The Thoughts of Gunnar

Reflections from my 3rd Anniversary…
March 13, 2007, 4:52 pm
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I love/hate it when I come into touch with who I really am, and what I really think.
So, for our third wedding anniversary, I took my most excellent wife to Cannon Beach for an overnight, and a really nice dinner. I determined before leaving to 1) not watch or read about sports and 2) to give all of my time and focus to my wife and what she would like to do. That went great until she dozed off earlier than me, and I did not have the fortitude to resist turning on ESPN and seeing where my beloved Oregon Ducks were seeded in the NCAA tournament. And like anyone in addiction, (I am not kidding, or trying to be ‘light’ here…this truly concerns me) once I opened up that Pandora’s box, I keep diving into it!
But, other than breaking my inner-vow, everything went really great. And I learned something about myself that 10,000 others likely have noticed or told me, but it got through to me ever so clearly.
Before going, I had this pseudo warrior/macho guy thinking, like, “Ya, I will be a good husband, and take my wife out, and really celebrate our anniversary.” I made reservations at a phenomenal restaurant, got a nice room, set aside the ‘quality-time,’ all so that I could meet her needs. Sounds ‘good’ and ‘moral’ to me.
Frankly, after going, I realized I was the one who needed that time! (I am sure Danielle did too!) It was one of the best times I have ever had with my wife, and I can recollect tons of those times! I usually have 4 or 5 things going on in my brain at once, so it seems, and on the drive to the coast, we just started talking, and it was so good. Right before we left, Danielle found letters we had exchanged with each other before we got married, of “30 things we would like to do” in our lives. We didn’t take those with us, but we took time out together at a coffee shop to update that list. I needed to do that! With her! I was pretty nuts about my wife before, but I am blown away at how much more I like her after going on this trip! She told me how much she liked dreaming with me about life, and I just wanted to cry. I can’t conceive of why she likes me so much, but I have total trust that she does. Anyone who really knows me knows I love to dream and scheme…but with her, there is no one else that I get more satisfaction out of doing that with. Not even close.
I am realizing I put on some phony tough mask or something, thinking that I don’t need to take time out like that, but that I need to do it for my wife. But it was so right, and critically healthy, for me. Just hearing my wife’s heart was more than worth it all. The mindset I have had about that is worthless, stupid, unenlightened, and ignorant.
I made mistakes our first two anniversaries. Sure, it was tough to afford to do some things, but we merely went out to dinner, and we never had left town before. I realize for us, and the way we are built, even if finances are tight, I think it is a great idea to get out of our daily humdrum for at least 2 days and get a ‘different view.’ And what excuse do I have with such a beautiful coast 60 minutes from where I live? (Take that, my midwestern friends! ) ( I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, when I lived in Kansas City, coming from Oregon, I truly was stumped to find a place worthy of going…seriously, what can compare to the NW?)
So, now, the message many who have cared for me, that likely tried to get across, has gotten across. To be honest, my thoughts convict me, because right now, I see them as prideful. I need rest too. I need to be with/hear my wife too. If we get to go away, it isn’t just for her, so she can be OK, it is also for me to, so that I can be OK. I am not that tough/together/with it.


Watching folks eat pigs feet and dog food
March 5, 2007, 7:30 pm
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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Watching youth eat pigs feet and dog food.

Last week, I had a fantastic time being able to share at a youth camp in Southern Oregon that a great guy, Tim, from Shady Cove Assembly of God invited me down for. Tim is like the essence of ultra-positive vibes, which can’t help but make a person feel welcome.

The camp theme was “gaining the victory.” I was down with that. (I suppose the only alternative would be, “Gaining Losership,” and I was not into that.)

There were so many ULTRA-FANTASTIC young people at the camp. I have been to quite a few camps in my day, I would have to say, but never had I been to a camp where I saw the young people, in one contest, eat pickled pigs feet, pickled whole cocktail onions, limburger cheese, and dog food. These campers went after it with abandonment. I felt pretty odd being there to share on victory watching some of these folks pound that food away for their team to win. I mean, what do I have to say about victory that competes with that? I wouldn’t even consider eating one bite of that stuff, and these guys went all out.

Rumor has it their rooms stunk to high heaven that night. No joke.

One guy, Riley, for bonus points for his team, drank half a bucket full of pickeled juices, buttermilk, spices, pigs feet, limburger cheese, pickles, …it was barf making material. He couldn’t finish it, and this young lady teammate of his grabbled the bucket, and finished off the last 1/4 of it like a champion after grabbng it from another guy. My gosh, she was impressive. Later, she barfed it all up.

Anyhoo…I spoke on victory from the context of ‘we’ and ‘us’ experiencing it, as opposed to individual victory. It is my premise, and personal belief, after looking through NT scriptures, and many OT ones, that victory is overwhelmingly mentioned as a group collective as opposed to a invididual thing. We then applied these passages to how, when we are not all activiated in the Body of Christ, victory, truly, is a difficult thing to achieve.

Having diabetes, I know what is like when one small group of cells in one mere organ of my body doesn’t function…and what it can cost other body systems! It is a crappy disease for sure…it can cause amputations, poor circulation, heart complications, liver issues, I could go on and on and on…

As the Body of Christ, are we perhaps experiencing some illnesses when we are not all heard, shared with, valued, esteemed, and appreciated for who we are? I am thinking so. “No eye (singular) has seen, no ear (singular) has heard, no mind (singular) has conceived of what God has prepared for those that love Him, but He has revealed it to us (plural, and written to the whole church of Corinth) by His Spirit.”

As individual Christians, most believers I have ever known come time and time again to where they need to know how much God likes/loves them, and our insecurities often tempt us to stress over that, causing crazy behaviors and reactions to those feelings as opposed to maturing responses to God’s love. I know it all too well, from my own personal failures, truth be told. Yet, here in the word, we can find out how much God loves us…(I would call that a ‘victory’ myself), but we are going to need an US to figure that out. It takes more than me…it takes others…it takes a team…it takes an us.

Another side note from camp: I have lived in Oregon for 22 years of my life, a native son of the state…and this camp was only 16 miles from Crater Lake…and I still have not been there. I need brain surgery, at times, I feel. The Rogue River is beatiful. This state truly has the most awesome geography.

A-Team Marathon on TV LAND
March 5, 2007, 7:24 pm
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A-Team Marathon on TV LAND

Man. The subject alone of this blog almost makes any words that follow unworthy to be allowed…but here it goes…

I rarely watch anything outside of duck football and The Office, but when I found out this was on, how could I refuse. Allow me to share these two story lines of episodes, so you can see how tantalizng this marathon really is.

1pm PST, Sunday-B.A.’s mom, (or to the uninitiated, Mr. T’s character’s mom) gets beat up by a bunch of crummy landlords. B.A. gets ticked, to the point of WILLINGLY flying in a jet with Murdock to get there as quickly as possible…they broke his mother’s arm! (In case you are clueless, B.A. Baraccus NEVER, EVER willingly flew, he is afraid of flying. But apparently, you don’t mess with his mom, who, epically, was portrated by the lady who played the oldest angel on Touched by an Angel.

Long story short, B.A. kicked everybody’s rear end who gave his mom a bad time. What a premise for destruction: “Lets have a bunch of two-bit hooligans break Mr. T’s moms arm, and see Mr. T wreck vengeance on the world.” For trivia notes, B.A.’s mom referrs to him as “Scooter.”

Episode, 2pm PST, Sunday…OH yes, HULK HOGAN is the guest star…a bunch of Italian mafia thugs, with a pop who uses the word ‘capice’ are trying to take over a community center for boys, and Hulk teams up with his main man, B.A., and the A-Team, to have it out. At one point, they lure bad guys into a dark room, which is a gym, which happens to have several buff guys, including Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snooka, to beat the crap out of them. Oh, this is TV Nirvana, I tell you.

Really, it opens our eyes to realize that The Saprano’s, really, was spiritually conceived by the A-Team. Tough to grasp, but true perhaps. See, it turns out, that under the gym, the mafia guys have gold stashed.

Truth be told, the A-Team has horrible acting, (but it did improve as the show received increased popularity and budget.) Missing the Hulk Hogan episode…you missed a lifetime.