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Showing posts from May, 2008

the hands of ordination

i know you are probably sick of hearing about it, and i'm sorry about that, but today is the day: i will be ordained today. as an elder. in the united methodist church. affirmed by my colleagues. called by God. committed to ministry in the name of Jesus Christ. blessed by so many who have helped me journey to this point. and as i build a little altar here today, a place to always remember this milestone moment, i cannot help but reflect on this: there are so many who are a part of this with me. from my childhood on through my adolescence and into my young adult years, the names of those who have cheered me on and helped me learn and challenged me and inspired me and believed in me and prayed for me is legion. there are more than i could possibly dare to list here, and it would include my parents, my pastors, my mentors, my colleagues, and so many friends. when i walk up to the chancel tonight and kneel down; when i feel the warmth of the bishop's hands on my head and

ordination stream

i don't know how well it will work (i don't have a great deal of confidence in the technological savvy of our conference), but here is the link for the live stream of our annual conference. if you'd like to watch the ordination service, it is scheduled to begin at 7:30 on friday night. fyi, we have just completed something at annual conference called the "clergy session," at which my ordination has been approved by the gathered clergy of the conference. now it is absolutely official. all the rest will be pomp and circumstance. i am overjoyed! grace and peace, greg.

now playing: viva la vida

now playing: viva la vida artist: coldplay about: so this is the song that is on the new ipod commercials. it is the second song that has become available from coldplay's upcoming album. as the title track, i was interested in what it had to say, and to be honest, i'm a bit confused by it. but i love it. i love it. i love it. i love it. am i being clear here? i love this song. on my 2 hour drive to valley forge this morning, i listened to it at least 15-20 times. i can't stop. it is like i am hypnotized to hit the repeat button. i just can't get enough of it. lyrically, the song sounds like it is written from the perspective of some kind of conquering war-king who has fallen from grace. not the most natural subject matter for a pop song, but somehow it seems to work.

this is the week

so this is the week. (how many of my posts start of with the word "so?" it is this awful verbal habit of mine to start every sentence with that word. sorry). so anyway, this is the week. one way of looking at is that i have been looking forward to this week for 10 years. --- and here i am. --- in less than 24 hours i will be driving to valley forge, pa. to attend the annnual conference at which i will be ordained as an elder in the united methodist church. --- annual conference is always a mixed bag for me. for those of you who are not methodists, or who are not familiar with our methods, the basic unit of the united methodist church is the annual conference, which is made up of clergy and laity from all the united methodist churches in a particular geographic area. in this case it is the greater new jersey annual conference which means it is all of new jersey plus a few churches in new york and pennsylvania. we gather together once a year to do all of our official busi

american beauty

on sunday night shannon and i watched american beauty , which came out in 1999 and won 5 oscars, including best picture. it is interesting film, and i don't recommend it to those who are easily offended (one "christian" review i saw says that this movie has an "extremely offensive" moral rating, whatever that means). but, for those who are interested in good cinema, this is a very good movie. it tells the story of lester burnham (the always incredible kevin spacey) and his messed up life and family. lester is a shell of a man, living an awful and nearly dead life, hating his job, out of touch with his wife and absent from his daughter's life. his wife (annette benning) is consumed with materialism and success. the movie tells the story of how burnham tries to change his life, and what he learns in the end. while it is full of potentially "morally offensive" material, the movie is not condoning the things that the characters do - it is showi

memorial day, 2008

a few posts ago , i asked for your contributions to a collaborative memorial day poem. thanks for your words! i said it was a little "blogxperiment," and as such i though it went well. here's what we wrote: its one of those one-a-year mondays, and i'm trying to remember the friend i lost in late november and the families he and others have left behind who have fought bravely for our freedom it's the triangle flag that makes my mom cry it is all the flags that fly so freely the red, the white and the blue that stands out from the cemetery gray of so many tombstones. a reminder that freedom is not free.

new music: the myriad

so i've been holding onto an itunes gift card since christmas, just unsure about what to spend it on. but when i realized that the myriad's new album had just come out, i decided to go ahead and use it. and i am so glad i did. so glad. if you are unfamiliar, the myriad is a band from seattle that released a pretty cool little album in 2005 called 'never trust a ladder.' ever since that album i have been looking forward to a follow-up. in the meantime, they were selected as one of 12 finalists out of a pool of 4000 bands for the dew breakout circuit. out of the group of 12 they were voted on by fans and ended up winning the competition this last december. with all of that buzz, they have really begun to generate a following and a great deal of expectations for this new record. they did not disappoint. the new album is called "with arrows, with poise," and it is really good. just so all my kenny g loving readers out there don't go buy the album, l

throwback thursday: striped ball

here is a picture of me at a year old. i am holding a ball, which should have been a clue to my amazing skills as a ball player. if only i had been bigger, stronger, and exponentially more athletic, i'm pretty sure i could have made it in pro ball. oh well, its nurture vs. nature, i guess... anyway, have a great thursday. live up to your full potential! grace and peace, greg.

a blogxperimential memorial day poem

in a few days it will be memorial day, and in my experience, memorial day is one of those "holidays" whose true meaning is rather missed in exchange for something else, in this case cookouts and parties. instead of being about a nice juicy hamburger (which deserves a holiday of its own, no doubt), memorial day is a day to remember those who have died in service to their country. i think, though, rather than only a time to reflect on those individuals, it has also become a day to "remember" how those lives and deaths have contributed to the freedoms and lifestyle many of us enjoy today. for me, anyway, it is a day of remembering; a day of not-taking-everything-for-granted; a day of appreciating. --- and so for this, my 350th post, i thought i'd try a little blogxperiment: i would like us to collaboratively write a memorial day poem. i'm going to start it off with one line, and then i am asking you, my readers, to add a line in the comments section. from time

cough drop

kids say the darndest things. they also say the most bizarre things. like my son, who just partially ate a chick pea (garbonzo bean), spit it into his hand and said, "this is like a cough drop wrapped up in a piggy bank!" alrighty then.

i walk in glory everyday

i took a walk around our home, and i just took some pictures along the way. here they are...

historic questions

nicolas poussin - "the ordination" 1647 two weeks from today i will be getting ordained into the united methodist church as an elder. as i have written about previously, this is the result of a very long journey full of hard work and affirmation, joy and grief, inspiration and frustration. and there are still a couple of small steps yet to go before it is finalized. one of those small steps is that i will be asked the 'historic questions' before ordination. these are questions that have been asked of those being ordained as methodists since john wesley. in that sense, they bear a great deal of significance in terms of connecting me to a long history of elders in this church. on the other hand, many of them are quite dated and reflect a different culture, a different time, and a different way of living. here they are, for your reading pleasure: 1. have you faith in Christ? 2. are you going on to perfection? 3. do you expect to be made perfect in love in th

pet peeve: drawstrings

from time to time i get annoyed. i know it probably doesn't happen to you, but it does happen to me. deal with it. --- and then, from time to time i get ridiculous surveys which i am compelled to answer and send to 10 of my friends or else some 12-year old will die from cancer or God will strike me down or something. inevitably, one of the questions on those surveys is, "what is your biggest pet peeve?" and inevitably, i can never remember those things that annoy me. they annoy me at the time. but then i just forget them (probably a coping mechanism). but no longer. i have decided to record by pet peeves when they occur to me, so that i will be able to refer to them when i most need them: in the middle of a survey which carries life-or-death significance for some third world nation. --- and so i start with this one. --- i tie my shoes almost every day (except when i wear slip-on shoes that don't have laces. those are the best. in all seriousness, how many pe

distract me

today i was at a meeting with the bishop of my annual conference. during his opening prayer he prayed that God would "distract" us. i didn't hear a word of the rest of his prayer, because i got hung up on that word. usually i pray that God would get rid of the distractions. but sometimes i need to pray the prayer that the bishop taught me today: Lord, i have all these things that seem so important to me right now: distract me. amen!

throwback thursday: jeeters

above is a picture of me from the summer of 1996, i think. i worked at kennywood park in pittsburgh. in the late summer they have parades through the park every night with high school bands and floats and all the trappings of a parade, including random pink cuddly characters named jeeters, animated by awkward and very sweaty college students. this was my shot at parade fame. i actually loved doing this. other than the sweat. here is an excerpt from my journal in may of 2001: look all around you - the world is bursting and bubbling and baffling. and i'm still bumbling - missing most of it. every once in a awhile, though, i slip out of my sleepy slumber for long enough to catch a glimpse of the deeper richer realer. that happened this weekend in the city of brotherly love. sitting in the front row of some old '50's style theater on south street in philadelphia, i woke up as the sounds of somewhere-between-here-and-heaven cascacded down over me....over the rhine was

relevant worship

i found this article over at thunderstruck , which is basically a link-fest for all things related to faith and culture. steve beard, a united methodist, does a great job running the site, as evidenced by this review: "Best Christian blog? The astounding Thunderstruck, where Steve Beard lists and links thousands of key articles from a host of sources, all calculated to make Christians think more carefully about their faith and the culture they live in. I have to watch how often I go there; I start clicking on his links, and whoops, it’s suppertime." --John Allan, Christianity & Renewal magazine. anyway, this article from christianity today caught my attention, and i would encourage you to read it if you are interested in worship and how different people worship and how the church might attract newcomers to church through worship styles. One of the main points of the article, as i read it, is that many churches have tried to make worship "relevant" to certain g

now playing: violet hill

now playing: violet hill artist: colplay about: so this song is the first single (given away for free via download on their website) from their upcoming album (june 17th). i'm a huge coldplay fan in the sense that i love their music, not in the sense that i really follow them closely. i, quite simply, love their music, particularly "a rush of blood to the head" and "x and y." to me, they make great music. emotional but not moody. big but not overproduced. raw, but not skeletal. beautiful, but not narcissistic. this song surprised me at first when i downloaded it, because it sounds a little different than the coldplay i'm used to, but i'm liking it more and more as i listen to it. it has this infectious driving beat that makes me feel like soldiers are marching by. and i love how it crescendos and decrescendos, and that kind of dynamic feel to the music is one of the things i love the most about coldplay. things ebb and flow, so the music fe

i need to be healthy

as part of my methodist connectionalism, i covenant to make sure i don't get too isolated in my local church but stay in touch with my district and my conference. as methodists, its just what we do to stay connected. part of what that means here in our conference is that districts have 4 or 5 days each year called 'district resourcing days,' in which all the pastors from that district get together for some time of learning. this past saturday we had a district resourcing day centered on the concept of clergy health and wellness. Ginny Samuel, associate dean for contextual learning at the seminary where i went ( drew ), was the presenter, and i heard at least part of her presentation before, so i didn't really learn anything per se , but it was a good reminder of how important it is to stay healthy, especially in a career that is notoriously UN-healthy. consider some statistics: according to a study done by the united methodist board of pensions and health benefit

our mother's day, 2008

we had a really nice mother's day here at the milinovich household, full of pancakes and phone calls and washing the cars (mommy LOVES clean cars). jack was really excited to give mommy the "stained glass" that he and daddy made for her (melted crayon shavings between waxed paper). we also got her one of those new hallmark cards where you can record your voice. the end of the day, after dinner at chile's and some fun time at border's books, turned into superhero night, with our little batman and superman having an absolute blast. here are some of the many pictures we got of the super brothers. i hope you had a happy mother's day, and that you are inspired to nurture the maternal in yourself. it is a great gift. greg.

happy mother's day, 2008

happy mother's day to all the moms out there, especially my mom, who put up with a whole heck of alot raising my two younger sisters. well, okay, i guess i was a brat from time to time, too. i know i couldn't have asked for a better mom, though. and happy mother's day to my wife, the mother of my children, who not only puts up with our two young boys, but, moreover, with this 32-year old little boy. i have had the tremendous privilege in my life to be surrounded by incredible examples of motherhood. i have been nurtured, cared for, encouraged, fed, wiped (when i was a baby, and that one time...nevermind), prayed for, worried about, even smacked a few times when i needed it. thank you, mom, and thank you, shannon. happy mother's day! greg.


as promised, and thanks to cindy m., here's a picture of the whole neat-o family at the sock hop. greg. ps. that letter jacket used to fit me. honest.

a plea to new line cinema:

please bring back gandalf!

throwback thursday: infielder

for this week's edition of throwback thursday, i thought i'd go back exactly 20 years, to the spring and summer of 1988 which found me playing baseball for the local little league in waynesburg, pennsylvania. here i am taking a little infield. i have always been best in the middle infield. i feel like i say this far too much when i look at old pictures of myself, but, dang i was skinny. one of my legs right now weighs more than i did in this picture. what twenty years can do to a guy.... have a great thursday, greg. ps. you gotta love the pants pulled up to just below the knee with the full stirrup action. when we are all in heaven and if you are looking for me, this is probably how i'll be dressed (except it will be pinstripes), and you'll likely find me somewhere around second base hoping that a ball comes just out of my reach and i have to dive to stop it. i can't wait!

at the sock hop

i haven't had any pictures of the boys up here recently, so i thought i would show you some shots from our time at the sock hop this last weekend. we had a blast doing the twist and trying to hula hoop. they boys really had a good time, too, as you can tell from the pics. there should be some photos of shannon and i (who looked pretty good, if i do say so myself) out there, so if you were there and took a photo of us, send it our way, please!