The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

I hope you will write about Me some days

April18

Aaron Masih and I have a good many things in common.

that makes me fortunate, I think.

but, to add just a bit of clarity to that, we are both all about our daughters. and, we work, mostly as an effort to be great examples to those gifts from God, and also to do our own vital part in making sure this country and world is fit for those next-generation leaders.

recently Aaron and I have also shared some challenges, just in different zip codes.

I was in that automobile accident, referred to here in Milton, Georgia as, “the accident”. my broken ribs still make it tough to simply breathe. however, that does not reduce how lucky I feel. and, Aaron woke up in the middle of the night losing blood at an alarming rate, with a hole in his stomach.

we all lose friends. but, many of you know I was hit particularly hard by the loss of Bill Pope (in fact a lot of you were, and you may never understand how or why). Aaron lost a youth guidance counselor mentor that dated back almost twenty five years ago named Stan Annandale. Aaron talks about Mr. Annandale in a post he wrote, Remembering One of The Best People I Ever Knew.

this past weekend, and over the course of an email exchange I told Aaron:

“there is now a void that can only be filled by your being the sort of man someone else will write about.”

after I sent that email I found myself thinking that really is the man I want to be. in my daughters future, that of their own children – and, everyone I meet, for that matter; possibly those I don’t, but can still impact.

I tell many people stories about goodly men like my own Grandad, and Bill Pope. I’m working, and daily, to be the sort of man other people use as good examples of great deeds (to be sure, I can easily be used as an example of what NOT to do, from time-to-time). so, let’s be clear… I don’t necessarily need to be a hero. however, I try every day to make a meaningful difference. I literally live my life in that fashion. sometimes that may seem as though I am trying to be bigger than life, and I really push, hard. but, that’s the point. I’m not shy about that, and I won’t shy away from that stance. I have but only this life. and, I don’t know when that privilege, of being, will stop.

I want to keep meeting great people. and, I also want to keep helping other people be as great as they can be.

in my community there is always a great deal of talking about Mission work; “going on a Mission”. we live in the South, so when it come to the Bible belt, we may well be the buckle.

in any event, this typically means going away to some foreign country, using someone else’s money, on a form of holiday. but, God puts people in our paths each and every day that we can have enormous impact with in business or even our own backyard. last night, at a U16 soccer match, one of the opposing coaches came up to me straight away and said:

“I remember you from the Lake Lanier tournament back in 2007. I was so impressed with your positive attitude and the way you handled those kids”.

I feel that He (God, not that coach) has me in a career-path, and a life-path, of sorts that makes it my personal mission to make people around me better each and every day. that is part of having the perfect job, if not FOCUS. so, one of my prayers is simple, just like my mission:

“please help me meet the right people every day.”

thanks for being my Brother Aaron. and, I really do miss you Bill.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

perhaps evangelism exists Because worship doesn't

July23

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

my daughters name is not Charity

January19

…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

being Mandela

July18

This is great.

Nelson Mandela’s fans around the world are celebrating the anti-apartheid icon’s 91st birthday (that would be this very day) by emulating him with good deeds that might include reading to the blind, distributing blankets to the homeless or refurbishing homes for AIDS orphans.

Mandela had called on people to participate in Good Saturday, or what will now be called Mandela Day, which his charity foundations hope will be an annual event.

We know a local family that has endured tougher economic setbacks than most. So, I found a used car for sale on Hwy 9, bought it, and dropped it off at their house with gift card for Publix and the news we were sponsoring their daughter for soccer.

Note: They live close to the Polo grounds in Cumming, and belong to ASA, our old club. That added an element of the bitter sweet to the act because we play for Forsyth Fusion (We Are Shockers!). But, when it comes to supporting the community of soccer and the “The Beautiful Game”, we must be legion. An important message we “drive home” within “Shocker Nation” is being Citizens First.

Saddle up and share your stories.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

What’s All This About?

"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.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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