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Sam Sandler
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As the great Petra song titled "I'm avaialable"

its not our abilities but our being available
I don't have much to offer You,
I don't have much to give,
there's so much I may never be as long as I may live
and I may never Be all I want to be
although I'll always try.
but if you choose me to use me,
there's just one reason Y
Chorus: I am available, I am available,
I will go when You say go,
I am available, I am available,
I will stop when You say no.
my whole life was incomplete
till I laid it at Your feet ,
so use me as You will,
I am available
I'm not the most dependable,
sometimes you can't rely,
there's no excuse, there is no defense ,
there is only one reply
(CHROUS) I know that my ability isn't You're main concern,
It's my availability & willingness to learn
(CHROUS) so use me as You will, I am available

THAT being said God wants us to not only be avialble but also wants us to do all things with excelence to the best of our ability.

this is not about pride this is not about showing up others this IS about making an impact on those that are watching us perform! they will see the quality of our shows and will judge us based on that. this is fact! this is life it is just how it is and if you don't present a quality show then YES you will lose the audience when You share the important part- the good news.

yes god can use ony one - look at the deciples a group of misfits, liers, cheaters, an so on and yet they did things in gods name that we only wish we had that kind of faith to do! jesus h and picked a group of losers to do mighty thngs!

is there a value in the FCM YES are there areas that need fixing and need to be brought up many levels YES.

this is why BJ and others are here talking about it and lets hope and pray that this does reach the leadership of FCM and that we as a FAMILY not just another magic organization come together to build each other up and glorify God through our shows and our helping each other strive for excelence.

I am thankful for hte few more voices that have chimed in BUT what about YOU who is reading this right now and have yet to comment. Pray seek god and ask if you are to reply and if so what to reply.

sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
Dan Bernier
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Joey, I didn't misunderstand your post, nor was I construing it.

Infact, my personal opinions that I stated had nothing to do with whatever you said. I'm not even sure what it is that you said. Smile

It does seem that we both agree on the same thing though. Please read my posts again to understand that what I am saying is that there needs to be a balance, but more inportant than that is our relationship with God. We can have all the talent in the world, and still loose our soul.

Realistically, no one is going to keep hiring a lousy magician even if they are a Gospel Magician. Someone who is a lousy magician and is being uneffective as a witness will quickly realize it.

If they are still being booked and are being effective, perhaps we maybe judging someone's talent on what we believe it should be, rather than looking to see how God is using them.

If we are going to be entertainers, of course it's important to do your best with what you got, but that should always go without saying. Anyone who wants to be in showbiz will quickly learn that you have to be at least talented enough that people will want to book you. If you are a terrible entertainer, I doubt that the person would be entertaining others for long.

What I don't hear much about is how we can take what God has given us and use it for His glory. I also don't hear much about how God works through us as opposed to us thinking we work through God.

Anyways, I'm not sure I'm making my self clear without being taken out of content, but if you have a question just PM me, I'll do my best. Smile
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
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Any Gospel magicians and/or Christian performers being overlooked that could be invited to future FCM conventions (if cost did not matter)? Dale Salwak? Rick Merrill? Warren Wiersbe? I agree with Sam- keep those ideas coming in- I will see to it they are passed on to Prez Wilson... Roger from Kazoo
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Harris Deutsch
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I don't want to bury my "talent(s)" in the ground, but when I meet the master (who already knows) how they were multiplied.

Be safe, well and blessed.

love brother Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
music, magic and marvelous toys
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I believe many are called by God to use their gifts and talents, yet without the help of spiritually mature Christians to disciple them, these individuals go back to hiding their gifts. In my own life there was many times that I wanted to put the talents God had given me but instead I allowed fear, doubt and uncertainty to delay my entry into this kind of ministry. In addition, at that time of my life I did not know where to even begin looking for mentorship. I have prayed to the Lord since that time to give me the discernment, and wisdom to seek the counsel of those in this ministry. I currently live in Orlando, Fl, and there is not a local chapter of FCM, but upon communicating this information to the FCM administrative staff, Mr. Mike Stenberg contacted me to let me know that there is a possibility that one can be started. I feel that God has led me to this organization, and he is opening doors for this ministry to grow. In the last few weeks I have also felt that an organization like FCM should partner with other Christian organizations like YWAM (Youth with a Mission), who like FCM Believe that God has Called the body of Christ to make disciples of all nations by the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit. I believe that in this regard we can all agree that God has called everyone in the body of Christ to the task of world evangelization. This task is huge, since there are over one billion people on the planet that have never had a relevant presentation of the Gospel. It is my belief that it is essential that all of us in the body of Christ become involved in the fulfillment of Christ’s last command to us to “…GO and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:18–20). I was moved listening to the testimonies, of young teens in my church returning from these missions trips. These young men and women have answered God’s call to fulfill the great commission. I know that the FCM has the ability to really make a difference this is why I joined this past Monday, I would also like to request that if you are a member of FCM in Florida, please get in contact with the FCM’s administration so that we can start a local chapter, in addition I would really appreciate the support and mentorship of anyone in the local area.
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Just to let you'all know, I will go through this thread on this Saturday, September 18, 8am, and summarize it down to a couple of pages and forward it on the FCM elected officers. So if you have a comment for change for the FCM, comments as to what should not be changed, comment as to what could be considered to be looked at afresh or simple improvements made, please post it here or private message me before Saturday morning. So here's your chance to be a part of this: if you want FCM to take a look at any ideas- whatever ideas- you'll know that it was part of a constructive summary forwarded on. I will not be using any names in the summary. I think the FCM leadership will appreciate it and I will thank them for their often thankless (and unpaid) service. Thanks again, Roger Bus
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I will forward on this ideas info-o-gram this afternoon. Thanks to all on this thread, please post any more suggestions that you might have that you'd like to see passed on this morning if possible. Have a good weekend all fellow FCMers- looking forward to church tomorrow- have missed all of September so far- so will be at the "Lighthouse." Looking forward to the convention issue of "The Voice of FCM" too...
Kerry Kistler
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Earlier in this thread I mentioned an article which I wrote for my past column in the (then) Conjurer called "Balancing the Ballyhoo - Does Our FCM Tent Need Some Patching?" Here's the link to the pdf version:

Not to belabor the point but the article covered a lot of issues touched on by this thread and caused no little stir when it was published. Probably the most interesting (and telling) comment I received was from an ex FCM president. The article came out just before the convention that year (2008), and he approached me with an interesting response to the article. First let me quote the section and then I will share his response:

"With notable exceptions, the FCM found its
niche as an entry-level portal for beginners—
kind of a 'Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood'
for the Christian variety arts. And we
seemed fairly content with that. In an effort
to remain inclusive and encourage ministry,
we purposely lowered the bar 'for Jesus’
sake.' Naturally, this has long-term consequences.

After a few years in our ranks, many members
start looking for a higher level of training
and expertise. I have heard it too many
times: 'I cut my teeth in the FCM but now
it doesn’t meet my needs—I need something
more advanced, more professional.'
The FCM does a very capable job of helping
people get started, but everyone knows
that a steady diet of beginner material soon
loses its flavor. As members graduate up
the food chain, they start hungering for
something more exquisite.

When we weren’t looking, the whole landscape
changed. Market forces took over.
The FCM adopted 'generalist' thinking
while 'specialists' emerged and began to
eclipse us. Are you looking for advanced,
professional training in clowning, juggling,
chalk art, ventriloquism, puppetry—whatever?
Today, there is a specialty group
(and magazine) looking for you. They are
happy to court you, recruit you, and stretch
you. Advanced Christian organizations
exist for nearly every art we represent. Except
magic. Where are our magicians supposed
to go—back to the secular world?
Indeed, some of our FCM friends still attend
magic conventions every year—just
not ours. When many of our advanced
members move on, who can calculate the
loss? But at least we still have our name…"

As an aside, I think this describes the heart of BJs original post that started this thread.

Anyway, this is what the ex prez said in response to the article: "So what's wrong with being the entry-level portal for Christian performers? If our main accomplishment as an organization is to help people get started in this business and then they eventually "graduate" out of what?"

I kinda knew right then what the score was.

I'm not trying to throw stones here, I'm just sharing the facts. Roger, I'd appreciate you sending me a copy of the "summary report" you send to FCM leadership. Check my profile for the email address.

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I feel like, if the gospel is true, and it is, them it will still be arround, and if magic can still be usedto teach the gospel than I would hope that Christian magicians still get together amd share their ideas.
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Kerry! Well said! I'm shocked by the answer you received, as I'm sure you were as well.

I thought I was on Facebook for a second, and was looking for the "like" button under your comment...wish there was one! ;-)

Thanks to everyone who has shared so far!

Keep it up,

Joey Evans
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I second, Kerry's article. It was very well-written and I loved seeing it when it was published. It really spoke of the new needs of the organization and I think gave a good roadmap of where we need to go.

For you that haven't read it, it's an excellent article!
The Visual Comedy and Magic of Joey Evans

The Impossible Has Never Been So Funny!
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I did forward a summary of the The Magic Café' comments to the FCM officers. Nothing new in the brief outline, just a much shorter version of what was posted here. In that way, I am hoping maybe one or two ideas suggested above in this thread will be considered- which makes this well worth the effort. Thanks again all to BJ, Kif, Sam, Kerry, Joey and the many others for your thoughts.
Sam Sandler
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Great to hear.
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
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FYI: Update: FCM President Del Wilson addresses the above thread in his President's page column on page 4 of the November/December 2010 issue of The Voice of FCM. I agree with his thoughts 100%- very good analysis- with Godly leaders with no personal agenda the organization is in good hands. I personally think (and will state it here) that Del has been doing a great job for FCM and I appreciate his efforts. I think the Voice of FCM latest mailed out "hard copy" issue continues to be of very high quality in this electronic age- I still enjoy reading it through on real paper and placing it into my library afterwards...
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