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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Good News! » » Professors Nightmare (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Cpontz
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Daupin PA
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I use Professor's Nightmare to teach a lesson about God's love. I show the different size ropes telling the audience that God has made short people, medium sized people and large people. When I make the ropes all equal, I tell the audience that under God's eyes, everyone is equal. He loves everyone the same.

Has anyone else used this approach on different tricks to get the message out?

Thanks

Craig Pontz
mysticalmike
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Saratoga Springs, NY
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Yeah I do. I talk about sin. Some people in the world say there are different size sins. Some say they are small sin like little white lies, mediums sin and large sin. Then I do the trick. At the end I go God tells us that all sin are all the same. There is no different sized sins.
Mike
edwin
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TX
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To really understand and convey the "All sins are the same to God" idea, you may want to read C.S.Lewis' book "Mere Christianity." In fact, most of the more complicated ideas, like predestination and this one, are very well discussed in this profound work and I paraphrase much from it. I've been using it for gospel magic themes for the more advanced listeners.

Essentially, according to Lewis, the thing that makes sinning bad is what it's doing to your soul--driving you further from God. So instead of doing Professor's Nightmare to illustrate this point, I do the ring levitating up and down a pen routine. I.e., as I sin, regardless of the sin, I am driven from God--the ring drops. When I repent and do what is right in God's eyes, my relationship with God becomes closer and closer--the ring rises again. This is why all sins are the same. Since the harm of the sin hinges upon how I am hurting myself, all sins hurt me and thus all have the same weight, etc. (Lewis puts it much better)

Professor's nightmare I would reserve for a discussion on how we are all the same in God's eyes, regardless of how seemingly popular, rich, or important we may be here on Earth. This may include physical differences, like personal attractiveness, etc. too of course.
BroDavid
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America’s North Coast, Ohio
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A good friend of mine who posts here too ocassionally uses a theme of time in Christ. He talks about how God looks at us all. This approach is similar to Craig's but takes it a step further (at least I think it does).

For illustration, my friend likens the sizes of the ropes to our time in Christ, (Short) to a "new believer", (medium) to someone who is relatively mature in the faith, and (long) someone who has lived his whole life in Christ. He then talks about God looks at all the same, and he shows the ropes (the belivers) all the same, and that is how God sees us, all the same.

He later talks again at how, since we don't know when He (Christ) will return, (the ropes return to unequal lengths) we should each aspire; the new believer to live a right life and read the Bible, and grow into relative maturity, and the relatively mature to continue to read and grow and grow into a life long faith, and the lifelone believer, now having neared the end of his earthly existence, can continue to press on towards the prize of eternal life with Christ, which is avaliable to all beleivers. short, medium, and long.

I started doing it this way, after seeing him do it so well a number of times. It make a good visual point. and I have so many other routines I use, that focus on Sin, that a routine about Grace makes a nice addition.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Belleque
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I use the view of sin with this effect and it works very well but must be explained appropriately of course! The other line of patter I use with it has to do with the song "This Little Light of Mine". It is in my self-published Gospel effects book (hopefully to be reprinted soon!) and has really been fun to use and gets a good response.

Briefly the ropes represent candle wicks and I ask the audience if they have heard the song. In my church presentations 9 out of 10 people are familiar with the song and if not we sing it together. Then I share a story about learning the song as a little boy and thinking that I only had a little light to shine for Jesus. (showing small rope) My Sunday school teacher must have a large light (show medium rope) because of everything she taught us each Sunday from the Bible and that our Pastor must have had a huge (show longest rope) light because after all he appeared to me that he ran the church! I then mention that as I got older I realized that the same holy spirit that resides in my life is the same one that was in my Sunday School Teacher and my Pastor (show ropes the same length). The only difference was that they regularly shined their light and I needed to be willing to show mine to others too!

This is kind of a brief simple explanation. I also explain to the audience what it means to shine your light for Jesus and depending on the age of the group go into more detail concerning the principle that when people see Jesus in us they are drawn to him. I really enjoy this routine. It's nostalgic for me and of course the trick is a killer - especially for those who are seeing it for the first time! God has used this effect to lead a lot of people to His son!

Brett
Cpontz
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Daupin PA
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Thanks BroDavid, Edwin and Mysticmike. I like the ring on the pen idea. BroDavid, I liked how your friend expanded on the theme.

How about using linking rings and talking about growing closer to God? I'm thinking more on how to adapt different tricks to a gospel theme and looking for other ideas.

Thanks

Craig
BroDavid
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America’s North Coast, Ohio
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The only logical problem I see with using linking rings to symbolize "closer to God" is there is are too many rings and quickly thinking about it, I don't have a way to use them all and illustrate closeness to God. But that is just me, and I really haven’t thought about it. I use a three ring set, and do a routine about sin. (See, I said in y previous post that I have a lot of routines about sin)

Where one ring is us, and the first other ring is our sin nature, and I even go as far as showing the K** Ring and first ring held closely together saying, see how much our sin nature looks like us, in fact, it looks like we are one....

And then I talk about being a good person, so sin can't get into my life. And I bang the rings together, and how since I go to church, I won't have sin in my life, and a few more such illustrations of things that don't guarantee that we will be with out sin. And then I crash link the "sin nature" onto the ring symbolizing me. And I talk about how we can get out of sin. Run from it, and repent - that means tell God that you know it was sin, and ask for His forgiveness and turn from your wicked ways. And I do an "invisible unlink" and say, if I am earnest in my repentance, I can step away from that sin, and be forgiven. And I bange the rings together saying but Sin is out there. And sometimes, I might take a look at a pretty girl, a little too long, or with the wrong thought on my mind, and WWWWWWHAM! I crash link again...

I often go through this several times, even getting someone from the audience to hold one side of the ring, saying, I think that if I get a friend to help, I wont have sin. But then I pick up something that isn't mine, or I get an extra $5 in change form a clerk and smile as I put it in my pocket knowing it really isn't mine. And WHAM! Linked again! I then go through some things, and crash link the second ring when I already have one ring linked. I talk about how it is easier with a little sin in our lives, to think "well I know guys worse than me.", and I crash link to have two rings linked. I then do a move and have the rings so I can have someone take one ring that is now holding the other two rings which I hold. SO I can go to the left, and I am locked in sin. I can go to the right and I locked in sin. I then do a conventional release but keep the rings in place, and remember (I remind the audience) that it takes repentance, and I drop to my knees, and bow my head. I then look up and simply pull the two rings apart.

And I jump up and yell Halleluiah, I am Free! And the specs are mystified, entertained , educated, and the applause rolls on.

Like way too man of my routines, this one is very fluid, and it just sort of transforms for each audience, but I am in the process of writing up all of my work for a DVD project I am doing. So maybe some day, it will be in a more organized form for others to consume. But this at least describes most of the higher points.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Cpontz
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Daupin PA
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Thanks BroDavid. That was great. You can tell that you really really get into doing these routines. Your DVD project sounds interesting also.

I do a routine with the Holy Bible Coloring Book for kids shows. I show the book with the blank pages and tell the children that they have to help make the pictures to draw. I then ask them what Bible stories they know. I have them "throw" the story into the book. Here you mimic thowing a story and you can "lead" the children with the stories beginning with the birth of Jesus, going through some of the other bible stories in the New Testiment. You then show them the pictures are there and ask them to help you color them. They get into "thowing" the different colors, then you can show them that the pictures are all colored. It is a fun routine that reminds the children of the story of Jesus. It also ends up getting the kids involved and having fun.
BroDavid
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Thanks for kind words.

You have a great idea there for getting meaningful involvment by the kids. I don't do kids shows, but can see that would also work with adults with a number of different kinds of effects.

Thanks for the great idea for building audience involvement!

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
weepinwil
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USA
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I use the effect to illustrate how each of us have different levels of talent but when put together can achieve more than the best can alone.
"Til Death us do part!" - Weepin Willie
drkptrs1975
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North Eastern PA
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I use the Proffessors nightmare to show more of a salvation message. The Long Rope is the good guy, medium rope is the sometimes good guy, and the small rope is the bad guy. I use it to show in God's eyes, we are all the same, sinners.
Winks
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Arizona
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Professor's Nightmare is great for teaching the doctrine of the Trinity, especially on Trinity Sunday or Transfiguration Sunday. Too often people forget that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all equal (Athanasian Creed) yet not always is some of what each person of the Godhead does clearly seen. Likewise, there are three persons but one God. This is when I go into the Professors Nightmare and then make one rope afterwards. It's a good lesson that the kids (and adults) remember.
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