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I don’t know, yet (anyway), if my recent post: prayer and change (everyone is talking about. I’m flattered, just skeptical unsure as to why) upset or inspired Butch (“RW”) Nicholson. But, it certainly initiated, or possibly provoked the following point and question:

“Many people pretend to be Christains? Really? People believe what they believe, including you. I am interested in what you have to say. I am not interested in what you think others pretend to be. I would submit we all pretend most of the time. What do you pretend?”

I’m now pondering precisely why, but the question made me recall another of my posts: drink heartily from the cornucopia of fear.

This is an exercise in assigning words that might read pretty to a feeling that is ugly. To recognize what we don’t like, so that it can be replaced with what we want or dare hope for.

And, also, the widely read and certainly debated: Christian Ambiguity.

There is nothing worse than a Christian on the defensive. They become less tolerant and more judgmental when they get insecure.

And, somehow, from the dark reaches of my own mind, there emerged a response to Butch’s query:

“well… there is always the implied contention that the demonstrable inadequacy of any argument from analogy for the existence of other minds is sufficient to reject introspection as a method of determining one’s own mental state(s). there is always the position in the repudiation of an argument from analogy, but disagrees with knowledge of one’s own mental state(s) does not require introspection

so… relative to my blog post, I simply don’t pretend to have an answer like – for example – people with fish (symbols) on their cars. I only believe (in the context of this rapartee)  that prayer can help anyone answer most questions as it aligns mind, body and spirit with most circumstances.”

I strive, and daily, to live the authentic life. I may fear hypocrisy, but I pretend little (other than, perhaps the pretense of no fear, itself).

This is a line-of-thinking that may have no end. But, you can’t lose for the attempt and effort – although there may well be no clear win. That is, until you fade to black, or see the light, in a manner of speaking.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

I don’t pretend to be a Christian.

many people do, though.

but, prayer is for everyone regardless of how or what people define faith – theirs, or otherwise. it focuses the mind and aligns it with heart and spirit.

I tend to pray most when I want something, or think I need something. I used the word “something” twice in one sentence because the concept of the what ever it is renders itself huge.

just like God.

lately I’ve been praying (or, mumbling) quite a bit because of what’s been happening to my Shockers. I’m going to lose a bunch of them and a dream long worked hard for. it feels like treachery and satan and all that stuff. I face a genuine Kobayashi Maru. however, I know darn well that change can be a good thing. it really comes down to what you make of it. character seems to be part of the definition.

so… I’m pondering the whole prayer thing. my question is now this: do I, or that collective we, pray for the things we think we want or need? Or, does He have us pray to align our minds, heart, spirit and actions with what He wants or needs from us?

my eyes are welling up as I tap these words gently into a keyboard. I’m so incredibly blessed, lucky and fortunate . my family is happy and healthy (other than some challenges with school and grades). business is great. and, I feel pretty good as my training continues. so, that list of positive adjectives could run on for some time. but, suffice it to say that the ball has bounced in my favor many times – and, possibly because I always try to do the right thing.

this post is already being populated by words that I had not planned in advance. so, maybe God is carefully at work, because, as I create this message, I’m thinking my prayer(s) need to be that God have me do the right thing(s), soften my heart, and simply steer me where I am actually needed and wanted. I’ll raise my hand.

I just need a path and an opportunity to be a beacon to light that of others.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Evil might be over-rated. At least when it comes to intent.

I’m pondering what it means to: “do the devils work”. I believe innocent people can do evil things – just like evil can happen to good people.

Meanwhile, as most of you know I don’t lay claim to being a Christian. There are many good examples of those people in our world. But, there are likely an equal number of them that aren’t – just like any faith, and especially religion.. But, that’s all a matter of perspective, as well.

God likely dropped discernment in most of our DNA and allows that to help sort matters out.

Today is Thanksgiving, and I’m doing that very thing. My heart is open and I’m looking around myself and seeing a great deal of inspiration. So, ironically, I’ll include some effort from the Bible, here. Some call it the Word, others a rule book. For the most part I find that it covers a lot of common sense witnessed and reinforced by many generations of people that realize the worst mistakes your can make are the ones you repeat.

The point I’m trying to make, here is: A word of love can make a world of difference.

According to the Bible, God calls us to love one another, which requires living in a way that is for one another – because love apparently puts others first. Throughout the Bible, we are called to put others first, and live in a way that blesses other people.

For example, God calls us to be devoted to and honor one another (Romans 12:10); to live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16); to love one another (Romans 13:8; 1 John 4:11; John 13:34-35); to accept one another (Romans 15:14); to care for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25); to serve one another (Galatians 5:12); to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to one another (Ephesians 4:32); and to bear with one another (Colossians 3:13).

Putting another before yourself – that is, loving other people, can possibly  transform us because an act of love has the power to change lives.

I don’t know if Christ rose from the dead to make God’s point. But, I do know He set the stage for change and that message impacts us all daily, and only for the better. There’s the thinking of a Heterodox, for you.

I can’t find it, but I think the Bible offers some passages around the notion (wording?) that God “spoke” his word of love in the form of Jesus into the world. It was, thusly, transformed.

I’m listening  to John Lennon, today – and, his song: Love. I’ve done that before. I’ll do it again. And, I’ll share a video of that live effort for you as well (sorry about Yoko; so say we all):

I’ll trust you all to have a Happy Thanksgiving.

“Love is real. Real is Love”.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

I’m so damn shallow.

Distractions abound.

But, it’s little things, like a Chris Tomlin tune that help me in those less than, otherwise, fulfilling moments.

However, and having stated the above (and, many other things daily), I don’t want to mislead anyone, anywhere, ever… I’m still waiting; searching. Sad, yet hopeful.

It would be easier to call myself a Christian. But, God would know, right?

So… The best I can offer is to live my life like that, as far as I think what it could all mean. Doing it my way is like living with considered abandon, and without a net. No fish on the bumper of my car. It means living by a code but not knowing if there is a reward.

Isaiah? Nehemiah?

But, I’m also listening to God of Wonders (it’s the Chris Tomlin version, for me) – and, relentlessly, I’ll add, here.

I’m by no means courageous (maybe not since Sarajevo, anyway). Just Authentic.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Perhaps evangelism exists because relational worship doesn’t.

I’m not focusing on Christianity, here. Although I’ll pause a moment and reiterate my reservations around images of fish on cars, and the people that often drive them.

My point is: Show me a man of any real or true faith, and I’ll show you a potential ally for truth and light.

Evangelism can be both strident and impotent. Whereas worshipping in the form of good deeds and actions based on a common set of principles can, and in my experience, speak louder than words. It’s all part of living the Authentic Life.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Readers of this Blog appear to track, enjoy, and possibly value, my transparency. So, it’s no surprise, here, that my earthly father surrendered his soul to God back in 1986, on the eve of my birthday.

I’ve chosen some words carefully in that preamble because I’m evaluating the difference in terms of how we define suicide.

Background Perspective: I have a client that I’ve coached for years that happens to be a fairly well known Congressman and has always feared the path of “political suicide” often realized by all too many of his fellows.

Although I have to good-naturedly roll my eyes with that, it recently raised some thoughts in my head around how we spin things to make them work within the complicated confines of our society – to include faith and community.

Here we go…

Shortly after my Dad’s body was discovered (today that still feels strange to both write and read), slumped over a Zane Grey (apropos, says I) novel in his garage, his secretary tearfully advised me that he was bound for hell. I was a younger man in both body and mind, at the time, and this decree almost floored me. Dad was a genuine hero. And, he was… Well, my Dad. And, he loved my Mom. Together, they set the bar and standard for me in terms of how to be a parent to my own Daughters, and love people in your life. He was a pillar of strength (even when he had his fourth martini after a grueling Day maintaing peace as a Military Officer during a relentless Cold War era), always there for my younger brother and me. He was some times an enigma, mind you. But always smart, witty and resolute. Read my post: do not miss your Chance to blow it for perspective. Dot It! How could such a man face the abyss?

My first thought when told Dad was going to hell was that he had carefully considered his options and rolled the dice hoping to get back to Mom quicker. Selfishly, maybe, I often have this picture in my head of Mom and Dad in their early 40’s – sun-tanned, holding hands and smiling. This is also a reminder that Mom had died the year before (here is some additional background), and Dad was simply never the same after that. So… You can; and, I think you should, read my prior Blog post that explores some of that here: My Dad: Story 22 – Married for Life.

So… With all that said, what is the difference in someone taking their own life, or giving their life back to God? There is a paradox at work, here, because a potential juxtaposition includes (or, is) considerations around soldiers taking life (possibly in the name of God), and giving (as in dedicating) your life to God. My Dad was a soldier that absolutely did take lives under a national flag that was founded with God in mind (just ask Thomas Jefferson who is likely spinning in his grave enough these days to send the planet off it’s axis). He was a model citizen by any definition. And, in the his final hour I feel he gave his life back to God, and Mom was his reward for a life well-lived.

NOTE: I’m choosing to take the Bible out of the evaluative formula and going with discernment – perhaps the greatest tool God has issued to us to help me work through this process. The Bible, I feel, in this case, and of course many others, stymies broad thinking and open-mindedness (have you ever tried to debate a Christian and seen them not get heated, and more often than not, nasty?). Once you make not referencing the Bible part of the process, creative thinking that draws upon all of mankind’s marvelous experience and theory can now come into play for informed decision-making.

I’m tempted to drop a poll into this Blog post to capture your collective opinion. However, I’m only marginally interested in that. So, I’ll invite you to comment. I can’t promise to approve it. But, I might. And, I will respond in one form or another, to be certain.

So, engage me. Help me. Walk with me. Help me realize the Authentic Life.

If suicide is a path to another place that just might be a reward, as opposed to a punishment, why wouldn’t you take it? Is this an example of Kobayashi Maru?

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

I’ve been giving a great deal of thought about the difference between doing what you say, and what you actually do.

I wonder about the correlation between the fisherman’s “whopper” tale and people that drive around town with images of fish on their vehicles. I’m not picking on Christians (I might want to be one myself, at some point). I am pointing at them, however. I feel communication leads to alignment, and then accountability. Those are fuel for beacons of light, if you will, that expose the vital differences (and, many are fine) between good and evil.

This will, eventually, bring me back to the dialogue I’ve been driving here in Alpharetta, and surrounding communities, around living an authentic life.

Meanwhile, here’s a thought that isn’t new; it just is:

“Putting off a hard thing makes it impossible.” George Horace Lorimer

It’s relevant to my thinking, here. Because, it’s often, more than not, easy to talk than accomplish, or promise than follow through.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters

Brian Patrick Cork

what’s all this about?

I can’t explain what that damn tree means - or, if it might stand for something.

However, here I do discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman.

brian cork by John Campbell

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"Perhaps victory can be realized best when the heart changes."

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about this particular Theme:

I'll warn you now that Tarski is theme of this blog created by Benedict Eastaugh and Chris Sternal-Johnson. It is named for the logician Alfred Tarski. I'll recommend his papers ‘The Concept of Truth in Formalized Languages’ and ‘On the Concept of Logical Consequence’, both of which can be found in the collection Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics.