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For Heaven's Sake

I never met my grandfather, a Methodist minister, but my dad gave me his diaries from the 1920s, saying that I'm probably the only one in the family who might be interested.

Inside were notes about visits, meetings, sermon topics. There were poems and news clippings, as well. I read about pastoral visits to Mrs. Selleck, a member of his church in San Bernardino, California. Poignantly written newspaper stories described how Mrs. Selleck tragically died in childbirth, leaving several children behind. I read about the children's destitute, alcoholic father "seeking homes for the children." Another news clipping announced that my grandparents had adopted one of those children, a 2-year-old, my dad. A drunkard's son became a pastor's son, and the course of many lives changed.

My father grew up as a pastor's kid. He didn't like much about it, especially the fact that denominational policies of the time forced the family to move every three years. But my dad held onto his faith, even as a young ...

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