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Topic: Close-Up Gospel Illusions
Message: Posted by: ibm_usa (Feb 26, 2008 07:41PM)
Okay, I have been for the most part a stand up Christian Illusionist, dealing with stage programs. But I have realized in order for my Ministry Show to be efficient, I will have to exercise puting those illusions up close and person while presenting a message.

My problem is that most of my experience came from church's asking me to perform, not me doing a Gospel presentation on a split second notice. I really want to go at split second Gospel Illusions with a message. I'm trying to be more flexible with those who could be potential spectators. I have NO experience throwing in a Gospel message with a close-up effect. I barely have any experiences in close-up magic.

I hope I'm making myself clear. I want to know what is the best way of doing it, when asked to show a split second effect should I just do the effect and tell the message at that moment or is there a better more sound way of doing this?
In other words, ask someone if they would like to see a close-up trick with a Gospel application or should I let them ask to see one and let the message come out without them expecting it? you know the element of suprise?

You need to understand where I'm coming from, I mostly do stage shows and people know that I'm there to educate, motivate and entertain. But out there on the streets or in the mall, where ever, those people do not know me or what I do.
Is there an appropriate way of letting the message get into the spectators ears?

I hope I made myself clear. Probably tomarrow I will have solved this problem but I guess if that happens this thread could go on to give future viewers advice.
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Feb 26, 2008 09:00PM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-26 20:41, ibm_usa wrote:
I have NO experience throwing in a Gospel message with a close-up effect. I barely have any experiences in close-up magic....

Is there an appropriate way of letting the message get into the spectators ears?

[/quote]

My first bit of advice is to perfect your close-up work.

Terry
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Feb 27, 2008 05:26AM)
Close up should be used with one on one evangelism, let me suggest something to get you started. You only really need to get one good effect down to start witnessing...here's a good effect that lends itself as a good close up magic but then continuing using it to present the Gospel.

Color changing knives...do a basic routine after you've amazed them, you then transition into a message..."our life can be a lot like this effect. We know that there are things that we've done that is wrong, sins and no matter how hard we try to get rid of our sins, they keep coming back." (This would require both knives in one hand, you take out the "special" black knife and place it in your other hand, when you open your hand back up, the black knife is back and the white knife is in the other hand)then go into sharing how Jesus can cleanse them and forgive them of all their sins...(trick stops, message continues)

Get that down and you've got one great witnessing tool...

Another is a Hot Rod making sure you have a red version. Each stone could represent different areas in your life that are sinful, but the blood of Jesus can cover all of our sins and make us whole.

Just a couple of thoughts...one on one evangelism doesn't require a whole show, just one or two really good effects that opens the door for sharing.
Message: Posted by: marD (Feb 27, 2008 10:18AM)
I think that a one on one encounter is different than a show. In a show, you're expected to have more than one effect and they are expected to be entertaining and to routine together.

In a one on one encounter, you aren't expected to do any effect at all. You are looking to tell people the truth about the gospel of Jesus Christ. That being the case, the effect that you do needs to be able to illustrate the truth of the gospel without distracting the person you're witnessing to. It needs to be more of a visual confirmation of the truth that you are sharing with the person.

This can, of course, be done with many effects whether they are marketed as gospel effects or not. I think that the major focus should be on making sure that you know the message. If you do, then spend some time praying and looking at the effects you have and see if they can be used to illustrate the truth. If so, then all you have to do is practice the effect in "dry run" type of situation. Ask a friend to help you. If they don't know Christ, all the better! :)

Mike
Message: Posted by: Hearttau (Feb 27, 2008 11:19AM)
A suggestion for any "do as I do" closeup effect. I do this with Dean Dill's "Believe it or knot" effect. I go through the routine with a spectator trying to mimic what I do with the rope and knots. As the magic begins, I encourage them to continue to follow my directions. I tell them not to view their inability to perform a "miracle" as failure. After all, the magician is the only one expected to perform magic. They only need to succeed in following the directions. I then make the comparison between following God's commands while leaving the miracles to God. In other words, as long as we accept Jesus as our Savior and example and follow His directions the best we can, even when we fail we can still expect miracles to occur because God is the source of the miracles, not us. It is because of our faith that God rewards us with an answer to our prayers, and even miracles.

As Mike said, itís not necessary to perform magic to witness to someone, but if youíre able to accentuate the message youíre sharing with someone by entertaining them with an effect that highlights what youíre saying visually, all the better. Your witness will probably stay with them for a long time, hopefully making life-changing impact.

That said, Iíve been able to witness after simply mentioning that Gospel magic was a ministry/hobby of mine, without having to perform at all. So, to actually answer one of your questions, let the Holy Spirit dictate whether or not you perform an effect before, after, or while youíre giving witness. Prayer before anything involving ministry is the best way to discern your approach in any situation.

God bless,

Dave
Message: Posted by: tank5030 (Feb 27, 2008 01:27PM)
As far as close up gospel magic, one I would suggest is "Sponge Cubes to Cross" available on Duane Laflin's site. It is direct, powerful, and yet very simple to do, it can't really be messed up. So this might be good one to start out with to gain some confidence in one on one presentations. It also packs small, and is not at all expensive. Might want to give it a try.
Message: Posted by: ibm_usa (Feb 27, 2008 03:59PM)
Thanks guys! I hope I find a close up effect that can be used to illustrate a point and one that works for me.
Message: Posted by: marD (Feb 27, 2008 04:36PM)
Please let us know what you find! I would be interested in hearing about it!
Message: Posted by: ibm_usa (Feb 27, 2008 08:18PM)
So far I have found a good message about our value to God using a silver dollar and a quarter. Transforming the quarter after talking about how people put unfair value on other people depending on their popularity, strengths, etc, the quarter is then transformed into a silver dollar, showing how our value to God is better and even then the value people place on others.

I've also thought of illustrating how when we walk closer with Christ we are forever transformed into His likness using a card transformation method I recently invented, taking for example a low value card from a deck, say the 5 of hearts, say that when we walk with Christ we learn and grow and become more Christ like, then I put the 5 of hearts on top of deck and pick it up again showing that it has been replaced with a high value card, say the king of hearts.

just something that can help illustrate a point.
Message: Posted by: dbearden (Feb 27, 2008 09:22PM)
Most of my work has been in stage shows as well, but I find now adays I get lots of opportunities to talk with people on-on-one. There is a very good pocket effect I use called "He died for you" that is basically a packet of business-sized cards with a cross printed on it. You have the spectator sign his name on the at the bottom of the cross, remove the card from the packet & place it face down in front of the spectator. After giving some thoughts on what the cross symbolizes and its' meaning, the spectator turns the card over & printed across the cross are the words "He died for you." The spectator can keep the card as a souvenir. This is a great one-on-one effect that gives you the opportunity to witness as to what Christ did on the cross for us. The effect works on the "Out to lunch" card trick principle, if you are familiar with it. You can get this effect through most gospel magician suppliers.
Message: Posted by: B Hackler (Feb 28, 2008 05:30PM)
What is the name of the coin trick that uses a silver dollar and a quarter? thanks and GOD bless.
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Mar 3, 2008 01:31PM)
Another idea which I've used is performing the Ambitious Card routine, but the card in question represents a sin in the spectator's life that they've tried to hide from others. You show that they might be able to hide their sins from other people, but they can't hide it from God. I won't get into the whole routine with the message I use, but it has worked really well for me. The ending,(if I had them sign the card) is to make their signature on the card change to "Jesus Christ". I'm sure many can come up with their own message to this trick.
Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Mar 3, 2008 04:43PM)
One I do is using "Out to Lunch" to illustrate allowing Christ to answer the door to your heart when temptation knocks.
I draw the sign of the fish, and have the spectator intial inside the symbol to represent 'himself in Christ.'
I then draw a trident, symbolizing Satan's attack.
When Satan knocks and you allow Christ to answer the door, Satan departs.
At the end, the trident has vanished, leaving only the fish with the spectator's initials.
Message: Posted by: ibm_usa (Mar 4, 2008 06:59PM)
Mostly what I have been doing is just performing the best close-up illusions I can, and if God gives me a message or I find a message that fits it I let it come out.

The coin trick with the sivler dollar and the quarter is just the Bobo Switch. I didn't want to say the method in fear of having this topic locked and my account washed down Steve Brook's drain.
Message: Posted by: CraftyOne (Mar 5, 2008 03:50PM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-27 06:26, Terry Owens wrote:
...Another is a Hot Rod making sure you have a red version. Each stone could represent different areas in your life that are sinful, but the blood of Jesus can cover all of our sins and make us whole...
[/quote]

I have a Black Hot Rod that changes to all Diamonds... What kind of patter could be used for witnessing with that prop.

CraftyOne
Message: Posted by: Hearttau (Mar 5, 2008 06:42PM)
CraftyOne,


The diamonds could symbolize purity from sin. We're all diamonds in the ruff to God, until we receive Christ into our hearts as our Lord and Savior.

God bless,

Dave
Message: Posted by: Joe Marotta (Mar 5, 2008 08:27PM)
I like Dave's suggestion that the diamonds could symbolize the Christian once he has repented and put his trust in Christ.

Personally, I would stay away from saying 'we receive Christ into our hearts' because, well, I don't believe that's accurate. You and I both know what we really mean when we say that, but non-Christians don't. It's "Christian-speak". People really don't become saved or born again by asking Jesus into their heart. They do when they first repent of their sins and then put their trust in Christ (like they trust a parachute after jumping out of a plane).

Saying that we should 'ask Jesus into our heart' might lead people to think that Christ is actually living inside our physical heart. The Spirit of God does in fact take up residence inside us. That's an awesome thing indeed! But not in our physical heart, or for that matter, stomach, liver, small intestine, or kidney.

Think about it, if that were true, would we lose Christ if we had a heart transplant? And if we donate our heart after dying, does the heart recipient become an instant Christian because Jesus is inside that heart? Sorry to bring it up but in my opinion, that phrase does more harm than good when trying to evangelize.

Thanks for letting me ramble. Check out Hell's Best Kept Secret at http://www.wayofthemaster.com for a really good and clear explanation. I think you will love this.

Joe
Message: Posted by: Hearttau (Mar 6, 2008 08:32AM)
To clarify: When I say heart, I mean the heart or core of our very being. I know Joe and I agree on this. ;)
Message: Posted by: ibm_usa (Mar 6, 2008 09:21PM)
Good one guys
Message: Posted by: John Long (Apr 13, 2008 02:52PM)
[quote]
On 2008-03-05 21:27, Joe Marotta wrote:
Personally, I would stay away from saying 'we receive Christ into our hearts' because, well, I don't believe that's accurate. You and I both know what we really mean when we say that, but non-Christians don't. It's "Christian-speak". People really don't become saved or born again by asking Jesus into their heart. They do when they first repent of their sins and then put their trust in Christ (like they trust a parachute after jumping out of a plane).

Saying that we should 'ask Jesus into our heart' might lead people to think that Christ is actually living inside our physical heart. The Spirit of God does in fact take up residence inside us. That's an awesome thing indeed! But not in our physical heart, or for that matter, stomach, liver, small intestine, or kidney.

Think about it, if that were true, would we lose Christ if we had a heart transplant? And if we donate our heart after dying, does the heart recipient become an instant Christian because Jesus is inside that heart? Sorry to bring it up but in my opinion, that phrase does more harm than good when trying to evangelize.

:
Joe
[/quote]

Ok.
I recently did a search to confirm that there is not a passage in the Bible (NAS) that talks about asking Jesus into our hearts. I understand the sentiment, but wonder where this phrasing came from.
Message: Posted by: clarissa35f (May 10, 2008 05:04PM)
I just thought of a way to use "Red Hot Mama" in a one-on-one ministering situation. But it would require a card I do not know whether or not it is for sale. A playing Card with a red back, on the back, and a Cross on front. Anyway onto the effect.

You show the pack, as being a regular deck of cards... faces and backs, with proper precautions if you know " Red Hot Mama" or " The Chicago Opener". You talk about how we all look more or less the same to one another. You have them select a card..that will represent them... and have them Hide the card in the deck, as you perform Red Hot Mama. Talk about how easy it is to hide from one another, but that God will always see us, no matter how hard we hide. Expose that the only red backed card is the selected card. Talk about how it is impossible to hide from God, or to try and cover our sins, since he sees us no matter what. Place on the table as per Red Hot Mama. Then you can go into telling the Good News about the Lord, and his gift of salvation. You talk about How Christ becomes sin for us. And that from that point on, when God looks at us, he no longer sees us, but his Son. In God's eyes, we are no longer our sinful self, but God's sinless son.

Here you turn the card on the table over... show the red card with Cross on the front. Representing Jesus.

As an aside you can make this card easilly buy an all red back, blank faced deck. then Just use a marker to make a Cross on the face of it. You can even put John 3:16 on the face under the cross... and hand it out as a souvenir.

I think my point is, with some thought there are many effects that can be transformed to make a message more visual.
Message: Posted by: whitjm5 (May 10, 2008 09:19PM)
Joe, VERY good point. Watering down the message is probably the WORST thing we Christians can do with the gospel. I'd venture to say that it's probably worse than not witnessing at all, since watering it down affects ALL who hear it, not just the one who didn't hear it from us (if that makes sense).
Message: Posted by: Ethan the emazing (May 11, 2008 07:52AM)
[quote]
Thanks for letting me ramble. Check out Hell's Best Kept Secret at http://www.wayofthemaster.com for a really good and clear explanation. I think you will love this.

Joe
[/quote]

If anything I would suggest buying this book before getting ANY other magic effects.
Trust me, it will help you in some way.
Message: Posted by: themagiciansapprentice (May 20, 2008 04:07AM)
Clarissa 355f for Red Mama

there are cross cards for sale check the "Card Collection" in the UK. Single cards are normally about $2. Or buy a blank faced red bicycle card and draw it on with a sharpie.
Message: Posted by: brownsentertainment (Aug 12, 2008 05:28PM)
I agree, never compromise the message. Just wrap it in a different package if need be.
Message: Posted by: gbradburn (Aug 14, 2008 08:13PM)
There's already a lot of really good suggestions here but you might want to take a look at [url=http://www.livingwaters.com]Living Waters[/url]. Ray Comfort using a few close-up effects, most notably the [url=http://www.livingwaters.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=503b&Category_Code=]Light Show Thumbtip[/url] (actually Rocco's D-Lite). He mostly uses the effects just to gather a small crowd, like your mall scenario, so he can segue into a gospel presentation. He uses a lot of tracts, which you can also get from his page if that's something you're interested in.

Here's a [url=http://www.livingwaters.com/listenwatch/money-trick.asx]video[/url] of a "free" money making trick you might be able to incorporate into your presentation.

Also, here's instructions on how to [url=http://www.livingwaters.com/powerful/index.shtml]tear a sheet of paper into a summary of the gospel[/url].
Message: Posted by: Hushai (Aug 15, 2008 02:59AM)
[/quote]

I have a Black Hot Rod that changes to all Diamonds... What kind of patter could be used for witnessing with that prop.

CraftyOne
[/quote]

If it's not too abstract a concept, you could just talk about unity in diversity. Diversity is represented by the all-different stones, on both sides of the Hot Rod. Then, unity is represented by the stones all the same color on both sides. But reality (the Reality of the Holy Trinity, and of people in Christ) is a unity in diversity -- show the Hot Rod with all the same stones on one side and all different ones on the other.