33 Chapters
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Medium 9781574411836

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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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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Questions Catholics Never Ask

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Questions Catholics Never Ask j

When the Virgin Mary visits the earth, why does she always dress like a Muslim?

Other than the halo, how do they know she is the mother of Jesus and not the mother of Mohammed?

How old is that dress any way? It’s unlikely there are any fashion designers in heaven but couldn’t Michaelangelo whip up something? da Vinci?

When the Holy Mother returns, shouldn’t it be “revisitation” rather than “visitation?”

Why is it necessary for the Holy Mother to appear at all if she always has the same message? Love one another? Can’t she think of something that hasn’t been used in soft drink commercials?

If the Secrets of Fatima were important enough for the Holy

Mother to appear on earth to reveal, why did the popes keep them secret until after the events had occurred? Shouldn’t she have appeared again to be sure her message was delivered?

If the pope is the head of the church, why doesn’t the Holy

Mother go directly to him? Doesn’t he listen to women?

What if God and the Virgin Mary got their roles crossed and God spoke to the pope and the Virgin appeared to the president of the Church of Latter Day Saints? Would good

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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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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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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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Medium 9781935362593

Quilt Humor

Julia Icenogle Kansas City Star Quilts ePub

Mrs. Bobbins loves jokes that only quilters understand!

U.F.O.s
(Un-Finished Objects)

“Looks like your Aunt Bobbins sent you another quilt postcard.”

Mrs. Bobbins airs out her Flying Geese quilt.

Fussy Cut

Mrs. Bobbins finds religion.

“I guess Mazel is still sore about last year’s judging…”

One of the dangers of “brown bag quilting.”

“I guess not all layer cakes work well wth candles.”

One cool grandma.

“Basting the turkey. What does it look like I’m doing?”

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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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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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Life

Julia Icenogle Kansas City Star Quilts ePub

For Mrs. Bobbins, even when quilting isn’t on her mind, it seems to pop up everywhere!

“I probably should have started this swimsuit project earlier in the year.”

“This pattern is called ‘Double Wedding Ring With Prenup.’”

While Mr. Bobbins was away on business, Mrs. Bobbins took the opportunity to work on her favorite quilting project.

“If I have to spend $16 on a rotary cutter, it had better cut more than just fabric!”

Mrs. Bobbins finds out how much her charm quilt vest looks like honeycomb.

I can tell you’re a quilter by the threads on your shirt.

Mrs. Bobbins’ piecing skills tend to show up in unexpected places.

“I see you found my scraps. Nice piecing, by the way.”

“Quilting or non?”

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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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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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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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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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Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting at the Baptist Church

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Wednesday Night Prayer

Meeting at the Baptist Church j

Wednesday night meant prayer meeting at the Chillicothe Baptist Church. Before praying together, Baptists tried to reconcile themselves to one another over ham hock and lima beans, with ice tea and peace cobbler.

First, Brother Wachel announced that he felt pretty good for someone who had a funeral that morning. Next, he identified the larger concerns of the whole church so that folks could pray about it. One of those concerns was the building fund.

“Due to the increased activity of our young people we need to enlarge the nursery,” he said.

No one laughed. No one listened.

Another concern was that Brother Elroy was not fulfilling his role as deacon in charge of visitation. Some of the pew racks did not have visitor cards and some of the pencils in the racks had not been sharpened. The pencils were used by visitors to write their names and addresses on the visitor cards so that the pastor might visit the visitors, usually at mealtime.

Brother Wachel was concerned because some church members used the cards to write notes to each other, prepare grocery lists or share recipes. Teenagers used the pencils to write hymn titles on the cards adding “between the sheets.” “How tedious and tasteless,” “Blest be the tie,” “Fight the good fight,”

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