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Hey there, I have been a magic fan all my life. From the time I saw my first magic trick(Coin appearing from behind ears), I was hooked. I am 24 years old and although I have been doing magic tricks since I was 5, I have only recently taken my tricks to the parlour level and started performing for big audiences. I am a Seventh-day Adventist Christian and was raised in the church all my life. I always kept my Christianity and my interest in magic tricks seperate but it is only as of lately I realized that I can use this passion to teach people about the Gospel of Jesus and the character of God. Although now I have this passion to use magic tricks as illustrations in my ministry, I have very littlunderstanding in how to make my tricks beable to convey the Gospel because I never used them for that purpose before. I was wondering if someone could please help me understand how I can use the tricks that I do to teach illustrations of the Gospel or give some Biblical lession. I don't wont the analogy with the magic trick to be a streched concept where you really have to search for the correlation between the trick and the Gospel message if you see what I mean. I am providing a list of the tricks that I do and I am hoping that professionals who have been in the CHristian area of Magic tricks could help me find illustrations with the tricks I already do; or at least help me with ideas. I am completely at a loss of how I can use my tricks to teach the Gospel. I have been praying about this and I felt like if I can not find illustrations that perhaps magic tricks are not the way to teach the Gospel but I don't really believe that. I personally think that magic tricks would be exceptionally amazing at conveying the Gospel message. I am also a very visual person and most people are too so I think that a magic trick that teaches the Bible truth /Gospel would really help concepts stick in their minds. So here is a list of the tricks I do and I am really hoping that someone can give me some insight to how I can use these tricks in illustrations to teach the gospel:

Coin Tricks - Coin vanishes & appearing, Coin penetration in empty and sealed(filled with liquid) bottle, Signed coin inside sugar packet, Coin transformations into any object that fits in hand, Miser's Dream.

Fire Magic Tricks - The fire assits the vanishs and appearing of coins, canes , silks, balls and other objects.

Cane Tricks - Vanishing cane into silk, Appearing cane from silk, color changing canes.

Levitation Tricks - Levitation of small objects such as coins, rings, cards...and more

Goldfish Production Trick - make gold fish appear into a empty glass with water.

Mirror Glass Tricks - Changing liquids into solids objects like silks or balls

Stamp Album Trick - an empty stamp album instanty gets filled with stamps

Signed Bill inside fruit Trick - A piece of marked paper appears inside a randomly selected orange, lemon, apple, or any spherical fruit.

Thank you in advance! I could really use each and every persons assistance to help me find gospel application to each of these tricks.
Stephon Johnson
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Rather than giving you a "bumper sticker" application for each trick, here are some thinking exercises I use in routining "effects" for a theme:
STORY: forget the tricks for a minute and think on "what do I want to communicate"?
THE STAR: make that story the star, make the "trick" your special effect or support of the story.
DON'T just love a trick so much that you smash and mangle just any old message to be able to do that effect.
If you cannot find a message for a trick, put it away until you do.

ALL tricks breakdown into basic concepts: vanish, appear, change, transpose, multiply, restore etc..
ALL stories have the same conceptual ideas. For example: "Salvation" involves being rescued from destruction, being lost and found, becoming a new creature, being made little by little into the image of Christ, Jesus taking our punishment in our place, removing our sins as far as East from West, being predestined before the foundation of the world, being dead in sins and made alive in Christ, etc...
FIND those things about your faith that excite and stir you, then find the "visual" that will bring that home to a watching audience and stick with them after they leave (the "thought" and not the "trick")
Hope that helps. PM me if you want input on a specific effect and thought being combined. I love helping!!!
WHAT IF you wake up tomorrow with ONLY the things that you THANK GOD for today?
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Wow thanks Stephon, this is what I was thinking and so I guess perhaps I wanted to use what I had already. Also I guess I need to always keep in mind that I don't want to take attention for myself but I want to give the attention and focus to the Gospel message. I just had so many ideas but your right, focus on the story first. Thanks so much for your help. We will be in touch for sure!
Mike Maturen
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I agree with Stephon on this one. Too often I have seen "gospel magicians" just massacre an effect to fit a message...or--worse yet--massacre a message to fit a trick.

I always try to keep in mind that we are NOT preachers (although I am a former one), we are ENTERTAINERS. I try to present a family-friendly show with a light message.
Mike Maturen
World of Wonder Entertainment
The Magic and Mayhem of Mike Maturen

AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

member: International Magician's Society
Craig Logan
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I will piggyback on Stephon's great words of advice: When doing Gospel magic, the story is paramount. Start with the message God has laid on your heart, and if illusions are appropriate/fit, then work them into the message. Allow your talents and passions to compliment the Gospel. Don't cram Bible verses into an appearing cane or the like.

My best advice is to pray. Pray that God would give you the message from His throne, and pray that He would give you the discernment to know what illustrations would assist the understanding of the message.
"A wizard is not to be made in a day." -Professor Hoffmann (Modern Magic)
Danny Kazam
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Do you feel God calling you to teach? Can you, or have you recognized where God has gifted you? Do you believe that performing magic will make God's Word more understandable?

Okay, the last one is sort of a trick question. Nothing makes God's Word more understandable than the Holy Spirit, but I thought I would throw that in because I think the biggest tragedy to the Gospel is lack of faith in the power of God's Word through conviction of the Holy Spirit.

The second tragedy is thinking just because we have a passion for a wordly thing, we can assume we can use it to teach God's Word without ever waiting on the Lord for direction, or a calling in our lives without even knowing what our spiritual gifts from God are.

Magic tricks is entertaining, the Gospel is life saving. There is nothing wrong with entertaining people with tricks, and I see nothing wrong with using biblical stories as patter. But, when it comes to teaching, the only tools needed are God's spiritual gifts, and a calling from the Almighty to teach. When we have those tools, we will not seek out advice from men, but will be fully prepared through our faith and obedience in God, our Father, through His Son, Jesus Christ.

In all things we do, be it sports, entertainment, work, education, do so unto the Lord, pleasing and pure. Be a witness for Christ in all we do, letting His light shine before all men.
Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.
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MagicBus has a website that has many many videos of gospel routines using all different kinds of magic tricks. I can't remember the link or I'd post it for you, but I'm sure he will come on here very soon and post it for you. He visits here quite regularly.
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Profile of MagicBus MagicBob set this wonderful site up for us.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and Happy 2014!

In response to the above, the audience in my view determines what kind of show to do. Doing a program for older grade schoolers has to have good magic, performed well. Adults expect amazing stuff as well with carefully thought out routines. The Gospel magic has to be structured well. My guess is teens expect a manic energy, I am not sure on that (as I can't recall ever doing a show for just teens). When I do a rare show for a banquet (such as the Gideons) of adults- I have to spend hours in preparation to get the right blend of good magic combined with a good solid message (not just a simple plan of salvation) for an audience composed of mature adult Christians. Kids stuff is not going to work in that setting. So one has to have a good variety of magic to choose from.

MagicBob does the best job of any Gospel magician I know of having the same program that is entertaining for all age groups who may be sitting watching in a church setting- that is certainly very rare. I can't do it myself. MagicBob's multiple programs (he has about 7) will "work" equally well with a bunch of prisoners one day and as for a bunch of hyper kids attending a banquet the next. I have seen him do it. Amazing. He is my magical role model for sure. It shows what working on magic daily can result in, MagicBob is constantly attending magic lectures and searching for the best stuff he can find that fits his style and size requirements.

Which gets me to what I have been doing lately- a real joy:

I really am having a great time now doing weekly "magic tricks" for my wife's children's Sunday School class of 1st and 2nd graders. The eager kids expect to hear a clear Bible story or lesson- one that I try to fit in with whatever my wife is teaching (if possible, it not always is). They know what's coming. The "magic" is used to reinforce the message.

What a treat for me- no need to try to "win them over" first- no need to try to entertain first with laughs- no worries that they don't understand what I am doing (by communicating each week that the Bible lesson is simply being illustrated by non-supernatural surprises for eye-es). They know who I am and what I do. We just all enjoy it together.

I really think this has been a wonderful proving ground- I look forward to every Sunday morning. I am finding out in a hurry what works and what does not hold the young kids' attention. It does help to have a room full of unused magic at home gathered over the years- it is great to dust it off and try new/old effects that have been sitting on the shelf for years.

So I encourage fellow FCMers to try to link up through your local church Sunday School classes- the teachers will welcome you- particularly if they know each week you can do 5-8 minutes or so of relevant Bible lessons tied into whatever illustrations/magic you decide to reinforce your message with.

Years ago, I bought from Hippity Hop Magic Shop in Grand Rapids a custom made trick where a fairly large regular working clock is taken from a large carved mouse (about a foot tall) and put on a large wooden stack of cheese. The clock then vanishes from the stack of cheese and then reappears with the mouse.

The effect above I never used- it really is not all that amazing and pretty much anyone over the 3rd grade level can figure out almost instantly how the trick works. But it is a very, very cute large mouse and the stack of cheese is pretty cool looking and can appeal to this age group I am hoping. I have looking up all the verses in the Bible this week about using time wisely, and am working on incorporating those verses into a story how the mouse did not use his time wisely while eating cheese when he should have been working in his mouse castle (which also came with the trick which also doubles where to store the mouse). So this "effect" will be used as a way to talk with the kids about not procrastinating, not wasting too much time just eating cheese (which I am guilty of), etc..

So having to do literally 45+ 5-8 minute spots a year for the same kids every Sunday morning, it forces one to think about other Biblical messages (such as the proper use of time) that are not common to most other Gospel magic tricks.

I am thinking in a few weeks of also using the Duane Laflin/Doug Wathen "Prodigal Son" published routine used with the disappearing/appearing necklace trick. This is another example of a trick that is probably not really strong enough for a larger show (and has sat on my shelf unused for years), but could be perfect for a small group of younger children, especially when one has the liberty to take the time needed to do only one effect and tell the whole Bible story.

So in a nutshell, this is a wonderful way to glorify God- by teaching Bible stories and principles using the Bible itself and what it says as the main focal point- then using props to help the young Sunday School class "audience" retain the message- such as the mouse who lost track of time while spending too much time chomping on a pile of cheese.
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Many of these illusions already have Christian Patter

for a good start look at books by Oz and Wilde (free download from FCM), Duane Laflin, and "Spiritual Applications 1 and 2" of Tarbell
Have wand will travel! Performing children's magic in the UK for Winter 2014 and Spring 2015.
Mel Yoder
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I used (the nest of boxes)for the first time at my last presentation.Went over so well,give God all the glory.I used the gift wrapped boxes that went well with Christmas but can be used any time of year.I ask for a ring or watch from the audience,and was somewhat surpised when a lady presented both of them.Then I placed them in a Strat O Sphere box.This was used as a small washing machine.I added the soap and a little water,shaking the box then made the jewelry disappear,jokingly saying about someone must have put red devil lye in the soap box.This got a chuckle out of the crowd.I ask the lady if she wanted to trade her jewelry for what was in the gift box.There was a small girl who was standing right next to me and never seen the slite of hand or gadget as I opened the boxes one by one.The audience was very much surprised to see the jewelry and a box of chocolates in the last box.I used this to illustrate how we must get rid of something in order to receive something else.As we like to keep what we have plus have Jesus.Just like the rich young ruler who would not give up his riches in exchange for Christ.

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Heaven and Hell Paper Tear........

I do it all the time.
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to's about learning how to dance in the rain."
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Wow thank you all ! I never had so much mentoring until I came to The Magic Café! Thank you
Theodore Lawton
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Some great advice here.

Duane Laflin also has some great advice on this.

Focus on your walk with God first and foremost. Some good questions to ask ourselves: Are we praying? Are we consistently reading God's word? Are we spending time in fellowship with other like-minded believers? Do we go to church and if we do is it with the right attitude? Do we go expecting to worship and hear from God through the message while also being willing to serve wherever God might use us in the body of Christ?

I could go on, but prayer is the most important way to seek God's will for you and your gospel magic. You can also accomplish more with prayer than you ever can on your own. God will not only guide you, He will help you to become better and provide you with opportunities to share the message as you continue to communicate with Him through prayer.

Beyond that, be creative. Explore routines offered by people like Duane Laflin. Make up your own. Stay focused on the message, but have fun too!

Try to balance strong magic with strong message. Too much magic and they might miss the message. Too much message and they might feel cheated since you are presenting yourself as a magical entertainer.

If you are doing a stage or parlor show- develop a theme. I suggest you buy Anatomy of a Gospel Magic Show by Duane Laflin. It's a great book and only costs 15 dollars.

May you give glory to God in all that you do!

Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.


God bless you and have a magical day
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