33 Chapters
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Medium 9781574411836

Redemption

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Redemption j

Kyle wasn’t ugly. He wasn’t dumb. He wasn’t disliked. He wasn’t anything. That was the problem; Kyle wanted to be someone. He yearned to be admired. What did he have to do to be noticed?

He perfected a dumb look to elicit laughter from classmates when asked a question but no one looked when he did it. The only time he acted up in class he said, “Take advantage of it.”

Cloyce was the only one who heard him and Cloyce repeated it real loud. Everyone looked at Cloyce and laughed, even Miss

Baine who had never smiled at Kyle. They talked about it for days.

Kyle was noticed sometimes but not the way he wanted. He was tall and thin as a shadow so others dubbed him “Slats.” His mother slipped grease into his food causing his nose to erupt in snow capped volcanoes inviting others to tag him “Kilimanjaro.”

He was the last in school to lose the pompadour because long stringy hair was not acceptable at home or school. When he cut his hair short and parted it on the side a tuft stuck up in the back challenging classmates to pull it and crow like a rooster.

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The Baptist Sex Position

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

The Baptist Sex Position j

Some of the youth giggled when Brother Whatley mentioned

Samuel raising his Ebenezer. Brother Whatley knew right then that they needed to hear the Baptist position on sex. However,

Brother Whatley had a conundrum. He didn’t much like sex.

He was well past forty and if he had ever been interested in what he called “baser instincts” it was before he got married and bought a big screen TV. He liked talking about sex even less. When he said total abstinence he meant no sex before marriage and only when necessary afterwards. Like wedding nights or anniversaries. When he read from the Old Testament, he read “begat” in italics.

He feared that if he talked to the young people about sex, they would smirk the next time he said “begat,” elbow one another when he mentioned Abraham sporting with his wife.

They would wink the next time he spoke of the sinful pride the

Methodists exhibited in erecting their steeple or snicker when he asked the congregation to sing, “Love Lifted Me.”

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Reasons for Being a Southern Baptist

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Reasons for Being a Southern Baptist j

You can believe in sole freedom however you feel about soul freedom.

You can have church by yourself, preach at yourself, or anyone else who displeases you.

You can have Communion by yourself; drink real wine if you don’t get caught buying it.

You can suspend or bar from membership anyone who disagrees with you or has skin or money of an inappropriate color.

After baptism, that’s it. No eating fish on Friday or going to confession. No trip to Mecca or praying five times a day. Giving alms is recommended but not required. You can keep the alms in your church if you want.

You can read the Bible for yourself. Written study guides are suspicious if not dangerous and studying the origin of the

Bible is discouraged and should be forbidden.

You can believe the Bible is literally true and that you are born again. That you are dust and will return to dust but that you have a soul. That you are made of clay and that if you cut yourself you will bleed. That God is your shepherd although you didn’t sleep in a pasture last night. That at the Great Judgment the sheep were surprised that they were sheep, the goats that they were goats, and be absolutely certain that you not only have a pass to heaven but also know who has a one-way ticket to hell.

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Do You Have a Rapture Lawyer?

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Do You Have a Rapture Lawyer? j

The Lord is going to return very soon, probably before the next election. If your chances of being raptured are greater than those of a pecan pie at a Baptist picnic you need a rapture lawyer. As you rise into glory, what happens to your estate?

You may think you don’t need a rapture lawyer because you have a valid will leaving everything to your wife. What if the rapture comes while you are driving your car, you disappear in the air, and your car goes smash into an X-rated video store?

Your wife is going to the poor house, and your estate is going to a pornographer and pervert.

You may think you don’t need a rapture lawyer because you have given up driving, along with other litigious liabilities, and you have a valid will leaving everything to your wife, children, and grandchildren. What happens if you raised them right, correcting your wife along the way, and they are raptured with you? You may think you will be so happy in heaven with God, the angels, your relatives—including your sainted mother who preceded you—that you won’t care what happens to your estate. Think again. The estate that you spent your life trying to protect from the government is going to be seized by Uncle

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Medium 9781935362593

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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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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Ten Mistakes that God Has Made

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Ten Mistakes that

God Has Made j

Haskell Gatewood, an evangelist of the Southern Baptist persuasion came to Chillicothe for a revival. After a tour of the churches, school, water tower, and cemetery—the cemetery had the most people in it—he pitched his tent, ready to save folks from sin, sickness, disease, doubt, and Democrats.

Brother Haskell put his tent where downtown used to be, before the general store migrated to Electra, and gathered a crowd by declaring a week of preaching on “Ten Mistakes That

God Has Made.” A sermon on one of God’s mistakes each night of the week and two sermons on the Alpha and Omega Sundays. A large crowd showed up for the meeting, many of the people bringing their own lists of God’s mistakes.

Brother Haskell said the first mistake God made was giving himself too many names. “God” was easy to remember, easy to pronounce, and easy to spell. When God went beyond that, He made a major mistake. Was it Yahweh or Jehovah? No one seemed to know. Those other names, Immanuel, Incarnation,

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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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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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Questions Southern Baptists Never Ask

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Questions Southern Baptists

Never Ask j

If being sucked out of an airplane to meet Jesus in the Rapture is devoutly to be desired, why not buy a ticket on Ed’s Cut Rate

Airline and meet him sooner?

What is the point of the rapture if you can’t enjoy the misery of those left behind?

If the Bible is literally true why is grape juice substituted for wine?

If the Bible is literally true why didn’t St. Peter turn to stone?

If Paul meant the church and not husbands and wives when he wrote “submit yourselves to one another,” was the church in Ephesus for singles?

If women can’t be pastors because the Bible says “husband,” why do girlfriends have to be submissive when the Bible says “wives?”

If the Bible means “men only” when it says “husband of one wife” does the Bible mean “women only” when it says that a woman whose husband is dead does not commit adultery if she remarries?

What Southern Baptist agency gave King James the authority to authorize the King James Baptist Bible? Can that authority be taken away by the next Southern Baptist Convention?

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Medium 9781935362593

Mr. Bobbins, Act II

Julia Icenogle Kansas City Star Quilts ePub

Curiousity kills the cat…
err, Mr. Bobbins.

In a moment of weakness, Mr. Bobbins considers reading the quilt magazine, little knowing the power he was about to unleash.

Pattern in hand, Mr. Bobbins takes his first solo journey into a quilt shop.

As it turns out, engineers make good quilters. Who knew?

For Mr. Bobbins, the risk of being discovered was part of the thrill of quilting.

Mr. Bobbins avoids discovery with the old trains-in-the-basement ruse.

A complicated quilt pattern has Mr. Bobbins calling for help. Unfortunately, the hotline connects to his wife’s cell phone.

Mr. Bobbins’ secret quilt is discovered.

The problems of a two-quilter household.

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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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Radio WWJS

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Radio WWJS j

Brother McCoy could find no backing for Station WWJS,

“What Would Jesus Say.” He called Brother Harold and enjoyed several minutes of long-distance listening to Jesus rock, sung by Christians who believed intelligibility was gay if not foolhardy. When he explained his problem, Brother Harold offered to sponsor an hour-long show on a local station if McCoy would promote Brother Harold’s products in addition to McCoy’s WWJS bracelets.

Sales of the Bible that bled red ink had slumped. However,

Harold had acquired Bibles that had belonged to heroes and other actors, including the Bible that sanctioned the deaths of more than two hundred German soldiers killed by Audie Murphy, the genuine Gideon Bible that Ronald Reagan included among the weapons he sent to terrorists, the Bible that told

Oliver North how to make crime look patriotic, the Bible that belonged to John Wilkes Booth, inscribed with his dying words, “Tell Mother I died for my country,” the Bible that told

Martin Luther King, Jr. how to die for his country.

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If You're There God, Pick Up

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

If You’re There God, Pick Up j

Billy Mac Wilhite came home from the seminary to be ordained as a Baptist preacher. Tommy Foster, who was fourteen, remembered Billy Mac as a quarterback for the Chillicothe

High School Eagles. Billy Mac was Tommy’s hero. Tommy didn’t care that for his ordination Billy Mac wore a plaid coat with gray slacks and a bow tie, had tassels on his shoes, and paisley socks. The Holy Spirit does not always come with good taste.

Billy Mac had attended one of those Southern Baptist seminaries that teach “God is deaf” theology. When he was invited to preach, Billy Mac preached that God couldn’t hear the prayers of a whole bunch of folks. Including the Methodists.

Billy Mac said he had been to Jerusalem where prayers, calls for prayers, incense for prayers, bells for prayers, and prayers were heard day and night. Catholic prayers, Jewish prayers, Armenian prayers, Coptic prayers, Muslim prayers,

Orthodox prayers, Anglican prayers. Was Jerusalem a city known for peace and love? That proved that God didn’t hear the prayers of those folks.

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Slouching toward Zion

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Slouching toward Zion j

I

Thurston Morton was the kind of Baptist who when he said

“thirty-ought-six,” he expected everyone to understand what he meant. Elaine was raised in the Church of Christ and when she said Acts 2:38, she expected everyone to understand what she meant.

However, when Elaine reached puberty she became a Baptist because the Baptist Church had something every night.

Giving Elaine an excuse to go out every night. Best of all, her

Church of Christ parents wanted to hear nothing about Baptist meetings, which meant they would never know where she went or who she was with. When she and Thurston became engaged,

Thurston’s buddies warned him that Elaine had dated every male in Chillicothe. “Chillicothe’s not that big,” he said. Five others, including the halt and the married.

Elaine had proved to be a good wife—silent in church, faithful at work, obedient at home—the way the Good Book said. All she asked was that some day they take a trip and

Thurston promised some day they would.

Thurston worked at the grain elevator in the summer and the gin in the fall and listened to radio preachers who promised that God would prosper him if he would prosper them. And

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