Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Three Magi

Thursday evening with our senior adults was a wonderful evening. I enjoy performing for them so much. One of the difficult things about performing at my home church is the need to always be presenting new material. On the other hand, they are often a test audience to help with audience reaction, timing, and other aspects of fine tuning new effects.

Earl Thomas started off our performance time with a new effect of his own. Earl began with a couple of simple rubber band effects and then moved on to his newest project. He used a Mark Wilson variation of "Bill to Impossible Location" by having half of a spectator's (Pastor Terry) bill reappear inside of his makeshift magic wand (Chap-stick tube). Earl is one of our senior adults that has just recently begun to indulge in the craft of magic. Great job, Earl.

Gary Williams, the senior adult Sunday School teacher, was next up with some of his rope magic and then his own "Torn and Restored Card" with the restored card in an orange of the spectator's choosing. I know that they both did a great job because I had people asking me about how they did that.

For my part, I started out with an Aldo Columbini effect, "Pick Me." I love this card effect because it is so adaptable to different situations. At his lecture, Aldo simply used "Pick me" and "Do not pick me" on the backs of the cards. I have used crosses and devils and taught that ours is not a random chance between heaven and hell, but a choice that we get to make. I have used "Trick" or "Treat" at Halloween and "Bah humbug" and "Merry Christmas" for this season. I have also used this effect to choose a company logo vs. a competitor's at a trade show.

Next I talked briefly about my studies into human behavior and how I might try to determine a person's actions by their personalities or by their circumstances. I began with a simple eight card brainwave. Next, I went with one of my new effects, "Graffiti" from Jay Sankey's 22 Blows to the Head DVD.
I wanted to use the staff member that oversees the senior adults. Rich Langston happens to be our youngest staff member and is really alot of fun. I talked about some of the changes that we experience as we grow older, physical and mental. One of the most frustrating is memory loss--something that young Rich has had little experience with. To give him a taste of what it feels like, I used him for "Memory Lapse," another effect from the Sankey DVD.

A couple of other simple effects then I closed with a "Silk frame and Cabby" effect and a story of the Three Magi and the gifts they gave; gold for a king, frankensence for a priest, and myrrh, a burial spice. These must have seemed to be strange gifts that Mary and Joseph received for their Son. I wonder what they did with them. The bible doesn't make any other mention of them. Maybe Joseph used the gold for their journey to Egypt. Maybe the sold the other gifts to live off of for a while. Perhaps it's just not that important how they used the gifts. Maybe the thing that is important is that we have a gift to bring to Jesus--not the Baby, the Savior Jesus. How He chooses to use our gift isn't what's important. What's important is that we give it freely and trust Him to use it to bring Glory to the Father.

Again, Merry Christmas,

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