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Showing posts from July, 2008

throwback thursday: football card

oh yeah. here i am. football player extroadinaire. and no, my name was not "trader." supposedly, the random word at the bottom on the card indicates that these classic little numbers can be traded for others. so instead of trading a mantle for a clemente, you can trade a ridiculous picture of yourself for an equally ridiculous picture of one of your teammates. awesome. i played for the green demons. i played a variety of positions, including running back and linebacker. i mean, you can tell that i was a born linebacker in this picture. look at those thick arms. and notice how the football is 2 and 1/2 times the size of my cranium. i think i was like 11 in this picture. and in the prime of my football career. sigh.

training camp

we have entered that glorious time of the year, the time when the baseball season is over halfway over, and the division races are starting to heat up. and just as baseball begins to become very serious, another ingredient is thrown into the sports lover's cauldron: football. that's right, training camp began this week, which means the steelers are in latrobe again at st. vincents, beginning a journey that they hope ends with a super bowl ring. but it hasn't been a good start. polamalu out with an injury; hampton too fat and out of shape to practice with his team; sepulveda out for the year with an acl. yikes. still, though, there is something about training camp that can really get me excited. the last few years i have had the opportunity to go and watch a practice there, but this year i (sadly) won't be making that pilgrimage. so i'm following it through the pittsburgh newspapers online (post gazette and tribune review), and dreaming about it when i close…

living the Kingdom in west virginia

i'm sitting here at my dining room table in the morning quiet of our house that always occurs before the boys wake up and start their daily storm. over the rhine is singing softly from the ipod across the room, and the sun is sewing a patchwork quilt in the woods that i can see through our big back window. its good to be home.

sorry for the lack of posts this last week, but i was on a mission trip with 45 other people to west virginia, and (despite what we were told) we had no internet access where we were staying. so i've been gathering my thoughts over the last week and now i'm a bit overwhelmed (as i wrote that two deer just went bouncing through the quilted woods, tails held high, scampering for safety).

west virginia was wild and wonderful. well, at least, that's what their license plates say. it certainly was wild. we stayed at a large church called central chapel in hedgesville, a "town" outside of martinsville. we worked at a residence, or i sh…

west virginia: the speckled animal

so if this little tip on the far right (east) side of west virginia looks like the head of some speckled animal, then the blue county (berkeley), would be the creature's nose. that's where i'll be all week. i'm going on a missions trip to hedgesville, west virginia with a bunch of youth. we leave tomorrow. it should be a fun (read exhausting) week. pray for us as we not only try and share the love of jesus with people, but also try and learn how each one of us needs to 'share the well.' one of my goals as a leader of these youth from hunterdon county (the second or fourth richest county in the u.s., depending on who you listen to) is to demonstrate and teach that we can make a difference not so much by going on missions trips for one week each summer, but by sharing the resources and gifts and love we've been given. its a simple concept, really, but one we need to learn and relearn all the time. you can also chuckle when you think of me this week be…

it could be worse...

oh, crap.

throwback thursday: ridiculous jacket

here is a polaroid picture of me in high school. now, i don't share this with pride and joy. on the contrary, i share this only as an act of humility and because i want my readers to feel better about themselves (well, at least my awkward stage was never that bad). it is a complete breakdown in all that is good and right in the world, from the jacket on through the intricately patterned paisley shirt, the giant specs, and, let's not forget to mention the mc hammer posture that says, "hey, i may not be cool, but i can stand like i am." i hope you feel better about yourselves today. i really do.

interview question

best question i heard in an interview at jurisdictional conference:

if every character in the Bible (except Jesus) was leading a Bible study, whose would you choose and why?

how would you answer that?

jurisdictional conference

i’m in harrisburg, pennsylvania today at the northeast jurisdictional conference of the united methodist church. i’m not here as a delegate, but more as a friend and supporter. my senior pastor is one of thirteen episcopal candidates which is a fancy way of saying that he is a candidate to become a bishop. today is the day where all the candidates are interviewed (each candidate has 9 or 10 interviews), and he has asked 4 or 5 of us to walk with him through these interviews as listeners and support people.

so i am here.

and it is absolutely fascinating. i would otherwise not have the opportunity to be at jurisdictional conference, and so this is a wonderful opportunity for me. i'm listening to candidates answer questions like, "what is your understanding of the prophetic role of the bishop?" it is interesting to hear how these candidates answer questions, and to see how this day continues to unfold.

turtles don't sleep

"posada takes a pitch, low and outside for a ball, and the count moves to two and two..." whispers the tv in my bedroom. i can't have it too loud, jack's room is next door to mine, after all. and i wouldn't want to wake him up. "swing and a miss! strike three, and there are two away..." continues the broadcast. the yankees are losing. again. i'm sitting in bed, letting the day's detritis settle down like dust on the furniture. to facilitate this settling in, i'm watching the yankees game, doing a crossword puzzle (does anyone know a 10-letter word for "comical?"). i've got a pencil in my hand, i cold drink on the night stand, and (finally, now that the kids are in bed) a bit of quiet in the house. "that's popped down the left field line and curving foul out of play. two and one now to robbie." i love the sound of a baseball broadcast. its got its own pace and rhythm: a kind of music to me. people say …

daddy/son collage day

jack said something the other day about making a collage, so i promised him that on my day off i would let him make a collage with me. "in your collage room?" he eagerly asked. so i told him we'd wait till cade was napping and then we could make a collage in my collage room (my collage room is a little room in our basement that is full - absolutely full - of papers and cigar boxes and random found objects and strange items that i've collected. i never really let the kids in there because it is too tempting. and its full of rusty sharp objects that i've picked up from the sides of many roads).

anyway, thursday was the day. so i gave him an enormous bin of paper and told him to pick out what he liked. then rip it up and cut it up (safety scissors, people) and glue it to the art board. he seriously did this for over an hour. he seemed to really enjoy it. i gave him a great deal of verbal instruction (please don't eat the glue, rip the pieces smaller, pl…

now playing: kite

now playing: kite artist: patty griffin about: patty griffin is one of my favorite artists. lyrically, she tends to be a storyteller, with image-rich songs about people in often difficult situations. maybe the stories are metaphors or maybe they are just stories. either way, they are vivid pictures of life. musically, patty always takes my breath away. her voice is emotive, real and earthy while at the same time soaring and passionate. she will whisper and shout all in song, all in angelic beauty. this song is not my favorite patty griffin song (that would be mary), but it is what just came across my ipod, and as a song of optimism and hope, i would want to dedicate it today to my old tuesday night buddy. i'm praying for you. kite The Sunday after there was laughter in the air
Everybody had a kite
They were flying everywhere
And all the trouble went away
And it wasn't just a dream
All the trouble went away
And it wasn't just a dream

In the middle of the night
We try and try…

the buccos win!

so its been since 1960 that the yankees have been in pittsburgh to play baseball. and we all know how that ended (if you don't know how that ended, just think: world series, game seven, bottom of the ninth, 2 outs. every little boy's dream. it happened. bill mazeroski. pirates win.) and now, 48 years later, they finally meet in pittsburgh again, with the pirates getting the best of the yanks again. they took the series 2 games to 1, winning 4-2 tonight at PNC. as i said, i am a fan of both teams (i follow the yankees more closely, living in the new york area), and i really want both teams to succeed. here's hoping for a rematch of the 1960 world series. it won't happen this year. but maybe someday. in my lifetime...

two favorite teams

so who do you root for when your two favorite teams are playing one another? i am currently watching the yankees play the pirates at pnc park in pittsburgh. i find myself rooting for both of them at the same time. unfortunately, they can't both win...we'll see what happens.

jesus power explosion

at the aforementioned fourth of july parade, a float went by with this banner on it. then someone came by and handed me a couple of tootsie rolls and a flyer with the same information on it. JESUS POWER EXPLOSION!!!!

i put the picture up on facebook, and someone commented, "I don't know if i should be excited or afraid."

exactly.

i mean, don't get me wrong, i'm all for evangelism in so far as evangelism means sharing Good News with people. i'm all for offering drink to the thirsty and food to the hungry and company to the lonely and orphaned and care to the sick and so forth. i'm all for sharing Jesus with people. but an explosion? is jesus an atom bomb or wmd? are we trying to infiltrate the elk county fairgrounds so we can blow the place up with God?

i'm not trying to be cynical here, i just have my own doubts about this technique. when i hear that there's going to be a 'jesus power explosion' my first thought is to cover my face …

a fourth of july poem

these are pictures from a fourth of july parade we attended this year in osceola mills, pennsylvania. i know it isn't exactly the midwest, but as i sat there and watched the flag decals and tattoos go by on fire trucks and harleys and go-carts, i couldn't help but feel i was somewhere in the middle of america, on this, the most american of days. someone had mentioned that americans aren't as patriotic as they once were. that might be true, but it certainly didn't feel like it on this day. beauty queens and bumper stickers all shouted out in red, white and blue firecracker boom: we are america! God bless us!

i, for one, did some reflecting around God's kingdom and the "kingdom" of america. i understand that the u.s. is not a kingdom, per se, but it certainly is a political and economic system. i am currently reading shane claiborne's "jesus for president," and am really thinking about the politics of Christ. more on this as i get throu…

red devil

"red devil" found object assemblage on cardboard panel gregory a. milinovich

last sunday

this past sunday (the 29th of june) my church held an outdoor worship service right behind our church, which is a beautiful riverside space. full of flowers and trees, with the backdrop of the slow-moving river, it is a beautiful setting, and we worshipped well. here you see me playing the djembe (i got to play it on a few songs, including an acapella version of "down in the river to pray").
we also did something different for the sermon portion. rather than have just one of us preach, the senior pastor (galen) and i had a "conversation" about the call of samuel and our own calls to ministry. this was a bit out of my comfort zone as a public speaker, but it went pretty well, i think, and we got a good deal of positive feedback about it.


at the end of the service it began to rain, so the picnic that was to follow was moved indoors. the picnic was an event that was to celebrate my ordination, and so it was fun to eat some of my favorite picnic foods (they designe…

throwback thursday: 4 weeks old

aww...here i am at 4 weeks old. what kind of hat is that? some kind of beret? what am i, french? this picture would be more complete if i had a long thin cigarette hanging out of my mouth.

batman and superman

jack recently informed us that batman lives with spiderman, which of course is totally not true (hello, marvel and dc!). so i had to set him straight, teaching my son a valuable lesson about the web of relationships among superheroes. i bring you exhibit a: whassup.

conspiracy #3

so i'm sitting in the waiting room at the toyota dealership. no, i'm not buying a new car. i'm here for an oil change. i know, we are one of those crazy types who have all of our car maintenance done by the dealership. yes, i'm sure it is more expensive, but i have also learned to convince myself that they somehow take better care of my car than the guys down at george's garage. maybe its the nice and shiny factory parts. maybe its the free coffee in the waiting room. maybe its the way i get to walk through the showroom on my way to the coffee, and be reminded by all the nice new cars that the investment i made 24 months ago has very quickly depreciated. ahh yes, nothing like a little financial anxiety to go with your oil change and instant cappuccino.

but i'm not the only one. i mean, there are others who also opt for this ridiulous mode of torture, but they all appear to be over the age of 73. and they love free coffee.

despite my affinity for talk…