June 2, 2008

What a great life I've been given!

DonB! & Mike Norton heading for the 24-hour ice cream

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.

On our way to snorkel in underground caverns.

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.

Club Juggling in the Ritz Lounge.

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.