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Showing posts from September, 2010

random: mint jelly and metamucil this was not the day i had expected.  i expected to get up early and write a post about my walk to work each day, complete with pictures from around my church, and in my office.  but then stuff happened.  like, oops, i accidentally pushed the wrong button on the router here at home and reset our home wireless network.  who knew one little red reset button could do that?  sure, i had to hold it in for, like, 5 seconds or something, but shouldn't you need a password and a retina scan to be able to do that? 

-then, in the midst of trying to set up a new network, i realized that the trackball on my blackberry wasn't rolling properly and figured it was a good time to go ahead and tear my phone apart to try and fix/clean it.  probably not the best decision, given the fact that i was already frustrated enough to chuck the whole phone along with one wireless router out the window into the genesis-style rain we're getting today. 

-all of that was before breakfast.

-then, …

random: autumn, mermaids and "undefeated"

-things i like right now (in no particular order): coffee, autumn air, songs with accordion, the word "undefeated," the faint aroma of apples, the way my son greets me when i come home from work, continued dominance of the cryptoquip, a clean email inbox, and generally just being alive.

-i included the little graphic above because i am full-swing into steeler mode (read: obsession).  just wanted to share this bit of info - see if you can follow the logic.  the steelers are 3-0.  that means that they haven't lost.  it also means that they have beaten three teams.  pretty cool.  but check this out: the teams that the steelers have beaten are all 2-1.  do you know what that means?  every team that the steelers have beaten (falcons, titans, bucs) have won every game they've played except the games they've played against the steelers. 

-not impressed?  well, try this on for size.  of all 32 teams in the nfl through three games, guess who has given up the fewest point…

Jesus in florida (who is teaching who here?)

sometimes your children are so cute that you can't quite keep it to yourself.  hence this blog post.
caedmon is my accessory boy.  it is not unusual for him to be walking around the house in shorts, 3 shirts (one shirt is definitely not enough), a necktie, sunglasses, a hat, silly bands, sweat bands, different socks, shoes, and a necklace or two.  and then two minutes later it will be a whole 'nother ensemble. 
he's going to preschool now, and he's been learning a prayer for before meals.  but he hasn't quite perfected it yet, so it has been prayed in a variety of forms this week: 
"God is great and God is food,"  as well as the more theologically accurate, "God is great and God is good and Jesus loves me so." 
but just when you think he's got a beginner's grasp on Christology, we have this exchange: me:  where does Jesus live, Cade? cade:  in his house.  in outer space.  and around us.  he flies here.  (then, whispering...) he also lives i…

3-0 (sometimes you just want it more)

oh man, what a day.  yesterday the steelers found themselves in florida playing a football game against a 2-0 buccaneers team in what was deemed as an early season match-up between two playoff hopefuls.  want to know what happened? 

the steelers punched them in the face.
there's really no other way to describe it. 
well, maybe there is.  at least i'll try. 
i unfortunately had to miss the first half of the game, but was recording it at home and knew i'd get to watch it later.  meanwhile, my wife was texting me the scores, and i couldn't believe how fast and furious the scores were rolling in!  steelers int....dang!...bucs 3 steelers 0....touchdown!  batch to wallace!, 7-3....bucs get another field goal, 7-6 :(....touchdown! mendenhall!...another touchdown!  wow!  batch and wallace again! 21-7....holy cow!  watch out ben, charlie to hines, 28-7!
kudos to my wife for her sweet texting analysis of the game, not to mention her take on the quarterback situation in pittsburgh,…

saturday song: la la la la lemon

a Long standing tradition here is the saturday song, Likely a Lovable Lilting Lullabye of sorts, Lifting up the opportunity for you to Leave your normal Lists of music and Listen to something Little-known to you.  there is Little debate that i Love Lots of styles of music, and Like Leaving you with some to make you Laugh or Listen.  you've Likely Listened to this before, but if you're Like me, you Love seeing these two Long-time friends Leave Little room for doubt about their Love of L's.  hope you Like it. 

saturday song was brought to you today by the Letter L

the treasure behind the door

in one of his first days of school, jack brought home this drawing.  it's on the back of one of the papers he was supposed to color.  so, when he was finished making a yellow-green and raw umber kangaroo, he turned the paper over and drew this beauty.  i wasn't at all sure what it was when i first saw it, but was fairly impressed with the detail.  i was also struck by the genetics of the whole thing, as i distinctly remember that i also used to turn over my "dittos' when i was done with them and draw things.  for me, it was always trees.  and then a few days later, he brought this one home:

basically, you can tell that it's another version of the top one, albeit with a bit less intricacy.  this one, though, takes a bit clearer shape, and i asked him what was happening in this picture.  he very clearly (and as if a little exasperated that i didn't just know this) explained to me that these people were walking down the stairs to the door.  why are they walking to…

random: hobbits, crunchy leaves and wild, wild women

-first of all, i just want to wish a happy birthday to both bilbo and frodo baggins.  those bagginses have been an inspiration to me by their courage and relentless hope, so i would just hope they both have a great birthday.  how do i know it's their birthday?  i write on this date in my calendar each year.  am i a total nerd?  yeppers. 

-also, today is supposedly the final day of summer, although they are expecting temps in excess of 90 degrees here in central pennsylvania on friday.  still, as the heat of the sun says its final goodbyes, and the vibrant harvest colors of autumn take their cue, i find myself right smack in my favorite time of the year, weather-wise.  goodbye, summer.  it's been fun, if a bit sweaty.  i'll look forward to seeing you next year, you in your green and blue dress, and me with my arms extended to welcome you in a warm embrace.  until then, stay cool (well, you know what i mean).  and to you, my dear autumn, i offer a hearty welcome.  it's a…

a strange purchase

as a united methodist pastor, i have never been forced to think about buying a house.  part of our system is that the church where we are serving provides a home for us.  but we often think about where we will live when we retire, and how we would love to buy a house that we could vacation in for now until retirement.  but when we start looking around, i quickly become overwhelmed. 

i get easily overwhelmed, actually (***warning: unnecessary tangent ahead***).  for example, one time shannon asked me to buy some paint at home depot.  this was a perfectly normal request and i handled perfectly normally until i actually entered the paint aisle(s).  then i was bombarded with words like latex, gloss, matte, eggshell, indoor, outdoor, indoor/outdoor, flat, satin, semi-gl...oh my flipping gosh!  there are too many options!  they found me curled up in the fetal position on the cement floor of aisle 37 at home depot, clutching hand fulls of paint chips.  it wasn't pretty.  (over the louds…

"we got this"

yes, it is monday morning, so it's STEELER TIME again.  welcome to the no-spin zone of black and gold football.  i report; you decide.  hahaha (ironically, that slogan is just as ridiculously untrue here as it is in other places). 

the above video is a perfect metaphor for my monday morning.  i'm the cat, and the steelers' unimaginable defense is the catnip that i am rolling in and trying to wipe all over my face.  like a desperate junkie, i just can't stop.  the game the steelers defense played yesterday was more than just impressive: it was dominant, terrifying, spine-tingling, and awe-inspiring.  simply: wow. 

earlier in the weekend i had posted this picture of troy polamalu with a prescient caption: "sometimes you just want it more."  and it seems to me that accurately sums up the game yesterday against the titans.  we clearly just wanted it more.  i mean, we were inept on offense.  really REALLY bad.  beyond bad.  we scored no offensive touchdowns.  o…


sometimes you just want it more.

darth vader and (more) wildebeests. that's right: beests.

*that's right...two random posts in a row.  i like to keep you on your toes.  (actually, i don't care about your toes.  at all.  it's just an expression that means if i feel like doing two random posts in a row you are going to have to deal with it.)

*just as an addendum to yesterday's random post: wildebeast is supposedly spelled wildebeest.  i figured that out yesterday, but presumed that if i spelled it correctly, some of you would comment saying that i had misspelled it.  weird.  if ever an animal should have the word "beast" in its name, the wildebeest is that animal.  and yet it doesn't.  crazy english language. 

* i was excited about the finale of top chef last night, only to fall asleep before it came on.  i was exhausted but i was happy to wake up the news that ***SPOILER ALERT*** kevin won.  he works at a restaurant in new jersey that we never went to, but drove by a couple of times, and so that was enough reason for me to root for him through …

wildebeasts and corn chowder (another random post)

in today's installment of randomness, i begin with a demonstration that my oldest child is secretly being influenced by a rogue gang of tusken raiders from star wars.  a few weeks we took a hike near penn's creek with a friend when jack struck this pose, and i knew immediately that something was up.  but when he started shouting in ways that sounded like a wildebeast with a mouthful of peanut butter, there was no question about it.  if he starts asking if he can spend the night with a friend on tatooine, i'll know i've got a major problem.

-what have i been listening to?  how about Justin Townes Earle's awesome alt-country album with a new york city theme?  it's called 'harlem river blues,' and you can get it here for $3.  i'm lovin' it right now. 

-i watched a nature show the other night about piranha.  apparently their teeth are really really sharp.  also, the people who live near the rivers in south america like to catch the little buggers a…

the power of prayer

i'm thinking about prayer this week, since my sermon on sunday is going to be dealing with it.  i'm looking at 1 Timothy 2 when we are asked to pray for kings and leaders of nations, that we might live peaceable lives.  i'm all for prayer as an important spiritual discipline, but i'm not necessarily such a big fan certain approaches to try and convince people of this truth.  it seems to me that much of what has passed for 'teaching' about prayer in our churches is really a harmful oversimplification of something that is much richer and more profound than we often realize. 
let me say this: i believe prayer is powerful.  in my experience it is without question a vital element of a rich and growing faith.  i have found it to be transformational, and i do not shy away from saying so.  but perhaps it hasn't been transformational in the way that we often think.  let me explain.
i have often struggled with the way we pray, as i find it to be incredibly selfish.  w…

the emotional roller coaster

well, its a day following a steeler game, which means i should probably warn you about what you can expect for the next several months.  if you are checking my blog and the steelers played the day before, you're probably going to be reading something about the steelers.  if they lose, it will be something like, "i don't really want to talk about it," but if they win, you can usually expect a few pictures and a few sentences or so discussing the game or my experience of the game.  i'm not offering in depth analysis here.  there are literally dozens of steelers blogs that are dedicated to some incredibly intricate analysis of the steelers, so i have nothing to add to those conversations here on my happy little blog.  but i also can't help myself but write a little, so you just have to put up with it.  i know my steelers-related posts meet mixed reviews (some of you like them, some of you stop coming to my blog at all about this time of year), but i always remem…

'twas the night before Steelers football

just like christmas.  that's what it feels like right now.  well, to be more precise, it feels like the days right before christmas: those slow, anticipation-filled days.  like the hands of the clock are covered in quikrete, grinding to a halt so that christmas may just never get here.  yep.  that's how i feel right now.  the pittsburgh steelers season is a mere 52 hours away as i write this, but that feels like it might as well be a year and a half.  i just can't wait for it to get here.  so, to try and move beyond the incessant nail-biting and clock-watching, i thought i'd spend my time today usefully, and compose a poem.  it is a well-known tradition throughout the Steeler Universe that defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau (who you may remember was just inducted into the Pro Fooball Hall of Fame this year) takes time each year to read a famous Christmas Poem to his players.  and while this may not seem like the most testerone-fueled activity, it is nonetheless a treasu…

our family art project

last night we had a little bit of extra time, having eaten our dinner a little early, and we were noticing the beautiful sunflower arrangement that had been given to us, and so an idea occurred to us for a great family activity: what if we all tried to draw or artistically represent the sunflowers in our own way?  a kind of family art project!  so we cleaned up dinner and got out all sorts of art supplies and got busy.  here are a couple more pictures of the beautiful flowers: 

now, to see what each member of our family came up with, click the "keep reading button right below.

kids say the darndest things: milinovich version

***since this post deals with things my kids say, please know that it may or may not include references to poop, boogers, flatulence and other hilarious stuff.***

when caedmon burps, he often quips, "excuse me.  i farted in my mouth."
when jackson asked if the mcdonalds we were going to had a play area, shannon told him, "there are no guarantees."  he replied, "yeah, but there is one hope."
when driving past burger king, jack asked me why he is the king of boogers.
we live near a place called shamokin dam.  i like to say "shamokin" as if i am jim carrey in the mask: "shaaaa-MO-kin!"  well, jack has now picked this up, and follows it up with a dramatic "dam" at the end which makes it sound a little dirty.  oops.  then cade repeats it.  so, the whole time we drive anywhere near shamokin dam, i have to listen to choruses of "shaaaa-MO-kin deeeeeeeaaaaaammmmmm" from the backseat.  awesome.
cade calls palm trees "bonka&q…

saturday song: first breath after coma

well, glory of glories, it's here: football.  in all its wonderful varities: professional football is less than a week away, the always-exciting college games already started and continue today just in time to usher in this autumnish weather we're experiencing along the east coast, and the high school version, accompanied by so much adolescent drama and the sounds of cheerleading mixed in with rowdy student sections and over-zealous high school bands, just to name a few.  we've got football back, people, and it is glorious.

we took the whole family out last night to catch our local football team - the braves - in their season opener.  they lost, but we had a great time just taking in the smells and sounds of a late summer evening under the lights.  and it all felt so much like what i love about the show friday night lights, which is a great show.  and so for today's saturday song, i'm giving you an awesome - if pretty long - song from the band "explosions in t…

the mystery of the spirit

i was recently commissioned to make an assemblage for someone (an assemblage is basically a collage that is made with three-dimensional objects rather than just paper) who had really liked another of my pieces that i sold.  it had to wait until after the move and until i got my art area set up and semi-functional, but i finally was able to do it, and it is now finished and delivered.  when i make a commissioned piece, my anxiety level is always way higher because i am worried about how it will be received.  when i just make a collage for fun, i make it the way i like it, because it seems to appeal to me in some way.  but when i make for someone else, i am so burdened by every little item, so concerned about each decision.  so, it was a relief when i heard from the recipient that they really liked it and were so grateful for it.  insert big sigh of relief here.  and here is the piece:

"the mystery of the Spirit" mixed media assemblage august, 2010 gregory a. milinovich
*in other n…

the best medicine

a facebook friend posted this on facebook yesterday with the caption: "this, my friends, is good medicine." i couldn't agree more.  i watched it and found that i was rid of every atom of grumpiness not only in my body but also in a 10-foot diameter around me.  seriously, if you are ever down or just feeling grumpy, watch this video and remember that most basic truth that God spoke right at the very dawn of creation: life is good.

an open letter to my sons at the beginning of a school year

to my children,

as i sit and string these words together, you are both sleeping, your bodies still but for the rising of your chests with each little breath.  as i look at you in your beautiful sleep, i often wonder what is happening inside your heads.  are you dreaming?  and if so, is it in color?  do you dream about dinosaurs and batman and scooby-doo?  do your minds race with the jumbled juxtaposition of the images that fill your brains all day, or are your brains as serene as your soft-looking sleep? 

these questions have been pushing me a bit harder the last few days because both of you have started school.  you've both entered the world of giant square brick buildings full of charts and handouts and chocolate milk in little cardboard boxes and educational dvd's (i used to have filmstrips, but that's a whole 'nother story).  you've crossed the threshold into a realm that smells like crayons and pencil shavings mixed with floor wax and cafeteria pizza. 

as y…