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Showing posts from June, 2011

a week off

i want to say a huge thank you to all my regular readers from all over the country, and wherever you follow along with the goings-ons of the milinovich family.  you surprise me with how you stick with me through my long seasons of steelers fanaticism, novice artistic attempts, and ramblings about what i'm learning to believe.  i have been blessed by your comments, your encouragement, your challenges, and your frequent "amens!".  thank you.  all of that being said, i am taking a week or so off from the sometimes burdensome responsibility of writing.  i'm hoping to refresh my spirit a bit, and come back recharged.  blog experts will tell you never to do this, as it will cause you to lose all your momentum in terms of readership and numbers and all of that.  but i have never really cared too much for numbers and such.  i just write because i need to.  because it helps me make sense of this beautifully broken world, and because i am most myself (or who i feel i was crea

why i love the bible

"the Scriptures were not given to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives."  -d.l. moody 

collage: grey world

to the left is an assemblage i made a few years ago, which i sold, but i came across this picture of it, and realized that i had never shared it on my blog (at least i don't think i did).  this is obviously a black and white assemblage, created in a shadowbox.  it's probably too difficult to read on this pic, but there are words on the glasses and they read, "truth is not black and white."  and the collage is called "grey world."  you can draw your own conclusions. you may or may not agree with me, and i'm okay with that.  but it's my prerogative as an artist to express the world as i encounter it, and hopefully to make others feel or think something in the process.  here's what i think: the older i get, the less sure i am; the more i learn, the less i know; the more i seek, the more i discover that questions - not answers - are the real treasure; and the world is quite simply not as black and white as i once thought it was.  at first this

random: exorcisms, tires and weddings

-time for another random post.  which is just another way of saying that i am unfocused this morning.  deal with it. -i finished reading "the girl who played with fire" the other night.  if books were rated, it would definitely be rated R, but it was quite good.  the main character, lisbeth salander is a really fascinating protagonist, and a very interesting study in morality.  this particular book was so suspenseful that i was literally sweating and shaking during the last 75 pages.  this book is the second in a series (between "the girl with the dragon tattoo" and "the girl who kicked the hornets' nest").  - i also watched a movie this week while i was a bachelor for the weekend. i watched "the exorcism of emily rose," and i was very intrigued.  i was worried that it would just be a shallow horror-type film with demonic elements, but it relied less on gimmicks and tricks and more on a very interesting story latent with some significan

my boys

aren't they just adorable?

what i learned while stripping

yesterday i had the opportunity to spend some time with your high school class during sunday school. we talked about all sorts of things, but one of the things we talked about was the masks that many of us wear during the course of our day - how we put on different masks for different situations.  and then in church we looked at the scripture where Jesus says that we will be "clothed with power" and i was thinking about the differences between being clothed by the Holy Spirit, and how we dress ourselves spiritually with all kinds of clothes and  makeup that try to make us look better than we are.  i was picturing how sometimes i find myself applying spiritual makeup, so to speak, in order to meet someone's (or God's) perceived expecations.  finally, i spent part of saturday and sunday stripping.  a dresser.  scraping and scrubbing and trying to dig through layers of paint and stain acquired over God knows how many years.  and with each tired scrape, i wondered ab

saturday song: the world exploded into love

i've had this song on my ipod for some time as it appeared in some soundtrack that i have.  it's by a guy named bob schneider, whom i know nothing about, but i do know that everytime this song comes up on shuffle it stops me in my tracks.  it is closely connected (in my mind and heart) to the post i wrote yesterday about God making everything glorious.  sometimes the world just seems to be exploding into love.  yes, it is full of broken bits and detritus of every sort, and we might be quick to characterize the eras by various wars and bombs, but there is also this sense that love is the real rhythm of the universe and it's pulse is pounding out in every event and object and person and relationship.  to put it another way, sometimes the world is just too amazing for me to be able to comprehend or experience.  it is just too beautiful.  if i really see it, it'll be too much for me.  i feel like elijah, only being able to see the backside of God's glory, or like moses

you make everything glorious

i'm at annual conference.  i don't make any attempt to hide my true feelings about these annual gatherings of methodist clergy and lay people from the entire region:  i'm not a huge fan.  don't get me wrong, i enjoy the worship and the fellowship, but i grow quickly weary of endless reports and church red tape.  more than that, i get really frustrated with how a body as large as this can't work very effeciently, in the midst of using roberts rules of order.  we get sidetracked and bogged down in process and minutia until we've completely lost our focus and, in my opinion, often end up wasting our time.  i was feeling my frustration level rise like the mercury in the thermometer here in central pennsylvania yesterday as we were debating whether fracking is dangerous or not, making amendments to amendments and losing track of our focus when i suddenly read a tweet that someone wrote (i can't remember who it was, now), and it stopped me in my tracks.  the twe

community farm

shannon found a great project for our family this summer, and i thought i would share with you its humble beginnings, even if that's as far as it ever gets.  penn state university sponsers a community farm in selinsgrove, pa, which is about 10-15 minutes from our home.  you basically pay a small fee and get a 30x30 plot of land to grow whatever you'd like.  since we don't have room in our yard for a garden, we thought that this would be a great idea for us to learn some things about gardening, to teach the kids about the importance of growing healthy food, and to (hopefully) get some good vegetables in the process.  so, despite some initial hiccups, we've started.  we'll see how it goes, but it's been fun already to get down there and get dirty and start caring for this little seeds and plants.  the boys are mildly interested, but these pictures represent the very best of our time there.  the rest of the time is spent finding new things to complain about (heat,

random: kryptonite and jolly rogers

-it's been awhile since i've just stream-of-consciencenessed this thing, so here goes.  -i'm thinking i have some real work to do in terms of theological training and education for my kids.  yesterday cade (4 years old) asked me if Jesus likes kryptonite.  umm... -last night i had the yankees/red sox game on and everytime they would show the red sox, cade and jack would make gagging noises.  at least i've given them a proper a sports education.  then, wisely, jack would add in:  i like the person who is playing, i just don't like the team.  attaboy, jack.  -summer has officially started here in sunbury.  school ended yesterday.  jack came home with 6 banana boxes full of crayon drawings.  i'm pretty sure it is my obligation as a loving father to save every last one.  or is that my inner hoarder talking?  not sure, but what am i going to do with all these monuments to his development?  ahhhhh! -i'm headed to my annual conference this week, which means

want "eat" for yourself?

i finished this collage (technically it should be called an assemblage ) last week, and posted here on the blog.  i had several comments from folks who really liked it and some who were interested in having me make another one.  so i've decided to do this.  since it is a labor-intensive project, and requires the purchase of some materials, i am offering myself to be commissioned to make a collage like the one above for you.  here are the details: you tell me what color(s) you would prefer, and i will make something pretty similar to one i've made above.  i will charge $100 in order to cover both the cost of materials (canvas, glue, paints, etc) and my time.  if nobody takes this offer that's fine, or if 10 people do, that's fine, too.  just leave a comment here or email me and i will get started as soon as i can.  as always, i continue to appreciate the support many of you have given me in terms of my art and creativity.  learning to glue things together in a way

get up and get going (the ascension)

yesterday in church we talked about the ascension of Jesus, as recorded in acts 1:1-11. it is such an interesting story because it has this old school, otherworldly feel to it, like Jesus is just floating away on a cloud. one almost feels that the story should also involve a witch, a princess, and a dragon or two. but it doesn't. it isn't a moralizing fable or a fairy tale. it is simply a story about power. it has been like 5 or 6 weeks since Jesus demonstrated otherworldly power by defeating death, and since then he has been continuing to mystify and baffle his followers by showing up in locked rooms and at inopportune times. he is clearly not just the carpenter-rabbi that they had thought they knew...truly he is the Son of God. and this little anecdote is the final chapter of that particular story. here is shows that it is not only the law of death which holds no power over him, but also the law of gravity. he has power. power over the grave. power over gravity. power ove

saturday song: barber: adagio for strings

i'm not sad, i promise, but sometimes i'm just in the mood to listen to some music that moves me, that can suddenly and almost supernaturally pull me from the grit and gravity of merely existing into the full-on wildness of true living. we need music to interrupt our processes, to distract us from our details, and to stop us dead in our tracks sometimes. we need music that marries spirit and sound in our ears and in our hearts and in the spaces between us, to remind us that there is something more significant than status quo. this piece in particular is one that, at least for me, seems to speak very clearly about both the aching brokenness of life, as well as the critical beauty of grace worth believing in. it is haunting and glorious and hopeful. it was written by a man named samuel barber in the 1930's, originally as a string quartet, although you mostly hear it today done by a whole string orchestra. it is called 'adagio for strings' and was the second movemen

at the end of the school year

as if someone accidently slipped Father Time a Red Bull, we have somehow already arrived at the end of the school year. cade already had his closing program, and jack only has 2.5 days left, including today. and then we enter that great wilderness known as summer vacation, full of sweat and popcicles, scrapes and sunblock. but for now, before we take the final plunge into the deepend of summer, i am reflecting on the fact that our boys have now finished another year of their education. jack is nearly done with kindergarted and can read quite well. caedmon has stopped adding numbers to his ABC's, and speaks very clearly. time, and good teachers, have taught them much both in and out of classrooms over these last months, and i am (more than) blessed to be a witness. and not only that, but i am challenged once again, both as a Father and as a human being, to keep on learning. just like i wrote to them back in september, my hope is to inspire in them the will to love learning, and

learning to ride without the training wheels

last night we took the boys out to the church parking lots to ride backs, and we took the training wheels off of jackson's bike for the first time. i figured he'd be a bloody pulp by the time we finished, but he only fell once (although you would have thought that it was the end of the world!), and he did much better than i expected. the video below is a just a composite of 8 or 9 pictures, kind of like one of those old "flip books" that makes something look animated. anyway, you could get a sense that he started off pretty good, at least in a straight line. now we have to work on turns. one step at a time!