This next week is a week I am looking forward to, in fact have looked forward to it for some time. It is the kick off of a bluegrass, camping, and roughing it weekend. It all kind of starts off with my adventures this weekend.
This afternoon, as soon as school gets out I am heading to the Tulsa area with my wife. A highlight tonight will be taking my son to the Jenks and Union High School Football game at Skelly Stadium in Tulsa. The stadium holds right at 40,000 people and it will be at or over capacity tonight for this football game. Apparently the loser of this game has gone on to win the state title in Oklahoma for the last 4 or 5 years or something like that. It is always high scoring and a lot of fun.
We will be staying at our house in Oologah, getting a little work done this weekend but mostly having fun. Claremore Oklahoma is hosting the annual Bluegrass and Chili festival. It is great and has in the past featured people like John Cowan, Jr. Brown, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver and many others. I expect this year will be no different and the event is in a great location with not a ton of fans or spectators. Always possible to get an up close seat and enjoy the music from some of the best Bluegrass bands in the country.
I'll come home for a couple of days, get all of my camping items ready and take advantage of one of the best Christmas presents in the world that my daughter and son-in-law get me every year. A all session pass to the Walnut Valley Music Festival in Winfield Kansas, formerly called the Winfield Bluegrass Festival. It is really more than Bluegrass and is more along the lines of what I call Americana music. It has a little of everything and among its honors it hosts the International Guitar Picking Championships and International Mandolin Championships among others.
Tiny Winfield Kansas turns into one of Kansas largest cities over night as thousands upon thousands of people camp out for the duration of this event. In fact, while going down to Tulsa a couple of weeks ago, I drove my wife by the campgrounds and there were already thousands of people lined up to attend this festival which don't start and/or open its gates until next week. I have called the festival the Woodstock of Americana music, and many have agreed with me. Every type of person imaginable will be in attendance. From young hippies, to old bluegrass pickers from the mountains of West Virginia, they all converge on Winfield.
I'll be camping out and doing ministry at the festival this year. I'll have an old fashioned camp, camping out of a tent, along with coolers. One of the things I’ll be doing is have the old cross from old church marking the camp. I’ll also be posting ministry related flyers around the camp grounds. Letting people know I am there for counseling, help, support, prayer, whatever. Will likely even this year host a gospel jam at the camp. Of course all of this comes at a cost, a cost from the phone bills that are incurred, and the food and everything else that is required. I know the ministry potential though and am greatly looking forward to it. Of course if there were those who would want to help support the ministry that will take place this week I would also appreciate that.
There are often times and things involved in our work that are laborious and not much fun. I think that is the case for many of us. We are blessed though when we have the opportunity to do something we love. This next week is such an opportunity for me. I'll be up all hours of the night, be getting very little sleep, there is actually music going on 24 hours at the camps, sleeping on an air mattress in a tent that hopefully don't get blown away like my tent 2 years ago did and much more. From baths with handy-wipes to, sore backs and nasty feet, I am really looking forward to this time.
I think part of that comes from a state of mind, a state of mind that says, "I'm going to have a great time despite the difficulty I am going to be going through." The truth is, we can all find that place, it isn't always easy but it is there, it is there in the deep recess of our mind and attitude. My prayer is that each of us can find that place. That each of us can find the place we need to be at, and that each of us can work towards finding that place that brings us joy and satisfaction. It's there, if you want it, of course some like being grumpy all the time, as for me, I am grumpy enough that I look forward to finding the times that bring me joy, even if it means going through some level of difficulty to get there.
Oh Yea, here is that contact information again.
The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217
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To become a part of The Virtual Pew, visit, http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ To learn more about me visit http://www.furches.org/ I am also active on MySpace at: http://www.myspace.com/mikefurches I have another blog at http://blog.myspace.com/mikefurches To visit the Hollywood Jesus group at MySpace with membership by numerous Hollywood Jesus reviewers visit: http://groups.myspace.com/hollywoodjesus For a more in depth weekly study and conversation you an visit: http://virtualpewsermon.blogspot.com/ where you can access deeper teaching and ultimately videos for viewing and teaching. You can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com For those interested in knowing more about my own story, contact me for a free e-copy of my book The Keystone Kid in pre-edit form.