Edhird's Blog

Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


1 Comment

Restoring Health through Medicine and Prayer

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

-an article for the December issue of the Order of St Luke the Physician Canada newsletter ‘The Canadian Healer’.

http://www.oslcanada.org/Healer_2014_12.pdf

In December 1980, I lost my voice for eighteen months due to Spasmodic Dysphonia.  My GP told me that I would never preach again.  My father-in-law the Rev Dave Cline, at the time, was the OSL Warden for BC and Yukon.  Desperation led me to join OSL where I devoured every book that I could find on healing.  I particularly appreciated the insights I gained from filling out the OSL study guide on Jesus’ healing miracles.  Later I even became an OSL Chaplain.  On May 25th 1982, I had successful throat surgery and was able to speak again.  During the surgery, I had a twenty-four hour prayer vigil.  Healing prayer and healing medicine belong together.  Every three months, I have Botox treatments that help maintain my voice.

Every time I preach is a miracle.  My goal is to be like the tenth leper who came back and gave thanks.  During the eighteen months of voice loss, I read sixty books on speaking and writing.  God birthed a passion for writing and communication during my darkest time.  I realized that even without a voice, I still had much to say.  My ‘voice’, particularly about healing and wholeness, was meant to be heard.  Since that time, I have written over four hundred newspaper articles and have recently published my sequel book ‘Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit’ on Titus.  Many people don’t realize that the book of Titus is Paul’s health instruction manual to unhealthy pirates.  The book of Titus gives us the keys to healthy churches, healthy families and healthy lives.  Paul’s key emphasis to Titus again and again was holistic health/soundness: healthy faith, healthy doctrine, healthy love, and healthy endurance.  Health for Paul was not just physical.  Paul insisted on health in every area of Titus’s life as he impacted the Cretans.  The very Greek word for both health and soundness is ‘hygiaino’ ὑγιαίνω from which we get the modern term ‘hygiene’.  Many people do not realize that soundness and health are the same biblical concept.  When a heart is healthy, the doctor says that it is sound.  The book of Titus was not merely about healthy/sound doctrine.  Health for Paul was holistic, embracing our whole life in body, mind and spirit.

Over the years, I learned that the healing ministry needs to be integrated into regular Sunday morning worship, not just put in a midweek corner for the few.  I will never forget the night that Lee Grady, former Editor of Charisma Magazine, prophesied about St. Simon’s North Vancouver being a well-spring of healing with healing teams being raised up for body, soul and spirit restoration.  Every worship service at St. Simon’s, whether traditional or contemporary, has a team ready to pray for healing.  Keith Bird, OSL Canada editor, said that Restoring Health “presents to us ‘modern-day pirates’ a challenge for becoming whole in body, mind and spirit.  I didn’t want to put it down.”  Imagine how wellsprings of holistic healing, Titus communities throughout Canada, might revolutionize our toxic Canadian pirate culture.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Facebook  Twitter YouTube LinkedIn

To sign up to receive my blog articles, click here

for better for worsep.s. 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.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has Restoring Health in paperback http://tiny.cc/rupvnx and in e-book http://tiny.cc/zspvnx .  Indigo also offers the Kobo ebook version: http://tiny.ccc/kreonx

Ed served for 31 years as the Rector of St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver, B.C., from 1987 to 2018. Ordained in 1980, he also served at St. Philip’s Vancouver and St. Matthew’s Abbotsford. Ed and his wife Janice have three sons James, Mark, and Andrew. He served as Chaplain and President for Alpha Canada. As the National Chair for Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada, he was one of three co-signers of the Montreal Declaration of Anglican Essentials.
For the past 30 years, Ed has written over 500 articles as a columnist on spiritual issues for local North Vancouver newspapers. His award-winning prequel is Battle for the Soul of Canada on 1st & 2nd Timothy. In the last number of years, he has had the opportunity to lead conferences and retreats in Honduras, Rwanda, Uganda, Washington State, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Newfoundland, and Toronto.


Leave a comment

From Losing to Finding My Voice

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

 

I remember when I lost my voice for 18 months back in 1980.  I will never forget resigning my position at St. Philip’s Dunbar, going on sick leave, driving to the Employment Insurance office only to find out that our diocese did not have any long-term disability insurance.

 The condition is called ‘spasmodic dysphonia’  .  It was caused by a rare viral throat infection which happens statistically to one in five million people, something like winning the lottery in reverse. Spasmodic Dysphonia causes the vocal chords to overadduct (overshut) on a spasmodic or intermittent basis, cutting off words or parts of sentences. Spasmodic Dysphonia is not caused by stress, but sometimes is more noticeable under stress.

During those eighteen months, I read sixty books on public speaking and writing.  It taught me so much about clarity and focus, giving me a passion to communicate, making the most of what I had.

On May 25th 1982, I had surgery at VGH by Dr. Murray Morrison in a successful operation that allowed me to speak again and go back preaching after being off for a year. My GP thought that I would never preach again, and he would have been correct, except for having had this surgery. They cut the left laryngeal nerve of the left vocal chord, which stopped the adducting/shutting of that chord. As the right chord still overadducted/overshut, it balanced out. After my surgery, my voice was free of the spasms, but was initially much quieter and more breathy.

From 1982 to 1987, I served as the assistant priest at St. Matthew’s Abbotsford. As Abbotsford was a bible belt, they had a spiritual column in the local newspaper which I began to write in.  Around 80,000 people read my columns, giving me significant feedback, mostly positive.  People have said to me for years that I should write books. They also encouraged me to get my doctorate.

In 1987, I became the Rector of St. Simon’s North Vancouver.  The local Deep Cove Crier newspaper asked me in 1988 if I would start up a spiritual column.  Little did I know that I would still be writing for this monthly newspaper twenty-six years later.  I was also privileged to co-ordinate a weekly ‘Spiritually Speaking’ column for the North Shore News from the years 2,000 to 2010.  With well over 360 articles published, God helped me develop my passion for writing.  People kept encouraging me to write another book.  In 2006, Battle for the Soul of Canada was written, receiving an award from The Word Guild.  I was privileged to be interviewed about my book and the Anglican situation on most major Canadian TV, radio and newspaper stations.

I worked for a number of years writing the sequel book on Titus ‘Restoring Health: Body, Mind and Spirit’.  During that time, I finished my Doctor of Divinity on the area of Strengthening Marriage: Bridging Emotional Cutoff.  With what I have learned about writing from the Write! Canada conferences and The Word Guild, it enabled me to finish my part-time doctorate in just four years.  A huge part of finishing a doctorate is writing numerous essays, including a final 300-page Doctoral Thesis.

With the growth of social media and the internet, over 755,000 people have read my four hundred articles online.  Writing and communication is continually to be radically impacted by the hi-tech revolution.  Nothing is remaining static.

Through extensive coaching with Dr. Terry Walling, I have mapped my potential next six books, using the umbrella concept “Strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders’.   Losing my voice helped me find my writing voice.  Everything that is against us can be turned by Jesus to our advantage.  While God did not give me spasmodic dysphonia, I am grateful that God has brought much good from this trauma over the years.

 

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

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

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.  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 


Leave a comment

37 years later….

 

Our lives are in God’s hands. God has been faithful in the last 37 years of serving him as an Anglican priest/presbyter. There have been many surprises along the road. He has worked all things for the good in ways that I would not always have imagined. (Romans 8:28 & Genesis 50:20)

Nana Allen, my maternal grandmother, was an amazing lady. She was a devout Anglican Christian who loved the Book of Common Prayer, and knew that something was being tampered with in the DNA of Anglicanism. Nana knew that I would become an Anglican priest, and told me this years before I even came to personal faith. She was very close to God and heard his still small voice.  Nana’s desire was to live until I became a deacon (which she did) and then to live until I became a priest (which she did).  She died shortly before my throat operation on May 25th 1982 when God restored my voice. I wrote her funeral eulogy, but had to rely on Rev Harold McSherry to deliver it.

My earlier ordination as a deacon May 18th 1980

In the Anglican Church, they ordain you twice just to make sure that it sticks. 😉 My first ordination was on May 18th 1980 where I was ordained as a deacon by Archbishop David Somerville. I was wearing a new suit that I had been given as an ordination present. For my ordination as a priest on May 31st 1981, Archbishop Douglas Hambidge ordained me at St Philip’s Church Dunbar. It was a challenging time because I was having speech therapy but my voice had not returned. My medical specialists assured Archbishop Hambidge that my voice would return in another month or so. When this did not happen, my medical specialists encouraged me to leave St. Philips on Oct 1st 1981 to take up full-time speech therapy. They were concerned that otherwise my voice might never come back. This was a very painful but needed transition. I was off work doing speech therapy for exactly one year on Oct 1st 1982 when I moved to St Matthew’s Abbotsford as the assistant priest with Archdeacon Jack Major.  Being at St Matthew’s was life-transforming for me in untold ways.

The Hirds singing a song unto the Lord at St Matthias Oakridge

Absolutely foundational in our Christian walk and growth was our time at St Matthias Oakridge with the Rev Ernie Eldridge.  Ernie+ encouraged us to use all of our gifts, especially the gift of music. Janice my wife is a professional musician who graduated from the UBC School of Music. We loved to sing together, especially with our singing group Morning Star. One of the unfortunate side-effects of my Botox treatments every three months is that while it helps my speaking, it limits my singing voice. My guitar playing has greatly improved after eight years of guitar lessons with Tony Chotem. So even though my singing is limited, I am still able to serve in the area of music ministry. When I get to heaven, I look forward to the complete restoration of both my speaking and singing voice. In the meantime, I am grateful that I am still able to preach and serve as a priest, after being told by my GP in 1981 that I would never preach again. Without the throat operation, the ongoing prayer, and the Botox treatments, this would have been my fate.

 

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.

– You can learn more in the sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit which is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback andebook 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 


Leave a comment

Doctors make a difference

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

 Doctors make a difference. Prayer makes a difference.  There is no competition between medicine and prayer.  They fit together, hand in glove.

I wrote an article in the Feb 1994 Deep Cove Crier about the medical condition “Spasmodic Dysphonia” that I have successfully battled with.

An article in a North Shore-wide newspaper commented about myself: “He seems to be always smiling and is said to be ‘very funny’, despite a serious speech impediment.”  As many of you know, I lost my voice 38 years ago in 1980 for 18 months in the early days of ordained ministry. The condition is called ‘spasmodic dysphonia’  .  It was caused by a rare viral throat infection which happens statistically to one in five million people, something like winning the lottery in reverse. Spasmodic Dysphonia causes the vocal chords to overadduct (overshut) on a spasmodic or intermittent basis, cutting off words or parts of sentences. Spasmodic Dysphonia is not caused by stress, but sometimes is more noticeable under stress.

Thirty-six years ago, I had surgery at VGH by Dr. Murray Morrison in a successful operation that allowed me to speak again and go back preaching after being off for a year. My GP thought that I would never preach again, and he would have been correct, except for having had this surgery on May 25th 1982. They cut the left laryngeal nerve of the left vocal chord, which stopped the adducting/shutting of that chord. As the right chord still overadducted/overshut, it balanced out. After my surgery, my voice was free of the spasms, but was initially much quieter and more breathy.

This successful surgery was still proving effective until August 2003 when I developed laryngitis that wouldn’t go away.  To deal with the laryngitis, I took nine months of helpful speech therapy with Margy Smith, a very gifted speech therapist on the North Shore.  She took me a long way along the road of recovery, but finally my otolaryngologist (ear, nose & throat specialist) Dr. Murray Morrison recommended that I take the botox treatment to loosen the overtightness of the vocal chords.  Dr. Morrison’s investigation showed that my left laryngeal nerve has re-enervated or regenerated itself and thereby contributed to an overshutting of the vocal chords once again. This was the reason for my susceptibility to laryngitis over the past year. The overshutting of the vocal chords is like a door continually slamming shut.

After careful research, prayer, and reflection, I went ahead with the botox treatment at VGH (Vancouver General Hospital). It took about 5 minutes!  The botox treatment by Dr. Murray Morrison allowed a fine-tuning of the benefits of my previous 1982 surgery. The botox was injected into both laryngeal nerves, thereby loosening the vocal chord shutting (adducting) on both sides.  When I told people that I had a botox treatment, some people assumed that I was worried about middle-age wrinkles!  But in fact botox is primarily a medical therapy to deal with a range of dystonias, including vocal chord spasming.

My wife and parents were thrilled by the elimination of the spasming through the botox treatment. My mother didn’t initially recognize my voice on the phone. The botox treatment lasts for three months, and then is redone by Dr. Morrison at VGH.  It initially overloosens the vocal chords a bit, with the result that my voice will be somewhat breathy and quieter to start with. The treatment greatly enhances my ability to read out loud the liturgy and scriptures, which has been more difficult than spontaneous preaching. Over the next few weeks, the vocal chords are gradually tightening again, resulting in a less breathy voice and less quiet voice.

I am so grateful to God for advances in modern medical science that help people like myself in such practical ways.  I am so grateful to God for people like you reading this article, many of whom I know have been praying for me.  I have had several people specifically pray: “Ed Hird will not be silenced”.  I am very happy with this new medical step.  It is so exciting to be able to speak freely without being cut off in mid-sentence.  Thank God that prayer and medicine can be best friends.

 

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 

 


9 Comments

The Gift of Courage Can Be Imparted

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hirdcanadian_money

I remember when I lost my voice for 18 months back in 1980.  I will never forget resigning my job, going on sick leave, driving to the Employment Insurance office only to find out that my company did not have any long-term disability insurance.

In the midst of those devastating experiences, my strongest feeling was that I was disappointing my father.  However my dad was not feeling that way at all.  He was just concerned that I recover my voice and get back on track.  Deep within most of us is this inexpressible desire to please our fathers.

In the early 1980’s, I spent almost five years in Abbotsford, during which time we had our second child.  Each week I went to visit the sick in the local hospital.  While visiting the psychiatric ward, I met a man who had Anglican and Roman Catholic parents.  He said to me that he hadn’t seen a priest in thirty years.  Out of the blue, he told me that he never prayed to God.  ‘God was too angry’, he said. ‘You just couldn’t talk to him.  He would always blow up.’  The man went on to say that he only prayed to the Virgin Mary.  ‘She was kind, loving, gentle, and would always listen’, he said.

virgin-mary1I said to the man, ‘Does God ever remind you of your earthly father?’.  ‘Funny you should say that’, he said. ‘ They are just the same.  They never listen and they always blow up at me.’  I went on to say, ‘What about your own mother? Does she remind you of the Virgin Mary?’  His eyes brightened up, and he said to me, ‘You must know my parents.  My mother is just like the Virgin Mary.  She always listens to me’.

I said to the man, ‘Your problem is not with God.  It is with your earthly father.  If you are willing to deal with the pain of your relationship to your dad, you will find that you will be able to talk to God.’  A week later, a local psychiatrist phoned me up and informed me that this patient had experienced a major breakthrough in his counseling as a result.

In A.A., they say that you are as healthy as your (lack of) secrets.  I would agree, but also add that we are as healthy as our relationship with our fathers.  So many men nowadays are caught in painful ambivalence and confusion, because they have never really felt affirmed and blessed by their own fathers.

The gift of a healthy father is the gift of courage_under_firecourage.  The gift of a healthy father is the gift of being willing to lay down our lives, if necessary, for our families.  In this age of compromise, I give thanks for my own father who has not been afraid to stand up for his family and his convictions.

Without a father who believes in you, it may be very hard as a teenager to feel that you are going to make it through.  They say that teenagers experience most things far more intensely than many adults.  Their highs are twice as high and their lows are twice as low.  That is why premature sexual intimacy and the usual relational breakups are so deeply devastating for our teenagers.

A courageous father does more than just give a condom to his kid.  He explains to him the real risk of broken hearts and diseased bodies, as well of the benefits of waiting for real commitment.  By our faithfulness to our wives, despite the ups and down of life, we give our children courage to believe that they too can enter faithful lasting relationships.

The concept of future marriage for many teenagers and young adults has become filled with so much fear and uncertainty.  Yet as Dr. Laura put it, ‘Without commitment, there is no future.’  Courageous fathers give to their sons and daughters the courage to commit to the unknown future.

lynncanyon5One of the things I love the most about the North Shore is the beautiful trails that are woven throughout our area.  While out walking in the trails, I asked a neighbour, ‘What is a courageous father?’  He said, ‘Someone who holds down a job and cares for his children’.  Simple words, but very true.

In this age of compromise, in this pressure-cooker world, so many fathers are tempted to run away from it all.  The stress just becomes too much.  I thank God for my own father who never ran from our family during good times and bad, during sickness and health, for better or for worse.  I thank God for being the father of the fatherless, the one who gives me courage to not run from stress, who gives me the courage to stand my ground when everything else is falling apart, to stand for truth when many seem to be compromising.

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

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

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier

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