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Showing posts from May, 2011

new collage: eat

after picking up a big box of old silverware at a yard sale a few weeks back, i've been trying to think of some ways to incorporate it into my art.  and so here is my first attempt.  it is a collage called "eat." 












i took an old piece of art that i found at another yard sale, a long time ago, and flipped it over, so that the back of the canvas would create a natural frame.  then i gessoed the whole thing, and that did a ton of painting to create the look and colors i wanted, a sort of wash from green to blue, speckled with blacks, oranges, yellows, and purples, on a very textured background.  i also collaged the frame part with old food advertisements from the 1940's (from life magazines) and painted over them them as well.  then, i painted the silverware a bit, just to give it some depth and texture, and then affixed it to the canvas using gel medium.  i put a finishing coat on it, and affixed hanging hardware to the back (which used to be the front of another paint…

something our grandchildren will be thankful for

i hope you all have a happy memorial day, but more than that, that you all take at least a moment to be thankful for the many sacrifices by countless souls before you who have made these moments possible to enjoy. regardless of your feelings for modern american values or politics; regardless of how proud you are to be an american in an age of huge debt and uncivil discourse; and no matter how hard it may be for you to conjure up much hope for the future, you must still recognize that many lives have been spent (some of them way too prematurely) in the quest of establishing and protecting this great nation. today, in the midst of our continued freedom, we remember them. and we give thanks. and, maybe, just maybe, we ought to make a commitment, as well, to give ourselves towards making this a better place, not just a place where we complain about politics or wish things were "the way they used to be." toegether, we can continue to shape something our grandchildren will be than…

saturday song: love never fails

it's pretty much the refrain of my life, love.  it is what i believe this is all about.  all the commandments can be summed up by just by saying love God completely and love your neighbor as yourself, said Jesus.  paul wrote that without love we are a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal: noisy, perhaps, but soon quieted and gone.  in another passage we read that God is love; not that God requires love, or God thinks love is important, but that love and God are the same thing.  the beatles said it well, too: all we need is love. 

so, here is brandon heath singing a song called 'love never fails.'  the lyrics are in the video. 

cholesterol

up until the last few years, this delightful picture of homer simpson would have summed up my attitude towards that steroid/fat called cholesterol which our body actually produces.  if i thought of cholesterol at all, i thought it was an an ingredient that the FDA was adding to meat to make us all love it even more.  if shannon made a particularly good steak, i would chew it with deep admiration while commenting, "mmmm, the cholesterol in this rib eye is really tasty.  make sure you go back to that butcher next time." 

okay, i'm joking.  but i didnt' know much about cholesterol.  until 2008 when my doctor (at the time) did some blood work on me and saw that my good cholesterol was a tad bit low, and my bad cholesterol was borderline high.  i don't mean that i was one small french fry away from a quadruple bypass, but that i was someone who should probably stop treating cholesterol like the top of the food pyramid.  this is where my story starts. i got a call fr…

DWTS: both sides now

well, before the season finale of "dancing with the stars" last night (i can't even believe i just started a sentence that way), i wrote two different posts for the blog.  the first was in case hines lost.  the second was in case he won.  i thought i'd share them both here. 

if hines ward loses:
what a stupid show this is.  it is basically a giant popularity contest, but only for people who have at&t (who has at&t?).  so you get millions of people (really, america?  you have nothing better to do?) who know nearly nothing about dancing who vote based on who looks the hottest or sucks the least.  and here's the worst part:  the dances last for about 23 seconds each.  so you get about 5 actual minutes of dancing in each show.  then you add in a few additional minutes of listening to the judges take turns kissing the celebrities' butts, and all that's left is 47 minutes of commercials.  the show should be called:


and the very worst part of it is that…

seeing rainbows

the other night as we were pulling in our driveway after running a few errands, we saw this great arch of color embracing our house.  i grabbed a camera and an umbrella and took a couple of pictures before running through the pouring rain to the church to try and get a few good pics there as well.  i took a ton, but here are a few of the highlights. 

i love the way the rainbow looks like the top of a dome, not allowing the rain to penetrate. 

i ran this one through a photo filter just to emphasize the colors of the rainbow. 

this is the one good picture i got at the church.  the rainbow was in the wrong part of the sky to get a picture with the front of the church, but i thought this one looked pretty.  good.  jack told me we should go up on top of the roof to see if there was a pot of gold up there.  then he said, "that's just a myth, right dad?"

i took this one in front of the church, as the water was dripping off the leaves and flowers.  just thought it looked cool.  t…

saturday song: pacific blue

a (very) few Christians have predicted that today will be the rapture, and unfortunately this gives some folks the license to mock all of Christianity, as if we are all sweaty street corner prophets of doom, instead of just regular people who have made the radical discovery that we're all adored, and want to share the treasure all the way around. 

but this day won't be about abundant living.  sadly, it will be about supposed imminent removal, and subsequent pain for the "lost."  and then, when nothing happens but another day of brokenness and redemption, like all the days before, there will be a great number of very disappointed dreamers, who put all their eggs in one basket, and may throw out the whole basket with the eggs after today. 

i don't know about the end of all things.  as the song below says, "i guess the truth is that the truth is of complex design."  i don't claim to have a treasure map that shows where the "x" is that marks…

stay on the couch

we watch a good bit of scooby doo in our house.  and while i love scooby doo, i must admit that if you've seen one episode, you've essentially seen them all since they all follow the same basic plot arc, without much deviation.  as an adult, i can usually get past this and just enjoy it for its campy, creepy cartoonish fun.  but when you're a kid, you're clueless to the formula, and each episode seems like a brand new "how-will-it-end?" adventure, full of intrigue and suspense, until the bad guys are unmasked and the gang is referred to as meddling kids before scooby croons his famous show-ending line.  it's classic, and for my kids at least, it's new everytime. 
there's a lesson there about being childlike.  but that's not what i'm thinking about today.
during the "scary" parts of scooby doo, my brave little 6-year old gets visually scared.  i often turn my attention away from the animated drama to the real-life drama unfolding o…

the pace of pregnancy

for those who are looking for a pregnancy update, we are now 30 weeks into this thing, and all is going well.  Shannon feels great, and looks great, as you can see in this picture from 29 weeks:


and here is our little yet unnamed man.  he looks contemplative, as if he's meditating on something:
pregnancy is such a strange little snippet of time.  you go into it knowing approximately how long it's goinig to take, and yet even with that foreknowledge, it still seems to fly by.  easy for me to say, right?  i'm not the one lugging around another member of the species around my midsection for the better part of a year.  still, though, it is amazing how knowing when something is going to happen doesn't seem to have much affect on our perception of time.  nine months seems like such a long time, but it has felt like 3 months.  and we still have so much to do!  we have to pick out a name and move shannon's office and babify our house and prepare ourselves for a daily regime…

collage: death no longer (romans 6:9)

"death no longer (romans 6:9)" mixed media collage on canvas may, 2011 gregory a. milinovich
when i recently made a collage called "from the ashes" for a fundraising event for some friends in ministry, i received a note from another dear friend saying she would like to commission me to make something very much like it.  rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, i went with the same inspiration (beauty from ashes, death from life, redemption, etc.).  it was actually a fascinating experiment to use the same techniques and the same general idea, but to come up with a collage that, while similar, is also completely unique and has its own personality.  i suppose if i made 50 of them, they would all have their own flavor. 
as always when i am commissioned to do a piece, i get VERY nervous that the person is going to like the final product, and this case is no different, but i know i am happy with it, and that is all i can control.  below are some detail shots so you can see …

john 10:10, the rough draft

biblical archaeologists have recently uncovered what appears to be some papyrus used as a rough draft written by Jesus himself as he worked on perfecting his personal mission statement.  of course scholars are debating the authenticity of this document, but it is interesting to see the progression of thought by the Lord, and how he finally reached a mission statement that he liked.  of course it is originally in aramaic, but here is my best rough translation into english:

(note:  here, as in the original manuscript, each statment is crossed off, except the last one.)

i have come that you might be eternally comfortable. 

i have come that you might forever have to eat cubes of bread washed down with shots of welch's grape juice.

i have come that you might forever try and commandeer my name for your cause. 

i have come that you might know the right magic words to say in order to earn forgiveness.

i have come that you might feel guilty enough to sit through boring church services weekly f…

saturday song: seize the day

tomorrow in worhsip i'll be preaching on john 10:10, when Jesus gives us part of his mission statement, telling us that he came that we might have life, and have it abundantly (italics mine).  that word abundantly has always gotten stuck in my throat, like a pill that's just a bit too big.  i have no problem believing in eternal life, and that "God so loved the world that he gave Jesus that whoever believes will not die but have eternal life."  i've got that part.  but for some reason, abundant life is a horse of a different color

while eternal life often seems like something "out there" somewhere, abundant life seems to be something Jesus wants us to have right now.  some translations call it "life overflowing."  sometimes i feel like my life is overflowing, but other times, i feel like my life is a trickle, or worse, a stagnant stream, just growing algae. 

but that's not what God desires for us.  God desires energy and excitement and…

nu thang (this could have been me)

i found this video on one of the blogs i frequent, and i just had to share it.  and i want you to know it's okay to laugh at it.  i laughed hysterically when i saw it.  it's from a christian tv show filmed in indianapolis circa 1992, and it is this kid's version of a dctalk song called "nu thang."  you need to understand that i laughed so hard for a couple of reasons.  first of all, christian subculture just makes me laugh.  the production quality of that tv show is so bad it's funny.  secondly, i laughed because that kid could have easily been me.  in the early '90s i was doing this same thing (although perhaps with a bit more breath) in the same ridiculous clothing.  i was embedded in the same christian subculture and i thought i was toby from dctalk, or dboy, or stephen wiley, or one of the rapsures.  there, i managed to throw four references to early Christian "rap" in one sentence.  you don't see that too often.  anyway, enjoy this vide…

droppin' a quarter

well, i've been waiting until the time felt right to share this here on the blog, and i guess now is as good a time as any.  so here goes.

i moved last summer, do you remember that?  moved to a new town in a new zip code in a new state.  and before that, i was dealing with all the stress of worrying about my pastoral appointment, and where we would go, and what the house would be like, etc.  then we had to start packing up each and every belonging.  while trying to adequately finish up a season of ministry in one place and anticipate and prepare for the beginning of a new one in a new place.  after we moved we needed new licenses and new banks.  all of this added up to an enormous amount of stress for me.  and i tend to deal with stress in the conventional way: grabbing every morsel of unhealthy food i can get my stressed-out paws on, and packing it away into that growing intertube around my midsection.  to put it more clearly and bluntly: i gained a bunch of weight. 

and so this…

our mother's day

i don't know about you, but our mother here at the milinovich home had a good mothers' day, aided in part by the perfect weather we had.  of course it didn't hurt that she was treated very kindly by her two delightful boys.  she loved the video we made her, and she also enjoyed these flower pots which we made for her:





yes, we made mosaics for mommy.  well, the boys glued the tiles onto the flower pots.  i did all the grouting, which was a challenge since they left such large spaces between the tiles, but i thought they turned out pretty nice.  then we filled them with gerber daisies.  i also made shannon this little mosaic container with a lid that comes off:


inside the container was a gift certificate for a pedicure, which is something she's been wanting.  so she was pretty happy with that.  i'm obviously not a master mosaic craftsman, but it was fun to try a new thing, and she was delighted that we took the time to make her some things.  here she is in all her radi…

happy mothers' day, 2011

hey, happy mothers' day to all the moms out there, especially my mom and my wife.  i am beyond blessed to have two such incredible example of a mother's love in my life.  each and every day i witness shannon exerting unbelievable amounts of energy to cook dinners and wipe faces and deal with papers and give baths and kiss boo-boos and play games and teach lessons and on and on and on.  it's amazing to see, and it's a gift to be in this partnership with her. 

as you may remember, each year the kids and i make a little video for shannon on mothers' day (at least we have the last two years!  i guess it's a tradition now.), and you can see the 2009 version here (wow, those kids have changed alot in two years!), and the 2010 version here.  and now, without further ado, here is the 2011 video tribute to the woman of our house.  enjoy. 

saturday song: william tell momisms

well, since it's mothers' day weekend, i thought i would share a funny song about mom's with you.  many of you have probably already seen this thing circulating through the interwebs the last few years, but in case you haven't, it's certainly worth a watch.  while her singing isn't anything to write home about, the song is very clever and will call to mind either much that your mother said to you, or that you've said to your children...or both.  here's to the moms and all they have to put up with...

glad i'm not famous

-happy cinco de mayo!  we'll be celebrating with fajitas on the menu this evening. 

-today is also the national day of prayer.  i'll be joining with local clergy in the sunbury area as we pray for our country and our town adn our churches and our government and more during a service in our downtown park this afternoon.  if you're in the sunbury area, come and join us in cameron park at noon. 

-as i shared yesterday, i'm dealing with some significant back pain.  after some research, i'm self diagnosing it as a bulging disc in the lumbar.  i could be wrong, but it seems to have all the associated symptoms, and i've  had this pain in this exact spot several times before.  this is one of the most severe episodes.  you don't realize how much you use your lower back until it hurts.  everything, from lying on the couch, to sneezing, to walking down the stairs, to getting dressed, to going to the bathroom requires the use of your lower back.  and so doing any of …

may the fourth be with you

may the fourth be with you.
that's all i got today.  i hurt my back somehow, and am mostly moping in bed because it hurts to walk, talk, or get up to go the bathroom.  so if you can walk today without pain, be thankful.  i know i will be when this gets better.

sing with me

well, i may regret writing this post, but i've been keeping my finger on the pulse of this conversation since i heard the news yesterday, and i am - to use a word many have already used in this situation - unsettled.  when i first heard the news yesterday morning, my first reaction was one of relief, like a great 10-year weight had been lifted off my shoulders.  but that was immediately quenched by doubt as the news mentioned that bin laden's body was apparently buried at sea.  in a world where we won't believe our own president's american birth until we see a piece of paper proving it, how will we believe that they actually killed the real bin laden without a body to prove it?  but this internal struggle was quickly replaced by another one as i saw footage of americans dancing and rejoicing, singing and chanting in washington d.c., at a baseball game in philadelphia, and at ground zero in new york city.  then my heart broke.

i know that the following paragraphs probab…

holy birthday, batman!

well, all the festivities for cade's fourth birthday are finally over.  all the presents are unwrapped, all the toy packaging frustratingly removed, and all the tiny toy accessories strewn about the house.  he had a wonderful week of celebrations, hopefully helping him to understand that he is deeply loved and thoroughly blessed. 

he wanted a robin-themed birthday, which i thought was cool because everyone always likes batman, and robin never gets front page coverage, you know.  sort of an underdog superhero, so to speak.  and yet cade has a soft spot for robin, so shannon made robin (and batman) cookies for his party at school:



this weekend we finished up the celebration with my parents, and he got a robin cake which shannon so artfully made:





one of his favorite presents was a set of over 250 lego figure pieces including about 30 figures.  cade loves "lego guys" and generally sleeps with a few in his hands.  he loves mixing and matching them, and so our house is littere…