33 Chapters
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Medium 9781574411836

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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Medium 9781574411836

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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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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Medium 9781574411836

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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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

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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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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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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Medium 9781574411836

Mission to Mexico

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Mission to Mexico j

I

In Chillicothe, the Baptist Church was pastored by old men on their way to the cemetery or young men on their way to the seminary. Bruce McCoy was on his way from Jerry Falwell’s

Liberty College to Southwestern Baptist Seminary with a layover as pastor of Chillicothe.

McCoy was so young he could make it through an entire

Baptist service, including an invitation to join the church accompanied by every stanza of “Just As I Am” repeated twice, without going to the bathroom. He was so new to the ministry he hadn’t learned to hate the sinner and envy the sin. He was so innocent he thought oral sex was a greater sin than corrupting the Supreme Court, even if the sex partner were as eager to be corrupted as the Supreme Court.

When he was eight-years-old, Bruce McCoy was mightily moved by the story of Nathan the prophet branding King

David, “Thou art the man!” From that moment, “the real McCoy” as he liked to be called, fantasized about condemning his parents, teachers, and the principal. Later it became sales clerks, fast-food employers, and those who worked in college admissions offices. By the time he got to Liberty College, Bruce

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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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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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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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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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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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Medium 9781935362593

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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