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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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John & Charles Wesley

Have you ever read John and Charles Wesley’s thoughtful case for not leaving the Anglican Church? Corruption and deadness in the Anglican Church is nothing new.
http://anglicanhistory.org/wesley/reasons1760.html

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Susanna Wesley: A Mother on Fire

Never underestimate the power of a praying mom. Susanna Wesley powerfully changed our modern world through impacting her children John & Charles Wesley. Check out our latest article in the September Light Magazine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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George Whitefield: Waking Up to the Fire of Christ

By Rev. Dr. Ed & Janice Hird

–previously published in the April 2019 Light Magazine

When is the last time that you heard of a pastor being hoisted, like George Whitefield, through a window into your crowded church building, because there was no other way in?[i]  The Rev. George Whitefield took part in a Great Awakening that is still impacting many congregations today.[ii]  Charles Spurgeon called Whitefield “all life, fire, wing, force.”[iii]

After being ordained at age 21, Whitefield was accused of driving fifteen people mad in his first sermon.  People spontaneously began to moan and weep as they fell under the conviction of sin.[iv]  His Gloucester Bishop Benson ironically said that he wished that the madness might not be forgotten before next Sunday.[v]  The so-called madness was actually people waking up to the life-changing love of Christ.  In his 34 years of ordained ministry, Whitefield preached more than 18,000 sermons to around ten million people.[vi]  Dr. Thomas S Kidd holds that “perhaps he was the greatest evangelical preacher the world has ever known.”[vii] Because of his speaking gift, Whitefield’s nickname was the Seraph (type of angel).[viii]  He was once described by UK Prime Minister Lloyd George as the greatest popular orator ever produced by England.[ix]  David Hume, a famous agnostic commented that “Mr Whitfield is the most ingenious preacher I ever heard. It is worth going twenty miles to hear him.”[x] The famous English actor David Garrick held that Whitefield could “make men weep and tremble by his varied utterances of the word ‘Mesopotamia’.”[xi] (the ancient land that Abraham came from)

While in Oxford, he became close friends with John and Charles Wesley who helped him in the spiritual disciplines. Constant fasting, visiting prisons and hospitals, and conflict with students led him to the edge of a physical breakdown.[xii]  The Methodism of Oxford reached but a handful of people (8 or 9 at once) and knew no assurance of salvation. It died away with the departure of the Wesleys in 1735.[xiii]  After reading the book The Life of God in the Soul of Man, Whitefield became convinced that good works would not earn him heaven: “God showed me that I must be born again….”[xiv] Whitefield described his new birth by saying: “The Day Star arose in my heart.”[xv]  Experiencing the new birth gave him a fresh love of the beauty of spring: “At other times, I would be so overpowered with a sense of God’s Infinite Majesty that I would be compelled to throw myself on the ground and offer my soul as a blank in his hands, to write on it what he pleased.”[xvi] The new birth became the heart of an unprecedented evangelical revival.

Whitefield accepted the Wesley’s invitation to join them as missionaries in Savannah, Georgia.[xvii] He waited however for months to sail to Georgia with his patron General Oglethorpe.  During this delay in England, tens of thousands came to hear him preach about the new birth. Many couldn’t make it into the overcrowded churches where Whitefield preached around nine times a week: “…those who did come were so deeply affected that they were like persons…mourning for a first-born child.”[xviii]

George Whitefield preachingAfter passionately preaching outside to 10,000 miners in Kingswood near Bristol, he wrote: “The fire is kindled in the country; and, I know, all the devils in hell shall not be able to quench it.”[xix]  Whitefield became the Billy Graham of the 17th century, preaching that all people need to be born again.[xx]  He was very countercultural, doing the unthinkable thing of preaching in fields, without notes, to tens of thousands. In 17th century England, sermons were only supposed to be given inside church buildings. In 17th England, because of the fear of revolution, the worst thing you could be accused of was enthusiasm. Whitefield sought to reach the heart as well as the head, saying that many people “were unaffected by an unfelt, unknown Christ.”[xxi]  Not everyone was happy about this revival.  The chancellor of the Bristol diocese, accusing him of false doctrine, prohibited Whitefield from preaching in public or private meetings, threatening him with excommunication if he continued his unlicensed preaching in Bristol.[xxii]  In Exeter, rioters violently entered Whitfield’s Methodist meeting-house in Exeter. They swore at the minister and the men present, kicking and beating them. Then the stripped the women naked, dragged them through a sewer, and attempted to rape one of them up in the gallery. Whitefield took the perpetrators to court, winning his case, and then forgiving them. This resulted in a significant drop in persecution.[xxiii]

On December 30th, 1737, he boarded the ship Whitaker for Georgia, praying: “God give me a deep humility, a well-guided zeal, a burning love, and a single eye, and let men or the devils do their worst.”[xxiv] On his way to Savannah, Whitefield had such a strong voice that when the two other ships travelling with them drew close, he was simultaneously able to preach to all the people on the three ships.[xxv] At a time when travel was precarious, Whitefield had seven visits to America, fifteen to Scotland, and two to Ireland.[xxvi]  Whitefield was the best-known person to have travelled extensively in the thirteen American colonies.[xxvii]  By 1740, he had become the most famous man in both America and Britain, at least the most famous aside from King George II.[xxviii]  Reminiscent of the Beatles, he was the first ‘British sensation.’[xxix]

Whitefield was radically generous even to a fault.  Sir James Stephen, author of Essays in Ecclesiastical Biography (1893) commented that “If ever philanthropy burned in the human heart with pure and intense flame, embracing the whole family of man in the spirit of universal charity, it was in the heart of George Whitefield.”[xxx]

After a fever had killed off many of the Savanah parents, Whitefield dedicated his life to caring for the orphans.[xxxi]  Wherever revival meetings took place, Whitefield received offerings, including from Benjamin Franklin, to help with the most famous orphanage in North America, Bethesda in Savannah, Georgia.  After Benjamin Franklin scientifically established that Whitefield was able to preach to 30,000 without a microphone, he became his publisher, and a close friend and ally.[xxxii] Between 1740 and 1742, Franklin printed forty-three books and pamphlets dealing with Whitefield and the evangelical movement.[xxxiii]  He even built Whitefield a building for preaching that became the University of Pennsylvania.  That is why there are statues of both Franklin and Whitefield as co-founders of the University of Pennsylvania.[xxxiv]  Benjamin Franklin commented: “It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world was growing religious, so that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families in every street.”[xxxv]

The Bishop’s Commissary (superintendent), Alexander Garden, in Charleston was offended by Whitefield’s article challenging slave owners over mistreatment of slaves, and by Whitefield’s preaching both in other parish areas and among other denominations. Garden declared that the slave owners were going to sue Whitefield for libel. During his sermon, Garden attacked Whitefield, and refused him communion.[xxxvi]  Then he dragged Whitefield into an ecclesiastical court, trying to defrock him.[xxxvii]  Jonathan Edwards of Northhampton, a co-leader in the Great Awakening, wrote: “Whitefield was reproached in the most scurrilous and scandalous manner…I question whether history affords any instance paralleled with this, as so much pains taken in writing to blacken a man’s character, and render him odious.”[xxxviii] Professor Edward Wigglesworth of Harvard, reminiscent of modern-day cessationists,u criticized Whitefield in 1754 for pretending to be an evangelist, saying that evangelists had gone out of existence, when the Bible was completed.[xxxix]

Everyone had an opinion about Whitefield.  There was even a theatre production The Minor by Samuel Foote, mocking him as Dr. Squintum, because of his cross-eyes caused by childhood measles.[xl]  Kidd commented that “Whitefield has the dubious distinction of becoming one of the first people in world history whose personal life became a topic of rampant conjecture in the mass media.”[xli] In reaching out to First Nations people, he debunked the myth that European = Christian, saying: “thousands of white people believe only in their heads, and are therefore no more Christians than those who have never heard of Jesus Christ at all.”[xlii]  Whitefield did not let criticism stop him, saying “The more I am opposed, the more joy I feel.”[xliii]

On a Sunday morning in Philadelphia, Whitefield preached to perhaps 15,000 people.  Then, he attended an Anglican Communion service where Commissary Cummings publicly denounced him and his followers. Whitefield followed this right after with preaching a farewell sermon to an outdoor assembly of 20,000.[xliv]  The relentless pace was brutal to Whitefield’s health. At another time in Boston, “Whitfield was running himself ragged and becoming extremely ill, violently vomiting between sermons. He was feverish, dehydrated, and sweating profusely.”[xlv] Dan Nelson holds that “his overwhelming pace led him to an early grave.”[xlvi] Whitefield had wanted to preach in Canada, but was prevented by his health issues.[xlvii]

George WhitefieldDuring his four years away from England, the Gentleman’s Magazine and other English newspapers listed George Whitefield as having died.[xlviii]  He changed so many lives that even the English upper classes began to give Whitefield a hearing.  Lord Bolingbroke, after hearing Whitefield at Lady Huntington’s place, wrote: “Mr Whitefield is the most extraordinary man of our times. He has the most commanding eloquence I ever heard in any person…”[xlix] One Anglican minister claimed that Whitefield had set England on fire with the devil’s flames. Whitefield countered. “It is not a fire of the Devil’s kindling, but a holy fire that has proceeded from the Holy and blessed Spirit. Oh, that such a fire may not only be kindled, but blow up into a flame all England, and all the world over!”[l]

Dying at 55, Whitefield had been used to set many people on fire with love for Christ.  He memorably prayed: “O that I could do more for Him! O that I was a flame of pure and holy fire, and had a thousand lives to spend in the dear Redeemer’s Service.”[li] Whitefield was passionate about awakening to the new birth.  We in Canada also need to wake up to the fire of Christ. We too need to recapture the priority of the new birth. Have you, like Whitefield, awoken yet to the new birth?

Rev Dr. Ed and Janice Hird

Co-authors of For Better, For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship

[i] Kidd, p. 249.

[ii] Dan Nelson, A Burning and Shining Light: The Testimony and Witness of George Whitefield (LifeSong Publishers, Somis, CA, 2017), p. 255 “The origin of evangelical Christianity is traced back to the influence of the awakening movements.”; p. 256 “Many of today’s Christians, especially those who think of themselves as ‘born again’, are his theological heirs.” (Cashin, Preface I)

[iii]Nelson, p. 174

[iv]Nelson, p. 41.

[v] George Whitefield, The Works of the Reverend George Whitefield (Edinburgh and London: Dilly, 1771), pp. 18,19.

[vi] Nelson, p. 42.

[vii] Kidd, p. 263.

[viii] Arnold A Dallimore, George Whitefield: God’s Anointed Servant for the Great Revival of the Eighteenth Century (Crossway Books, Good News Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois, 1990), p. 15.; Nelson, p. 46.

[ix] Kidd, p. 259.

[x] Dallimore, p. 160.

[xi] Thomas S Kidd, George Whitfield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father (Yale University Press, New Haven, 2014), p. 15.

[xii] Nelson, p. 31.

[xiii] Dallimore, p. 29.

[xiv] Dallimore, George Whitefield: God’s Anointed Servant for the Great Revival of the Eighteenth Century, P. 16.

[xv] Kidd, p. 21.

[xvi] Dallimore, p. 27.

[xvii] Dallimore, p.26  Because Charles Wesley only lasted seven months at Savannah, Georgia, his brother John invited George Whitefield to leave Oxford and join him in Georgia.

[xviii] Whitefield, Life & Times, p. 114; Dallimore, p. 29.

[xix] Kidd, p. 46.

[xx] Nelson, p. 262 “Both Billy Sunday and Billy Graham followed in Whitefield’s footsteps when they made use of tents, athletic stadiums, and other large venues for their meetings.”

[xxi] Nelson, p. 48.

[xxii] Kidd, p. 68.; Nelson, p. 65.

[xxiii] Dallimore, p. 136.

[xxiv] Dallimore, p. 30.

[xxv] Dallimore, p. 36.

[xxvi] Dallimore, p. 66.

[xxvii] Kidd, p. 255.

[xxviii] Kidd, p. 1-2.

[xxix] Kidd, p. 260.est

[xxx] Dallimore, p. 8.

[xxxi] Nelson, 49, 80.  The orphanage was Charles Wesley’s idea.

[xxxii] Dallimore, p. 77.

[xxxiii] Kidd, p. 85.

[xxxiv] Rick Kennedy, “Did George Whitefield Serve Two Masters?”, February 22nd 2019, https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/february-web-only/george-whitefield-peter-choi-evangelist-god-empire.html

“On the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, there sits a statue of one of the school’s co-founders: George Whitefield, the 18th-century British evangelist and hero of the Great Awakening. Underneath it, one finds a quote from Benjamin Franklin, the school’s other co-founder (and Whitefield’s longtime friend): “I knew him intimately upwards of thirty years. His integrity, disinterestedness and indefatigable zeal in prosecuting every good work I have never seen equaled and shall never see equaled.” (accessed March 9th 2019)

[xxxv] Dallimore, p. 76.

[xxxvi] Kidd, p. 118, Regarding Commissary Garden, Whitefield commented :”Had an infernal spirit been sent to draw my picture, I think it scarcely possible that he could have painted me in more horrid colours.” (Whitfield, Journal, Georgia to Falmouth, 4-7).

[xxxvii] Dallimore, p. 83.

[xxxviii] Kidd, p. 185.

[xxxix] Kidd, p. 223.

[xl]Nelson, p. 18, 204, “At four years of age, he had a bout with the measles, leaving him with one eye dark blue and causing a squint.”

[xli] Kidd, p.18.

[xlii] Kidd, p. 116.

[xliii] Kidd, p. 117.

[xliv] Kidd, p. 115.

[xlv] Kidd, p. 125.

[xlvi]Nelson, p. 14.

[xlvii] Nelson, p. 210.

[xlviii] Dallimore, P. 152.

[xlix] Dallimore, p.159,  Lord Bolingbroke, after hearing Whitefield at Lady Huntington’s place, wrote: “…his abilities are very considerable —his zeal unquenchable and his piety and excellence genuine…”

[l] Kidd, p. 66, 68.

[li] Dallimore, p. 149.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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We are all indebted to the Wesley brothers

general james oglethorpeIn the early 1700s, after General James Oglethorpe rescued 10,000 people from Debtors Prison, he recruited John & Charles Wesley to serve these ex-debtors as Anglican priests in the new colony of Savanah, Georgia.

The Wesleys were Oxford University academics with little pastoral experience. When they arrived in Georgia, they encountered one disaster after another.

One time when the Wesleys put the only doctor in Savannah in jail for getting drunk, a woman died in childbirth. Another time John Wesley refused communion to Sophia Hopkey, his ex-girlfriend who had married another man. After being sued for one thousand pounds for character defamation and challenged to a duel, John Wesley had to escape in the middle of the night.

John famously said: “I went to America to convert the natives. But who will convert me?”

During a violent storm while returning by boat to England, he was impressed by the calm faith of the Moravian Brethren. Attending their London chapel, his heart was strangely warmed. He began preaching outside, covering many miles on horseback. Many in England were angry with him; he was barred from preaching in many parish churches.

Sometimes his opponents attacked Wesley, calling for his crucifixion, but he was undeterred and didn’t let anything stop him.

john wesleySome historians credit the Wesleys with having prevented the French Revolution from happening in 18th century England, because Methodist revival peacefully improved the lot of the working class. At that time, adults and even children could be legally hanged for 160 different offenses – from picking a pocket to stealing a rabbit. In London, 75 percent of all children died before age five. Among the poor, the death rate was even higher. In one orphanage, only one of 500 orphans survived more than a year. Alcohol abuse was rampant, even among children, with over 11 million gallons of gin consumed in 1750.

Charles and John Wesley believed that changed hearts could lead to a changed society. By setting many free from alcoholism and teaching children to read, Methodism gave parents hope for a better life for their families.

In 1925 Canadian Methodists joined three other denominations (the Congrational Union of Canada, the Presbyterian Church of Canada and the much smaller General Council of Union Chruches) to bring about the birth of the United Church of Canada. Today few Canadians hear much about Methodism, which was once an Anglican renewal movement that transformed Canada. Methodists were well known for their summer Camp Meeting revivals, weekly class meetings (ie home groups), and vigorous hymn singing.

Suspected of being disloyal after the War of 1812, Canadian Methodists over time became the quintessential Canadians. Both sides of our families had Methodist circuit rider preachers. On Janice’s side, her Methodist ancestors were named John Wesley Cline and Charles Wesley Cline.
The most famous Canadian Methodist, Egerton Ryerson, helped create free Canadian public schools rooted in Judeo-Christian values at a time when less than half the children were attending school.

ryerson egertonRyerson, the founding editor of The Christian Guardian, the first Canadian Christian newspaper, advocated that education “should be as common as water and as free as air. Education among the people is the best security of a good government and constitutional liberty…The first object of a wise government should be the education of the people.”

We are all indebted to the Wesley brothers who brought Methodist revival to Canada.

Rev. Dr Ed and Janice Hird, BMus, (BSW, MDiv, Dmin)

-previously published in the Light Magazine

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.

c59898e6-6dd7-4108-b64d-e91960ac1cb2-3914-00000435ceb15c06-Click to check out our marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

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

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

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

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

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


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John Wesley on Healing

I had never before read the John #Wesley book on health and healing “Primitive Physick”which you can read online

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Our amazing Methodist ancestors…

Our Methodist ancestors were very gutsy…This reminds me of the 1970s Jesus Movement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Do it again, Lord

Nov 22, 1740 First Great Awakening (280 years ago today)

George Whitefield: “All of a sudden, God’s presence so filled my soul that I could scarce stand under it. I prayed and exhorted, then exhorted and prayed again, but with such power that every person in the room seemed to be under very great impressions, sighing and weeping.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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William Wilberforce: Erring on the Side of Graciousness

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird William Wilberforce had two main goals: the abolition of slavery and the reform of morals.

Abraham Lincoln once said that every school child should know about William Wilberforce.[i]  Preston Manning, former Parliamentary Opposition Leader, recently gave a talk in Abbotsford on the gracious political persistence of Wilberforce.  For twenty long years from 1787 to 1807, Wilberforce campaigned relentlessly for the abolition of the slave trade.  It was incredibly painful and often deeply discouraging.  What kept him from giving up as he faced defeat after defeat?  Wilberforce had previously lived a self-indulgent life as a very wealthy upper class Englishman.  What motivated him to stopped wasting his life in drinking, gambling and endless parties?  Wilberforce was a popular Member of Parliament who wowed crowds with his remarkable singing and wit.  Prime Minister William Pitt said that Wilberforce had the greatest natural eloquence of all the men he had ever known.[ii]  What caused Wilberforce to choose the unpopular path of putting principle above politics, and conscience over ambition?

With the death of Wilberforce’s father at just age 40, William’s comfortable world was radically shaken.  At only eight, after his mother’s serious illness, he was shipped off to his Uncle William and Aunt Hannah in Wimbledon.  Unbeknownst to his mother, he became exposed to a deep faith, even becoming mentored by Rev. John Newton, the former slave-ship captain and author of the song Amazing Grace.  Some trace Wilberforce’s hatred of slavery back to this earliest encounter.  When Wilberforce’s wealthy grandfather got wind of his new spirituality, he threatened to disinherit him.  So Wilberforce’s mother promptly rescued him and did her best to cure him through endless parties and upper class distractions.  For a while, the cure was effective.  After his grandfather’s death, Wilberforce inherited the family fortune which funded his election as a very young English MP.  His good friend William Pitt Jr, at the age of only 24, became the youngest prime minister in English history.

While spending the winter at the fashionable French and Italian Rivieras, he was suddenly called back to London in support of William Pitt’s Parliamentary Reform Bill. While crossing the Swiss Alps, Wilberforce read The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul by Philip Doddridge.  Both Doddridge and John Wesley were instrumental in reintroducing the forgotten teachings of Richard Baxter about self-examination, solitude, devotions, and diligence.[iii]  In discussing Doddridge’s book with his former tutor Isaac Milner, Wilberforce’s life was never the same.  He rediscovered his childhood faith at an adult level.  Wilberforce, with Milner’s assistance, began reading the bible in the original Greek.  He wanted to find out for himself what the Christian faith was actually about.  He discovered that it was not about a system of gloomy prohibitions.  True faith is about peace and hope and joy.  The Amazing Grace movie, which Preston Manning often shows to young leaders, vividly portrays that when Wilberforce fell in love with Jesus, he also fell in love with God’s creation.  As a 18th-century flower child, he saw flowers as the smiles of God’s goodness.[iv]

Rather than drop out of politics as he was tempted to do, Wilberforce turned his new-found faith into practical action.  Prime Minister Pitt wrote him, saying: “Surely the principles as well as the practice of Christianity are simple, and lead not to meditation only but to action.”  We are called by Jesus to be salt and light in the public arena.  Reconnecting with his old mentor John Newton, Wilberforce realized that God could use him to end the slave trade: “God almighty has set before me two great objects: the suppression of the Slave Trade and the reformation of manners.”  Eighteenth-century England was rife with epidemic alcohol abuse, child prostitution, child labour, and animal exploitation.  There were over 14,000 slaves in England alone, but hundreds of thousands more in the rich Caribbean colonies where it was out of sight and out of mind.[v]  The future King of England George IV was famous for his immorality and gambling debts, keeping lockets of hair from all 7,000 women that he had seduced.[vi]  He and his brothers dismissed abolitionists like Wilberforce as fanatics and hypocrites.[vii]

Preston Manning has for years encouraged Christians who want to make a difference in society to follow the example of William Wilberforce.Preston Manning, President and CEO for the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, told me that Wilberforce, in abolishing slavery, conducted a classic campaign integrating moral, economic and political issues.  As a committed Christian, Wilberforce followed Jesus’ teaching to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”  He was careful how he introduced this taboo subject of abolition.  Rather than politically discrediting others, said Manning, it is better like Wilberforce to err on the side of graciousness.  Because England was the foremost slave-trading nation on earth, it was initially unthinkable to give it up, let alone discuss it.[viii]  Such moral reform appeared to many like commercial suicide.  One merchant accurately put it, the African slave trade was “the foundation of our commerce,…the life of our navigation, and first cause of our national industry and riches.”[ix]  Eighty per cent of overseas British income came from the Caribbean slave plantations.[x]  In Bristol, after the initial defeat of Wilberforce’s bill, bells were rung, a bonfire was lit, and a half-day holiday was awarded to sailors and workers.[xi]  The passion for slave-produced sugar had killed their conscience.  Trinidadian Prime Minister Eric Williams said that it was strange that an article like sugar, so sweet and necessary to human existence, should have occasioned such crimes and bloodshed![xii]

While fighting the slave trade, Wilberforce also invested in improving the life of England’s poor, giving one quarter of his income, representing the equivalent of $300,000 away each year.  He started cancer hospitals, eye clinics and many faith-based schools for the poor.[xiii]  One civic leader begged them to not bring ‘any religion into the country, it was the worst thing in the world for the poor, for it made them lazy and useless.’[xiv]  Wilberforce knew that without prayer, all his anti-slavery work would be in vain: “Of all things, guard against neglecting God in the secret place of prayer.”[xv]

While the slave trade was abolished in 1807, the slaves were not liberated until just before Wilberforce’s death.  800,000 Afro-Caribbeans were set free on July 31st 1834. Some abandoned slavery because of changes in the industrial free market.  Wilberforce however opposed slavery for godly, humanitarian reasons.  While moving a motion for abolition, Wilberforce said “Africa! Africa! Your sufferings have been the theme that has arrested and engages my heart – your sufferings no tongue can express; no language impart.”[xvi]

Sadly there are still today twenty-seven million people trapped in slavery and human trafficking.  May Wilberforce’s godly example cause us to choose to make a lasting global difference.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, D.Min

-published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News, the Light Magazine, Academia.edu, and Church for Vancouver

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


[i] Ted Baehr, Susan Wales and Ken Wales, The Amazing Grace of Freedom: the Inspiring Faith of William Wilberforce. (New Leaf Press, Green Forest, AR, 2007), p. 23.

[ii] Eric Metaxas, Amazing Grace (Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY, 2007), p. 41.

[iii] William Hague, William Wilberforce: the Life of the Great Anti-Slave Trade Campaigner,(HarperCollins Publishers, London, UK, 2007), p. 74.

[iv] Hague, p. 205.

[v] Eric Metaxas, Amazing Grace (Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY, 2007), p. 94.

[vi] Metaxas, p. 72.

[vii] Metaxas, p. 158

[viii] Eric Williams, Slavery and Capitalism, (Andre Deutsch Limited, London, UK, 1964), p. 34.

[ix] Hague, p. 119.

[x] Hague, p. 119.

[xi] Hague, p. 225.

[xii] Williams, p. 27.

[xiii] Hague, p. 221.

[xiv] Hague, p. 213.

[xv] Baehr, Wales, and Wales, p. 110.

[xvi] Metaxas, p. 151.


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Hark The Herald Angels Sing!

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

There is something about the Christmas season that starts you singing.  Many people hardly ever sing in public.  Yet Christmas can turn them into instant musicians, belting out Jingle Bells, Away in a Manger, or I wish you a Merry Christmas.  My best friend as a teenager was a self-professed atheist, but he loved to sing Christmas Carols.  I will always remember going door-to-door with my atheist friend singing Silent Night, Holy Night and raising money for the local Christmas Stocking Fund.

One of the best loved carols of all time is Hark the Herald Angels Sing.  Charles Wesley, the brother of the famous John Wesley, wrote this carol in 1739.  Charles wrote over 6,500 hymns, making him the most prolific hymn-writer of all time.  Charles was born on December 18th, 1707, the 18th of 18 children.  His father, Samuel Wesley, an Anglican priest in Epworth, had a very profound impact on his life.  Both Charles and his brother John had a first class education at Oxford, where Charles worked on his MA  On May 21st, 1738, Charles underwent a life-changing conversion which significantly released within him his gift of song-writing.  Almost every day Charles would be writing another brand-new hymn.  Both Charles and his brother John were ordained Anglican priests.  In those days, Anglicans never sung hymns in church.  They only sang the psalms.  Hymn-singing and carol-singing was seen as a very radical thing to do.

At times, Charles and John Wesley would encounter great opposition as they went around singing and preaching the gospel.  In February 1747 at Devizes, the two brothers were attacked by a mob which surrounded their house, broke the windows, tore off the shutters, and flooded the house with water pumped from a fire engine.  In response, Charles wrote a hymn which they sang as they left town.  Sometimes the beautiful songs themselves would tame the unruly mob, and turn them away from violence.

Hundreds of thousands of lives were affected by these two musical brothers.  Some historians credit the Wesleys with having prevented the French Revolution from reoccurring in 18th century England.  Instead England went through a spiritual revolution that greatly improved the lot of the working class.  At that time, adults and even children could be legally hanged for 160 different offenses –from picking a pocket to stealing a rabbit.  In London, 75% of all children died before age 5.  Among the poor, the death rate was even higher.  In one orphanage, only one of 500 orphans survived more than a year.  Alcohol abuse was rampant, even among children, with over 11 million gallons of Gin consumed in 1750.  Charles and John Wesley believed that changed hearts could lead to a changed society.  Their impact on 18th century society was phenomenal in the areas of health, politics, prisons, economics, education, music, and literature.

Few people realize that the carol Hark the Herald Angels Sing took over 120 years to finish.  The tune that we now use to sing this carol was actually composed by Felix Mendelssohn in 1840.  Fifteen years later, an English musician W.H. Cummings applied Mendelssohn’s music to Wesley’s carol.  Felix Mendelssohn was a Jewish believer in Jesus who is famous for reintroducing Johann Sebastian Bach to the musical world, as well as for his oratios Elijah and St. Paul.

As we sing Hark the Herald Angels Sing each Christmas, let us do so with a new thanksgiving for the sacrifices and dedication of those who have given us the heritage of Christmas Caroling.  My Christmas prayer is that the words ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Glory to the Newborn King’ may touch the hearts of many men, women, and children during the Holidays.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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