Tuesday, November 25, 2014


in moments like this, we are reminded that the kingdom in which we are citizens is not protected by police, ruined by riots, or selling headlines for the media.  

we are part of the kingdom of God. 

it is a kingdom that is already/not yet;
a kingdom that is marked by love, not fear;
a kingdom that is coming to earth as it is in heaven.  

it won't be legislated, enforced, or sold in stores.  
but it is happening right now.  

every time we choose to love our neighbor;
every time we put the "other" before ourselves;
every time we embrace someone with all their differences from us.  
every time we demonstrate that every life matters, because we are all children of God.

let us live today - and everyday - in love and kindness, compassion and peace.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

steelers run by titans, move to 7-4

on monday night, the steelers squeaked by the tennessee titans, overcoming an 11-point deficit late in the second half, thanks mostly to le'veon bell.

i wasn't a fan of his off-the-field antics this summer, but i sure do love the way this kid runs the ball.  like everyone in the world has already written about him before, it is so strange to watch him.  he seems to linger and hesitate behind the line of scrimmage, the way many other ball carriers for the steelers have in the past.  the difference is that when they hesitated, they almost always got hit for a 2-yard loss.  with bell, it is like he hesitates just long enough to see the hole and then explode through it.  there was a series in the game on monday night where he rushed for 10.  then 10 again.  then 8.  even though the titans knew the handoff was coming, he just found a way.  yes, tons of credit goes to the offensive line for recognizing defenses and getting the blocking right, but you can block right all day and still not gain any yards.  you need a runner with strength, vision, speed, patience, and the ability to hold onto the ball.  bell has all of it.  and it is beautiful to watch.

there were a few other highlights, including a nice game by antonio brown, a good catch by markus wheaton when one was needed, some nice catches across the middle by heath, and a pick-6 by william gay.  there were lots of lowlights, too, but i don't have to focus on those because we won, and now we have the bye week to try and get extra healthy before we welcome the saints to pittsburgh.  here we go steelers!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

new collage: which way?

"which way?"
mixed  media collage on stretched canvas (vintage papers, acrylic paint, acrylic gel medium, glue)
november, 2014
gregory a. milinovich

yes, i can still make a collage!  it has been a long time, but i finally carved out some time here recently to let the creative juices flow a little bit, and this is what came of it.  it is meant to make you think twice about what you are actually seeing, and what your eye assumes.  

one of the things i've been reminded of recently is that you simply cannot draw conclusions from first glances.  well, i should say that you can - in fact we often do - but you shouldn't.  what appears to be so clear from one angle is completely ambiguous from another one.  the part of me that feels the urge to categorize and organize everyone into groupings that i've somehow justified in my mind is the same part of me that hates when someone does that to me, and compels me to do all sorts of ridiculous things just to prove that i don't belong in anyone's prejudiced boxes.  we - or at least i - need reminders sometimes to slow down and really get to know people, not just the facades and roles.  this collage is meant to be just such a reminder.  peace.  

Thursday, November 06, 2014

our halloween, 2014 (death is defeated!)

here is shannon and i dressed up for halloween.  shannon is rockin' the 50's girl style.  i'm supposed to be an ironic hipster, albeit an old and chubby ironic hipster.

oh, you're surprised we celebrate halloween?  don't be.  it is all hallow's eve, as the darkness descends before all saints day, when we celebrate all those who have gone to glory before us.  so as the sun sets and darkness covers the earth, it is natural to consider the power of death, and how it robs us, eventually, of everyone we love, and in the end, it gets even to us.  for so many people, and in so many ways, death is absolutely terrifying.

but not to Christ followers.  see, if we really believe what we say we believe, then we believe that Jesus defeated death once and for all.  the bible, which we believe to be the very word of God, speaks of this over and over (where, o death, is your victory?).  death has been crushed by the power of life through the overwhelming love of Jesus.  the people who walked have seen a great light!  so, as darkness covers the earth on all hallow's eve (halloween), we as Christ followers can celebrate the great power of life over death.  we can ask the same question as Scripture: "where is your sting, o grave?  you have no power here!  you are defeated once and for all!"  we celebrate and exchange treats and dress up all as a kind of subversive farce, to remind death of its pathetic powerlessness over us!  

here is quinton as a leprechaun

here is caedmon as a skeleton, or skeleskin, as quinton says.  

jackson, the lumberjack.

and all three in action.

we had a great celebration, complete with "mummy dogs" for dinner...

....followed by much trick-or-treating and the gathering of sugary confections, which was subsequently dumped on the dining room table and properly sorted and delved into.

we hope you had a good halloween, that you enjoyed our photos, that you remembered those saints in your life who have gone before, and that you took the opportunity to reclaim that great truth of our faith that there is nothing, not even death itself, that can separate us from the love of God through Jesus!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

steelers stuff ratbirds, stack three wins in a row

i get so nervous when the steelers play the ravens, because i want the steelers to win so badly.  so when they lose, it is so sickening.

but when they win....it is so sweet.

and this time was one of the sweetest.

partly it was because big ben did what absolutely no one - NO ONE - thought he could possibly do: throw 6 more touchdowns in this game after throwing 6 last week (the first quarterback to EVER do this).  it is really great to see our franchise quarterback, who is regularly underrated, get some well-deserved national attention and accolades.

and partly this win over the ravens was especially sweet because of the return of james harrison, who was retired just a few weeks ago.  he's been back for several games now, but this game found him returning to form, and scaring the unibrow off of joe flacco's face.  he had two sacks to go with the two from last week, and he is once again a defensive terror that opposing teams have to worry about. it is unbelievable that he has come back to form.

and partly this win was so sweet because the steelers were honoring mr. steeler, mean joe greene, whose insatiable desire to win helped to turn the same old steelers of the previous 40 years into a dynasty of winners.  whatever is in people's minds today about the "steelers way" being a way of operating and playing which has led to 6 super bowl rings (more than any other team), is largely in their minds because of joe greene.  so the steelers were right to honor him and to make his number 75 the second number in team history to be retired.  and it was awesome that he chose this particular game for the occasion, and the steelers were able to rise to it and deliver that beat down on baltimore.

but more than any of that, this game was sweet because these ravens beat us by 20 points down in baltimore a few weeks ago.  and they came into pittsburgh sunday looking like a team who desperately wanted to be a bully.  and so very early they resorted to some dirty stuff, to try and intimidate the steelers, including the egregious forearm shiver to the face of big ben, delivered by team criminal courtney upshaw, causing ben to contort his face in pain, giving us opportunities for pictures like the popeye one above.  but it also gave us something else: sweet redemption.  because after that punch to the face, the steelers took over the game.  get these stats for a minute and let them sink in:

in the first 20 minutes (one third of the game) big ben was 4/7 for 11 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions and 3 sacks.

but in the last 40 minutes he came to life, and these were his stats then: 21/30 for 310 yards, 6 touchdowns, no interceptions, and 3 sacks.

ben looked amazing.  the picture of markus wheaton above came after ben dropped a beautiful long pass down the sideline right in stride to the streaking wide receiver.  ben just took over and was dominant.  and the rat birds responded with more bullying and violence and chest-pounding and cheap shot-ing.  but in the end, it wasn't enough.

and the steelers put the ravens in the basement of the afc north, with three divisional losses already.

yes, this one was sweet.  because of big ben.  because of james harrison.  because of mean joe greene.  and because it was the big bad bullies of baltimore, who had to go home with their tails tucked between their legs.

here we go steelers!  bring on the j-e-t-s, jets, jets, jets!

Friday, October 31, 2014

this is hollowin!!!

this is cade's picture for halloween, or hollowin, as he calls it.  at least frankenstein and the angry pumpkin-head-man can agree on the spelling, and are very clear about what day it is.  

in preparation, we were hollowin' out some pumpkins.  photographic evidence follows.  

top row, left to right: jackson's nightmare before Christmas, caedmon's bat symbol, my steelers pumpkin.
bottom row: quinton's (well, shannon's really) gotham city

and here is shannon's scary scarecrow

and a better picture of my steelers pumpkin.

this is hollowin!!!