Got a Sinner’s Heart???

Posted: December 20, 2020 in World On The Edge

Sin enters the heart of every human being.

The stimuli of our five senses is taken in from our environment and sent to our brain which processes the information. To make it simple, we then have a spiritual ability to choose a response–a good response or a bad response. Sometimes we choose the bad response over the good–because every human being has the capability of sin within his heart.

And we sin frequently.

If it wasn’t true, we wouldn’t have needed the Crucifixion, would we?

The question is: What do we do when our sinner’s heart wins out?

Well, let’s first talk about SIN, that human action we don’t want to recognize, the thing or things in our lives we want to keep secret, the things that we cover up so no one will see.

Some of these thought-to-be-hidden human actions are splattered all over the news today. A public hungry for sensationalism can’t get enough of them. Call them out! Show them up! Punish them with a debilitating crucifixion of their own! The Crowd Mentality.

But watch out for that mentality, for who among us is NOT a sinner?

Watch out for those who cast stones, for they may be next. It’s called Hypocrisy, and hypocrites are sinners, too. And they will never have the last laugh. Evil acts do not go forever unpunished.

There are certain moral laws—yes, laws of morality– that must be followed if we want peace and harmony in our world. Without those laws, sin abounds. An abundance of sinfulness is all around us. We see it– and if we are truthful, we see it in ourselves as well.

So, how do we treat a sinner? How do we treat members of our family, our friends? How do we treat someone like ourselves?

How did Jesus Christ treat them?

Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners. Mark 2:17

There is, of course, punishment for sin here on Earth. Our system of laws provides for that. When our country was formed and laws written in the Constitution by our Founders, those laws were based on Spiritual laws that dealt with morality. People break laws when they act immorally—ie. when they do not love their neighbor with  honesty and compassion, or when they do not love themselves as God loves them.

All of us have a sinner’s heart. But we also have a loving heart, set into us by God—a heart of mercy, kindness, and caring about others and our world.

The bottom line is that our human struggle on Earth will always be between the division of good and evil in in the soul of each one of us. Choosing power, or money, or sex, will not satisfy our hearts. Only genuine love–love akin to God’s love–can do that; so shouldn’t aim for it instead? It’s already within us, and stronger than our sinner’s heart. We only have to call out for Him, and follow His lead.

Because we are created as human beings with free will who live a world of infinite possibilities, people often disagree when addressing important moral and ethical issues. For some questions, there just doesn’t seem to be a right or wrong answer. And in some situations, there seems to be several right answers.

Life isn’t black and white. It’s a million gray areas, don’t you find?–Ridley Scott

So what about the grey areas in our lives?

Well, I’m  a writer, so the grey areas are a favorite theme of mine, but those themes are always set against an absolute truth. Years ago, when I was an Art major at Spring Hill College, I considered the shadowing color Grey–not only as it appears in Art, but in life. Now, as a writer, I see it this way: In my characters–and  in life itself– there are always two extreme actions: Absolute Good, which comes from God, and Absolute Evil, which comes from a choice to turn away from God. To ignore this is to ignore Truth.

Think of two ends of a horizontal line. At one end is the bright white of absolute Good. At the other end is the darkness of absolute Evil. The farther we travel from either end, it becomes more difficult to see, or find our way back to the other. In between those ends are lighter and darker hues of the color of GREY. You might call these areas of relativism, the doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context, and are not absolute. We can surely see that in today’s society!

The fact is most human beings travel daily along a line like this. They travel toward one end or the other, to the light of truth, or to the frequent darkness of a stubborn relativism. But in between the two ends is a lot of area in which to turn in an opposite direction—–either a fall, or an epiphany. This is true, multiple times, in every life, and core for a writer of Catholic Fiction—the possibility of spiritual epiphany with a turn to TRUTH is always present in the work, though it may not always be accomplished by a character. The difference between creating a story and real life is that the fiction writer is pretty much in control. But in our regular everyday lives, possibilities and the choices those possibilities present can be wrong ones.

Life has consequences for being wrong. Giving someone the wrong amount of a medication can kill them; making the wrong job choices, or investment decisions can impoverish a family; the wrong directions will take you where you do not intend to go; and immoral choices like lying, or being unfaithful in marriage, or killing a pre-born child, can result in the destruction of an entire family. This is why an informed conscience is necessary. And this is why we have to look for absolute truths, not relative truths, to guide us.

TRUTH MATTERS – especially when it concerns a whole country on the receiving end of slanderous lies meant to destroy. And those kinds of lies, when we accept them, WILL destroy us–personally and as a people. We see despicableness in some of today’s political leaders, and in the constant refrain of their lies spouted on what ought to be news platforms, but are now only concealers for those who call themselves ‘leaders,’ but who wear false masks while they ignore, and even attempt to tear down the foundation of a great America that has worked for two hundred and fifty years.

But nowhere is Truth more important than in the area of faith and religion, our very personal relationship with God who made us and created our world. It is God who is ultimately in charge, not those who push their own power on the less powerful. Here on Earth, we can’t afford to just accept or just ignore the lies of the greedy.

We need to be engaged. We do not need to be stuck in the middle of that grey line; we need to be headed for the bright light of Absolute Goodness, which is God. For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. –Luke 8:17

Life goes by quickly and we will be called to account. We must form our conscience and the consciences of our children to perceive absolute truths that will guide us throughout our lives until the day of our death. Because Eternity is an awfully long time to be wrong.

(As of now–8:20 am–Facebook has blocked me from boosting this blog to my audience. Please share it!)

L. Lin Wood, the lawyer who successfully represented teen Nicholas Sandmann in a defamation suit against The Washington Post and CNN, has joined the president’s efforts to challenge attempts by Democrats and the media to steal the election for Joe Biden. AND HE HAS GREAT NEWS FOR OUR BELOVED AMERICA.

SO IMPORTANT TO HEAR.

PLEASE SHARE.

(As of now–8:20 am–Facebook has blocked me from boosting this blog to my audience. Please share it!)

L. Lin Wood, the lawyer who successfully represented teen Nicholas Sandmann in a defamation suit against The Washington Post and CNN, has joined the president’s efforts to challenge attempts by Democrats and the media to steal the election for Joe Biden. AND HE HAS GREAT NEWS FOR OUR BELOVED AMERICA.

SO IMPORTANT TO HEAR.

PLEASE SHARE.

Our fathers’ God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King!

from the song, My Country ’tis of Thee, by Samuel Francis Smith, who died in 1895.

Where are we headed as a country? What is the future of our children?

Once a Christian nation, hailed as the strongest democracy in the world, the United States of America is now sliding down a mountain of lies, apathy, hedonism, and a lack of dignity for the human person. Our voice–the voice of the American people is being stolen. Can we hope for a resurgence of GOODNESS, TRUTH, and PEACE? And will we follow through with our hope through America’s legitimate rules of law to achieve it?

The following passage is from my novelette, written in 2014, and the date it takes place is 2020. Very odd, even to me, so I decided to post it –because unless we stand up for what we know is right and honest TODAY, something like “The Institute of Tolerance” is where we are headed tomorrow.

______From Paul Dunaway, Mary’s Mountain:

“Why, Paul? Why did you do it?” she asks as I stand before her. “Think about the successful years we’ve had.”

But I couldn’t think about the years she called successful. I was recalling the hour before, in the lunchroom of The Institute of Tolerance, filled with those, like me, labeled misfits, and no longer suitable for a progressive America. A slant of natural sunlight had barreled through a slim window and struck me like a spear in my side, impelling me to a table top, my feet on either side of a plate of ham, olives, and cheese, all topped with whipping cream, and surrounded by desserts covered with thick frostings. At first, none of the others being re-trained noticed my ascent. They were busy indulging themselves, until I pronounced loudly, “In a silent forest, a tree planted by our fathers, fell.”

A woman with dyed, red hair lowered her chocolate frosted cupcake and tilted her chin toward me. She’d read my books and had once accepted my words; but when she refused the government’s required, deadly–and of course, merciful–injection of her beloved, ninety year-old father, she was forced into The Institute of Tolerance for retraining. “Why, Paul?” the red-haired woman asked. “Who cut down the tree?”

“The tree rotted from within,” I said, catching the attention of a few others still chewing the goodies. “At first, there was no outward sign of the tree’s decay. It appeared unusually beautiful and produced an abundance of delicious fruit, so much that the people lay in its shade, stuffing themselves. Still, there were some who knew the tree was decomposing, yet did nothing to restore it.” I intended to follow with myself as an example of one who did nothing, but a young priest at the table spoke up first.

“Yes, I knew; and I did nothing.” The priest lowered his eyes, as if remembering his ordination, his un-kept vows. He’d been urged by an elderly parishioner to confess his sins and ask forgiveness of his parish. And when he did, his public repentance landed him in The Institute of Tolerance–because confession and forgiveness denoted a higher power, and there was no higher power than pleasure.

“The people are satisfied with self-indulgence!” came the cry of a heavy-weight politician who’d led the fight to legalize any drug whatsoever, to get rid of traditional marriage between a man and a woman, and secure unlimited abortion rights–until he fell into religion, and publicly changed all his agendas. He was still crying foul over his right to free thought, when the traffickers for Tolerance dragged him into The Institute.

“They want only youth and beauty,” said an aged movie star who’d once proclaimed a War against Women, filling the screen with her taut, tucked buttocks and surgically enhanced breasts. But later, when she sagged too much to tack, she challenged the Hollywood mentality, and ended up here, chanting, “Integrity means nothing anymore!”

“Nothing,” mumbled a multi-million dollar sports hero who’d bought and sold drugs and young boys during his spare time off-court; then one day, found Jesus and admitted his errors to the world on Facebook with his post: “Today, money and fame are the new gods. Pleasure is everything. And that is wrong.” The sports hero was snatched from his computer that very night and forcibly detained in the Institute.

“Wrong!” shouted a reporter who’d recently interviewed Irene, and called her an opportunistic liar on a nightly news show.

Aware of my own culpability, I swallowed and went on, “All of us; corporate executives and government officials who turned to thievery, physicians who cheated patients, parents who abused their children, and university professors, like me, who knew long ago the tree was rotting. What did we do about it?”

The people responded in unison, the boom of their voices piercing the lunchroom. “Nothing!”

Abruptly, the double doors flew open, and in the rush of air, I felt the heat of Irene’s teen-aged, overweight bodyguard coming up behind me to poke a finger into my thigh. “Irene wants to see you. She’s told you, and she’s told you. When you gonna learn?” Then Bobbo yanked me down.

“I will speak to the people!” I called out, but already the people were distracted by a line of waiters parading toward them with tray after tray of elaborate desserts. They oohed and aahed, and paid no more attention, as Bobbo led me out. Only the red-haired woman, lifting a spoonful of artificial whipped cream to her lips, followed me with her eyes.

Are You a Candy Christian??

Posted: October 30, 2020 in World On The Edge

Have we become Candy Christians, our once-strong beliefs melting away?

Have we lost all courage to face Goliath?

Are we afraid of a personal Crucifixion?

Have we accepted the sugar-coated, fear-mongering, victimhood imposed upon us by some in our government who spread lies while lining their own greedy pockets?

Will we let the greedy elite control our right to free speech, our right to worship, our right to bear arms?

Are we using the sense and dignity God gave us when we step into Socialism–now being spread by ‘progressives’– without taking a stand against it?

Will we abandon America—one nation under God?

Will we be called racist by those who are actually using race as a sharp-edged tool for their hopeful takeover of America?

Will we cower, and be called “chumps,” by the hypocrite, Joe Biden?

If I painted a picture or wrote a book and told you that everything I showed you or said was true, that you could believe nothing else, and if you did believe otherwise, there would be sanctions you would regret—how would you react? Would you lie down like a fearful dog and accept it? Or would you rise to fight for your freedom to make your own informed choices?

Well, today there is an attempt to control us, using a virus that is to be sure serious, but not defeating, as some would have you believe. “A dark winter is coming,” they warn us. But each of us can respond to that. Each of us has had a dark winter at one time or another in our lives. And yet, we are still here. We are still loving, trusting, thinking, and opposing evil–aren’t we?

BUT we cannot oppose evil if we do not have faith and trust in the God who lives within us.  And that God often uses other people in this life to lead us. We may not like their personality, or their looks, or their mannerisms. But if you need surgery, which do you care more about: your doctor’s bedside manner, or that he/she is a good physician?

More than ever, America needs a good physician, one who believes in our country, its constitution, and its Bill of Rights.

In this crazily dangerous year of 2020, the ONLY physician worth considering is President Trump. If he isn’t elected, God have mercy on us, and on the country we love.

Don’t be a candy Christian. Don’t let them melt you down. VOTE Republican, all the way.

ABSENCE

Posted: October 21, 2020 in World On The Edge
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A sin may, at first, seem a small thing. It may even have a hint of conscience, until it becomes habitual and infectious to everyone around it. Love also begins small, becomes habitual, and infectious as well. Except love is honorable in the human person, while sin degrades his or her soul.

Of course, sin is all around us. It surely happens in politics since it is made up of many people with ambition, people who ignore goodness if it interferes with their political goals. A few examples of some politicians ignoring of goodness are these: the taking of a human life in the womb, the mistaken confusion that we can change our own gender, or the misrepresentation of what marriage truthfully is. These acts demean us as human beings created by God. And yet, each one of us can choose to agree, and even do, any of them.

This is why we use other human beings for our own ends, ignoring their God-given value.  This is why the truthful family, based upon the sacrament of marriage, is being negatively affected. This is why the deep responsibility to guide children who come from that marriage is being overlooked. This is why it is imperative to look upward to God for guidance, rather than looking around at the temporary world we live in. Except, genuine love isn’t easy, has never been easy, and will never be easy.

Taking the easy way out through wrong behaviors, decays not only ourselves, but also, spreads like a virus to others.

In my new Southern Gothic novel, ABSENCE, This is what happens to James Greene, a southern farmer who will do whatever he has to do, even if it is evil, to keep the farm he sees as his legacy from disappearing. This is also what happens to us when we forget who we really are, and who we come from. Just as James Greene, in the floods and droughts of life, we listen to false voices, swallow false precepts, and fall into corruption rather than goodness. We lose the ones we love, and find ourselves suffering, totally lost, and miserable. Can we recoup?  In our loneliness, are there people who can show us the way back? And could those people possibly be the ones we have hurt?

ABSENCE is foremost the story of love’s restoration between James Greene and his wife of many years, and between James’s son, William, and his new, second wife. In the mix, is Cecilia, the daughter and sister they maligned, who disappeared from their view, but will not let go of their minds. It is also the story of innocence in the persons of two children who strive to keep the entirety of their family in tact.

From Joseph Pearce, the author of numerous literary works.  Visit his website at jpearce.co. ~Those who have read Kaye Park Hinckley’s earlier novels will know that she is one of the most exciting and gifted writers of contemporary faith-inspired fiction. This latest offering does not disappoint. Absence will further establish Mrs. Hinckley’s hard-earned reputation as a teller of gritty and gripping stories infused with subtle hints of the redemptive power of grace.

From Dena Hunt, author of award-winning novels, Treason and The Lion’s Heart ~Hinckley does it again. Absence put me in mind of Faulkner as a generation-transcending saga set in the South. But unlike Faulkner, Hinckley does not leave the reader feeling burdened by the tragic consequences of the sins of the fathers visited upon their children. Instead, Hinckley enlightens, revealing the indissolubility of love and truth, and restoring love and life. A terrific read.

From Meggie Daly, author of Bead by Bead ~”Absence” is the sixth book by Kaye Park Hinckley that I have read and loved. “Absence” and the “Wind that Shakes the Corn” are my all-time favorites. While reading “Absence,” I forced myself to go slowly to savor her sentences like an excellent meal that I didn’t want to end. The author “paints” compelling personifications of good and evil as three generations of characters battle internal demons and nature. The plot in “Absence” is intricate, layered, and surprising up until the last page. Themes of longing, abandonment, forgiveness, callousness, regret, unconditional love, and mercy will stay with the reader long after finishing the book. I can’t recommend this book highly enough—a masterpiece!

You must have noticed. The United States of America is in the midst of a war, initiated by true greed, and real immorality. Under attack is everything that has made your country the best in the world. How much longer can you keep your head down or turn away from what’s happening to YOUR COUNTRY OF AMERICA. How much longer can you NOT become involved, even in the smallest of ways?

There is no question that Americans, young and old, are being killed for no reason, that their property is being razed. There is no denying that many cities and historic places in America are being demolished. There is no doubt that prominent so-called Catholic leaders have ignored their faith of over 2000 years for a doctrine of immorality. And there is no genuine excuse for any of this. We must take our heads out of the sand and see the real dangers surrounding us. Pre-planned steps have been taken by gluttonous people who care only for themselves, not you, not their church, and not America. Don’t fall for it.

Where are the true Patriots?

Where are the true Catholics?

Are you one of them?
Isn’t it time to stand up for America?

We NEED a two party system in America–with both Republican and Democrat representatives who have America’s well-being at heart. Sadly, the present and very negative Democrat Party wears only the MASK of Patriotism without the POSITIVE HEART behind it. America is the most exemplary republic in human history; would you see it destroyed? Sincere Patriots, stand up FOR America, not AGAINST her. Cherish and protect the hard-earned rights and freedoms we have. JOIN #CatholicsforTrump in a 2020 LANDSLIDE.

“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right…” Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

Never be lukewarm.
Life itself demands passion.
He who is indifferent to God has already forfeited his soul.
He who is indifferent to politics has already forfeited his liberty.
In America, religion is not mere window dressing and citizenship is not a spectator sport.
Do not allow our common destiny as a whole people to just happen without your input. 
Get in the fight! Engage the Enemy!
Seek the Truth; find the Way; live the Life; please God, and live forever.

-The Catholic American Thinker

Image  —  Posted: September 23, 2020 in World On The Edge

A necessary re-post. Please take  note.

Notice the picture above. At the very top, we see the segment of a brain. Just below are hands moving up, as if searching for the brain. And then the absence of eyes, and the sewed up mouth, all surrounded by pieces of indistinct shapes that seem to be taking over.  What if the picture were symbolic of our beloved America–a composite of all of us–as our freedoms are being taken away?

Let’s start at the top, with the brain. Everything we know and do, all the sense of human thought, all the feelings of human emotion, all the questions of human existence; are the product of the brains in our heads.  Common sense is a by-product of human thought based on experience. For example, if we have once experienced touching a hot stove, the next time we are at the stove, common sense steps in as a warning not to make the same mistake. But what if we could be fooled into believing there was no danger? Would we touch the stove again?

Today, the left wing of the Democrat party is trying to fool our common sense, trying to make us think that there is no danger in their twisted politics which includes, of all things–Socialism! Socialism works for no one except for the elite at the top–a great deal of difference from capitalism which has its problems with greed, yet still provides for all of us, not simply the government elites. In capitalism some may indeed be richer than the majority, but though all human beings are equal in the eyes of God and should be treated as such in society, it is plainly true, and just common sense, that human beings do have varying abilities, some of which are God-given talents. And yes, some have more advantages, which come from a plethora of reasons, one reason being a strong, traditional family. This is plain fact. Attention to strengthening the family is what America needs to secure equality–not Socialism. The freebies of big government Socialism always cost–usually someone else who cannot and should not be required to pay for them. America is a generous country, helping those in need or in danger, as they say, who cannot help themselves. But a murderous hypocrisy has taken over the Democrat party–refusal to come to the aid of the most helpless of human beings, the unborn. Socialism will not work, the same as Communism doesn’t work. Time and again this has historically been shown. Politicians can draw up any sort of theory they want to persuade a constituency, but that theory has to play out- and NO form of Socialism has played out with success.

Back to the picture.

The hands in the picture seem to be searching for something lost– perhaps our Common Sense?

Move down to the blind eyes. Have they been blinded in order to block-out the freedoms that have long been important to us? Take for example the so-called Equality Act passed by the House.  This act is the opposite of equality–its name is an example of Orwellian Newspeak , where the government mandates how language is used to control the minds of its citizens, where the so-called ‘victim classes’ are used for their own ends.  This act is all about coercion, nothing more.  But there are  courageous people from all backgrounds, even liberal ones, who will not be forced into far-left policies; they walk away.

Move to the sewed-up mouth. Is speech that expresses long-held American belief being shut down? Has our American history been revised and replaced by biased scientists with a false history that suits a leftist agenda? Has the verbal teaching of good science  been replaced with fairytale teaching, even to young children, that a woman can be a man, or a man can be a woman? Has it become moral to lie and call it justice in an attempt to take down our rightful President by calumny?  Or a Supreme Court Judge, or even a social media commenter we do not agree with? Are we really being honest about our border, putting American citizens in danger because of our personal political agendas? Are we becoming so superficial a people that morals don’t matter to us anymore? Well, we should all wake up, because morals DO matter to God. And before HIM will come our final justice.

Finally, those indistinct shapes that seem to be taking over the above picture could be seen as a bad end coming for our beautiful country of America, a nation that allows for our human freedoms–and the human responsibility for our own singular lives. But that end is not here yet, and does not have to come at all. There is still time to recover our COMMON SENSE and see Freedom for what it truly is, a divine gift to each and every human being, a gift we must recognize in ourselves and fight for. Let’s get to it.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. —Preamble to the Declaration of Independence,

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Have we become gravediggers burying GOD?

If we do so, we are burying part of ourselves as well. God lives within us.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) was a German philosopher and atheist, who claimed God is Dead. He thought the exemplary human being must craft his/her own identity through self-realization and do so without relying on anything transcending that life—such as God or a soul.

Of course, this is ridiculous, a contradiction to who we are. We have a soul–each of us, and that soul came from God. When we say we’re made in God’s image, our human soul is what we’re talking about. It is the one and only way we are like God, who is pure spirit.

However, my human soul, and yours, are not pure spirit. Spiritual, yes–but not pure spirit. Man is a spirit in matter, in the form of a body. He is spirit and body. God and the angels are pure spirits because they are not dependent on matter, as we are, either intrinsically or extrinsically. To be completely independent of matter for any material being is impossible. The human soul is intrinsically dependent on matter for some of its activities. But our soul is not purely material either, because for other activities it is not intrinsically dependent on matter.

So the human soul of man belongs to both the realm of the spirit and the realm of matter. Man is the lowest of the spirits, and the highest of the material beings, and he alone belongs to both the realm of the spirit and the realm of matter. As the new Catholic Catechism explains, spirit and matter, in man, are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature. (CCC 365).

Most human beings understand that the soul, by its nature, is often in opposition to the body. This is the struggle of every human person. Because we have free will–we can choose.

Nietzsche struggled with many questions, and used his free will–a component of his soul, and part of his human spiritual make-up–to come up with his own wrong answer about a living God, only because that living God gave him the freedom to choose.

We have the same freedom as Nietzsche, and many other God-despisers like him, because despite what they say, they have inherited spirituality from God.

When we make personal, even political, decisions, are we helping to dig those societal graves that want to bury God, too?

Well, it cannot be done without burying ourselves.

Whether you say you believe in God or not, the fact that God exists cannot be denied. And you are part of Him.