December 5, 2011

More Dontar Pictures

If you haven't seen some of the 35 characters we have for our new "Dontar" machine, here are some photos of a few of them.

"Asylum S.K.P." - the crazy character

Craig Carlson, as "Dontar"

"Is it real?"  Many people ask that throughout the night

People are naturally drawn to "Dontar", because it is so unique

One of our female characters, "Grandma Bea's Pearls of Wisdom"

The female Gypsy Girl

"The Pirate"

"Solomon's Wisdom", a character we created for churches

"The Wizard" character
Other characters that we've created are a "Cheerleader", created for a special event through G.L. Berg, that took place at the University of Minnesota.

"Dontar" in action

A short video from the Vita.MN event we performed for at EPIC Nightclub in downtown Minneapolis.

The "Dontar" character is played by my good friend, Craig Carlson.


November 2, 2011

DONTAR makes his next appearance

On November 18th, my interactive, live, robotic automaton, "DONTAR", will makes his next appearance.

The activities site,
is hosting their 5th anniversary party 
in downtown Minneapolis, 
and DONTAR will be there to entertain the 2000+ guests.

If you are interested in attending, tickets can be purchased HERE.

Dontar lives!!!
Party Poster


October 28, 2011

New DonB! T-Shirts Are Here

I've been using this design for about 4 years, and finally got the new shirt designs in today.

For women's styles and colors you can purchase them HERE
Women's Heather Sapphire 
Women's Heather Maroon

For men's styles and colors you can purchase them HERE

Men's Heather Royal

Men's Heather Maroon
All $$$ goes directly back into DonB! Ministries to cover travel costs, hotels, etc.

Thanks for looking.


September 24, 2011

NOTE: This is a post that I thought I posted back in the Spring, but found just now.  -DonB!

Greetings all!

Spring is sprung, and I had some time to research some topics. Here is the first one:

Many Christians claim to be "Calvinists," and others claim to be "Arminians". Well what does that mean?

Calvinists say that some basics of the Christian faith fall under the acronym, TULIP. Each letter stands for a basic "stance" as a Christian:

T - total depravity
U - unconditional election
L - limited atonement
I - irresistible grace
P - perseverance of the saints

If this acronym uses such big words that it seems like a foreign language to you, trust me; it does to many people.

But that is why I enjoy studying these things. Is it enough to become a Christian and then stop learning anything else about Christianity? My thought is absolutely not!

So, here is a short, and well written article explaining how the Arminian and Calvinistic viewpoints differ:

Take a read of the article and let me know what you think.


Why Outreach?

I've now been performing for 33 years, and 22 years have been primarily as ministry work.  I currently have 3 different shows, each one designed for a different purpose.

One of the distinctions I've tried to make, to churches interested in hiring my services, has been the difference between "outreach" and "evangelism".  I don't really consider myself to be an evangelist, though I've had the privilege on many occasions to lead people to Christ through, and after, my programs.

To me, evangelism is done with the intent to not only explain the Gospel, but take people to a time of decision for themselves.  Outreach, on the other hand, is a time to share my personal faith as a Christian, more as an inspiration to others that are either 1) not a Christian or 2) are Christians, but are having a tough time in life.  Outreach is the easiest to do.  For me.

In the 22 years of ministry shows that I've done, I've had pastors and others that hire me say, "Well, what good is it to have visitors in my church if we're not going to share the Gospel with them?"  And before I give you my answer, think about it yourself: what would you answer to that question?

Here are my thoughts:

One of the biggest barriers to sharing the Gospel, if it going to happen in a church building, is getting people inside the walls of the church, without them feeling "pounced upon".  I've seen MANY visitors sit in the back, near the door, for the security of being able to run out of there if need be.  Safety is a factor.

How many times have you gone someplace that you felt uncomfortable being, and felt the need to just get out?  I can think of many times that has happened in my own life.  I didn't want to feel "trapped".  Nobody does.

Second, outreach doesn't have to happen inside the church walls.  Others should be able to see that you have a strong hope, even though life can deal you some tough hits at times. (1 Peter 3:15)  If I've learned one BIG thing over my years as a Christian, it is this: Don't TELL people what it means to be a Christian, SHOW them.

I've explained all of this to tell you how an outreach event furthered God's kingdom.  Here it is:

I was asked to do a show for a small church in Minnesota.  When I arrived there were only about 25 people there.  In my head I felt disappointed that there weren't more.  I set-up my show, and started on time.  During the show, the audience filled to approximately 50 people.

Within the show, I told my version of Jonah & the Whale (many of you have seen it), and gave a simple summary, that God really does have a plan for every person's life, but each of us has to choose if we will go on the journey God has set before us.

At the end of the program, I simply encouraged people, no matter how young or old, no mater how rich or poor, no matter what your life is like right now, God wants to begin a relationship with you, and you can come just as you are.  Don't think that you have to clean up your messes and THEN come to God.  He wants you just as you are, even with all of the baggage you may carry.

The show ended, and as I was packing, the church was testing out a new drummer, letting him try the songs they would be doing tomorrow in the Sunday service.  The drummer did great.

Afterward, while talking with the pastor, he explained something neat.  When I asked if the guy was a new drummer, the pastor said, "Yes, and before today's show, I had never met the guy.  He said he received a flyer on his door about today's event, and brought his family over.  He came to the show, heard the simple message and asked if he could come to our church, and use his drum talents to play with our music team."

And so the relationship begins.  Outreach, the way it is intended. No one questioned this guy's credentials (his past, whether he drinks or smokes, his mistakes).  They simply said "Yes", when he asked to be a part of what was happening here at this church.  Outreach.

My question to any Christians that read this is this: Do not worry that you've never shared the Gospel with anyone.  Do not think you are any less worthy than the pastor that sees personal decisions happen regularly.  Ephesians 4:11 says that SOME are evangelists, SOME are teachers, SOME are apostles...  You can share the Gospel by the way you live your life. Matthew 5:16 says,

"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (NIV)

Does your church do outreach?  Have YOU done any outreach? Try reaching out sometime, and see where it takes you.  See how it affects people.  See how it changes lives.


July 18, 2011

Maryland is beautiful

Maryland has been beautiful for our family.  The scenery is amazing.  The place we are working at, Sandy Cove Ministries, is an amazing place for families to get together and worship, play, and relax.

Here are a few notes from our time here so far:

Dale & I drove out here, stopping to visit friends, and seeing what weird places we could find to stretch our legs at.  How about a fireworks tent?

$1400 fireworks kit.  We did NOT buy it!

The trip out here was uneventful, except for one trailer tire malfunction.

Trailer tire repair

Trailer tire Uh-Oh
Upon arriving in Maryland, one of our favorite places to eat is Rita's.
First stop upon our arrival
Dale & I explored Sandy Cove on our unicycles.
Dale on the Sandy Cove Pier

Then we all explored Elk Neck State Park, near Sandy Cove, with our friend Beth-Anne.
Deanna, Deb & Beth-Anne, our friend.

Collecting driftwood for the craft shop
While visiting with our best friends, the Pribulicks, we played in a river, and did a family tradition of Deb's family: damming up a stream.
Damming up the stream

Sandy Cove has so much to offer the guests here, so we took advantage of much of it during the week before guests arrived, including a 9-hole disc golf course.
Deb, on the 7th hole of disc golf

 We decided to check out the premier of the final Harry Potter movie, but DIDN'T go opening night.  When we DID go, however, we purchased the 3D glasses, and it was very cool.
Don, Chris, Deb, Deanna & Dale (camera) at the HP Premier
One of the craft shop projects we put together was a giant spin-art machine.  Craigslist put us in touch with the barn fan, and with a couple of hours time, we had a fully functioning spin art machine.
Building a spin-art machine out of a barn fan

Finished project, after 2 weeks of use.

Then we took a one day trip to Washington DC, and the Smithsonian Institute.

Part of the Berlin Wall

The original Charlie McCarthy

Deanna, Deb, Don, Dale and Beth-Anne at the Lincoln Memorial

The Korean War Memorial: Somber and amazing.

The Korean War Memorial, with me reflected among the faces.

Me, as a goofy looking tourist

A view of the (under construction) reflecting pool

Original Song of the South marquee poster
While introducing ourselves before the evening session, I realized I was sitting right next to 2 pioneers of Christian music, and very pro-family ministers.  They are super people.
Speakers this week: Steve & Annie Chapman. Me, looking giddy.
We are now in our 3rd week of time here, and each week has been a great experience.  This week there is even a family from Minnesota here.

Until next time...


June 8, 2011

Dontar Lives!!!

DonB! as "Dontar"
Last Friday evening, Wayzata High School seniors had their all-night- graduation lock-in party at Brunswick Center, and "Dontar" was there to entertain the grads.

Thanks to Mark & Lori at A Touch of Magic, my good friend, Craig Carlson, and I hauled the "Dontar" machine to Brooklyn Park and had the machine work the crowd for 2.5 hours, and they loved him.

For the first hour, I was inside the machine, while Craig was the barker, calling for people to experience the  wonder of our mechanical creation. For the second hour, Craig was inside the machine and I was able to lead people to the machine, encourage them to interact with "Dontar", dance with him, etc.  I enjoyed being inside AND outside the machine, as each one gave me different ways to have fun with the grads.

As people approached the machine, Dontar came to life (as much as a mechanical robot can), and interacted with the students, then delivered some funny "life advice" that they could take with them.  Some lucky grads also won the old "fortune-telling fish novelty", and some won a real deck of playing cards (that matched the ones spread around inside the machine).

Craig, as "Dontar"
Steady stream of people for 2 hours
People loved to stand around and discuss whether "Dontar" was real, or if he really was a mechanical machine.  Some stayed around for 10-15 minutes discussing it.  It was great!

If you would like to see Dontar appear at your next event, 
call 320-679-0060
and ask for "Dontar".  25+ characters to choose from.

Until next time...


May 27, 2011

Unique Items For Sale

As many of you know, I have been experimenting with knotwork over the last 6 months, and it's time to clean house.

I am getting rid of all of my one-of-a-kind projects that are accumulating around here.

Please go HERE to view all of the items for sale.  They are all one-of-a-kind, meaning when it's gone, it's gone.

Thanks for looking,


May 26, 2011

Jolly Green Giant on Vacation

The last cukes being given out
Well, today was a bittersweet day.  Good and (sort of) bad.

During the school year, on Thursdays I have been dressing as the Jolly Green Giant and participating in snack time at the elementary school here in Mora.

I challenged them with broccoli, carrots, celery, jicama, cucumbers, fresh green beans, snap peas, and mixes of many different vegetables.  Some kids tried the samples easily, and others were hesitant, if they tried them at all.

Well today was my last day for this school year, and the kids took my advice and ate up all of the cucumbers. This Jolly Green Giant disguise really works.

5 lb Basket
Being my last day, I received many hugs and goodbyes from kids.  Some even asked if I would be going to the other school with them as they move up next year. And from Mrs. Norby I received a giant fruit-Veggie basket as a thanks for volunteering.  It was a wonderful way to end the year at the elementary school.

Who knows, maybe Jolly will be back, or maybe I'll figure out some other character to play next year.


May 12, 2011

The Meaning of "Disciple"

While visiting the church website of my good friend, Randy Christensen, I saw a neat anagram for the word "disciple", and I wanted to share it here with you. It caused me to stop and examine my own motives and methods.  Enjoy.

Core Values

Do everything in love.
I don't have to, I get to.
eek to understand before seeking to be right.
ompassion is a bridge over which truth is carried.
 am free to fail so I am free to succeed.
raise in public, rebuke in private.
eave it better than you found it.
veryone matters to God.

Isn't that great?!  I really like it.


May 6, 2011

DonB's Latest Hobby/FUNdraiser

As some of you know, I have been playing with fancy knotwork for the last year and have just completed my next set of projects.

I have completed my first 5 fancy hiking sticks, or "staffs" as many refer to them.

Dad - Mom - Red - Mine - 4 Red Rings

Five different styles, using five different methods and knot techniques.

#1 - The first one is called DAD, based on who I made it for.  It is a larger diameter staff, with a double half-moku knot pattern, topped off by 2 tripled Turkshead knots.

#2 - Similar to the first one, but named MOM, because I made it for her.  It is a single-strand St. Mary's hitching, finished with 2 smaller turkshead knots, on a smaller diameter staff.

#3 - Simply titled RED, it is a full moku-hitching pattern, with 2 turkshead knots, done in red dyed cotton.

#4 - MINE.  Can you guess which one I'm keeping for me? It is a 3-strand ringbolt hitching, with the usual turkshead knots finishing it. This pattern makes for the most comfortable grip.

#5 - 4 RED RINGS was my experiment with 2-strand St. Mary's hitching. The red line is added for 12 rotations, making a 3-strand hitching, then back to 2-strands in white. I like the way this one turned out.

All of them are topped off with a leather strap, as well as a keyring through the top to attach accessories such as bear bells or whistles.

As a fund raiser for my ministry work, I figured I would make some of these for purchase.  Depending on style, and which wood I use, they will sell for $50-95.00 each. The ones pictured are done on light colored birch.

If you are interested in one for yourself, or if you know someone that does a lot of hiking or trail walking, please let them know about these.  They take about a 2 weeks to complete.

Alright, it's time to get some other work done.


A highlight of this year

Last night was a great night. I'll tell you why.

In every field of employment there are "heroes", or folks that set the standards that others attempt to live up to.  Computers have Apple. Circus has Ringling Brothers & Cirque du Soleil. Well, in magic there are also those that have been pioneers and leaders in various aspects of magic and illusion.

In 1991, while watching a television special, "The World's Greatest Magic", mixed in with all of the big illusions, fog & wind machines, a man walked out onstage holding only a rope in his hands.  Then, for the next 5 minutes he absolutely fried the brains of magicians all over the world.  The way the rope melted together, the ends came right off and then magically jumped back on again, and the fluidity of his movements made for a lot of talk the next few weeks among my magician friends. He was doing things with a rope that no one had ever seen or done before. I said to my wife, "If he EVER releases that routine, I would pay a LOT of money for it." Thankfully he released it 3 years later, for under $50.00, and I have been performing it for the last 16 years.

To see that actual footage, click HERE.

To actually meet one of these "heroes" of magic is a real privilege.  Last night, I was very privileged to spend almost 7 hours with Francis Tabary.

I drove to St. Paul, and from 5-7 PM I, along with 2 other magicians, had lessons from Mr Tabary.  I showed him what I did with his routine, and he proceeded to teach me another 20-30 tips, tricks, effects and handlings for that routine. 

To see the extra work he taught me, take a look at some more recent footage of Tabary, and watch how many amazing touches have been added to the routine.  

Then at 7PM he began his magic lecture for 18 magicians from around the Midwest.  It was fun to watch the facial reactions and audible gasps of those in attendance, as they watched Francis perform the routines he had just taught 3 of us.

I then purchased his book, that is getting more difficult to find all the time, and had him sign it.

DonB! - Tabary

To top it off, 6 of us then went out to dinner with Mr Tabary and talked life, magic, and optical illusions. We then found out that Mr Tabary is also a specialty sculptor, creating real 3-dimensional versions of 2-dimensional optical illusions.  He had two of them with him,so I snapped a couple of pictures.  Amazing to see an "impossible object" live and in 3 dimensions.

Well, now I'm super tired, and I have a show at Bethel College this evening, so I'm going to go take a short nap.

God is good, all the time.