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Showing posts from October, 2010

book: stuff christians like

while i try to do a good bit of reading, i recently realized that i don't read many books that simply make me laugh.  which is why i was so glad to get into "stuff christians like" by jonathan acuff.  acuff is a blogger who started the absolutely hilarious blog: stuffchristianslike.net, which became so successful that he used it as a platform for writing this book, which is really just a printed form of his great blog. 


there are two reasons why christians should read this book:
1.  it will make you laugh.  acuff has the uncanny ability to look at the traditions and rituals of american christianity and find the ridiculous in it.  as one who has grown up in the church (he is a pastor's kid), and who still very much practices his faith, this isn't done in a spirit of mockery or bitterness, but in great humility.  for the most part he mixes sarcasm, poignant honesty, and humility in just the right amounts to convince you that it is ok to laugh at yourself and your &q…

worth celebrating

well, as my readers will know by now, my sister got married on saturday.  here is the beautiful bride:

it was a whole family affair for us: i co-officiated the wedding with my Dad, Shannon was a bridesmaid, and both of our kids were ring bearers (or ring - smilers, as we called them, so that they would remember to smile and not be bears).  the ceremony was beautiful, in my unbiased opinion, and it went really well.  i don't have any pics of it, because, well, that would have been weird if i was snapping photos while asking them to declare their intention to marry one another.  so, you'll just have to trust me on that one.   it was cool for us all to get dressed up and attend a formal function together.  i personally thought our boys looked sa-weet!

that last one above is one of jackson modeling. for every serious picture we take of him, he negotiates to take a silly one.  this was one of the silly ones.  he does these crazy modeling poses.  i don't know where he gets this st…

5-1, or, now i give all my attention to football

i'm back!  sorry about that.  i needed a few days to be able to lift my arms again, after flailing them about wildly to such timeless tunes as "YMCA" and "Baby  Got Back" at my sister's wedding reception, which i dominated.  more on that later. 

in the meantime, there were a couple important sports items that i can't let slip by without at least a mention.  firstly, there was this:


that is, there was the elimination of the new york yankees from the 2010 postseason.  to be honest, i was not at all surprised, as i had very low expectations for them going into the playoffs.  the pitching had just been so inconsistent and the offense so spotty, that i wasn't at all surprised to see the yankees fall to the rangers (i was surprised, however, to see the fighting phillies lose to the san francisco giants).  even so, i was disappointed in the bronx bombers, and will watch with interest at what happens this offfseason.  what will happen with derek jeter?  jo…

saturday song: going to the chapel

today my little sister is getting married, so we're "going to the chapel of love."  should be a great day, full of laughter and tears of joy, and possibly a few tears by those who get accidently bludgeoned by my flailing limbs on the dance floor.  it's going to be awesome.

relief!

about a month ago i found a door lying next to the street.  someone had put it there with a "free" sign on it.  so i stopped the van, with the whole family wondering what i was doing, and took the door.  this of course led to conversation about my borderline hoarding and so on, but i defended myself by saying that these kind of found objects are my muse in making art.  i am infinitely inspired by objects being out of place, and by the jarring possibilities of juxtaposed relationships.  i just can't help it.  even as i was trying to fit the door in between the two car seats, my mind was already racing towards ways i could use it to express this longing inside me.  a longing to mix and combine and to say something about it all. 

then, last week, i had a similar moment, although this time i was by myself so i didn't have to defend myself.  i found an old tv.  and so i took it.  i figured it didn't work, so i was thinking about how i might be able to take out the i…

shine

one of the best videos for a song ever.  david crowder band's "shine."  if you like the idea of redemption or hope or eternal life, check it out.  also, watch if you like lite brites.

one hope

a few weeks ago we were taking a family day trip down to harrisburg.  on the way we were discussing our lunch options, and the kids inevitably said that they wanted to eat at mcdonalds.  (by the way, if you seriously consider eating at mcdonald's today, you should watch this first).  i knew that a big part of the reason they wanted to eat at the golden arches was the potential of a play area, so i tried to steer them in a different direction by saying, "we're only going to be in one area of town, and there's probably only one mcdonald's there.  there's not much of a chance that it will have a play area." 

from the backseat, jackson replied, "well, there may not be much of a chance, but there's always one hope."


yes, buddy.  you're right.  there is always one hope.  it may not be best founded in mcdonald's and their germ-infested hades pits of colored plastic, but there is always a hope nonetheless. 
i've been thinking alot about …

4-1 (welcome back, ben)

i have some mixed emotions about this, as i understand why people are a little hesitant to cheer for someone who seems to have tested the limits of the law when it comes to consent and control.  as has been said many times before, no charges were pressed against roethlisberger in the georgia case, but most accounts suggest that at the very least his behaviour was sketchy and immature, if not downright illegal and immoral.  so, i get the hesitation to cheer for him. 
on the other hand, everything that i was hoping would happen following these allegations has happened.  i was hoping ben would be suspended.  he was (four games).  i was hoping that this might help him get his life back on track (i can't know for certain if this true, but all accounts from him, his mentors, and the media indicate that he seems to be a changed human being), and this looks to have happened too.  he has recently satisfied the media's crushing curiosity with a slew of interviews in which he suggests th…

the once and future (dancing) king

i'm nervous

my sister is getting married in just over a week, and my father and i will be performing the ceremony.  while this is exciting and emotionally dynamic, it is not what i'm nervous about.  the ceremony will be beautiful and perfect, i'm sure.  no, it's not the ceremony that has me sweating profusely: it's the reception.

i used to be a wedding reception champ.  i was known in the tri-state area as one of the top-ten most wanted on the guest list of any wedding.  all of our college friends got married in the same 24-month span, which gave me plenty of time to hone my craft.  and by "craft" i mean specifically my ability to dance like a drunken richard simmons hopped up on speed.  word got out through the wedding circuit, and i soon became a hot commodity.  everyone wanted me at their reception.  why?  because no one likes that awkward time at the beginning of their reception when the dj has to practically beg people to hit the dance floor.  there&…

book review: drops like stars

before commenting on this book, let me go ahead and tell you that i'm a rob bell fan.  if you think he's a heretic, this book (or my review) isn't going to change your mind.  i'm not like an avid follower of the guy or anything, but his writings have really inspired me and i feel that deep down "yes!" in my soul when i read his works.  like a pregnant elizabeth, something leaps within me, and i can't help but respond to that.  so, that should give some perspective to my thoughts on this book.

now that that's out of the way, let me tell you about this book.  "drops like stars" is bell's newest book (released in 2009...sorry, i'm a bit behind the times...story of my life).  continuing in the rob bell tradition of shunning the status quo, the book bucks the trends of normal publishing.  the table of contents comes at the end, which comes as a bit of a surprise when you get to it, because there are no chapter breaks in the book, and it&#…

flow

"flow" mixed media collage on hardcover bookboard gregory a. milinovich
here's a collage i made awhile back but never let you see.  there is this sense i feel sometimes of the saints (which i interpret as all those who have gone before) weeping over us.  this isn't some orthodox belief, mind you, nor is it something that i'm dogmatic about.  it's just this sense i have sometimes.  like, when i screw up yet again, i'm not just disobeying God, but disappointing that "great cloud of witnesses," or breaking the hearts (again) of those who have loved me and are no longer in this world.  it can be a guilt thing which isn't healthy, but it can also be a great reminder of the legacy i've been given by my grandparents and the other mentors in life who are no longer here.  i carry them with me.  sometimes i imagine them smiling.  and sometimes i imagine them crying.  this collage is about the latter.

the extra donut

this morning i woke up early here at my hotel and thought i'd take a walk in morning darkness.  i rambled through the pre-dawn in a kind of coffee-less stupor until my sixth sense led me to a krispy kreme donut shop, an establishment i haven't been to in several years.  like a moth to a caloric flame, i soon found myself inside ordering some donuts. 

i got a large coffee and a couple of donuts: one classic glazed and one chocolate donut.  imagine my surprise when i got to my seat, opened up my box and found that i had been given three donuts: my chocolate one and two classic glazed ones. 

now, this could have been a happy mistake, but i have a feeling it wasn't.  i think it was just good business.  i mean, how much does one little ball of dough really cost krispy kreme to make?  probably not much.  probably a cost they'd be willing to pay to earn my consumer loyalty.  in other words, they were willing to give me an extra donut if it meant that i would come back again…

a photo tour of my work life

everyday i walk to work.  which means i take the short walk over the beautiful brick building which is the Catawissa Avenue United Methodist Church, and settle into my lamp-lit office for a morning of work.  there are moments during that daily walk, or sometimes as i leave my office for a moment and catch a glimpse of the sun pouring through stained glass and shining off the rows of pews in the sanctuary, when i think that i just want to share this with all of you.  remember: my theology is that God is in all these mundane moments, from the color of the brick, to the cornerstone of legacy and memory; from the leathered patina of books lining the bookshelf, to the photographs of my precious children.  God is in all of this.  i just thought i'd let you in on my own little daily God-moments.  have a great friday!
 the view of my office from the doorway
my bookshelves 
 my office view from my desk


a picture that hangs in my office of the way the church building used to look, with the old …

one or nine

this coming sunday i'll be preaching about the story told in the gospels (luke 17) where Jesus encounters a group of 10 lepers and tells them to go show themselves to the priest.  on their way (they must have been confused about such a strange order from this rabbi) they are made clean.

did you catch that?  that's a big deal.  10 people who were considered wildly unclean; who were not permitted into the center of society; who were forced to live life on the margins; who were excluded not only from fun and casual situations, but also from living the life of faith, were made clean.  just like that.  this is a huge moment.  everything has just changed for them.  they've been healed and in an instant find themselves off the margins and back into the mainstream.  this is monumental.

so what do they do?

well, they go on with their lives.  they've been made clean.  so they go on living normal lives, as best as they could fashion.

except for one. 

one came back.  he came back…

baby monkey on a pig

hey friends!  sorry, but it's been a crazy week over here at agent orange records.  i'm hoping to have some time in the next few days to post something thoughtful, but for today its mostly this:

and for those who are less enthused about the baseball postseason, then there is always this fascinating bit of culture:

now, go get a kleenex and wipe your eyes because you are either laughing at the pure ridiculousness of this, or crying at the meaninglessness.  either way, wipe your eyes and watch it again. c'mon, it's less than one more minute of your life.  then ask yourself, which one am i?  the pig or the monkey?  is my life more characterized by being...oh forget it, and just laugh a little!  life is a wild ride - might as well laugh a little while we're "holding on tight."  have a great wednesday and i'll be back tomorrow.  peace.

monday morning

my monday morning, following a divisional loss against our bitter rival, when we almost squeaked out a win with our fourth string quarterback looks something like this:

it wasn't exactly a good weekend for a steelers/yankees/gators fan.  blech.  double blech.  triple blech. 

that is all.

ravens week

yes, another steelers post.  this week is ravens week, which is to say that the steelers will be playing their divisional arch-rival on sunday, the aformentioned baltimore ravens.  i could go into a detailed analysis here about why i vehemently dislike the thuggs from baltimore, but i have decided instead to show you the evolution of their starting quarterback, joe flacco.  here's a picture of him from a few years ago.


then, after a year of facing the steelers and getting acclimated to losing, he began to grow some facial hair, so he looked like this:


it really is unfortunate, but the young quarterback who used to be a pittsburgh panther, started growing facial hair in the wrong places.  instead of a stylish goatee or a sophisticated handlebar moustache, he donned the infamous unibrow, as if to underline his forehead or serve as an eave for his eyes.  either way, it hurt to look at.  but his transition was only beginning, as it turns out.  because his most recent picture in the ba…