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Topic: Gospel routines
Message: Posted by: Geoff Williams (Apr 15, 2002 03:42PM)
What types of tricks do you do (or have you done) to accompanying Gospel or Christian-themed patter?

Such as:

Professor's Nightmare - how we see each other vs. how God sees us

T&R Card - what sin does and what can be done about it - Christ's D/B/R
Message: Posted by: Matt (Apr 16, 2002 08:03AM)

I have a bit with an Ambitious card routine that talks about resurection, Lazarus and Christ's own, and the result being that even though we are bent and broken due to sin, because of Christ's resurection, we will be too one day. (story follows right along with the ambitious from Ammar's, Easy to Master)

Message: Posted by: johncrosby (Apr 16, 2002 01:24PM)
The King is Coming is awsome and I am just starting to do the routine. I have had several opportunities to use it and the effect works great.


Message: Posted by: Geoff Williams (Apr 16, 2002 01:54PM)

What's the effect?
Message: Posted by: johncrosby (Apr 16, 2002 02:23PM)
You use 6 cards, Ace through 5 and the King of Hearts. Everytime you spell the number of a card, that number comes up. Everytime your volunteer spells a number card, the King of Hearts (Jesus) comes up. You start by talking about Jesus birth, and move along until you explain how Jesus is going to come again.

Message: Posted by: Geoff Williams (Apr 16, 2002 02:28PM)
Thanks. It sounds a lot like the handling of David Williamson's "He Who Spelt It, Dealt It" from the book "Williamson's Wonders."
Message: Posted by: johncrosby (Apr 16, 2002 03:01PM)
It came from the Gospel according to Hoyle by Robert Hill.


Message: Posted by: NickW (Apr 17, 2002 03:49AM)
One which I think is original to me is this, about balanced Christian faith.

The effect is the Professor's Nightmare, and I talk about how as Christians we have faith in God the Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Spirit. But most of us have a faith that focuses on one Person of God; in the Church of England it's often the Father, in majesty and glory, loving but distant. This I represent with the long rope. We're not too bad on the Son - God who speaks through the Scriptures and whom we see revealed in Jesus. This is the medium rope. That leaves the Holy Spirit, bringing faith to life now and - oh dear. Not much rope left! (Obviously this can easily be adapted depending on the emphases of your own church/audience)

I then stretch the ropes to equal length, tie them at the top and plait the three lengths while I talk about the three Persons of God interweaving.

Any thoughts on this, especially on how to develop it further, would be appreciated!
Message: Posted by: Steven the Amusing (Apr 17, 2002 07:33PM)
On 2002-04-15 16:42, Geoff Williams wrote:
Professor's Nightmare - how we see each other vs. how God sees us

I guess this wasn't an original thing with me then! Here is my routine:

"Can I get some help here? I'm trying to figure something out." I then hand out the short, medium and long pieces of rope to different children.

"Can anybody tell me anything they notice about these ropes?"
<I'd sometimes offer "I noticed that this one is white...." (they're all white!)>

Usually it didn't take them long to notice the different lengths. "Yep, it's funny how the first thing we often notice about people is how they are different... You know what I mean..." taking back the short rope "for example, if this was a person, they'd be teased 'Hey shorty!' or 'shrimpo'. If this was a person, you'd hear 'you are SO average'. And for this guy, he'd be teased like: 'you got anything besides legs?' 'How's the weather up there?' But do you know what? GOD sees us quite differently! He loves us ALL THE SAME." [present equal length ropes].

"But the saddest part of all is that even though we know God loves us all the same, we spend a lot of time picking on one another and looking at each other in the wrong way..." [show ropes as original lengths] "... you know, short, average and tall. How do you think the world would be different if instead we saw each other the way God sees us?"

I originally posted this in the Gospel Magicians Forum (nearly defunct now that Delphi is charging to use it). It's also on my web site: http://steven.i.am/magic/gospel_misc.htm#GodsEyes
Message: Posted by: Maynooth (Apr 18, 2002 04:19AM)
Doc Haley sells some great Gospel props.
I use their three card repeat and their Bible (magic colouring book).

I have used a card & coin routine where the backs of the cards are normal and the spec counts with the coin to a card. Whatever card they land on has a "Jesus Loves You" type message on the back. The moral "Where ever you end up God loves you". I can't remember the name of the routine.

The newspaper tear that becomes a giant corn stalk for the "Mustard seed" parable.

Hope these suggestions are a help.
Maynooth :bunny2:
Message: Posted by: Geoff Williams (Apr 18, 2002 08:02AM)
I sometimes use this gag: I say "For those of you with Bibles, please open them to the book of Revelation" as I open my fire book and have flames coming out of it.
Message: Posted by: Matt Graves (Apr 21, 2002 08:43PM)
When I used to go to "children's church" when I was about twelve or so, the guy who was running the thing did that one a lot. It blew my mind . . . only problem, he claimed it was "the power of God" . . . sheesh . . . it was still a cool effect, though.
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Apr 24, 2002 03:35PM)
Good One Geoff!

You could really take it a step farther too, if you want to heap some heavy guilt on the flock.

"I have a message for someone here today - right out of God's Word - How have You been Living your Life? You know you have not been Living Right! And You know who you are! But so does God! Here!" thrusting the book forward... "Let me tell you what is in store for you!"

Open the book and see how many folks bolt for the door, and how many fall to the floor!

Whew! Talk about "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God!"

I would guess a fair number would be moved in both directions in most churches today!

I could try that sometime, but I preach by invitation only, and I don't think I would get invited back! :lol: Or if I did, I don't think many would want to see what was next ;)

Thanks again Geoff for that funny picture!

Message: Posted by: Geoff Williams (Apr 24, 2002 04:35PM)

I just thought of a line to follow "...open them to the book of Revelation":

Flames are leaping up for a couple of beats, then close the book and say "Yeesh! It's not all good news, either." And leave it at that.

Not directly offensive but still makes a point.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Apr 25, 2002 06:24AM)
On 2002-04-17 04:49, NickW wrote:
One which I think is original to me is this, about balanced Christian faith.

The effect is the Professor's Nightmare, and I talk about how as Christians we have faith in God the Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Spirit. But most of us have a faith that focuses on one Person of God; in the Church of England it's often the Father, in majesty and glory, loving but distant. This, I represent with the long rope. We're not too bad on the Son - God who speaks through the Scriptures and whom we see revealed in Jesus. This is the medium rope. That leaves the Holy Spirit, bringing faith to life now and - oh dear. Not much rope left! (Obviously this can easily be adapted depending on the emphases of your own church/audience)

I then stretch the ropes to equal length, tie them at the top and plait the three lengths while I talk about the three Persons of God interweaving.

Any thoughts on this, especially on how to develop it further, would be appreciated!

Good line of thought with that one. The neglect of sound doctrine on the Holy Trinity is a major problem area in the Church today. Your routine illustrates the concept of the three Persons of the Trinity being equal in their divinity, yet one in unity. I would end up the routine by turning the three equal ropes (Father, Son, Holy Spirit-All Equally GOD) back into ONE single rope (GOD is One).

So, you start with one rope (One GOD), cut into three unequal pieces (talking about how different Christians tend to focus on one of the Persons of the Godhead over the others), then the three unequal pieces transform into three equal pieces of rope, finally back into one long piece of rope.
Message: Posted by: John (May 7, 2002 03:15PM)
I introduce my time by saying something like this:

"The art of illusion is a minor performing art, but it is an art none the less and like other arts it can be used to give glory to life's Source and life's Lord. What I enjoy about illusion as an audience member is that when it happens - for the moment it happens - the impossible is made visible - which, when you think about it is a pretty good starting place to think about things Christian, because in Jesus Christ Christians believe the "impossible" has not only been made visible - its been made real. So for a few moments this evening I'd like to use the art of illusion to speak of the truth of Jesus Christ and of God's amazing love for His people."

Message: Posted by: Joe Marotta (May 15, 2002 09:40AM)
What types of tricks do you do (or have you done) to accompanying Gospel or Christian-themed patter?

Straitjacket escape - Fighting and resisting temptation James 4:7, 1 Cor 10:13

Strat-O-Sphere - Keeping God at the top of our lives/Putting Jesus first in our life.

Joe Marotta
Message: Posted by: Andrew (May 17, 2002 01:55PM)

When presenting the "Ink to Goldfish", I start by explaining that there is a great deal of talk about pollution these days.
I bring out a glass of pure, clear water and then drop a bit of ink in and stir it up.
"No one would drink this now", I say. "But while conserving our natural resources is important, there is another pollution that is just as important to avoid... the pollution of our minds and hearts."

I go on to explain that we can hide this pollution (cover it with a silk) but that won't make it go away. (I pull the silk away and the water is still black.) "There is only one cure for this kind of pollution ... the Word of God!" The silk is pulled away again, but this time, the water is clear and a live fish (Christian symbol) is swimming in the glass.

Message: Posted by: John (Jun 2, 2002 03:07PM)
Gypsy Thread or C and R rope - where each of us betray Christ, each in our own way, where each of us fail him each in our own time, what good news that Jesus takes broken people just like us to make into his royal priesthood and holy nation.
Message: Posted by: GlenD (Jun 4, 2002 09:31AM)
There is a little trick called "Explosion chamber" or something like that, consisting of a solid little red plastic ball and a clear plastic box and lid. I think I paid around 3 bucks for it (maybe I still got taken for it at that price).

Anyways the enclosed patter has you somehow getting the ball inside with it apparently completely closed. I do the reverse and close it empty before the spec, after they examine both items, and also proceed to secure it shut with rubber bands. Then I explain that the red ball represents Christ and the box is our heart.

As we live our lives we commit sins and our hearts can even become bound up in sin, etc... Then a few taps on the lid with the ball as I mention how Jesus will knock on the door to our heart, never force himself in but He will knock... then about here I cover the box with a silk or handkerchief, placing the ball on top and letting them touch the hanky and feel that the ball is resting on top.

Then I explain that when we ask Jesus into our hearts, no matter what we have done or how bound up in sin we are He promises to come into our hearts and dwell within us. Then with a gentle pushing down motion on the handkerchief on both sides of the box the ball is seen (although still under the silk) and heard to go into the box. Lift off the silk, shake the box a little displaying the ball inside for all to see (keeping the somewhat open side facing me), remove rubber bands and open the lid.

I have only done this for small groups of friends and kids, not in a church show or anything, mostly because I haven't done any large paid shows, etc. But was thinking a slightly larger version would be great. Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated, or please let me know if I just explained in all this detail something someone has already worked out!

Message: Posted by: JBlaxton (Aug 27, 2002 07:24PM)
I'm new to the Café, but thought I'd share a routine I just learned (it's probably old for everyone else!). I was surfing the internet and ran across a card trick. The screen showed six face cards. You were asked to pick one, but not to click on it. Then, you were to click on a tornado (to simulate that the computer was mixing up the cards). Then you clicked on a bunny and five cards came up on the screen with the statement: YOUR CARD IS MISSING!

Of course, it was. I figured it out pretty quickly and decided I could use it this way:

I would display six very large face cards on a homemade stand, and have as many people in the audience who can see them to stand up and mentally pick a card, but to keep it to themselves. I then remove the cards, turn the stand around, "mix them up", display five, turn the stand around, and say, "IF YOUR CARD IS MISSING, PLEASE TAKE YOUR SEAT."

Of course, everyone should be seated.

The message, say:
"This trick will work for one person as easily as it will for (however many stood up to do it, say) 100 people. And do you know what? I didn't have to make any changes in the way I did it. Even though you, the members of the audience, selected your own card, the trick worked the same for everyone.

"The gospel of Jesus is, also, the same for everyone. It is the same for one person, and it is the same for 100's of people. It is the same for the intellectual, and the same for the young child. It is the same for the college graduate, and the same for the cook at the fast food restaurant.

"The messages of salvation through Jesus NEVER needs to be changed. The same message that has been around 2,000 years is still the same today."
Message: Posted by: tglund (Aug 28, 2002 11:54AM)
I use a color changing deck routine I learned from Harry Lorayne's book "The Magic Book". I explain to the audience that sight is a wonderful gift from God and I show them the faces of the cards having them tell me the colors and I show the backs of the cards asking them to tell me the color. I then show the faces and ask the audience member to select a card to represent them and to memorize it. I review quickly asking them to name the color of the pip on various cards then I ask them to tell me what color the backs of the cards are.

I tell them that man looks on the outside but God looks on the heart. I turn over the deck and the backs have changed color except for one card. I turn the off colored card over and it is the card that the spectator selected.

I tell them that people may look fine on the outside but God truly knows what we are all really like. I pull a card from the bottom of the deck and turn it over. It has a picture of Jesus on it. I rub the up face Jesus card on the face of the down turned specators card and explain that through redemption and spending time with God and through prayer, Jesus can convert us to look more like him. I use the Jesus card to flip over the spectators card and it now has changed to have a picture of Jesus on it.

There are a numerous ways to convert standard magic tricks to work for gospel presentations. The more you work at it the easier it will become. :)
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (Aug 29, 2002 12:49PM)
I have the "Fish and Loaves Repeat Jumbo Cards". I really like it a lot.

I have also used the Invisible Deck to show how God's amazing power can locate us in our ocean of sin, and then "turn us around" so that we can see ourselves as He sees us - as one desperately in need of a Savior!

Wild Card is good to show how God conforms us to the image of His Son!

With imagination, you can apply the Word to many effects!
Message: Posted by: DougTait (Aug 31, 2002 10:26PM)
My wife's favorite is a routine I do with a Lotta Bowl. I talk about how much love Jesus had for us, and how he was the "living water". Unlike this vessel which has a limited supply (pour until empty), we can always turn to Jesus, for as the living water, he will always provide for our needs. (Make several pours as you continue to discuss His endless love etc)

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." - John 4

It is fairly easy to make a great lotta bowl that look like an earthen jug. E-mail me and I will provide instructions.
To His Glory,
Doug :idea:
Message: Posted by: ThePuppetPeople (Sep 2, 2002 06:43PM)
I just bought a Dove and Dove pan and was trying to come up with solid patter for the illusion. I'd like to use the Bible story about Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego. Has anyone done this? If so, what do you put in the pan in the beginning?


Also, Has anyone used the Dollar Bill levitation routine to a Christian patter?
Message: Posted by: x-treem (Sep 2, 2002 09:19PM)
Though not along the lines you are looking for, I find the dove to be an excellent representation of Christ, with the dove being used on Noah's ark and the Baptism.

I use a night club dove vanisher to talk about the death, the dove vanishes and after pulling it apart I am left with a silk that has a doves picture on it, talking about the boulder being moved aside and finding only his shroud left behind.

I then go into the Resurrection putting the silk into a dove pan, with a little fire flash the silk "becomes" the dove, she flys to a pearch at the back of the audience as I talk about His ascent into Heaven.

This routine has been a strong effect in my shows, people have asked after that routine if I was ever planning to get into Ministry, some even cry from the Lord's hand in the effect.

I know that it was not what you were looking for but I thought I'd share anyway.
Message: Posted by: tla (Nov 21, 2002 12:14PM)
Seems like I've seen a routine using an enlarged "oddball" apparatus with three blocks on two ropes. The one in the center representing sin, the ones on either side, man and God.

I believe Jesus was represented with a silk which is placed over the blocks. His death and resurrection are represented by the knot that is died in "one" of the ropes. The result being that sin is removed and God and man are rejoined.
Message: Posted by: Geoff Williams (Nov 22, 2002 07:57AM)
Andre Kole has a similar routine (which is also marketed on his website) that uses 3 balls threaded on a metal or wooden rod. The center ball is removed quite openly during the course of this Gospel presentation routine.

Check it out at:

Message: Posted by: Handydandymagic (May 13, 2005 01:02PM)
Hello everyone,
I have a small problem, I just bought "Jonah's Second Chance" by Supreme, at an auction without directions. Although I know how the trick works (Pet Shop Pranks)I don't have the patter. I was wondering if anyone has the patter or knows where to get it? Thanks in advance for any help.
Message: Posted by: Rickfcm (May 13, 2005 06:45PM)
I use forgetful freddie to tell the story of the prodigal son.
Message: Posted by: drkptrs1975 (May 30, 2005 04:20PM)
Cut -n- Restore Rope trick Use that as a Salvation Message.

Get a name I use that to show that God knows your thoughts

Dissapearing Knot - Show that Following Jesus, will erase your fears and doubts

Two Card Monte - Shows how Jesus took your place on the Cross
Message: Posted by: John Long (Jun 27, 2005 10:06PM)
I posted this elsewhere, but thought I'd add it to this list.

I took a "Coloring Book", and pasted black and red paper over the black and colored pictures. Pasted gold paper on the extra blank pages(which allows a reverse riffle with a gold color) and covered the outside with green.

Then I tell the story of the "Wordless Book" - a book w/no words or pictures, but yet it tells a wonderfull story.

Starting at the back of the book to find out how it ends, we see gold on each page. This stands for heaven, a perfect place, but theres one thing that can never be in heaven..

Back to front, and 1'st riffle: all pages are now black, which represents sin, and keeps us out of heaven.

2'nd riffle: all pages are red, which represents blood/death. Although God loves us enough to create a wonderfull place for us(heaven), he can't let us in(sin). He solved this problem in the person of Jesus (Is 53:6). So the red stands for His blood/death, not ours

3'rd riffle: all pages are white, which represents being cleaned or cleansed.
Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be white as snow (Is 1:18)

This cleansing is offered as a gift Rm 6:23

but not all receive this gift. It is received by Faith, which is believing that Jesus death/resurrection is both sufficient and sole payment for our sins.

Jn 3:16

The last chapter of this book, is the outside, its green, which represents life. We talked about 2 kinds of life: here & the in after world. This book about how to get life everlasting. (or can represent growing as a Christian)

Message: Posted by: God-glorified (Jun 27, 2005 10:55PM)
Ambitious card using the king of hearts as JESUS exclaiming that he is to be number one in our lives and some people put HIM in the middle near the top or even on the bottom but if we are willing there he will be in the place that he should be ON TOP
Message: Posted by: davejesc (Jun 29, 2005 04:58PM)
Some effects that come to mind ...

God takes broken peices of our lives and reshapes us into a whole person.
This is an effective illustration for folks who have been through all kinds of travails and feel that their life is falling apart.

Lotta bowl:
God's love is never ending.

Card Warp:
Whenever I do a new seminar or teaching (I conduct ALPHA seminars for my church, for example), I do the Card Warp at the end. I use it to illustrate how what we've been learning can change a person - from the inside out - but we've only begun. Now that the seminar is over, each participant can choose to stop there (final step of card warp) or can continue on and let God keep working in their life. I then encourage the participants to continue with follow up courses, small groups, whatever is appropriate for that particular application. This illustrates that if they just stop at that point, they are cheating themselves because God wants to continue the work started in them in this seminar. If they stop, they will remain in this "incomplete" state. My description here is poor, but the effect and presentation is actually very encouraging and motivating.

Dream Bag:
I use this to illustrate the treasures that God places into each of us when we accept him. I add 3 silks to the loads to illustrate the 9 gifts of the Spirit. I draw on the fact that the dream bag is a plain/ordinary bag - nothing special, but with the Spirit of God inside, there is much beauty and wonder to be found. I also use this in a motivational presentation about judging others inspired by Steve Taylor.

20th Century Silks:
Jesus bridges the gap between God and Man (middle silk - red - represents Jesus, two end silks represent God and Man).

Rope through Body:
The rope represents the bondages of this world. When we give ourselves to Christ, he loosens those bonds and frees us from them. We still are exposed to bondage, but we have freedom from it's effects through Christ. The passing of the rope through the body shows His protection over us. I also use with kids to teach them how to simply witness to their peers, tieing up their youth pastor (or pastor) and after leading him through a kids version of the sinner's prayer, make the bonds break and pass through.

Just some quick ideas and food for thought.