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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

Apparently “the” Democrats believe “change” will carry them through elections. I guess it’s all about the (new) slogan and logo. New, in this case, is just sort of different. Maybe it’s just not so bad as the worst case. So, let’s talk about some “change that matters”, and this according to a relentless revision of Obamacrat, I mean Democrat marketing, I mean doctrine.

This might not be exactly how Rush Limbaugh might phrase things… However, here are some examples of the changes that the Obama administration and the Democrats have inspired to certain lexicon:

1.   The War on Terror became an: “Overseas Contingency Operation.”

2.   Welfare checks became: “tax cuts.”

3.   Illegal immigrants became: “undocumented workers.”

4.   Economic stimulus became: “investments.”

5.   Global warming became: “climate change.”

6.   Watch this one very carefully. The Bush tax cuts became: “the Obama tax cuts for the middle class.”

7.   Freedom of speech became: “hate speech.” Especially if it’s considered a slight against the Obamacrats.

8.   Protecting our borders became: “racist.”

9.   The financial sector became: “greedy Wall Street fat cats.”

10.  Unions became: “struggling middle class Americans.”

I don’t have an issue with the theory behind the Democratic party. Thomas Jefferson, himself, had the balance-of-power and checks-and-balance system in mind when he helped create the Constitution, aftar all. However, they can change how words work in certain combinations (I hint at this in another post that is apropos, here entitled: situational awareness) all they (or, is it “they’d”?) like, but the fact is that the too many solutions promised by (more so Obamacrats, and less so Democrats) haven’t created reasonable change. Thought Leaders are right when they argue there is an enthusiasm gap between Democrats and their voters (and, yes, I discussed that in my post: it’s Civil War, then), but a new website and logo isn’t the solution they were likely looking for.

Let’s be part of the solution. Pick up the phone (I’ll be using my EVO 4G on the Sprint network, thank you), dial your representative, and call for policies that encourage the private sector to grow and maintain jobs, for example. I understand the double-dip recession fears are abating. But, that’s due to the fact that corporate debt default is now below four percent (4%) and middle-sized companies are selling products to larger companies (more on that later). But, perhaps they should have spent a little more time designing that particular roadmap and a little less time designing a website. Especially when the looming tax code revisions cool-off small and middle-sized company growth, spending and hiring (a lot more on that sooner).

When coaching my Shockers I try to inspire them with messages like: “If you are going to a thing, why not always give it your best? This includes using your super powers for good”. It’s not unfair asking our government leadership to take up the same thinking. And, then they also get to lead by example, and inspire the next generation of leaders – just like Thomas Jefferson envisioned.

Look… We’ll discuss my running for Governor later than sooner. Just be ready.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

I’ll leverage my recent post: it’s the rule if not the Law as my inspired preamble for this particular post. And, of course a historical archive of prior thoughts with which you are likely familiar (if not particularly fond of), as well.

To wit…

I’m confident God inspired Darwin, and discernment – in one formed result, or another, proves their collaborative point.

Our recognition of God was born of an ultimate fear – and, realized, always, in our DNA. The application of using fear as a tool for survival is a further demonstration of Darwin’s views – depending on the quaility of light and the requisite lens.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

…it is, in fact, Emma Jo.

And readers of this Blog know it.

And, what a terrific kid she is.

She’s proved it, in spades again, today.

But, allow me to digress with some background information…

Haiti was recently hit with the biggest earthquake in that part of the world over the last 300 years. Big. Seismic scale of 7.1 is the order-of-magnitude it’s been assigned. As of the drafting of this post the death toll is anticipated to reach the tens of thousands.

I’ll be asking questions around Haiti representing a comparative Babylon, perhaps, in another post, some day. There may be some rvelance to the Book of Daniel, in there. Possibly Isaiah. Because there is a vision involved. That’s unsettling. Maybe it doesn’t need to be. After all, we’ll know one way or another, possibly not – and, then it won’t matter.

As esoteric as that thinking might be, later, Haiti is in our faces, now.

Haiti is something of an enigma. Apparently the country’s leading religions are Catholicism (not Christianity) and Voo Doo. And, depending on whom you ask, it’s uncertain which of those two views prevail. In fact, if you are interested enough, google: “voo doo” (but try Vodou as well), and the majority of first page hits (other than Wikipedia) relate directly to Haiti – oh, and Louisiana – and, that means New Orleans (where as it turns out, many Haitian slaves found themselves around, well, 300 years ago). Along the way, and if you care to investigate – and, I have – because, well, that’s what I do, you’ll find, maybe discover, that many Haitians are finding creative ways to combine Catholicism with voodou – and, they would call that Christianity.

Pastor Pat Robertson (who might be looney (“while teaching karate, avoid inhaling demon spirits”), and he might be right) thinks the people of Haiti cut a deal with Satan to rid themselves of the French in the 1800’s. You can learn a bit more about that, here (listen to Kristy moan when Robertson makes a point. Have you noticed Christians do things like that during forms of sermons?).

dude… This is fun for me.

In any event, Emma Jo and friends like Claire (whom you’ve also followed on this Blog from time-to-time) don’t know much about voo doo – or Catholicism, for that matter. Although Claire’s family are full-on Christians.

But, over the last few days they’ve heard a lot about Haiti.

I have many opinions around Haiti. And, it’s “pirate government”. I won’t, even though keenly tempted, go into much detail around that, because I want the focus to be on what I’ve observed in my daughter that has softened my heart… Even for Haiti.

Here we go. Hang on.

We have many strong British influences in our household. So, we get television and related feeds from Europe. This means, amongst other questionable benefits, the information is censored in ways that are different than you might be, otherwise, accustomed to seeing here in the United States. Think in terms of graphic. Once you’ve accomplished that, all manner of awareness creeps into your thinking.

I’ll step back into some background, just once more (you’ll not be fooled by that, certainly not), to inform you that Emma Jo has been saving her money to buy, yet another, American Girl Doll (she already has fifteen – and, that adds an ironic twist to this story, I feel). It’s Lanie she wants now. This is no mean feat for a seven year old. American Girl Dolls cost more than $100.00. And, it takes a lot of effort and concentration for a seven year old to be that “good”, and to accomplish that many chores.

NOTE: Just in case you are reading this and, possibly, breaking out with a cold sweat with the prospect, I am not going to level you with some argument that American Girl Dolls are voo doo dolls. But, as I tap these words into this post, the hair on the back of my next is rising, and I sense some form of inspiration tickling the back of my head. Book mark this post, but only if you dare.

So… We were watching some raw television footage from Haiti. And, to be candid, I was not prepared for the absolute devastation that has surrounded those people. The anguish is indescribable as you see entire families piled up on street corners with, essentially, little hope of burial, let alone identification, imminent.

I found myself thinking to myself: where is God in all of this? My mind did venture, briefly, to Daniel and Isaiah (my recent vision, again), and then of course, John Stein (for that to make any sense, you’ll need to revisit my recent post: there might be demons and there are ALWAYS questionsand focus your research in the comments, mind you. Warning: This effort will, decidedly, distract you from some of the uncertain merits of this current post).

Emma Jo and I had been discussing a trip to Learning Express (terrific store), and bowling (she likes to bowl). So, this was all about Daddy and Emma Jo and bonding, and love, and security, and happy things.

That’s when the horrific (I’ve cast about for a more dramatic word, but it eludes me) image of a young girl, seemingly Emma Jo’s age, draped across the body of a wood-like and dust covered figure of a man that was likely her earthly father. The child is wracked with greatly evident agony. She is wailing. And, there are no other people around her (other than a television crew, I’ll suppose). Utter, and complete desolation of spirit. Despair reigns, there.

Emma Jo has gone stiff. She’s mesmerized. Selfishly I am berating myself for allowing her to witness this horror show.

She gently leans back into me, and very quietly asks: “Daddy, can we save her?”

I’m at a loss of words. I want to think fast and come up with some analogy that might create a call-to-action that might soothe her. But, before I can draw a breath to start some ramble, she reminds me that she has money saved up for her new American Girl Doll. She’s a bit subdued, certainly. The heart-felt, and so little-girl-desire for the new doll is clearly under siege from a HUGE heart breaking with sadness for the, not quite comprehensible, agony of another child (and, a doomed one at that, I’ll wager).

“Daddy, can we send that little girl my Lanie money? Maybe she can buy a doll that will make her feel better”.

I’m reasonably certain, at least some people are going to roll their eyes over this. …how quaint, you might smirk.

But, in the eyes of this earthly father, my own princess realized another person in distress; and, her immediate reaction was to try and help – with the only resources she, not someone else, could bring to bare.

That’s it for this post.

I bring it to an abrupt end.

Emma Jo is behind me, working quietly on some project, happy and content to be around Daddy. I think she’s online navigating Club Penguin with Claire, and also, Emma E.

That little girl in Haiti has likely never heard of, let alone played, Club Penguin. And, every time I see an American Girl Doll I might think voodou. So, it’s about perspective today. Also my own heart being softened. Thanks to two children, mind you, that care little for religion. But, I have faith in my daughter.

Emma Jo’s name might not be “Charity”, however, it could be legion.

This abrupt end is also, likely, due to the simple fact this story is not yet completed. So, stay tuned. Do it!

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Mary Guthrie is the Mother of two of my Shockers (Claire and Grace).

She is also a reader of this Blog, and apparently found a form of stimulation in one of my recent posts: from whence our Inspiration, and, a co-worker.

Divine afflatus /1 certainly abounds. Mary’s own story is rather moving – and, pretty great – especially when you see how terrific her daughters are turning out.

This story is not mine, other than for the telling, as it yet, continues to unfold. But, I will participate, as are many of our fellow Shockers. And, so, as you read this, I’ll hope you will feel free to contact Mary, and add a bag.

In any event, here’s the how all of this started…

“Dear Shocker families,

Karen, my co-worker, has a daughter who is a first year fifth grade teacher at a school south of Atlanta. Karen often shares her daughter’s sweet and funny stories about her rookie year teaching experiences. Yesterday, she told me a disturbing story I will share with you.

Many of the children at Tessa’s (Karen’s daughter) school are living at or below the poverty level. A little girl in Tessa’s class told her she had hoped for, but didn’t get, a matched pair of shoes for Christmas. Tessa looked at the girl’s feet and sure enough, she was wearing mismatched shoes. One of them was held together with duct tape! Later in the day, Tessa took a moment to look around the room. While none of the other children were wearing mismatched duct-taped shoes, many were wearing clothes and shoes that were too small and very worn.

As Karen was telling this story, I thought of my daughters’ drawers and closets overflowing with an abundance of clothes and shoes. Last night, they gathered the clothes and shoes (including size 7 never-worn sneakers for the little girl with the mismatched shoes) they have outgrown or don’t wear to give to the children in Tessa’s class. (The girls didn’t grumble when I sent them to their rooms to purge their closets. They even cheerfully folded the clothes and put them in the bag nicely! Wow! Knowing where the clothes and shoes were going seemed to inspire them.)

If your children have outgrown any of their clothes or shoes, the children at Tessa’s school could really use them. Grace, Claire, and I would be happy to pick them up and bring them to Karen who will deliver them to Tessa.

Thank you, Mary Guthrie”

You can reach Mary via email at: Mary Guthrie mkguthrie@comcast.net.

NOTE: I’ll not add her cellular telephone number because we don’t wanting you to text her (especially as she might be driving). To make the best sense of that plea, read: texting and driving to death.

Meanwhile, here’s am update to round-out this tale:

“Hi Brian,

Have you been traveling around Alpharetta picking up donations instead of teaching the Chinese to golf?

My daughter Hanna has a volleyballl tournament in Chattanooga Saturday. I will be back Sunday. Let me know if you have donations for the little Jackson Elementary (Butts Co., GA) students. I can collect on Sunday.

Thanks, Mary”

FYI- The first bags of donations have already been delivered. Tessa (the teacher) is busy distributing to happy kids! LOTS of Shockers are getting bags together, too.”

Go shockers. Who wants the ball?

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

1/ A strong creative impulse, especially as a result of divine inspiration.

“I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”

John 4:35

There is a hapless fellow in our community that came to me because he wanted a job. I asked him what he envisioned as his career-path over the next five years.

However, he was not interested in coaching, and only wants a: “job that pays [him] enough to go on missions and lets [him] retire at fifty-five”.

In the absence of that, he asked if I would be interested in giving him money for a Ministry that connected people in China and taught them how to play golf. I was, admittedly, skeptical, and, instead invited him to drive around Alpharetta with me to pick up bags of clothes for kids that, for example, don’t have matching shoes. NOTE: This is an effort underway through one of our Shocker Mom’s, Mary Guthrie.

He was not interested, some how, in that opportunity.

I can’t be certain from whence these people come from. But, come they do. And, I find myself drawing inspiration, of sorts, from them.

As readers of this Blog, for example, know, I’ve long evaluated many religions, and draw my actions from many of them. The Christian Bible offers that quote above from the book of John. And, it’s a reminder that, perhaps we need to be open-minded from whence we draw our inspiration, and to keep our eyes open, for all manner of opportunity.

I say this, in part, because opportunity abounds today. A current theme of my Blog, of late, has been commodities-centric. Good and bad, success and failure, are all relative. One mans misfortune may be at the hands of another’s great hopes and efforts. An example is a new “home” that was a recent short-sold house, or that purchased after a foreclosure. Of course war, and competition are other examples.

In any event, the imposing image of the above pictured canine offers critical perspective in terms of how we can see the world around us, and how we treat and relate to the gifts around us.

Pick your battles carefully. Seek truth and light. Serve where you can. Be an example.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Disclaimer: Obviously, the animal pictured above is not Rowdy – and, that is certainly  no sofa I’d have in my possession (at least in this decade).

In the simple span of only one hour, a veritable snap of a cosmic finger, mind you, I witnessed God invoked across the extreme.

I stood before a jubilant fellow whom thanked God for finally giving him a job. And, not much later, another bloke that couldn’t comprehend why God would take his job.

NOTE: Neither were, or are, likely suited for either position. But, those parallel tales will realize and play themselves out in future chronicles. However, it’s all relevant to my eventual point, here.

So… I found myself pondering (fortunately I have the coolest job in the world, and I have the latitude to do such things) how this might fit into: the way things work.

On a side-note, while at Wal-Mart this weekend, I overheard a Dad tell his little boy he was going to: “beat the jesus out of [him]. Even though I’d submit the brat (by any definition) might deserve a scolding of some measure (although parenting may serve us all a greater good), I was uncertain how the actual objective could be met. On the other hand, it did occur to me that the kid might, all things considered, be possessed. …just not of the Spirit.

Moving from that side-note, and returning to a possible point for this post…

Along the way, I’ll be waxing, painfully, sophomoric.

It’s admittedly been, concurrently, painful and interesting (in a Chinese interesting sort of way) to observe how some people, groups, and organizations have fared over the past eighteen months. My point of context is through what many have game-fully referred to as the 2nd Great Recession (“great” is such a subjective word. I value the richness of our language to no end).

Survived or thrived appears to be the standard.

Also, the manner in which folks have opted to orient themselves with God.

Some have apparently, and pointlessly, blamed God for bad things – or, what they perceive as bad. I’ll put it that way because, life is often like playing commodities; if someone loses, someone else wins, in a manner of speaking. So, other people thank God – and, ironically for bad things happening to other people they might not know. I think this might very well be the case with people in separate countries (certainly competing companies). War (and, possibly the Olympic games) is a terrific example.

When an eleven year old girl humping a back pack filled with explosives into a diner and unleashes someone else’s evil will upon unwitting victims, who wins? And, then who thanks God if any part of that is deemed successful? How about the “freedom fighter” that killed her younger brother in a cross-fire, and then survived the sapping? What was he grateful for? Has he thanked God, or been perversely inspired by misunderstanding of his utilization of God’s gift of discernment?

We all know, or recognize people, that appear to argue with God. Or, rail against him.

What’s up with curbside preachers in New York?

I’ll submit to you that I’ve remained steady in the saddle though all manner of skirmishes that I don’t see any point, not one, in trying to do anything but go along with God. And, this mostly involves me using my best judgment and being fair. That Love Kat thing that we’ve not revisited in much too long.

The best news is I haven’t a clue what He (God) wants from me. I think I can recognize what He does not want me to do because there is typically a fairly clear sign it’s not working out. So, I change something. Some times it’s me. Other times it’s the circumstances. But, that’s me trying to work through what I feel God wants of me – leveraging discernment. I also, selfishly, don’t want to be a footnote relative to examples of Natural Selection.

Why fight God when you know He can kick your ass – every time?

Mine is a subjective, and possibly, a rhetorical question. We (certainly me) may not have any salient answers until we find ourselves fading to black. So, in the meantime, I’m sticking with what Rusty Linquist said on LinkedIN yesterday: “Every day you chose what kind of person you will be for that day. Who you choose most frequently will be your legacy…”.

Listening to: Cello Lesson by Dario Marianelli, Suite for Cello N0.1 in G Major, BWV 1007: I. Prelude by Y0-Yo Ma, and Stir it Up (the original version) by Bob Marley.

Oh… By the way… Don’t let your kids do this: unfortunate video. Beat them if they attempt it.

And, yes, I’m a bit sad this day (I’ll reserve the right to be optimistic – because that’s my role). There are elements to life, regardless of how I try, with all my considerable might, that must submit; ultimately surrender, to what may well be a form of the inevitable.

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.