The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life
Browsing Faith

give me liberty or give me apathy

November12

I think it’s fair to say, possibly just admit, that I have lost my zeal for blogging.

it’s not that I no longer have opinions, or have discovered apathy, mind you.

however, I awoke this morning with the thought, which is worse apathy or death? or, are they the same?

…seriously…

so… here I am foisting a blog post upon the lot of you.

this is more about me finding other things beyond my own imagination, view, or standpoint to champion. I have been very much involved with Emma Jo and our soccer. despite me as their coach, Emma Jo and her U12 Shockers Nation found themselves 11-0 on the regular season, and finalists in their first bonafide tournament at the prestigious KOHLS Cup. I’ve also been coaching everyone else’s son in Lacrosse these past eighteen months. and, as evidence of my lack of desire to pontificate, I’ll not trouble you with any of those details. …well, at least for the moment.

meanwhile…

I have made a very conscious decision to stop being so hard on Barack Obama. for bad or worse, he is our Commander-in-Chief. we may not know if he is an anti-Christ until it’s to late. my own sixteen-year-old daughter Haley Anne pointed-out that if most Americans voted for the man, they must see something the minority does not.

she’s pretty bright.

so, we are mostly stupid or mostly right.  only time will tell for the rest of us.

on the other hand, maybe this is Gods own way of forcing the laws of natural selection down our collective throats. the European nations favor Obama. but then they are all sliding towards Socialism, and “misery loves company”, as they say, whomever they are. I suspect they conceived of Socialism as they follow apathy as a form of religion.

reference (I dare you): the secret series: in pursuit of They

in any event, with all of it weighing heavily on my mind, I have recalled a poignant, if not foreboding quote from the formidable Alexander Fraser Tyler, from his indomitable (and, certainly foresightful) work, Cycle of Democracy (1770):

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over lousy fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world’s great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to Complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage.”

okay… so, now what next, neighbor? could we hear the words, “give me liberty or give me death”, again? what might only 300 of us do?

we saw Emma Jo off on her first school away trip early this morning. as I brushed touseled hair from her eyes this morning to wake her as gently as I could, my eyes did tear-up somewhat as my mind ran rampant with memories of high intensity and drama from the weekend, natural apprehension around the pending trip, and a earthly fathers keen desire to protect his child from the rigors of an uncertain future. or, would that be opportunity?

God knows, right? I just want to be part of the solution, and not the problem. so, that is my prayer, today.

peace be to our Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

God and Judgment and Stuff

August14

I don’t know if God is angry or capricious.

we’ve certainly heard him described as such.

George Landolt, John Stein or Johnny Walker would likely suggest I research the Bible to investigate such a thing. but, reading the Bible is hard. it’s difficult.

I admit it.

but, it’s not that I’m looking for an easy answer; as if I’m seeking instant gratification. the answer to this question could very well take a lifetime to sort-out. and, we may not have that answer until we face Him, fair-and-square.

all that said, God allows really terrible things to happen. John would tell me its all about testing us. that whole “trial in the desert”, thing. but, God seems to let mean people that are willing to take advantage of others prevail quite often.

so, is that the discernment I’ve been going on about on this Blog? some of us have a special gene that allows us to open-up that veritable can of “whup-ass”.

some people are just hurting, and they need to or want to hurt others. and, God appears to stand blithely by. now I’m wondering how judgement works.

speaking of that, all of this, really, I’ll discuss John (a different John, yes) and Sherri, here.

they are in the midst of an ugly divorce. and, of course, the kids are being used as a weapon of mass destruction. all of a sudden, after seven years and two evidently happy kids, John is evil and dangerous. he’s suddenly irresponsible and Sherri has moved a court to only allow him to see his kids under tightly managed supervision.

a date a few weeks back promised to be a milestone as John had been pushing are for a hearing in front of some judge to discuss all of it. by the way… the hearing had been scheduled for months. but, Sherri and her parents decide to take off on a holiday trip with the kids. suddenly the hearing is an inconvenience because sherri will have to interrupt her vacation and fly up for the hearing if it goes through. thusly, her lawyers turn up the heat.

so… here’s an excerpt from a text dialogue John and I had earlier this evening before I took-off for Lacrosse practice.

John: Big win for Sherri today. Looks like I may not get my hearing next week… I will just keep my head up and keep plowing…

Me: How did that happen?

John: Lawyers schedules and judges schedules it seems… It can still happen but there are only two days next week – Wednesday or Friday that may work. Nothing I caqn do about it.

Me: I concur. Too bad a father that wants his children can’t be the priority.

John: Part of dealing with evil. I will get to learn another lesson in life and keep my head high!

Me: Sometimes ignorance and maybe pain is disguised as evil.

John: So sherri is not evil she is just ignorant and full of pain that is why she is keeping [child’s name]  and [child’s name] from their father?

Me: Time will tell. But, you already know her wight and associated issues weigh (sic) her down with angst.

John: Yep so I have to pray for her every day like I always have that she can find a way to deal with it and make herself happy.

Me: Just ask God to heal. Don’t worry about details. Praying with sincerity is hard enough.

John: I will.

interestingly, as I googled “scales of Justice” looking for an image of, well, scales of justice, the following book on Amazon.com ranked high on the first page, Tipping the Scales of Justice: Fighting Weight Based Discrimination [paperback].

What rights, if any, do fat people have? If a child is obese, are the parents legally responsible? Can employers treat overweight employees as different, or disabled? Should fat people be protected by disability laws? Cases of illegal hiring practices, workplace prejudice, harassment, unfair treatment, medical malpractice, and denial of public access are being filed in increasing numbers as the nation continues to obsess over, and misunderstand, weight. 

misunderstood weight?

…more later.

but, meanwhile… for Gods sake. what about the kids? that book is going to cite somewhere that the children of Mothers that eat their sorrow until it crushes everyone around them end up like their Moms. and, when a daughter is denied her earthly Father, all hell breaks loose.

here’s a mental image. that judge should have an obese woman sit on him until he can’t breathe, or until he expedites a hearing, research and a decision that reunite a family under reasonable expectations.

what would God have us see in this opportunity to be crushed by the sheer inaneness of it all?

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

how does God pull us to Him?

February29
more-and-more I blog less-and-less, but allow my inspiration to surprise me.

thusly, today, I found myself reading a comment from a friend regarding a prior post, does God have a fake ID? read it if you must; both the post and the comments. do it!

either way, I’ll simply share my response thinking it might make for it’s own goodly addition to my posterical (if that’s not a real word, it soon will be) thinking.

to wit…

“Thank you, Barbara. I found myself reminiscing about little Talia only last week. I’ll trust you to give Adam and the girls, collectively, a big hug for me.

Meanwhile, I’ve always had faith in myself and God. I was, from time-to-time, uncertain about specific events like the resurrection.

But, I’ve come to worry about the details less, and the objectives and God’s influence through them more.

I’ll reinvestigate Wagner to refresh myself on the controversial perspective. But, your words remind me that I’m reasonably certain that the roots of faith realized themselves with primordial man’s fear of nature and natural events such as lightning and death.

How many of us, despite our link along evolution, can’t fathom fading to black followed by absolute nothingness? Right there, our minds create a solution that is first founded in hope and then given life through discernment, form, and practice.

God gave us life, he rewards all of our efforts with death, but we hope the next step is another life.

That said, I still want a life well-lived for myself and others. And, any doubts I have mean I’m no hypocrite because my efforts could very well go unrewarded other than in the localized results. Is that the ultimate “testament” of moral courage – perhaps transactional transparency?

I can, at best, hope, I’ll find out. I am genuinely curious. Curiosity is also another hierarchal gift from God and his evolutionary process. That leads us to questions. And, ultimately all questions lead to one form of faith or another.”

[…]

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

does Christ have a fake ID?

December26

I started this post abut a week ago, but kept losing both my enthusiasm and focus.

that was until I ran towards a thought, as opposed to from one.

Emma Jo still exhibits too much wonder and joy this time of year, and I worked hard to savor every moment of that. then I saw an article reminding us, collectively, that there is no validated evidence that Jesus Christ was, in truth, born on December 25th. that started to really bug me. however, Saturday I had a very good run at North Park. I started out a bit sore and thinking I might want to dial it back a bit. but, by the second circuit I was feeling pretty light-footed and decided to put some steam into play. the “zone” realized itself and my mind wandered with my good form. that’s when I was (thunder) struck by the notion that I believed Christ rose from the dead.

just like that.

no justification. no debate. not even a “why not”, to allow for some wiggle-room.

there was this sense that I could not prove it did not happen. and, I’d been playing the Heterodox card so long I had forgotten the circular argument that, ultimately, believing in a thing (any thing) is potentially much like believing in oneself. there are times when we prevail against great odds. and, I’m certain faith has it’s role in that.

so, I’ve elected to keep some of the early thinking alive in this post. however, now you know, as do I.

meanwhile, I fully understand that this post is going to generate a great deal of consternation. I expect the shaking of fists, and possibly teeth gnashing. lofty-minded opinions may be hurled my way.

so… was Jesus really born on December 25th?

does it matter?

original thinking that geared this controversial topic must needs be, and should be attributed to Angie Mosteller, and probably God, for that matter.

but, we must also submit ourselves, collectively to the aforementioned Heterodox.

I’m confident that Jesus walked the earth and died on a cross. I don’t know that He rose from the dead (as we think we understand death) to seal the deal around a covenant between Himself, God and the rest of us. however, I’m genuinely satisfied that this is the case though because there is a clear advantage there for all of us. and, we’ll make that assumption going forward with this post so we don’t get bogged-down with tangental discourse.

you may be pausing, right about now and taking your own wonder at the veritable lack of drama, here. but, in truth, it’s more calm, for me – much like the way after I feel after a good run.

make a note that I also think I know that Jesus was a Rabbi leading up to his death. although I can’t point to the relevant scripture, His being a Rabbi, from the line of David (through Mary, and possibly Joseph as well) is mentioned throughout the New Testament (Books of Matthew and John 1:14, for example) /1.

…there’s some random thinking, for you. I love and value random, heart-felt, unrestricted, irreverent, untamed, Kobayashi Maru-drenched, thought.

by the way…

“Most people who profess a deep love of the Bible have never actually read the book,” Rabbi Rami Shapiro told CNN during a recent interview. “They have memorized parts of texts that they can string together to prove the biblical basis for whatever it is they believe in, but they ignore the vast majority of the text.”

these baring points are relevant, here, because the point of this post is to pin-down points of logic hopefully based in fact but impacted by sequential logistics that include science in the form of astrology, technology (the press), and matters of convenience, ironically originating from the catholic Church.

I grew up delighted with the calendar event of Christmas day and the date of December 25th. now I relish Emma Jo’s own delight. but, there are rumblings a-plenty that date was chosen in an effort to “Christianize” a pagan holiday. Tim Barker recently shared with me an article on just that topic. I contemplated adding my own research and perspective. but, I love interest in that in the face of calm perspective. however, it’s (the, and other, related articles) subsequently been a terrific source of lively debate between myself and a few buddies, and an interesting teaching opportunity for my own kids (although we need to tread lightly around the Santa Claus element for the time being).

in any event, like everything else in our lives, the Heterodox inevitably rears it’s head for me and creates the “truth-of-the day” based on current information. but, I’m still fascinated by how the date of December 25th was potentially selected.

though the gospels of Matthew and Luke both give an account of Christ’s birth, neither one provides a date for this great event. Though it may sound strange to our modern minds, it is likely that early Christians did not place any particular value on birthdays.

it was not until the third century that various pockets of Christians began to show interest in the date of Christ’s birth, and it would take another century for the Church to begin celebrating it with some uniformity. the first clear record of Christ’s birth on December 25 was not until 336 AD, but it is possible that the church had accepted the date long before and that it was already common knowledge. regardless, even if the dating of Christ’s birth was owed in part to the pagan holiday, “The Birthday of the Unconquered Sun,” the influence was probably only secondary. it appears that the primary goal of the Church was to determine an appropriate date, one that Christians expected to be rich in symbolism. if this date, December 25, also happened to give the Church a sacred feast with which to counter pagan celebrations, then it was arguably the best possible choice for the day on which to honor Christ’s birth.

by the third century, it appears that some Christians had started celebrating Christ’s birth, as well as his death, on March 25th.

go look it up. do it!

so, why were Christians celebrating Christ’s birth and death on the same day? well… there’s an ancient Jewish tradition of “integral age” or “whole year theory” that evidently influenced this practice. it is a belief that the life of a Jewish prophet began and ended on the same day. most good Rabbi’s know this. a third century Christian, Sextus Julius Africanus (note: most of the valid research evidently occurred in the third century), added an interesting component to this theory. he argued that Christ’s life began not at birth, but at conception (thus the Catholic views around birth contro?). his case proves to be of particular relevance, because if Christ was conceived on March 25th, he would have been born roughly nine months later on December 25th, the date on which our current discussion is focused, eh.

but look… you can Google, Bing, or, what-ever “facts around Christ’s birth”, and get all manner of data and information. but, it really does not matter. dates don’t matter. calendars have changed and evolved. man has clearly manipulated fact and information. however, God gave us discernment. and, mine is edged with faith, now. I’ve tried to intellectualize all of it. all of it, mind you. but, that does not work for me, today. so, that’s the sublime beauty of the Heterodox – I’ve realized my truth of the day, and will remain satisfied that darkness can try and prove otherwise. that’s how I nimbly side-step the hypocrisy issue.

so, perhaps more simply stated, I believe in Jesus. in part, because I believe in myself. I’m of the opinion that God relishes my own thinking and He designed me for such purposes. thank God.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

1/ Men better than myself, teachers, tell me that Rabbi’s start memorizing scripture (i.e. the Torah – which is largely the first five books of the Old Testament) as soon as they are able to read along with any other good (subjective) Jew. then at the age of twelve they either took up the family trade or become a Rabbi (this entailed memorizing the rest of the Old Testament). Point-of-reference: There is the story where Mary and Joseph left Jesus in town and upon their return came back they found him studying scripture with the “other” Rabbis.  Also, I believe that when he is much older He goes to Peter, James, and John (who are in the family trade of fishing) and asks them to drop their nets and follow Him. I’m advised that they would not have done so unless he had authority (being anointed by God, nonetheless). If they followed Him they could potentially become a Rabbi themselves, and move-up in social class.

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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.

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 - and, authentic.

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