The Thoughts of Gunnar

Proof That God Likes You Volume II : The Sonic Care Toothbrush
July 31, 2008, 1:25 pm
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Last week, my epic wife, Danielle, scoring birthday gift cards and cash, decided to go for it and purchase the Sonicare tooth cleaning system.
Score we did.

The emotions of my teeth are soaring now that they feel like they get that great dentist cleaning every time I brush, only without my dentist abusing my mouth with his various nefarious tools of destruction.  (I love dentists…and going to the dentist…I am merely saying it is just a much more gentle experience with the Sonicare brush while not having the dental hand tools grinding in my mouth.)

Now, historically, I have been a get a soft-headed toothbrush at the dollar store kind of man.  Anyone who knows me knows that while my family has all of our basic needs met, I don’t really feel like I have rich tastes in life, and that I am motivated by cheap bargains.  That being said, I am a convert to my wife paying $125 or whatever it was to getting this thing.  It’s like getting a tooth massage three times a day, and it makes you feel uber-healthy.  (I don’t know how to do the keystroke to get ‘uber’ typed right.)

Bottom line is I HIGHLY recommend this product.  If you are like me,and liked the idea, but always held off because  of  that insane price tag…trust me.  If you have to go mow a few lawns, or if you are an Oregonian, collect pop cans door to door for the deposit money, you want to do it to afford the glorious Sonicare lifestyle.

I take the Sonicare brush as further proof that there is a God, and that He is crazy about us, and really likes us.  Despite our despicable diets and how we rot our teeth, He still wants to get great tools like this in our hands to take care of them well.


Repost: What God Has Used Vs. What He Says is Best For Us Volume I
July 30, 2008, 5:54 am
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Monday, April 24, 2006

What God has used vs. What is God’s best for us Volume One

Lately, pondering the question of ‘what I defend because God has used it’ while weighing that against ‘what does the Word of God say is the best thing for us’ has kept me thinking.

What I mean by that, is there are tons of practices we as Christians often do, and we ‘see’ or ‘feel’ that God has used them to touch us or others. Frankly, I feel that I am pretty gung-ho about such things. I love it when God does stuff. However, it does not mean that those things are the best that God has in store for us. Unfortunately, I think it is often that we settle for them, simply because we ardently defend how God used them. We then have a hard time pressing in to asking ourselves, “Well, why did the apostles or Jesus do it that way instead of our way?” Too often, I think I dismiss it as mere ‘cultural differences’ while not embracing something Christ and the apostles meant to make clear to me.

For example, how we may practice communion. To be fair, and more than that, completely honest, I believe with everything within me, God’s performed incredible changes in the hearts of people, performed miracles, (healings, etc.) in the midst of taking a cracker and juice to celebrate communion. For me to deny that should qualify me for serious professional help…I have witnessed too much.

But, where in the word of God does the cracker/juice thing come up as opposed to a meal? Let me submit this: never.

Depending on your translation, when Jesus takes the cup, He says, “Do this in remembrance of me…”

What was this?

Well, it was not only a meal. It was the Passover meal. In context, from the living Word itself, during a Passover meal, Jesus says, “Do this…” I also would also like to make note that in no translation do we see, “Contemplate doing this…” or “If you have a really large crowd, forget a meal, forget the passover, and once a month give them cracker and juice and say a bunch of pious words.” Once again, He says, “Do this…”

(Remember, I seriously praise God for things in my own life I have had happen in the midst of communion with cracker and juice, I have forgiven people, had great reflections, seen mighty works done, etc. What we are getting at is, “But is there something even more by living the Word as Jesus asked?”

Borrowing language from Dedrick Bonhoeffer, (whose name I likely misspelled,) I am going to use the phrases ‘cheap grace’ vs. ‘costly grace.’ (In context, cheap grace is bad, while costly grace is what we should aspire to live.) To me, I am convicted of settling for only practicing communion with the juice and cracker/piece of bread format, which, truthfully, costs me about zero. Almost always, someone else prepared it, I walk into a gathering, we transition into communion time, and I partake, and go on my merry way.

What if I had to set aside a serious block of time, prepare a meal with others,and be intentional about sitting down with them to do what we were about to do. When we ponder forgiveness, I have to look all of them in the eyes across the table, and really know in my heart I have forgiven. I can’t just generally scan over a crowd, and think, “I am cool with these people.” I may have to look a brother or sister right in the face who ticked me off recently, and come to a decision point before partaking. The whole thing takes at least an hour and a half if not more, as we practice communion together and with God. In other words, I may have to miss the early edition of SportsCenter to do it. Also, I know the other participants rather well…well enough that our little quirks have all rubbed against each other, etc…leaving plenty of opportunity for forgiveness and heart change amongst each other. I submit that is a picture more in tune with a real or ‘costly grace.’

For those who may think, “Man, that just gets a bit too close or crosses the boundary of legalism,” let me submit this. I believe Jesus is love, and I believe He is mega-passionate about us to the point that for each and every one of us, He wants His very best. Why then, would He have said things in the context and practices of which He said them, not having that in mind. I think because the ‘meal’ method and practicing the Passover are the absolute best things for us!

(While not the direct point of this writing, other than Passover, I would encourage folks to read Acts 2:42 and other passages in the New Testament where eating meals together was a very common thing.)

Repost: Proof That God Likes You Volume I : The Tempurpedic Bed
July 30, 2008, 5:51 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Proof that God likes you Volume 1…The Tempurpedic Bed

So, for quite some time, Mrs. Gunnar Falk and I, Gunnar Falk, have been shopping for beds. We liked the Tempurpedic Deluxe model…and they cost a fortune, but thanks to Craigslist, we found a new one for WAAAAAAAAY below market price.

Man, it is worth every penny. If Jesus was born today, instead of gold, frankinsense and myrhh, I am convinced the wisemen would dump the myrhh and bring him a Tempurpedic. (Thus, proving their wisdom.)

So, it is made out of material they claim is used for astronauts, to absorb impact or whatnot. It is apparent to me that astronaut foam rules. Because you are reading my blog, my thought is you have a lot of extra time on your hands. You should use some of that time to go to a bed store and try out a tempurpedic. What a difference.

Ever since we picked it up, we have been sleeping so much better. And, moving from a queen size bed to a king size, that is so choice. I highly recommend that to anyone. If I could rule the world for a day, I would still share the same bed with my wife, but I would have my own zip code in it for where I slept. Having space is so cool, I can stretch my elbows out to my side without knocking her head in. (Unfortunately, that has happened before.) I don’t have to sleep on the very side edge of the bed to feel like I have enough room. It takes away so much previously unrealized stress from the sleeping equation.

To me, God was very real before I bought this bed. But now, owning one of these beds, it helps me comprehend God more, and how much He wants us to know how much He likes us. I don’t know how it all goes, but I can imagine Him up in heaven, laughing with glee and delight over us, thinking, “I sure do like those guys down there…I know what I will do, I will give them an idea for a tempurpedic mattress…that way they can be better rested, and if they are better rested, that can help them all get along better…”

I hope I can get along with all of you better now.

Repost: Colossians 3:22-24
July 30, 2008, 5:49 am
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22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

I believe at the end of our lives, and a real big question we will be accountable to before God is, “Did you love.” Man. It will be answered by our actions as opposed to our thoughts.
I am pretty convinced when I get there, there is going to be some folks who were African-American slaves in colonial America, and others in from other time periods, who will be revealed with some of the greatest inheritances of heaven, however that is. Undoubtedly there were many, who, while slaves in such an unjust way, determined in their heart, to do everything they did as unto the Lord, and as heartfelt as they could. This despite the fact that they were raped, abused, neglected, malnourished, treated as trash, and viewed as less than human by their masters/owners. I feel that those who were able to persevere in love towards God despite impossible circumstances, will be looked upon by many of us who have had vocational career choices…we could freely choose and train to be so many things, and even analyze what kinds of things we could ‘love well’ while doing, and we will be found wanting in an eternal capacity.
I am not a visual guy, but as I have asked God to speak to me out of this passage repeatedly, I often get a picture in my mind of a slave-woman in the South, who is out in the field, working in the sweltering heat, along side of her kids, who are forced into a grueling labor. She has had a harsh life even by slave standards. She is a physically beaten woman. And in this field, mustering all of the determination she has to sing to God, she loves Him, and that she is going to try her hardest for Him, because He is worthy. She recognized God as her Source, and His worthiness, despite horrifically unjust circumstances.
The first several times this happened to me, my eyes couldn’t stay dry. Yes, I understand that image can touch anyone, (I hope!), but it speaks to me of the eternal reality of my day, period. I am blown away at the level of stewardship I must possess to walk in the freedom that I do. I may not be a slave, but just as Paul exhorted slaves, I must do everything as unto the Lord, and I need to work well for my human bosses, etc. With the job choices/freedom I have, it is essential, I believe, to be in a place where I can do things ‘wholeheartedly.’ And I am not so sure any of us have a day to lose when it comes to that heart effort. If I am in a job/place/family scenario where I am not doing things wholeheartedly, I need to reevaluate, or make decisions or changes to make wholeheartedness as unto the Lord the working reality in my life.
What if I work the hardest and diligently at the most noble of things, and did it without love? At best, it is merely religion. I want a relationship. I don’t want it defined by my ‘spiritual’ activities, either. If slaves receive inheritances as rich as I believe they do from God while doing wholehearted work as unto Him while under master’s who, in Paul’s day, very likely participated in orgies, celebrated the slaughter of precious lives in the Colosseum in the name of entertainment, raped slaves, sold off their children, and we can go on and on…, what excuse do I have? Everything I do He is worthy of. Even if the job I have is for people I have little patience for, He is worthy. He is worthy of my affection in it. He is so worth it.
I don’t want to show up on heaven’s doorstep and not comprehend and live that to an increasing degree in my life.