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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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40 years later….

Our lives are in God’s hands. God has been faithful in the last 40 years of serving him as Anglican clergy. 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)ÔŅľ

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.

In the Anglican Church, they ordain you twice just to make sure that it sticks. ūüėČ 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.

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.

‚ÄúI‚Äôm afraid there‚Äôs been an accident‚Ķ‚ÄĚ

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‚Äôre a fan of Karen Kingsbury, then you‚Äôll 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 ‚ÄúI heartily commend what he has written.‚ÄĚ The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus‚Äô 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 ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.

‚Äď 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 ‚Äď 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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CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien: Friends on a Quest

By the Rev.  Dr. Ed Hird

C.S. Lewis

JRR Tolkien

Anthony Hopkins portrayed CS (Jack) Lewis, the author of the hugely¬† popular Narnia Tales, in the thoughtful movie ‘Shadowlands’. Since¬† Lewis’ death in 1963, sales of his books have risen to over 2 million a¬† year. For much of his life, Lewis, the son of a solicitor and of an¬† Anglican clergyman’s daughter, was a convinced atheist. While teaching¬† at Oxford College, Lewis formed a lasting friendship with JRR Tolkien.¬† Both Lewis and Tolkien had much in common, as both had been traumatized¬† by the premature death of their mothers and by the horrors of trench¬† warfare in World War I.

At age 10, Lewis saw his mother dying of cancer.¬† “With my mother’s death”, said Lewis, “all that was tranquil and¬† reliable, disappeared from my life.” Tolkien experienced the double loss¬† of both his father at age 3 and his mother at age 12. Tolkien’s strong¬† desire for friendship/fellowship, as with Frodo, Sam, Merry & Pippin,¬† came from Tolkien’s loss of his three best friends in the trenches.¬† Referring to trench warfare, CS Lewis commented: “Through the winter,¬† weariness and water were our chief enemies. I have gone to sleep¬† marching and woken again and found myself marching still.” Lewis vividly¬† remembered “the frights, the cold,…the horribly smashed men still¬† moving like half-crushed beetles, the sitting or standing corpses, the¬† landscape of sheer earth without a blade of grass, the boots worn day¬† and night until they seemed to grow to your feet…”

Both CS Lewis and Tolkien loved the history of the English language,¬† especially as expressed in the ancient tales like Beowulf. CS Lewis¬† commented: “When I began teaching for the English Faculty, I made two¬† other friends, both Christians (those queer people seemed to pop up on¬† every side) who were later to give me much help in getting over the last¬† stile/steps. They were HVD Dyson and JRR Tolkien. Friendship with the¬† latter marked the breakdown of two old prejudices…” Lewis said to¬† Tolkien that tales or myths are ‘lies and therefore worthless, even¬† though breathed through silver’. ‘No’, said Tolkien, ‘they are not¬† lies’. Tolkien went on to explain to Lewis that in Jesus Christ, the¬† ancient stories or myths of a dying and rising God entered history and¬† became fact. Twelve days later, Lewis wrote to another friend Arthur¬† Greeves: “I have just passed on from believing in God to definitely¬† believing in Christ – in Christianity. I will try to explain this¬† another time. My long night talk with Dyson and Tolkien had a good deal¬† to do with it”.

CS Lewis recalls going by motorcycle with his brother¬† Warren to Whipsnade Zoo, about thirty miles east of Oxford. “When we set¬† out, I did not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and when we¬† reached the zoo, I did”. In his autobiography Surprised by Joy, Lewis¬† commented: “In the Trinity term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God¬† was God…perhaps the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England”.

When CS Lewis turned to Christ, he was surprised to find the skies bluer¬† and the grass greener.* “Today”, Lewis wrote, “I got such a sudden¬† intense feeling of delight that it sort of stopped me in my walk and¬† spun me round. Indeed the sweetness was so great, and seemed so to¬† affect the whole body as well as the mind, that it gave me pause.” Lewis¬† commented: “I really seem to have had youth given back to me lately.”

Lewis and Tolkien formed an ‘Inklings’ group at Oxford in which they¬† read out and critiqued each other’s manuscripts like ‘Narnia Tales’ and¬† ‘Lord of the Rings’. Lewis’ brother Warren said that at the Inklings,¬† “the fun would be riotous with Jack at the top of his form and enjoying¬† every minute…an outpouring of wit, nonsense, whimsy, dialectical¬† swordplay, and pungent judgement such as I have rarely heard equaled…”¬† The Inklings group was a clear example of that ancient Proverb “As iron¬† sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another”.

¬†Charles Williams, another¬† author and member of the Inklings group, commented that “much was¬† possible to a man in solitude, but some things were possible only to a¬† man in companionship, and of these, the most important was balance. No¬† mind was so good that it did not need another mind to counter it and¬† equal it and to save it from conceit and bigotry and folly.” In October¬† 1933, Tolkien wrote in his diary that friendship with Lewis ‘besides¬† giving constant pleasure and comfort, has done me much good from the¬† contact with a man at once honest, brave, intellectual – a scholar, a¬† poet, and a philosopher – and a lover, at least after a long pilgrimage,¬† of our Lord’.

The internationally respected Vancouver author, Dr. JI Packer, says that¬† ‘the combination within CS Lewis of insight with vitality, wisdom with¬† wit, and imaginative power with analytical precision made him a¬† sparkling communicator of the everlasting gospel.’ At bottom, says Dr.¬† Packer, Lewis was a mythmaker. As Austin Farrer commented of Lewis’¬† writings, “we think we are listening to an argument; in fact, we are¬† presented with a vision; and it is the vision that carries conviction.” ¬†Myth, says Dr. Packer, is perhaps best defined as a story that projects a vision of life of actual or potential communal significance by reason of the identity ¬†and attitudes that it invites us to adopt. ¬†

When Tolkien first shared his ‘Lord of the Rings’ manuscript at the¬† Inklings group, CS Lewis said: ‘This book is a lightning from a clear¬† sky. Not content to create his own story, he creates with an almost¬† insolent prodigality the whole world in which it is to move; with its¬† own theology, myths, geography, history, paleography, languages and¬† order of beings.’ Recent polls have consistently declared that Tolkien¬† is the most influential author of the last 100 years and that the Lord¬† of the Rings is the book of this recent century. Without the Inklings fellowship¬† of Tolkien and Lewis, neither the Narnia Tales nor the Lord of the Rings¬† might have ever seen the light of day. I thank God for the faithful¬† Christian friendship of two pilgrims on a Quest.

*For more information on C.S. Lewis’ Joy, just click.

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

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

‚ÄúI‚Äôm afraid there‚Äôs been an accident‚Ķ‚ÄĚ

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 ‚ÄúI heartily commend what he has written.‚ÄĚ The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus‚Äô 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 ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.

‚ÄstIn 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 ‚Äď 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