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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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Dr Helen Huston in Nepal

Thanking God for Dr Helen Huston’s life who served as a medical missionary in Nepal for many years. Click to view a video about her amazing life.

IslBG

We were co-speakers at the Alberta Christian Ashram.

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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Eric Liddell’s Fiery Chariots

By Rev Dr Ed & Janice Hird

– published in the July 2019 Light Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rev. Dr. Ed and Janice Hird

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[9] Benge, p. 33.

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

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

(accessed 05/26/2019)

[11] Benge, p. 21-22.

[12] Benge, p. 34.

[13] Benge, p. 26.

[14] Magnusson, p. 35.

[15] Magnusson, p. 178.

[16] Hamilton, p. 13.

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

[18] Hamilton, p. 42.

[19] Magnusson, p. 66.

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

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

[22] Magnusson, p. 12.

[23] Benge, p. 72.

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

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

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

[27] Benge, p.164.

[28] Benge, p. 165.

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

[30] Hamilton, p. 7.

[31] Benge, p. 169.

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

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

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

[35] Hamilton, p. inside cover.

[36] Magnusson, p. 180.

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

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

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

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

[40] Magnusson, p. 165.

[41] Magnusson, p. 163.

[42] Magnusson, p. 165.

[43] Magnusson, p. 163.

[44] Benge, p. 166.

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

[46] Magnusson, p. 174.

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

[48] Magnusson, p. 163.

[49] Benge, p. 198.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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The Flying Gaglardis of CLA

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Image result for Phil Gaglardi

On this 150th Celebration of Canada, we remember a remarkably dynamic couple, Phil and Jen (nee Sandin) Gaglardi.  Jen with her co-worker Laurene Schneider (Drury) started the 80-year old Christian Life Assembly (CLA) megachurch in 1937 with street meetings in front of Fullers Meat Market in Langley. Jen played guitar while Laurene led the singing with her accordion.  Jen’s favorite scripture which she quoted at every street meeting was ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found.  Call upon Him while he is near.’  They invited onlookers to evening meetings at a rented Sunday School hall.  Initially no one turned up.  Finally one or two would join them. Eventually many more would follow.  Eleanor Mark, their first convert, said “The Lord honours small beginnings that have been watered with tears, much hard work, and faithfulness.”  Claude Adams, who played his accordion at the street meetings, said that ‘you couldn’t say no to Jennie’.

Phil & Jeannie Gaglardi, 1971Someone else who couldn’t say no to the Swedish Jennie was Phil Gaglardi, who later became known as King of the Road as BC Highway minister under Premier WAC Bennett.  Of Italian Roman Catholic background, he came to personal faith in Christ through Jennie’s earlier ministry in Mission BC.  Phil had been a hard-drinking logger and construction worker who would fight at the drop of a hat.  Jen particularly appreciated Phil’s ability to both preach and fix their Model ‘A’ Ford.  She agreed to marry Phil on the condition that he became an ordained minister as well. “My mother was the drive behind my father,” son Bob Gaglardi remembers. “It’s hard to understand that considering how strong a personality my Dad was. She was the boss at the end of the day, but she allowed my father to be at the forefront.” Phil and Jen were both passionate about missions, prayer, and revival: “Are we calling for fasting and prayer? We know that we need a revival more than all others know. Come! Let us break up the fallow ground.  This is a clarion call to prayer and consecration.  Let us move forward on our knees.  Pray as you have never prayed before for revival! Revival! Revival!”

Image result for Christian Life Assembly LangleyA major breakthrough for CLA occurred in 1942 when the Gaglardis brought in Dr. Charles Price for a series of meetings, described by Dr. Price as ‘the most outstanding he had ever seen in all of his ministry throughout the world’.  Phil and Jennie Gaglardi went on in 1943 to pastor a booming congregation in Kamloops.  Jennie’s cofounder Laurene and her husband Bill Drury became the second-generation Pastoral Couple at CLA.  Phil Gaglardi was elected as a Kamloops MLA in 1962, serving for twenty years as the Minister of Highways. He miraculously spent five days a week at the Legislature while still leading a thriving congregation two days a week.  Phil established the BC Ferry Service, the Deas Island Tunnel, and the Rogers Pass. Gaglardi Way, a major thoroughfare in Burnaby, British Columbia connecting the Trans-Canada Highway to Simon Fraser University, is named for him.  In his rushing back between Victoria and Kamloops by car and plane, he became known as Flying Phil, perhaps because of a number of speeding tickets.  Jennie had an amazing gift of ministering to children, birthing burgeoning Sunday Schools in both Langley and Kamloops, with a fleet of eleven buses to pick up 9000 children, the largest in Canada at the time.  Phil, while pouring more blacktop than any other politician in the world, also managed to help plant new churches throughout the province.  He ironically said: “If there are two things I hate in life, it is a minister of the gospel and a politician, and I ended up being both.” Whatever Phil did in church life or politics, he did it fast and got tImage result for Phil Gaglardihe job done.  Phil and Jen never let the naysayers stop them.  Phil saw his duty to keep the highways “in such shape that motorists will avoid the language which would deny them access to the highway to heaven.” What an amazing team that Phil and Jen were!  May they inspire us to fly to the altar of revival.

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

-an article for 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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The Final Two Days in Kigeme

By Rev Ed Hird

It was such a privilege to spend this extended time in Kigeme. In the last two days, we had a personal visit with Bishop Augustin, had another two music workshops, and met with Pastor Assiel from All Saints Kikongoro.

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It was a privilege to spend time with Bishop Augustin Mvunabandi, hearing about all the good things that God is doing in the Kigeme diocese.

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Click to hear a greeting to Canada from Bishop Augustin.

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We met again with the leaders who displayed the gifts from Canada which had been carried with our six suitcases.

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A Rwandan mom with two new twins.

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From Canada to Rwanda, blessing the Rwanda mums in practical gifts.

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Esther with the new twins.

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Janice with the healthy twins.

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Meeting with the people involved with the Kigeme Cathedral guesthouse.

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Meeting with Pastor Assiel of Kikongoro at the Kigeme Cathedral area. Click to view a Greeting to Canada and sharing about Kikongoro from Pastor Assiel. He ultimately became the current Bishop of Kigeme.

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One of Janice’s final music workshops at the Kigeme Cathedral

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The Rwandans were very eager to learn, especially in learning English language music.

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Janice with a young Rwandan child.

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Older and younger sister at the music practice.

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The Joy of the Lord is my strength.

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The participants in Janice’s music workshop. Click to see a video of the Music workshop.

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We told people about the Christian Ashram movement in BC, North America and around the world.

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This young man still kept a photo of our 1st Rwandan Mission trip from six years ago.

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The final Music Workshop with Janice at the Kigeme Cathedral, using the new guitar. Click to view a video of this workshop.

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Meeting with a Bible Study Group at the Cathedral, and teaching on Titus Chapter 2.

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The Kigeme Cathedral Guesthouse where we stayed.

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The Kigeme Cathedral Guesthouse with the traditional mosquito net.

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We were well taken care of daily, with healthy meals.

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Esther, Pastor Paul, and Janice.

Rev Dr Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Christmas is Inescapable….

 By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

One of the most entertaining book/movies about Christmas commercialization is ‘Skipping Christmas/Christmas with the Cranks’ by John Grisham.  As Christmas commercialization will likely always be with us, it is good to have a sense of humour about the silliness that can overtake us.  My favorite scene is Luther Crank trying unsuccessfully to drink his tea after an over-the-top Botox session.

For many years, John Grisham has been one of my favorite living authors.  Born on February 8, 1955, Grisham is a retired attorney, an ex-politician, and a novelist best known for his works of modern legal  drama.  Publishers Weekly described Grisham as “the bestselling novelist of the 90s,” selling 60,742,289 copies. Grisham is one of few authors, including Tom Clancy, who have sold two million copies on a first printing. His novel The Pelican Brief sold over eleven million copies just in North America.  There is no other person who has authored a number one best-selling novel of the year for seven consecutive years (1994-2,000).

Many people do not realize that Grisham is a committed Christian who has spent time in mission service in Brazil. “I started going out in 1993 with a church group from my home church in Oxford, Miss.,” he told USA Today. “We went down there for the purpose of constructing a church in this little town sort of in the outback and it was such a rewarding experience that I’ve done it several times since.”

With over 110 million books sold, John Grisham and his wife, Renee, “measure the success of the year on how much we give away,” Grisham told USA Today. They have set up a foundation to oversee their giving — “the bulk of it goes to church and related activities” — to which “the kids have said, ‘Look, don’t give it all away.'”

Grisham now wishes “I’d joined the Peace Corps … for a couple years out of college.” He added, “As my years go by I think I’ll spend more and more time doing … mission work, probably in Brazil.”

Fittingly, Grisham in his book ‘The Testament’ makes a heroine of an illegitimate daughter Rachel Lane, an unknown missionary in the deepest jungles of Brazil.  Troy Phelan, the 10th-richest man in America, outrages all his greedy family by giving Rachel his $11 billion fortune. Ironically, Rachel leads a simple life and couldn’t care less about money. The interaction between Nate O’Riley the recovering alcoholic lawyer and Rachel Lane reveals the depth of Grisham’s spiritual convictions. “Nate closed his eyes … and called God’s name. God was waiting. … In one glorious acknowledgment of failure, he laid himself bare before God. He held nothing back. He unloaded enough baggage to crush any three men. … ‘I’m sorry,’ he whispered to God. ‘Please help me.’ As quickly as the fever had left his body, he felt the baggage leave his soul. With one gentle brush of the hand, his slate had been wiped clean.”

Grisham explained to USA Today, “Nate tried power and women and booze and drugs and the fast life and all the good things that money can buy. He’s crashed and burned four times in 10 years and it’s obvious he can’t save himself. I wanted to take a guy like that and sort of follow him on a kind of spiritual journey, his quest for a spiritual cure. … I was challenged by the goal of seeing if I could make such a spiritual journey work in a popular novel, in commercial fiction.”

This Christmas, I encourage each of us to make a spiritual journey that goes far beyond Christmas Commercialization.  May this Christmas be an encounter with the humble manger.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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AB Simpson: An Unsung Hero

by the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

A.B. Simpson is an unsung  hero who has had a remarkable lasting impact on millions of families not only in Canada, but throughout the world.  Simpson was a man of vision.  He once said that people “must always dream dreams before they blaze new trails and see visions before they are strong to do exploits.”

Albert Benjamin Simpson was born on Prince Edward Island on December 15th, 1843 of Scottish Covenanter heritage.  The Simpson family had emigrated from MorayShire, Scotland to Bayview, P.E.I.  After the collapse of his father’s shipbuilding & export business in the 1840’s depression, his family moved to a farm in western Ontario.  Rev. John Geddie, on his way to the South Sea Islands as Canada’s first missionary, baptized baby Albert and in prayer committed him to future missionary service.

Fresh out of seminary in 1865, Simpson had accepted the call to pastor Knox Church in Hamilton, a congregation with the second largest Presbyterian church building in Canada. Over the next eight years, 750 new people joined the congregation.  Dr. William McMullen, another Presbyterian minister, said that Simpson “stood out at that time as one of the most brilliant young ministers of our church in Canada…”

Out of the blue, Simpson was called to lead a Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky.  The recently ended Civil war left bitterness and division between the various churches.  As a neutral Canadian pastor, Simpson was used to bring racial reconciliation and forgiveness among the churches. At Simpson’s encouragement, the pastors went to their knees and poured out their hearts for such a baptism of love as would sweep away their differences.  From reconciliation among the clergy came two months of continuous nightly gatherings across the denominations.  As the pastors joined their hands together in unity, over 10,000 local residents joined them in prayer meetings lasting for a year.

Simpson’s success led him to being invited to lead 13th Street Presbyterian Church, a prestigious New York congregation.  Simpson loved to reach out to those who wouldn’t normally feel comfortable in a traditional church setting.  When 100 Italian immigrants responded to Simpson’s message, he asked his church Board to admit them as new members.  His Board “kindly but firmly refused”, for fear of being overwhelmed by immigrants and poor people.  Out of that rejection came Simpson’s vision of a fellowship of Christians where everyone was welcome, regardless of race, income, denomination, or social class.

Simpson decided to abandon his security and reputation, in order to start a community where all were welcome in Christ.  He began afresh with just seven other people, in a poorly heated dance hall.  But Simpson had recently discovered an inner strength  and resilience that kept him from slipping into discouragement.  In the past he had been such a workaholic that he had destroyed his health.  Simpson’s medical doctor had given him 3 months to live.  But upon meeting an Episcopalian (Anglican) physician, Dr. Charles Cullis,  at Old Orchard Camp in Maine, he experienced a remarkable healing of his heart.  The next day, Simpson was able to climb a 3,000 foot mountain, and successfully pray for his daughter Margaret’s healing from diphtheria- the very disease which had earlier killed his son Melville.

Word spread fast in 1881 of these healings.  He was besieged by many with pleas for help.  By others, he was vilified and ridiculed as another quack miracle worker.  Despite such criticism, Simpson received strong support from medical doctors like Dr. Jenny Trout, the first female doctor & surgeon in Canada, Dr. Robert Glover from Toronto,  and Dr. Lilian Yeomans, a Canadian-born surgeon in Michigan.  He also received much encouragement from well-known Canadian Anglican priests like Dr. Henry Wilson, & Dr. W.S. Rainford. Simpson started Friday-afternoon healing & holiness meetings, which quickly became New York’s largest attended spiritual weekday meeting, with 500-1,000 in attendance.

Simpson had a real love for the whole Christian community, regardless of denomination or nationality.  He said: “I want to enjoy the broadest fellowship possible myself, and I want my people to receive the benefit of the ministry of all God’s gifted servants, regardless of whether they agree with me in everything or not.”  Many of Simpson’s strongest supporters were Canadians, like William Fenton, Albert Thompson, & E.D. Whiteside, who had been remarkably healed from diseases such as cancer, tuberculosis, and epilepsy.

Canadian-born Dr. Henry Wilson was first healed through Simpson’s prayers, and then received permission from his bishop to become A.B. Simpson’s associate pastor!  He was even allowed by his bishop to erect an altar at the Gospel Tabernacle, and conduct an Anglican service of Holy Communion each Sunday morning. In a show of interdenominational unity, Dr. Simpson the (C&MA) Alliance pastor would preach and Dr. Wilson the Anglican priest would serve communion.  Another Anglican priest, Dr. Kenneth Mackenzie, actively participated in Alliance Conventions, taught at the  Alliance Missionary Training Institute, and contributed articles to the Alliance magazine.  Simpson publicly stated that he would prefer to have Dr. Mackenzie’s presence and teaching as an Anglican clergyman than as an Alliance worker.  A.B. Simpson had a passion for interdenominational Christian Unity and Missions that is only now beginning to be appreciated by other churches.

I thank God for heroes like Albert Benjamin Simpson, who have helped tear down the walls of misunderstanding, bitterness, and mistrust between the churches.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-bestselling author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

-previously published in the North Shore News/Deep Cove Crier and the Light Magazine/City Light 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