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Showing posts from November, 2008

tomlin, patriots, and the offense

the steelers meet the new england patriots up in foxboro this afternoon, and i am looking for a big victory for the steelers, after a long 10-day break. it is crunchtime for this team, and we have got to show up and get some wins in this tough stretch to keep our hold on the division lead. there are a number of story lines going into the game, but at its most basic we need our defense to play like they have been while our offense shows some ability to move the ball, pound the rock to eat the clock, and protect both ben and the ball. if the offense shows a bit more of its potential, we win this game. and we really REALLY need to win this game. ... the picture above is jack and cade with some of their cousins from central pa (calla, ty and eli). at our house, steelers spirit is essential! ... one other note, if you ever doubt mike tomlin's passion as a coach, or just want to see a bit more intimate look at him than you get in the very guarded post game press conferences, just …

a prayer for thanksgiving eve

tomorrow is thanksgiving. and so even as i am definately in an advent state of mind, pleading for God to come and shed some light in the dark corners of my own life, i also am aware that i truly have so much for which to be thankful. and so i meet God in this little paragraph of prayer, if for no other reason than to say "thank you."
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THANK YOU, o great big mysterious God for this enormous gift. this beating heart and these moveable parts. the way my chest draws breath, and the way surprises take it away. the hope that is part of something much deeper and older than this skin and skeleton and yet rises up in me at times with the quiet strength of water and the consuming fury of fire. thank you for the physical, for the cold firmness of earth, the sweet smell of the seasons, the music of the wood and gut stretched across each day like a canvas, the spilled and spattered palette of color covering the universe, and the ability to take it all into my mouth, to ingest and…

starting in darkness

advent is quickly approaching. this sunday will be the first week of the season of waiting. now i understand that we still have thanksgiving yet, and believe me, i will be thoroughly enjoying the day of gratitude and time with my family, but as a pastor i have to be planning for sunday, so my thoughts today are on advent.
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i love advent. not because i love waiting so much as that it seems to stir in me some connection to the ancients: i feel a kinship with generations long gone who clung to their hope. for me, that's what advent is about finally: hope. in a very basic and literal way its about waiting for a messiah, and in an even more basic and literal way its about waiting through a pregnancy for the birth of a baby; but in a more metaphorical way, advent, for me, is the place of our hearts where we long for light to enter darkness, redemption to replace brokenness, and life to emerge, even if kicking and screaming, if for no other reason than to send death running off wi…

an open letter to retail centers

dear bastions of consumerism, masters of marketing, and homes of the best deals and biggest sales,

i'm sorry, but i just don't get the idea of listening to christmas music in mid or early november. i mean, we haven't even gotten through thanksgiving yet, for goodness' sake. now the pastor in me has his own reasons for feeling this way: christmas music is celebrating christmas, not the lead up to it. that's something else. called advent. and at least in our worship, we ought not rush through advent before we get to christmas. advent has its own music. but forget about the pastor in me for a second, just the regular music-loving christmas-loving me still doesn't get it. i mean, we don't listen to "happy birthday" for a month before our big day. we don't start listening to irish music in mid-february to start getting ready for st. patrick's day, do we? of course not. and don't think that i'm being a scrooge here, either. …

an early christmas video for ya'll

Send your own ElfYourselfeCards

8-3

i'm a little groggy as i write this, on this crisp november morning in new jersey. morning came much too quickly in succession after night for me to handle it properly, and so i'm still half asleep, still half aware, and still completely excited about the steelers.

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the steelers started off week 12 of the nfl schedule by beating the bengals to move to 8-3 on the season, gripping firmly to their division lead and their hopes for a prominant playoff spot. it was not exactly that game i had expected, though. i had hoped that the steelers ground game could have really been dominant and chewed up yards and time while imposing their black and gold will on the striped cats. but that didn't happen. i had expected james harrison to have a huge game with sacks and forced fumbles, but that didn't happen.

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what i did expect, though, is that the game might be closer than many others were thinking. not because the bengals are so great, but because the steelers tend to play close …

thursday night football: steelers vs. bengals

i know i know. i know what you're thinking. "it's only been three days since greg wrote about the steelers. why is he writing about them again. i hate steelers posts." well, get over it. even though they just finished their game sometime around 8pm on sunday night, they play again tonight at 8:15 against the one-win bengals, and i am excited. why am i excited? here's why...1. the short week. i know that the nfl is such a rough sport that the players need the full week to recover (a little) before the next game and all that, but i love the 4-day break between games. so much less time to wait for the steelers game. love it. as i have said to many others, when i get to heaven i will find that the steelers are playing every day. and winning. every day. 2. levi jones, starting left tackle for the bengals, is out for this game. which means a backup will be starting in his spot. know who will be lining up against him? none other than james harrison, …

listen

"listen" mixed media assemblage gregory a. milinovich here is an assemblage i made a couple of months ago. its not a very good picture, because it is hard for me to get a picture without glare, but it is a 3-d piece made with an actual cell phone, watch, doorbell, etc. just as i do with paper, i enjoy the juxtaposition of various objects that wouldn't normally be connected, or in a way that causes us to question our assumptions about the relationships between things. this one is based on jesus' words: those who have ears to hear, let them hear. listening,greg.

my church choir

okay, so this video isn't really my church choir. but the funny thing is that it really IS a church choir. it is 5 minutes long, but if you want to see people who could be your grandparents saying "shake it like a polaroid picture," then check this out.

7-3

its certainly much easier for me to be timely with my steelers post when they win!

so here i am tonight, a few hours after the steelers (barely) beat the chargers, by a cat's whisker, as bill hillgrove said. it should have been more like a cat's paw because the touchdown should have counted at the end if the referrees weren't dumb as stumps. but it didn't. so the final score was 11-10. the first nfl game ever to end with that final score.

reflections?

ben was fantastic for a change. he seemed more calm and poised, and certainly more accurate. he got sacked a few times, but handled adversity really well and delivered the ball with authority and accuracy. he threw no interceptions, and could have had even better stats than he did if nate washington doesn't drop a couple of passes and stretches the ball out over the goal line for a touchdown. great game for ben.

my favorite steeler, the old man hines ward came up big today with 115 receiving yards. yes he got …

who would jesus root for?

at my house (and on my bookshelf) even jesus is a steelers fan.

go steelers! beat the chargers!

heck yeah! (again)

on october 14 of this year i wrote:

can i get an uninhibited "heck yeah!" for unleaded?
only $2.97/gallon at the local gas station yesterday. we should take good news wherever we can find it!


today is november 15. one month later. do you know what i paid for gas today? $1.87/gallon. wow. once again i repeat: we should take good news wherever we can find it!

blade runner

ed. note: i normally use this blog to write about movies that i love, but lest you think i love every movie i see, i thought i would include a review here of a film that i did not enjoy.

last year someone who knows that i love movies got me this movie as a gift, presumably becuase it has a reputation among some as one of the great movies of american cinema, and among others as the greatest science fiction film of the 1980's. directed by ridley scott and starring harrison ford, i had heard of this film, but had never watched it or had any idea what it was about.

i've tried watching it a couple of times over the last couple of months, but had great difficulty actually getting through it. the pace was slow, and while the visuals and effects may have been groundbreaking in the '80s, they were anything but to me. in the fast changing world of technology, particularly as it relates to film and cgi and all that hollywood is able to do to aid our imaginations, i will give this …

escape from jonestown

this may seem somewhat macabre to some of you, but i have an absolute fascination with stories about religious cults, particularly the 'peoples temple' founded by jim jones, which eventually ended with the almost unbelievable tragedy of jonestown. i don't know exactly what it is, but something in me is inexplicably drawn to this story time and time again. i have watched films on it, read books about it, looked up the deceased online and anything else i can do. tonight cnn is showing a special by soledad o'brien featuring some of the stories of the few survivors of jonestown. i'm wondering, first of all, if anyone else shares my curiosity/interest in jim jones and the people's temple. is it just me? or does this story have something in it that draws us in? i'm curious to find out if any of my readers are interested... i think part of my interest lies in the fact that jim jones started off as a bible-pounding evangelical preacher. he was a bible-belt b…

6-3

in keeping with tradition i am writing a post today to reflect on the steelers' last game, albeit a bit late in the week for such a response. the issue is that i am only now (wednesday night) getting to the point where i don't start throwing up in my mouth when i think about the game. basically, the lost a game that they never should have lost, to a colts team that showed up in a way they hadn't all year. even with the improved peyton and company on the field, there is no way the men of steel should have lost that game. without a ridiculous tipped pass they probably wouldn't have. it seems that most of steeler nation wants to blame big ben for the interceptions, or bruce arians for the play calling, but i fault injuries (not an excuse, but a reality), ike taylor's lack of vertical (or lack of stickum - catch the ball or knock it down, ike), and a lackluster performance by the hines field faithful. seriously people, everytime they showed the crowd there was to…

the mystery and the foam

a few weeks ago i was lying in bed and i kept hearing this awful noise. i mean, i really had no idea what it was, but it sounded like some kind of hissing. somewhere in the realm between dream and reality, i stumbled out of bed to try and see what was causing the ruckus. after walking back and forth around the upstairs of the house, like a cat on the prowl, or a slightly confused diviner of water, i finally honed in on the kids' bathroom, where i opened up the medicine cabinet and found this:

it is a kind of foam soap designed for children that we use at bathtime, but the key words in that phrase are "we" and "use." by that i mean that the foam soap is supposed to come out of the can whenever a human being manipulates the can with opposable thumbs or another of the various digits. but not this time. this time it decided to spew soup all over the bathroom of its own accord. my utter shock at this phenomenon stirred me out of sleepiness enough to cause me …

caption contest #1

i'm extremely busy today, with no time to really post, but i couldn't stand to have that thing about the colts on top of the page mocking me, so enjoy this funny picture and come up with a funny caption for it. hope your monday is going better than mine!

church sign #5: some trust in horses

let's go steelers! beat the colts!

poured out

"poured out" mixed media collage on cardboard panel gregory a. milinovich here's a new collage that i've been working on for the last couple of weeks. it is a painted and treated cardboard panel with a collage on top. it is my tribute to andy warhol. i'm putting it up on etsy now. don't forget to check out my store there! have a great weekend.poured out,greg.

wonderland of color

a couple of weekends ago we went to the crayola factory with my mom and dad (its only about 20-25 minutes away) and we had a great time. here are some pics from the wonderland of color. you take a tour of the place and at many points you can stop and make stuff if you want to. it happened to be picasso's birthday that day so i made a cubist self-portrait of myself. i also made a puppet out of a paperbag and a melted wax color card. fun for me AND the kids! anyway, enjoy the pics. have a great thursday.






















a new hope

we elected a new president yesterday, and regardless of who you voted for or how you are feeling about it today, barack obama will be the next president of the united states. in his speech last night at grant park in chicago, he spoke as if he were speaking directly to me:

...tonight is your answer...It’s the answer that led those who’ve been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day...

...So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.
... i've been that guy. i've been the cynic the last several years. forget what party i belonged to, i wanted to wash my hands of the whole system. i have, for a long time now, just resigned myself to the idea that politics has been hijacked by fear and hate, and that no real chan…

6-2

oh yeah. oh yeah. oh yeah. incredible fantastic awesomeness. am i being clear here? that i am really pleased with tonight's performance by the steelers? because if i'm not being clear, i can be a bit more emphatic. O MY GOSH OUR DEFENSE IS SO STINKING GOOD! there, is that better? i hope so. because i want to express that this was a huge win. we needed this win after last weeks dismal outcome. we needed this for the momentum of our season, to maintain our lead over the ravens, to prove that we can beat the nfc east, and to rebuild some confidence. our defense came up huge tonight. i mean, they were stifling. 7 sacks. they held portis, the league's leading rusher, to 51 yards rushing. they intercepted jason campbell twice (he hadn't been picked off yet this year!). they only gave up 6 points on two field goals, both of which came on very short fields for the redskins. our defense was awesome. the offense, on the other hand, left a little to be desire…

an election prayer

would you join me in praying this prayer tonight and tomorrow? it was written by a blogger named ken carter.

Creator of us all:
you are the source of every blessing,
the judge of every nation
and the hope of earth and heaven.

We pray to you on the eve of this important and historic election.
We call to mind the best that is within us:
That we live under God,
that we are indivisible,
that liberty and justice extend to all.

We acknowledge the sin that runs through our history as a nation:
The displacement of native peoples,
racial injustice, desecration of your creation,
economic inequity, regional separation.

And yet we profess a deep and abiding gratitude
for the goodness of ordinary people
who have made sacrifices, who have sought opportunities,
who have passionately loved and cared for the earth and its fruits,
who have journeyed to this land as immigrants
strengthening its promise in successive generations,
who have found freedom on these shores,
and defended this freedom at tremendous cost.

Be with u…

our little pumpkin

hey all: one more halloweeny post before we officially move on to november. on thursday jack had his halloween program at preschool, in which he and his classmates dressed up like pumpkins and 'sang' songs for the parents. in jack's case, by 'sing' i mean that he stuck his hands in his pockets and grinned. still, it was fun to see him, and it was just another reminder at how quickly all these moments pass us by. parenting is a whirlwind. but a delightful one. enjoy the pics from the program.