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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Fellowship of Christian Magicians! » » Your Top 3 Gospel Effects - SURVEY (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

mralincoln
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I am an FCM member, and I am scheduled to lecture on Gospel Magic at a regional convention in a few weeks, and I just thought I would ask for your input. I would like to be able to share the responses (some/all/summary) with the group. My question is: If you had to choose the three "essential" effects to have/use in Gospel Magic, what would the be. (In other words, if you could perform only three gospel magic effects, what would they be?) You can respond here--but I would appreciate it if you would also email them to me, as well, at: gospelmagic4u@gmail.com
vannma
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King of hearts
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I do a rope routine that I learned from a Tabary video. I add a gospel twist to it.
tbaer
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Soft soap
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MagicBus
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See the posts on The Magic Café from September 15, 2012 "If You Only Had One Gospel Trick"

My top three (and there are many that could be in a top ten for sure):

#1: The John deVries "Blockhead" first published in The Christian Conjurer in 1962. Reprinted in the January/February 1972 issue of The Christian Conjurer (pages 24-25) and then again printed in Volume 19, Issue 1, January/February 1975 (pages 15-on) of The Christian Conjurer (can view from the FCM web site). See this great trick described further in the above September 15, 2012 post. I did this trick on video in the "Magic With A Message!: On The Logos Hope 1 Hour Special" near the very end of the program: www.ChristianMagician.org If you can't view it, send an email to MagicBob and he can hopefully help you as he runs the web site.

Many dealers (such as FAB Magic in Colon) still sell the basic trick using a simple wood block and a rope- one has to add the S-I-N and O letters along with the ear and heart designs around the holes in the block for the Gospel routine. Often someone's homemade block will be on one of the used trick tables at the FCM convention.

Blockhead is my #1 Gospel magic trick and I have used it many times in many settings as part of my own testimony- how I am the blockhead- and how Christ freed me from the bondage of sin. I am not aware of any magic dealers that sell the Gospel version ready to go. I also have a larger stage version of "Blockhead" using Abbott's/Jack Hughes "Cube on Release" (which has been knocked off by other manufacturers) where I put the Blockhead letters on this larger cube. "Cube on Release" too is extremely visual and puzzling as an overall effect but lacks the portability of the simple Blockhead wood bored block (which needs no special set up or even a table to use). If I was allowed one trick only, this would be the one hands down for me. I have used it in kids Sunday Schools, for adults, in prisons, in small groups, in Bible studies- I just love it. I still have the original cracked prototype wood block where the letters and designs were deeply carved right into the wood block- John gave it to me in 1971.

#2: "Ledger of Life" available from Laflin Magic Store and many other dealers. The message is clear and visual. Even though this is a simple trick also, it can be used for all age groups.

#3: Andre Kole' Three-Ball Illustration. www.andrekoleministry.com Probably the #1 seen/live audience performed Gospel illustration/trick ever. Not the world's greatest magic trick by any means, more of a visual way to share the Gospel. That being said, every time I do it like at a homeless shelter (I used to volunteer at The Kalamazoo Gospel Mission), people still ask me later "How Did You Do That?" which surprised me since this is so simple. Can be used for any age group. I have seen a missionary (Richard Sharp of Operation Mobilization) use it many times extremely powerfully when we were on the old Logos II missions ship.

Thanks for starting this post up again, will be looking forward to reading other posts Smile
mralincoln
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Thanks so much for the responses so far, vannma, tbaer, and MagicBus! I'm looking forward to seeing what others might include, as well! Great items/ideas!

Thanks for the details you provided, MagicBus! I appreciate the background information, as well! I didn't know the history of Blockhead--though I have one I made (based on one that I had remembered a magician sharing when I was a child). I found another that was probably a homemade version (but it looked better than mine), as well, someone was selling recently! I love that effect, too. I look forward to viewing your performance of it via the link.

Again, I'm looking forward to seeing other posts, as well!
MagicBus
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I wish I knew who legally holds the "rights" to John's Blockhead routine now. My guess is no one does really at this point, no "copyright" on it as far as I know. I think John would be honored if a reputable dealer made a nice version of it at a fair price and fully credited to him. The trick itself has been in the public domain for decades (I have seen it in a number of magic library books) and John lectured about his Gospel routine many times openly (plus the routine was published three times in "The Christian Conjurer"). I made up at least 25 of them myself years ago for an FCM lecture I did. John for sure gave me permission to use it, and many FCMer have simply since made up their own Blockheads using painted on letters (which is what I did) or sticky back labels. John had really nice ones made for him I believe by the Wooden Shoe Factory in Holland where the letters S-I-N and O along with the ear and heart designs around the rope holes were carved right into the wood block and then those carved indentations were painted red and the block entire varnished after that. Very classy. John would be thrilled I believe to know his routine was still being used to share the Gospel. John was a "real McCoy" Christian- a Christ follower all the time who I greatly admired even as I spent weeks on the road with him. He never faltered or even seemed to get upset, an amazing man with a quick joke and a quicker smile. He loved serving in the church doing one of his many VBS programs. He had an entire van loaded with props- and many more on top of that- which I loaded and unloaded many times.

I have no idea how to contact any of John's kids or grand kids at this point in time- made more difficult by the literally hundreds of "deVries" families that live in the Grand Rapids/Holland Michigan area... I miss John for sure, wish I could tell him now how much he influenced by life.
MagicBus
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Whoops, second to the last word in the above post should be "my" life- was typing too fast...

Anyway, all the above being said, an individual/FCMer right now can make up his own personal Gospel "Blockhead" (for use in their own personal program) using John's openly published routine which he has already approved of when he was still alive - and really encouraged magicians to make one up with their own materials.

If you are a total woodworking clutz, FAB Magic in Colon makes a fine solid wood block off cord release (using the same method John used)- and you can simply paint/color/mark/stick your own letters and figures directly on to it using John's published routine.

Maybe it is time to republish "Blockhead" in "The Voice of the FCM" again since it was last published 41 years ago now. It is one of the most "homemade" Gospel copied tricks I have ever seen before, I myself have made at least four different sizes of it including one out a much smaller block than the one John used.
mralincoln
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Thanks, again, MagicBus! I am so glad to hear about John DeVries testimony and legacy. I know I use the effect, and I, too, have wondered about the copyright--because I have wanted to produce it and make it available again. The background you provided to me and all who read this is invaluable. More importantly, though, you gave us insight to the heart of the creator of this effect, and it's a good reminder of the difference we can make in the lives of others. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing about John's genuineness and his love for Christ!
uncleperry
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On an unrelated topic, why cant I get to christianmagician.org? Is something wrong with the site?
Hope not. I really enjoy seeing what you guys do there. Now back to your regularly scheduled program
You can fool some of the people all of the time, and that's usually good enough to make a decent living.
'unc.
Terry Holley
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Quote:
On Mar 10, 2017, uncleperry wrote:
On an unrelated topic, why cant I get to christianmagician.org? Is something wrong with the site?
Hope not. I really enjoy seeing what you guys do there. Now back to your regularly scheduled program


The site is working for me.

http://www.christianmagician.org/
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
MagicBus
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Sorry, the above site was down for a few days, is now working again. Just another note: My 4th favorite Gospel effect "all time" is the full sized "The People We Meet" from www.GospelMagic.com

I have done this very perplexing effect many times for all age groups and use it to explain to the kids or adults why we need to be nice to everyone we meet whether at the Drive-Thru, the grocery store, food servers, when interacting with other kids or in sports, etc.. Just a great trick with a very personal message.
Some_Magical_Idiot
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Noting for the good resources referenced here - thanks!
MagicBus
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Just a followup to my earlier post above:

"Blok Cord" was published in this month's "Voice of the FCM" in a well illustrated full color article by Del Wilson.

John de Vries used this trick with the letters S-I-N (when the block is spun around) and O (so S-O-N is spelled on the block if the block is spun the other way around on the the rope on the non-hole sides of the wood block). Then one hole had a ear painted around it, the other hole a heart. See my February 23 post above.

Routine basics (see John's full routine published several times in The Christian Conjurer magazine put out in the 1970's by the FCM):

The routine starts basically stating we can be tempted by what we hear (e.g. rope is waived like a snake- the devil- who whispers in our ear, rope inserted through hole)- but we really become bound when it effects our heart (rope is shown threaded through other side of the block hole going through the heart, then show the block securely fastened to the rope).

Then explain to the audience that when we succumb to temptation it is called S-I-N (spin block slowly, spelling out letters). Recite first part of Romans 6:23. But God gave us His own S-O-N (rotate block again slowing letters slowly the other directly) so we could be freed from sin!/recite rest of Romans 6:23 (release block from rope).

I use this trick with my own testimony- I was the "blockhead" bound by sin before I believed on the saving forgiveness through Christ's redemptive work on the cross. I believe it is one of the finest Gospel magic trick routines I have ever used.

The lettered wood block I use really does not move on the rope once it is tied- I can freely move the entire block around on the rope without worry of it falling off. So it is important to use rope big enough and the block hole small enough that once the block is secured to the rope, it is snug/tight enough so the block does not simply fall off the rope on its own if not handled carefully. My own block is in fact so very tight I can literally swing the rope through the air and the block won't come off on it's own (so it looks really very SECURELY tied)- so I later have to really quickly yank on it myself to get the block off the rope.

Back to the conclusion of the routine: Then I step on the bottom of the rope at the end of the routine, and hold on the top of the rope about eye level with my left hand. Then with my right hand, I literally pull/jerk the block right off the stretched rope. Looks pretty amazing!

Blok Cord is a great trick with an excellent Gospel routine by John. I worked for John in 1971 (he died over 20 years ago)- I am sure he would be pleased that his routine is still in wide use even today. I have used this one trick and Gospel message more than any other trick I own since the late 1960's.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Test and testimony both past and more recent

Circle to Square visual change

Ventriloquist routines

Rope or ropes
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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mrpiper
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1: Dagger Head Chest: TOTAL comedy routine with a message! Byplay about how it's a mechanical hair cutting machine that is perfectly safe. I whip out a white towel to wrap around the "victim" and it is covered with blood (red spray paint)and I pretend not to notice as the children scream. Oh well, there was that ONE time! I replace with a clean white towel and proceed with the dagger illusion describing how the enemy enters our mind with temptation, name calling, evil thoughts and worse. Then peaking into the box I make faces and try to talk the children out of looking as they scream to open the box. The head is shewn missing and I describe the enemy's desire to destroy us all! Still there is hope in God's promises! As I close the box and remove the daggers, I describe "be ye therefor transformed by the renewing of your mind" and how God's word not only protects our minds but can heal the wounds of the enemy and restore us to Him for service.

2: Bigger Wands! with a change bag to demonstrate that no matter how great our works, it's never enough but when we simply receive God's great gift we are saved not of works lest any one should boast.

3: Snake and Shake by Nick Wenger (Remote Guy) is a riot with every audience. I use a volunteer to show that we must always be on guard and put on the Armor of God because we never know when the enemy will try to strike us!

I always finish my show with a serious and simple gospel message, often using anecdotes from the show as illustrations but always pointing out the simple "ABC's" of salvation. I explain that all of my show is made of illusion but that what I teach is the most important reality of all!

Thank you for this thread. I look forward to hearing from others and hopefully learning new ideas.
GlenD
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Stand-up:
1. Guilt is Gone.
2. My gospel presentation of Peter Loughran's "Mad Scientist". With a message about our eternal destiny and reference verse James 4-14.
3. Stage sized King of Hearts.

Close-up:
1. Gospel presentation of"Disintegration Chamber".
2. Gospel card effect using X-Pert device from Neil Tobin.
3. The Missing Piece.
"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway" - Griffin

"Any future where you succeed, is one where you tell the truth." - Griffin (Griffin rocks!)
Necromancer
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Quote:
On Aug 31, 2017, GlenD wrote:
Stand-up:
1. Guilt is Gone.
2. My gospel presentation of Peter Loughran's "Mad Scientist". With a message about our eternal destiny and reference verse James 4-14.
3. Stage sized King of Hearts.

Close-up:
1. Gospel presentation of"Disintegration Chamber".
2. Gospel card effect using X-Pert device from Neil Tobin.
3. The Missing Piece.


So glad you're enjoy my Xpert, Glen. Is it the adaptation of the Vampire Slayer effect? It's one of those effects most magicians zoom past but audience members love!

Thanks for the mention! Smile

Best,
Neil
Neil Tobin, Necromancer
AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD-winning show, Near Death Experience, opening soon! Http://neardeathx.com
GlenD
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Exactly, and I still perform it in the right time and place.
You're welcome.

Glen aka MrGLen @ www.mrglensmagic.com
"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway" - Griffin

"Any future where you succeed, is one where you tell the truth." - Griffin (Griffin rocks!)
leftytheclown
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I am in the process of developing an "Apologetics" presentation using Ravi Zacharias' Four Questions of Life: How did we get here? Why are we here? Is there moral truth? Is there life after death? I'm not totally happy with my routines and this is what I have so far.
How: Designer/Creation. I saw this on YouTube and made my own.
Why: Dream Bag with Silk Fountain at the end. (God made this world just for us)
Truth: Panama Rope effect. It is inherent in us to know right from wrong. God made mankind with a moral compass.
Life after death: Amazing jumping knot or Andre Kole's Rope effect (two beads and rope) or Torn & Restored Rope. And possibly. Andre Kole's three ball effect. I can't find the smaller version. Does anyone know where I can get one?
I performed this program on a mission trip. One always hopes it will make people think about who God is and why we need Him. My target ages are 14 and up.
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Joeni
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Quote:
On Oct 30, 2017, leftytheclown wrote:
How: Designer/Creation. I saw this on YouTube and made my own.
Why: Dream Bag with Silk Fountain at the end. (God made this world just for us)
Truth: Panama Rope effect. It is inherent in us to know right from wrong. God made mankind with a moral compass.
Life after death: Amazing jumping knot or Andre Kole's Rope effect (two beads and rope) or Torn & Restored Rope. And possibly. Andre Kole's three ball effect.

This sounds really great. Are there YouTube-links or nearer descriptions of these effects?
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