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Showing posts from January, 2012

new collage: fragments of elegance

"fragments of elegance" acrylic paint, found papers, vintage papers, masking tape on canvas gregory a. milinovich
i am so grateful that i continue to find my way down to the "art cave" in my basement and paint and cut and glue and rip.  i had some fun with this simpler, somewhat more geometric collage.  it's got all manner of earthy colors of acrylic paint, applied and washed and pulled away.  then i kept it simple with just a few pieces applied, with some careful attention paid to color and positioning and line.  it's just good to be creating again!

when bad things happen

yesterday in church we continued our "when Christians get it wrong" series by talking about how Christians act when bad things happen.  we talked a bit about our theology of suffering and evil, because what we believe about those things will affect how we behave.  and, i believe that how we behave in times of tragedy and suffering and difficulty has often been a formative reason for people rejecting the church and her beliefs.  based on the book by rev. adam hamilton, this series is suggesting that we sometimes get some things very wrong in Christianity, and that this is at least partly responsible for the mass exodus from our churches today.  there are, of course, a myriad of cultural factors that help explain the failure of american mainline churches, but one of the key ones is that we have not lived our faith in ways that truly reflect the Christ whom we follow. 

"i like your Christ," Gandhi once said, "i do not like your Christians.  they are so unlike y…

bug birthday, part 1

last night we had part one of jack's 7th birthday party, a two-part party (because of two sets of traveling grandparents...that would be a great band name, wouldn't it?  the traveling grandparents.) with a bug theme.  we had a great time among the ants and bees and spiders and so on.  shannon made a "earth" cake with a tree stump and an anthill, and some accompanying bugs.  enjoy some pictures of the cake and the festivities, until part two next weekend! 

book review: the road

well, it may be hard to believe, but i finished yet another book this week.  this time i finished cormac mccarthy's pulitzer prize winning novel "the road." 

it was awesome. 

not the "oh my gost i loved it so much and can't wait to read it again because it takes me to a happy place" awesome, but more like the true meaning of the word.  the book inspired awe.  and fear.  and the smallest little embers of hope, too, which i suppose, is where the book's greatest power lies. 

it is a bleak tale.  well, bleak doesn't even begin to describe it. 

first, a note about the style.  i've never read a mccarthy novel before (he's written several popular books including "no country for old men," and "all the pretty horses," to name a few), so i don't know if all his books are like this or not, but the book didn't include some basic grammatical fundamentals like complete sentences or quotation marks.  it took me awhile to ad…

our week in pictures

here are the cookies shannon made for jackson's class.  he is having a bug-themed birthday, and so these cookies painted with bees and beetles, spiders and butterflys were taken to school.  tomorrow night we'll have a bug cake.  pictures forthcoming...

and here's our little 6-month old.  too cute for words.

we got some snow this weekend (6 inches, perhaps?).  and the boys played in it all weekend.  i helped them build a snow fort.  this is caedmon working on the fort.

lifespan and beyond

my first child turns 7 today.  sev-en.  as in years. 

beyond my own sense of wonder that i am a father to a seven year old, i am just full of love for jackson.  he is such a delight, and a wonderful little boy.  he brings such a joy to our home, and a relentless desire to know and understand more and more about the world around him.  he will often tell me the lifespan of a cockroach, or the wingspan of a pterodactyl.  well, in the span of his seven years, i have fallen even more in love with him even though the moment he was born, i was convinced i could never love anyone or anything any more.  but i do.  for the duration of my lifespan and beyond.  happy birthday, little man. 

a couple of books

i have a love/hate relationship with finishing a book.  there's something incredibly gratifying about turning the final page or the binding and being left to simply read the reviews or the publisher's paragraphs on the back of the book.  there's a glorious sense of completion and perhaps even accomplishment.  if the book was, um, let's say less than stellar, then it has the distinct flavor of crossing something off of your to-do list.  on the other hand, if the book was compelling, or if it was a delight, like a piece of chocolate that you wish would never melt away in your mouth, then finishing a book is a distinct kind of agony.  there is a grievous sense of completion and perhaps accomplishment.  all that is left is to hold the book as great closed thing, like standing poutingly outside an amusement park, looking in through its locked gates after it has closed for the day. 

i am often guilty of reading several books at once, and that sometimes leads to the unique s…

be very afraid.

my newest family video.  made to look like a film trailer.  set to a song by the group invincible.  enjoy!

fruity pebbles and hot lava: life in our house

here's an update on the major recent developments in our house: 

caedmon drew a smiling octopus(?) with sea-green legs and happy little eyebrows. 

jackson colored a worksheet at school in his typical style: extremely multi-colored.  it's like God spilled a giant bowl of fruity pebbles (yum) all over the earth.  he pretty consistently colors things this way, and i, for one, am a fan of his distinct style. 

this is our hallway.  recently the carpet in our hallway transformed into hot lava, rendering passage nearly impossible save for the rocks that were left uncovered.  unfortunately, since Cade was learning about the letter 'r,' we could only step on rocks that had the letter 'r' on them, which created some very dangerous jumping to get to the bathroom, especially when holding Quinton.  happily, no one was (badly) burned by the carpet lava, and i think we are all better at recognizing our 'r's. 

finally, we spent hours and hours (seriously) this wee…

my precious

nerds unite:

  i just discovered (where have i been?) that the always awesome LEGO corporation has purchased the rights to produce licensed "Lord of the Rings" products, which means minifigure Aragorn will soon be at a store near you (the lego site says summer 2012).  how awesome is that?  i'm going to need to go to the bank to see about taking out a small loan, as i will be wanting every set, from Shelob's lair to the prancing pony.  my inner fantasy nerd has been busy doing a jig all morning since i saw this, and is now sitting down with some longbottom leaf. 


collage: God's word

"God's word" vintage photo and papers, old bible cover, glued gregory a. milinovich

"God's word" (detail)

as i mentioned last week, i finally rediscovered my collage space, down in the corner of the basement.  i had to do a little organizing, but it didn't take long for the creative juices to get flowing.  as i started putting things in their "right' place, i felt myself getting excited as new ideas popped into my head, and previously unrelated items began to make connections. 

i had been looking at some work by other artists, and was inspired by some of the more simple ones, especially the art of david wallace.   so this is perhaps, a bit derivative, but it's just a direction i want to explore and incorporate into my own style.  this particular one has an individual leaning to our left, head swelling with the word of God.  the backing for the collage is a very old altar bible cover, with a decorative bevel, and obviously quite worn.  it mad…

i'm not trying to

today we stop and recognize the important work and legacy of dr. martin luther king jr.  i am always prone to some reflection on this day, as racism has always been something that stirs up a righteous anger in me, even when i detect its subtleties in my own attitudes and behaviors.  i've been thinking about dr. king a great deal recently, as i've been working on a sermon series about how Christians sometimes deal with issues in ways that are anything but loving.  and then, when i think about how Christians get it right, i often think of dr. king, and his writings and his life's example which i think so often got it right.  he is really a great hero for me. 

and then yesterday i was privileged to spend some time with a dear friend who, along with her husband adopted a young girl from ethiopia a couple of years ago.  we had some great conversation about the kinds of racism that exist which she had not ever thought of before until now, as she is mommy to a little girl with …

saturday song: like the wheel

today for our saturday song i bring you a melancholy song about, well, i think its about death.  not totally sure, but it seems to me some different metaphors for death and our own mortality.  no matter what its about, it is haunting and (at least to me) gorgeous.  i love it.  it's be "the tallest man on earth", which is really just a  moniker for kristian matsson, a swedish man who records his own music (very lo-fi) in his own home, complete with the occasional chair squeak and dog bark.  this song comes from his album "sometimes the blues is like a passing bird," from 2010.  enjoy.

lol spiderz and hatchets in my back

-i think i slept in some kind of odd position the other night because this is the second day in a row in which i can barely turn my head.  if someone behind me or even next to me calls me, i have to turn my entire body to see them.  this presents an interesting challenge when driving.  'looking both ways' has taken on whole new levels of difficulty.  i was hoping it would be gone this morning, but i still feel like i've got a hatchet lodged in the back of my neck, and it has the flexibility of a cold steel beam.  (dangit.  i was trying to avoid all forms of the word 'steel.'  now i'm crying again.)

-how great is it that "up all night" has moved to nbc's thursday night?  now i can watch parks and rec, the office and up all night back to back to back.  the only thing that would make it better is if "new girl" would change networks and go to thursday night.  then i wouldn't even need to turn my tv on except on thursday.  (you can tell w…

new year's resolution: eat more

quin made a new year's resolution for 2012, or at least one was made for him.  it's one he probably would have made, if he had the abilities to think cognitively about what he'd like to change for the new year, and subsequently tell us about it.  unfortunately, his abilities are limited to essentially sleeping, sucking, pooping and looking ridiculously cute.  so, we made a resolution for him: that he would start eating more, because he was looking so, you know, skinny.  actually, we wanted him to move to some solid foods.  so shannon started spoon-feeding him rice cereal this week and he's been housing it.  needless to say, he's doing well on his new year's resolution so far. 

so, while the rest of us try to eat less in january, quin is focused on eating more.  and he's off to a good start.  keep up the good work, little man. 


-good news!  it's tuesday.  after a monday that i'm certain was 12 times its normal length, that is good news indeed. 

-also, a new david crowder band album and a new snow patrol album in one day.  awesome.

-today, as i drove jackson to school through the valley that is the older part of sunbury, i was looking west into a big 'ol full moon just hanging over the ridge, while the electric-orange sun was just showing off it's own circular glory over the opposite ridge in the east.  it was a beautiful kind of "being caught in the middle," especially as i've been reflecting on genesis 1 for this weeks sermon. 

-there is nothing like an icy cold grey morning drive to make your life feel like a movie.  i drove over the owl-brown-grey susquehanna, lined with barren trees, with stick-cold branches pointing everywhere like so many arrows, while the stereo in my minivan spilled out the sounds of the civil wars:  "i hear something hanging on the wind..." …

leave me alone. don't talk to me.

even big ben likes to tebow
bet you didn't think you'd hear from me today, huh? 
-well, i'm mostly in denial mixed with shock.  i keep coming to, and thinking, "oh, good, that was just a terrible nightmare that didn't really happen." 
and then i realize it did, and dry heave.  again.
-yeah, it's that bad.
-if i were a professional athlete, i wouldn't wear Jesus on my sleeve the way tebow does for the same reason that i don't put Jesus stickers all over my car.  i know i'll do things that Jesus would never do.  like when tebow ran for 9 yards last night, then got up and flexed his arms while screaming right into the face of the prone defender.  yep.  that's what Jesus would do, tim.  nice work.
-if i wasn't a pastor, my facebook status would be:  "leave me alone.  don't talk to me."  but that's probably not the most pastoral thing to do, so i have to temper my disgust a bit. 
-plus, my eyes hurt too bad to look at f…

here we go!

saturday song: have you ever

no particular reason for today's saturday song, just an artist that i really like.  she's got such a great powerful voice, and this is a nice little jaunt of a song.  enjoy "have you ever" by brandi carlile. 

the price is right and foreverlazy

-getting back to work this week has made it the longest week ever.  i swear it's been friday for three days now. 

-in the category of "it's a small world, after all," we knew two different people who won prizes on "the price is right" this week.  TWO!  it was celebrity week on the price is right, and our first friend, armando, won the whole showcase with snoop dog on the show.  then, samantha,  the daughter of a woman in our church won a car and $10,000 on the show that neal patrick harris was on.  crazy. 

-have you seen the commercial for the "foreverlazy?"  possibly the worst idea i have ever seen.  they are fleece footed pajamas that you can wear out of the house.  i can only assume the low price of $19.95 or whatever it is must include whatever chemicals you need to inhale deeply to put you into a frame of mind that allows you to think it is okay to wear them anywhere, let alone in public. 

-started watching "the help" last night …


yesterday was a good day. 

i woke up.  scratched my head, then my leg.  i stretched and stumbled to the kitchen and by pure dumb luck got the coffee started without spilling or dropping anything, or pouring the water into the toaster. 

once it brewed, i sipped my coffee.  i blew my nose. 

i woke up my son.  made his breakfast.  quizzed him on his school memorization.  drove him to the bus stop. 

i blogged.

i breathed.  alot.

i thought things and got dressed in things and did little things.

i went to work.  checked emails.  wrote emails.  deleted emails.  archived emails.  i wrote, folded, signed, prayed, discussed, planned, organized, and reached out.  i made some phone calls.  i talked about the steelers game.  i drank some water.  and ate a small candy cane.  i looked in a mirror.  i listened to music. 

i went home for lunch.  i ate some soup.  i slurped and swallowed.  i wiped my face.  i kept working.

i played mighty beans with my son.  i complained about the cold.  i change…

12-4: my trip to cleveland

as you have surely heard by now, i was fortunate enough to win tickets through a local radio station and travel agency to the steelers final game of the season in cleveland on sunday, january 1st.  the two tickets included the round trip bus ride to cleveland.  since shannon couldn't leave the baby for so long, i took my sister-in-law who is a steelers fan and has never seen them play in person.  we caught the bus in selinsgrove at 8am (on new year's day!) and enjoyed the road trip to cleveland.  i knew there was no way i'd be sleeping on the way, and i was right.  i just had too much adrenaline and excitement.  i must say, though, that cleveland, as a cityscape, is less than impressive.  approaching cleveland is a distinctly different experience that driving into pittsburgh from the fort pitt or liberty tubes.  still, we got the the stadium, parked about 25 feet from lake erie, and got off the bus for some tailgating.

when we stepped off the bus, we each received a stead…