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summer bucket list 2019

it's summertime, baby!  the sun is out (nope), the kids are home from school (yay.), and it's time to relax a little bit (yeah, right.).  just kidding!  rain or shine, it's time to have some fun with the kids at home, with the extra sunlight, and with the opportunity to make some more memories before these days are gone.  so, once again, Shannon (dang, she is talented!) has designed our family's annual "summer bucket list," complete with all sorts of things we'd like to accomplish in the next couple of months.  we have some of our annual stand-by's, like playing in the rain, having ice cream for dinner, vbs, summer camp, etc.  But we also have some things that will be unique to this summer, like making donuts, playing disc golf, and celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary, just to name a few.  we've got high expectations for the summer, and we know the only way to do it is to say "yes" to life, and to make it happen, so here we go!

and…
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summer cd 2019

i know i'm old.  i mean, there's a growing list of entries in that exhibit file, many of which are obvious to everyone else but me, but i'm at least self-aware enough to realize this one: i still make mix cd's.  as if it were still 2002, i rip and arrange and burn and buy jewel cases and the whole deal.  it's almost like a i can't NOT do it.  i just love it; it's in my bones.  every time we take a family trip somewhere, i make a mix cd focused on  that location, and each summer i make a cd to serve as the soundtrack of our summer, and i make several copies and share them with others as well.  they probably get it in the mail and laugh at me, but i don't really care.  i simply love doing it.

this is my fifth summer cd in a row, and you can see the artwork for it above.  the theme is the word "world," as you can see from the songs i chose (also, please remember that my target audience here is the family demographic).   here are the "liner …

from there

in deuteronomy 4, moses is telling the people about life in the promised land, even though he knows he won't be entering with them, and he's describing what life will be like.  he warns them to be careful not to become like the surrounding people, not to become corrupt, and not to worship idols.  he talks about how miserable life can become for them if they give into to these temptations, but then he says this,

     "but if from there you seek YHWH, your God, you will find what you seek, if
     you seek with all your heart and all your soul." (Deut. 4:29).

from there.

i love those words.  especially in this season.  from there.

from where?  from the 'promised land' where the only promises you can see are broken to bits and lying in pieces, littering the ground.  from there.

from the place where you have gotten yourself when you have made idols or gotten sidetracked, or lost the plot, or grown selfish or lazy or apathetic or exhausted or paralyzed by grief or…

happy mothers day, 2019

this year for mothers day, our boys and i are celebrating Shannon, and how she makes the world such a wonderful place for us, in so many ways.  she loves to travel, she loves to discover the foods and cultures of people around this globe, and she loves to discover more of the wonder of the world.  that wonder is contagious, and i certainly see it taking root and growing in our children, so that when they look around at this beautifully broken world of ours, they see the fingerprints of God, and the hope of redemption. truly it is a wonderful world, and our family is so thankful for the ways that our wife and mother shows us and points us to this truth every day.

so without further ado, here is our 11th annual mother's day video:





and if you want to see the previous ten, just click this link.  

new collage: bread alone

"bread alone" mixed media collage (bread tabs, cut paper, acrylic paint, glue on stretched canvas) february, 2019 gregory a. milinovich
"one does not live by bread alone," said Jesus, when he was out in his own spiritual wilderness, feeling hungry and tempted to use his power to satisfy his own wishes.  the voice of the tempter came to him, saying, "c'mon....look at all these stones...if you wanted, you could easily turn them to bread...you could satisfy your hunger, and instantly meet all the needs of the world." 

it had to be tempting. 

but Jesus knew that there was more than just bread and stones at stake here.  he knew that "easy fixes" wouldn't really be an answer to the problem of evil and brokenness.  he knew that bread was going to need to be broken, in order to really provide the wholeness that the world was so desperately hungry for. 

so he quoted scripture.  he recalled deuteronomy 8, where the israelites were remembering how …

new collage: games

"games" mixed media collage (found papers, glue on cardboard [album cover]) february 2019 gregory a. milinovich

no fancy commentary today.  just happy to be back to the process of gluing things together again (after two and a half years of making almost nothing).  collaging is both spiritual practice and sabbath self-care for me.  sometimes when i am making something very particular and specific, or as a response to a particular text or idea, it is more spiritual discipline.  but sometimes, when i just let all my preconceived ideas go, and just glue things together, it is absolutely good for my soul.  i've made several collages over the last few weeks, which i will continue to share, if for no other reason than to encourage you to keep doing (or go back to doing) the things that make you alive and abundantly you.

new collage: better together

"better together" mixed media (puzzle pieces, found papers, acrylic paint) on hardcover bookboard february, 2019 gregory a. milinovich

i finished up my "better together" series a couple of weekends ago with this idea that we really need each other.

honestly, it's that simple for me.  we need each other.  
but that doesn't mean i'm always really good at it.  i shared an example in my sermon (which you can listen to here), about my experience this last november going to vote.  
i wanted to vote before work, and i had hoped that by going early i could just slip in and out quickly.  but unfortunately there was a long line.  and it was cold.  and on the verge of raining.  and i stood there in line without an umbrella or an overcoat over my suit.  i put on my headphones to listen to something, and pass the time, when (of course) it started to rain, lightly at first. 
the man behind me tapped me on the shoulder.  i turned and pulled one headphone away from my…