I've been working on an old hobby. Since I was in junior high, I've been intrigued by illusionists. I picked up Mark Wilson's fat little Cyclopedia of Magic* sometime during high school, and have been hooked ever since. I've been doing magic for my family and friends for years, but this year started doing tricks with Biblical applications for my AWANA Sparks. Between bright K-2nd Graders and some very sharp coworkers, I've been challenged to improve my sleight of hand and presentation skills.
My favorite illusions involve coins. I picked up Bobo's Modern Coin Magic a couple years ago and have really enjoyed making coins appear, disappear, multiply and change. I've always got a couple coins in my pocket "just in case." Some of my favorites are Just Pretend, Scotch and Soda and a little Coins Across routine that explains why I have so much trouble teaching my daughter addition and subtraction. The Coin Matrix is also a favorite.
I also really like Cups and Balls. My sister gave me Mysterio's Encyclopedia of Magic and Conjuring by Gabe Fajuri for Christmas and it has a great section on Cups and Balls. I picked up the I Love Jesus cups in the photo above at a Christian bookstore and the balls from my local magic shop (Blackthorne Magic at Citadel Mall) .
The best part of magic is using it to illustrate Biblical principles. I explain to people that I just do "tricks" to entertain and to teach. When I do it, I'm making it look like something happened when it didn't. When Jesus walked on water and healed people, He really walked on water and healed people! When I do a trick and it looks like the balls passed through the cups, I was just pretending. The point, I'm making, however, is true. When we put God's Word into our heads, it passes through into our hearts and begins to change us from the inside out.
In a future post I'll list some of the illusions I have used and the Biblical principles I've illustrated with them.
* Instead of Cyclopedia of Magic, now I'd suggest a kid start with Wilson's newer Complete Course in Magic. It's expanded and easier to follow, and has a few more advanced routines.