Why I won’t use gunbroker.com again

High-velocity, copper-plated .22 LR rounds

High-velocity, copper-plated .22 LR rounds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I like to go to the gun range, but some rounds are getting hard to find.  They’re definitely hard to find at local stores.  So, there are a few places online that I buy from when what I need is available.

 

Last week I looked at a couple of my usual online stores for .22LR ammo, and both were still out.  This has been the case for a few weeks now.  Ammunition of all kinds is being bought up so quickly by the government and private citizens that it’s turned into luck of the draw when it comes to finding the right stuff.

 

I had seen ads for gunbroker.com during some of my online searches.  I did some reading and the site is kind of like an Ebay for guns and ammunition.  Don’t worry, any guns that are bought must still go through proper FFL channels for a purchase.  Anyways, I found a good price on an auction for the .22 rounds that I needed.  I placed a bid, did the back and forth bidding and won.  Yay me!  Or so I thought.  I paid for the rounds through ebay and then nothing.  I finally got a response from the seller saying that I still needed to pay.  I provided proof that I had already paid and the seller said all was well.

 

It’s been a few days now and I haven’t heard anything more from the seller and haven’t received the rounds.   I’ve tried to contact the seller with no response.  Stupid me, I assumed that there would be some type of safety or recourse on the gunbroker.com website.  I was incorrect in my assumption.  When I went to the site to look for help, what I found is that the most gunbroker will help is to allow me to leave negative feedback.  Nothing more.  Leaving bad feedback may make a person feel better, but that does not get your money back.

 

Hopefully, I can get this resolved either by receiving what I bought or getting a refund, but I for one will never use the site again. There are too many shady characters out there to do business online without some type of protection or recourse from the site that the business is done through.  Maybe my experience is rare, I don’t know.  But I won’t test those waters again.

 

 

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It’s called good friday for a reason

Golgotha

Golgotha (Photo credit: R~P~M)

 

Good Friday.  Not just another Friday that’s good because it’s the start of another weekend.  It’s good friday for a reason.

 

It’s Good Friday because on this day so many years ago your debt was paid.  Mine too.  The way to God was made clear.  Hell was defeated once and for all.  We were all reconciled to God.  The reasons for fear and worry were destroyed.  No other event in human history did more than what Jesus did today.

 

Take a minute to imagine it.  The creator of all.  One with unimaginable strength that could have instead destroyed all that were opposing Him, chose instead to submit to their punishment and degrading abuse.  The only one who could have brought Rome and every other enemy to their knees chose instead to quietly accept all that they could dish out.

 

I, for one, cannot fathom being able to humbly submit to such punishment and ridicule.  I can’t picture a situation where I could quietly allow it all to happen, knowing that I had the power to bring Heavens Armies down on the heads of all that were complicit in what was happening.

 

But Jesus did.  He did it for me.  For you.  While knowing what a bunch of screws ups we were and would be, He chose to give it all.  Many think of a Christian as weak and meek and an easy target.  Jesus was none of these.  What He did required strength that I cannot imagine.  Personally, I can’t even make it make sense in my head.  I can’t imagine that kind of self control and faith.  But, the great thing is I don’t have to.  Jesus did it for me.

 

I hope if you don’t know Him today, that you will take some time for some reflection.  Do you really believe that something that has lasted for more than 2000 years, more than that if you count in the old testament, is just make believe?  Do you really believe that something that has infiltrated the hearts, minds and societies of countless numbers since the beginning of time is just a fairy tale?  Think about it today.  Even if you have never prayed, take a minute today to talk to God with an open mind and heart.  Jesus is still alive and still waiting for you.

 

 

My own worst punisher

Too Many Hammers

Too Many Hammers (Photo credit: Velo Steve)

 

If you’ve read much from my blog you know that I deal with PTSD or CPTSD.  I had a bit of an epiphany this morning during my devotional time.  I’ll interject here that I’m always amazed when God brings something to my attention at just the right time.

 

Anyways, PTSD is a rough thing at times.  Although I was in the Army and was a civilian police officer, my PTSD was mainly caused by my childhood.  I was reading a devotional this morning and God used it to point out how much I punish myself.  Basically, I am not kind to myself.  I had forgotten until this morning, in fact just a few minutes ago, of some of things I used to do to punish myself when I was young.  This way of living is still haunting me today and I didn’t realize it.

 

I now remember times of locking myself in my closet in the dark as punishment for something I felt I had done wrong.  Or I would work outside in the summer heat until I was sick.  Once I was into my teen years I would do the same, only worse.  As of this morning I remember beating my thighs with a hammer in the hopes of breaking my leg.  I remember believing that if I could break it, then I would accomplish three things.  First, I would get the punishment that I deserved.  Second, I would dish out my own punishment before someone else could.  I would be in control of it.  Third, I would garner some type of sympathy from my parents.  I was never able to hit hard enough to break anything, which only made me feel like more of a failure.

 

I know this sounds sick.  It does to me thinking about it.  But what I realize today is that I still do this destructive behavior.  I don’t do anything physically, but I’m constantly beating myself up mentally.  Most times without evening realizing it.  I’m constantly fighting with myself over whether I’m good enough or not.  Whether I’m lazy or not.  Can I do anything right?

 

Now that God has pointed this out to me, hopefully I can begin to work on this and heal from it.  Please pray for me in this new revelation and journey.

 

eBooks from Family Christian Store

Image representing Kobo as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

 

I’m not sure how I missed this, but I’m glad I found it.  I use an ipad mini for reading.  I read some from ibooks, but mostly from Amazon Kindle.  I read mostly Christian books and it’s sometimes hard to find the new ones on either of the standard apps/stores.

 

So I sent a Facebook message today to Family Christian stores to ask if they’re ever going to sell in the ebook market?  Turns out they already are and I didn’t know it.  They have partnered with ereader Kobo to sell their book selection for the ereader crowd.

 

You can reach their selection easiest by going to Family Christian Store online and clicking on the Kobo tab.  So far I’ve only downloaded one book, but it looks comparable to the experience with ibooks or kindle on my iPad.

 

Thankful for PTSD

Praying Gopher

Praying Gopher (Photo credit: Dane Low)

 

PTSD is hard to explain.  I’ve attempted in some of my other posts, but I’m not sure if it makes sense to someone who doesn’t have it.  I must say that often it is hell on earth.

 

But, there is a reason that I’m thankful to God for it.  Maybe more than one reason, but I’ll concentrate one of the main reasons here.  I’ve probably had PTSD since I was a child, but it only got bad enough to stop me in my tracks a couple of years ago or so.  At least I think it was 2 years ago.  Memories get a little mixed now.

 

I’m thankful to God for it because nothing in my life has driven me closer to God.  On many days I have no choice but to turn to God.  I don’t want this to sound bad, but He’s my last option.  Should He be my last option?  Nope.  But, like many people, men especially, I use to say that I was totally dependent on God, and then turn around and go it on my own.  I believed a lie.  I believed that what God wanted was for me to take what He had taught me and go figure it out on my own.  After all, He laid it all out in the Bible.  Don’t worry, don’t be anxious, trust God, etc.  So, I read all of these kind of verses and decided what God was saying is that I need to get a handle on myself and work it out.

 

I was wrong.  We are designed to depend on God.  We are meant to be children that are in constant need of their Fathers love, help, guidance and support.  No matter what you or I may have believed, we are not here to ‘make it on our own’.  That is not and never has been God’s plan.

 

Now that I have full blown PTSD, I still have a choice as to whether I will depend on God or not.  But, I’m still learning day by day that giving my path over to Him is the only right way.  One way I know it’s right is because I can feel it in my spirit that I’m on the right path when I’m living in total dependance on Him.  As a man, this dependance is tough to achieve.  I was taught to make it on my own, to survive on my own.  That teaching was wrong and PTSD is helping me to re-learn my relationship with God.

 

Will God give you more than you can handle?

Atlas and globe close-up Earth Galleries NHM L...

Atlas and globe close-up Earth Galleries NHM London (Photo credit: hmcotterill)

 

There’s a feel good platitude that we’ve all heard before.  It may have been said to you by a well meaning friend during a hard time.  It goes like this, “God will never give you more than you can handle”.  Sounds comforting doesn’t it?   Sounds like I’m more than strong enough on my own to go through the storms of life.  It’s a lie.

 

God will absolutely without a doubt give you more than you can handle.  It’s kind of the point.  If everything that comes your way is well within your ability to handle on your own, then who needs God?  It’s a dangerous lie to believe.  It can destroy a person’s faith.  Something bad comes along.  Something far beyond your ability to handle on your own and what happens?  You, and I, remember that saying, “God will never give me more than I can handle.”  And then, when we can’t handle it on our own, we wonder what happened?  Does God hate me?  Was I too weak?  Did I not pray enough?  Etc.

 

God will and does give you more than you handle for a reason.  It turns you back to Him.  It reminds you that you cannot do it all on your own.  During these times God may step in directly for you, or He may lead someone else to do it.  Stop believing that it’s all on your shoulders.  That is a sure fire way to not only fail, but to feel like you truly suck when stuff goes south.

 

The whole world is not on your shoulders or mine.  Let God do what God does.

 

Will I make God angry and get punished?

God, the Father watches us all everywhere.

God, the Father watches us all everywhere. (Photo credit: angelofsweetbitter2009)

 

No matter how many sermons I’ve heard, books I’ve read, prayers I’ve prayed and time I’ve spent in the Bible.  This question haunts me.  “Am I screwing up and is God going to punish me for it?”

 

In the analytical part of my brain, I know the answer: God loves me.  He loved me enough to die for me.  But the deep down parts of me still question.

 

Part of it, and this is partly the reason for my PTSD, is that my earthly parents rarely seemed to be pleased with me.  No matter how much I tried to get it right, whatever I was doing, it was going to be wrong in some way and I would pay for it.  Either physically, verbally or emotionally.  Or all of the above.  At some point and in some way, these fears and expectations got transferred to God.  After all, my younger thoughts said, if I can barely ever please my family, those who are supposed to be closest to me, then how could I ever please God.  How could I ever live up to His standards when I don’t seem to be able to do the dishes right or find the right tool, etc.?

 

But my mistake is this:  I’m trying to fit God into my definition of a parent.  Unfortunately, my experience with parental figures was not a good one.  But, they are,were fallible humans.  God is not.  God is perfection.  To find the differences, we really need to look closely at the Bible.  We need to study how God dealt with His children.  Sure, at times God did and does allow them to go the rough road.  Sometimes for their own good, and sometimes simply so they can learn a lesson.

 

This is something that may take me the rest of my life to learn.  Or maybe unlearn my childhood experience.  But, even then, God will not let you or I down.   It just won’t happen.

 

 

Yoga for PTSD relief

yoga

yoga (Photo credit: GO INTERACTIVE WELLNESS)

Let me start by saying I am a Jesus freak.  Fully Christian all the time.  For a long time I have avoided yoga for what I perceived might me new age religion.  I’ve found that it’s only that if I follow that path.  Yoga by itself is just stretching, strengthening and relaxing.  I spend my time during yoga praying, thanking God for all He is and Has done and will do.

Ok, now to purpose of this post.  PTSD or other anxiety related disorder causes one to be very tense a lot of the time.  Often, I will wake up in the morning feeling like i’ve been doing a whole body workout for hours.  Every muscle and joint is sore.  This is from being unconsciously tense while I was supposed to be sleeping.  I don’t want to take medication to help me sleep all the time, so I have to compensate with stretching.

I’ve found that just 20 minutes of yoga helps tremendously.  Not only does it give a good stretch, it also gives me time to stop, relax and pray.  I’m always amazed when I start the yoga exercises how incredibly tight my body is.  No wonder I’m sore all of the time.  The stretching really does help.  At a minimum, it reduces my stress pain so there’s one less thing on my mind.  I want to be clear that I’m not saying that yoga cures ptsd, it doesn’t.  It just helps with the affects of ptsd on your body.

There are many yoga programs out there.  You can go to a gym or studio, or just in your living room.  I paid $1.99 for an app that I use on my ipad mini.  The app guides me through various poses with video.  Of course, you don’t have to buy anything or have an iPad.  There are apps for your phone, dvd’s, books, in person classes, and of course just do a web search and then print them out and do them.

Even if you don’t deal with PTSD, I think anyone can benefit from the stretching and relaxing.  If you do deal with PTSD or some other anxiety issue, then I think yoga is a must for you and me.  Give it a few tries and then tell me what you think.

Being content with PTSD

Brain Injury (journal)

Brain Injury (journal) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have spent the better part of the last two or more years fighting with PTSD and all that comes with it.  I’m still fighting it today and it’s a grueling battle.  But maybe it’s time for me to stop fighting.  Maybe it’s time for me to accept the new me.

Philipians 4:12-13 says this, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want.  I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”

So maybe I’ve been going at this thing all wrong.  I’ve learned that PTSD is not just a way of thinking that needs to be changed.  It is an actual brain injury.  I won’t go into all of the detailed description, but the basic is this.  The part of the brain of the brain that controls the fear response has been damaged in someone with PTSD.  It no longer operates as designed.

So, looking at the condition this way, fighting it is kind of like having no legs and continually trying to walk and then being frustrated because it doesn’t work.  Do I wish things were different?  Yes.  But, maybe I need to accept that I can’t change it back to the way it was.  I’m thinking that in order to change my current PTSD situation, I would have to go back into the past and change several events, which is obviously impossible.

Am I useless with PTSD?  Absolutely not!  And neither are you.  You and I just operate a little differently now.  We need to do things that some may not have to do just simply because of an illness, injury, condition, whatever title you want to apply.  I am currently unable to work a normal job.  Ok, so what?  I still do a ton at the house as well as using online tools like this blog to raise awareness and let others know they are not alone.  When God wants me to go in another direction, He will make the way clear.

P.S. I looked backed through this post to check for errors before I posted it.  I noticed that at least once I repeated a sentence.  That is PTSD showing through, so I left it as is.

PTSD redundancy plan

Keys.

Keys. (Photo credit: Bohman)

 

One of the most annoying symptoms of my PTSD is my lack of memory.  Believe it or not, my memory used to be near photographic. Actually, this over active memory may have contributed to PTSD.  Anyways, I now have a lot of short term memory issues.  I lose things easily and it drives me nuts.

 

Today, I lost my keys.  Actually, they’re not lost exactly.  I left them in my wifes car and she left this morning on a 3 day business trip.  Luckily, this is one of the things I have planned for ahead of time.  I created a redundancy plan to deal with memory shortfalls like this.

 

First, I called her to make sure they were in her car.  They were, so that stress is gone.  Then, I followed my notes to find the spare key, as well as the key to the safe.  I also keep a note in my phone to tell me the path to take if stress overwhelms me and I can’t think properly.

 

So, by creating some redundancies to take of my memory slack, I have taken steps ahead of time to reduce unneeded stress.