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Showing posts from November, 2012

religion vs relationship

ed. note:  sorry i haven't been very attentive to the blog this week.  i know that there are many of you who check it daily, and i usually try to make every effort to be daily with new materials, but with the thanksgiving holiday combined with the passing of our beloved family dog, i haven't felt much like doing any more than absolutely necessary.  thank you for your words of sympathy and compassion which we have been so blessed to receive. 

last night at our church as we continued our journey through the not a fan study, we had a great conversation about the supposed dichotomy between religion and relationship.  this is a huge cultural epidemic, and while you may think you haven't heard of it, i'm fairly certain that you have.  it is rampant in our culture, and, by result, in our christian subculture.  let me explain.

you have heard it said in our culture, if you've been paying attention, that people are choosing to be "spiritual, not religious."  the u…

first snow, 2012

we had our first snow of the season yesterday, and although i was only expecting a dusting, we woke up to a nice covering of snow, and then it kept snowing pretty hard through the morning.  we ended up with about 3 inches, on a day that was still somewhat on the warmer side.  this, combined with the fact that they haven't seen snow in some 9 months, resulted in what you might call the perfect storm for at least 2/3 of our children.  and so it was on with the layers and oversized snow clothing, gloves that fall off, hats that fall over the eyes, and boots that slip off the feet.  and out into the white wonderland we went.  as i cleaned off the driveway, i piled the snow on the side so that jack could build a snow fort.  he needed help, but he stuck with it, and you can see the results of his work below. 



quin didn't play outside, but we took him out and let him touch it and see it.  he was not impressed. 



and of course there were more than a couple snow balls.  as ever, this…

happy thanksgiving from the milinovichs 2012

we hope you have a blessed thanksgiving, and that it is more about giving thanks than getting a good deal or gluttonous consumption. 

max

maximus drake milinovich february 27, 2001 - november 20, 2012
well, as some of you already know from facebook, we lost our beloved dog to cancer yesterday.  as i wrote in his birthday post earlier this year, his health was obviously declining over the last year, but he still had a good quality of life until these last few days when we were forced to make that terrible decision about what to do for him.  it was possibly the hardest thing i had to do in my life, as i held his 65-pound frame in my arms and whispered into his ear as his life slipped away. 

what did i whisper? 

some things i won't tell you.  but i can tell you that i told him how proud we are of him.  how he was the best dog imaginable.  i told him some of the things i will miss about him, like his insanely loud snoring, and the smell of his paws and the velvet-soft texture of his ears.  i told him he was our first child, and he was an amazing big brother.  i told him i was crying for sobbing all over him like a b…

from scarcity to abundance

for the last couple of weeks at catawissa avenue united methodist church, we've been talking about the opposite worldviews of scarcity and abundance.  i have been trying to make the point that the story our culture tells is almost always based on scarcity, while the story of the Gospel is always unexpected, unwarranted, unlikely abundance. 

imagine having a meal with Jesus when he was here doing his ministry.  how awesome would that be?  i have the sense that he could at once make you feel completely at home and deeply loved and also challenged and inspired to be a better version of yourself.  exhilarating.  but enough about us.  imagine that you were asking him about him.  you might ask his favorite color, what kind of animal he would be if he was an animal, and so forth, and then imagine that you ask him, "Lord, what is this all about?  i mean, why did you really come here?  what is your mission statement?" 

and then listen to his reply:

"i have come that you …

saturday song - kashmir

last night shannon and i had our (mostly) monthly date night, and we had the opportunity to head up to bucknell for a little culture.  we got to see maya beiser, a cellist who is incredibly accomplished, do a multimedia concert with video.  it featured modern pieces, and some of it was so experimental as to be nearly devoid of any sense of melody (at least to these ears), but most of it was really beautiful, including a piece by one of my favorite modern composers, arvo part

for her encore, she did something a little less highbrow, and did this rendition of led zeppelin's kashmir, which was alot of fun.  enjoy. 


random friday: carving the possum and going with the meatloaf

not that anyone was really coming to this site looking for it, but i'm sorry that i haven't really been able to get into ravens week this week.  it is sort of hard to get excited about this twice-a-year game when you know your starting quarterback has a rib aimed right at his aorta, and will be spending those three hours just trying not to die.  so, yeah.  it's sort of like trying to look forward to thanksgiving day knowing that there won't be any turkey.  "sorry kids, but our starting turkey is significantly injured and listed as 'out' for this year's thanksgiving meal.  we'll be going with our backup turkey, also known as meatloaf.  we're confident that he'll be able to step in and do the job we need in order to have a fantastic meal.  as we always say around here, 'next entree up.'" 

yeah right. 



hey, speaking of ben's condition, if you are looking to find out exactly what is wrong with him (hint: it's not just a s…

couple of pics of the boys

steelers 16 - chiefs 13

on monday night the steelers hosted the woeful chiefs at heinz field in pittsburgh, and most people predicted an easy steelers win.  i, however, wasn't so sure.  i mean, i fully expected the steelers to win, but i thought it might be a much more difficult win than people were predicting. 

i hate being right. 

yes, the steelers won the game, but there is a chance that they may have lost the battle, in that this game took a major toll on them. 


and that toll came in the form of ben roethlisberger's shoulder.  after being the squashed meat in a linebacker sandwich, ben got up holding his arm funny, and it just didn't look good.  the way he left the field; the way he went into the locker room, and then left the stadium altogether, just didn't look good.  tomlin provided an update yesterday, calling it an SC sprain, which is a fairly unusual football injury, from what i can read, but is still open to a good bit of interpretation as to the severity.  we will have to wait…

a post for my wife: overwhelmed

i had some time this weekend to finally go through months of family video and so some archiving for the home movie collection.  in doing so, i also finally got to complete a project that i've been thinking about for awhile.  actually, i've been thinking about it ever since i first saw that sam adams commercial.  you know the one with that song "overwhelmed?"  they just play the chorus in the commercial, but the first time i saw that commercial, i immediately looked it up because i loved the song so much, and when i found it i downloaded the whole song, only to discover that it is a song written about his wife by tim mcmorris.  as soon as i heard the whole song, i knew that i wanted to make a video using that song.  it is perfect.

and so i finally did.

to my awesome wife:  your spirit and joy and love are overwhelming.  in a good way.  i love you. 


saturday song: jersey girl

i'm thinking of my new jersey friends today, as they continue the very beginnings of what must look like a nearly impossible journey of recovery from this brutal storm.  as a former resident of new jersey myself (12 years), i cannot even begin to imagine either the tremendous pain of everything that has been lost, or the incredible potential of what can happen when people work together with a common purpose. 

while i lived on the jersey shore, i developed a strong liking for one bruce springsteen (we even frequented the same record and antique stores!).  and so, as i continue to think of my peeps in jersey, i thought that this song by the boss might be a fitting saturday song today.  know that you are in my prayers, and that we are not sitting  idly by!  we have been sending money, we are collecting items for you, and when the time is right, we will send teams to help you rebuild!  hang in there!



ps.  you may have seen this on our facebook page, but if you live in the northumberl…

stop gloating. stop pouting. start loving.

to all my Christ-following friends,

i see you. 

i see your polarized reactions today.  i see you on facebook, some of you celebrating like your team just won the championship, and even more of you claiming doom-and-gloom and resorting to the "well, if it's God's will" theology that is so dangerous to kingdom-building. 

yes, i see you.  and i want to challenge you.  both groups of you.  i want to challenge you to cut it out with the gloating and the pouting.  i want to urge you to remember that the decisions you make with the people around you and the neighbors who are sleeping under overpasses just outside your town and, yes, even those who are reading your facebook updates are so much more important than the ones you make behind a curtain with an 'x' in a box.  i want to remind you that your civic duty might be to vote, but your duty as a follower of Christ is to love your neighbor, even those you perceive as enemies.  especially those you perceive as ene…

today is your day

today is your day, americans.  your day to prove the pundits wrong.  your day to shine in a country that has been darkened and dimmed by doomsday journalists from the left and the right. 

today is your chance to vote without fear, without prejudice.  today is your day to reclaim your gratitude for democracy and surrender your need to be on a winning team.  today is your day to add your vote to the national storyline, and then sit back and see what happens.

it's a day to put away name calling and finger-pointing.  it's a day to stop spinning and spewing vitriol.  it's a day to accept the collective will, and to recommit to doing your part to make our neighborhoods and communities better places.  today is a day to put our cynicism aside and dare to dream that real change really can happen, not because of one person in a big white house, but because of lots of people in houses just like yours.  today is our day to participate in something bigger than us, but composed by us …

steelers beat g-men, 24-20

yesterday was a marquis matchup between two of the classiest franchises in the nfl, the giants and the steelers.  the giants are the reigning superbowl champs, and having another good year, showing a penchant for late game heroics.  the steelers, on the other hand, have appeared to be underachievers, losing to inferior opponents by failing to hold late-game leads. 

there was the main narrative which overshadowed this silly football game, and that of course if the mess that remains in new jersey and new york following hurricane sandy.  i, for one, was uncomfortable with this game even being played, but who am i and what do i know about it?  so they played to "forget" for a little while. 


and the steelers won.  down by ten points in the final quarter, the steelers served the giants a bit of their own medicine, and staged a comeback of their own.  while on a layover in new jersey (the steelers flew in and out on the same day!), they managed to corral the potentially dangerou…

saturday song: big parade by the lumineers

well, we are days away from election day.  as i think about the election, i've had this song running through my head.  it's by the lumineers, a folkish band from denver.  you may know their song "hey ho" from a bing commercial earlier this year.  this song has a part about a candidate, in addition to a boxer, a rock star, and a priest, but for some reason i just can't help but think of the pageantry of this whole election thing, and the production that campaigning has become.  when there is an acceptance speech it will be choreographed and soundtracked and scripted and the candidate will wave and smile real big for the photo ops.  it will be a nice big parade.  sigh. 



Lovely girl won't you stay, won't you stay, stay with me
All my life I was blind, I was blind, now I see
Lovely girl won't you stay, won't you stay, stay with me
All my life I was blind, I was blind, now I see

Fleet of black, fleet of black limousines
Ah tinted machines, here comes th…

a skeleton, a donut man, and tweedle-dee

well, yesterday was trick-or-treating, and despite the cold weather and soggy conditions, we had a blast here at the milinovich house.  well, at least some of us had a blast.  as you can see from the picture above, quin wasn't exactly that into it, but you'd be crying too if you had to wear that thing.  let's have a closer look....


so quin was dressed up as tweedle-dee.  when people asked "where's tweedle-dum?" shannon smugly replied time after time, "it's my husband; he's just dumb."  which always got a laugh.  some more hearty than others.  usually from church members. 


when i went to kansas city, i ate my weight in krispy kreme donuts.  so much so that the pastors i was with got me a krispy kreme donut hat, one of the paper folding hats that the employees wear.  little did they know that they were providing the essential piece of my son's halloween costume, because, as soon as he saw that hat, caedmon determined that he wanted to be…