33 Chapters
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Medium 9781574411836

Testimonial Time in the Baptist Church

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Testimonial Time in the Baptist Church j

Sunday night meant testifying at the Chillicothe Baptist Church and folks who weren’t Baptists came to see what their Christian brethren had been up to. Testifying gave a whole new meaning to the expression, “No news is good news.”

After singing, praying and a short (for him) sermon, Brother

Wachel opened the floor to those who wished to bear testimony to what the Lord had done for them.

With a husky voice Butch Trulove testified that his mother’s dying words to him were, “Be sure your sin will find you out.”

After she died, he tried to drown his sorrow in a whiskey bottle. Late one night he left a bar and a piece of paper blew up against his foot. He picked it up and it was a tract with the words, “Be sure your sin will find you out.” Butch recognized it as a message his mother had sent from the grave. “And that’s why I’m in church tonight,” Butch said.

Folks nodded politely but in West Texas sin tracts were as common as cactus. Baptists believed Butch started drowning in a bottle before his mother took sick. Methodists believed turning fifty had cured Butch of more sins than Jesus had.

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The Trouble with Eve

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

The Trouble with Eve j

America was in the third year of a world war. Young Carter was in his first year of confusion over girls. Everything they did was so . . . confusing. When a girl said he had long eyelashes he had rubbed them, not sure whether she meant a loose one was falling into his eye or that he was a sissy. He was sure “You have nice hair,” meant why don’t you wash it sometime and “cutest freckles” meant did all of them survive a washcloth?

When girls looked at him he couldn’t meet their eyes afraid of what his face would show. When they smiled at him he gaped at their lips. Why were their mouths so . . . different?

When they laughed, he fled. He also fled the presence of

Clarissa for fear of what he would do. Fall on the ground and kiss her feet probably.

Clarissa Bowman. Girls had such pretty names. Clarissa.

Bowman. He tasted the words with his mouth. Clarissa Bowman. He was given his mother’s maiden name, Young. Young

Carter. It made him want to cry. Why would anyone name a baby “Young?” It was bad enough being called “kid” when you were fourteen and the country was at war. New teachers called him Carter Young until he corrected them. Men said his name sounded like a law firm or a funeral parlor.

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Desert Duel

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

D ESERT D UEL

187

First Astronomer

The king wouldn’t send a man with her unless he intended the man to kill a pretender to the throne. If he had wanted the mother and child to live, he would have sent her to a better place than that.

Third Astronomer

Maybe they were fleeing the king to claim the baby as their own so that he would never threaten the king and could live a good and ordinary life.

Second Astronomer

If you were the son of a king, would you choose to live an ordinary life?

First Astronomer

If I were a king, I’d choose to live in Rome.

Third Astronomer

You are so political. Money and power, that’s all you think of.

First Astronomer

Right now I’m thinking a plump chicken would be good.

Surrounded by peaches on a bed of couscous floating in butter. (He sighs.) We went to the wrong place. That wasn’t a pretender to the throne. Those two, and their baby, were rejected by their families and no one else would take them in.

Second Astronomer

Sometimes that’s the only thing you can do. When you give them every chance and they fail again and again, sometimes you just have to disown them.

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Questions Mormons Never Ask

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Questions Mormons

Never Ask j

When we gave up polygamy did we surrender religious principle to secular humanism?

Was the fear of jail the beginning of monogamy?

Why didn’t Brigham Young keep going until he got to California where polygamy is popular? Mormons would be as entrenched in Hollywood as the Church of Scientology.

If marriages made in the Mormon Temple are not until

“death do us part” but forever, isn’t that a long time to spend with one woman? Is it too late to reinstitute polygamy? Is being a Muslim martyr out of the question?

Do women live longer than men because it takes them longer to get ready for anything, even heaven?

If incest is so bad, why did God choose that way for the children of Adam and Eve to reproduce?

Why did it take Southern Baptists so long to understand what Joseph Smith knew before he talked to the angel Moroni?

Wives are to be submissive. It doesn’t matter whether you are wife number one or wife number ten.

When your husband says you are good in bed, does that mean you are number one or number ten?

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Chicken Soup for the Damned

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Chicken Soup for the Damned j

Jesus was born in the biggest house with the finest stable in

Bethlehem. His mother was a member of the Daughters of Jericho. His father, Joseph, was a famous hero who drove a stake through the heart of a Palestinian and became CEO of Nazareth

Land Development, employing hundreds of carpenters and masons, creating Mt. Tabor Estates, and reducing the Cedars of

Lebanon to Shittim Wood.

As a boy, Jesus was the best athlete in Galilee, and once, to help his father hide gold while tax collectors slept, with five smooth stones he killed three roosters before they crowed. He also knocked out the eye of a Pharisee’s son but gave the boy a gold coin to replace it.

When he became a man, Jesus used the management skills he learned in his father’s office to assemble a team of adherents who would denounce dissenters, punish the poor, and appropriate the sick in order to enrich themselves. Preaching health, security, and prosperity to all who followed him, Jesus found a hearing wherever he went. Once after he had told them the parable of the Ten Bridesmaids who cornered the market on lamp oil, hangers-on followed him until they were faint. Jesus told them to give him their money and he would give them the secret of everlasting bread. His adherents took the shekels to the nearest McEdonia. Upon their return there was a scramble for the bagels and lox. After they had eaten all they could, they bought all Jesus’ lamp oil at inflated prices. Then Jesus told them the secret of everlasting bread was in the lamp oil of

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Medium 9781935362593

Frustrations

Julia Icenogle Kansas City Star Quilts ePub

Even though Mrs. Bobbins loves to quilt, it does have its frustratingly funny moments.

“Shoot, I think I’ve quilted in the tablecloth again.”

“When you’re finished, I need you to shave this old quilt…it’s bearding, too.”

“The moths that eat my wool quilts get appliquéd over the holes they make.”

“I’m telling you, Edith, carpal-tunnel just proves that I deserve a big blue ribbon!”

“Here’s a little something to help my quilt get to the top of the queue…and no questions asked.”

Mrs. Bobbins learns the hard way always to buy extra fabric for the binding.

Overnight guests at the Bobbins’ may not be able to breathe, but they are never cold.

“It is a little bit late for Christmas peppermints. Let’s say they’re beach balls.”

A little microquilting goes a long… actually, it only goes a little way.

“I’ve been fighting this windmill so long I feel like Don Quixote.”

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Questions Secular Humanists Never Ask

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Questions Secular Humanists

Never Ask j

Since there is no God, who is to blame for the bad things done in the name of religion?

If I get my credit card bill and need to express my surprise, whose name do I use? Kurt Vonnegut!

Since we don’t have God-words, how will I know if I speak in a religious way? Do humanists have glossalalia? Is John Kenneth Galbraith an example?

When humanists go to AA meetings, what higher power do they recognize?

Can a humanist be an alcoholic? Why would a humanist be an alcoholic?

If I have to take an oath, to whom do I swear? Ted Turner?

Betty Friedan?

If humanists believe that thinking for one’s self, using reason as a guide, is the best way to serve human interests, why haven’t we tarred and feathered the Supreme Court? The Department of Justice? Congress?

If we don’t have a creed, how do I know that what I believe is okay? What about my wife? She has some really freaky ideas.

If a “Voice of Reason” can save the world from destruction, why is it ignored as thoroughly as the Sermon on the Mount?

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Mr. Bobbins

Julia Icenogle Kansas City Star Quilts ePub

Mrs. Bobbins’ DH. He just can’t quite wrap his mind around his wife’s obsession.

“You know, their arms look pretty normal to me.”

Mrs. Bobbins asks her husband to bring her the rotary cutter.

“Mitered corners always do this to her.”

“Oh.THIS fabric stash…”

“This isn’t really what I had in mind when you asked if I wanted to see the fall colors.”

“Oh, your quarters aren’t that fat, dear.”

“Laying out a quilt top over the mess doesn’t count as spring cleaning.”

“People are starting to stare, Dear…”

Some people just aren’t cut out for paper piecing.

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World Events

Julia Icenogle Kansas City Star Quilts ePub

Mrs. Bobbins likes to keep up on what’s happening in the world, and sometimes a little quilt flair sneaks in!

“3 minutes, 23 seconds…and she’s on pace to shatter the Olympic record!”

Doing her part to stimulate the economy, Mrs. Bobbins engages in another wild night of online shopping.

“I’ll vote for any candidate that supports my right to carry a concealed seam ripper.”

The year the Quilt Guild was in charge of the Westridge precinct.

“YES, WE DID!”

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Onan Comes In From the Cold

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Onan Comes In

From The Cold j

When John was born, his mother said, “It’s a boy.” When Roybal was born, she said, “Another boy.” When John was a child, his mother told friends, “He’s a good boy.” When Roybal was a child, she told strangers, “I wanted another child but not this one.”

In Chillicothe Middle School, John was called Big John.

John liked being called Big John. Roybal was called Roybal and boys stretched it out and accented the last syllable—

Royyyy-bullllll. Roybal hated his name although his mother said he was named after a movie star. When he got to college where there was a library, he discovered the movie star was

Royal Ballet.

In high school Big John made good grades because he was an athlete with boyish charm and joked with his teachers. He never did homework because he was too busy chasing balls, girls, or a good time. He scored high on exams because the smart kids passed him the answers to win his smile.

Roybal made bad grades because he was smarter than his brother or anyone else in his school but he wanted to be liked and the smartest kid was never liked. He never did homework because he already knew all that stuff. He aced exams but his teachers gave him bad grades because they thought he cheated.

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Next Year in Oberammergau

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Next Year in Oberammergau j

Winnie Wofford accompanied high school friends to Oklahoma to see the Easter Pageant that began at midnight and ended at dawn, and Winnie was so offended she never went to Oklahoma again. It had gotten bitterly cold in the hours between the baptism of Jesus and his arrest, and Millard Moore offered to share his blanket with her. She accepted because Millard went to the Chillicothe Baptist Church the same as she did.

However, crossing the state line had deranged Millard’s mind and he wanted to cross another line right when Judas betrayed

Jesus to torch-bearing Roman soldiers who arrested him. Jesus, that is.

She arrested Millard, or at least his intention. She told everyone in the car, she told her parents, she told the pastor, she told everyone in school that she had arrested Millard.

When they said she didn’t “arrest” him she went to college and returned to Chillicothe as an English teacher to prove that she did “arrest” him. And when Millard ran for the school board, and the city council, and when he was nominated as a deacon in the Baptist Church she told them again. Her only regret was that she didn’t have the police arrest him.

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Holidays

Julia Icenogle Kansas City Star Quilts ePub

The Bobbins’ go all out for the holidays, and somehow manage to make everything quilt-ily festive!

“Bar Gello? Is this some sort of exclusive nightclub for quilters?”

Another exciting New Year’s Eve at the Bobbins’.

Another New Year’s Resoution bites the dust.

Father’s Day at the Bobbins’

Picking Mrs. Bobbins out of a crowd has always been really easy.

A week of late-night quilting has Mrs. Bobbins ready for Halloween.

Another home hit by a growing Halloween menace: quilt gangs.

The Bobbins’ find out that quilt batting is a poor substitute for turkey stuffing.

Camping out online for Cyber Monday is a lot easier than camping out in line for Black Friday

Piece on Earth

Every year as if by magic, the Guild’s holiday party Santa outfit appears, and Mr. Bobbins disappears.

“It could be worse…at least you’re not married to a scrapbooker.”

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Born-Again Jesus

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Born-Again Jesus j

A clandestine group of scientists, even more secretive than the Masonic Lodge, met at the sacred mounds near Chillicothe.

Among them was a Nobel laureate, two who had received

Pulitzers—one in Specialized Reporting and one in Explanatory

Reporting—one winner of the Intel Science Talent Search, two National Medal of Freedom winners, and four Teachers of the Year.

By the third grade they had been the smartest kids in their schools, including the high school. By sixth grade, they were the smartest people in their church, including the pastor. They had won national championships in science fairs, spelling bees and Bible sword drills. They had learned evolution in school and six days times twenty-four hours a day equaled 144 hours of creation in Sunday School. Reptilia in school and subtle serpent in Sunday School, physics and The Rapture.

They believed E equaled MC squared and that glossalalia equaled vision. They believed the first law of motion, that things remained pretty much the same without external intrusion, and that eating everything on their plates aided hungry children in India.

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The Church Softball League

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

The Church Softball League j

My wife and I visited an aunt and uncle in a West Texas town that is best left unidentified. It was big enough to have two

Baptist churches as well as Methodist, Church of Christ, Assembly of God, Bible, and El Sendero churches. It was big enough to have a church softball league, requiring only two churches from neighboring communities.

My uncle, whom I will call Roland to protect the innocent, played first base for Second Baptist Church, that loved all people and all churches, and their softball teams, except First Baptist that they hated worse than sin. And they hated First Baptist softball team worse than they hated sin that someone else got away with.

First Baptist had brick walls, artificial stained glass, an electric organ, and a steeple with a cross that revolved like a windmill. When the wind blew. And the wind always blew. Their team had real uniforms with First Baptist Church on the front.

Second Baptist had clapboard, venetian blinds, and an upright piano. Their team wore blue jeans and tee-shirts with “’round

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The Rest of the Story

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

The Rest of the Story j

In New Testament times paper was expensive and writing laborious. It is for that reason that some stories in the Gospels seem truncated. Today you can learn The Rest of the Story.

The Good Sheep, Matthew 18:

What will a man do who has one hundred sheep and one of them gets lost? He will leave the other ninety-nine grazing on the hillside and go to look for the lost sheep. When he finds it,

I tell you, he feels far happier over this one sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not get lost.

The Rest of the Story:

And when the shepherd returned the lost sheep, behold the ninety-nine were nowhere to be seen, each having gone its own way. “Well,” each sheep thought, “if he cares more for that sheep than for me, I’ll show what I think of him.”

The Good Family, Mark 6

Jesus said to them: “A prophet is respected everywhere except in his home town, and by his relatives, and his family.”

The Rest of the Story:

And Simon Peter said, “My mother-in-law is like that. She wants me to come home and settle down and be a husband to her daughter.” But James and John said, “Mother respects us.”

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