The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

God feel I

April12

The process of this particular post has been afoot for several weeks now. Along the way, as I researched, cut-and-pasted, I have seemingly lost track of sources of some of my information and thought formation (although the scripture elements are cited and easily verified). Some of this might have come from a recent exchange I had with Aaron Masih. Other parts from that rascal “John C”. Nonetheless, I will be pressing the “publish” button and hope that any readers appreciates this effort in the spirit it represents.

Aaron Masih is in my head.

When he reads this I know he will smile. Aaron is my friend. He wants me to study scripture. I don’t want to study scripture. I did think I wanted to go to divinity school – more out of curiosity and a call of a challenge. But, I might just do that when I am in my sixties, after the Ironman, and before I take off for China.

But, as many of you know, I do take a peek at scripture some times (mostly when people send or otherwise, offer examples) because God is certainly in my head. But, then, so is Rowdy (Rhodesian Ridgeback), who joins our family at the end of this week. And, for so many reasons, both has been inspiring me under unexpected circumstances of late

”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is:

“Love your neighbor as yourself’.” (Mathew 22: 37-39)

As the Book of John rather harshly puts it:

“If anyone says, ‘I love God’, yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen”. (1 John 4:20)

Now, I happen to think the author of John was more or less onto something.  If a person has no experience of deity – as John assumes to be the case  – and yet loves God, then that person must necessarily love an idea of God, rather than a god.

There are people quite comfortable loving there ideals more than they love people.

Perhaps it is better for them, then, to love their brother, whom they have seen, than to love an idea of God.  For any idea of God, no matter how profound, no matter how subtle, is petty when compared to flesh and blood.

Perhaps it is better for them, then, to love their brother, whom they have seen, than to love an idea of God.  For any idea of a god, no matter how profound, no matter how subtle, is petty when compared to flesh and blood.

I wonder, though, if anyone ever actually loves God?  Is it even possible to love God?  Obviously, the answer for some people is “no”.  Without an experience of God, you can, at most, love only your idea of God. Some can say they love France or Germany, but if they have never been to either country, they are really only loving their ideas of them.

The truth of God’s self-revelation is founded in Scripture and supremely in the person and work of Jesus Christ. It might depend on its conformity to philosophers’ rules of logic or to the Jesus Seminar’s critical criteria. For example:

God makes truth known to his human creatures for their benefit (John 8:31-32).

and,

That which God reveals is true because God himself is truth (John 14:6).

Certainly, reason plays a role in Christian faith and life. Reason can show that God’s self-revelation is not irrational or incoherent. For example, with the advent of quantum physics and the collapse of the Enlightenment worldview, science and philosophy no longer claim that Biblical accounts of Jesus’ transfiguration and resurrection violate Newtonian “laws of nature,” only that they are low-probability events.

So what?

I don’t  believe I need scripture or science to make me feel the way I do about God. I feel him all the time. I believe what I feel. That is a gift in it’s own right. And, that makes me want to reflect and represent.

Please enjoy “You Found Me” by Fray.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

12 Comments to

“God feel I”

  1. Avatar April 12th, 2009 at 9:36 pm Drew Tilghman Says:

    It’s amazing how close we can get with more than just our minds. I love to watch the progression of your blog. You talk all of reason, and at the end, you say that you believe what you feel. Perhaps, just perhaps, your heart is way ahead of where your mind may simply fear to go… simply because the mind thinks it must go alone.

    We walk into marriage with more than a concept of marriage. We walk in with a person, a spouse, a loved one… one we must love with more than just our mind, but with our heart and our soul as well. We men struggle with loving our wives with more than just our minds. Why should we not struggle to love God with more than our minds too?

    1 Thess 2.8

    Thanks for taking us on the journey with you.


  2. Avatar April 14th, 2009 at 4:09 am John C Says:

    Brian…

    I’ve been following your insightful comments, journey for a while now. Based on what I’m hearing from you I think you might enjoy Jim Palmers blog…DivineNobodies.com, hope you check it out.
    He has a couple great books…Divine Nobody’s and Wide Open Spaces, I highly recommend them both.

    Contrary to popular opinion, I am quite capable of common and rational discourse (hope that doesnt shock you, lol)…am a fellow traveler such as yourself. Have been in high end capital medical equipment sales, a CEO/Founder of a diagnostic imaging company and a consultant in radiology & cardiology market spaces.

    So perhaps we have more in common than we knew?? Anyway, I appreciate you…warm regards…journey on my friend.

    John C


  3. Avatar April 14th, 2009 at 2:54 pm Aaron Says:

    Always interesting to read/see your mind evolve. And thanks for the plug.

    You are my friend, also.

    For clarity, the reason I want you to study the scriptures, particularly the four different books about the life of Christ, is just so you have some basis to form your feelings, versus just what you end up feeling through thought.

    I was speaking with a very dear couple last night in our group that has a mom who has gotten completely delusional. She has begun to accuse her husband of 50+ years of various crimes against their marriage. Now, none of the crimes are true, but the “trueness” of the feelings in her head make it absolutely true to her, and, depending on who she talks to and to what degree they have complete context, she is very convincing that these crimes actually occurred. Her feelings and self-rationalization have created a reality that is nothing close to actual reality, but without being willing to research and accept truth (her mind isn’t able to do so and will require medical intervention), her alternate view of the world will never be changed.

    The mind is a very funny thing. It has the power to convince us of things that have no basis in reality, but it really doesn’t matter. We can put ourselves in the position of finding comfort in our own internal discourse and simply deciding that we don’t need anyone else (or anything else) to challenge us. However, if we do allow others and other sources to at least challenge us, it only adds 1)defense to the position we have embraced, or 2)evidence to the fallacies we have accepted.

    I have nothing against anyone who is on a journey of struggling with faith. There are countless examples – the disciples themselves – that struggled with faith all during Jesus’ life with them and even AFTER the resurrection. And they were there! But a struggle implies two or more forces, and one of those forces must be something other than our minds and feelings. Otherwise, it’s not much of a fight, is it….

    AM


  4. Avatar April 14th, 2009 at 8:31 pm Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    Drew, John and Aaron:

    I have always felt that two of the greatest gifts God has issued to me were discernment (especially in terms of how to make other men make better decisions), and my wife Joanne.

    Through both of these gifts I have strived to represent and reflect the best of qualities from several historical figures (for example Jesus Christ and Thomas Jefferson). Like them, but, also, not like them, I am no stranger to adversity, and can lay claim to being an ever better man through my experiences. I have grown, through this adversity.

    However, I now face, a not so unique challenge where much of what I try to represent and reflect through my work, and, the man I might be, has strained my relationship with Joanne.

    Trials come in so many forms. The only good news is my experience in that it’s how the challenges are handled that forge character, and enable us to grow and improve.

    So… I am not prepared, but only ready.

    Trust me on this (and Him), a stranger, that is also your brother.

    Cork


  5. Avatar April 16th, 2009 at 1:45 am homeschoolnewbie Says:

    Brian, I must say that it is incredibly difficult to have discernment of or knowledge of God if you don’t know who he is. You clearly felt Thomas Jefferson and Darwin were important enough to study, yet Jesus Christ… not so much. You can’t know God if you don’t study his history (the scriptures). You state that you feel you have a gift of being able to help other men make better decisions. This gift is God-given. How can you truly understand your gift and be able to help people if you don’t have any real understanding of the person that gave you that gift.

    Brian Said:
    “So what?
    I don’t believe I need scripture or science to make me feel the way I do about God. I feel him all the time. I believe what I feel. That is a gift in it’s own right. And, that makes me want to reflect and represent.”

    Believing what you feel is a dangerous business. Feelings cause us to do some absolutely ridiculous things. Feelings caused a woman to murder a little girl in cold blood.

    Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

    How is this trust founded? Through the study and understanding of scripture. Lean not on what “seems” right to you but learn and study the ways of God through scripture.

    I’m not going to pretend to know what you are feeling right now or where your hesitation lies; I can only attest to the freedom and peace of knowing that there is a greater power who loves me. I surrender control and I’ve sometimes noticed that is the hardest part for some… relinquishment of control……..


  6. Avatar April 16th, 2009 at 2:05 am Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    Hey there Homeschoolnewbie.

    I am confident in hat higher power being God. And, I understand the Bible says God and Jesus come together. The Bible asserts Christ rose from the dead and sealed the deal for our salvation. I like that notion. I am looking to feel it. I want to.

    I do admit that I feel like I am close some times. I look for it in terms of inspiration from others. I realize this is not the Christian way. And, I, myself need to remember not to be stubborn and open-minded.

    Stay with me Aaron, Drew, John and Homeschoolnewbie.

    I have a lot going on right now.

    Cork


  7. Avatar April 16th, 2009 at 7:44 am Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    God is God. I struggle with the jesus element. But, I often take solace in the realization that as I struggle, it means I am seeking, and being drawn closer.

    In retrospect, I would welcome direction in terms of scripture around topics that might include: broken-heartedness, gathering strength, digging deep and finding more strength and healing. I am also interested in understanding Gods will.

    I believe I am going to lose my wife. It seems so inevitable now. There must be a reason for this. A journey of sorts afoot. I seek answers every where.

    Cork


  8. Avatar April 16th, 2009 at 6:54 pm homeschoolnewbie Says:

    I would recommend that you purchase the Love Dare, and take your wife to see Fireproof the movie or purchase the movie and watch it with your wife after say day 20 of the Love Dare. I believe that it will help you find the answers you seek, and more importantly help you to rescue the gift God has already blessed you with, your wife. Marriage is so sacred and the covenant that you made with God and your wife is so binding that I know he wants your marriage to be whole. I just believe NO marriage is beyond the point of rescue.

    Many times we have a very hard time in marriage because we don’t understand that marriage is like having two diamonds in a sack. Nothing in the world could shape or break those diamonds, like the diamond that’s in the sack with it. Your wife was given to you to refine you; your character, your heart, your ways.. and you to her. You can be humble in the midst of this refinement or you can be angry, bitter, vengeful…. I suggest you read the refinement of Joseph Genesis 38-44. It is humbling.
    I pray that God meets you at the point of your need.


  9. Avatar April 20th, 2009 at 2:04 am Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    Thanks homeschoolnewbie.

    I am pretty numb for the moment. I wish I could get that close to a solution.

    This is all my fault. At this point my best prayer is that my family gets through this.

    Cork


  10. Avatar April 17th, 2009 at 2:13 am John C Says:

    Brian,

    Thx for the courage to share, the candor, transparency, etc…I am honored my friend. I know it sounds cheesy, but its true that every hardship, every “valley” is an opportunity to go deeper still. I will spare you the details of my story, lets just say it was real ugly and very, very painful. I lost EVERYone and EVERYthing.

    Thankfully the steadfast love of God allows for stable living through all of life’s many ups and downs. After enduring my own hardship I can say with unwavering confidence that He is faithful and the “hound of heaven” will hunt you down relentlessly, for Love (God) is like that. You are already aware of His presence.

    Christ?? He is the only “type” of man God ever really made, in the perfect image and likeness of the Father. He is the “pattern” Son. He is what we looked like before the “disruption” of death (sin) entering upon the scene and spoiling the beauty, the perfect unfettered fellowship. He is beautiful. All things, including us are restored in Him. The key is being found “in Him. If Christ is viewed from a “religious” perspective where rule-keeping, doctrine, dogma, etc are priorities above love we will miss the life He offers which is spirit (heart) felt and directed. This is why you say “I want to “feel” it”, to know. As many as are led by the spirit (heart realm) these are the Son’s of God. Romans 8:14.

    Religion (in its cultural context) is disingenuous, external, oppresive and tied to rule-keeping, dogma, etc. Spirituality, Christ’s true offer is internal, a change of nature (His) within and always liberating and love-motivated. You seem intent on following your heart which is the only way to find this Life in the spirit. God is Spirit (John 4:4) so let Truth (truth is a Person) be your guide…He speaks to the heart/spirit realm within and is always gentle, loving and…true.

    Christ implores us to “metanoi” meaning to “have a new mind” to think differently, for the kingdom of God is come. They said…where is this kingdom? Jesus answered (paraphrased) “you cant see it, its not visible to the natural eye…the kingdom of heaven can be found…within you”. Let that sink in. You are the garden, when you “tend” your garden (within) with the fertilizer of truth (Christ) your inner spirit man will begin to take root, to bloom in the love of God. Christ IN you is the mystery of the ages. (Col 1:27)

    Trust Him, lean into Him, long for Him, look for Him for He is faithful, trustworthy and a “very present help in times of trouble”.

    And oh yea…He loves you…big time.

    John C


  11. Avatar April 17th, 2009 at 4:07 pm Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    I have not thought of this as courage.

    Accepting of a challenge, perhaps.

    But, thanks for that.

    More later.

    Cork


  12. Avatar April 19th, 2009 at 9:27 pm Aaron Says:

    Courage, I believe, comes when you are willing to look beyond yourself and your own mind to trust something you can’t necessarily see, but you can feel if you really want to. Scripture says, “you will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” Perhaps one of the reasons you haven’t “felt” what you want to feel is that you haven’t “sought” what you are afraid of finding out is true…

    That Brian Cork is nothing without God. And that Brian Cork can be so much more with Jesus Christ.

    I don’t know much about what’s going on with you, my friend, but I do count you as such still and likely always will.

    Somewhere to start? Well, I’d advise you to not go looking in Scripture for answers to your problems. But instead, go look at Scripture for the answer TO your problem. Read the book of Mark in The Message. Then read Luke. Then Matthew, and then John. These four books will give you a bit more insight into the Person of Christ. It’s maybe the last thing you want to do right now, but it’s the one thing that, in my view, you cannot afford NOT to do.

    I’m always here for you…phone call away bro.


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"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

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

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

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

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