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thecogito
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Greetings,

I am fairly new to magic and I am wondering what some of your favorite and well received gospel stage illusions are? Any help is greatly appreciated!!

~Ron
randyburtis
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Sub truck goes over well
head/arm choppers
stocks of Zanzbar(sp?)(escape magic)
I have heard from others the sword basket, sword through neck have some good gospel application to them and go over well.
Randy Burtis
Calgary's Kid Show Magician
www.calgarymagician.com
www.Facebook.com/calgarymagician
Grandice
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We just did an awesome human video with a clear subtrunk at our church, it went over awesome. It had a great impact.
A sword cabinet/box/basket/... can all be used with a gosple message.
Actually I think almost any illusion can be used or turned into something for God. Just use your imangintion and Pray, God will give you ideas.
We build custom large scale illusions visit us @ http://www.grandiceillusions.com
dkmontgomery
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I saw your see-through sub trunk. I would love to integrate some larger illusions into our ministry in the future. But man, it's so har to get everything in our van like it is.
thecogito
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Thanks for the help!! I understand the space limitation as well as I only drive a coupe. Also, I find myself quickly filling up a suitecase with some of my larger items.
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2007-02-08 16:57, randyburtis wrote:

stocks of Zanzbar(sp?)(escape magic)


Stocks of Zanzibar. Smile

--------

I have done these stage illusions in my gospel shows, over the years:

Sword Basket
Stocks of Zanzibar
Chair Suspension
Guillotine
Super-X Suspension
Sub Trunk
Victory Carton Illusion
Bow Sawing in Half

BTW, I once did a week at a camp in Saskatchewan, and fit 6 stage illusions plus other stage show material, into my station wagon.

My favorite gospel stage illusions are Chair Suspension, Sub Trunk, and Guillotine.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
thecogito
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Thanks for the infomation!!! I am going to check these out.
JoyJoy
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Quote:
On 2007-02-08 16:57, randyburtis wrote:
head/arm choppers

What is your message to it?

Quote:
On 2007-02-10 17:33, Donald Dunphy wrote:
I have done these stage illusions in my gospel shows, over the years:
Guillotine
My favorite gospel stage illusions are Chair Suspension, Sub Trunk, and Guillotine.

What is your message to the guillotine?

I am just putting a gospel routine together for my head chopper. So I am very interested in all ideas about it. Maybe there are also more here having ideas?

I thought to talk about confidence or about eternal life. But I am not satisfied with my ideas yet...
Donald Dunphy
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Hi JoyJoy-

I claim no originality for my routines. They are pretty standard, and have been published by others in magazines and books.

I've used two messages for either the chopper or the guillotine.

First is, Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23. I talk about how we have sinned, and how what we earn for sin is death.

I also define sin for the audience, assuming that not everyone knows what that word is. Sin is missing the mark, like in archery. In this case, missing the mark that God has set. I give some examples of what sin is, so the children understand... Telling lies, disobeying your parents, fighting with your brother or sister, stealing cookies they weren't supposed to take ( Smile ), turning your back on God and his ways, etc. I even get them to raise their hands as I give the examples.

With a wrist chopper, it's a natural to talk about how some people used to get their hands cut off in certain middle east countries, if they stole anything. This is after I've had everyone understand and admit they are sinners.

Then I talk about how Christ gives eternal life, and protects us from death (separation from God), by dying for us.

The second message is one where you ask question, with a chance to win a prize (often I did a bill change leading into the routine, and the $1M bill was what they were trying to win), and because they answer it wrong, they are put in the chopper or guillotine. Then my assistant, or the pastor, would come along with the right answer, and choose as their prize, instead of the money, would choose to take the victim's place in the chopper or guillotine. It's a powerful illustration of how Christ took our place, when He died on the cross. (BTW, the idea of leading into the chopper routine with a bill change specifically is my original idea, I think. I think that other performers use another prize when they do their contest approach to lead into the routine.)

- Donald

P.S. BTW, I don't use the guillotine or wrist chopper in all of my gospel shows, and rarely in my normal kids show. Because it is a danger trick, and I know that some younger children can become easily afraid, I only do it in certain shows. I generally do not do it if there are lots of children under 8 years of age.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
randyburtis
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My theme for the wrist chopper is pretty close to what Donald said, along the idea of punishment for our sin, and that Someone took that punishment so there is no sting of death for us.

I won't do it if it is a young group, but in a family show type setting I will use it. I know ther eis a whole debate on danger tricks etc, I am not going there myself. I have a serious message mixed with a fun delivery, and have learned to pick the right volunteer and I have had NO issues from parents or clients about the "danger" aspect. I warnt eh kids with a "don't do this at home type disclaimer, and I have found it to be a powerful tool to presenting THE most powerful message.
Randy Burtis
Calgary's Kid Show Magician
www.calgarymagician.com
www.Facebook.com/calgarymagician
JoyJoy
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Thank you very much Donald and Randy! Thanks. If there are more ideas out there...

I am thinking about your suggestions. For my routine it seams not to fit as smooth as I like it. The "punishment for our sin" as idea is here in Germany difficult for reaching non-christian groups. The most would block.
I will have to keep thinking about "the volunteer in fear (after showing how it works), the volunteer trusting me, that he will be unharmed and how it is worth trusting in god to get eternal life (be unharmed)", about the connecting of trusting and knowing someone - and out of that to get known with god as only possibility to get enternal life...

We have to be careful with kids in the public. I think for kids this illusion might cause nightmares... . But I really like the thoughts of using the illusion for youth target groups (15-20 years). (And of cause adults...)
Donald Dunphy
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Sin is not always a popular subject. But a person can't really celebrate God's grace and mercy, until they fully understand and admit their own sin.

Everyone has a penalty to pay for their sins. They can either pay it themself, and live in eternal seperation from God (we really have no idea of the pain of that seperation, here on earth). Or they can have Christ pay the penalty for their sin, when He died on the cross. It's our choice.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Joe Marotta
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JoyJoy-

When I'm performing illusions (escapes), and presenting a message about God, I'm not worried that I will offend someone with my message. Someone will always find the preaching of the cross as offensive. But they are the very people who need to hear the message.

Sin will never be a popular subject with people who's spirits are not open to the things of God. They don't want to hear about sin because they don't believe they are really bad. In fact, all would say that they aren't as bad as some other people, like murders etc. People will use Man's standards and compare themselves against other people.

I agree with Donald's statements. And let me add that a person won't understand or even DESIRE God's grace and mercy UNTIL they fully understand that they have sinned against Him. They won't understand the fact that they've sinned against God until you present them the 10 Commandments, God's righteous standards.

Donald explains that to the children by giving examples of those commandments; lying, stealing, disobeying your parents. People won't believe they need a savior until they see their sin and admit that they have sinned.

When people admit that they haven't lived up to God's perfect standards, then they can see that they have sinned against a righteous God, and that they only deserve justice (God's punishment). Only then are they ready to hear about God's grace and mercy that was extended to them through the sacrifice of Christ. We deserved punishment for our sins, and Christ willingly took our punishment for us, paying our debt so that we could be forgiven and pardoned. It's an important message.

Don't be afraid of embarrassing someone, or offending them with the truth of their situation. In fact, I think telling them the truth is the most loving thing that we can do. We MUST present the truth to everyone. There is nothing more important than their eternal destiny.

Use your talents and your skills to perform at your very best. Magicians who are followers of Christ should be the most skilled performers out there. Why? Because we want to use our talents for God's purposes. We should never give Him a lazy half-hearted effort. We give our earthly employers some of our best efforts, we should be giving our absolute best efforts when we are serving the Creator who made us and gave us our talents and abilities.

Be Brave. Practice hard and be the very best performer that you can become. Let your chops be some of the best that anyone has seen. If people appreciate your skills at performing magic, then you've earned the right to be heard. You have the most important message that anyone has been tasked with delivering. Deliver it with gentleness and kindness. Deliver it because their eternal destiny is hanging in the balance and your message will make the difference in where they spend it.

Sorry for going on so lengthy here, but I feel very passionate about it, as you can see.

Joe
Donald Dunphy
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Great post, Joe!

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
JoyJoy
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Passionate is nothing wrong - I like it!!!
Sorry, maybe it is my bad english, so you did misunderstand me. I totally agree, that the message of christ is offending people who donīt believe. We have the totally same position in that and I am like you passionate about it. Sin is never popular and no one likes to recognize that they are on the wrong way, to recognize that they have to repent.

My problem with this message to the routine in Germany is, that there is a cultural difference, there is a diffenrent kind of humor. My chopper routine is full of comedy and I canīt put at the same time a so important ans serious message in, where I want the people to think about. This message they have to think about and get touched. Maybe that is different in america (and I think it is) or maybe you donīt do the chopper with many humorious statements.

For example I pointed out the disconnectedness in my last show at the final act. A very deep and "slow" and emotional moment. There I could talk about us turning the back to God and living our own life. Thatīs sin, to miss the target, to not live with God etc... . (some examples of sin are okay, I often come up with some, but they shouldnīt be emphasized, so that people compare: "my sin is not as bad as the other...") Sin is to not live with God and stealing etc. are the consequences of that (not the cause). ... Christ is the answer to the problem not to be conectable with the holy God. There were a lot saved at the last show, a lot who regreted their sins.

I hope you did understand my post above a little more.

Your brother.

PS: Another thought I have about the chopper as punishment is, that we have sometimes to make it clear, what we earn. But people should not only believe because of pressure, because of fear - but because of realizing a bit of Godīs great love. Thatīs the point to emphasize!!! (without to sweep the earnings of sin under the carpet)
Joe Marotta
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Donald, thanks for the kind words.

JoyJoy, I'm sorry that I misunderstood you. My German isn't too good either :smile: Actually I love the head chopper illusion and in America we do it with lots of comedy and humor. I've seen it performed like Donald explained, with funny bits and then using that relaxed moment to illustrate a Biblical truth, "we failed and deserve punishment, and someone took our punishment for us so that we could be set free." It doesn't have to kill the moment (no pun intended really) but just take advantage of the perfect illustration. Thank you for clarifying your post and again I apologize for misunderstanding.

One thing I must respectfully disagree with you is something you said in your postscript. The Bible tells us that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 9:10). We must show people that they have transgressed God's holy law, and that judgement day is coming. All of us will be judged because all of us have sinned against God. Understanding that they deserve punishment will soften the soil of their stony heart so that when you give them the good news of the salvation offered through Christ, it will be planted in their hearts and grow and fluorish.

The apostles and even Christ himself didn't preach love, joy, peace. They didn't convince people by saying, 'you have a god-shaped hole in your heart and God wants to fill it with love and peace and happiness". They showed people God's law and how they failed to keep it. They showed people that they were guilty before a righteous God and judgement day was coming for each of us. Then their eyes were opened and they said, "what must we do to be saved?"

THAT is showing people love, love people enough to tell them their true condition and where they are heading unless they repent and turn from their sins.

Your brother in Christ,
Joe
Donald Dunphy
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JoyJoy -

You keep coming back to the issue of people believing they are less sinful than others (comparison on a ficticious "chart"). Our Pastor spoke about this idea a couple of Sunday's ago, in church.

Maybe that is something you need to address in your outreach message:

Question: "How much sin does it take to keep you from Heaven?"

Answer: "Any little bit of sin at all."

Another way to look at it:

Question: "How much righteousness does it take to get into Heaven?"

Answer: "More than you or I could ever do on our own ability."

One of the illustrations of this I have used now and then in my gospel messages over the years is this:

I live on an big island (Vancouver Island), seperated from the mainland of North America. It's a 24-38 nautical miles ride on the ferry to get from the island to the lower mainland (depending on which ferry you take). If I were to run really hard and try to jump to the mainland, I would fall short. By a lot! There is no way I can do it in my own ability. I have to use a boat, or a bridge.

Just like that illustration, I have to have Christ's righteousness to get into Heaven. There is no way in my own ability I can do it.

Another example my Pastor used in his message, was he was showing good and bad people on a scale, this scale that people create in their own mind. Good people (less sinful) were at the scale about 3 feet off of the ground (give some examples of people who were well known for their goodness). And bad people (more sinful) are at the bottom of the scale (give some examples of people who are notorious for their wickedness), near the ground. People think if they are in the top 50% of that scale, then they make it into Heaven. No idea where they came up with that, but that's what they think. They also think they are better than maybe they really are.

The whole trouble is they are imagining this scale of zero inches through 3 feet off of the ground, but they don't realize that Heaven is not at that level of 3 feet off of the ground. God's perfection that is required to get into Heaven is like the distance of the moon off of the ground! We are so far short of where we need to be.

Another illustration of sin not allowing us to get into Heaven is this:

Imagine as though you put a tiny drop of poison in a big bucket of water. Would you still drink from that bucket, knowing the water was contaminated? No. That little bit of poison, makes ALL of the water bad and unfit for drinking. Any little bit of sin in our life (and we all have lots of sin, not just a little bit), keeps us from entering Heaven.

So, like I said, perhaps you need to spend some time talking about what it means to be short of God's perfection (His righteousness). Talk about how our sin makes us fall short, and how short of the mark we are. This is why we need Christ, and his righteousness, and his sacrifice.

- Donald

P.S. Yes, I do at times combine a very serious message with a comedy routine. It can be done, with the right tact and right timing, just as Joe said.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
JoyJoy
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Again I agree again with both of you. I think we have the same point.

"You keep coming back to the issue of people believing they are less sinful than others (comparison on a ficticious "chart")."
No, there is no chart at all (like stealing is better than killing...). I didnīt even think of that (and I think and hope I didnīt say that in my post or you misunderstood me).
Sin is sin (sin = to not live with God). And stealing etc. are the consequences (of not living with God). Your examples are good. I have to memorize such examples - useful.

And Joe:
I donīt disagreed in my post with "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 9:10).
Maybe you misunderstood it cause I used "fear" as description of pressure. What I mean about pressure is: If for example I point with a loaded gun at someone and say: "Now, say that you believe or I will shoot!" The person maybe says yes - only because he knows, than I wonīt shoot. But thatīs no yes from the heart.

"the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" That is important! No question.
But I meant (and mean) that it is important to show them Godīs love. I think we have to emphasize that. I am just thinking here about the main verse: John 3, 16. Thatīs the key! Godīs love for us is so big, that he gave his son for us - because we are sinner (and we should not get lost).

=> If I talk with a person, I will have to tell them about our sin (our basic situation) and the consequences (death), but than I emphasize HIS love. Thatīs the good message, the gospel. Penitence is not coming from pressure, itīs coming out of our heart, real deeply honest, from seeing and understanding the truth: the basic situation (failure and separation from God) and the great, undeserved, overwhelming love.
JoyJoy
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And to the topic:

If you also think about Grand illusions:
metamorphosis
windshear
apperances

well there are many illusions you can fill with message. If you already have some trained - think about, what they could symbolize.
Donald Dunphy
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Hi JoyJoy -

I understand that you personally don't believe in this ficticious "sin chart". However, we know that many non-believers make up such a thing in their minds, to appease their own conscience, etc.

And that is why it is important to deal with it, because many non-belivers think that way about sin, and getting into heaven.

We agree.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
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