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Showing posts from June, 2009

not moved

not moved. i've been reading colossians 1 this morning and i came across those words. paul is talking about the incredible thing Jesus did on the cross - reconciliation! - putting us, who were alienated, into right relationship with God. and then paul wants to encourage us to stay connected to that awesomeness and he says (in the NIV) in verse 23, that we need to continue - not moved from our hope. not moved. another translation (NLT) says that we shouldn't "drift away" from our assurance. i like this 'drift away' metaphor because i can easily picture my life as aa boat, which can so casually be moved by the current or the tides. it all happens gradually, but at some point i find myself somewhere i did not intend to be, just sort of floating by in life. it would seem that the obvious answer to this situation - the way to make sure we are not moved and not drifting away - is to put down anchor. it would seem we should remember the joy of our salvatio…

costa rica, part 3 (crabs)

costa rica has crabs. and lots of them. as long as you are lying still on the beach, you can see hundreds (thousands?) of them all over the beach, scouring the sand for something to eat, leaving behind them a maze of little balls of sand, a kind of natural art that will soon be washed away by high tide. but as soon as you stand up they all scurry to their tiny little holes that take them somewhere beneath the surface of the sand. if you were casually walking the beach, you wouldn't even know they were there. but they are there.

what lies beneath? it's a fair question, at least for my own life. what lies beneath the surface of my life? what am i missing as i walk through my calendar? what would i find if i took the time to be still and know....?

enjoy these pictures of costa rican crabs, and take the time today to be still and know, even if just for a moment, what lies beneath the surface of the landscape of your life.





















keys to the kingdom

every once in a while i see a simple scene in a movie - a simple, mundane type of scene, but set to music - like a family at the dinner table or something, and i feel a sense of longing in me. that somehow i wish my life was that romantic. that i want to capture the moments of my life and set them to a soundtrack for the world to see. i want the life i live to be worth watching again. and then i tend to shelve that emotion among the dreams and unreachables in my soul.

but then i have days like this thursday, and i realize that i am living that life, if only i would just pay attention.
thursday was my day off. i woke up early and did some reading and praying, before the kids got up. they got up earlier than expected, because one of them peed the bed, so i took care of that mess, and then we watched cartoons in bed for awhile until breakfast. shannon uses my day off to get some much needed work done for her business, so i got jack and cade dressed and we headed over to the library, where …

ten years

it has hard for me to believe that these pictures were taken 10 years ago today, on the hottest day in recorded history. ten years ago?!? wow. but its been a great ten years, full of just about every kind of up and down that can fit into ten years. but standing at this point in the journey, looking back, i know still what i knew on that fiery day in 1999: that i am one lucky guy. thank you, my love, for these 10 years; for putting up with me; for loving me with all your amazing self; and for the wonderful prospect of many years yet to journey through.

father's day favorites

one of my father's day gifts was an interview that shannon did with jack about my favorite things. she thought it would be fun to capture his 4-year old's version of what i love in life, and it turns out she was absolutely right. check it out.

my daddy's favorites
by jackson, age 4

favorite sport - steelers (he got this one right! it's hard for him to forget that one!)
favorite game - don't break the ice (ummm...not so much)
favorite song - twinkle twinkle little star (maybe if coldplay sang it)
favorite book - the cat in the hat (he knows i love reading him dr. seuss books)
favorite restaurant - mcdonalds (absolutely not)
favorite movie - alvin and the chipmunks (never seen it, but i guarantee it would not be my fave)
favorite tv show - lord of the rings, but he doesn't like randolph (okay, first of all, he normally calls it 'lord of the beans,' and last night he told me that the two main characters are grandolph and dodo, so he hasn't totally grasp…

jazz for breakfast: king of the trombone

lest you think we've abandoned our jazz for breakfast (we haven't), here is today's offering: jack teagarden. hope you are finding ways to pass good culture on to your children, or at least share it with other people, so it doesn't get lost among the miley cyrus's and jonas brothers' of the world. if we don't fall in love with bach and basie again, and share that love with the next generations, who will?

what doesn't happen

a few weeks ago i was driving down the highway at about 75 mph (if you are part of law enforcement and you are reading this, please read 75 as 65, you know, artistic license and all), and i was all safe and secure inside my 2000 mazda protege. zoom zoom. when out of nowhere, this bolt comes kicking off the road in front of me, from under the tires of whatever vehicle i was behind, and i see it rise up in the air and then return to earth with on a forceful arch, coming right at me. i flinched out of the way as if my windshield didn't even exist and the metal might hit me in the face, but as it hit the windshield i quickly realized that this was going to mean a costly repair, at the very least. but amazingly, although it hit the windshield with cataclysmic pop, it did no damage to my car. it just rolled down the windshield and onto my wiper blade. and it just sat there. for the duration of my trip. when i got home i pulled it off and took it inside, resolved to keep it as a …

las flores de costa rica

being in the rain forest, one of the things that we were awed by in costa rica was the range of vegetation and color and flowers. for one thing, the world there is green. green is everywhere. whatever is not sky is basically green, decorated with bits of colorful flowers and birds. the world seems to be teeming with life, like the earth can barely contain all the energy bursting forth from it. it is truly awesome. here are some of our pics of the flora we found in costa rica.




















happy father's day!

happy father's day to all the dad's out there. whether you dad is still around or not, or you think he was a good father or not, today is a good day to remember the good things about your father - the parts of you that you carry with you today. as for me, i've been blessed with a wonderful father (that's him grinning in the above picture), and i celebrate his joy and his playfulness and his intensity and his modeling what it means to be a father. thanks, dad. happy father's day.

bowling

went bowling yesterday with the fam. fun day. here are a few pics of our experience at the lanes. please do enjoy that sweet polyester shirt that i busted out of the back of the closet just for fun. go ahead and make your comments.







costa rica, part 2

one of our favorite things about costa rica was its idyllic beaches, which we spent a fair amount of time on. we had hoped to find beautifully tropic-looking pacific beaches and we were not disappointed. not only that, but we pretty much had every beach to ourselves to explore and bask in. enjoy these pictures from our time at the beach.










the drama of a psalm

i'm pretty sure God is strong. i mean, i've never really doubted that. i look at the world around me, at the vastness of oceans and the majesty of mountains and the expanse of the sky and all of it strikes me as a song of strength. so it seemed like pretty standard stuff when i recently came across psalm 46 and the poet is talking about how God is our refuge and strength, and we have no reason to be afraid. i find myself reading quickly because "i already know all this." but as i made an intentional effort to slow down and let it sink into my thick skull, i was moved by the drama of it all. first of all, the notes at the beginning of the psalm ("alamoth, which means "young women") may mean that it was a song set for soprano voices. that's right - don't forget that a psalm is first and foremost a song, meant to be set to music and sung and heard and danced to or prayed to or cried to, or at the very least turned up to 11 on the dial. its…

victory parades

you know it is a good year to be a fan of sports in pittsburgh, when an article in today's post gazette starts off by saying, "do we know how to do a victory parade or what?"
awesome.
the article goes on to point out that we've had 11 victory parades in the last 45 years. cleveland, just down the road from pittsburgh, has had exactly none in that time. none. this isn't to harass cleveland and make them feel bad at all, but to indicate just how fortunate i am as a pittsburgh fan. i have written about it before, a kind of embarassment of riches. still, while i feel bad for cleveland fans (and also admire them for sticking with their teams regardless), i am so happy to be a pittsburgh fan.
city of champions!

the birds (not the hitchcock kind)

one of the things we did in costa rica was watch birds. the place where we stayed was called villa de las aves, which means that we were staying in villas of the birds. and it is appropriately named. there are so many birds there, in so many varities and so many colors. thankfully i was able to borrow a pair of binoculars before we left and they helped tremendously in seeing some of them closely, but here are just some of the pics of birds we saw. we also saw many toucans, but i am saving those pics for another day.










costa rica, part 1

well, i promised that i'd have more pics and stuff from our trip to costa rica, so this week i'll be putting up some pics each day this week. as i've already said, we had an awesome time there, but i really don't have tons to say about it because the agenda each day was really simple: wake up; relax; eat breakfast; go to beach; relax; home for lunch; relax/sleep; out to dinner; home to relax; sleep. repeat as necessary. i will tell you that our plane arrived in san jose pretty late, and by the time we got through customs and rented our car, it was around midnight. we were supposed to be staying in the downtown best western, but we were feeling a bit anxious about this as every local we talked to gave us a wide-eyed look and a poignant warning when we told them we were heading there. they told us to be careful with our stuff. they also told us that the streets have no signs, so we would need to count 5 blocks past the hospital then turn left and go three blocks. …

happy flag day

happy flag day

we are the champions

congrats to sid the kid and all the penguins for winning the stanley cup last night with their game 7 victory over the red wings. i'm not a huge hockey fan, but i enjoy following the playoffs when the penguins are in it. they were a really fun team to watch this year, and i'm happy for them, and for all of pittsburgh, who after the steelers superbowl victory and now this, is once again the city of champions (cue queen song here). now if only the pirates would take notes and follow suit. that would be awesome. but since that isn't likely, i'll take another steelers superbowl in lieu of it.

we're back!

hey friends. i thought i would put up a quick post tolet you know that we are back from costa rica, safe and sound. getting back into the routine is proving a bit hairy, as the world clearly didn't stop while we were away (how dare it?), so i don't have tons of time for reflection at the moment, but suffice it to say that it was an awesome vacation, full of wildlife, potholes, idyllic beaches, really good food, awkward situations (well, just one in particular), unbelievable views, relaxation, and yes, plenty of recreation. we had a great time, and i'll share more soon. hasta manana.

self

"self" paper collage on cardboard backing gregory a. milinovich For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. -romans 6:10-11

villa de las aves

just thought you might want to see some pics of where we are staying in uvita, costa rica. it is the villa de las aves, or home of the birds. there are tons of birds in costa rica, and hopefully we are seeing many of them. and not being kept awake by them. or being pooped on by them. i'll let you know. check out our place here.