The Jude Project: honoring the gift…

I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Jude‬ ‭1‬:‭4‬ NLT

Time to pick up the Jude Project again. When last I tackled this letter, I wrote about the need to fight for or defend our faith – not as a means of striving against others, but of striving against the things in our daily lives that might cause us to stray from our call to be faithful.

In Jude’s day, there were those who believed that forgiveness was a sort of get-out-of-jail-free card when it came to sin. Let’s be honest, there are many in our world today who treat their faith the same way. They live in ways that are hurtful, prideful, materially-focused, or even wasteful of the gifts God has given them on Monday through Saturday, and then look to be cleansed and pardoned on Sunday.

Jude says: that’s not ok. That’s not how it works.

Yes, of course, Jesus can cleanse us from every sin. He can wash it all away – the shame, the things we don’t want to think about, the things we don’t dare to speak about. He can – he HAS – made us clean, new, spotless. That is the whole point of the cross. We are forgiven. We are free – from sin, from shame, from the darkness that dwells within.

But that doesn’t give us license to go douse ourselves in more sin, shame and darkness. If we recognize the gift for what it is, then our lives should honor it, should pay homage to it, should seek to share it with others who need to know that they can be forgiven, too.

So, Jude says, contend for the faith, fight for it – by living the Way, the truth and the life.

May you live a life that honors, pays homage, and ultimately – most importantly – shares the gift.


Small blessings..


It’s interesting to me how certain topics seem to grasp the collective conscious…all of a sudden it seems everyone is talking about IT. Whatever it may be at any given moment. Today it seems there are three topics on the minds of just about everyone I have spoken to: the weather, Mother’s Day and the Leafs (hockey, not the ones on trees).

In my corner of Southern Ontario, the weather has been a little nuts today. There was snow and sleet on the wind. It is the middle of May, so we are all complaining bitterly about this sudden cold snap.

Mothers, especially, seem to be bummed that the day which celebrates all the hard work and endless love that goes into what they do each day, has turned out pretty rotten, weather-wise. It sucks wen bad weather ruins a good day.

But then – is it really possible for the weather to ruin a day? Probably not, if you asked just about any Leafs fan…given that today the Leafs won against Boston and have forced a 7th game in their first round of play off action for many a year.

Each of these topics is small in a way – but each of them points to blessing. Our Moms are a huge blessing to most of us (I have no problem declaring the fact that I would be lost with out my Mom, whose love and concern, cheering and problem solving, humor and faith continue to help make me into the person I am becoming). And even though some have difficult or even non-existent relationships with their Moms, they still have someone who mothered them without being biologically connected.

The weather doesn’t feel like much of a blessing today, but my goodness, a warm bed certainly does. And this weather makes me thankful for all the good weather we’ve had recently and the good weather that will be ours to enjoy by mid-week (PLEASE do not be wrong about that, weather man!!).

And the Leafs…they have broken the hearts of their fans so many times. But right now, whatever may happen tomorrow, they have brought joy and hope and excitement to this part of the world. And those are very good things.

I can’t help but remember one of my favorite Bible verses:

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17 NIV

Be happy, my friends, whenever you recognize a blessing. It is a gift from God who loves you eternally. And His love is the biggest blessing of all.


So, apparently, when you lose 62.8 pounds (my current loss total), you begin to experience temperature in a whole new way. It makes sense – fat acts as an insulator and once you remove the insulator, that which once was hot can now become quite cold.

All winter I have been freezing. My friends have made fun of me as I sat in their house, wearing 3 layers of clothing (one of which was my winter jacket). This winter has been an unseasonably warm one. It has also been strangely light on snow. I have hated every frigid second of it.

So I simply must take a moment to reflect on the miracle that has been our weather this week. It has been whatever the Spring equivalent of Indian Summer is. Warm. Sunny. Gorgeous.

Since Friday I have been wearing summer shoes and leaving my jacket behind when I head out for a walk. I had to go and buy some summer clothes (thank you, Value Village), because I have nothing in my wardrobe that is for summer. The last time it was summer I was 30 pounds heavier, after all.

I know this weather cannot last straight through to November (oh, how I wish). I know that this could be more than a freak event and could actually point to the damage we are doing to our environment. I know for some people, this is the exact opposite of what they enjoy or what they need to make a living.

But for this week, for this girl, it has been an absolute blessing – a gift. Unexpected, un-looked-for and absolutely undeniable.

Sometimes it just feels like God does this: drops a gift in your lap. You hadn’t even thought of how to ask for it yet, and here it is. Because that is what a loving Father does. He stands waiting and watching and when we are still a long way off he runs to embrace us.

That generous kind of love is what draws me back to my faith whenever I wander. That kind of unexpected gift confirms the goodness of God to me again and again. This is why I give my life to serving God: not for what I can get from Him, but because I cannot imagine my life without Him.