributors of the ten best religious books of the twentieth century, Packer chose the Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien, saying “a classic for children from 9 to 90. Bears constant rereading.”;   Ryken, 30 Packer said that at age 17, he became ‘a Dostoyevsky addict’, much impressed by how the Russian novelist ‘takes the skin off his characters and allows us to see what they are like.’

[11] McGrath, 11 “He was a solitary figure, who found greatest pleasure in reading and studying.”; Ryken, 21 “From his early years, Packer was a shy boy who did not mingle easily with his peers.”

[12] Ryken, 23.

[13] McGrath, 9.

[14] Ryken, 29.

[15] George, 10 “…It was in meetings of the Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian Union, a British version of Inter Varsity, that Packer found a living relationship with Jesus Christ and committed his life to Christian service.”

[16] Ryken, 39.

[17] George, 25. JI Packer, “The Comfort of Conservatism”, in Power Religion, ed. M Horton (Chicago, Moody, 1992), 288.;  George, 20, McGrath commented: “Packer’s distinctive and, in my view, critically important insight that evangelical theology is both enriched and stabilized by attentiveness to the past.”; George, 26, McGrath commented, “Packer argues that attentiveness to the past liberates us from ‘chronological snobbery’ and alerts us to the riches of past readings of Scripture.”

[18] McGrath, 43 “Packer mentioned that he was a Puritan addict…”; McGrath, 55 Packer commented, “Without Owen, I might well have gone off my head or gotten boggled down in mystical fanaticism.”; McGrath, 77 “…the Keswick teaching had come to be seen as a distinctive article of evangelicalism.  To criticize Keswick was thus to attack evangelicalism.”

[19] McGrath, 54.

[20] McGrath, 22, 24, 25, 26 “The discovery of Owens must be regarded as marking a turning point in Packer’s Christian life…”; McGrath, 43 “Packer explained that John Owen’s sixty pages on mortifying sin had helped him cope with ‘popular brand of holiness teaching, which was driving [him] around the bend’.”; McGrath, 56  “What do the Puritans have to offer modern evangelicalism?  The answer for Packer can be summed up in a single word -maturity.”

[21] McGrath, 46 “Packer’s growing interest in the theology of the Puritans had led him to explore the writings of Richard Baxter (1615-91).”; McGrath, 47 “Packer’s thesis The Redemption and Restoration of Man in the Thought of Richard Baxter was long; its 499 pages extend to nearly 150,000 words. (Oxford would later insist that doctoral theses should not exceed 100,000 words.)  The work shows Packer as a scholar with a gift for rigorous analysis and clarity of expression.”

[22] Neil Bramble, “J.I. Packer”, Convivium, May 12, 2017, “The essence of Puritanism is not the public caricature often imposed upon them, but a lively, sincere, and devoted spirituality based on the Bible’s teachings translated into one’s personal life.” “https://www.convivium.ca/voices/124_j_i_packer/ (accessed Feb 28th 2020)

[23] .  J.I. Packer, Knowing God Study Guide (Intervarsity Press, Madison, Wisconsin, USA, 1975), 7 “Packer…wrote Knowing God from the conviction that ignorance of God lies at the root of the contemporary church’s weakness.”

[24] David Virtue, “The (Knowing God) book, first published in 1973 and now translated into at least seven languages, has sold more than 2 million copies, an astounding number for what is essentially a textbook in basic theology. “It was a surprise,” he told me: “I wrote the first draft as a series of articles. It was essentially intended as a catechesis-a teaching book. At first I just hoped that it would go into a second printing.” https://virtueonline.org/patriarch-dr-j-i-packer http://www.worldmag.com/articles/16150  (accessed March 2nd 2020)

[25] McGrath, 191.; McGrath commented that …this was the right book for the right moment.

[26] McGrath, 191.; Ryken, 114 “Indeed, Stott and Packer were the two most prominent evangelical leaders in the Church of England during the 1960s and 1970s.”

[27] McGrath, 195.

[28] McGrath, 62, 161 “Packer had been one of the relatively few evangelicals of influence within the Church of England who had championed links with Lloyd-Jones.”

[29] McGrath, 157 “Lloyd-Jones…wrote to Packer to terminate the Puritan Conferences.”  (in the context of the 1970 publication of the Growing into Union book by two evangelicals and two Anglo-Catholics.) (it became renamed the Westminster Conferences.)

[30] McGrath, 53.

[31] Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Revival (Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois, USA, 1987), foreword.

[32] Marks of Revival by J.I. Packer By GOL Revival (Grace Online Library) Awareness of God’s presence. The first and fundamental feature in revival is the sense that God has drawn awesomely near in his holiness, mercy, and might.

https://graceonlinelibrary.org/church-ministry/revival/marks-of-revival-by-j-i-packer/ (accessed 3/6/2020)

[33] Justin Taylor What Is Revival? |  February 17, 2010 Here is how J. I. Packer answers that question in his essay, “The Glory of God and the Reviving of Religion” in A God-Entranced Vision of All Things (pp. 100-104): “Revival is God touching minds and hearts in an arresting, devastating, exalting way, to draw them to himself through working from the inside out rather than from the outside in. It is God accelerating, intensifying, and extending the work of grace that goes on in every Christian’s life, but is sometimes overshadowed and somewhat smothered by the impact of other forces. It is the near presence of God giving new power to the gospel of sin and grace. It is the Holy Spirit sensitizing souls to divine realities and so generating deep-level responses to God in the form of faith and repentance, praise and prayer, love and joy, works of benevolence and service and initiatives of outreach and sharing. What is the pattern of genuine revival? Packer suggests the following ten elements:

God comes down.

God’s Word pierces.

Man’s sin is seen.

Christ’s cross is valued.

Change goes deep.

Love breaks out.

Joy fills hearts.

Each church becomes itself—becomes, that is, the people of the divine presence in an experiential, as distinct from merely notional, sense.

The lost are found.

Satan keeps pace.

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/what-is-revival/ (accessed 3/6/2020)”

[34] McGrath, 180 “In the eyes of many young evangelicals, Packer and Moyter together (at Trinity College, Bristol) represented a form of evangelicalism which possessed both intellectual rigour and spiritual integrity.”; McGrath, 237.

[35] McGrath, 181 “As Trinity settled down, Packer again found he had time and space for thinking, speaking, and writing.  … Packer was able to negotiate an arrangement with the college Council, by which he would spend the autumn and spring terms teaching in Bristol, leaving the summer term free of commitments in order to allow him to spend time in North America…Increasingly, Packer became a well-known figure in North America – not simply through his books, but through his personal presence at seminaries as a teacher and lecturer.”

[36] McGrath, 233.; Bramble, “Packer could have had a number of other teaching positions in high profile seminaries in the United States, but he chose the fledgling Regent College, where 37 years later (2016) he is still involved—in his ninety-first year.”

[37] McGrath, 217 “Packer was by now regarded in North America as the best-known and most highly respected British evangelical theologian. …His book Knowing God had firmly established him as one of the most important writers in the area of spirituality…In short, Packer was being lionized in North America. In England, however, he was being marginalized.”; Ryken, 165 “…Mark Noll notes that the British posts (temporary teaching assignments)   were Anglican; the North American posts have been Reformed and evangelical.”

[38] Ryken, 164.

[39] McGrath, 239. “By the end of the 1980s’, Regent was the largest graduate institution of theological education in the region with a new purpose-built home on a high-profile site on the university campus.”

[40] George, Charles Colson, 139.

[41] McGrath, 160 “Two major events of the 1990s – the Anglican Church of Canada’s Essentials ’94 congress…can be seen to rest on precisely the theological foundations developed by Packer in England during the 1970s…it represented the application of a coherent and historically and theologically justified approach, which had been set in place twenty years earlier.”; McGrath, 283 “Packer…was the chief architect of ‘Essentials 94.’”

[42] George, 11 “Packer has been ever mindful of the maxim of Richard Baxter, on whom he wrote his Oxford doctoral dissertation.  In necessariis Unitas, in non-necessariis Libertas, in utrisque Caritas.”   http://www.anglicancommunionalliance.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Montreal-Declaration-for-ACA-Website-PDF-FINAL.pdf (accessed March 8th 2020); Leland Ryken, J.I. Packer: an Evangelical Life (Crossway, Wheaton, Illinois, 2015), 12 “Packer is by nature a peacemaker and a gentle man, yet he has had a career of controversy…his stand on religious issues has often made him an object of criticism.”

[43] George, 10.

[44] Bramble, “The term collaborator may well describe Packer’s most telling leadership quality. He loved working as a member of a team, and he did so on numerous occasions. Perhaps the best example was his role as general editor in producing the English Standard Version of the Bible. Interestingly, Packer himself sees this as his most significant contribution.”

[45] Trinity School for Ministry talk “JI Packer: On Personal Holiness”:  When I was eighteen years ago, I spoke to a conference “For the rest of my working life, I should be conducting a crusade for catechesis, that is, the revival of catechism type instruction in all evangelical churches.  What is the essence of catechetical instruction?  It is two things together, teaching the doctrines of the bible, teaching the truths that we are to live by, and teaching in direct connect with that, how to live by those truths, how to practice in fact what we called holiness.” “I want to campaign for a renewal of personal holiness…” “…culturally the West is coming apart…” “we don’t make as much of repentance as we should…” (accessed 2/23/2020)

[46] Marks of Revival, Revival Commentary, v. 1, n. 1.  JI Packer: “Revival is the visitation of God which brings to life Christians who have been sleeping and restores a deep sense of God’s near presence and holiness. Thence springs a vivid sense of sin and a profound exercise of heart in repentance, praise, and love, with an evangelistic outflow.”

Source: Your Father Loves You, Shaw Publishing, 1986, Page for May 30.

http://christian-quotes.ochristian.com/christian-quotes_ochristian.cgi?find=Christian-quotes-by-J.I.+Packer-on-Revival (accessed 1/6/2020)

[47]McGrath, ix “…my Christian calling thus far has felt so much like me ‘and a few other blokes’ trying to stop  specific falsehoods, nail specific sins, and further the new life that Satan tries to quench in his ongoing war with the God of creation, providence, and grace.”

[48] J.I. Packer, Revival #2, 02/18/24  A Southern Baptist conference at Grenville Seminary, South Carolina, USA  3:33 “In revival, God comes close, and thus sin is seen, and because sin is seen, the gospel is loved, as never before, and repentance goes deep, and godliness grows fast, and the church becomes itself, and the world feels the impact as an evangelistic overflow, and Satan keeps pace trying to spoil and corrupt what is going on.” 24:50 “Dr Lloyd-Jones hoped for revival until he died. He is gone. The prophets are gone, but we should still be hoping for revival. Revival is a sovereign work of God. He fixes the time table. The schedule is his, not ours. 49:43 “Revival means the overcoming of hostile spiritual forces, forces against which the people of God have thus far been impotent, forces which have run all over them, forces of secularity, forces of worldliness.  There is always opposition when revival begins, and regularly there is opposition to the gospel before revival begins.”  “And have you studied the East African revival of our own time?  It broke in the 1930s. It’s still going on.  It dies down and flairs up again like a forest fire…It prepared the people of God…for the appalling convulsions that they had to go through politically and in terms of persecution…The revival folks stood firm under persecution when the Mau-mau folk were trying to get them back to the tribal darkness of ethnic, witch doctor-type polytheism. They wouldn’t go.  Many of them lost their lives at the time…If God hadn’t quickened his people by revival blessing in the 1930s and thereafter, where would the Church be in East Africa?  1:04:35 paraphrase: Revival is a rediscovery of the blessing (the central revival doctrine) of justification (by faith). 1:0513 revival is…the people of God pictured as a candle stick sustained and enabled to burn and burn and keep on burning through oil from heaven… revival means power, constant sustained power from God’s Holy Spirit for life and service.  1:09:29 Revival means the purging out of sin from the lives of saint through bringing them to repentance.  (sins vomited up)  1:18:38 Revival shows God to be still on his throne, victorious…a demonstration of his sovereign Lordship and sovereign grace.

J.I. Packer, Revival: #3, 16:11, A Southern Baptist conference at Grenville Seminary, South Carolina,

USA : “The alternatives are always revival or judgement, and that is as true for us in North America today as it was in the bible times.” 19:43 “God is sovereign in revival. You cannot predict it, but also you cannot preclude it.  There is no situation so grave and so grievous that God cannot move in it and restore it.” 20:15 “Spiritual revival is something to be sought, to be sought for one’s own soul, to be sought for one’s own church, to be sought for one’s own community.  It is not for us to say all we can do is wait and twiddle our thumbs until God is pleased to act.” “We are to seek spiritual renewal, spiritual revival, and we are to seek it by petition…linked with self-examination.” 24:20 “Spiritual revival is something to be sought for and looked for.  God does not play cat and mouse with us.”  25:00 “Pessimism about the possibility of revival is a form of unbelief of the Bible.” https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=2190484748 (accessed March 2nd 2020)

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 

 


Leave a comment

A New Jerusalem

Andy Piercy, who served as the Anglican Mission Worship Consultant and HTB Worship Pastor, wrote a delightful song New Jerusalem from Revelation 21. Andy Piercy kindly gave permission in writing for this posting. Janice P Hird previously sang this song at her dad’s funeral in May 2019, which you can view by clicking on the following link.  You can check out his other songs by clicking on Little Rooms.

Dial in today to check out the online July 10th to 12th North American Christian Ashram. There is no registration cost. Donations are welcome. (If you have any trouble using Google Chrome to register, just use your mouse’s scroll button.)

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 


Leave a comment

Queen’s Christmas message

Every year the #Queen now at age 94 keeps pointing to #Jesus. This Christmas video is worth reposting. Let’s value the Queen’s witness to the Gospel while we still have her on earth.

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

Who really were the ‘vikings’? Were any of them your ancestors?

I just ran across a very interesting historical background on the so-called Vikings. Contrary to Hollywood, they didn’t usually wear horned helmets. Did you know that they founded Dublin Ireland?

Do you have any Norsemen/Scandinavians in your family tree? Through DNA testing, I have discovered that I have 4% Norwegian. Norway comes from Old English Norweġ, Norþweġ, from Old Norse Norvegr (“north way”), Norðvegr, from norðr (“north”) + vegr (“way”), contrasted with suðrvegr (“south way”), i.e. Germany, and austrvegr (“east way”), the Baltic lands. Norwegian (1607) is from Medieval Latin Norvegia, with the -w- from Norway.

One derivation for my Hird last name is ‘shepherd’, coming from the North Yorkshire area where they looked after sheep.  Another significant option is the Danish Viking ‘Hird’, which means ‘bodyguard of the king’ (housecarl).  Our Hird hometown in North Yorkshire is Arkengarthdale, which has Viking etymological roots.

By the (south) way, the Normans from Normandy who conquered England in 1066 were Norsemen who had lived in Northern France for 150 years and learned to speak French.

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 


1 Comment

Sorry, not interested…

What a Girl Wants (2003)

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 


4 Comments

Lessons from Gandhi

By The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

My wife, being a prolific reader of novels, is always going with me to return books to the local library.  At the very front of libraries is a section for recommended new books.  While there, I was pleased to find a brand new book Gandhi Before India.  It was news to me that Gandhi was excommunicated by his own Bania caste from daring to go to England to become a lawyer: “For his transgression, the boy would be treated as an outcaste; anyone who spoke to him or went to see him off would be fined.”[1]  Gandhi’s family sacrificed greatly to send him to England, even pawning the family jewels.    While in England, Gandhi for the first time read the Bible, finding the New Testament compelling, especially the Sermon on the Mount. [2]  As Gandhi commented,  it ‘went straight to my heart’.   The lines about offering one’s cloak to the man who had taken away one’s coat touched him greatly.[3]  Gandhi demonstrated that the  Sermon  on the Mount will radically change one’s life and one’s society if put into practice.

After completing his law degree in England, Gandhi returned to India for a short while before moving to South Africa.  While there are numerous books on Gandhi, many skip over Gandhi’s foundational twenty-one years in South Africa.  Even the excellent Gandhi movie by Richard Attenborough doesn’t do justice to the prolonged complexity to Gandhi’s time in South Africa.  Dr. E Stanley Jones commented that South Africa provided the rehearsal for the real drama of India: “He might have floundered had he tried India straight off.”[4]  Sadly in South Africa when Gandhi was most interested in the Gospel, he encountered the greatest restrictions: “To allow Gandhi to sit along white worshippers was impossible.  The vicar’s wife, out of solidarity and sympathy, offered to sit with him in the vestibule, from where they heard the service.”[5]  One of the people who had the greatest impact on Gandhi was Leo Tolstoy, especially his book The Kingdom of God is within You: “he was ‘overwhelmed by the independent thinking, profound morality, and the truthfulness of this book.”[6]  Gandhi purchased and gave out even to his jailers countless copies of Tolstoy’s ground-breaking book on peacemaking in the Sermon on the Mount.[7]

Upon returning to India, Gandhi was initially rejected by other Indians who feared that they might become ritually polluted by even offering a cup of water to someone of the wrong caste.[8]  When Gandhi successfully stood up for their rights, he became hailed as a hero and liberator.  Gandhi campaigned nonviolently for the independence of India for numerous decades, spending 2,089 days in Indian jails (almost six years).[9]

Dr. E Stanley Jones described Gandhi as the architect of the new India.[10] In many ways, Gandhi was like an Abraham Lincoln bringing freedom to hundreds of millions of his fellow citizens.  Louis Fischer compared Gandhi to David standing up to the Goliath of racial discrimination.[11]  Gandhi went from being an initial supporter of caste discrimination to being a campaigner against its divisiveness. Jones commented:

…in his life, (Gandhi) breaks all the rules of caste, transcends them, adopts an outcaste as his daughter, and in the end does more to break down the system of caste than any other man, living or dead.”[12]

Jones held that “in Gandhi the word of freedom became flesh. When he spoke, freedom spoke. Gandhi was India.”[13]  Most people believe in democratic freedom.  Not many are willing to sacrifice over many decades to obtain such goals.  Before Gandhi, it was mostly the Indian intelligentsia campaigning for democracy.  Because Gandhi humbled himself and unselfishly served the poor and untouchables, both rich and poor awoke to the vision of an independent India.[14]  Gandhi made room for all regardless of race, religion and wealth.  Albert Einstein said regarding Gandhi: “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.”[15]  In reading Jones’ book Gandhi: Portrayal of a Friend, Martin Luther King Jr. was inspired to launch the nonviolent Civil Rights Movement.[16]

Jones described the complexity of Gandhi’s personality as like Mount Everest:

Gandhi was simple and yet very complex amid that simplicity. You thought that you knew him and then you didn’t.  It was intriguing. There was always something there that eluded your grasp, that baffled you. And yet out of that many-sidedness which amounted to complexity, there arose simplicity, a unified character, simple and compelling.[17]

In an India full of racial, religious and economic division, Gandhi brought people together, giving them a vision for an independent democratic India.  Gandhi , whose favorite hymn was ‘When I survey the Wondrous Cross’, chose the costly way of the cross, of sacrificial love even for his enemies.[18]  On the wall of his mud hut was a black and white picture of Jesus Christ under which was written ‘He is our peace’.[19]  Gandhi was a peace-maker who chose to forgive those who despised him and rejected him.   Every day he would read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, motivating Gandhi to peacefully love his adversaries.   Jones, who had been a friend of Gandhi in India for many years, said once to him: ‘You understand the principles. Do you know the person?’  Gandhi was very drawn to the person of Jesus Christ.  My prayer for those reading this article is that we may embrace both the principles and person of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

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

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

Dial in today to check out the online July 10th to 12th North American Christian Ashram. There is no registration cost. Donations are welcome. (If you have any trouble using Google Chrome to register, just use your mouse’s scroll button.)

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 

[1] Ramachanadra Guha, Gandhi Before India (Random House Canada, Toronto, 2014), p. 34-35.

[2] Guha, p. 45.

[3] Guha, p. 45.

[4] E Stanley Jones, Gandhi: Portrait of a Friend (Abingdon, Nashville, 1948), p. 18.

[5] Guha, p. 83.

[6] Guha, p. 85.

[7] Guha, p.308: “Before he left Volksrust Prison (in 1908), he presented a kindly warder with an inscribed copy of Tolstoy’s The Kingdom of God is within You.”

[8] Guha, p. 225 “Raj Kumar Shukla took Gandhi to Champaran and Patna the capital of Bihar. …since no one knew their caste, even the servants shunned them. The maids refused to draw from the garden well when Gandhi used it, for fear that even a drop of water from Gandhi’s bucket might pollute them.”

[9] Guha, p. P.160.

[10] E Stanley Jones, Gandhi: Portrait of a Friend (Abingdon, Nashville, 1948), p. 1.

[11] Louis Fischer, Gandhi: his life & message for the world (Signet Classics, New York, NY, 1954, 1982), p. 20.

[12] Jones, p. 6; Arthur Herman, Gandhi and Churchill (Bantam Dell, New York, NY, 2008), p. 120-121 The early Gandhi in 1921 supported caste discrimination: “Prohibition against intermarriage and interdining (between Hindu castes) is essential for the rapid evolution of the soul.” By 1932, he rejected such prohibitions. By 1946, he only permitted inter caste weddings on his premise.

[13] Jones, p. 32.

[14] Jones, p. 22 “…it was Gandhi who aroused (the rural people), made them shed their fears, and made them conscious of their destiny. Before the advent of Gandhi, the nationalist movement was among the intellectuals.”

[15] The Words of Gandhi, selected by Richard Attenborough (Newmarket Press, New York, NY, 1982), p.9.

[16] http://www.estanleyjonesfoundation.com/about-esj/esj-biography  King: “…it was his (Jones’) book that triggered my use of Gandi’s method of nonviolence as a weapon for my own people’s freedom in the United States.” (accessed May 4th 2015)

[17] Jones, p. 5.

[18] Guha, p. 582 “(At the end of his final fast) the girls sang his favorite hymn When I survey the Wondrous Cross.”; Jones, p. 39, p. 141.

[19] Fischer, p. 141.


Leave a comment

Preface to my sequel “Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit’

by the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Preface

We have all been painfully stuck.  Being at a key transition-point in our lives, we do not know how to move forward, finding ourselves immobilized.[i] I have been there many times.  My perfectionism makes it worse.   A key turning point for me was when as I attended a Leadership Conference at the University of Kent in England.[ii]  Walking into a seminar, God ‘whispered’ to me that I would be receiving a message. The Rev Freda Meadows suddenly called me out of the crowd and gave me a specific prophetic message, saying:

You don’t need to run in keeping up with others.  Enter into God’s rest.  Keep your eye on the finishing line which is Him.  You will be moving into new things, having words of knowledge. You will be gifted in this area.  You are in an apprenticeship time at present.  You will disciple others.  You are a man of God’s Word, things of the Kingdom. You are a person of vision, a long-range visionary.  God is going to put you in a key place and you will find yourself training and discipling others.[iii]

I had no idea how powerfully God was going to use the 1998 Pre-Lambeth Leadership Conference.  Most of us as North American Anglicans were still stuck in the ‘inside strategy’ mindset.  Being conflict-avoiders, we were going to ‘fix’ the North American Anglican churches while still inside the old institution.  This virus of institutionalism can slip inside the mind of even the most sincere believer, turning us toxic.  It is so easy to become the hollow, stuffed men of TS Eliot’s poem: “We are the hollow men. We are the stuffed men Leaning together…”[iv]  We Canadians were still quite ‘gung-ho’ at the Canterbury Leadership Conference, but the Americans were unusually quiet. They lacked their usual American ‘get-up-and-go’ attitude.  When Americans go quiet, you can tell that something is up.

At the official Canadian night, Bishop Eddie Marsh of Central   Newfoundland invited the Americans to come up and share.  I will never forget how our American colleagues Bishop Alex Dickson and Dr. (now Bishop) John Rodgers stood up and repented to our African colleagues for the shame that the USA had brought on the Anglican Church, and for Bishop John Spong’s castigating African Anglicans as just one step out of animism and witchcraft.[v]

“(Bishop Spong) has insulted you.  We are ashamed for him; we are ashamed for ourselves.  We ask your forgiveness and we assure you that he does not speak for us.”[vi]

Hundreds of African bishops and clergy spontaneously flocked forward and hugged the Americans, weeping and declaring God’s forgiveness.  Todd Wetzel of Anglicans United said that ‘this was one of the American Church’s finest moments in decades.’  This prophetic action of repentance and forgiveness was a new beginning for Anglican Christians around the world.

I am convinced that we are not to despise prophecy, and that the prophetic gift is still in operation today.  Prophecy does not just address the global picture.  It can also address our personal situations, even regarding writing a book.  Through prayer, I have received very clear direction about the topic of this current book.[vii]   Pushing through our toxic stuckness is key to restoring health, and key to strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders.

The purpose of prophecy is to encourage, build, and strengthen.[viii]  Yes, all prophecies have to be tested.  As children of the New Covenant, we only prophesy in part.[ix]  Prophecies help me push through my ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’.  In the 21stcentury, a sensitive use of the gifts of prophecy and exhortation will be essential to getting unstuck, to becoming a healthier and more Christlike leader.  As Paul said to Timothy, by following prophecies made about us, we leaders more effectively ‘fight the good fight’ and live out our daily lives.[x]  Out of these prophetic encounters, I have become convinced that North America desperately needs to recover from its toxicity, and that the key to restoring its health is found in strengthening  a new generation of holistically healthy leaders, as illustrated in the person of Titus.

The 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.

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 

[i] Terry B Walling, Stuck!, (ChurchSmart Resources, 2008),  p. XIII “Without transitions, and the paradigm shifts that occur, Christ followers would stay stuck!”,

[ii] This Pre-Lambeth Leadership Conference was jointly sponsored by Anglican Renewal Ministries/ARM and SOMA/Sharing of Ministries Abroad.  I was serving as the Chair of ARM Canada.

[iii] Freda Meadows ministers with the International New Wine Director Rev Bruce Collins http://www.new-wine.org; Ten years later, the Rev Freda gave further insight into the 1998 Canterbury prophecy, saying:

“…the underlying thrust was to trust God for the outcome of the plans He had in using you.  While you were to do all that was necessary, it was not for you to try and make anything happen.  But you were to follow the Lord’s leading using the gifts and skills He gave in the best way you knew and through what you had learned as your experience grew.”

[iv] http://poetry.poetryx.com/poems/784/

[v]  “African Christians? They’re just a step up from witchcraft: What Bishop Spong had to say about his fellow Christians, John Spong interviewed by Andrew Carey, Church of England Newspaper, July 10th 1998.  Newspaper & Andrew Carey. “They’ve moved out of animism into a very superstitious kind of Christianity. They’ve yet to face the intellectual revolution of Copernicus and Einstein that we’ve had to face in the developing world. That’s just not on their radar screen.”

[vi] Doug LeBlanc, Lambeth, 1998, “Episcopal Dissidenta, African Allies”, Dr Miranda Hassett,University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill,  http://anglicanhistory.org/academic/hassett2004.pdf

[vii] On October 17th Wednesday 2008 while at the Anglican Coalition Clergy Retreat at Cedar Springs, I received a distinct impression from the Lord while in deep quiet group prayer: “Yes, it is Titus.”  While attending the Henry Wright ‘Be in Health’ conference, I heard a still small voice saying: “Write 3rd book on Titus for North American Audience.”

[viii] 1 Corinthians 14:3

[ix]  1st Thessalonians 5: 19-21: Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.; 1 Corinthians 13:9.

[x] 1 Timothy 1:18, 4:14

Posted by Ed Hird+ at 12:29 No comments: Links to this post   

Labels: 1998AfricaAmericansAnglicanBishop Eddie MarshBishop John RodgersBishop John Spong,CanadianshealthyleadersleadershipNewfoundlandperfectionismPre-Lambethprophecyreststuck,TS Eliot


2 Comments

Forgetting Valentine’s Day…

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Valentine’s Day rolls around every year without fail.  Husbands forget Feb 14th at their peril.  Somehow our wives interpret our forgetting Valentine’s Day as a sign that we don’t care, that we may be putting other priorities like work and sports above them.  So, husbands, be warned.  Flowers are much cheaper than lawyers.

After forty-three years of marriage, I love my wife more now than I have ever loved her.  To celebrate our 30th Anniversary, we flew to England to visit with our youngest son, serving then as a youth missionary in Newcastle.  It is an amazing gift to be married to someone whom you really like to be with.  My wife has been that gift to me.  She was so loyal in supporting our 31-year ministry at St. Simon’s North Vancouver from 1987 to 2018.  That is why I dedicated my book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’ “with gratitude to my dear wife who has been married to me for almost thirty years, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.”  You can imagine that it is not easy to be married to a clergyman, especially with the challenges that faithful Anglicans have been facing in North America.

My wife served as our St. Simon’s NV Music Director for several decades, co-ordinating several different choirs and contemporary worship bands.  Archbishop David Somerville, who first ordained me, once said that if the devil ever gets into the church, he will come in through the choir.  Because music is so closely connected to worship, it makes sense why music can easily be contentious.  Sometimes people have worship wars over contemporary songs vs. traditional hymns.  At St. Simon’s NV, we decided in 1996 to honour both expressions by offering both a traditional 9am BCP service and a contemporary 10:30am service.  Because my dear wife is musically bilingual, she is able to encourage both expressions with integrity.  Unlike many church choir directors who are always quitting and creating havoc, my dear wife was a source of musical stability for over two decades.  Dynamic music is a key to a vibrant, healthy Church.

My wife and  I went to Winston Churchill High School in Vancouver, both graduating forty-eight years ago in 1972.  But we only really noticed each other from a distance.  We became friends while taking the bus home from the University of British Columbia.  She was in Music naturally, and I was in Social Work, dreaming about becoming an Anglican priest.  For around a year, we were only good friends.  But eventually the penny dropped and I saw the light.  My wife really impressed me with her great listening skills, her good sense of humour, and her hard work.

Finally one day in 1975, I invited her to go bike-riding to Little Mountain in Vancouver.  The rest is history.  Coming back from our second bike ride, I said to her, “Don’t take me too seriously, but relative to two days, I would like to spend the rest of my life with you.”  For some reason, this shocked her.  But she got over it, and we quickly moved to become engaged.  When I introduced her to my mother, my mom said something that she had never said before: “The woman who marries Ed will need to have quarters for the bus”.  What she meant is that while I have strong leadership giftings, I work best when I am complimented by someone with strong administrative giftings, who pays attention to the details.

In my first Valentine’s Day article for the Deep Cove Crier thirty-three years ago, I wrote: “Why do I still enjoy Valentines Day?  It’s because all of us have a need to feel loved, even when you’re married.  So often romantic love can fade imperceptibly from a marriage.  In the busyness of children, work, school and sports, our marriage can easily get lost in the shuffle.  Marriage Counselors tell us that romantic love is one of the greatest lacks in modern marriages.  The bible reminds each husband to love his wife as his own body, to love his wife as he loves himself, to love his wife just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5).

Husbands, let’s surprise our wives on February 14th and make our family homes the most romantic spot on Planet Earth!”

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 


4 Comments

Louis Riel and Nicholas Flood Davin

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

            Davin and Riel were perhaps our most famous Western Canadian pioneers.  Louis Riel called for the creation of a new Canadian province. Nicholas Flood Davin called for the hanging of Louis Riel.  “Riel is not a hero,”[1] said Davin. “…If Riel is not hanged, then capital punishment should be abolished.”[2] Both died tragically, Riel on the end of a noose, Davin by his own hands.

            Born in Kilfinane, Ireland, Davin served as a journalist in the Franco-Prussian war, seeing bodies piled six-deep.[3] Reporters in those days were often arrested as spies, being required by the governments to print false information in order to throw off the enemy. This is one of the reasons why reporters in England were not given bylines, so as to protect the freedom of the press.[4]  Davin then became the editor of the new Belfast Times, but was dismissed after being so drunk that he reused his previous article from the Sheffield Times. Davin was so offended that he sued them for wrongful dismissal, demanding 5,000 pounds and being awarded only 50 pounds by the courts.[5]

            Being a keen observer of social interactions, Davin surprisingly commented that ‘the pulpit occupied almost the whole ground occupied by the newspaper today…The Editor has superseded the preacher.”[6]  After being commissioned by Prime Minister John A MacDonald to study the American residential schools, Davin the future federal MP wrote the infamous confidential Davin Report which resulted in our First Nations being subjected to the Residential School tragedy.[7]  The indigenous people already went to day-schools run by various churches, but Davin was not satisfied, racistly saying “The child, again, who goes to a day school learns little, and what little he learns is soon forgotten, while his tastes are fashioned at home, and his inherited aversion to toil is in no way combated.”[8]  Sadly both the Canadian government and the Canadian churches uncritically accepted the Davin Report claim that “it was found that the day-school did not work, because the influence of the wigwam was stronger than the influence of the school. (p. 1)”

By hastily imitating the apparent success of the American native residential schools, great and lasting harm was done. The Davin Report patronizingly said: “The experience of the United States is the same as our own as far as the adult Indian is concerned. Little can be done with him. He can be taught to do a little at farming, and at stock-raising, and to dress in a more civilized manner, but that is all.”[9] The Davin Report is ground zero to the deep wound that we inflicted on the First Nations.  With Prime Minister Harper’s apology two years ago, our First Nations have only begun to recover from decades of residential school-inflicted trauma.[10] The impressive new ‘People of the Inlet’ film by the local Tsleil Waututh First Nation shows what great courage people like the late Chief Dan George showed in rebuilding his devastated people.

           After serving as a reporter in Toronto, Davin became editor in 1883 of the brand-new Regina Leader newspaper.[11] My great-grandmother Mary Anderton McLean, after taking journalism at a  women’s college in Kirkland Ontario, served as one of Davin’s reporters covering the Louis Riel crisis.  My late Uncle Don Allen, who was passionate about history, often told us about this period, noting how sympathetic his grandmother was to Riel’s plight. Davin carried on the British tradition of not listing as a byline the names of the reporters who wrote for the Regina Leader.  This was helpful for my great-grandmother Mary in protecting her from arrest by the RCMP when she snuck in disguised as a Roman Catholic priest confessor to obtain an interview with Louis Riel. Mary McLean quotes Davin “the officer in command of the LEADER (saying) ‘An interview must be had with Riel if you have to outwit the whole police force of the North-West’.”[12]  Because Davin protected her anonymity, some writers like CB Koester and his fellow playwright Ken Mitchell have popularized the myth that Davin himself disguised himself as that priest.[13]  While waiting for my throat operation in May 1982, I spent a week with my late Uncle Don Allen who carefully explained to me about his grandmother’s interview with Louis Riel.  “When I first saw you on the trial, I loved you” was said by Riel to Mary McLean, not to the man Davin who was calling for his hanging.[14]

           The November 19th 1885 edition of the Regina Leader could not be clearer  that Davin himself was not the reporter who was disguised as a Roman Catholic priest. Instead Davin is described several times by the reporter as the proprietor and the editor in chief, both terms prominently displayed by Davin’s name in editions of the Regina Leader.[15]  Mary McLean also writes in the article about another female reporter (code-named Saphronica) who earlier failed to get entrance, most likely referring to Kate Simpson-Hayes, Davin’s mistress.[16]

           This confusing of Mary McLean’s Riel interview with Davin forced CB Koester to ‘contort himself into knots’ suggesting that for Davin, there was two Riels, one the rebel who Davin wanted to hang, and another Riel to whom Davin was compassionate.[17]  Such verbal gymnastics were entirely unnecessary if one simply acknowledge that it was the female reporter, not the male editor-in-chief/proprietor, who did Riel’s final interview.

           After having two children with Davin, his mistress Kate Simpson-Hayes gave the children away and became a reporter in Winnipeg.[18]  When Davin then married Eliza Reid, he brought his six-year-old son Henry to live with him as a ‘nephew’, but was unable to locate his daughter.[19]  In Davin and Kate’s final argument over the daughter, Kate said to him: “You go your way. I’ll go mine”, symbolically pointing to the Winnipeg Free Press building.[20]  Davin was so crushed that he bought a gun and shot himself on Oct 18th 1901 at the Winnipeg Clarendon Hotel.[21]

           The tragic ending to the lives of both Riel and Davin reminds us that our Canadian history has much pain and trauma which can only be resolved through reconciliation and forgiveness.  May the Prince of Peace bring deep restoration to the painful wounds left by Canada’s residential school tragedy.

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

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

-Award-winning author of Battle for the Soul of Canada (which includes five pages on Louis Riel and Mary MacFadyen McLean).

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 


[1] CB Koester, Mr Davin, M.P.: a Biography of Nicholas Flood Davin, Western Producer Prairie Books, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 1980, p. 64

[2] Koester, p. 65, quoting the Daily Regina Leader, “Riel Agitation”, August 15th 1885

[3] Koester, p. 2, p.13

[4] Koester, p.11 “Neither of these appointments (by Davin to the Irish Times and the London Standard) can be substantiated by external evidence…it was the accepted practice for the newspapers to preserve their correspondents in dignified anonymity.”

[5] Koester, p. 16, Davin sued them for wrongful dismissal and settled for six weeks salary…He vented his anger in a letter to the News-Letter editor.  Clarke, Davin’s former boss, brought a libel suit against Henderson of the News-Letter for 5000 pounds, given 50 pounds by court. Davin left unemployed at almost age 33, with his pride severely wounded.

[6] Koester, p. 31 Davin comments “No one can read the sermons of Chrysostom or Hugh Latimer, or follow the life and times of John Knox, without seeing that each of these divines was the journalist of his day.  The pulpit occupied, in addition to its legitmate sphere, almost the whole ground occupied by the newspaper today…All business of life was the preacher’s domain.”

[7] http://www.canadianshakespeares.ca/a_grit.cfm “Davin also authored the invidious (and confidential) Davin Report of 1879, a study of the way in which Americans socialized young Natives in residential schools ( see http://www.turtleisland.org/resources/resources001.htm and http://www.irsr-rqpi.gc.ca/english/) . The study paved the way for Canada’s scandalously racist policies towards Native youth and their mistreatment in the Canadian Residential School system, which effectively destroyed familial relations by virtually kidnapping children to be socialized into so-called civil society, a policy that led to generations of cultural damage to First Nations peoples throughout Canada.” To read first-hand the tragic Davin Report, click on The Davin Report .

[8] http://www.canadianshakespeares.ca/a_grit.cfm “The report, archived in its entirety in the CASP Essays and Documents section, takes note of the American policy of “aggressive civilization” towards its indigenous populations, a policy implemented by the hypocritically named “Peace Commission” (after a law passed by Congress in 1869), which sought to abolish “tribal relation[s]” and to do away with communal lands while consolidating Native populations “on few reservations.”

[9] In rushing into starting native residential schools, Davin disregarded advice not only from the local Catholic hierarchy, but also from the Anglican Bishops and Metis elders. They also said ‘no’.  Davin’s exploration in the USA of the allegedly successful American Carlisle School with Carl Shurz and Pratt lasted less than 72 hours before he went back by train to Winnipeg.  http://www.turtleisland.org/resources/resources001.htm

[10] 39th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 110, CONTENTS, Wednesday, June 11, 2008  http://bit.ly/hK0C4T ; http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ai/rqpi/apo/pmsh-eng.asp (video of apology)

[11] Koester, p. 55; p. 58 “On  September 24th 1885, he was appointed a Justice of the Peace, and on January 11th 1886, he became an advocate of the North-West Territories.”

[12] Mary MacFadyen McLean, Louis Riel’s Parting Messages to Humanity, “INTERVIEW WITH RIEL” Regina Leader Newspaper, Saskatchewan, Nov 19th 1885 ), http://bit.ly/eitTWy ; Rev. Ed Hird, Battle for the Soul of Canada, 2006, p. 106; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regina_Leader-Post

“(…)The Leader merged with another paper, the Regina Evening Post, and continued to publish daily editions of both before consolidating them under the title The Leader-Post. Other newspapers absorbed in due course by the L-P include the Regina Daily Star and The Province.” (note from Ed: Mary appeared to have also worked for the Regina Star before it was absorbed by the Regina Leader-Post); The interview published in the Nov 19th 1885 Regina Leader took place some time during the week preceding Riel’s execution on Monday, Nov 16th 1885.  In ‘Execution of Riel’, Saskatchewan Herald (Battleford), Nov 23rd 1885, it is reported that the Nov 19th Regina Leader interview was held two days before the execution. (This corresponds with Louis Riel’s death on Nov 14th 1885)

[13] Koester, p. 65, p. 215; Davin the Politician, a play by Ken Mitchell, NeWest Press, Edmonton,1979, p. 7 “After smuggling himself into the condemned man’s cell dressed as a priest – a most enterprising journalistic exercise – Davin wrote of Riel as a man of ‘genius manque’ who, had he been gifted with a finer sense of judgement, might have done much for his people and for the West.  On the other hand, Davin had no sympathy whatsoever with those who advocated the commutation of Riel’s sentence…” (note: CB Koester wrote this foreword to the play); Mitchell, p. 37 (excerpt from the play) “Davin puts on a dark black coat and a cross. He holds up a Bible to Saunders. Davin: Je suis Pere Andrew. L’ancien confesseur. Oui?  “If I do return, we will have the interview of the century.”; Mitchell, p. 38-39 (another excerpt from the play): “Davin appears in the robe and hat, but with the addition of a false beard and a large silver crucifix…Riel: (clasping his hand): Your name is Davin!”;  Mitchell, p. 42 (excerpt from the play: the final imaginary conversation as if Davin the proprietor/editor-in-chief had been the disguised ‘priest’) “Kate (to Davin): ‘The whole town can talk of nothing but your interview. The Mounties are probably on their way to arrest you.’  Davin: Let ‘em come!”

[14] Regina Leader, Nov 19th 1885, http://bit.ly/eitTWy

[15] Regina Leader, Nov 19th 1885, http://bit.ly/eitTWy ; In the March 31st 1885 Regina Leader Newspaper, the heading is ‘The Leader, then below it NICHOLAS FLOOD DAVIN, Editor-in-Chief’. http://bit.ly/eUhMU3  In the heading of the Thursday August 6th 1885 Leader newspaper (and every other date of which I have a zeroxed copy), it says “Nicholas Flood Davin, Proprietor and Editor”.  http://bit.ly/gZvuBp The evidence is clear that Nicholas Flood Davin, being the proprietor, editor, and Editor-in-Chief, could not be the very reporter whom he commissioned to get the interview.

[16] Regina Leader, Nov 19th 1885, http://bit.ly/eitTWy ; As to why Kate Simpson-Hayes (a.k.a Mary Markwell) was code-named as Saphronica, it is quite likely a reflection of both Kate and Davin’s common involvement in plays like those by Shakespeare.

[17] Koester, p. 66 “Yet for Davin there were two Riels: the one, the rebel, the cause of death and anguish to white and Metis alike, he had condemned in the strongest language; for the other, the strange man who was the victim of his own undisciplined imagination, he felt compassion.”  (quoting the Nov 18th interview as if it was done by Davin).

[18] Koester, p.122 “Davin was now in his fifties, and Kate was some fifteen years younger….Consequently the daughter (born Jan 11th 1892) was placed with a private nurse and when this proved unsatisfactory, given over to the care of nuns in a Roman Catholic orphanage at Saint Boniface, Manitoba.

[19] Koester, p. 129 “On July 25th 1895, he married Eliza Jane Reid of Ottawa…shortly after the marriage, Mr Davin’s six-year old ‘nephew’ Henry Arthur entered the Davin household.  …Davin’s daughter could not be found.”

[20] Koester, p. 207

[21] Davin the Politician, a play by Ken Mitchell, NeWest Press, Edmonton, 1979, p. 11