Wednesday, November 30, 2005

EBAY Beware!

I would like to start this by saying that people like me should not be allowed to use EBAY.... EVER!!! I had a bad experience with ebay in 2002 and I haven't been on since. Well, I guess this bad experience wore off and so I decided to jump back in the water yesterday.
ps. NOT a good idea!

As I was searching for a specific gift (will not mention what the gift was due to the fact that the reciever of this gift will probably read this). I came across what I was looking for at more than 1/3 the retail price. I see 96.00 with 1 min remaining... so I proceeded to click away and bid on this great deal! Winner! Yup, that's right I was the highest bidder. About 2 min later, I receive an email letting me know that I had just won the item at a sale price of 96.00 GBP. "What does GBP stand for?" you are thinking to yourself...well, great question, I wondered that myself.... GBP infact means Great Britain Pound. Which means that I didn't just bid $96, I had just bid around $166.04! Gulp! To make matters worse, I promptly received another email from the seller... his name is XiaoHong Ma, and he lives in CHINA!!! Double Gulp! So XiaoHong informs me (in very broken english might I add) that I need to pay him by wire over an additional 35 Pounds as well for shipping. So my wonderful prize that I thought would cost me around $100 with shipping was going to cost me around $226 total! I FREAKED!

Here is the email conversation that I had with XiaoHong Ma :
I am sorry, I bid on your item without realizing that you are in China. I would rather get _____ from somewhere in the states to avoid the confusion of western union money transfer. Can I please revoke my purchase? I apologize for the confusion.
XiaoHong Ma :
Dear friend!Please believe that I am a seller of trustworthiness, after I receive your money, will deliver to send your item immediately.The item is in China, so must send money China. thanking you.
I believe that your product is true. I was just mislead by all of the other information.
I am sorry, I am a brand new user to EBay... I didn't know that GBP meant pound, and so I bid on your item thinking that it was $96... I realize that this is my error, I should have not bid on your item until I understood the GBP and that I would have to pay a high amt of shipping as well.
If able, I would like to cancel my order.
XiaoHong Ma :
Dear!The item is in China, so must send money China, I can give you are on the postage special special discount, postage:GBP20.00 ambulation, thank you.
ME (getting very frustrated now):
I do not want the item. Please cancel the order. Thank you.
XiaoHong Ma :
That I will is to contact the EBAY!!

OK, I think to myself, what is the worst he can do? bad mouth me on my ebay profile, get me kicked off of ebay?... who cares, by this point, I have vowed to never get back on there ever again! I go about my day... things are just fine.

This morning I recieved a VERY interesting email:
Dear Aim Claim,
The following is a notice from eBay Trust & Safety regarding ________ :
Our records show that you placed a bid on this item. We removed this item from the Site and cancelled your bid because it appears that the seller's account has been compromised and used by an unauthorized third party. The seller's privileges to trade on eBay may be temporarily suspended while we investigate this matter further. Due to privacy concerns we will not be able to share further details related to this seller. If someone claiming to be the seller asks you to complete a transaction outside of eBay, we strongly recommend that you ignore the request. Transactions for items listed on eBay that are completed outside of the eBay marketplace are not covered by the Buyer Protection services offered by eBay and can be highly indicative of fraud.

HA... Can you believe it? So China man went to go tattle to "the Ebay" and ended up busting himself! ALL IS GOOD!

Unconditional Love

If I was a person of pure unconditional love, how would I think, feel and act, and how different would my life be? How would other people respond to me?

"Unconditional love is the Love of God, the only real Love: a limitless, changeless Love that embraces everyone and does not have to be earned in any way." How awesome is that! His love is unconditional, not based on feeling or emotion but because HE IS LOVE. We as humans seem to love conditionally... we love because someone fulfills a condition that we require before we can love them. I feel that the closest thing to unconditional love that humans have understanding of is that love between a parent and child or a husband and wife. We don't stop loving when they disappoint us or when an expectation isn't met... we make a choice to love even when we don't "feel" love.

If I was capable of loving everyone unconditionally like God does, would I even be able to handle the pain of rarely being loved in return? When I spoke, worked, played, and lived... would people understand? Or would I just be constantly persecuted for such love. Would people want to earn the love that I gave them, or would they just leave it on the floor? Would I be ignored? Would I be abused? Would I be taken advantage of? Would I eventually be left alone because no one understood me?

What a gift we have from a God who continues to love us no matter how many times we turn away. There is no such thing as love without God. To understand what true love is and to be able to truly love others, we must know God. HE IS LOVE.

for JCR 11/9/05

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Flashback... 11th grade. You feel as if your entire life has building up to this... the test that determines your entire future was just placed in front of you. Things are going pretty good as you begin to answer ... C... A... B... B... D... A... C... A... B... That section was a breeze, you think to yourself. Then it happened! Time seemed to stand still as you slowly flip the page to the next section... you cringe at the site of the most dreaded of all sections... ANALOGIES!!!

Question 1.
Happy: Sad :: _____: _____
A. anxious: apprehensive
B. scared: confused
C. love: hate
D. peace: joy

Confidently, you choose C. But should that have been the right answer? Is the opposite of love really hate? If not, what is the opposite of love? Is the opposite of the most amazing emotion in the world really a totally different emotion all together, or is it simply the total lack of emotion, feeling, interest, or concern... impassiveness... indifference?

The opposite of love is not hate... it's apathy.

To not love, is to not live... to not live, is to die... if you die without loving, what is to come after death? Without love, have you really lived at all?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Fleeting pleasure leaves

As Mother Nature teams up with Jack Frost, winter swoops in each year to bring us such a fleeting pleasure, the changing of the leaves. From green... to yellow... to gold... to orange... to red... to brown... the colors of fall are splatter painted across the land by the greatest artist of them all. The quite green pallet of summer is transformed into a vivid pallet of autumn color, each leaf slightly different from the one beside it. Before long, one by one the leaves flutter away from their summer home and become a part of the rich carpet that covers the forest floor. Winter is here and the trees are left naked to the freeze of winter. Cold... dark... waiting for the budding color to be revealed once again.

The fall foliage is like the colors within each of us.... our true colors. The thoughtful greens, joyful yellows, honest golds, playful oranges, passionate reds, and deep browns... each color more present at different points in our lives. These true colors change within us, like the seasons in a year...making us beautiful in all of our many colors.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Everyday Should Be Thanksgiving Day...

There is only one day a year where it is ok to eat till that top button needs to be un-buttoned, to fill your plate till you can't see any ceramic, to go back for thirds, and to eat ridiculously unhealthy things like giblet gravy.... 1 day and counting! Why does Thanksgiving dinner never get old? I mean, what if I want sushi this year? how 'bout fajitas (or as my brother says-frajitas)? maybe seafood? When it comes down to it... Thanksgiving is not about the meal, it's about being thankful.

"I will Praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving" Psalm 69:30

Why do we only set aside one day a year to focus on all that we are thankful for when we should be thankful each and every day. So often we go to God as if He is a vending machine, pressing A5 and expecting candy to drop from his grip and into our selfish hands. We expect so much, and yet thank Him so rarely. We get consumed with the things of this world without stopping long enough to listen to what He has to say. It is so hard to praise his name in song both when we get our candy, and even when it gets stuck.

The challenge is to be faithful... to be thankful for the blessings of my world. This day is about family, and about love... a love that I am able to share because it was given to me. I am so thankful... for joy and for sorrow, for happiness and for sadness, for laughter and for silence, for friends and for enemies, for good times and for bad, for love and for hate, for the days where my prayers are answered and for the days when they are not... I am thankful for everyday, for it is a precious gift from God!

Conscious Drowning

Conscious drowning, panic stricken,
He feels the water rise.
Over his heart, over his head,
Starving for oxygen lost.
She is to blame, she pushed him in,
He can't swim on his own.
His muffled screams, to her again,
Guilt sets within her heart.
She's filled with joy, she lives for love,
But that he doesn't see.
Conscious drowning, panic stricken,
For what will never be.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Goodmorning Sun, I am a bird...

As I drove to work along I-20 the other morning I happened to glance to my right across this big open field. Blankly gazing at this golden field, I noticed a large eagle soaring across the sky. I almost wrecked as I got totally lost in my thoughts...

That large bird was given an inborn ability to fly, massive wings and feathers, and the strength to lift its own body off the ground. At birth, the bird didn't know how to fly. With his innate ability given to him by God he probably learned by watching other birds to fly or merely by trial and error. After overcoming the fear of falling, the baby bird is left alone to figure out how to fly. Once off the ground, the bird flaps his wings hard and fast to lift his tiny body off of the ground and into the sky. The harder he flaps, the higher he goes... up, up, up... until finally the bird is high enough... he spreads his wings out into a cross and SOARS... the wind carries him across the sky... effortlessly, with grace, majesty, and beauty.

As humans, we are created in the image of God... to love God. We are given the innate ability to love, the knowledge to learn, and a life to do as we choose. I choose to fly, no matter how many times I may fall trying... I choose to flap my wings, sometimes hard without ascent... I choose to take the wind head on, facing the resistance even when I feel like I want to stop... I choose to fly in a flock with others, to be brothers and sisters, synchronized in our journey... I choose to fly, in the hopes that someday I will SOAR...

for JCR 11/18/05

Monday, November 21, 2005

Take Aim

Shaking... heart pounding... her eyes race from side to side, searching through the darkness. Frustrated, she begins to wander... one step at a time, hands outstretched, hoping to feel her way. Will she find what she is looking for? Is she aimed in the right direction?

A claim is defined as "A statement of something as a fact; an assertion of truth" Those who know me well know that while I am often opinionated, the majority of the time I am not always right. My goal with this blog is not to claim what I think as truth... I aim to seek truth... to believe truth... to share truth... to love truth... to live truth.

That is my claim... Aim Claim.