Out With the Old

My grandfather has congestive heart failure.  I hate to say it, but I probably won’t see him this time next year. “Gramp,” as I’ve called him since I can remember, taught me how to shoot and hunt, taught me how to change the oil, taught me how to drive a truck, taught me how to run a trot line and how to shake a catalpa tree for worms.  He helped me buy a hotrod and a Fender strat.  His daddy’s gun sits by my bed, and I have paper money from Okinawa that he brought back from the War.  For half of my life, we lived in the same house.  I named a son (Carl) after him.

I sometimes wish he would have joined me in going over to the Lutheran church, but Gramp is a hardcore Baptist and just never was interested in learning why we do all of that standing up and sitting down, why we say some of the same words every week. (“The Lord be with you. / And with thy spirit.”)  On the other hand, had he joined me in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, I wonder what he would have made of LCMS President Gerald R. Kieschnick’s signature slogan: “This is not your grandfather’s church.”

It was on the basis of that breathtaking statement that President Kiesch­nick launched Ablaze!™ in 2004—a “missions movement” designed to “share the Good News of Jesus with 100 million unreached or uncommitted people by . ....

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