This past weekend my wife and I made a trek to my homeland, beautiful Sioux Falls South Dakota. We were treated to some beautiful weather and a lot of fun. Saturday my wife and mother attended Life Light Christian Music Festival at Wild Water West just outide of Sioux Falls. It had rained quite a bit late last week in the area, and the result was that the area where the Festival is hosted turned into a gigantic mud hole. They enjoyed themselves and the music though. Some 263,000 were in attendance over the extended weekend. While the ladies were taking in the music and mud, my father and I attended the President’s Bowl at Howard Wood Field (attendance annouced at 16,000+). The games were entertaining, but unfortunately my former High School (Washington) was systematically destroyed by my father’s High School (Lincoln).

Sunday morning, Banana (my wife) and I attended church with my family in the church I grew up in. It was a traditional service in an ELCA church, and to say I disliked it would be putting it lightly. I was reminded of many of the things that were “barriers” to my faith when I was younger. Sometimes it is good to see how NOT to do church.

From church we drove to Mitchell, SD (home of the Corn Palace!) where we attended a family reunion for one branch of my family. It was great to catch back up with those who were unable to attend our wedding, some of whom I have not seen in 2 years or more. It was the traditional pot-luck. In my family, pot-luck means good eating, and usually too much eating! This was to be no different, everybody brought their best stuff (except for us, we got the KFC original bucket of chicken, which is one of my favorite foods in the world).

Following the family reunion, we returned to Sioux Falls to visit with my grandfather. I really enjoy my grandfather, he’s a great man. I got a great surprize when I visited this time. As we (the family) were sitting in the living room, my grandfather reached down next to his Lazy-Boy chair and lifted up a book. Turning it towards me, he asked “is this the one you reccommended?” Looking at it, I saw it was a copy of The One Year Chronological Bible (NLT version). A couple of years ago I had preached a sermon, and in the introduction I made mention of how I had been reading The Daily Bible which is 365 daily readings of the Bible in chronological order with some devotional insights included. The fact that they were technically different books is irrelevant. My grandfather said, “I’ve been reading this every day since I got it after hearing your sermon.” I send video tapes of the sermons I preach back home to my family for them to view (if they are interested). It put a great smile to know that I had impacted him at that level, and that he was getting to know Christ more because of it. I think at the end of the day, that is what I am wanting to be all about. Life transformation, helping people to know and be like Christ.

Sunday night we went to the races at Huset’s Speedway near Brandon, SD. This was my wife’s first race, and she seemed to like it. She especially (wisely!) liked the Sprint Car races. Mark Dobmeier won the 410 Sprint class for his 6th win of the year at Huset’s. Dobmeier will likely be running on the World of Outlaws circuit very soon. He is very talented, and has excellent equipment.

Monday morning we got up and had breakfast with my parents. My mother prepaired an excellent meal with more food options than most breakfast buffets. On the drive back to St. Paul we stopped in Cleveland, MN and looked at some F3 tornado damage from a little over a week ago. There was still a silo tipped over on one of the farms, and a lot of trees that were stripped and snapped/destroyed. Much of the debris had been cleared away beyond this though. (Wiki)

It was a great trip, but far too short. We are planning on going back for Thanksgiving, and I am looking forward to it!

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