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Showing posts from March, 2009


"opened" mixed media collage on canvas board gregory a. milinovich here is a collage i finished last week, while at my conference. i've called it "opened," and it obviously has to do with opening up our hands, and what that might mean. for me, ever since reading henri nouwen's "with open hands" when i was 16, this has been a powerful image for me. i often cannot escape the realization that i am clinging to too much: too much guilt, too much stuff, too much pride, too much. i need to just open up my hands and let go and be... ...opened.


my wife read the twilight book a couple of months ago and has been obsessed with it ever since. she's been asking me to read it, and knowing that i'm not a teenage girl, i wasn't really sure if i'd like it. but i wanted to see what all the buzz was about, so i took it with me to my conference this week, and i started it monday night. by wednesday afternoon i was finished with all 500+ pages, and that was with only reading it during breaks! in short, i loved it! ***spoiler alert***do not read the rest of this if you are planning on reading the book!!! look, this is basically really well-done pulp fiction. it is a glorified romance involving a great deal of suspense. but it is really well written, in my opinion, and it has some themes that lend themselves to further reflection, if you can pause long enough before delving into the second book (new moon) because you want to know what happens next. one of the more overt themes is how we deal with temptation. edward is


"j" paper collage gregory a. milinovich today i thought i would share another one of my collages with you. enjoy. don't forget that this one and others are for sale at my etsy site. just click here . have a great thursday.

psalm 51

this sunday i'm preaching on psalm 51, you know, that famous poem that david wrote after his adulterous affair with bathsheeba, and his subsequent involvment in the murder of bathsheeba's husband. when he is confronted with all of this, david, a man after God's own heart, writes this very moving poem, and it has become a prayer for forgiveness ever since. how many people in their youth group days sang, "create in me a clean heart, o God...?" right from psalm 51. but one of the things i love about this psalm is that david knows his own condition. he knows that his sin is bigger than just one episode. he knows that he is, as he says, "a sinner since birth." it is a freeing realization, really. when we realize that we are broken at our beginning, we no longer hold ourselves up to some standard of perfection. when we realize that we live in a less than perfect world, in less than perfect standing with our creator, we are free to embrace our own les

15 albums: pro pain

so most of the music on the list of 15 albums has been pretty similar. i tell everyone that i love all kinds of music (opera, jazz, rap, metal, hiphop, classical, blues, gospel - i never met a style of music that i couldn't enjoy for at least a little while), so today's album, 11th on my list of 15, is a rap album: pro pain by mars ill . while the terrain of the hip hop/rap landscape is often marred by lowest common denominator songs celebrating sex/money/violence, there are some artists using the genre to create some pretty amazing art. one of those artists is the duo from atlanta, georgia who call themselves mars ILL. they make some great sounding music with solid head-nodding beats and clever sampling, while at the same time providing some intellectually stimulating rhymes that challenge the listener. i know for many of you this might not be your "cup of tea," but one of my guiding principles in life is that there is beautiful art everywhere, and that this art

and the winner is...

congrats to amanda w.! my random number generator turned up number 1, so the collage goes to her. thanks for playing, everyone! in other news, i'll be out of pocket for a few days at a seminar/conference thing. i am blogging ahead, so check back here this week because even though i'll be down the shore with my feet in the sand, my blog will still be new each day. have a great week!

jazz for breakfast: uptown

today's jazz for breakfast : duke ellington 's hi-fi ellington uptown.

you can still win

you can still win this collage. just click here and comment. deadline is monday at noon.

jazz for breakfast: jack johnson

here was today's " jazz for breakfast ." jack johnson by miles davis. 1971.

throwback thursday: jail

while i've never really been in the slammer, this is a picture of me from 11 years ago when i was thrown behind bars in some restaurant in order to raise money for something that i cannot now remember. i think you normally get one phone call, so i used mine to call my mom (this is a true story) to ask her to make a donation. seriously. i called my mom. can you imagine that conversation? mom: hello? me: hi mom. i'm in jail. mom: what? what happened? me: um...well, they came and got me in a limo and then brought me to fuddruckers and now i'm behind bars. mom: what did you do? me: well, i called you. mom: no, what did you do to end up in jail. me: nothing, mom. they want me to get donations to help people with chronic hangnails. mom: oh. that sounds awful. me: yeah, its really bad. we only get the regular fries. the curly fries cost extra. and these horizontal stripes make me look heavy. mom: no, i mean the hangnails. me: oh, yeah. terrible. hey, can you make a donation to t

jazz for breakfast

i have begun a new "program" in our house which i am calling "jazz for breakfast." having just finally replaced the broken needle on my panasonic record player, i am now able to enjoy my large lp collection, and i figured this would be a great way to do that. i also want read an article yesterday about a book that i really want to read and the author was suggesting that one of the things we are called to be doing is cultivating culture, that is, passing down to younger generations that which is good and beautiful and points us toward God. and so i am feeling somewhat inspired to make sure that my kids hear good music. that being said, i started our new jazz for breakfast this morning, in which each morning while we eat our oatmeal or toast or cereal or pepperidge farm pizza flavored goldfish, we will listen to a different jazz album, until i run out of albums to listen to. then maybe we'll move to "cheesy christian rock from the 80's for breakfast.&qu

15 albums: wrecking ball

number 10 on the list of my top 15 albums is wrecking ball by emmylou harris. now, emmylou harris is a prolific artist and has put out a TON of albums, not to mention that she has sung with everyone from buddy and julie miller to bright eyes (i love her on bright eyes' i'm wide awake, it's morning). and i own several of her albums and collaborations, because i have become a big fan. but nothing that she has done - nothing - moves me like this album with its airy guitars and big drums. produced by daniel lanois (who also produced u2's achtung baby , along with brian eno), it has lanois' signature atmospheric and moody sound. this album was a huge departure for emmylou, for that very reason, but i had no idea about that when i picked up this album in 1999. i just picked it up because lanois' name was on the back. the fact that steve earle, larry mullen, neil young and lucinda williams also appeared on it was just gravy. but what really solidified this album in m

Jesus still saves

so my text this week for the fourth sunday in lent is ephesians 2:1-10 . it contains the classic formulaic statement about salvation that we are saved by grace through faith to good works. there is, of course, wide and varied interpretation of this theological reasoning of paul's, and i intend to spend some time wrestling with all of that again this week in preparation for sunday's sermon. but i read a great little article here that reminded me that we ought not rationalize our way out of the simple truth of this text, which incidently is the simple truth of the Gospel, after all: Jesus still saves. we don't save ourselves. it seems that as much as we know that, we still don't know it. we still want to create ways where it is at least a co-op with Christ. we want to go to enough worship services, or enough church meetings, or give enough money, or say enough prayers to somehow feel that we deserve the rescue that we get. but as much as we wriggle and wrestle and w

happy st. patrick's day, 2009

May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and the road downhill all the way to your door .

another collage giveaway

"george" paper collage on cardboard panel gregory a. milinovich --- i'm giving away another collage. from time to time it occurs to me that most of my collages are just sitting around my house collecting dust, not really doing anything. even though i have several of them for sale here , they're not flying off the shelves, as you can imagine. so i thought i would give another one away, just for kicks and grins. the collage is called "george" and you can see it above. it is unframed. i made it about 7 years ago. if you would like to win it, here's what you do: --- -leave me a comment in the comments section (just click on the word comments down below) -you comment must include some way for me to get in touch with you, should you win -you can only comment once -you must comment by monday, march 23rd at noon. -your comment order will be your chance to win. i will do a drawing on the 23rd. if i draw a 9 and you are the ninth comment, you win. wheth

15 albums: august and everything after

number 9 on my top 15 albums of all time list is the counting crows' "august and everything after." it came out in 1993 when i was a senior in high school, and sent the song "mr. jones" right to the top of the charts. i remember sitting in mr. vass' senior english class discussing the literary merits of the lyrics to "mr. jones." but it wasn't in high school that this album made its way into my heart. i wasn't quite ready for it yet. - but soon college came. and the independence and freedom (and, in part, lonliness) that college brought me offered the perfect canvas for "august and everything after" to paint its acoustic sketches. from the jangly "mr. jones," to the the desperate "round here," to the heartbreak of "raining in baltimore," this album felt like i had been born to sing along with it, in my whiniest adam duritz impression. this album provided the perfect soundtrack to my freshman year of

throwback thursday: brush

its throwback thursday here at agent orange records, kids! so turn that frown upside down and have a laugh at my expense! here i am 10 years ago, having a little fun with a comb and brush. you see, i never brush my hair. i don't. it's curly, so i don't have to. i just run my fingers through it to get it where i want it, and that's it. if i brush or comb it, my hair turns into a brown chia pet from hell, and believe me, you don't want to see that. in fact, this is picture here will give you an idea. i mean, i don't look the president of the hair club for men here, i look like the supplier. hope your thursday includes a laugh. even if its directed at me, keeping bald men covered for over 10 years!

God's own fool

i am preaching on 1 corinthians 1:18-25 this week, and these are some of my inspirations so far. "the riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man." - g.k. chesterton, i ntroduction to the book of job , 1907 God's own fool - michael card Seems I've imagined Him all of my life As the wisest of all of mankind But if God's Holy wisdom is foolish to men He must have seemed out of His mind For even His family said He was mad And the priests said a demon's to blame But God in the form of this angry young man Could not have seemed perfectly sane When we in our foolishness thought we were wise He played the fool and He opened our eyes When we in our weakness believed we were strong He became helpless to show we were wrong And so we follow God's own fool For only the foolish can tell- Believe the unbelievable And come be a fool as well So come lose your life for a carpenter's son For a madman who died for a dream And you'll have the


hey. sorry i've been absent all weekend. i came down with something of a fever and a complete lack of a will to do anything but lie on the couch and moan occasionally. it was great fun. i'm beginning to feel much better now, as my current upright position will attest to, but i still have this strange soreness in my muscles, which ache more than billy ray's heart. hope you had a good weekend, and i'll be back now with more to write this week, assuming that his mullet doesn't just jump off the screen and eat me.

15 albums: now that i've found you

moving forward with my top 15 albums of all time we come to this one: now that i've found you: a collection by Alison Krauss . the album is a collection of songs from the early part of alison's career, released in 1995, when i was in college. that is significant because, i don't know exactly who introduced it to her, but my wife introduced it to me. actually, to be totally honest, she invited me over to her dorm room one day because her and some friends were going to be singing one of the tracks off this album "when God dips his pen of love in my heart." i loved what i heard and borrowed the cd (that's right, kids, we used to buy cds - you could actually hold the music and lyrics in your hands ), and fell in love. mostly i fell in love with alison's voice. my friend paul and i would listen to "oh, atlanta" on full blast and just melt at the way her voice cut clearly into our being. we couldn't help but be affected by it. however, this alb

throwback thursday: guitar

i know its been a long time since we've had a throwback thursday, but here's one from probably 8 years ago or so. it was taken on the atlantic city boardwalk, right after i drank the shrinking potion. have a great thursday.

a different economy

we're still wrapped up in winter here now, blanketed in cotton-white snow and shrouded in daily darkness. but, even here, there are hints of the life to come: a bird (an animal that sings - o the wonder of creation!), a bit of warmth on the skin from the waiting sun, and a gasp of green from the granite ground. "there is life yet to come!" utters nature, in rising crescendo, if we would but listen. ... "there is life yet to come," said Jesus, in his own way. "though you are dead," he said to lazarus (and to the lazaruses of my own heart), "there is still life to come." ... "i came that you might have life," he also said. "and not just any life, but abundant life - life overflowing." ... into an economy as broken as the bones of another era, i hear words of hope: there is life yet to come. maybe that life is coming to us not as a return to the american dream of fierce independence and indiscriminate consumption, bu

review: u2 - no line on the horizon

today i bought a new record. that used to mean things like buying a large black piece of vinyl, or a see-through cassette tape (with that amazing smell when you opened the plastic), or, more recently, a plastic disc. but not anymore. now it means that i sent some numbers through space and space sent back to me some songs that landed inside my computer where i can listen to them. it seems that we've been crossing many horizons, and continue to reach and cross them at a breakneck pace. more specifically, i bought the new u2 album today (i got it for $3.99 on amazon). having jumped on the u2 bandwagon rather late (i bought joshua tree in college only to turn around and sell it to someone else because i thought it was too bland), i'm never exactly sure what to expect from a u2 record. i loved "all that you can't leave behind," mostly because it was so melodic and accessible. full disclosure: i love pop music. i love a good hook and a sweet aftertaste. when

pea sized

for those who are looking for newer pictures of my two sons, here you. shannon snapped these treasures right after church on sunday. they are doing well, and i am certainly enjoying all the little moments of their growing up. like last night. we normally tell jack that we put a pea-sized bit of toothpaste on this toothbrush. he told his mom last night that he likes when i put him to bed because "daddy gives me a poop-sized toothpaste." art linkeletter was right. have a great tuesday!

happy 33rd birthday to me

for my 33rd birthday today, my lovely wife made me this sweet ipod cake. if any of you know of my love affair with my ipod , you'll know that this is an appropriate cake for me. however, my ipod hasn't really been working recently, as it only keeps it charge for about 3 songs before it dies. not to mention that i can't fit any more music on it without cutting a bunch of music out. which i don't want to do. and so my gift from shannon (other than the yummy crab cake dinner she made me) was a new ipod. thank you, shannon! i will be rockin' out to even more tunes soon! thanks for all the birthday wishes over at facebook. you guys are the best.

my performance at our church coffeehouse

saturday night our church had a coffeehouse to raise some funds for our youth service projects this summer, and i sang a couple of songs for it. we had an amazing turnout and a really great night. i was the first act of the evening, and i was nervous as heck, but i had a good time. enjoy!