Archive for August, 2013

In our house, there are some hard-core football fans. My team is Alabama—Roll Tide!

My husband’s is Notre Dame—Go Irish!

Because I must play fair, and will be talking about Notre Dame,
I will first submit this picture of the talented AJ McCarron,  as a record-setter for TD passes.Vanderbilt v Alabama

Now that I’ve shown my allegiance, I go on to Notre Dame–a wonderful and legendary school.

Because my husband is such a fan, we’ve been to quite a few games at Notre Dame where the “Touchdown Jesus” mural is visible above the stadium walls.

The mural is actually called, “The Word of Life Mural.” The figure of Christ, with arms raised, has become known as the “touch-down” gesture. The mural was created for the exterior of the Hesburgh Library at The University of Notre Dame in 1964.

It shows the continuous process of one generation passing its gifts to the next, with Christ centered as the great teacher, and as goodness itself.

Touchdown jesus mural_touchdown_jesus

“The Word of Life” mural is a representation of a passage from the Bible

in the Book of John1: 1-5.

In the beginning was the Word:
the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things came to be,
not one thing had its being but through him.
All that came to be had life in him,
and that life was the light of men,
a light that shines in the dark,
a light that darkness could not overpower.

The light that shines in the dark is Goodness. Goodness comes from God.

And in the game of life on Earth, we– you and I—are its receivers.

Through The Holy Spirit, goodness has been passed into our hands. We are literally asked to be the hands of Jesus Christ on Earth.

That’s a huge legacy.

Of course, we don’t have to catch it.

But let’s do.

Let’s be vigilant about catching the goodness that God has passed to us.  Let’s go virile with it.

Let’s run with the ball. Don’t fumble it. Don’t drop it. And when the right time comes to throw it, let’s make our play one that’s good enough for a touchdown.

Connected by Goodness

Posted: August 19, 2013 in World On The Edge

DCF 1.0It’s hard to believe that someone could be totally lonely in our busy—and seemingly connected–world. There are so many ways to communicate with each other. At least, electronically.

But is it ‘real’ communication? Haven’t you noticed people sitting in restaurants, across the table from each other where conversation would be easy? But they are not in conversation. Instead, they’re fiddling with their iPhones. Each of them, hoping to connect to that piece of equipment for some message they perceive as important–while missing connection with the person directly in front of them.

We are all meant to connect. Truthfully, we’re all connected to each other. Not by cell phone, or Facebook, but by the fact that we’re created in the image of God and because of that, our creation has a common purpose–goodness. (more…)

Pictures

Posted: August 16, 2013 in World On The Edge

eyes of childHow many times a day do you use you cell phone to take pictures? If you’re a new mother or father, it’s many. And as our children grow we take many more of those precious moments that won’t be repeated. We constantly keep our cell phones or cameras charged up so that we don’t miss anything.

I wonder if we realize that at the same time, our children are taking pictures of us. They’re taking pictures with their own eyes, pictures that will be remembered, re-charged, and most definitely repeated. In many ways, we’re playing the lead character in our child’s mental movie, or the subject of his personal painting about how to react to life, love, pain, or joy. And eventually, our children will show their pictures to the world in a myriad of positive, or negative. ways. (more…)

011kayeBird Cover

Welcome to the Tasty Reads Blog Hop!

This is my first time to participate in a blog hop, thanks to the invitation from Anastasia Abboud, author of Let Us Not Live in Ignorance and If Only You Knew. It’s seems a fun way to learn about other authors and their publications as well as to collect some great new recipes.

Here’s how it works: each author invites up to five other authors to answer five questions about their current release or WIP and to share a recipe that ties into it. The links to the participants’ websites will be provided at the end of this post. As more authors join the hop, I will post links to their blogs as I learn of them.

My debut novel, A Hunger in the Heart, published by Tuscany Press in April, 2013 is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores. Also, two of my short stories are included in The 2012 Tuscany Prize for Catholic Fiction: Selected Short Stories.

A Hunger in the Heart is set in 1955 Florida. Its characters are flawed, aren’t we all? And they all desire something. Sarah Neal longs for her husband, Putt, a WWII hero with a traumatic brain injury, to be like he was before the war. Because he can’t be, she fills her longing with whiskey. Coleman, their son, needs his father and wants his mother’s love and affection. C.P., the B.O.S.S. of Gator Town, Florida, and Putt’s dad and Coleman’s grandfather, wants everything to be normal, and he yearns for his dead wife’s forgiveness.

They all must learn how to live through tragedy and treachery when Putt is accused of a heinous crime. Fig, the gardener, with commonsense wisdom explains to Coleman, “. . . a hero makes a choice to put somebody else ahead of himself,” and Anna, Coleman’s first love, teaches him the most valuable lesson of all.

Ultimately, A Hunger in the Heart is a story of hope and love: How we find it and thrive in even the darkest circumstances.

Here’s some praise:

“Kaye Park Hinckley’s novel, A Hunger in the Heart, is a story of hope, forgiveness, and redemption. It’s a great read in the tradition of southern fiction.” Winston Groom, Author of Forrest Gump and Shiloh, 1862

“Kaye Park Hinckley is a writer with a sensitive ear and a keenly developed sympathy for her characters. Her debut novel, A Hunger in the Heart, marks the beginning of a promising career in the world of fiction.” Mark Childress, author of Georgia Bottoms and Crazy in Alabama

“In the tradition of Flannery O’Connor, Robert Penn Warren, & Walker Percy, A Hunger in the Heart by Kaye Park Hinckley brings alive the south and the search for meaning and forgiveness.” Peter Mongeau, Publisher, Tuscany Press

Please check out my book: http://www.amazon.com/Hunger-Heart-Kaye-Park-Hinckley/dp/1939627060/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1376578467&sr=1-1&keywords=a+hunger+in+the+heart

Now for the Random Tasty Questions:

1) When writing, are you a snacker? If so, sweet or salty?
No, I don’t snack when writing, but since I’m up early to write, I drink lots of coffee.

2) Are you an outliner or someone who writes by the seat of their pants? And are they real pants or jammies?
I don’t outline. I start with a Character and his problem. And for the first couple of hours, I’m always in my pajamas.

3) When cooking, do you follow a recipe or do you wing it?
Both. But I’ve been cooking for so long, I do most of my family’s favorite recipes from memory.

4) What is next for you after this book? I’m hoping to have an historical fiction published, The Wind That Shakes the Corn. This epic saga, inspired by my own family legends, is about an eighteenth century Irishwoman’s struggle through British tyranny, enslavement on a sugar plantation, and finally immigration to pre-revolutionary America. In Philadelphia, and then in the Carolinas, she fights for the Patriot cause, but her understandable vindictiveness brings tragic repercussions for her family.

5) Last question . . . on a level of one being slightly naughty and ten being whoo hoo steamy, how would you rate your book?
Absolutely a one.

Now for the tasty part! (Because I’m a Southerner and love fresh tomatoes)

Tomato Pie (You have to try it. It’s delicious and sort of like a quiche)
Ingredients
1 9 inch prebaked, deep dish pie shell
3 medium tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
6 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
1 cup of mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped (so easy to grow and keep on hand)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Bake frozen pie shell for 5 to 7 minutes and remove from oven.

Layer the tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell.
Add bacon crumbles. Combine the grated cheese and mayonnaise. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Serve warm. You’ll be surprised at how good this is!!

Following are links to the participating author blogs so far.  I encourage checking them out, even if you only have time for a few.  There are some interesting people and books to enjoy as well as some excellent recipes.

http://kayeparkhinckley.com

How to Win an Argument

Posted: August 15, 2013 in World On The Edge

mouthWhen was the last time I argued with a spouse, child, friend, or business associate? What tactics did I use? Were they strong-armed with a my-way-or-the-highway feel?

When we argue—and all of us do at one time or another—our goal is often to break the spirit of our opponent with relentless words until he/she gives in. We use the bit and bridle, the saddle and spurs technique to control him or her. Mostly, because we want to get it over with quick, or we just want to vent. Venting is not arguing.

Attempting to break the spirit causes a lack of ongoing trust, and sometimes even fear. It can destroy the connection or bond we might have had with the person, when what we’re really after is that bond or connection. (more…)

Lawn Chair: Surrender

Posted: August 14, 2013 in Lawn Chair Catechism

This week, the questions for discussion are:

In your own faith:
•How would you describe what your spiritual gifts are (or might be)?
•In what ways could you evangelize or disciple others using those gifts?

For parishioners:
•Think for a moment about the other members of your parish. Who do you know who seems to have a very evident gift for some type of ministry, but perhaps is not aware of it?

For pastoral leaders:
•Think for a moment about the lay leaders of your parish. Which would you describe as “disciples”? As not yet disciples? [Or: Don’t really know.]
•Over the next six months, what steps can you take to help the disciples learn to evangelize? To help disciples-to-be grow in their faith?

I think all these questions hinge first on knowing “Who’s the Boss?”
The answer, of course, is God. Before any of these questions can be answered or even considered, we have to recognize that. Because sometimes I think we as Catholics get ‘very heady.’ Yes, we’ve been given gifts–each of us, distinct gifts–but many don’t know what our gifts are because we haven’t truthfully surrendered ourselves to the only one who’ll give us that knowledge.

Tomorrow is the Feast of The Assumption. Of all people, Mary knew surrender. So, I’m re-posting the following:

430px-Annunciation-Caravaggio

Mary, the mother of Jesus, surrendered. If she hadn’t, there would be no Jesus Christ. If she hadn’t, there would be no Christianity. If she hadn’t, we’d never have heard the words, “eternal life.” In fact, we would have no idea how to attain it.

Mary allowed God to use her; and yes, she could have said no. She had free will just like the rest of us. Almighty God would never have forced her to bear His son.

For a moment, put yourself in her position. When Mary was asked to be that vessel by a messenger from God, what would she have thought–“Am I going crazy? Do I really see an angel? Am I dreaming?”

She was engaged to be married. How would Joseph react if she turned up pregnant? He had the right to have her stoned. But there was something in her, a grace given by God that allowed her to trust that the angel was His messenger. She didn’t ask for proof that she would become the mother of the Redeemer. Her only question was, “How?” She trusted that nothing is impossible for God, and then she surrendered.

“I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to thy will.” Luke 1:38

Why do we feel we have to be in complete charge of every aspect of our lives? Why are we so afraid to give up control and surrender ourselves and our problems totally to the will of God? Is it that we don’t believe that He loves us—-really and personally loves each one of us? Because if we don’t first believe that He loves us, then there’s no way we’ll trust Him. sad

Stop a minute and think about it. The person I trust most in the world is the person who loves me, who wants only the best for me, and would lay down his life for me if he had to.

If I believe that Almighty God loves me—-and he does–then why shouldn’t I trust Him enough to surrender all?

The Desire to Acquire

Posted: August 14, 2013 in World On The Edge

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABecause we are human, there is in each of us the desire to acquire. Often we are after ‘things;’ bigger houses, cars, vacations, and lots of ‘stuff.’ Other times, we are after ‘power;’ some authority over others whether it be through our job or relationships.

What is this common personality trait–our desire to acquire–really all about? I think it’s because we are searching for meaning–in our own eyes and in the eyes of others. No one wants to be thought as passing insignificantly through this world, and so we strive to be relevant in some way.

But the desire to acquire can get out of hand. We must use self-discipline, or the very things that we work so hard to get will not give us relevance, but enslavement. (more…)

Silver Tongues

Posted: August 13, 2013 in World On The Edge

silver tonguesIf we don’t want to hear the truth about ourselves or our actions, we become defensive. We ask “What is truth?” when we’re looking it right in the face. We come to the conclusion that truth is what I say it is because “I think for myself.”

And then we attack the messenger. We go down the road of ME, where truth is relative, where no one else is as important as I am, and no one else’s needs are as vital as my own. And we tell the messenger of truth that he is wrong.

But we’re deceiving ourselves with our own silver tongues.

We deceive ourselves as Pontius Pilate did. We use clever words. We wash our hands, so we won’t be blamed, and we allow truth to be hung on a cross.

Sadly, we barely notice the hanging.

Today is a time of mass deception because we are asleep at the wheel, asleep to truth. The general population seems more concerned with the newest electronic device, or the latest reality show, while the ethics, morality, and honesty of our leaders are in decay. And we react to that decay like G.K Chesterton’s analogy of dead fish floating with the current.

Even if we do notice, it’s never our fault, is it? We may be first to point a finger, but often, we’re the last to lift a hand.

We use all sorts of clever ‘talking tools’ to make our way seem correct. And some of us—-especially in politics and the entertainment industry–have the shiniest of silver tongues. But how many use those tongues to uncover Truth?

 

 

In Complete Control???

Posted: August 12, 2013 in World On The Edge

sad-girl-1382940_640

Life isn’t easy. Each of us face problems, and sometimes we don’t know which way to turn in solving those problems or in making our lives better. Sometimes there seems to be no answer to our difficulties–at least none that we can come up with on our own. We are like leaves haphazardly blowing in the wind.

But why do we feel that we have to be in complete charge of every aspect of our lives? Why are we so afraid to give up control and surrender ourselves and our problems totally to the will of God?

Is it that we don’t believe that He loves us—-really and personally loves each one of us? Because if we don’t first believe that He loves us, then there’s no way we’ll trust Him.

Stop a minute and think about it. The person I trust most in the world is the person who loves me, who wants only the best for me, and would lay down his life for me if he had to.

If I believe that Almighty God loves me—-and he does–then why shouldn’t I trust Him enough to surrender all?

Mary, the mother of Jesus, surrendered. If she hadn’t, there would be no Jesus Christ. If she hadn’t, there would be no Christianity. If she hadn’t, we’d never have heard the words, “eternal life.” In fact, we would have no idea how to attain it.

Mary allowed God to use her; and yes, she could have said no. She had free will just like the rest of us. Almighty God would never have forced her to bear His son.

For a moment, put yourself in her position. When Mary was asked to be that vessel by a messenger from God, what would she have thought–“Am I going crazy? Do I really see an angel? Am I dreaming?”

She was engaged to be married. How would Joseph react if she turned up pregnant? He had the right to have her stoned. But there was something in her, a grace given by God that allowed her to trust that the angel was His messenger. She didn’t ask for proof that she would become the mother of the Redeemer. Her only question was, “How?” She trusted that nothing is impossible for God, and then she surrendered.

“I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to thy will.” Luke 1:38 

A Breath Away

Posted: August 9, 2013 in World On The Edge

angel deathBoth in this life and in the next, all men and women are called to the same end: God himself.

But the human  person  needs to live in society. Society is a requirement of his nature. Still, we are only a breath away from leaving it. Only a breath away from our own death.

Death is something we all must face, but sometimes we live as if we’ll never face it. We take a journey on the road called, ME.

We intentionally hurt others. We lie when we should tell the truth. We cheat in school, in business, in marriage, when we should remain faithful. We use others to our own means. We stick needles in our arms. We swallow pills, the propaganda of sexual freedom, and the taking of innocent human lives. We pay no attention to what our conscience is telling us, and instead, go on to do what we know is wrong. Then we blame others for the grief that comes from our own lack of responsibility.

At the time of our death, do we want to be caught in situations such as those?

Not so long ago, people used to talk about ‘a good death,’ an honorable death, one preceded by repentance. That is all well and good if you have time to do it. But often death doesn’t give us that luxury. Our last breath can be sudden.

The truth is that knowing we will die ought to affect how we live. And for many, it does.

Am I one of them?