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Showing posts from April, 2011

goodbye, michael scott

well, i was going to write about other things today, but i just can't shake this funk, so all i've got in me is to offer this tearful goodbye to michael scott, america's manager.  the office has been my favorite tv show for years now, and michael's antics, lack of verbal comprehension, and lovable loneliness has been at the center of that.  he has very literally made me laugh until my stomach ached, and made me sniffle, trying to hold in tears while thinking how ridiculous it is that a sitcom about a paper company could make me cry.  i've watched him burn his foot on a george forman grill, throw watermelons off an office building in scranton, and get himself into the most wildly awkward situations imaginable.  and over the course of it, i have come to love him.  and now he will be gone, flying off to colorado to his unknown future, and leaving me with a sad feeling, not just like my sitcom lost its central character, but like i'd lost a friend.  i know it's…

our easter

we had a wonderful easter this year, as you will see below.  we actually did our easter basket thing on saturday morning, since easter sunday is a little busy for me.  then, saturday afternoon, we hosted an easter egg hunt at our church, and we had a great time there.  then, sunday started off with an early service at 7am led by the youth of our church, followed by a breakfast which was very well attended.  then we had sunday school and our regular worship service at 10am.  all in all we had about 250 people in church on easter morning, and the spirit was one of joy and excitment. 
after church we quickly got in the van and headed for shannon's parents house.  when we arrived there we had a wonderful feast of food, followed by an easter egg hunt for all of the cousins.  we had a little better weather than we expected and it was just fun to be outdoors.  after all of that we celebrated cade's birthday with a bunny cake and lots of birthday presents. 
and by the end of the day, …

lent 2011 collage series

well, it was an amazing lent, full of ash and agony, rebellion and redemption, loss and life.  and for me personally, it was such a great endeavor to collage my way through it.  it was a discipline of time, to be sure, as well as one of creativity.  it isn't always easy to create on a deadline, but it forces you to think in a way that life doesn't always let you think.  it was challenging, to be sure, but so rewarding, too, to wrestle with each text, to discover the hidden questions underneath the familiarity.  i have enjoyed the process, and i have enjoyed sharing them with you along the way, as well as many of your comments here and on facebook.  many of you have commented about how you would like to own one or another, and so i have decided to sell them.  i will not be selling them as a complete set, but as individual pieces.  each one is priced at $40.  please be aware that these collages are unframed and are made on artist's canvas, which means you can't just go b…

happy birthday, caedmon

today is cade's 4th birthday.  it's been a busy day for us, full of festivities and travel, so you'll have to wait for a more full post, but i wanted to just say on this day that i am head-over-heels in love with this kid.  happy birthday, caedmon. 




easter collage: not here

well, we've reached the end of Lent, the end of our 40 day journey that started in ashes and ends with life bursting forth against all odds.  hallelujah!  death sometimes looks so strong and overwhelming, but Jesus proved once and for all that LOVE WINS!!!!  it's the greatest part of our faith, that no matter what else happens, no matter how many things go wrong, no matter how advanced the cancer is, no matter how deep the debt is, no matter how terrible the sin is, no matter how bitter the pill, no matter how dark the night, no matter how lost the soul: love wins.  love wins.  love always wins.  hallelujah!

and so my lenten journey of collaging ends, as well.  the last one is one from mark 16:1-6, which talks of the three women who make their way to the tomb early in the morning.  mark tells us that they had bought some spices, and were worried about how they would move the stone at the entrance in order to properly annoint Jesus' body.  but when they got there, the stone…

saturday song: 33

for this holy, rainy saturday, i give you this song by corrinne may. enjoy.



Feels like a milestone

Being in my 30
Friends become mothers and fathers
With little ones of their own
So and so's a doctor
A lawyer and accountant
So and so's got married
They've got a lifetime ahead
A beautiful lifetime ahead

CHORUS

33, the age that You died for me
Now here I am at 33
33, You crowned it with Your life upon a tree
The mystery of Your love for me

We could have been schoolmates
Studying together
We could have had tea and scones
And talked about our day
You walk this path before me
Living close to guide me
You're thirsting for someone
To show a little care
You've hidden in faces everywhere

CHORUS

BRIDGE
Everyone start a song to sing
It doesn't matter how short or long
Just let each note ring
So long as we're in this key

CHORUS
33, the age that You died for me
Now here I am at 33
33, You crowned it with Your life to set me free
The mystery of Your love
The mystery of …

good friday, 2011

i pray that you have a very full good friday: full of an attentive awareness of God's amazing love for all of us...and for you.  don't - DO NOT - let this day slip by without recognizing that the pain and agony of the Christ is all about love.  love that's stronger than death.  love that's wilder than we can imagine.  love that's deeper than we can realize.  love that's unbelievable.  and yet i pray that today, you might believe in it a little more.  you are loved.

***update:  i have put all of my lenten collages into a small devotional booklet of seven devotions (one for each collage/week of lent).  it is intended as a tool for thoughtful prayer and reflection during the next couple of days.  it is just some thoughts and questions and then a prayer for each collage.  if you remember, each collage was dealing with an event during the last day of Christ's life, so it is very apropos right now.  if you would like me to email you a copy that you can use or forw…

another note

i got another note this week.  i guess you can tell that i have had some trouble finding the right kind of beans:

oops.  i guess a trip to the store is in order. 

in other news, our tulips are finally starting to bloom, a little late to the party, but beginning to shine forth like great red trumpets.  i love tulips, and have been monitoring their progress each day, so i couldn't resist taking some pics of their unfolding glory:




dying eggs

this bunny was in our back yard yesterday, and just sat there motionless for some time, as if he was here for easter, and realized that he was still several days early and had nowhere else to go.  i thought i'd snap a picture of the little furball just sitting there in his spring green easter grass. 

so, with our easter muse in full effect, we decided to dye easter eggs tonight.  this is always a fun family event, complete with stained hands and furniture and clothes and well, anything else within a 15-foot radius.  but the kids love it (and i absolutely include myself in that group), and we always try and make some interesting ones.  here is the visual proof of the experience:






palm sunday brothers

my boys looked as cute as ever on palm sunday, so i thought i'd post a couple of pics so that you can all share the spring-y cuteness.  nothing profound or elaborate to say today...just the simple joy of my beautiful boys. 



2011 lent collage 6: forsaken

as you probably know by now, i've been collaging my way through lent, using my hobbie as a way to practice spiritual discipline.  each week i have taken the text from worship on the coming sunday, and written it out by hand, struggled with it, played with it, and percolated it in my brain and heart.  i've wrestled with words, been overwhelmed with emotion, and cried more than once.  it has been a very good experience for me to express my interaction with and response to these ancient texts with something other than words.  i hope you've been enjoying it as well.

this week we were dealing with the crucifixion.  not my favorite portion of scripture, to be sure, but one that i think merits our careful attention, as well as our broken hearts.  as i read it through many times and prayed over it, i was struck by how mark's version uses the words "hurled" and "heaped" in reference to the insults and mockery being sent Jesus' way by onlookers.  i had th…

saturday song: clean hands

much of today is going to spent at the church doing some spring cleaning and de-cluttering.  because of that i looked for a song with "clean" in the title, and while i was about to go with petra's 1985 song "clean" from the killer album "beat the system," but i found this song by kutless, and although i don't listen to kutless, i thought it was pretty good, and i enjoyed the little beatles interlude in the middle.  so, i hope your saturday is clean and springy.  peace.

jesus in juice ahem

here's a picture jack colored in "miss Mary's" sunday school class on sunday.  i was impressed with the coloring ability, and given the timely nature of the subject matter, i thought i would share it today.  sunday, of course, is palm sunday, when Jesus somewhat auspiciously entered jerusalem (or juice-ahem) as cade calls it. 

i believe (as i've written here many times) that God is constantly coming into our lives, in an infinite number of ways.  in the loving touch of my son...in the taste of chocolate milk....in the blessing of a good night's rest...in the smell of wet hyacinth being warmed in april sunlight...in all of these ways and millions more, God is coming to us. 

but what is our reaction?  do we even notice?  do we hide from God, or ignore God?  do we celebrate the God-moments we are aware of?  and then what?  do we quickly forget?  do we then change our minds a few days later when things don't go our way?  i, for one, want to welcome the King…

pregnancy update

awww...isn't she looking radiant?

random: dismembered dolls and discomfort

-so how about that performance by hines ward on DWTS the other night?  huh?  not bad, right?  that is, if you enjoy your favorite football players half nekked on national tv pretending to be a matador.  sheesh.  it just doesn't get any easier.  and then today i read a story about a group of ravens fans who are organizing themselves to try and vote for everyone but hines.  really?  are these people really going to make me vote for this stupid show?  really? 

-maybe they are the ones who planted the messed up hines ward voodoo doll that my sister-in-law "found."  when your sister-in-law tells you excitedly that she found you something for your birthday, you assume that she means that she was at a store (where you buy things) and that she saw something nice that reminder her of you, or that she thought you would really like, and she bought it.  you don't think that she literally found it on the street, covered in soggy cigarette butts and bird droppings.  and even if y…

the 7 reasons i enjoyed my friday night

i didn't get a chance yet to share my joy at being able to see Explosions in the Sky on friday night at StageAE in pittsburgh.  there were many reasons why this was a great experience:

1.  it was in pittsburgh.  i love pittsburgh.  whether i enter from the liberty or fort pitt tubes, or coming down 279 from the north, or down the parkway from the west, i always feel like i'm coming home.  not that i ever lived there.  but it just always feels that way to me.  i love that city. 

2.  the concert was at a new venue which is located directly adjacent to heinz field. which meant that i got to see that giant yellow beauty.  it was glorious, as always, and i waved and shouted a "go steelers!" out the car window to the Chief who is sitting there frozen in time with his cigar.  also, when we left the concert, the pirates were still playing at PNC park (they won in the 14th inning!) and the stadium really is beautiful.  it looked absolutely majestic all lit up at night, like…

2011 lent collage 5: purple

this week in church we looked at the way the roman cohort of soldiers mocked and tortured Jesus prior to his crucifixion.  as i reread it, i could only see the twisted laughter on the face of the soldiers (and all humanity, really).  i can only see the juxtaposition between the broken face of God, dripping with sweat and blood, and the twisted sick grin of humanity, ironically beating the humanity out of the only one who could love humanity through it all.  i imagine hearing the soldiers laugh as they make a crown of thorns and a scepter of reeds and beat him around the face and head with it.  and the scene, to me, is colored purple with the robe of the fake coronation.  when love came...when our king came, the best we could do was treat him to a fake coronation full of whips and thorns. 
"and this is how we know what love is:  that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners"
i know that this is a dark topic: the violence of the romans and the way it gets repeated in the ho…

explosions in the sky

i don't get to concerts too often.  it's not that i wouldn't like to; i love live music.  it's just that, with kids, and ticket prices, and babysitter prices, it becomes a bit unrealistic.  so, we don't get to too many concerts. 
which is why i'm all the more excited about where i am going tonight.  i'll be meeting my brother in law in pittsburgh to see the band explosions in the sky (as you can see from the concert poster i designed above). explosions in the sky is considered by many to be a "post-rock" band, which is another way of saying that they represent something beyond the typical beatles-wannabe 4 piece power pop rock and roll band. they themselves have denied the "post-rock" categorization, but they nonetheless are certainly pushing the boundaries of what rock and roll sounds like. 
you may have heard their music without even realizing it, because if you ever watched this movie:

then you've heard their music since they compo…

the things we cling to

here is a story i just read on cnn.com this morning.  i thought it was worth sharing: 

Maryland man glued to Wal-Mart toilet seat
By Leigh Remizowski, CNN
April 6, 2011 8:52 p.m. EDT


(CNN) -- Police in Maryland are on the hunt for the perpetrator of what appears to be an April Fools' prank that left a man glued to a toilet at a Wal-Mart store.
If caught, the jokester who doused the seat with glue at the Elkton Wal-Mart on March 31 could face second-degree assault charges, said Lt. Matthew Donnelly of the Elkton Police Department.

Police, along with the Singerly Fire Company and the Cecil County Paramedics, were called to the scene at about 7 p.m.

There, they found the 48-year-old victim, who called for help after realizing the sticky situation he was in when he tried -- and failed -- to stand up and leave the superstore's restroom, Donnelly said.

It took responders 15 minutes to remove the victim from the stall, but they were unable to disconnect the toilet seat from his body,…

random: jelly bean ransom note

-i can't emphasize enough how wonderful it is that it's baseball season.  seriously.  there's nothing quite like listening to john sterling call the yankees game on my laptop, while i watch the pirates on tv.  it's almost too good to be true.  plus, the fact that the red sox can't seem to get out of their own way is helping quite a bit, too.  excuse me while i have a moment here:  I LOVE BASEBALL!!!!

-thanks.  i'm back to normal now.

-another thing i love about this time of year?  jelly beans.  but not the fruity ones.  i liked the spiced ones.  you know, the ones where green=spearmint and yellow=clove and red=cinnamon and so on.  love those.  i bought a couple of bags for my candy dish in my office at church, but they disappear so quickly, largely due to the extremely sticky fingers of the two milinovich boys, i suspect.  and so i have a feeling i know who left this ominous note on my desk, which i discovered monday morning: 


-i just read that hines ward will…

kids say the darndest things: scabbage and twitterbug

everybody thinks that their kids are cute.  i am no exception.  the only difference is i have a blog and get to put their cuteness on the interwebs from time to time.  here's one for each of them right now:

-last week caedmon fell of had something fall on him or somehow got in an altercation with a big box of legos, which left him with a 3/4 inch scratch on his temple.  of course it scabbed up pretty quick, and, being a little boy, he discovered this hardness on the side of his face.  apparently he has heard the word "scab" before, but couldn't quite remember it, because he told his mother than he had bacon on his face.  she told him what it was really called, and then when i got home i inquired about this.  i asked him if he had bacon on his face earlier.  he chided me, "no daddy, there wasn't bacon on my face.  i was just picking my scabbage." 

that's right....he found a way to mix "scab" and "cabbage" into scabbage.  i don…

2011 lent collage 4: flogged

for this week as i continue my lenten discipline of wrestling with each week's sermon text by creating a collage, we moved to mark 15:1-15.  basically it's the story of how Jesus was handed over by the sanhedrin to the guy with the real power (read: the power to issue the death penalty), pontius pilate.  there's some real interesting stuff in this text, particularly as it pertains to the other jesus in the story, jesus barabbas, the insurrectionist.  i find it fascinating that the crowd there that morning decided that their chances were better with the violent insurrectionist than the peaceful Jesus of nazareth.  i makes me wonder how often i choose other ways than the way of Christ, because they look faster or easier or because they make more sense to me.  how often do i choose other "saviors" ("jesus" means savior)?    how often do i choose barabbas in my life?

but then, after pilate finally relents to the pressure of the crowd, he had Jesus flogged, …

saturday song: untitled hymn

one of the items on the itinerary for today is to go with the youth group from my church to the alzeheimers unit of a local care center and just hang out with the folks there and love on them.  we'll be singing some hymns there, and i'll be playing them on the guitar.  and so thinking about hymns reminded me of this untitled one by chris rice that has such a gorgeous melody and meaning, that i thought i'd share it with you today.  the video is one person's interpretation.  peace to you all.

april fools doormats

hope you're having a funny april fools day.  it's snowing like crazy right now in central pa, so that is about as foolish as it gets.  a friend recently sent me an email with a bunch of funny doormats, and i thought i would share some of the best ones with you today.  enjoy.