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Topic: Gospel magic vs. Christian illusionist
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Jan 9, 2004 01:13AM)
My thought is:

I have found that many Christians are much more tolerant of my "gospel magic" when I call myself a "Christian illusionist"

What are your thoughts on this. I understand it's a play on words and WE all know it's the same thing...but, some Christians seem to be a lot more tolerant when the word "magic" is not used.

I use my magic within the church and even with my second grade Sunday school class and have so far had no objections to my "magic."

Any thoughts on this?
Message: Posted by: Dar_kwan (Jan 9, 2004 03:14AM)
I have noticed the same thing, I have even had heated debates with some people over it. I decided to take a stand and not hide behind "gospel illusion" and some of the other people at the seminar I was at would constantly "correct" me when I said I perfomed magic in children's church. I said, "Why not call the spade a spade, and maybe then others wouldn't have such a bad view about it?"

The only reason there is confusion is that the English language isn't adequate and we have to use the same word for what we do and what the witches and warlocks do. :(
Message: Posted by: John LeBlanc (Jan 9, 2004 08:59AM)
Years and years ago I wrote an article on this subject. I think I'm going to find time over the next couple of weeks to find it and maybe post it. Here are a few ideas I touched on.

Let's not forget something: the most popular translation of the Bible is the King James Revised Edition, which was given a date of 1611. But the work done on it came many years before that. (That much of the work was appropriated from the wonderful work of a real martyr, William Tyndale, is another subject.)

A book that has heavily influenced our little artform was also written around that same time, [i]Discoverie of Witchcraft[/i] by Reginald Scott, 1584. As many of you probably know, Scott's purpose in writing the book was, in part, to counter the witch hunting craze of the Inquisition. He revealed some basic magical apparatus and workings in the course of his work.

Do you see how the thinking of the time could have influenced the English words chosen when translating Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek into English? A good example is the use of the phrase "Holy Ghost" rather than "Holy Spirit." Belief in ghosts was prevalent at the time, and the connection between "spirit" and "ghost" was natural, if unfortunate.

There are so many beliefs people believe are based in the Bible, but are really not. But once a belief takes hold, it's very difficult to overcome it. Magic (our kind) is a perfect example, although things are a whole lot better than they were in the past.

One of the most powerful questions we can ask ourselves or others is, "Why do you believe that?" Sometimes—oftentimes—the uncomfortable answer is, "I don't know."

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 9, 2004 09:04PM)
Regarding "witches and warlocks" above, do you mean to refer to the practicioners of what is now called "Wicca?" These folks use symbols and objects in ways that look quite similar to some of what is seen involving magic wands, etc.

I was under the impression that the message takes precidence over the medium. In either case it seems counterproductive to malign others.
Message: Posted by: Margarette (Jan 9, 2004 11:42PM)
Magic vs. Illusion:

The term "magic" conjurs up ideas of the supernatural. If one does "magic", then it is possible that one "calls upon evil spirits for the power" (see another post for the explanation of this comment). If one uses the term "illusion," that conjurs up the idea that it's just "a trick". That one is indeed making the audience see something that they shouldn't be seeing, but it's not because of anything evil...it's just skill.

Just my thoughts.

Margarette
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jan 10, 2004 11:35AM)
For many, many years I have had the following on the backs of my cards:
___

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

Hebrews 13:2
___

It seems to help me out of enemy territory.

Otherwise, I remind them that:
___

There are only two kinds of people in the world: the righteous and the unrighteous. We righteous decide who is who.
___

Then we are back on sane terms, or I’m leaving.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Jan 10, 2004 11:45AM)
Exactly my point Margarette. I call myself a Christian illusionist now and everyone seems to be interested. When I called myself a gospel magician I got a lot of skepticism and raised eyebrows.
Message: Posted by: x-treem (Jan 10, 2004 04:52PM)
Randall, there is an EXCELLENT book out called [i]Heros of the Faith[/i] in the beginning of the manuscript is a tretis called [i]Defending our Art[/i] and it has a description of the Biblical terms for such entities as magician, warlock, magic and so forth. I believe Joe at Abaracadabra has it if you'd like to read it over.

I always find it best whether you use the term [i]magic[/i] or [i]illusion[/i] that you should set forth to explain that you have no "powers" you are not "possesed by demons" but just an average person who has a hobby much like stamp collecting is a hobby, yours is doing tricks which anyone with patience and money, can learn and do.

This was the best tip I ever got from both Toby Travis and Duane Laflin.

Shawn
Message: Posted by: Dar_kwan (Jan 12, 2004 02:06AM)
Yep that's what I do. I'm blessed in that my pastor supports me.
Message: Posted by: DougTait (Jan 12, 2004 08:43AM)
Bob; I loved the scripture verse and the "quotation". Unfortunately it is too often practiced.

[url=http://www.gospelcom.net/fcm/domagic.html]Here is a link[/url] to an essay by Bob Hill titled [i]Should a Christian do Magic or Conjuring?[/i]
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Jan 12, 2004 11:34AM)
I think that it is important to use discernment when labeling yourself. Labeling yourself as a magician, while being strictly accurate, leaves ambiguity in defining what you do and who you are. We can get all technical and say that the spelling of magic and majik are different and, therefore, it should be clear. But that is simply not the case, because it is not clear.

Why create a potential problem? Among friends, call yourself whatever you want; magician; conjurer, etc. But among strangers use a descriptive title that they will understand with no room for misunderstanding.

If we all agree (and a least a few seem to), including Randall, who started this topic, that some people react badly to "magician" and they get better response calling themselves "illusionists", then what is wrong with calling ourselves illusionists? Illusionist seems to me to carry a bit more stature anyway. (In my opinion.)

Does David Copperfield call himself a magician? I don't think so. I think his PR usually says illusionist. And I think that is a good enough reason to posture yourself an illusionist, even if people aren't confused about what a magician does. And if they might be confused, then all the more reason not to claim a title of "magician."

To magicians, I am a magician. But I don't perform for magicians. To audiences for whom I do perform, before and after they get to know me, I am an illusionist.

BroDavid
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Jan 12, 2004 01:02PM)
Excellent point BroDavid.

X-treem, thanks for the tip. I appreciate it.

See you at the next magic club meeting?
Message: Posted by: Andrew (Jan 12, 2004 01:22PM)
Well, I'm glad to hear I'm not alone in this confusion.

Until recently, I promoted myself as "Andrew...Family Magic" but the resistance I have encountered simply by using the term "magic" has cautioned me to use "illusions" instead. While the term "magic" is more entertaining for children, some have found this offensive. With that in mind, "illusions" more accurately describes what I do.

Andrew
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Jan 13, 2004 10:51AM)
I have discussed this with other Christian magicians and I agree with calling it what it is. My simple feeling is if a person can't tell the difference between pulling a rabbit out of a hat and conjuring up a demon, they have a much bigger problem.
Message: Posted by: x-treem (Jan 15, 2004 03:53PM)
Hey Guardian,

I will not make it until April so keep Joe in line for me. :)

I agree with Bro David 100% in his last post as well.
Message: Posted by: Steve Varro (Jan 16, 2004 02:48PM)
Among magical performers we all know the difference between the words "magician" and "illusioinist." When one from the arts thinks of the word illusion they think "Big Box" tricks, like cutting a women in half or even larger like vanishing a plane, etc. As a result, when one calls himself an illusionist members of the magic world expect big "illusions". It is only among magicians that the word illusion seems to be out of place when used by a performer who is not doing box illusions. However, the word illusion is also used to refer to "optical" illusions such as I've seen drawn on small card-size papers. The reality is that the word illusion most clearly expresses what it is we are all doing. Creating illusions...some small, some large, but all illusions never the less.

For 20 years I have called myself a Christian illusionist and have never felt I was "hiding behind" the term. There are many Christians who do have a problem with the word magic or magician, and even though they may be misguided, if my title "gospel magician" closes them to the message I am sharing, then I have missed the mark and the opportunity to share the love of Jesus with them. Better to dispell the thought that what I am doing is "real magic" thus opening their hearts and minds to the message of Jesus' love as illustrated through my program.

For those interested, there is an article on my web site called [i]Why some Christians Hate Magicians[/i]. You can find it at http://www.gospelmagic.com/stevevarro then clicking on the "In The News" wand.

In HIS service,
Steve Varro
Christian Illusionist
Message: Posted by: John LeBlanc (Jan 16, 2004 05:29PM)
Steve, I understand your point, although I choose to use the words "magician" and "mentalist" in my gospel shows. Here are my reasons.

While I'm not interested in offending anyone, I do feel an obligation to teach and educate those whom I run into who do have a problem with the word "magic." It seems to me that there should be no incongruence—or at least, a presumption of no negative connotation—when I put the word "Christian" ahead of the word "magician."

Actually, I've found it a conversation starter more often than not. I follow the question, "[i]How is it you can be a Christian and a magician at the same time?[/i]" with, "[i]Well, what do the words 'Christian' and 'magician' mean to you?[/i]"

To me and in my experience, it's really not much different than someone asking why it is I believe what I believe.

Many of us know to keep up with contemporary magician happenings. Audience members are going to ask us about David Copperfield and David Blain. It doesn't look too swift if we can't speak about either of those two.

Same goes for gospel magic performers. Be conversant with what the Bible really says about what we do in comparison with the stuff the translators called "magic" in the Bible. Most people don't have any idea. (Come to think of it, a lot of performers don't have any idea.)

Which leads me to:

[quote]
For those interested, there is an article on my web site called Why some Christians Hate Magicians. You can find it at http://www.gospelmagic.com/stevevarro then clicking on the "In The News" wand.
[/quote]
I tried to get there but got a server error. I would like to read it, though.

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX
Message: Posted by: Spiro Taylor (Jan 17, 2004 06:28AM)
My first posting...

As my public ministry in gospel magic increases I am also tossing up how I should "label myself" before others. And yet as one posting indicated, it is a great discussion starter. I even remember one time on a parallel note how someone was perplexed that I was a Christian but who goes to rock concerts(!). :eek:

Spiro
Melbourne, Australia
Message: Posted by: sdgiu (Jan 17, 2004 10:51AM)
This is a great thread, with lots of good debate, pros and cons. This whole thing had me tied in knots for several years. My common sense tells me "What difference does it really make?" My dad, a semi-retired minister/gospel magician, got me started and I am proud to be a "gospel magician" and want everybody to know it.

However, when I was younger, I dabbled in things I shouldn't have and was on the verge of getting into the occult. So I also understand the repulsion of the people who don’t want anything to do with the occult or even sounds like it does.

See my dilemma.

I have come to terms with the whole matter through these verses.

In I Corinthians 9:
Verse 1-14, Paul talks about his rights in the ministry.
Verse 15-27, He talks about limiting his rights in the ministry.

I Cor 9:15
Paul says that he doesn't claim any of his rights because, it would be better for him to die than for someone to make his glorying/ministry void.

The srv — :lol: Steve's revised version :lol: — translates that as:
I have a lot of rights as a minister, (see 9:1-14) but if they cause someone to have problems "I WILL NOT" claim those rights. (*See I Corinthians 8 below.)

I Cor 9:19a
For though I am free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all or nobody can make me do anything, but because I love God, I make myself willingly a servant to man. (Serving through my ministry.)

I Cor 9:20-22
Paul says he talks to people in a way, and about things that they can understand, and can relate to.

I Cor 9:22 (last half of the verse)
I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Again in different terms Paul says he talks to people in a way, and about things that they can understand, and can relate to, and the reason is "that I might by all means save some" which is the whole reason for what we do.

*One last verse, in I Corinthians 8
Paul talks about the liberties of being a Christian, and being careful not to offend "The Weaker Brother" going so far as to say, that if his eating meat were to offend his Brother (other Christians) that he wouldn't eat meat. (In his words, till the world ends.)

This pretty much did it for me. If I am around people who get offended by my calling what I do gospel magic, I am a gospel illusionist, or whatever else makes them happy. Keeping in mind that my main goal is: "that I might by all means save some”. Well, this made things clearer for me.

I know that much of what I stated here has already been said, I just thought I'd tie several thoughts together in a little different way.

So whether you are a gospel magician or illusionist, go! Preach! Win!

Godspeed
Steve :baby:
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Jan 17, 2004 12:07PM)
Well said Steve!

I am particularly fond of I Cor 9:22 and that is my life model, which not coincidentally, also defines how I present myself when performing.

Good thoughts from everyone here! Great discussion!

BroDavid
Message: Posted by: wassabi_87 (Feb 3, 2004 11:17PM)
Personally I would present myself as a Christian illusionist, not only because it is one of the technically proper names, but I'm not always doing magic to present the gospel. So, I'm always a Christian but not always doing gospel magic.
Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (Feb 26, 2008 11:51PM)
I am resurecting an old post (very old) because I am curious if in the last four years there has been a significant change in attitude about this issue. The issue in this post was Gospel Magic vs. Christian Illusionist.

Personally, I have decided to go with "Family and Kids Show Magician". I am doing character assemblies in schools as well as church events, and think the Christian Illusionist title will be a large obsticle for public school principles to overcome.

I still perceive some resistance to the word magician in Christian circles, however in my church it is not significant. Only one person thus far has approached me in my large 2,500 (regular attendance) evangelical congregation that was bothered by using "magic" in the church. One other has encouraged me to use the word Illusion instead of magic.

I try to soften the magician word by couching it with the words "family and kids show". I think it's hard to associate demonic with family and kids show. But really, I think "Family and Kids Show Magician" most accurately describes what I do for both Christian and secular audiences.

Have y'all seen a shift in attitude regarding the word "magic" in the church?
Message: Posted by: Will L. (Feb 27, 2008 01:10AM)
I thought the root word for magic was magi.
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Feb 27, 2008 05:12AM)
Tony, what you need to do is seperate the two. If you're doing schools shows and other programs outside of a church enviroment, you do want to bill yourself as a Family and Kids Show Magician. So that would be one side of your business.

The other side of it is the ministry side which you could bill yourself as a Christian Entertainer or Christian Illusionist. I highly recommend that the two be seperate and even in advertising, two seperate websites and so forth... you need to not associate one with the other because it could hurt potential clients who would not book a Christian Illusionist thinking that you're going to be preaching at their audience, and on the other hand, if you advertise as you're doing, churches won't book you thinking that you are just an entertainer and not ministry oriented.

That's why I have two seperate domains, neither points to the other. One of the biggest problems guys have with their websites, they try to put everything under one umbrella, where it's best to seperate out each element like I suggested.

Be blessed
Message: Posted by: FriarShaun (Feb 27, 2008 05:39PM)
I prefer "Christian practitioner of the occultic arts" I think is sounds friendlier.
Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (Feb 27, 2008 09:36PM)
Hey Terry,

I think your advise is solid. I have just finished my first website and I am trying to market to both Christian and secular audiences. I agree that it would be much easire to seperate the two. I'll probably get there soon.
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Feb 28, 2008 06:38AM)
I think the friar has been drinking too much juice. :)
Message: Posted by: MindMyst (Mar 20, 2008 03:36PM)
It seems to me that Friar Shawn actually isn't drinkin' too much juice.
See, from my perspective, his is the most honest presentation of all
that I've read in this thread.

After all... we do put "the work" into the performances, otherwise such
would fail to astonish. And, here at the Café' "the work" is the antithesis
of honest. And, don't we keep "the work" secret? Yes we do.

And, doesn't "occult" mean "secret?" Yes it does. So, Friar Shawn
proposes to tell the spectators that he will astonish them (art) through
the use of secret (occult) methods (practise...inserting "the work").
And he bills himself
in this way. So, the specs know up front what their challenge will be.

At least he can sleep at night, knowing that he didn't sidestep his way
around putting "the work" into his brochure in order to get the job.


Joe Miller
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Mar 20, 2008 05:19PM)
If you don't want bookings in a church, you can call it anything you want...it's a free country.

If you're looking to partner with Evangelical churches then any one with a little business sense would know that would not be the thing to call what you did.

If you're in it to amuse yourself, perform in front of a mirror. If you want to entertain, or reach people, then you become sensitive to what might or might not work.
Message: Posted by: Joe Marotta (Mar 20, 2008 11:36PM)
I think Friar may have been speaking tongue in cheek, but that's just my guess. FriarShaun, can you confirm please? I don't want to put words in your mouth.
Message: Posted by: John Long (Mar 30, 2008 02:49PM)
From my experience, I have notice

1) Those from pentacostal/charismatic backgrounds seem much more likely to wonder what I mean when I say I do "magic", and overall, they seem more resistant to what I do as a magician.

2) In the non charismatic evangelical realm, the older Christians seem to be more likely to think levitation (e.g.; Balduci) is satanic, but comfortable calling the rest of the magic that we do as slight of hand.

3) Those from more liberal churches, don't care.

Yet, certainly there is great variation within each group.
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Mar 30, 2008 04:20PM)
This is a great, informative thread. I'm just starting out in the Gospel magic arena, so this is giving me a lot of insight.

As of now I prefer Gospel Magician because it lets people know what you're about right off the bat. I can see why Christian Illusionist might be a better idea in the log run for more mass appeal to sensitive Christian audiences. This has given me food for thought and I really appreciate it. Glad the Lord led me to this wonderful site.

God bless-

Preston
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Mar 30, 2008 04:26PM)
So the problem seems to be with the wording and not the act itself. If someone has a problem with the wording of what I call myself rather than a problem with what I do, then I'm a fraid it's not enough to justify me changing what I call myself. Magic is magic, no matter what you want to change it to to accomadate someone's hyprocrisy. I would be more concerned about someone having a problem with what I do and not what I call myself.

"*One last verse, in I Corinthians 8
Paul talks about the liberties of being a Christian, and being careful not to offend "The Weaker Brother" going so far as to say, that if his eating meat were to offend his Brother (other Christians) that he wouldn't eat meat. (In his words, till the world ends.)"

If someone had a problem with the word "meat" should we change it to something else? In the end, no matter what you call it, it's still meat. We have to be concerned about our weaker brothers, but I seriously don't think this is what Paul was getting at in the verses you provided. If people had a problem with what I do, then that should concern me. Enough at least to make sure I don't perform magic for that person. Having a problem with the wording and not having a problem with what I do sounds very hyprocritical to me.
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Mar 30, 2008 06:14PM)
I agree with you Dan, that it sounds very hypocritical. What you are doing is much more significant than what you are called. Problem is, there are a lot of hypocrites out there. Both in the church and out. I know I'm guilty at times myself. Another problem is people bicker over words and their meanings all the time.

As I am just starting out, it's nice to read this now, before I've committed to anything yet. I wouldn't suggest changing the title of what someone does unless the Lord is leading them, but I know the bible teaches me to act in love above all else. This will probably affect what I do decide to call myself, if I ever reach the point of performing professionally.

If the Lord has led you to call yourself a magician, then He will be at work in all that you do, and may use even the very argument over that word to reach out to people, break down barriers, etc. "Be strong and of good courage, for I am with you wherever you go," comes to mind. Same with calling yourself an Illusionist; if we are led by prayer and the Holy Spirit then we will be moving in the right direction even if we offend people sometimes. How many times have you unintentionally offended someone over something trivial? (To you) No matter what we do, someone will be offended.

You can't please everyone all the time.

Again, thanks and God bless

Preston-
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Mar 30, 2008 06:32PM)
But...though illusionist means one thing to us, illusion is exactly what we do...we are making something look like it's happening when it's really not. Thus it was an illusion...so that's why we can use it when it comes to churches.
Message: Posted by: CurtWaltermire (Mar 30, 2008 07:31PM)
I agree with Terry Owens with regards to being sensitive to the people you're trying to reach.

As much as it sounds like the use of the term "Christian Illusionist" is simply playing some sort of game of political correctness, I think it is simply just using wisdom to give yourself the best in-road to the hearts of the people you're trying to reach or are performing for. It doesn't mean that you have to change who you are or compromise your own standards. I think it goes along with what the Scripture says about "comforting the feebleminded." After all, it's really not about US, it's about THEM, isn't it? It's about THE MESSAGE, right?

I am not wanting to haggle about which term is correct to use when, but I am just pointing out the idea that the more we realize that what we do is for others, and not really about US, then should we not use every possible means at our disposal to do so?

There are people who will strive about words, and it is indeed of no REAL importance if what is being done doesn't change. As far as us illusionists/magicians are concerned, what difference does it make to us what we call ourselves if it helps us to do what we are trying to do? I heard a well-known porn-star say in an interview once (on one of those cable MTV channels, I believe) that she just likes "giving of herself to bring happiness and pleasure to people." Regardless of what she said, it didn't change the fact that she was an adulterer, fornicator, etc., and I venture to say that no one thought of her as more virtuous as a result of her choice of words, but rather laughed, as I did, at what she said. That is not the same type of hypocrisy here because we know that what we are doing is not a cover-up to something that is otherwise sinful, though some people erroneously perceive it to be.

We could absolutely wear ourselves out trying to cover every imaginable base in order not to EVER offend ANYONE. Having realized that, should we then say "Well, people are going to be offended anyway, so I'm just going to be who I am and if people don't like it they can lump it?" I think not. Aren't we to "follow peace with all men?" Should we not at least do what we can do to put out any fires of offense that we see kindling? Sure people will still fight it, but what can you then do? I think that many a christian magician can learn not to take themselves so very seriously and realize just what it is they're trying to accomplish.

Do the best you can. Offend as few as you can. And be sure to give the glory to God and do it all as unto the Lord.

In Christ,

Curtis
http://www.CurtisMagic.com
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Mar 30, 2008 08:51PM)
I understand what you're saying Curtis, but how far do we take that? If we change our title everytime someone has a problem with it, then what happens when someone has a problem with the word "illusionist"? What do we change it to them? I totally agree with being sensitive to others, but what about those who are offended by christians who perform magic?(There are many of them) Shouldn't we be sensitive to them as well and stop performing magic? Because like you said, it's not about us, it's about them and God right?
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Mar 31, 2008 09:07AM)
If they have that much trouble though, they wouldn't be booking us in the first place...The term Christian Illusionist pretty much spells out what we do and it is user friendly. There are pastors that might be open to having you, but knows that some in the church would have problems with "magician" but calling yourself an illusionist would make him/her more comfortable and opens the doors for booking.

What I would recomend is setting up a ministry title...for example I go by Total Family Ministries, that says nothing about magic, but yet when they book me, it's one of the main elements in my program. If you specialize in reaching children, you could call yourself a Children's Ministries specialist (which I actually held that position in North Carolina for our denomination and was supported by our denomination to do that), a Family Ministries Specialist or Children's Evangelist.

For every church, ministry and magician, there's a business side of it, so if you want bookings, then you need to be church friendly. If they ask what you do, and they start to balk at it, then you politely tell them that maybe you wouldn't be the right ministry to come. I've turned down churches, big churches, that I didn't think that my ministry would fit...

Bottom line, your ministry is not meant to be in every church, it's okay if they don't want you...it's more important to have a God appointment than just doing a show.
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Mar 31, 2008 10:26AM)
I've also come to realize that it would also depend on geographics. If you lived in Saleem for example, I suppose calling yourself a christian magician probally wouldn't go over well.(lol)

Terry, Curtis, I'm not saying that I disagree with either of you, but I guess I have never faced the situation of someone having a problem with my title. I have yet to have someone express to me that they have a problem with my use of the totle "Gospel magician". I suppose that if enough people showed concern about it, I might contemplate changing it. Right now, the word "magic", or calling myself a Gospel magician seems to work for me. I have never even questioned it until I found this thread. However, I understand that because I don't perform my Gospel magic on a huge scale like others do, I may be prone to be bias on this situation.

I do think I raise a valid point when I ask how far do we go. Someone has a problem with the word "magic" so we change it, but when someone has a problem with christians using magic we just dust off our shoes and move on. The rule for changing the wording of our title should also apply to those who are against magic being performed by christians. I will be first to admit that I use magic in my Gospel presentations because it's fun, and I enjoy it. I guess I'm guilty of thinking about my needs and wants when it comes to using magic tricks to present the Gospel. However, I am very cautious about using material that may be offensive to some people, and I don't just do what I do because I enjoy magic, but because I love the Lord Jesus Christ and desire to serve Him.
Message: Posted by: CurtWaltermire (Apr 1, 2008 05:17PM)
Dan,

You do indeed raise a valid point when you ask the question "how far do we go?" and I don't claim to have any right answer to that question other than to say "only as far as necessary." There are going to be people who are absolutely insatiable, but I believe those are really few in number, frustrating though it is to encounter them. However, even though the same sorts of objections can be raised repeatedly by many different people, each person and situation, though similar to us, is different and must be handled differently.

In my last post I was only trying to warn against a stance that I believe could possibly cause us to harden our hearts towards people. There are those people who are contentious because of their pride, and others that raise objections out of ignorance and need to be educated or are truly waiting to be proven wrong. If I can do as the Bible says and "subvert the hearer" (i.e. get them to listen and accept what I'm telling them), then I'm accomplishing something and good is coming of it, and there is edification. Otherwise, I'm "striving about vain words to no profit." It is at that point that I have to make a decision as to which way to take it from there, even if it is unpleasant or awkward. We can't always please everyone, and it is even more unfortunate when it is people who we are supposed to be serving the Lord with!

Anyway, once again that's my $.02 for what its worth. God bless each of you.

Curtis
http://www.CurtisMagic.com
Message: Posted by: FriarShaun (Apr 4, 2008 03:54PM)
I was joking. However, there is a deceptive nature to this art, and as such it creates a tension with our charge to be truthful. Obviously when using magic to illustrate or entertain in a Christian environment we can explain the purpose of what we do. It is in what we "sell" ourselves as that may create problems. What about just calling yourself by your name and using what you do as a bi-line.

"The Great Friar Shaun"
Storyteller, Illusionist, Escape Artist, Fool for the King

by the way I am not a Friar, it is just a name I picked up. I've been called Pastor Shaun, Commander Shaun, CubMaster Shaun, *%$#@!, it all depends on who you talk to.
Message: Posted by: CurtWaltermire (Apr 5, 2008 04:08PM)
Hey *%$#@!,

I like your style!

Curtis
http://www.CurtisMagic.com
Message: Posted by: Cybersloughter (Apr 5, 2008 04:50PM)
I don't do Gospel Illusion, or Christian Magic. For me, my magic is my personal hobby and something that I do for entertainment of family and friends. I do know a couple of people who use the exact same tricks, props, or routines that I do and use them for ministry.

One thing that has prevented me from bridging the gap between hobby and ministry has been the mental potential for hypocrisy. When I perform, I am literally doing one thing while pretending to do something else. Essentially, the problem in my brain has been that I am "lying" to the people while attempting to witness to them.

It's kind of like teaching someone about Santa Clause and then saying that he doesn't exist... What makes them believe the next words out of my mouth? Or as a more magical example, when I make those coins disappear out of my spectators hands and appear in my hands, why should they believe me when I talk about God?

Just a problem of mine, and I am curious as to how others handle this issue...

JLJ
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Apr 5, 2008 04:55PM)
It's not an issue for me, I'm not pretending that I have "powers"; in my mind they are object lessons...something that I use to illustrate a truth. We are actors playing the part of a magician...no more is an actor the character that he or she plays.
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Apr 5, 2008 06:34PM)
In my limited experience, I'd have to say I agree with Terry on this one. People know that you are there to try and fool them. Half the fun of watching magic is trying to figure it out and not being able to. If you present yourself as someone who is there to entertain with illusions and no "real" magic is involved, you are not lying. Then, you can tell them the only thing about your act that is supernatural is the power of the Holy Spirit working in people's hearts.
Message: Posted by: Joe Marotta (Apr 5, 2008 10:01PM)
Richard Osterlind is a born-again Christian brother who makes his living as a full time performer. For the last 30 years, he's been wow-ing the masses with his 'mentalism' performances. He performs many effects that he's created over the years.

If you like mentalism, even if you don't like mentalism, get some of Richard Osterlind's DVDs. Watching him work and listening carefully to his patter. You'll see that he never once lies to the audience. He says he's very careful and particular with the words that he uses and careful about not causing someone to think that he has any 'special' powers or mental abilities.

It's a joy to watch him perform and there is so much that anyone can learn from watching a professional work. His timing, his use of the different forms of misdirection, pacing, intonation, blocking, etc.

Sorry for the commercial but I think it's still on topic... somewhat.
Message: Posted by: Heres Tony (Apr 5, 2008 11:42PM)
A drama ministry presenting a drama in church is still pretend and everyone knows it. Just point out that what you are doing is an illusion used as a visual aid. It sounds like maybe the Holy Spirit is pulling you toward doing some Gospel magic in church maybe? If so, go for it!!

Tony Brent
http://www.herestony.com
Message: Posted by: Bendy (Apr 6, 2008 01:53AM)
A lot of Christians have problems with the term, "magic." The word seems to conjure up, (pun intended), visions of the witchcraft and secret societies or of Egyptian magicians copying things that God was doing through Moses. I've also found that using the term "Christian Illusionist" seems to ward off some of those thoughts before they can form. Additionally, the word, "gospel," literally means "good news." While it is typically associated with Christianity, I don't think the descriptive "gospel" softens the title of "magician" in the minds of those uneducated individuals, (and that's not being rude - that's exactly what they are). By stating that you are a Christian Illusionist, you are stating your beliefs right off the bat. The 'good news' you will be delivering is going to be decisively Christian in nature. You are an illusionist; so you aren't performing "magic" and will not be repeating any evil incatations; but will instead be simply fooling everyone's eyes within the natural confines of physics.

Forget that there is no difference between the two terms/titles. People will percieve them differently. Additionally, as a Gospel Magician, you are obligated to perhaps apply a message of sorts to nearly all of your tricks. If you don't, you may be questioned. If you do, your services may not be so desirable. However, as a Christian Illusionist, you are obligated only to perform illusions. You are a Christian; so you may apply a message as you see fit and you are also free to refrain from applying messages to any or all of your illusions. I think the term, "Christian Illusionist" not only staves off immediate concern and fears over what you do; but it also allows you more freedom in designing your shows.
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Apr 6, 2008 07:22AM)
First, I want to thank Joe Marotta for those very kind words about me and my performance. I appreciate it, Joe.

I strongly dislike both of the terms “lying” and “illusion.” My full line of reasoning can be found in my book, “Principles of Magic.” If you all would start where you should, that is – that magic is an ART – then you will treat it as such and eliminate most, if not all, of your problems.

The dilemmas being discussed here are not something I have not thought about in very great length. I became a Christian over 30 years ago. I had already been practicing magic for a very long time and had accumulated many books and props. Because some of my new found Christian friends were free with their advice, I totally got rid of absolutely EVERYTHING I owned concerning magic. There was not one book or prop that I kept and it was not without great remorse that I lost some of my most precious possessions. It took me a very long time to sort things out.

It was not until I started thinking of magic as a true art form that I began putting things into their proper perspective. Those same friends who thought that I shouldn’t do magic also thought that I shouldn’t play drums unless it was Christian music. I suppose if I were a painter I shouldn’t have painted anything but Christian pictures or, if I were a writer, that I should only write novels about Christ and not fiction. And yet, these same people who had jobs that had nothing to do with the Church or Christian endeavors, such as working in stores, factories or offices, saw nothing wrong with that.

The goal of the art of magic is simply, and only, to create wonder and mystery. No other art form has that aspiration. Mystery has, as its first definition, no explanation. That is what makes it so special. If Divine intervention is introduced, the occurrence is explained. It is wonderful, but not a mystery. The magician who is a true artist has the duty to project this situation to his audiences by his speech and actions. That needn’t be by a long lecture about his art anymore than a movie maker needs to lecture his viewers that he has made a movie. It is a skill that is not easily developed and that is not even recognized by most of today’s beginners in the art.

The Bible is a living book. It is Supernatural and accurate. It is not to be looked at as simply ancient history. The prophecies alone testify to its continuing urgency as we watch events in the Mid East unfold before our very eyes. We need to relate what we do and how it is perceived to the world we live in and the way the Holy Spirit guides us. Each person must do what he is led to do by the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

After a lifetime in magic, may I suggest the following: Examine what it is you wish to ACCOMPLISH before you set out to do it. Simple as that may seem, most people don’t do it. They start with lesson three instead of lesson one. Once you decide, do it with all the power and energy God gave you.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Apr 6, 2008 03:04PM)
Lots of wisdom to learn from there. Thank you, Richard for sharing your personal experience with us. As a newcomer to Gospel magic I cannot tell you how valuable your suggestions are. I appreciate all that you have to share and just a reminder-the Lord is using you here to help me with any ministry I may do in the future.

Be blessed!
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Apr 6, 2008 07:05PM)
Preston,

Thank you for those very kind words and please know that I am so blessed!

If I may be allowed to, I would like to expound a bit more about my own performing philosophy.

Every age has its own problems. Like in the day of the Tower of Babel, too many people in this new century believe that science and modern technology has taught them everything. They believe anything they may want to know can be found with Google. When I perform, I try my best to completely confound everyone in my audience and destroy their logic! I mostly use mentalism as my performing media as that hits home in a way that speaks far closer to the soul than most magic. It goes places that sleight of hand alone doesn’t seem to approach. And please understand that what I do in live performances is a bit different and more involved than what I have demonstrated in my “teaching” videos. I could never bring myself to do anything less than my best and rest assured if you have liked what you have seen on those L&L series, you would love my real show. My goal there is to totally startle anyone out of complacency and thinking they know everything.

I actually want my audience to wonder what strange powers this man in front of them has. Although I always – and make that an Always with a capital A - tell them I am not psychic nor do I possess any abilities they don’t have, I want to impress them that I am a person who can do incredible things that seem to have no explanation. I want them to think they are seeing a man who knows about life and about pursuits they are not familiar with and are in awe of. I want them to be dumbstruck!

Then, when I am approached afterwards, if they should ask me what my own religious beliefs are – and that happens very frequently – and I tell them I am a Christian who has accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, they know they are not talking to a “brainwashed” person who cannot think. They know that I must have some very sound reasons why I believe what I believe if I can do the kinds of things they just saw. No, I don’t attribute any of what I do to my being a Christian, but I do attribute that searching part of me to finding Christ as the Truth and the One Way. At that point I am totally prepared to witness my Lord to anyone who may want to know about Him. He didn’t deny me and I won’t deny Him!

Now I am not advising anyone else to follow this approach. I realize it is a little offbeat and strange, but that is who I am and what I do best. After searching my soul for many years, I truly believe this is the direction the Lord has sent me in – for now, anyways!

Richard
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Apr 6, 2008 07:37PM)
What a great post Richard and I love the fact that what you do can open powerful doors for sharing Christ...

You've got this Pentecostal boy all wound up and excited...I'm proud to have you as a Brother in the Lord.

Keep the faith!
Message: Posted by: Cybersloughter (Apr 7, 2008 02:09AM)
Wow, I feel honored to have had such wonderful responses to my rather hastily written post. Looking at who have responded, and how, I think that I need to go back and possibly clarify some things and potentially ask a new question or two.

A small caveat before I begin, I wanted to add that for most of my life I grew up as a PK (no, not psycho kinetic, psycho maybe, but not kinetic, as my waist line attests to). With my Father pastoring any number of churches at one time I have seen the good, the ugly, and the really, really, really bad in churches. So sometimes, my opinion of the average church goer has been sadly messed with. I actually prefer new Christians who are just discovering the wonder and love of God over the "heirs" whose family have their name on a small placard on their pew.

As for my post specifically, I want to make sure that it is understood that it has been my personal issue about using magic to witness to people. I have absolutely no issues with other people using magic to witness to people. A good friend of mine at work is actually a "Gospel Illusionist" by his own naming and we often talk shop during free time. I personally love hearing about what he does (we attend different churches) and I have even written a couple of routines for him or at least given him ideas on how to use current gimmicks or tricks for the purpose of witnessing.

My (and if I could figure out how to underline, the word "my" would be underlined) problem ties in nicely with this quote from Terry Owens...

[quote]
On 2008-03-30 19:32, Terry Owens wrote:
But...though illusionist means one thing to us, illusion is exactly what we do...we are making something look like it's happening when it's really not. Thus it was an illusion...so that's why we can use it when it comes to churches.
[/quote]

So the issue that I had/have with using magic in my testimony essentially boils down to something like this, "I have just done something (Hey Rocky, wanna watch me pull a rabbit out of a hat?) that is typically outside the realm of normal. I am not purporting to have "power" or abilities beyond that of anyone else, but through the course of my demonstration, things have been happening that defy typical explanation. Why should the spectator then go on to believe and understand my testimony after they have seen me do such things, especially after I assure them that what I have done is normal and not powered by some unseen entity?" So I've just done a simple Corinda center tear with a Banachek/Houchin "Stigmata" reveal, and then followed with... something, and my spectator has been blown away by what I have done.

What is to keep them from thinking something like, "Man, he has shown me all these powerful things, and done stuff beyond what people should do. Now he is trying to tell me about this Deity and his Son and how I can be saved for all eternity. How do I know that he isn't just trying to exert some other power or control over me?" Or something like, "Wow, this guy just did all these tricks for me, whose to say that he isn't "tricking" me with this testimony?"

Is that any clearer? (Sorry if I'm too verbose... I like to write in addition to magic)

Actually, I guess the best way I could put it would be like this: Have any of you ever had your testimony/witness HURT by your magic?

And I have some more I could say, but I'll let this go right now because this is far longer then I intended it to be when I started writing.

JLJ
(James L. Johnson)
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Apr 7, 2008 02:37AM)
When the magic is given more attention and respect than the message of Christ, it will more than likely always hurt our testimony. If the magic is leaving too strong of an effect on those who we are trying to reach spiritually, we might want to think about toneing down our magic or dropping some routines altogether. If everyone you perform for only talk about how great you are as a magician, then that's probally an indication that too much emphasise is being put on the magic and not enough on the message. If I ever felt that a magic trick hurt my testimony or the message of Christ, I would not perform it anymore, or look to tone it down if possible.
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Apr 7, 2008 05:41AM)
I've never to my knowledge had my testimony hurt by performing magic. I've seen countless number of people come to Christ as I illustrated biblical truth with an effect. Last month over 180 people came to Christ through my very magic oriented program. Magicians are entertainers...we are brought into groups to entertain, not display our supernatural abilities...so the expectation when you perform an effect is it's not really happening, they might not know how you're doing it, but most folks know it's not happening...thus an illusion is something that looks one way, but we know it really is not. If you approach someone and tell them you have a new effect that you want to show them...they know up front it's not real...in my Gospel presentation I turn water black and red and then clear them up...powerful reaction from the audience, but when I share that the blood of Jesus can wash away your sins...the message is what wins out in the end.

When I do my headline prediction and they're blown away with the fact that a box that I've not handled for more than a week contains notarized predictions...they're blown away, but my declaration is I can not really predict the future, but I know of One that knows what your future is...Jesus Christ.

So if you are showing something that is mind blowing, you guessed something that seems like you read minds...take it to the next level, tell them what if I really had to ability to know your thoughts or future...what would I see. I don't but I serve one that knows thoughts and intents of your heart...Jesus Christ.
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Apr 7, 2008 08:55AM)
Gospel Dan,

Thanks for your post. I totally understand what you are saying, but let me approach this subject in a different way.

First, if you were, say, a professional chef, would you “tone down” your cooking at a church dinner so as not to draw too much attention to it? Or would you “tone down” your abilities as a cabinet maker, if you volunteered to build something for your church, because you were concerned too many people might put their attention on your artwork?

Why would you do less than your best in any chosen field if that is your God-given ability and you can do it well? One of the most glaring examples of this kind misconception is the attitude of some who sing in Church.

I have actually been told by some singers at services that they are afraid to put too much into their performance because they are afraid they might be getting the attention instead of Christ. And yet, these same people will go to concerts given by professional Christian singers and Christian groups and rave about them! These entertainers perform in huge arenas with all the trappings and show biz of any other professional concert and make incredible music! And, I should point out; these people lead thousands in their audiences to the Saving Grace of Christ. There is nothing wrong, my brothers in Christ, with “entertainment” just as there is nothing wrong with a preacher telling a humorous story during the course of his sermon. And it certainly doesn’t glorify Jesus Christ by doing your “non best” in anything!

May I suggest there is only one reason why you might want to “tone down” what you do? Could it be it is because you believe there might be something “wrong” with what you are doing? Why else would the “degree” with which you do it matter? I suggest that if you are afraid of doing something “too well” you might be having regrets about what you are doing in the first place.

Let’s go back to this constant use of the word “illusion” and its allusion to lying. (See below) If I ask a person to write a name on a piece of paper, take it back and rip it up, hand back the torn pieces and then tell the person the name (to his great astonishment!), where is the illusion? If I don’t tell someone how I am doing something, then how could it be misrepresented for something else?

Do you want to know why everyone gets hung up with magic in churches? He is a cut and paste of the definition of illusion.

il•lu•sion [i l’n]
(plural il•lu•sions)
n
1. something with deceptive appearance: something that deceives the senses or mind, for example, by appearing to exist when it does not or appearing to be one thing when it is in fact another
2. deceptive power of appearances: the ability of appearances to deceive the mind and senses or the capacity of the mind and senses to be deceived by appearances
3. false idea: a false idea, conception, or belief concerning something

Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


Take a look at how many times the word “deceive” or "false" appears above. Is that what you want to do as a Christian?

Why not just structure your magic so that you don’t have to make any false statements or claims, but rather just have it melt into a beautiful, harmonious effect?

If you think this is a radical concept then consider the person who most would name as the number one magician of all time – Houdini. Would you call his escapes from restraints – ILLUSIONS? All he ever claimed was that he could somehow get out from anything they shackled him in. And he did. Where was the illusion?

Sure, we can stretch semantics to call all magical entertainment illusion, but then why not do it with other art forms. Why not call a great painting an illusion? After all the Mona Lisa is not a real person, just some pigment on some canvas that has the “illusion” of something important. Scribbling, by that outlook, would be as valuable.

Why is Handel’s Messiah regarded as anything else but just sounds made by a variety of instruments? How could something so trite possibly represent the Magnificent Glory of the God that created the universe?! Isn’t that just some kind of deceptive use of sound?

Getting back to magic; how exactly do you tone it down? Do you do something that has less of an effect? Or do you do something that is so transparent that it is laughable? If you do that and people either don’t care or make fun of what you have done, why do it to begin with? What does it accomplish and how does that affect your witness?

Isn’t the purpose of magic to do something amazing? If it isn’t worth seeing or if no one is amazed, it isn’t magic!

Now don’t get me wrong here, I am not putting down a children’s message where you use a visual aid to help with your illustration. And if something a bit startling or off-beat happens to keep their attention; that is great. I am also not suggesting that you do something that might be inappropriate for children or above their heads. But if you are going to do magic, then do it and do it well!

Let me end here by stating publicly that I am not happy with the current state of magic in general. This is a rather recent development on my part over the last few years. There is just too much bad magic and too many bad people in magic. I’m sorry if that sounds judgmental or critical, but that’s how I feel. I have seen too many deplorable things going on recently that I can not tolerate. Rather than bring attention to these offenders, I would rather combat the situation by trying to create and perform the best magic I can using the abilities my God has given me. I am far from perfect and make continuous mistakes, but I am always trying to learn and be better.

I hope this posting has not offended anyone and I would be glad to discuss viewpoints that might be opposing.

Regards,
Richard
Message: Posted by: harris (Apr 7, 2008 10:21AM)
Isn't it great to have a Home Church and a place on line to share and discuss.

I have shared both in professional Christian Theatre, as a musician, ventriloquist and yes magician for churches including during Sunday morning services. At times our troupe has had a problem keeping active men actors...leading to this completed Jewish Person playing roles from Francis of Assisi, Noah, Abraham and yes Jesus...(some say he wasn't as tall a shown in many movies.)

I agree Drama is not lying, nor is magic it is a tool used as a message. Our scripts are based on biblical passages. This summer a full length production is coming on Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

Due to other commitments I will not be part of the cast this year. Last year I got to share words and music as Stanley in Smoke on the Mountain at several churches. Several times I got to smile when audience members asked if I was typecast as the wayward brother/prodigal son character. (he's the one that knows what beer smells like and likes it...Me I stick to water)

God gives us all talents...(you know the story)

Peace be with you

Harris
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Apr 7, 2008 11:18AM)
Richard, you are right in what you say. I used the word, "tone" for the lack of a better word. I see that the word, "tone" was a wrong choice of words altogether. I am not offended by what you had to say, in fact I'm glad you said it.

If my magic was hurting my testimony,(which it's not) I would have to decide what is more important to me, performing magic, or spreading the message and love of Jesus Christ. If I was accomplishing nothing but rave reviews about my talents as a magician while everyone was missing the message I was trying to convey, then I would start feeling bad and questioning what I'm doing. I don't have any guilt for performing magic, but I perform magic as a tool to help illustrate Gospel truths. If the magic I performed hindered that in anyway, and no one was getting the message, I would have to evaluate how I was presenting the message. If I was to believe that a magic trick or magic in general was getting in the way of that message being heard, then I would re-think my approach.

However, with that said. I have not been faced with that issue and continue to pray that I never do. Magic has been a great way for me to communicate God's love, if it be in a church setting or on the streets. Using magic has been nothing but positive for me. To me, it's all about priorities.

If we use magic to present our testimony, or to speak about the message of Christ, our magic should be done very well and professionally, just like the message. To those of us who use magic in ministry, it's vital that our audience gets the message or it was all in vain. I believe that the message should always take center stage. Gospel magic is about presenting the Gospel using magic as a tool. It's not supposed to be about us, although it sure feels nice when we get a laugh or an applause for a trick or illusion well done. Getting an applause or the kind of reaction we were looking for helps us to feel that what we are doing is playing a difference, no matter how small that difference may be. If it's not making a difference we need to look as to why.
Message: Posted by: Heres Tony (Apr 7, 2008 11:25AM)
Wow, this thread is rocking! So much great content. Richard do you ever appear in churches? I'm so happy to hear where your heart is. I've been a big fan for years. The "Miracle Flying Cards" principle is used nightly in my dinner show.

Tony Brent
http://www.herestony.com
Outta Control Magic Show
"Orlando's funniest dinner show" - WESH-TV
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Apr 7, 2008 12:43PM)
Another thought came to me after reading this quote again.

"First, if you were, say, a professional chef, would you “tone down” your cooking at a church dinner so as not to draw too much attention to it? Or would you “tone down” your abilities as a cabinet maker, if you volunteered to build something for your church, because you were concerned too many people might put their attention on your artwork?"

If my specialty in cooking was preparing a dish that used an item that one person was allergic to, I would change the dish for everyone in attendance, making sure that the ingredients I was using did not contain the food item the person was allergic to. I would still be able to cook a fantastic dish and put my heart into it, but I wouldn't compromise the health of one indavidual for the sake of cooking my most successful dish.


If I built something for the church and was concerned that people would put more attention on the art work than the reason why they are at church, I would have to ask myself the question as to why I'm building the cabinet in the first place. Is it because it will serve a function other than just eye candy? Am I building it so I can get recognition for being a great cabinetmaker? Or, am I doing it because I love the Lord and want to serve Him in every area of my life?
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Apr 7, 2008 01:21PM)
Tony,

I often appear in Churches and for very different reasons. Sometimes I am asked to do a children’s message. (Usually on the spur of the moment when no one else has anything!!!!) Then, I have a stock of effects that I feel not only are perfect for the kids, but interesting for the adults as well.

Other times, if I am called on to teach a lesson or do the Sunday or Wednesday night service, I usually do not do any magic. I really try hard not to just “stick it in” every chance I get. Finally, I recently did a special presentation for the combined Sunday School classes of one Church where a number of people were taken in by a “TV magician” who had convinced them he had supernatural powers. I showed them that amazing things can happen by a person who is ordinary and a Christian.

Gospel Dan,

I agree with everything you have said. I think the major focus here should be “appropriate”. You need to do what is the best for the situation at hand. Being a professional, I am aware of that in all my shows. As a matter of fact, I would say the most difficult thing about being a professional magician or mentalist is “reading” your audience and knowing what is the best way to go given the conditions and the group you are performing for.

As for who gets the credit in a performance, let me once again mention my books. I have laid out in them one of the biggest complaints I have about performers in general. (This includes ALL magicians) They focus too much on THEMSELVES instead of the magic. If you agree with me that magic is an art, then THAT is where your focus should be. All your effort should be in performing that effect in the best way possible.

Now as to Gospel magic, you must begin with WHY you are doing it. My own thoughts on this are as follows. I want to capture the attention of my audience in a way that makes them pay attention to every word I have to say. I want to push a button that makes them interested and intrigued. Then I want to do something that produces a child-like wonder in the impossibility of the effect. Then, in some sort of way depending on the effect, I want to “link” that impossibility to some Gospel truth in a logical way. I use the word “link” in the same sense as a memory system. If they remember the effect, and talk about it to others, there’s a really good chance they will remember, and talk about, the message also! Let me give just one example of the kind of magic I do.

I ask to borrow a dollar from a member of the audience. I slowly fold it up and then unfold it showing it is a $100 bill. (You know the method, of course) This is very startling as it is so clean. Then I tell the congregation that, since I love them so much, after the service I am going to take them all outside and teach them how to do it as a special gift! I make a point of explaining that after they have done it once, then can go to the bank on Monday, get 100 singles for the $100 bill, and do it again 100 times. That means by Monday night, they will have $10,000! By Tuesday night, it will be 1 million! And by Wednesday night it will be 100 million!!! This always gets a big laugh. Then, I explain that I am a magician and what they just saw was only a “fantasy”. As I tell them this, I fold the bill back up and turn it back into a dollar and give it back.

But then, I explain that as wonderful as that fantasy was as we were enjoying it, what is all that money compared to an eternity of paradise and happiness? And then I tell them that they don’t even have to “learn” anything, as this gift only requires they give their heart to Jesus and accept him as their personal Lord and Savior. I tell them man’s wonders can’t even begin to come close to those that God has given us all through the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus and the Blessed Assurance of Eternal Salvation.

That is the gist of it and represents how I do Gospel Magic.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Apr 7, 2008 01:48PM)
Off topic: I have had a few people dare to ask me if Criss Angel is supernatural.(lol) Or, they ask if I can walk up a side of a building.(lol) I tell them that I can't walk up a wall, but I've been accused of driving some people up one. (he, he):)
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Apr 7, 2008 05:54PM)
I'm going to go broke now running out to buy all of Richards stuff...lol

I agree whole heartedly with what he's sharing. Part of my drive over the past year is due to the poor quality of what is called "gospel magic". That's why I've spent over 10,000 dollars over the last 12 months upgrading my program so I can offer the best I can to those I minister to. I can't help it, I'm driven...driven by a desire to reach a lost and dying world, driven to present the best program that I can...I've added additional type of programs to my offering. Some have seen my children's program, and how God has blessed that, but I'm beginning to branch out to the College students and adults...please help me pray that a door will be open.

I'm not just saying this to stroke Richard's ego, but your last 2 posts has set my heart on fire...what you shared previously is my heart and passion too...

Can you adopt me Richard...pretty please.
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Apr 7, 2008 07:24PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-07 18:54, Terry Owens wrote:
I'm going to go broke now running out to buy all of Richards stuff...lol[/quote]

Terry, it's an investment. It'll pay off.

[quote]
Can you adopt me Richard...pretty please.
[/quote]

There's a title for the next DVD set: SON OF OSTERLIND.

What an interesting thread this has been!

Returning to the first post, as far as the terms "magic," "illusion," or something else... When I was in Korea, we had many friends who spoke little English -- and we spoke even less Korean! For us to communicate, we had to determine terminology. That is, I had to know "yobesei-o" meant "hello" and our friends had to know that "hello" meant "yobesei-o."

If we want to communicate with people to whom "magic" means "satanism" then we must find out what their term is for what we call "magic."

And I can't help but think that a lot of the difficulties will be overcome if we, like Richard shows, have actual *meaning* to our magic. This, by the way, Terry, is why Richard's work (Get *the Osterlind Trilogy* book!) is an investment.

*jeep!
--Grandpa Chet
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Apr 7, 2008 08:09PM)
Terry,

That was a very kind post. Thank you so much for words that are so touching and know that I will pray for your success and for the many souls that I'm sure you will touch.

(Although, in all honesty, I was just beginning to get over my age when you had to go and assume I am old enough to be your father!)

But I am very happy that all these posts have caused some deep thinking about the matter.

Chet,

You are a sweetheart, but NO, you can't have a finder's fee for helping sell my stuff!


God Bless :)
Richard
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Apr 7, 2008 08:40PM)
[quote]
On 2004-01-09 02:13, Daniel Faith wrote:
My thought is:

I have found that many Christians are much more tolerant of my "gospel magic" when I call myself a "Christian illusionist"

What are your thoughts on this. I understand it's a play on words and WE all know it's the same thing...but, some Christians seem to be a lot more tolerant when the word "magic" is not used.

I use my magic within the church and even with my second grade Sunday school class and have so far had no objections to my "magic."

Any thoughts on this?
[/quote]

My personal experience, in the Assembly of God where I was attending, was just the opposite. My pastor, when he learned that I do "magic" and that I wanted to do gospel magic presentation, was ready to burn me at the stake!

He simply would [i]not[/i] hear of it in his church! When I tried to say it was illusions, as you mentioned, his reply was that it did not make any difference what I named it, it was still evil, and it was still "of the devil". and he once heard of a witch doctor who compared a magician to himself, and said "Oh, you do the same thing I do."

Therefore, in this pastors thinking, all magic is akin to voodoo.

I got out of that church.

So my experience on the subject is predominantly negative.

Posted: Apr 7, 2008 9:46pm
Richard, you are an amazing man, in more ways than one! Thank-you for blessing us with that wonderful post.
Message: Posted by: Cybersloughter (Apr 7, 2008 09:12PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-07 21:40, daffydoug wrote:

My personal experience, in the Assembly of God where I was attending, was just the opposite. My pastor, when he learned that I do "magic" and that I wanted to do gospel magic presentation, was ready to burn me at the stake!

He simply would [i]not[/i] hear of it in his church! When I tried to say it was illusions, as you mentioned, his reply was that it did not make any difference what I named it, it was still evil, and it was still "of the devil". and he once heard of a witch doctor who compared a magician to himself, and said "Oh, you do the same thing I do."

Therefore, in this pastors thinking, all magic is akin to voodoo.

I got out of that church.

So my experience on the subject is predominantly negative.
[/quote]
I can feel your pain. I live in a city that hosts a Christian TV Broadcasting company, Three Seperate Internation Offices for Three different denominations, more churches are listed in the phone book than resturants, one Christian University, one Christian Bible College, and more hipocrates per square mile then anywhere I have ever lived in my entire life.

I have literally been asked not to come back to a church here before because my hair was longer then they wanted me to have it. I saw someone flip off another person while driving, while having "It's okay to be closed minded as long as your right" and "In case of Rapture, this car will be unmanned" bumperstickers...

I am reminded of an old quote that said something along the lines of "The leading cause of atheism in the world today is Christians..."

JLJ

Posted: Apr 7, 2008 10:29pm Reply with quote Send a Private Message View Profile of Cybersloughter Edit/Delete This Post Report this post to forum moderator View Posters IP (Moderators/Admins Only)
I LOVE how this thread has been going lately.

It does my heart good to hear of people actually working to not only bring Christ to more people, but to also be working on ways to improve what they do to carry that message.

If it hasn't been obvious, I have a strong pet peeve with people who only half-heartedly do something "in the name of Christ".

I am also seeing ways in which the performances that we enjoy doing can actually be worked in such a way as to entertain while still be relevant to reaching people.

So how about this for another question: How much of your (any of you) performances are done to bring the Gospel to new people and how much is done in churches working with people who (hopefully) are already saved? Most of my effects and routines that I have thought out work better as object lessons for people who have some experience or education in Christianity and basic theology. My lesson on Freewill versus Predestination using Devin Knight's Tri-Epic comes to mind as a good example of that. Admitadly, that routine/lesson is one that I have been devising for when I finally get to start teaching basic theology or religion at the college level.

JLJ
Message: Posted by: Heres Tony (Apr 7, 2008 10:45PM)
I commend you Richard for being a "name" within the magic and mentalism communities and having the willingness to share your heart. It's uplifting to the believers and may be just the thing that some folks need to hear right now in their lives.

Tony Brent
Outta Control Magic Show
"Orlando's best dinner show." - WESH-TV
"Funniest dinner show in Orlando." - Orlando Weekly
"One of the best one-man shows I've ever seen!" -Bill Lewis WYTZ Radio
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Apr 8, 2008 05:58AM)
Richard...Your age had nothing to do with the adoption request. You could be 25, you would just have an older son...lol

When a church brings me in it's about ministering to their people and reaching new folks to Christ. We get a lot of folks that are not from any church coming to our programs. My main goal when I go into a church is to share the Gospel and win the lost. I even have it in my contract that I will be permitted to give an altar call.

Right now I've had to cut back on my traveling because I am a Senior Pastor and District Overseer, but I was working in 12 to 14 states a year, 30 to 40 weeks a year, 6 days a week...but I give God all the Glory for the results that we've seen. Literally thouands saved, people being Filled with His Spirit, healings and miracles taking place...you could be surprised what God can do with your program if you let Him.

As Richard so charged us...aspire to be the best you can be.

Back what you do with prayer...even raise up people who are praying directly for you and your ministry...don't be afraid to invest in your ministry...it has long term rewards.
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Apr 8, 2008 06:48AM)
Terry,

As a mentalist, you certainly "knew" I was joking about my age. I feel like a 35 year old with 100 years experience! :)

To those who have had unpleasant experiences in some churches,

I once had a pastor (a very young one) from Eastern Kentucky who said he would never allow drums in the Church! (I thought there was something in the Bible about cymbals crashing!) My first pastor was from New Hampshire and he thought women should only wear pants in Church if the zipper were on the side!

Why is anyone surprised about some churches? Look at the Letters in the Bible, who they were to and what they said. The Church was still in its infancy and its leaders were already messing things up! Didn't Paul have to reprimand Peter and yet didn't Paul say that he wants to do right even though he keeps doing wrong?

No, Christians aren't the leading cause of atheism, Satan is! You can't be a Christian if you don't recognize his existence. Unfortunately those "two natures" exist in all of us. I would dare say that some of these prejudices mentioned may have been brought on by others or a bad upbringing. But to moan a sad state of affairs is not the correct response. If all else fails, give it to Jesus. He will take care of it for you.

Let me mention something that might be useful. “The Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic” is filled with items that are more “stunts” than traditional magic. You might consider using some of them in your messages if you think magic might not be totally appropriate. These are scientific in nature and cannot be faulted in any way. From there, it might be easier to move into a magical effect or two once you get you audience into the proper state of mind.

You know, I have never really gotten into the “Gospel Magic” section of magic catalogs or dealt with that whole scene. I have always tried to create my own ideas and apply them in a meaningful way. I have also tried to stay away from traditional magical props in Church such as Linking Rings or Cups and Balls. Because I just start talking and bring out ordinary objects, I don’t turn off anyone simply by the sight of some shiny piece of apparatus or magic wand. Who knows what that might conjure up in some people’s minds?

Just some more thoughts,
Richard
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Apr 8, 2008 10:30AM)
We should always be praying for our leaders. Did I emphasise "Leaders"? Let me try again. We should always be praying for our LEADERS. I should also emphasise, "always", but I think most get the point.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Apr 8, 2008 10:43AM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-08 11:30, Gospel Dan wrote:
We should always be praying for our leaders. Did I emphasise "Leaders"? Let me try again. We should always be praying for our LEADERS. I should also emphasise, "always", but I think most get the point.
[/quote]

And as your praying you should also always question them as well. Never follow anyone or anything blindly. After all "God" gave you a brain and intellect for a reason (pun intended)
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Apr 8, 2008 11:19AM)
That's why it's so important Payne for us to read the Bible for ourselves everyday and not just books about the Bible. It is also very important for us to communicate with God through our prayers if we really desire to have a relationship with Christ.

If we have a good friend that we have known for a long time and someone comes up to us and says something that contradicts their character, we will question what the person is saying, and even defend our friends character. But if we know nothing or very little of the person they are talking about, we can easily be fooled.
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Apr 8, 2008 02:02PM)
I just got off the phone with a lady who watches me on television...I'm on a panel of pastors who answers calls from viewers about the bible and how much she liked my biblical answers, and then she let me know she has seen me perform magic on television...I'm on in 170 countries...she didn't like the fact I did the magic until I told her the results that I get from doing it...I was kind and calm as I explained how God endorses what I do and that we've seen so many people saved.

Remember, sometimes people just need a simple explanation and a soft answer turns away wrath.
Message: Posted by: Cybersloughter (Apr 8, 2008 07:30PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-08 15:02, Terry Owens wrote:
... Remember, sometimes people just need a simple explanation and a soft answer turns away wrath.
[/quote]

I wish it were always this way. My desk is right beside the call center for our company, and far too often do I hear calls where no matter how soft of an answer we give, the person on the phone refuses to release their anger. I have worked retail for many years, and having grown up in the church, and now working for a Christian company, I have to say that Christians seem to be one of hardest headed groups of people I have ever seen. :) (And may God have mercy on us if a Victoria Secret commercial airs on one of our secular channels...)

Regardless of that, let me say that through my work and my life, I have too often seen things that have been branded "Christian" that end up being second rate rip-offs of something that is popular in secular culture. While working on the programming for our children's channel, I have seen shows that are seriously scarey or outright rip-offs of other things. And Christian music... well, sometimes I really wish there was never a lable "Christian". If the art is good, it should be able to stand on it's own.

Relating that to magic, just today I saw a snippet of a children's show on one of our channels that had a lady using a fire Bible. It was fun, and she was giving a lesson on Ruth. But too often, Christian magic seems to be to be poorly repackaged rip-offs of other effects. I recently worked with a friend of mine who does Gospel Illusion figuring out how to do an effect he bought at a convention that used stickers stacked with a phrase that caused all the stickers to match. It was a repackaging of an old packet trick with some new phrasing and no credit to anyone else who may have originated that effect.

I say that if someone is a Christian and they perform good magic, like Richard Osterlin or Justin Miller, then I can enjoy what they do. If someone doesn't put any effort or thought into what they do and end up with bad shows and poorly thought out routines, then I would probably leave the show early.

I don't like mean, cranky Christians who call our call center and are mean to our reps, but that doesn't mean I don't like all Christians. I'm not going to let the actions of a few destroy my views on all, and I would like to think the same with Christian magic.

JLJ
(I'm going to go broke from all the pennies I keep throwing in)
Message: Posted by: John Long (Apr 9, 2008 03:41PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-08 12:19, Gospel Dan wrote:
That's why it's so important Payne for us to read the Bible for ourselves everyday and not just books about the Bible. It is also very important for us to communicate with God through our prayers if we really desire to have a relationship with Christ.

If we have a good friend that we have known for a long time and someone comes up to us and says something that contradicts their character, we will question what the person is saying, and even defend our friends character. But if we know nothing or very little of the person they are talking about, we can easily be fooled.
[/quote]
Amen.
[quote]
On 2008-04-07 18:54, Terry Owens wrote:
I'm going to go broke now running out to buy all of Richards stuff...lol
[/quote]
Well, I'm not about to run out an buy all of Richard's stuff, but I am going to give it a second look (I think I only have have one effect of Richard's from a L&L/WGM dvd).

Richard: I like the attitude you expressed of doing your best with the presentations. I recognize that we have different niches, different venues..., but we can all seek to be faithful stewards with the gifts and opportunities God has entrusted to us.

John
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Apr 9, 2008 04:24PM)
Cyber, I think you hit it right on the head when you said Christians can be hard headed! Kind of like stubborn sheep that don't want to be led.
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Apr 9, 2008 04:44PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-09 17:24, daffydoug wrote:
Cyber, I think you hit it right on the head when you said Christians can be hard headed! Kind of like stubborn sheep that don't want to be led.
[/quote]

Here's a postive way to look at that. Christians, some, most, however you want to perceive it, will not allow themselves to be lead astray with man made theology, but stand strong in their faith and spiritual knowledge given to them by God. They refuse to be lead by anything other than Jesus Christ who set an example for all of us to live by.

I believe it was Mark Twain who once said, "I do not want to hear about the moon from someone who hasn't been there" I guess Mark Twain was hard headed to, but I don't think he was a christian.
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Apr 9, 2008 05:32PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-09 17:24, daffydoug wrote:
Cyber, I think you hit it right on the head when you said Christians can be hard headed! Kind of like stubborn sheep that don't want to be led.
[/quote]

Stiff-neckedness seems to be a genetic trait of all who are/were of the House of Israel. (Yes, my ancestors on my mother's side were from the Northern Country of Israel and resented being mistaken for Judah descendants.)

The Lord certainly has been more patient with me and my family than I know we deserve!

*jeep!
--Grandpa Chet
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Apr 9, 2008 06:14PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-09 18:32, mormonyoyoman wrote:
Stiff-neckedness seems to be a genetic trait of all who are/were of the House of Israel.
[/quote]

What are you meaning when you use the word, "Stiff-neckedness"? And who exactly are you referring to when you say, "House of Israel"?

I edited my original post because I felt I may have been jumping the gun prematurely with my first comment to your post. Your answers to my questions will help me to understand more of where you're coming from.
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Apr 9, 2008 09:10PM)
"Stiff-neckedness" = a stubborn tendency to want to do things our way instead of the Lord's. It goes back a long way in our family, including ancestors who evidently didn't want to believe the words of Jeremiah, Ezekial, etc. And our family is STILL pretty doggoned stubborn. Get me to complain about my youngest brother and his tumors sometime.

*jeep!
--Grandpa Chet
Message: Posted by: Cybersloughter (Apr 9, 2008 11:24PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-09 17:44, Gospel Dan wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-04-09 17:24, daffydoug wrote:
Cyber, I think you hit it right on the head when you said Christians can be hard headed! Kind of like stubborn sheep that don't want to be led.
[/quote]

Here's a postive way to look at that. Christians, some, most, however you want to perceive it, will not allow themselves to be lead astray with man made theology, but stand strong in their faith and spiritual knowledge given to them by God. They refuse to be lead by anything other than Jesus Christ who set an example for all of us to live by.

I believe it was Mark Twain who once said, "I do not want to hear about the moon from someone who hasn't been there" I guess Mark Twain was hard headed to, but I don't think he was a christian.
[/quote]

Dan, I wish it was always like that. I really do. I can't remember if it was this thread, or a different one with a similar discussion, but someone was talking about how at the church they used to go to their pastor "wanted to burn them at the stake" for doing Christian Magic. And the company I work for, before a recent major change in how we broadcast, we used to lease satellite bandwidth from a major satelite TV provider. When the transponders on the satelite started dying and we started losing channels, we had people call in and actually tell our reps that that rep was going to hell because we weren't supporting God's will and still carrying that channel. No matter how much they explained that supporting God or not, that satellite was dying, the person would still rant and rave.

I almost want to lead a new crusade or revival to remind Christians to be "Christ like" and to let go of some of that self-righteous indignation that gets aimed at people who can't accommodate their demands. We need a religious renessaince to remind people of what God can do and what we are supposed to be doing for God.

Okay, that rant is over...

Relating that back to the topic at hand (I think), I wonder where the line is that seperates acceptable things to do for outreach and ministry and what is not acceptable. I remember years ago hearing about a woman the was a stripper preacher who wanted to reach men who went to strip joints (I wish I was making that up). I know some people don't accept that magic can be used for ministry, and I know that where I currently work we have had many people say that "heavy" Christian music is evil. I personally go back to Paul's "all things to all people" but I remember having a conversation with a man in seminary who told me that a man could not be a youth leader because he had an eyebrow peircing...

JLJ
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Apr 10, 2008 01:22AM)
You know brother... I'm not going to argue over this, because it sounds like you've been hurt by people you think are christians. Anyone can call themselves christians, but that doesn't make them christians. These people that you are talking about are not christians.

Also, just a bit of advice. We should never use magic as the source to minister to people. We should be using love and scripture. magic is a just a tool. It doesn't make the message more powerful, nor does it make it more convincing.

Mat 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
Mat 7:16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Mat 7:17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.
Mat 7:18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
Mat 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'
Mat 7:23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'
Mat 7:24 "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
Mat 7:25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
Mat 7:26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
Mat 7:27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it."

Look for the positive in people, and beware of wolves in sheeps clothing.

I'll end with this quote, but I can't remember who said it. "I once complained about my shoes, until I met a man with no feet."

Posted: Apr 10, 2008 1:18pm
Gospel Dan wrote, "These people that you are talking about are not christians."

That was pretty ignorant of me to say. Especially without knowing more about them, or the circumstances in their lives. But, I hope my point doesn't get missed by that statement. Too often I hear christians complaining about christians, and I guess it bothers me to some degree. I find most of the time the christians who complain a lot about other christians are projecting something in their own life.

Cybersloughter wrote, "I almost want to lead a new crusade or revival to remind Christians to be "Christ like" and to let go of some of that self-righteous indignation that gets aimed at people who can't accommodate their demands. We need a religious renessaince to remind people of what God can do and what we are supposed to be doing for God."

Sometimes we need to listen to our own advice. We can't change the world by pointing fingers and finding fault with others. I'm not saying we should close our eyes, but we need to respond with love.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Apr 10, 2008 08:11PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-09 22:10, mormonyoyoman wrote:
"Stiff-neckedness" = a stubborn tendency to want to do things our way instead of the Lord's. It goes back a long way in our family, including ancestors who evidently didn't want to believe the words of Jeremiah, Ezekial, etc. And our family is STILL pretty doggoned stubborn. Get me to complain about my youngest brother and his tumors sometime.

*jeep!
--Grandpa Chet
[/quote]

That is a tendency that God has slowly but patiently worked out of me over the years. It's the way we are born, I believe. Wanting to do things our way..thinking our way is best. Having no comprehension whatsoever of God's infinite wisdom.
Message: Posted by: Joe Marotta (Apr 12, 2008 03:59PM)
I have to give a big T H A N K Y O U to Richard Osterlind for his wonderful contributions to this topic. Wow, this has been a great read! Very educational and inspiring. Thought provoking and compelling. Richard, I have some of your DVD's but have not purchased your books yet. I'll be sending you an order on your website this weekend!

Everyone PLEASE, do NOT purchase ANY of Richard's DVDs available at http://osterlindstore.com/catalog/index.php
I would like to keep his wonderful effects all to myself!! :bg:
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Apr 12, 2008 05:00PM)
Thanks Joe, I sure hope you like what you get! :)

For what we are talking about, I think I best express my viewpoints in "Principles of Magic". The "Trilogy" contains a lot of ideas, too, and was written earlier.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Apr 12, 2008 07:31PM)
Don't kid yourself...Richard is using mind control...he has my order, Joe's order...who's next...lol

In all honesty, I just finished the Buisness of Magic and Making Magic real. I was challenged and feel if I will apply what I've learned, my audiences will be the benefactors. Looking forward to reading the Principles of Magic

Thank you Richard for such great material
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Apr 12, 2008 08:33PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-12 20:31, Terry Owens wrote:
Don't kid yourself...Richard is using mind control...he has my order, Joe's order...who's next...lol
[/quote]

It's a sickness, I tell you! I'm so addicted, I find myself searching for something on Osterlind Mysteries which I haven't yet purchased. You know that $600 tax refund the government keeps talking about? I have to sign mine over to Richard.

*jeep!
--Empty-pockets-but-magic-rich Chet
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Apr 13, 2008 05:32AM)
I've been pulled over three times for driving blindfolded by the police...lol