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December 12, 2018
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Tony's Foodland

Dec 16 2016

In Naples, Maine, there is a small, local grocery store called Tony's Foodland. Actually, it has recently been renamed the Umbrella Factory for reasons I do not know.  Each year, the owners throw a Christmas party, including free pizza,sundaes, and soda; characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, and of course Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph and Frosty.  In addition, our church's worship team plays Christmas carols, and we do our show twice throughout the evening. It's strange doing a Gospel juggling show in the meat aisle, but it's always a highlight of our holiday season.

Ths year, Rose had dress rehearsal for her Christmas dance recital, and Sue had to bring her, so I was the only Supreme Court Jester present at the gig.  It was not as well attended as past years, probably due to the below zero wind chill last night.  Nonetheless, there were hundreds of people who came there between the hours of 4:30 and 7:00.  

I always enjoy working with our worship team, who did a great job playing both secular and sacred Christmas songs.  They took two half hour breaks during which I did my show.  I adapted some juggling routines so that they were done this one time to Christmas songs, including Michael W. Smith's Jingle Bells and his instrumental I Saw Three Ships.  I also did routines to Melanie's Come All Ye Faithful and Hallelujah Chorus, which are regulars in my show anyway.  

Its a different style of performing there; much more like street performing in that things need to be fast paced or the audience will move on.  After all, I was competing with Mickey Mouse AND Santa!  But most people stayed- kids and adults- and I made it clear that Christmas was really about God's grace in sending us Jesus on the first Christmas. At a time where the headlines often make it seem that everyone is trying to remove the sacred meaning of the Christmas season, this was a nice reminder that those stories represent a fairly small number of people.  Everyone we met enjoyed what we did and no offense was taken because of the Gospel message.  This was my seventh year of doing this gig, and I keep getting invited back, so obviously there's not rampant hostility to the nativity story.  At least not in Naples.


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The presentation was fun and encouraging... The gospel message was clear and encouraging. I purchased your book and just finished it. Your scope is broad and again encouraging. May God continue to bless your ministry. I will encourage others to read your book. -Parishioner of a local church

"Hey, I  wanted to say that was a great message in chapel today! It touched something:) thanks for doing it!" -High School Student  

"We are so grateful that you brought your amazing ministry back to our church this year... The Gospel message you bring applies to all!  It is such a positive, valuable work that you do."  -Coordinator of Christian Ed. UCC Church

"There's no questioning it. This is powerful stuff. It's extremely touching at times, never less than entertaining, and I see a lot of sincere love for Jesus in you guys."  -Dwight Lilies, song writer

The Lord has given you a wonderful window through which to present the Gospel!   - Field Director of Alliance Missions to Paraguay

"What a wonderful ministry to both children and adults.  In past years it has been a struggle to arrange programing that would hold the attention of all ages, but also challenge each heart with God's gift of Salvation.  Thank you for sharing your ministry."  -Sunday School Sup't.

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