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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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Fanny Crosby: The World’s Most Prolific Songbird

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Fanny Crosby was blinded, while only six weeks old, by a quack unlicensed doctor.  He permanently scarred her corneas by applying hot mustard poultices to her mildly infected eyes. When her father died while Fanny was only 12 months old, her mother had to become a maid to support little Fanny.

Despite these tragedies, Fanny never fell into self-pity. “Don’t waste any sympathy on me”, she said. “I’m the happiest person alive.”  Fanny went on to become one of the best known women in North America.  She taught for 23 years at the New York Institute for the Blind, becoming the personal friend and confidante of every sitting American President during her lifetime. As the first woman to ever address the U.S. Congress, Fanny left a lasting impact wherever she went.

One of the keys to her becoming so well-known was her partnering with the famous ‘DL Moody/Ira Sankey’ team.  Sankey (who was also blind for his last five years) would often provide the tune, and Fanny Crosby would write the words.  After the infamous Chicago fire that burned down Moody’s premises, Moody and Sankey went to England, speaking and singing their way into the hearts of the British people.  Even Queen Victoria and the Princess of Wales came to hear Moody preach and Sankey sing Fanny Crosby’s songs.  As one writer commented, Fanny Crosby ‘set more hearts and voices to praising God than any other women who ever lived.  Fanny’s approach to life and music was “Live in the moment and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering.”

Fanny Crosby had a photographic memory, memorizing five chapters of the Bible every week.  She knew by heart the first five books of the Old Testament, the four Gospels, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and many of the Psalms.  Some of her most well-known songs were “To God be the Glory, Great Things He hath Done”, “Draw Me Nearer, Precious Lord”, “Blessed Assurance”, and “Praise Him! Praise Him!”.

Fanny lived until age 95.  When she was 83, she said: “I believe myself to still really be in the prime of my life.”  When asked about her longevity, she said that her secret was that she guarded her taste, her temper, and her tongue.

Fanny actively supported the Water StreetMission in New York, the first Rescue Mission in North America.  It had been founded by Jerry McAuley who himself had recovered from alcohol and prison.  She did not focus on pointing out other people’s faults. “You can’t save a man by telling him of his sins. He knows them already. Tell him there is pardon and love waiting for him. Win his confidence and make him understand that you believe in him, and never give him up!”  One of her best known songs “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour” was written specifically for a prisoner who cried out at her meeting: “O Lord, Do not pass me by!”

Fanny was married for 44 years to Alexander Van Alistine, her former student and fellow instructor at the New York Institute for the Blind.  With Alexander being a top organist and Fanny an accomplished harpist, they must have been quite a duo.  Sadly their only child, Frances, died as a baby.  It was this tragedy that inspired the writing of one of Fanny’s most famous songs: “Safe in the Arms of Jesus”.

Her song “Safe in the Arms of Jesus” even reached Uganda in 1885.  The Anglican Bishop James Hannington was captured by King Mwanga and put for a week in a filthy rat-infested hut. Bishop Hannington’s last words in his diary were: “Go tell Mwanga that I have purchased the road to Uganda with my blood.” As they speared him to death, Hannington was joyfully singing “Safe in the Arms of Jesus”.  His courageous death inspired 32 servants of King Mwanga to accept being burnt alive rather than renounce their faith and moral convictions.  Such sacrifices have produced the second largest Anglican Church in the world, with over eight million Ugandan Anglicans attending church each Sunday.

I thank God for Fanny Crosby, the world’s most prolific songbird, who has shown tens of millions in every continent how to be ‘safe in the arms of Jesus’.

 

 

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

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

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

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest 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. 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 Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

– 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 Ave, 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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Tomorrow, Tomorrow I Love Ya Tomorrow…

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

While back in High School, my youngest son Andrew  had a tremendous experience as Daddy Warbucks in his BCCA school’s Annie musical .  He even shaved off his hair to really get into the part!  The entire school rallied around the musical, resulting in a great sense of school spirit and camaraderie.  Thanks to the hard work of the drama teacher Mrs. Birth and the music teacher Mrs. Gleimus, the participants blossomed and became a close-knit team.  I was very impressed by the quality performance of all the youth that put their heart and soul into the production.

The 9-year-old girl who played Annie was superb.  One person commented that she was as good as the original Annie!  Her fellow orphans were cute, endearing, and believable, especially in the song ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life”.  Another real star in the show was the orphanage director Miss Hannigan, who demonstrated a wonderful slapstick humour: “Why any kid would want to be an orphan, I’ll never understand”.  And who can forget the good-natured BCCA Principal Mr. Jarvie who surprised everyone when he was wheeled in as President Roosevelt!

The Annie musical was based on Harold Gray’s “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip.  Harold Gray invented Little Orphan Annie in 1924 for the Chicago Tribune.  Ironically Harold Gray did not start his comic strip with a little orphan girl, but rather with a boy named Otto (Little Orphan Otto!)

The Annie musical began at the Alvin Theatre on April 21, 1977. The New York show went for 2,377 performances, making it the third longest running musical of the 1970s. In 1982, the movie version was released starring Albert Finney, Aileen Quinn, Ann Reinking, and Carol Burnett.

One of my favorite songs from the Annie Musical is ‘Tomorrow’.  Going through a bitter 1930’s depression, it gave people great hope to remember that ‘The sun will come out tomorrow’.  It is easy to be stuck in the past, in fear and discouragement.  The ‘Annie’ musical reminds us to be future-oriented. To believe in the future gives us the courage to face each day’s challenges.  “Just thinkin’ about tomorrow clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow.”  Life can beat us down and make us want to give up.  The Annie musical reminds us that “ya gotta hang on ’til tomorrow come what may”.  The future can seem very mysterious and inaccessible.  The Annie musical reminds us that : “Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya Tomorrow! You’re always a day a way!”  Visionary people believe that there is hope for their future, that life is worth the struggle, that breakthroughs will come if we don’t give up.

The Annie Musical also reminds me that all of us feel alone at times; all of us can feel like orphans.  Life can sometimes feel very overwhelming.  The answer for Annie’s plea was adoption by Daddy Warbucks.  The answer for our pleas in the 21st Century is the Spirit of adoption.  All of us long for a father who will accept us and love us as we are.  Jesus said: “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”  Jesus reveals the heart of a true, loving Father, a Father who loves us beyond measure, a Father who longs to adopt us as his very own children.  God has a special place in his heart for the fatherless, the abandoned, and the rejected.  All of us at some level are little Orphan Annie.  All of us are waiting to be loved.

Daddy Warbucks sang to Orphan Annie: “Something was missing but dreams can come true; that something was no one but you”.  Just like Daddy Warbucks, the heavenly Father is longing to adopt you and give you a new silver locket, if you will just say ‘yes’.  The Father loves you beyond your wildest dreams.  The Father rejoices over you, and is saying, “It’s okay to come back home.  The table is set.  The Adoption Party is ready to begin!”  God’s family, the Church, would love to throw a party in your honour this very Sunday!  See you then.

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-previously published in the North Shore News

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

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest 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. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

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

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

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

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

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


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Thank God for the Red Cross!

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

As New York and Washington reeled in 2001 from 9/11, the Red Cross  flew into action, saving lives and bringing hope.  Thank God for the Red Cross who time and again make a difference in times of great tragedy.

Great organizations invariably are birthed from great people.  The Red Cross was birthed from the vision and drive of Jean Henri Dunant, who received the world’s first Nobel Peace Prize.  Dunant was a Swiss businessman who ‘happened’ to be on hand to see the carnage and horror of the battle of Solferino, Italy, in 1858.  Forty thousand wounded lay in their death throes under a blazing sun, in suffocating heat, helpless and unattended.  Amid the anguished cries of the wounded, in an atmosphere of panic and confusion, he gathered together a team of volunteers to relieve the ‘inexpressible sufferings’ of war.

Four days after the battle, Dunant discovered five hundred wounded who had been overlooked.  Dunant commented: “I succeeded in getting together a certain number of women who helped me as best as they could to aid the wounded…Food, and above all drink, had to be taken around to these men.  Then their wounds could be dressed and their bleeding, muddy, vermin-covered bodies washed.  All this took place in a scorching, filthy atmosphere, in the midst of vile, nauseating odors, with lamentations and cries of anguish all around!”  From this courageous action by Dunant at Solferino, the International Red Cross was born.

Dunant returned to Geneva but was so preoccupied with what he has seen at Solferino that he wrote a book at his own expense in 1862 entitled ‘ A Memory of Solferino’.  He wrote at length about the wounds and suffering he had seen and the shambles in which urgently necessary surgery was done.  “Would it not be possible”, he pleaded, “in time of peace and quiet to form relief societies for the purpose of having care given to the wounded in wartime by zealous, devoted and thoroughly qualified volunteers?”

On August 22nd 1864, through the impetus of Dunant’s book, the historic First Geneva Convention was birthed.  It provided for the alleviation of the sufferings of soldiers wounded on the battlefield.  It gave neutral status to the military hospitals and medical personnel of the armies of the signing countries.  As an identifying symbol, the Geneva Convention decided that these non-combatants should wear a red cross on a white field, a reversal of the colours in the Swiss national flag.  In 1865 Great Britain and Canada added their names to the first ten European countries who signed the Geneva Convention treaty.

Tragically, Jean Henri Dunant subsequently suffered from business failure and deep depression.  Resigning from the Red Cross in 1867, he virtually disappeared from sight.  In 1895, Dunant was discovered in Heiden, Switzerland by a newspaper reporter. By then the Red Cross had become famous, and financial assistance to assist Dunant began to pour in from all around the world.  In 1901 Dunant shared with Frederick Passy, a French internationalist, the first Nobel Peace Prize.  From Geneva, his old home, came this message from the International Committee of the Red Cross: “There is no man who more deserves this honour, for it was you, forty years ago, who set on foot the international organization for the relief of the wounded on the battlefield.  Without you, the Red Cross, the supreme humanitarian achievement of the nineteenth century would probably have never been undertaken.”  Dunant gave all of the Nobel Peace Prize money away to charity, and died peacefully in his sleep on October 30th 1910.

Few people realize that Jean Henri Dunant also helped co-found the International Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA).  Dunant started very humbly by inviting a few friends to meet regularly at his house to study the Bible, to encourage each other in good works, and to bring about a spiritual awakening among young people.

Jean Henri Dunant proved that one person can make a difference.  One person can change this world.  Jean Henri Dunant knew Jesus Christ as his Bridge over Troubled Water.  My prayer during this time of great uncertainty is that many of us may turn to the Bridge who will give us the strength to care for our neighbours for better for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer for poor.

 

 

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

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

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

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest 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. 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, Canada V4A 0A5.

– 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, Canada 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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Dr Henry Wilson: AB Simpson’s Right Hand Man

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

When we think of ground-breakers in the field of children and communication, names like Dr. Piaget from France or Dr. Montessori from Italy may come to mind.  From a Canadian perspective, Dr. Henry Wilson made an enormous contribution to modeling healthy communication between adults and children.

Dr. Henry Wilson was called “Big Baby Brother” because of his uncanny ability to communicate with clarity and compassion to children of all ages.  His own daughter, Madeline, said that “the secret of his success with children in a great measure was due to his adaptability and his own youthful spirit.”  He was never too big to become as a little child to children.  He was never too holy to fail to be human at the same time; never too busy or preoccupied to fail to be gracious and empathetic.  Despite the enormous pain that he had experienced in his life, he was often seen with a smile on his face, and laughter on his lips.  Twice he had seen his wives die during childbirth, leaving him a widower with three young children.  Then tragically his only son, while boating, slipped overboard, and was crushed to death by a paddlewheel.  One of Dr. Wilson’s favorite quotations was “The mark of rank in nature is capacity for pain, and the anguish of the singer makes the sweetness of the strain.”

His own daughter Madeline commented that “he was really just a grown-up boy.  His work among the children was no mere studied professionalism.”  Henry Wilson could scarcely sit on a public platform and behave himself if there were a number of children in the audience.  Invariably he’d be seen making signals to the children, laughing aloud in happy self-forgetfulness, or holding three or four of them on his knees.  Part of Dr. Wilson’s secret was that he was always natural, and therefore enjoyed the naturalness of children, especially their love of laughter.  Studies have shown that pre-schoolers laugh 400 times a day, in contrast to the mere 15 laughs a day from adults.  Dr. Wilson was often called “the Sunny Man”.  “Pre-eminent above all his personal qualities”, said A.B. Simpson, “was his invincible cheerfulness, hopefulness, and joyousness.”

Dr. Wilson started a Children’s Alliance Fellowship which reached 5,000 children, each one of them praying for another child in an overseas country.  Each week he wrote a magazine article specifically for children entitled “B.B.B.” (Big Baby Brother).  Henry Wilson was a ground-breaker in tearing down racial barriers between children.  He had a particular love for the children’s song “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight.”

Dr. Henry Wilson was born in Peterborough, Ontario in the year 1841.  At an early age he won the Wellington scholarship and entered Trinity College, ultimately receiving a Doctorate of Divinity in 1883.  His first ministry was as curate of the Cathedral of St. George’s Kingston, Ontario.  There he consistently ministered for 17 years until one day “disaster” struck:…He met the Salvation Army.

In those days, few had ever heard of the Salvation Army, and what they had heard was treated with great suspicion.   Dr. Henry Wilson, a highly educated and cultured Anglican, committed the unpardonable social sin of being seen with the likes of the Salvation Army.  In Dr. Wilson’s own words, “I found myself one night kneeling at the penitent form of the Army, pleading for pardon and peace, and needing both, as much as the drunkard on one side of me and the lost woman on the other.  I saw myself as never before, a poor lost soul, just as much as they, so far as the need for a new heart and a right spirit was concerned.”  Initially the Dean of St. George’s Cathedral told Dr. Wilson that he approved of the Salvation Army and would stand by him if trouble came.  When 80 members of the Salvation Army publicly received communion at the Anglican Cathedral, Dean Farthing openly thanked God for their coming.  Dr. Wilson’s ministry expanded dramatically, with over 300 young people now flocking to his weekly bible study.

Then, out of the blue, the Dean pulled the plug, and ejected Dr. Wilson from the Cathedral, insisting that all connection with the Salvation Army be severed before Dr. Wilson could return.  Dr. Wilson’s own bishop offered him little support.  Instead his bishop spoke of “the grotesque in the Army’s performances” and Dr. Wilson being “betrayed into (his) eccentricity by cerebral excitement”.  In an age when organ music reigned as Queen, the drums and trumpets of the innovative Salvation Army were seen by his bishop as regrettable “extravagances.”  General William Booth, who founded the Salvation Army in England, was famous for shocking middle-class English society by his bold innovations.  He freely borrowed from the beer-hall tunes, and gave them new lyrics, saying, “Why should the devil have all the good music?”  When General Booth visited North America in 1907, Dr. Wilson was there with his hand raised and his voice uplifted in blessing over the bowed and silvered head of General Booth.  For his friendship with the Salvation Army, Dr. Wilson paid a great price.

Fortunately for Dr. Henry Wilson,  Bishop Henry Potter of New York was far kinder to this innovative Anglican, and gave him a position assisting another well-known Canadian, Dr. William Rainsford at St. George’s.  Dr. Wilson began reaching out to the down & out by renting the back of a saloon each Sunday morning for a worship service. Even though Dr. Wilson was fluent in the study of Greek, Hebrew, and Latin, he never lost touch with the basic needs of the poor and needy.

So Dr. Rainsford introduced him to another  Canadian friend, Dr. A.B. Simpson, who also destroyed his health while at University before being miraculously healed.  In Henry Wilson’s own words, he “labored with a weak body, twice seriously injured by accidents almost fatal: for years prey to dyspepsia of the worst kind; to liver disease and all its attendant miseries; with nervous depression and fainting fits after the slightest exertion. A burden to myself, a constant anxiety to my family and friends, a nuisance to doctors, and a kind of walking apothecary shop. Idragged through my work with what sickly weariness and painfulness they only know who have suffered like things.”

Through A.B. Simpson, Henry Wilson learnt about the healing power of Jesus’ resurrection life that is available to each of us.  After anointing for healing, Henry Wilson was miraculously healed.  He said years later at age 67 ” I am in every sense a younger, fresher man than I was at thirty.”

Dr Wilson was so grateful for his healing that he became a strong advocate in praying for the sick.  Wilson said “The center and the source of this divine health is the Lord Jesus Christ, now at the right hand of God, in His glorified humanity, like the sun in the center of the universe. The medium by which this glorified humanity passes into ours is the Holy Ghost – the breath of God – the air of heaven, like the atmosphere surrounding our earth and transmitting to it the light and life-giving powers of the sun in the heavens. This is the A, B, C of Divine Healing.”

Henry Wilson went on to become A.B. Simpson’s closest friend and associate, serving as the first President of the International Missionary Alliance, which sent thousands of outreach workers all over the world sharing the love of Jesus.  Among his outreach ventures was the care of over 1,000 orphan children living in India.  He also served as the President of the Seaman’s Institute, the President of the Nyack Seminary, the Senior Field Superintendent for the Christian & Missionary Alliance, and the Chaplain of the Madgdalene Home for women coming off the streets.  All this he did interdenominationally with the full blessing of his Anglican (Episcopal) Bishop who even authorized him to serve as Dr. A.B. Simpson’s associate, serving Anglican communion each Sunday in a interdenominational context.  Dr. Henry Wilson is another Canadian who tore down barriers between races, denominations, social classes, and age distinctions.

May we all learn like Henry Wilson to be “Big Baby Brothers” and “Big Baby Sisters” in bridging the generation gap between adults and children.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

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

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

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest 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. 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