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Showing posts from April, 2017

double digits!

who's ten years old?  this guy!  this tasmanian devil-like bundle of energy and movement and activity. he will be trying to throw a ball over the house one minute, sweeping the garage while wearing roller blades the next, and then wrapping his arms around you in a solid embrace the next.  he is physical.  he is a collector (of anything he can get his hands on...sports cards, presidential antiques, key chains, circuit boards, etc.).  he is athletic.  and he is now ten! happy birthday to the only one of my children who's punctured his soft palate, scored 7 goals in one soccer game, wants to go to antique stores and yard sales, and watches sports with me!

Easter! Stones!

lent 7 (easter) 2017: stones
mixed media collage (found papers, acrylic paint, gel medium on stretched canvas)
april, 2017
gregory a. milinovich

there are stones everywhere.  but they don't make the best easter symbols.  we prefer bunnies and eggs for that.  but in many ways, stones would be so much better.  they could remind us of the great power of love which moves stones away from graves.  they could remind us of how life can burst forth out of just about any situation.  they could remind us that the same power that rolled away a death-stone in a garden in jerusalem is offered to us.  they could remind us, in a far more poignant way, perhaps, than hollow chocolate bunnies or plastic eggs, that there is nothing, nothing - no, nothing - that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord, the same Christ Jesus who died and then defeated death once and for all for you and for me.

have a blessed easter, my friends.

lent 6: palms

"lent 6, 2017: palms"
mixed media collage (found papers, acrylic paint, gel medium on stretched canvas)
april, 2017
gregory a. milinovich

the excitement was building!  a parade was forming.  the people were singing and dancing and thinking about some of the ancient prophecies.  they were even daring to use the word messiah.  could this be the one?  could this be the king?  the long-awaited, annointed one?

"look...here he comes, riding on a....a....a donkey?  i mean, that animal isn't even broken!  look how ridiculous he is!  and Jesus' feet are nearly scraping the ground!  and where is his sword?  his shield? his colors?  his banners?  where is his dignity?  and what about that entourage of his?  just a ragtag group of rapscallions!  instead of swords and spears they are carrying palms!  what good will that do against the romans?"

see?  just a bunch of palms.  just an unbroken donkey and an ancient prophecy.  just an odd assortment of ragamuffins.  there&…

lent 5: cave

"lent 5, 2017: cave"
mixed media collage (acrylic paint, found papers, string, gel medium on stretched canvas)
april, 2017
gregory a. milinovich

if you thought the story of Jesus using mud to bring clarity was upside down, wait until you hear this one!

in this story in john 11, Jesus waits until his buddy lazarus has been dead for days before he shows up and tells the bystanders to roll the stone away from the cave.  "but Jesus," they protested adamantly, "he's been dead for days.  it's going to smell like death (literally) in there!"  but Jesus has them move the stone anyway, and then he looks into that empty darkness, that death-hole, and speaks life.  he calls lazarus (who is dead as a doornail) to come walking out, and walk out he does.  still all tied up in death's clothes.  so Jesus invites the onlookers, still sore from moving the stone, to help unbind him.  so they, too, walk up that dark pit of stinky death, and touch the man they th…

lent 4: mud

"lent 4, 2017: mud"
mixed media collage (acrylic paint, found papers, gel medium on stretched canvas)
march, 2017
gregory a. milinovich

mud.  the earthy mixture of spit and soil; such gritty, grimy stuff.  it makes things messy.  it obscures the neat and clean, and blends and blurs into a blemish of browns.

but not when Jesus gets ahold of it.

during lent, our church has been looking at the landscapes of lent, the earthy, everyday objects of our lives that Jesus takes and turns from ordinary to extraordinary.  in this story from john 9, Jesus meets a blind man, and rather than wiping him away, or touching him with a magic wand, or uttering some incantation, he simply spits into the dirt, mixes up some mud, and spreads it on the man's face.  when the man washes away the grit and grime, he's left with nothing other than his sight!  Jesus uses the broken earth - a slimy clump of soil - to bring clarity and wholeness back to the man born blind.

what about us?  how mi…

lent 3: wind

"lent 3, 2017: wind"
mixed media collage (acrylic paint, found papers, gel medium on stretched canvas)
march, 2017
gregory a. milinovich

oh no!  i have gotten so far behind in posting my lenten discipline, but that doesn't mean i haven't been keeping up with it!  i have done all 6 expressions of the sunday themes for the 6 sundays in lent so far, and now here is the third one: wind, from Jesus' exchange with nicodemus in john 3.

nic doesn't seem to understand how Jesus can do the things he does, and Jesus doesn't clear things up much for him, saying that nic needs to be born again.  when nic scratches his head in confusion, Jesus uses the wind as an example.  we don't know where it comes from or where it goes...we can study it scientifically, but it still doesn't take away the mystery of this movement, its spiritual swirling and swooshing.  the Spirit moves in mysterious ways, ways that confound the wisest of the wise, and turn even the most unl…