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Showing posts from March, 2015

journey to hope: our guide through the struggle

"lent 6, 2015: struggle" mixed media collage (tissue paper, wall paper glue, acrylic paint, found object on stretched canvas) march, 2015 gregory a. milinovich
for the sixth week in lent at our church we talked about struggle.  we used the palm sunday story as our text, and compared it to mark 15.  in mark 11, as Jesus enters jerusalem, the crowd shouts praises with their arms raised upward in joy.  just a few days later, the crowd shouts condemnation with fingers pointed in hatred and fear.

life is full of valleys.

in fact, this whole series has been meant to reflect the struggle that is a very real and present part of every day - every step - of the journey. that is why i have used the tissue paper as a backing for the paint in each collage. the tissue paper wrinkles and tears so wonderfully that it very aptly (at least for me) represents the brokenness and messiness of life.  there is struggle everywhere.  everyday.  in every chapter, season, and moment of our lives. w…

journey to hope: our relationship with our stuff

"lent 5, 2015: money" mixed media collage (tissue paper, found money, found game piece, wall paper glue, acrylic paint, gel medium on stretched canvas) march 2015 gregory a. milinovich


i’m a chronic over-packer. if i’m going to be gone for 3 days, i usually feel compelled to bring enough clothes for about a week, just in case. what if i decide to go for a run? Better bring my exercise clothes. and what if we go somewhere nice to eat? i’d better bring something a little nicer to wear. and i just can’t decide if i like this shirt or that shirt better with those pants, so i’ll just bring them both and decide when i get there. can you identify with this? and i haven’t even gotten to the shoes yet. i just pack way too much. i don’t care if i am going for an overnight stay, in my mind i always think that i’m going to have all these choices and all this free time, so i will bring some big book to read, and maybe even a second one just in case i finish the first one. alm…

happy st. patrick's day

top of the mornin' to ya'! happy st. patrick's day!  from us leprechauns here in sunbury, we hope you have a great day!

lent 4, 2015: temptation

"lent 4, 2015: temptation" mixed media collage (tissue paper, acrylic paint, wallpaper glue, gel medium, plastic snake) on stretched canvas march 2015 gregory a. milinovich
as our lenten series at church continues - we are taking a "journey to hope" - we stopped yesterday to consider the temptations which assail us on our journey.  if we are truly aiming to walk with God, to move further up and deeper into God's incredible love, then temptations are like detours which derail and deter us from the path.  and sometimes, when we get going down the wrong path, we think we can handle it ourselves.  we think we can fix it, or get back on track by our own strength or will power.  but we can't.  God is not some last resort for us to call on when every other option has been exhausted.

so the question for us this week is this: what temptations are luring us from the path we really want to be on?  and can we follow Jesus' example from Gethsemane, turning to God …

lent 3 2015: work (and vocation)

"lent 3, 2015: work" mixed media collage (tissue paper, acrylic paint, wallpaper glue, gel medium, found nail on stretched canvas) march, 2015 gregory a. milinovich
this week in church we talked about work.  well, actually, we talked about how work is a poor substitute for vocation.  i can barely use the word without thinking of frederick buechner, whose ideas on the subject have always spoken right to the very center of my being.  buechner says that vocation is that place where your unique gifts and passions intersect with the world's greatest needs.  where those things overlap, that's your vocation; that's the place where God is calling you to give freely of your giftedness.  to serve.  to offer.  to bless.

james and john wanted some payback for their work.  they had given up everything to follow Jesus, including their comforts and their pension.  they really just wanted some return on their investment.  and so they talked to Jesus about it.  about honor.  ab…

let it go (and leave it at the cross)

on sunday in worship we talked about some of those negative perceptions of ourselves which we have come to own because we have listened too long and too well to the impostor (see yesterday's post).  and we remembered together what God has to say on the subject, that we are loved and chosen and worth every ounce of sweat and blood that God could shed.  it's a beautiful love - more beautiful than we can possibly behold or comprehend.  and so, rather than trust in it and live into it, we so often opt for denying it all together, or buying into a lie instead, a lie which has been slithering it's way into our ears since life first sprung from the garden.  "don't trust God," the lie says.  "trust yourself.  you know better than God."

and so we trust ourselves.  and ourselves come to believe that we are unlovable and fat and worthless and unforgivable.

so at church on sunday, we wrote some of those lies down, some of those old and well-worn perceptions …

my internal conversation, and maybe yours too

"lent 2015 (2): self" mixed media collage (tissue paper, wallpaper glue, acrylic paint, found letters, gel medium on stretched canvas) february, 2015 gregory a. milinovich
"i am a wreck," says the impostor, the voice inside who sometimes whispers, but more often shouts his hateful half-truths through the hallways of my psyche and my soul.  "i am a disaster.  i'm a terrible father, a fraud of a pastor, and an overall failure as a human being."

"you are made in my image," replies the God of the Universe, the Creator of everything, and the Author of life.  "i made you, and i call you good.  No, scratch that: i call you very good."

"that sounds so nice," replies the impostor, with a profound cynicism disguised as intellectualism and maturity.  "those ancient words would be so comforting if you could believe such nonsense, but the empirical proof is in the pathetic pudding.  i mean, look at me.  my head is tiny.  and n…