Let's Get After It

I love the way Ray Ortlund paints with words, and always does so positively dripping with joy, earnestness, possibility, Godward-ness, Jesus-exaltation, Spirit-dependance, and a twinkle in his eye. The man exudes Good News.

Yet another vision.

I remember the tumultuous days of 1968.  The top stories of that year included the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. in April.  Two months later, in June, Robert Kennedy was murdered.  Two months later, in August, Hizzoner Mayor Richard J. Daley presided over the demolition of the Democratic National Convention as the Chicago police beat up on anti-Vietnam War protesters in the streets.  It was an intense year.
We are now living in similar times.  Pressure has been building for several years.  Now the cultural upheaval is exploding.  “Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them.  How then can we live?” (Ezekiel 33:10).
I also remember how Francis Schaeffer lived during that spasm of national self-injury.  His example can guide us in these days.  And there was one thing that stood out about Francis Schaeffer: he was radical.  Not hysterical.  Not fanatical.  But radical.  He followed the vector of the gospel out into bold and costly obedience in ways that other pastors and leaders just hadn’t thought of or dared to attempt.  He told the radical truth of Scripture — lovingly and gently, but without backing off.  He and his wife Edith practiced radical hospitality, with personal sacrifice.  Rather than reject the radicals of those times, he identified with them and adapted his ministry to match their boldness.  He was unafraid to welcome into his world young people as they really were, without fearing them or expecting them to change first.  He worked tirelessly, even to his own disadvantage, for the advance of the gospel in culture and dress and communication that the rising generation could hear clearly and respect.  And God honored his ministry with radical impact.
2015 is the new 1968.  And I’m glad to be right here, right now, with you, for the most radical cause in history.  No hysterics.  No fanaticism.  But radical followers of Jesus doing whatever it takes to communicate the fullness of the gospel in the extremity of our times.
Let’s get after it.

2015 is the new 1968 is a post from: Ray Ortlund

We're Golden

Twenty five years ago today, on August 25th — which we are told makes this our Golden Anniversary — Susan declared before God and witnesses that she would be my wife until death or (implied) until King Jesus returns. As we reflected on our anniversary last night while reading together, we looked up how many make it this long. We discovered, if you can believe the Google, that only 35% of marriages make it 25 years. And as we continued to read, only 6% make it to 50 years (we were curious). 

On this 25th day of August, celebrating 25 years of marriage, and the grace of God to bring that about (!), it seems fitting to me to provide 25 things about my wife that I am thankful for. There is Biblical precedent for this, found in Proverbs:

28     Her children rise up and call her blessed; 
her husband also, and he praises her…” (English Standard Version, Pr 31:28)

Susan and I hiking in colorado with our best friends.

So, here goes, in no particular order.

1. She said “until death do us part,” and I have never doubted for a second that she meant it.
2. Her capacity for selflessness amazes me.
3. She is one of the most truly joyful people I know. And she doesn’t keep it to herself — she affects the mood of others by giving that joy away.
4. I love when she laughs. Let me be more specific: not that little giggle she has, but that really deep, all the way from the bottom of her tummy laugh that fills the room and makes her eyes sparkle.
5. I’m grateful she exercises that laugh at my continued goofiness and dry humor.
6. I’m continually stunned by how much she loves our children.
7. I love that she loves me more than she loves them (think about that one; it is biblical, and a good thing).
8. I love that she loves Father, Son, and Spirit more than all of us. Combined.
9. She is the most hospitable person I know, blessing countless friends, church members, neighbors, and college students through the gift of food and relationship.
10. She has made, conservatively, over 27,375 meals during 25 years of marriage. Over the last week, we had three new recipes. She never stops loving us through her expansive and varied cooking.
11. She is a reader. That is so sexy.
12. She is a theologian, probably one of the best I know. She wouldn’t call herself one, but she lives her faith in Jesus in extremely authentic, practical ways, and never stops growing in her knowledge of Christ. That, my friends, is a good theologian.
13. She is an encourager. And there is no word of encouragement as sweet as when I sit next to her after the sermon, and she whispers in my ear, “Good job.”
14. She makes me want to be a better man.
15. I want my daughter to be a wife and mom, just like her.
16. I want my sons to find a wife, just like her.
17. Her physical beauty has only grown with age. But the reason she is so stunning is because she has adorned the good news of Jesus very well, through the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.
17. Her children praise her every chance they get, because they see that true beauty in her on a daily basis.
18. Many know her as a fairly quiet women, but to mistake that for weakness would be a mistake. She is the strongest person  (not just woman) that I know.
19. She is submissive. But her wisdom and strength doesn’t translate that to mean she always agrees with me. She speaks her mind, and protects me from blunders (when I listen). She has always displayed respect and grace in her disagreements with me.
20. Her respect and support for me often make me feel like I could take on the world.
21. She loves other women, and has poured her life into so many girls who would testify to her impact on their lives, and now, their families.
22. She has embraced the adventure of five different careers, living in five different cities, the most challenging of both those things being the last in each category. She has done so with grace and joy, and is the main reason (under God) that I’m still in ministry.
23. She is an incredibly hard worker.
24. She makes our house a home.
25. She is a wonderful friend to the women in her life.

Is that 25 already? I can’t wait to get to 50 years, so I can share 50 things I love about her!

Thank you for saying yes, every day, Susan Ann Molesky.
I love you so much.