December 29, 2008
December 27, 2008
If you could choose one characteristic that would get you through life, choose a sense of humor.
A sense of humor... is needed armor. Joy in one's heart and some laughter on one's lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.
Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.
E. B. White
December 23, 2008
December 19, 2008
Greetings everyone. As we get nearer and nearer to December 25th, lights go upon houses, stockings are hung, we eat too many wonderful baked goods, and the music programs become more abundant.
Our church musical, "Journey to Bethlehem", as well as the high school choir concert, were both postponed due to the frigid cold we had last Sunday. The church musical was presented on Wednesday instead and all went well, despite the music director being laid up at home in bed. The high school musical is rescheduled for next Monday.
Our family has chosen to spend less $$$ this year at Christmas time than in the past. One of the things we opted not to do is set up a Christmas tree (it was already December 6th). Deanna wasn't too happy about that, so she and 2 of her friends took the task upon themselves, and when we arrived home that weekend, we found this sitting in the living room:
It looks very Charlie Brown-like, and we love it. I think there are less than 100 total needles on the entire tree. We love it.
I want to encourage all of you, whether these are lean times or richer times, to simply think about all of the blessings that your family has experienced this year. Take a moment and thank God for his great love for us, and for the birth of his son, Jesus.
Merry Christmas everyone,
DonB! and Family.
November 21, 2008
Now try it with your own text. it would make a great logo or t-shirt printing.
UPDATE: I forgot to give you the link to the site. Click HERE.
November 13, 2008
November 12, 2008
October 7, 2008
September 25, 2008
In the audience Pre-Show.
A light moment with BJ
My Plate Spinning, without any injuries.
The Amazing Sawing A Woman in Half Illusion
September 23, 2008
Noah was a drunk
Now, no more excuses! God can use you to your full potential...Besides you aren't the message,you are just the messenger. And one more thing...Share this with a friend or two...In the Circle of God's love, God's waiting to use your full potential.
It is a real honor to be listed among so many talented people.
What a blessed time in my life. Every day I am reminded of how much God has put into my life that adds value and meaning to it. I have a great wife, 2 beautiful kids, a family that all are unique and extremely smart and talented in their own individual ways, friends that span the globe (literally) in all walks of life, performing opportunities that go far beyond anything I could have ever imagined or hoped for and so many other things that I cannot begin to try and list them all.
I constantly ask myself how people, that don't have a personal relationship with God through his son, Jesus, ever find deep joy in their lives. Happiness: Yes, but not true joy that goes beyond our circumstances.
What an amazing God we serve.
September 12, 2008
Isn't that true? For some folks, having kids is not an option, or they've chosen not to. I simply hope that each of them allows the laughter of a kid to permeate their life. What a joy. I've always said that there is no better sound than a baby, or a young kid, laughing.
The above quote is from a website, Story People. It contains many unique and fun sayings regarding life. Feel free to check out their site HERE.
September 7, 2008
It was a 2-hour show, obviously featuring magician/illusionist BJ Harris. I was involved with the show as the preshow act, the juggler, the unicyclist and the plate spinner. Right before going onstage for my first act, the lapel microphone I was scheduled to use wasn't working properly. On a whim, I said "I'll do it all silently, without talking." I wasn't sure how I was going to accomplish it, but IT WORKED!
I performed my Ring Juggling routine, followed by the Unicycle Medley. Performed solely to music, it was a challenge for me, but it was a challenge I enjoyed. In the 2nd half of the show, I then performed the Spinning Plates routine that many of you have seen over the years. I was told afterward, by the producer of the show, thhat it was this routine that "makes it for the audience". In other words, he felt that this routine was the capstone of what my character can be/do. It was a good compliment.
I had a little time to see the ocean, take a 2 hour morning walk and listen to a couple of sermon podcasts while I walked.
I will post some pictures, as well as links, when I get home to Minnesota tomorrow.
August 12, 2008
July 29, 2008
I flew to Arkansas to work at Camp Quality, a place where kids and family members with cancer can have a special week all to themselves. I was invited by Chris Allison (one of my roommates at Ringling Brothers Clown College way back in 1984) of Cirque du Jour to work that week. It was an awesome week of teaching circus skills to kids aged 5-17. I taught various things, with my own focus on juggling in all aspects.
One of the 15 year old students, "Marie", started the week off very introverted, separating herself from others, taking an "I don't FEEL like doing that" attitude toward all of the circus stuff. Two of us circus staff befriended her, encouraging her to persist and not give up. We wouldn't let her have the bad attitude, but instead kept encouraging her to smile, to show her "good side" to others, and especially to show herself that her own image of herself could be better, but only with her own hard work.
Anyhow, at the end of the week, the campers put on a circus show for parents and other family members. Marie went out and did her part in 4 acts, and SHINED. She held her head high, she felt good about what she had accomplished, and I was proud of her.
When she signed my staff book at the end of the week, she actually wrote, "Thanks for not giving up on me, and pushing me to explore my own limits and abilities. I appreciate it." Wow. Comments like that really made the week worthwhile. Not to mention that I was able to celebrate my birthday (6/12) by flying on the outdoor flying trapeze and going across to the catcher for a successful plange. Happy 43rd Birthday to me, happy birthday to me...
I drove down to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to perform for Oakland Church of the Nazarene's Upward Soccer Awards Night. According to the folks at the church, the whole soccer program was a huge success. We even saw at least 3 first-time decisions made that night. The church will continue to follow up with all of the folks that participated in the event.
After the show that night, and due to the extreme flooding that Cedar Rapids had been hit with, I made a trip over to one of the temporary shelters to perform for some of the folks that had been there almost 9 days by that time. They really seemed to appreciate some entertainment amidst that dreary time of patience and waiting.
For the first time in almost 6 years I was able to attend the Minnesota gathering of magicians and illusionists at a conference called Close-Up and in the Parlour. I had the privilege of seeing some of the best magicians in the country perform and lecture, including a friend that that I hadn't talked with for a few years, Gregory Wilson. Greg is a great Christian, and he shares his faith openly and often in his work around the world.
I headed up to Trout Lake Camp near Emily, Minnesota, to perform for family camp that week. Program Director James Rock gave me a great tour of all the new offerings that Trout Lake has, including an indoor climbing wall, a downhill scooter run, a huge outdoor paintball area, a full skateboard park, a double 17 second long zip line ride, many new cabins built on the side of camp's sloping hills, a new chapel, and much much more that attracts families, and especially kids, to camp. The neat thing about Trout is that they bring in really strong Christian speakers and teachers for every camp session they run. Lives are being changed there almost every day of the year. Amazing!
Our family drove down to Robbinsdale, Minnesota, to ride our unicycles in the Robbinsdale Whiz Bang Days parade. We rode them, representing House of Hope Lutheran Church, my parent's church. The parade seemed longer than when I was a kid and rode in it with the Twin Cities Unicycle Club, but we had a blast.
I had lunch with a Christian performer friend, Toby Travis, and learned of his life-changing plans. He recently has moved to Quito, Ecuador, to begin his preparation as a teacher of choral music, drama and performance ministry at a high school there. School starts in September, and it will be the first time he has used his formal education since receiving his doctorate a few years back. Please continue praying for Toby, as life has dealt him some other major blows in the last year. He can use prayer more than ever during this next year.
I returned back to Sonshine Music Fest in Willmar, Minnesota, for my second time. Children's pastor, and long time friend of mine, Randy Christensen, invited me back this year after a great time we had last year. I presented my DonB! Variety Show complete with a fun message for the families in attendance. It was great, in that I started with only about 60 people at the start of my show, but finished with the entire tent filled to standing room only. I would guess that there were about 300-400 people when I finished.
On my trip to Sonshine, my daughter, Deanna, and her friend, Libby, accompanied me. After my show was done, we walked around and found quite a few friends from the Mora area attending. We ended up spending the rest of the evening with Mike & Connie Hart (former Mora folk), listening to Pillar, FlyLeaf and our favorite, The Newsboys. What a great way to round out the day, praising God with the music of the Newsboys. It was great.
The day started by my returning from Sonshine at 2:30 AM, and having to get up by 8 AM. We went to church, and then headed over to the community swimming pool for one of the highlights of the last year: our daughter, Deanna, was baptized in the swimming pool by her wonderful youth pastor, Tim Reynolds. Amazing and awesome to see her publicly state her desire to follow after Christ for the rest of her life. Praise God for his wonderful and unlimited blessings.
I then headed down to Elk River to do an outreach program for the kick-off of Vacation Bible School at River of Life Church. It was great to perform and speak before such a responsive crowd. I don't know the exact stats, but I believe there were at least 6 first time decisions made at my show that night. God is good, all the time.
I drove to Hackensack, Minnesota, to do my first of 2 services/shows for Camp Patmos, a camp owned and run by Trinity Lutheran Church of Minnehaha Falls. I had the privilege of doing a show on Monday evening and also on Tuesday. I stayed right at the camp on Monday night, and had the day to run around with the campers and staff, playing games, swimming and trying the outdoor challenge course. This is a beautiful camp facility, and one to look into if you are looking for a simple, but relaxing place for you and your church to hold a retreat or getaway weekend.
I drove down to New Hope and picked up one of my long-time juggling buddies, Craig Carlson. We then drove to Chanhassen, Minnesota, to do 4 hours of entertainment for Stratasys, Inc., the company that my uncle Del has worked for for many years. The neat thing for me about this event was the groups of people that just kept asking for more and more magic throughout the evening. In one case, I actually stood in one place and performed for over an hour for the 20 member group standing there. They kept challenging me to do something else, and thankfully my memory kept serving up more and more ideas to entertain with.
Well, that about wraps up my travel adventures for the last 2 months. I have a lot to say on other topics, but they'll have to wait until I have a little more time.
Blessings to you all,
June 2, 2008
When I look at the events I've done over the last few weeks, I realize how blessed I am.
On May 14th, I drove to Chaska, Minnesota, and did my school show for the students at Clover Ridge Elementary. They were great! I told how to build character into their lives, utilizing HONESTY, HARD WORK and RESPECT FOR THE ADULTS that can help them reach their goals in life. The teachers loved it, I loved it, and especially the kids loved it.
On that evening I drove to Willmar, Minnesota and performed at First Baptist Church for their year-end celebration of kid's club. Dinner was served first, and when everyone came upstairs for the show the placed was packed. My sound had a few glitches (my fault), but with a little improvisation it all went down just fine.
Then, from the 18th-23rd I worked my 4th cruise with Premiere Christian Cruises , again sailing out of Miami. This was the second time I have worked on the MusicBoat Cruise for them. I invited Magic Mike Norton, his wife, Kathy, and Norm Barnhart to perform along with me. It was another great experience at sea with other Christians.
Norm, Kathy, Me & Mike
The main music artists on the cruise were Casting Crowns, Toby Mac, Dallas Holm (a MAJOR highlight), NewSong (one of my favorites), Todd Agnew (another favorite), Hawk Nelson, as well as comedians Mike Williams, Lanny Moody and a newer band on the scene that you can watch for: Unspoken. They won the onboard Indie band competition (actually they tied for 1st place) and opened that night for Toby Mac and Ayesha Woods. They have a cross-cultural sound that is "outside the box" for most Christian music and I believe that it is that sound that will bring them to the forefront of Christian music very quickly.
Oh look! Norm made some new friends.
The first night when we went to dinner, there were 2 empty seats at our table. Within 5 minutes, the "fillers" came and sat with us. To our great enjoyment it was Dallas Holm and his always smiling wife, Linda. Dallas performed the first concert of the cruise, and along with our favorite Dallas Holm songs, he also played some off of his new CD, Good News Blues. Between songs he told funny stories of life on the road and made us all laugh. A lot. To have Dallas and Linda at our table was a real treat.
Also, please pray for Linda Holm, as she has started her latest round of chemo (or radiation). You can find details on Dallas' website HERE. What a great family.
On May 27th I began filming for the new DVDs I will be releasing this Summer. Watch for them.
On June 1st, I returned to Woodland Hills Church in White Bear, MN. Patrick Showers invited me to open their summer ministry schedule, so I did. Two shows, each for all of the elementary kids at the church. Thanks Patrick for the invite.
A note of blessing: In 1989, when Debbie and I started in ministry work, Mary VanSickle, who at the time was at Trinity Baptist Church in Maplewood, MN, invited us to perform/minister at her church. She then passed our name onto 100s of other churches in the area, helping us expand our ministry around Minnesota. When I look back to 1989, she was one of 4 people that really kicked our ministry into full gear. I want to thank her for inviting me back, multiple times over the last 19 years, to her church. She's been at Woodland Hills Church now for....... a long time.
BIG THANKS goes to her, along with 3 other children's ministry directors that opened their doors right away to us: Dorothy Hansen (Wayzata Free Church), Barb Cionca (Calvary Church) and Phyllis VanRossum (Minnetonka Baptist). Because of them, I'm still here ministering around the country.
Well, I have to run. I am expected at my son's school at Noon to help disect pig hearts for biology. What a great life I have! All praise to God, the One that makes it all happen, in His time, in His will and in His way.
May 7, 2008
I am also told that the photos change constantly, so it may not be there tomorrow.
Here's the website: Willmar Assembly of God Church
On April 29th, Mike Norton and I presented a version of the "Grin Doctors" show in Garrison, MN, as a fundraiser for the Senior Community Alliance. It is a group of people that raise money to help folks in the community that need a little extra funding, or need manual labor help to complete work on thier homes or in their commmunity. We presented the show at the Blue Goose Inn, located on the shores of Lake Mille Lacs. The turn-out wasn't what they were hoping for, but they raised about $1000.00 for their projects. The show was organized by Pastor Mike Paulkie, a friend of our from the Garrison Alliance Church. He had the same vision as we did: the program was a way to show the good that the community, and the local churches, can do for the people of Garrison. It was a success according to Pastor Mike.
On May 1st I drove up to Fargo, North Dakota, and presented the "Professional Goofball Show" for Oak Grove Lutheran School. I had the opportunity to use the program to show how God really does have a special plan for each of our lives, and that when we choose to include God in our life, he can do amazing things beyond anything we could ever expect or imagine. The program was the last thing of the day at the school, so many kids stayed around for about 45 minnutes talking and asking questions. Kids are so cool with the questions and ideas they have. I then ended up signing about 70 autographs. So much fun.
That evening, Jim Sanders, from Century Financial Advisors, invited me to perform and speak at his client appreciation dinner (he also sponsored the school show in the afternoon). The neat thing was that Jim is a firm Christian and asked me to present my testimony and a challenge to the attendees at the dinner. I told them about my short time on the circus, and how it led me to become a Christian. I challenged the folks that within all aspects of their own lives, to include God, and the free gift that he offers of his Son, Jesus Christ, the goals and objectives have a much deeper meaning and purpose. It was a very fun group of people, and responsive to all parts that I talked about. Thanks, Jim, for the opportunity to share my faith with kids and adults, all within the same day. God is good. All the time.
After the Fargo evening program, I packed up and drove the 4.5 hours down to Minneapolis. I slept for 3 hours and then headed for the airport to catch a 6 AM flight to Bloomington, Illinois. Because of lightning, I was delayed in Chicago for 4 hours, arriving in Bloomington with just enough time to get set-up and ready for a show there. Bloomington Evangelical Free Church has built a beautiful new multi-purpose sanctuary/gymnasium, and I was asked to be the opening night speaker/entertainer. 200 people were expected, but I think there were closer to 300-350 in attendance, all sitting on the floor around the front of the new stage. I did a 50 minute program, including my testimony, emphasizing the personal invite that was given to me at 19 years old, to attend church with some friends, and how it was because of that invitation that I heard the Gospel presented in a way that I understood it. I encouraged those that were visitors that night to come back again and hear more about Christianity in its simplest form. Click HERE to read more, in another newsletter posting.
I then flew back to Minnesota and rested, but not for long.
Last night, Mike Norton & I tried something brand new. In preparation for the upcoming Music Boat Cruise we are both working on, we did a program for the seniors in our church, and presented all brand new routines and material. These were routines that neither of us had ever done in front of a live audience. Ever. And, yes, we were both a little nervous. The good thing about the program was that our audience was probably the most forgiving one ever. The funny parts got the laughs, the singing got the oohs and aahs (I didn't do the singing), the bowling ball got gasps of surprise, and Mike and I were able to test out some new stuff. I think we both learned some details about the routines that we presented. Some routines worked great, while others still need a little tweaking in order to be fully ready for our shows. Overall, it was a great night of potluck food, great fellowship with the folks in our church, and one step closer to adding in new material to our shows.
God is good. All the time. Whether we acknowledge it, or accept it, is up to us.
Blessings to you all.
May 6, 2008
"Oh, you can't do THAT at church."
"You're having a JUGGLER at your CHURCH?!?"
There is a lot of talk about what church should and should not be. "Should we have this music, or should we have this other kind of music?" "Should kids attend the main service with their parents, or is a children's church best?" "Can a church have an entertainer as a drawing factor to get people into a new church facility in their neighborhood?"
Well, I hear questions like that all of the time while I am on the road. My answer would be this: Is the Gospel being presented? If it is, then these questions become external, legalistic details. For example, the Bible does not say that a kid should hear the Gospel in the main service. Let's face it, a kid can hear the Gospel from his parents, his friends, in children's church, at kid's club, from a song on the radio, in Sunday school, and "YES", even from a juggler like me.
The crucial question is not HOW he hears the Gospel, but THAT HE HEARS IT. Period.
No matter how much we might hope for it, your neighbor may never show up at your church to hear a guest pastor speak, to listen to a Gospel quartet sing, or to hear the missionary report from Uruguay. But they may come out of their comfort zone to see what they believe will be a fun time with their family at an entertainment show. Then, when they are comfortable with me as an entertainer, I can then present the message in a way that is comfortable, but hits them straight where they're at.
Jesus told parables. Jesus spoke directly to someone's sin. Jesus stood quietly. Jesus overturned the tables in the temple. Jesus used various ways to share His message, and I know that I can use the situations that God has given me to share Jesus' message also.
I love the opportunities that I have had to sit down, face to face at a table with someone and talk about the Gospel. But those times don't happen as often as I'd like? So, it is important to take advantage of every moment and opportunity that God lays before us to share his Good News. That means that whether you are a doctor, a house wife, a plumber or a teacher, God will bring people into your life that need to hear the Gospel in a friendly way. My challenge is to be ready in all circumstances to share the faith and hope you have.
1 Peter 3:15 says, "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,..." NIV
Notice the "with gentleness and respect" part. Through my programs, I believe that God has led me to a place where I can present the Gospel with "gentleness and respect". Let me be straight: I am not soft on sin, nor am I a respecter of persons. But sharing the Gospel does not have to come at people like a punch to the face. The Gospel is a Gospel of love, not a Gospel of hate and forcefulness. We don't have to shove it down the throats of everyone we meet, but when God brings someone into our lives that needs to hear the truth, we had better be ready to tell it to them. Not watered down, not lovey-dovey feel-good stuff. But the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
So, what is important?
Who is God? Who are we? What is sin? Who is Jesus? What does His death and resurrection mean for us? These are the questions that need to be answered when someone asks us about that truth we have within us.
Skip the denominational stuff. Skip the stereotypical televangelist stuff. Skip the contemporary/traditional debate. Skip the legal-eze, and share the Gospel, the WHOLE Gospel, and nothing but the Gospel.
Preacher Don, checking out of the pulpit now.
April 28, 2008
While travelling in New Mexico last month, I had the opportunity to see a few sights in the Albuquerque area.
One of my hobbies is Geocaching (treasure-hunting with a handheld GPS), and this trip took me driving to the top of the Sandia Mountains. Take a look at my GPS screen: it went that way for 13 miles.
Tinkertown Museum, which is an amazing creation of Ross Ward, a woodcarver/tinkerer. His museum houses 100s and 100s of hand carved figures, buildings, circuses and anything else you can imagine. Ross used to tell people,
I love it! I also read a sign that Ross had painted that I liked, but can't figure out who to attribute the original saying to. It says,
How true. I hope I never stop learning how to have fun throughout life, whether it is a time of harvest, or a time of trials. John 14:27 says, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." -AKJV I've grown into the realization that no matter what life can throw at me, I can still have peace. The world offers us satisfaction (peace) through the material things we get, or through power over others. The Bible's teaching is contrary to that, in that we can have peace at ALL times, knowing that God provides all of our needs, whether in slim times or hearty times.
If you are not at peace about your own life, let me challenge you do talk to folks at your church, or within your community of believers, and discover true peace for yourself. Or, give me a call, and maybe I can offer some words of encouragement, hope and peace. I would find it an honor to share time together with each one of you.
April here in Minnesota has been WEIRD. That's the only word I can think of to describe it. Here's why:
I had some shows booked for April, and every one of them cancelled or changed the date. With no shows for the month, I set my focus on getting my DVDs filmed, edited and packaged. Due to construction at the studio, I had to cancel that time slot also.
I did end up with a few bookings near the end of the month, but I found out how I could spend my time accomplishing other things.
I went and watched Deanna (15 years old) earn a spot on the JV Golf Team at her high school. I played tennis with Dale (12 years old) and Debbie to get Dale ready for his summer on the tennis team. I honestly believe that tennis is Dale's sport. He has excelled so quickly, and plays it so naturally. Go Dale!
I have started a short course in the use of Adobe InDesign, a computer publishing program. My hope is to re-release my magic/clowning lecture notes from 18 years ago, "The Creative Mind", using this program, as well as compile many files from my computer into more manageable formats. The course is about 18 hours long, and I've completed the first 3 lessons (about 5 hours).
One more strange thing about Minnesota is that you can never predict the weather. Last week it was sunny and 70 degrees, so I planned a get together here in Mora with the East Central Minnesota Geocachers group. Saturday rolled around, and Minnesota got socked by a snow storm. In April. Mora only received about 2 inches, but other parts of northern MN received as much as 16" in 24 hours. Thankfully the folks that I had invited were all hearty outdoor people, and more showed up than were expected. Here is a photo of some friends out searching in the blowing snow:
--Doug, Jeff and Bill. I took the photo.--As you read this blog, please feel free to post comments at the bottom of each listing. I love to hear from you all, and what is happening in your lives.
Until next time,
April 8, 2008
March 26, 2008
March 11, 2008
I did two great shows at Groves Academy in MN for their Jump Rope for Heart event. While there, I happened into the wife of the Campus Life director I knew in high school. She recognized me, but couldn't think of where from. Hi George.
I then performed for the fundraiser banquet at Trinity Lutheran in Minneapolis. The senior highers used the banquet as a way to raise $$$ for their missions trip. What also amazed me about the event is that over 135 items were donated for the silent auction. I bid on 12 items, and won only two: a clear glass chess/checkers/backgammon set for my son, Dale, and a nice wooden clock for my office. I've heard that the fundraiser raised over $3000.oo towards the trip. What a blessing.
I then spent 8 days in northern California travelling with my good friend, illusionist Toby Travis. The shows went great, but the part I really loved was running around in a part of the country that expresses the beauty of creation everywhere you look. I've heard that northern CA was beautiful, but it was breathtaking in many places. We performed in El Sobrante, San Andreas, Bass Lake and North Fork, California. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. The last night was spent with my good circus friend, Nicole Portwood, and her family. We didn't get enough time to visit, but it's always good to meet up with them. Timmy, keep practicing that unicycle!
I then started my Upward basketball programs for the year, with the first one in Minooka, Illinois (say that one 3 times fast). I had a huge stage, and an audience of about 600 people, all of whom enjoyed the show, but also responded to the message. God is REALLY good!
I headed over to Bloomer, Wisconsin for another one, and again, had a great response to the message. It was great that even though the program was sponsored by the Lutheran church, they had families from all denominations involved with the basketball camp. I love it when I get to see different denominations uniting for the greater cause of Christianity, rather than using it as a dividing factor. Bloomer did a great job in their community!
March kicked off with business, doing a Cub Scout dinner, 4 days of office work, and then flying down to Pace, Florida, for another Upward event. On Saturday, I performed for 600 people for their Upward awards night, and then Sunday I had an hour to share some various messages in the Kid's Church ("SuperChurch") at Pace Assembly of God. This was their first year involved with the Upward program, but they did a fabulous job of organizing the season, and sharing the Gospel with players and families. I feel so honored to be a part of the ministry of church like this around the country. I not only get to perform, but I also get to share the simple message of what it means to me to be a Christian. How many people can honestly say that they love their job? Well, to make it official, I LOVE MY JOB!!! There, I said it.
I still have 5 more events this month, and then next month I begin the filming for my 3 new DVDs. I am hoping they are done by September, so watch here for the official announcements.
I have a lot of pictures from this last month, and I will try and post them here as soon as I can.
Thanks again to all of you that make it possible for me to travel around sharing the Gospel. Thanks for your prayers, the opening of your homes for me to stay in, the sharing of your time, and finally for your $$$ gifts. I don't know if I could do it without knowing all of you are out there supporting me in your thoughts and prayers.
Life is good for me, sop take a few moments this month and pray for someone you know that could really use an uplift at this time. Prayer can work wonders, even if we never see the final outcome of some of it.
Talk again real soon...
February 11, 2008
In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, 'The Lord thy God is one, but I think He must be a lot older than that. Anyway, God said, 'Give me a light!' and someone did.
Then God made the world.He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren't embarrassed because mirrors hadn't been invented yet. Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden. Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn't have cars.
Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel. Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something.
One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.
After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.
Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh's people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable. God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. These include don't lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor's stuff. Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother.
One of Moses' best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town. After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn't sound very wise to me.
After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed on the shore. There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don't have to worry about them.
After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of the New Testament. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a barn, too, because my mom is always saying to me, 'Close the door! Were you born in a barn?' It would be nice to say, 'As a matter of fact, I was.')
During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Republicans. Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him.
Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount. But the Republicans and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn't stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.
Any way's, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.
Did you smile? Good! -DonB!
February 9, 2008
(Watch this slide show first)
On January 27th, our entire family flew down to Miami, Florida, to travel and work on the 2008 K-Love Friends and Family Cruise. This was my 3rd time working a Premiere Christian Cruises event, but the first time my entire family was able to go with. Very cool.
Monday morning we boarded the ship, Carnival's Fascination, and headed out to sea.
On Tuesday, we spent 4 hours in Key West, Florida (the southern-most spot in the United States), and then reboarded the ship to set-up for my show that evening.
My first show was in the Ritz Lounge, a nice room, but a low ceiling. I was on right after Earl & Kimberly Long finished their first show. My show went really well, with about 100 people in attendance.
Throughout the cruise, wherever there were people gathered while waiting for something else to happen (concert, dinner), I performed close-up magic for them. It is a great time to face-to-face interact with not only the kids, but the adults too.
Wednesday was spent at a hotel/park/resort just outside of Cancun, Mexico. It was terrible for me to have to imagine all of my friends back in Minnesota, bundled to the gills in the frigid temperatures, and there we stood in our bathing suits. Alright, maybe not "terrible". Maybe more like unbelievably cool. :)
My fan club, made up of our 6 family members that were on the cruise, all showed up at both of my programs wearing their very limited edition "DonB! Ministries" polo shirts. I was honored.
My second show, in The Palace, was filled with amazing blessings. A camera crew, onboard to film some other comedians, agreed to leave a camera set-up to film my show the next day. For very little $$$, he gave me a digital copy of my entire show! I hope to have some of it up on my website fairly soon. AND, Tom Wilson, the audio/lighting guy, hung a beautiful scrim backdrop for my show, and had it lit with some simple, but elegant lighting. Another blessing, for sure. Finally, as my show was coming to an end, many more people were filing in to the Palace to hear the debarkatiopn talk, and were able to see the Unicycle Medley at the end of my show.
As I carried my stuff backstage, a Carnival employee, affiliated with the entertainment department, came backstage and talked for a good 40 minutes about the possibility of having me cruise more often with them. If you want something to pray about, read this paragraph one more time, and imagine the door that would be open to me for ministering to the crew and other guests. Wow!
SIDENOTE: As great as it is to perform for and meet the guests on the cruise, I saw something that I felt I had to do something about. Since it was a Christian cruise, the casino and the bars were not very busy at all. There was one main bar, in the hallway where everyone has to walk to get from one of the ship to the other. The two people behind the bar (one from Romania, one from Peru) were always smiling, but seldom had any customers. Well, with all of the magic tricks I was loaded down with, I stopped and started showing them a few routines. 20 minutes later, when I was finishing up, there were at least 20 other bartenders and wait staff gathered to watch the magic.
Why do I tell you this? Because on the last day of the cruise, I asked one of the wait staff if the guests on this crew were any different from other cruises. "Oh yes, much happier, more polite, and when something DOES go wrong, they don't cause a scene" said the waiter. I asked if he knew why, and then simply explained "...that the love we try and show is only an extension of the love that God has for each one of us, including him." He thought it over for a moment, and asked when we would be coming back again. I told him I would be back in May, and he became really excited. He was probably excited about seeing more magic tricks and being treated politely. I hope for it to be another opportunity to tell him the reason for the hope that I have. - 1 Peter 3:15, Romans 5:1-5
So who was on he cruise? Other than 2500 guests from around the world, we travelled with MercyMe, Jeremy Camp, SuperChick, Natalie Grant(our next-door neighbor on the cruise), Sanctus Real, Big Daddy Weave, Aaron Shust, Nicole C. Mullen, Jeremy Riddle, Shane & Shane, Stellar Kart, Bebo Norman, Starfield, NASCAR chaplain Lonnie Clouse, Bob & Lary (the VeggieTales) and a crew of some of the funniest Christian comedians ever gathered on one ship. Ever heard of any of those folks?
We arrived back in Miami on Friday morning, and headed up to Fort Lauderdale to pick up a rental car. We then spent Friday night at the home of the Greg Philips family near Melbourne, Florida. A nice, relaxing visit, preparing us for the day to come.
Saturday we headed over to the beach. Cocoa Beach to be exact. We made a stop at the famous RonJon's Surf Shop, where Dale purchased a "Skim-Board" and Deanna bought a "Boogie Board". From there we right to the beach and tried them out. As much as the kids loved the cruise, they were in their absolute prime playing at the beach. The water was cold, but they gradually convinced themselves it was worth it to try out their new boards.
We then drove up to Palm Coast, Florida, to visit with some of our best friends, Kevin & Laura Bechard and their 2 kids, Rachel & Joe. What was intended to be a dinner visit ended up finding us leave there a little after midnight. As tired as we all were, the kids slept in the truck while I drove back to the Orlando Airport.
We returned the rental car, boarded our plane at 5 AM, and headed back to reality: Minnesota.
It was such a great trip. We've created memories that our kids will remember for a long, long time.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Please look at the pictures of the cruise in the slide show above.
January 24, 2008
January 22, 2008
I am here in my office, finally feeling the beginning of the end of my bout with the flu. As the flu was leaving, it left behind one of the worst sinus infections I have ever had. The constant headache was almost unbearable, but thanks to a great doctor, it is beginning to ebb away. And that's a very good thing, since our family leaves on the K-Love Friends and Family Cruise in less than a week.
As I sat down to check on my email this morning, once again I hit the "big time" and didn't even realize it. My wonderful Google-centralized computer told me "DonB! has hit the Billboard charts". So, I followed the link, and sure enough, I had. Click HERE, and you'll see what I mean. I'm listed right there with Jeremy Camp, Salvador, SuperChick, MercyMe, comedian Mike Williams, Big Daddy Weave, Natalie Grant and Jaci Velasquez. The thing we all have in common? Once again, it's the K-Love Cruise (that starts in 6 days).
So, it's not really the big time, but it's a start.
DonB! - smalltime comedy entertainer
January 16, 2008
I've already done 5 shows here in Minnesota, with 3 more and a cruise to Mexico still to come this month.
Working with our Wednesday night Kid's Club has been great also. I play Jessie Crankshaft, the guy that runs J.C. Salvage. The theme is all about how God doesn't see us as junk, but rather as people that can be "salvaged", made new and usable once again. Jessie is slowly falling in love with Melba Toast, a bag-lady character that Debbie plays. Tonight, if I can keep my head cleared long enough, I am playing "Red", one of Jessie's brothers, along with two other guys playing "Green" and "Blue".
Right before Christmas we finished up the 10 Commandments series, and tonight we start down the Romans Road to salvation. Please pray that the impact on these kids can be as good as the last series was. I work with some of the best adult workers in our church, and it is great to hear them having one-on-one time with the kids, explaining all the various aspects of Christ, God, salvation, etc.
I have to get a short nap before tonight, so I'll write again soon.
Happy new year to you all.
January 4, 2008
Along with all of that, I worked 34 days for UPS leading up to Christmas, I performed in quite a few events for Mannequin in Motion, I played various super heroes at "Hero Headquarters" during the Wednesday night Kids Club activities at church, I attended a 3-day workshop with world famous clown, Avner the Eccentric, I ran PowerPoint at our church once or twice a month on Sundays, attended the leader's retreat for our kids workers at church, I performed in the community play with Debbie, I added 4 new routines to my shows, I read about 15 books, attended Men's Fraternity at our church, met an Ed Sullivan look-alike, flew on a few airplanes, put another 42,000 miles on our vehicles, and watched our kids continue to grow up and keep busy.
God is good, and He has shown much of that goodness on me and my family this year. If you want to see the many ways He has done so, please read back through the many posts that I have written this year. It's all good.
What is in store for 2008? Well, I have 23 shows on the calendar already, and look forward to another 50 or more. Open doors of opportunity to share the Gospel with folks around the United States and the world.
Thank you for reading this online newsletter. Please continue to pray for many lives changed in 2008.
My hopes and prayers for you all,