a collection of words about God and life and art and baseball and football and hope and my family and my ministry and music and the immense joy in each moment of all of it. it's a record of being human. welcome.
i don't often write about politics, mostly because i usually feel overwhelmed and way out of my league in that arena. i also have always had this sense that politics are primarily personal and ultimately private. i probably need to do some soul-searching to understand why i have this tendency towards privacy, but i can't help but write today about barack obama's acceptance speech last night.
here are some of my thoughts: first, i thought it was interesting that the event was held in a packed stadium. i was amazed at the sheer number of people who would come to sit in an upper deck to hear a speech. it reminds me that people really REALLY care about what this man is saying. when they chant, "yes we can," whatever it is that they think they can do, they seriously believe it. i thought it was a gutsy move by obama to have this speech in that stadium. yes, there is energy there, and the numbers look impressive, but it sure is a great deal of space to fill wi…
upon walking into our "toy room," which is a room in our basement where most of the kids' toys are kept and where they are mostly played with, i discovered that all the toys, puzzles, games, things with microscopic plastic pieces, food from the pantry, vacuum bags, dryer lint and other random items were in a giant pile on the floor.
cade was sleeping innocently in his crib, so i deduced that the young toddler standing next to mount miscellaneous with a box of instant mashed potatoes in one hand and a empty lego box in the other was the guilty party. however, not wanting to assume (when one assumes one makes a donkey out of one's self, or something like that), i decided to open an investigation to determine the perpetrator. naturally, despite my frustration at the mess, i calmly asked the master of mess-making who created this catastrophe. actually, it went almost exactly like this: me: wow, jack, what's this? jack: a jungle. me: that's amazing. it has so…
o flaming tree,you are speaking to meand this is a moment different than any other.you burn a voice of hope and life - a call of freedom from slavery-strife,and i can only wonder...who are you that sends me,o blazing and unburnt tree?
"burning bush" journal collage paper gregory a. milinovich just a note about this piece: from time to time i will make impromptu collages in my journal with whatever materials i have on hand (i usually have a bunch of stuff nearby) that reflect what i am thinking about/struggling with better than words can for me at that particular moment. this is just one such collage. usually they are pretty simple, less precise and left unseen. but i thought i would share this one with you, based on yesterday's reflections on the burning bush.
as i am reflecting on my sermon for this coming sunday, i am thinking about the names of God. the text is from the third chapter of exodus, where moses is just minding his own business with the sheep and goats when he discovers a fire. and from that burning tree he hears the voice of God calling him to go back to egypt to face his past and his people and the pharaoh. shuffling his bare feet a bit (he was on holy ground, for God's sake) he decided to ask God for a name, so he could tell people who sent him. its always easier to pass the buck when you know someone's name ("hey, sorry pharoah, but don't blame me, this wasn't my idea. take it up with mr. smith, he's the one who sent me"). and God obliges moses this bit of information, but not in a straightforward kind of way. the name that gets translated "i am that i am" is a strange name, to be sure. for me, its like answering an objective question with a bit of poetry. and i have all ki…
recently i was online and jack was looking over my shoulder. an advertisement in the banner of whatever site i was on had a picture of the statue of liberty on it. jack excitedly said, "look! the chef statue!"
i thought maybe he was confused, but last night as he was putting together a puzzle of the united states, and there was a picture of lady liberty on it, he said, "and here's the chef statue. we live close to the chef."
"movin' to the country, gonna eat me alot of peaches," is the song that we can't get out of our heads here at the milinovich house. we've been out picking peaches at a local farm twice in the last couple of weeks. i haven't put many pictures of the boys up here in a while, so here are some pictures. you'll notice that they end up eating twice their weight in peaches and blackberries before we even leave.
so the other night, after the kids were in bed and shannon was watching project runway, i decided to watch a movie. i've got several dvd's sitting around that are just waiting for me to watch them, so i somewhat randomly chose "the manchurian candidate," put it in the dvd player, not knowing what to expect, and sat down to a couple suspenseful and interesting hours. this movie is a remake of a 1962 film (which i have never seen), and as such carries some baggage for many viewers. however, given that i not only have never seen the original but am also am completely unfamiliar with the story or plot of the film, this was all new to me. and i really enjoyed it. for one thing, you probably need to understand that i totally have a man crush on denzel washington, and so i find myself loving any film that he is in (can you say "glory" or "the pelican brief" or "remember the titans?"). so maybe i was just blinded by my own denzel-love, but…
don't get me wrong - i love the new york yankees - but i think i've lost hope for this season. i don't see how they can make up 7 games on the red sox in the time that's left. and that's just for the wild card. so, all you yankee haters out there, go ahead and do your thing. celebrate. pop open a bottle of sam adams or something and rejoice. but remember this: next year, new stadium, new team. the yankees will be back. and they will win their 27th world series. just probably not this year.
sitting in these drowsy deadwood pews we're at a flowered funeral. we're still awake, though, and alive and all that, but there is a certain kind of unlife in the air. its not dying that concerns me, so much as death in all its cold stingless stillness, and while it may not have any victory, it sure does have our attention, and, for now at least, it feels like we've been stricken, or stung, or robbed. but louder than the hollow creaking of these pews, louder than the swallowed sobs, even louder, somehow, than the stiff silence, is the sound of our words, the song of our hope, and the yearning of our souls.
as you may know, i am constantly interested in and drawn to the topic of faith and art, and i found a very interesting article about the quality of Christian fiction here. not only is the article a somewhat funny look at the issues around faith and art, but the discussion in the comments that follow is truly interesting. there are so many opinions about this subject, and just as many generalizations that are made, but i, for one, wish more christians would read stuff like this, just to understand how isolating ourselves from the world has had unintended consequences. in the name of being safe, or morally sound, or clean, or whatever the reason is, modern american christianity has created a subculture, also called a ghetto, of christianized stuff. this includes the arts. it also includes things like greeting cards, clothing, home decor, jewelry, and so on, but that's for another day's discussion. what i am interested in here is the idea (whether its true or not - i think…
i just want to take this opportunity to warn any of you that have thought you might come over and visit sometime. if you are one of my long distance readers, and were thinking about a nice stay in beautiful new jersey, or if you are local and just wanted to stop by, consider yourself warned: jack is very sensitive to bad breath.
i first noticed his breath sensitivity when i would have to go into his room at night because he wasn't falling asleep. i would put him to bed, then go get a snack. soon, though, he would be yelling for something, basically just avoiding sleep, and when i would go on to him, he would be like a bloodhound on a missing persons' case. he would go from yelling out in the dark, "i need you daddy!" in one instant to smartly saying, "you smell like potato chips. fire chips." in the next (fire chips are what jack calls bar-b-que chips, as in, "fire chips are yucky."). at this point i just figured he was hungry for somethin…
i enjoy watching the olympics for the incredible athleticism and the intense competition, but i also enjoy the inspiring commercials, like the "go world" ones with morgan freeman. but i particularly love this 60-second tribute to all the hardships one has to go through - all the courage one has to have - to experience victory. gives me goosebumps everytime. plus i love this song by the killers.
these are cool. check out wordle.net to make a "collage" of words. these were made from some of the words on the front page of my blog right now. you can customize the color, font, and shape. pretty fun stuff.
here's a little throwback for your thursday. this little gem highlights the fact that i've been a steelers fan from way-back. and what young steelers fan doesn't want a steelers corkboard? actually, it was a really cool gift because the pushpins were actually the helmets of all the nfl teams. these were useful for holding up important documents (what important documents could i have possibly had?) as well as (threatening to) poke my sisters with them. also important to note in this old photograph taken at my grandparents house, at christmas time, i guess, is the wristbands that i'm wearing with my wrangler jeans and long-sleeved collared shirt. why was i sweating? working so hard thinking of how i was going to use a corkboard? in any case, i still love wristbands, and i still love the steelers, so, as much as things change, they stay the same. greg. ps. i did awful golfing the other day. i hit the ball straight (most of the time), but i hit it low, along the g…
recently, as shannon was going through the insane routine that is dressing the kids for church, getting herself ready and then loading them into the van, she realized that she couldn't find her keys. this just added to the insanity. as the kids, in their sunday best, are now wandering into the garage, playing with fly swatters and car tires (okay, that's an exaggeration, but that's what i do best!), shannon is turning all her purses inside out and trying to think where in the world she could have left her keys. at one point jack came back in the house, probably to say something like, "i'm hungry again," (which he almost exclusively says 10-15 minutes after eating a meal), or "cade ate sumpin'," (which almost exclusively refers to something either poisonous, alive, or large enough to choke a python). shannon told him to hold on because they were headed for church but she couldn't find her keys so maybe he could just stay out of trouble an…
"may you live all the days of your life." - jonathan swift
there are moments, you know? nothing extravagant or monumental. they seem to be, at least for me, the moments that you almost miss. i could be watching an old steelers game right now. or the olympics. or taking a nap. and all of those things would be fine moments. but they wouldn't be this moment.
this moment is sitting in my sunroom with the steady sound of rain above me. this moment is the lights left low with a candle flame dancing to the quiet love of over the rhine. this moment is a fresh pot of decaf and a couple of dove dark chocolates. this moment is watching all the mirror-green leaves tickled by the rain, creating a kind of kaliedescope of shiny green life. this moment is bare feet on the cold tile floor. this moment is nothing special, really. it is only a tiny fleeting moment in the course of my life. but it is the moments like this that i need to be present to - alive in - if i really want to live all…
i've been home for a few days, so that must mean its time to head out again. i am leaving in about 10 minutes to head down to baltimore where our 6th, 7th and 8th graders have been in mission this past week. i'll be joining them for a few days and returning home with them. they have been doing a good bit of work here. thanks for all the movie ideas on the last post. i'll talk to you all again on sunday or monday. peace.
as many of you know, i lead a monthly film discussion group at my church called reel life: discussions on film and faith. i am currently in the process of choosing the movies for the next 5 months. i was wondering if you had any suggestions. the criteria, quite simply, would be that the film be one that we can engage as people of faith and have a dialogue about. it doesn't necessarily need to about God or faith, promote a christian worldview, or even be uplifting. i would rather watch films that give us a lens through which to view this life, and to discuss that lens from the vantage point of faith. any suggestions?
taking care of two male human beings with a combined age of four and a half is challenging enough on its own, but when you add summer trips to cape may, the poconos, central pennsylvania and pittsburgh, among others, you get an intense couple of months. it has been fun, for sure, but it has also been constantly moving - with only occasional tuesdays and wednesdays for the catching of breath.
our most recent adventure was a camping trip at knoebels amusement part in central pa this last weekend. we met shannon's mom and dad, brother and family, and sister and family for a weekend of camping and amusement. i learned several things during the weekend:
-the only thing hotter than waiting in line for the lamest boat ride ever created, besides hell (which may very well be the exact same thing), is lying in a tent at 1pm on the first day of august, listening to you 1 year old cry, hoping that he goes to sleep soon.
i don't know if any of you knew this, but one of my collages has been on display at the museum of modern art (moma) in nyc this month. here is a picture of it. okay, if you believe that, you may also believe the following:-i'm filthy rich-i value hygiene above all else-i have a passionate disdain for potato chips